Maiev Shadowsong approached the cell with confident strides, neither hurrying nor hesitating, and stopped at the barred doorway. She stood, her expression one of haughty superiority, and waited.
Illidan sat on his cot, the only furniture in the rock-hewn cell, lounging in apparent boredom. Finally forced to acknowledge her, he spoke, his voice oozing disdain. "And what do you want?"
Maiev placed her weight on one hip and leaned against the bars, clearly enjoying his annoyance. "Do you know what today is?"
"Yet another day spent here in this Elune-forsaken pit with only your insufferable company to break the monotony?"
"Besides that " she purred, her Cheshire smile doing little to inspire patience in her captive audience.
Illidan crossed his arms on his bare, tattooed chest but did not budge from the cot. "Oh, do tell, Warden, since youre obviously enjoying this extra torment."
"Today marks the end of your five hundredth year of imprisonment."
"Forgive me if I elect not to cheer and celebrate." Illidan picked at a crack in the rough stone wall and flicked a bit of dirt in her general direction. "Or did you come to tell me my sentence is over?" He regarded her through his blindfold with a look of insincere optimism.
"Hardly." She reached for something out of his line of "sight" and raised a fluted crystal glass. "Heres to the next five hundred." She sipped the pinkish liquid and smiled.
If he felt any jealousy at her enjoyment of what was obviously a fine wine, he gave no sign. Rather, he stood and crossed the cell with three lithe strides, then stopped in front of her, somehow managing to hold eye contact with her despite his blindfold.
Maiev had to tip her head back slightly to meet his sneering gaze, but despite his height and obvious physical strength she was not in the least bit intimidated. She was in full control and they both were all too aware of it.
"The next five hundred, you say?" he drawled, tilting his head to regard her with an appraising look. "And you intend to be here all that time, as well?"
"I most certainly do," she snarled.
"Dont you have something better to do with your life? If you insist on staying here to taunt me daily youre as much a prisoner as I am "
She looked briefly discomfited, making him give a thin smile.
"Not that I dont appreciate all the attention, of course," he added with a self-mocking bow.
"You flatter yourself, Betrayer," Maiev said through clenched teeth. "It is my duty and honor to see that you remain safely locked away where you can never spread your twisted evil again."
"Twisted evil? Is that how you justify it? Fine words for the Well that made the very existence of our civilization possible."
"And then nearly destroyed it in an inferno of demonic flame and corruption!"
"The Well itself was not to blame for that. Power magic is only evil if used for evil purposes."
"Evil purposes like draining your fellow spellcasters into manaless husks to amplify your own spells?"
"When one is fighting for the existence of all life in the world, sacrifices have to be made. Whatever methods I, or anyone else, may have used to that end, you cant deny that they worked. Were still here."
"Yes and youll be here for all eternity for what you have done," Maiev sneered, gesturing at their dismal surroundings.
"And so, apparently, will you."
Maiev paused, then smiled smugly. "I wouldnt have it any other way."