“Eight full lives,” I whispered against his jaw, my voice breaking. “Eight full lives and I never found anyone I would stay on a planet for, anyone I would follow when they left. I never found a partner. Why now? Why you? You're not of my species. How can you be my partner?”
“It's a strange universe,” he murmured.
“It's not fair,” I complained, echoing Sunny's words. It wasn't fair. How could I find this, find love–now, in this eleventh hour–and have to leave it? Was it fair that my soul and body couldn't reconcile? Was it fair that I had to love Melanie, too? Was it fair that Ian would suffer? He deserved happiness if anyone did. It wasn't fair or right or even…sane. How could I do this to him?
“I love you,” I whispered.
“Don't say that like you're saying goodbye.”
But I had to. “I, the soul called Wanderer, love you, human Ian. And that will never change, no matter what I might become.” I worded it carefully, so that there would be no lie in my voice.
“If I were a Dolphin or a Bear or a Flower, it wouldn't matter. I would always love you, always remember you. You will be my only partner.”