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From then on, this woman would be my only living companion.
She was too badly maimed by the Red Corsairs to move on her own. The majority of the times I had to carry her in my arms. Over time, I grew used to her delicate arms wrapped around my neck and her fragile weight in my hands. But the one thing I never grew used to, was the smile she showed me everytime she rested in my arms.
She said her name was Sylvia. I did not answer when she asked me for my own name.
Our bond grew as the days passed into weeks, and the weeks into months. Warp travel was tedious at best, and the only company I had before, were my silent brothers.
Sylvia was everything I hoped a companion could be. She was intelligent, despite hailing from a feudal world. She had a thirst for knowledge, and would ask me many questions regarding the universe. She was kind and considerate, and would question me on my health everytime I returned from a battle. She was also very beautiful, but that to me, is meaningless. I wanted only someone who could reply to my words and listen to my troubles.
Yes. I know. Surprisingly human of me, isn't it? But then again, we Astartes never did fully cast off our humanity.
In retrospect, I should have seen the signs. Many times, she would begin a conversation about love or ask me if I had loved anyone in my past life. Each time, I responded as only a Space Marine can.
Love, to us, is a foreign thing. While we love our fellow brothers in arms, our primarch, and the Emperor, that in itself, is the love of brotherhood. The love a man gives to a woman and vice versa, we could not understand.
I told her this each time she brought up the subject. After my explanation, her smile would grow sad and her eyes would become wistful.
The signs were there, but I did not see them.