Breath, from Fen's Memoirs

The warm afternoon sunlight called me back to a reality that I had longed for while in the tower. It would have been good to see Misha and catch up, but I knew he was still in Gelassi. Nalev had invited me to join him for supper in his private quarters and I accepted. The rumors were true and I was in love with a madman. Keeping close ties with the real power in Eltesnia couldn't hurt the situation as I saw it.

My intuition was correct. I had a wonderful time with Nalev, Zbinka and Rad'en', who was actually quite charming when not subjected to Misha. The rivalry was clearly between the young men because Zbinka had nothing but praise for Misha and his years of service to her husband. Nor did Nalev seem to mind the many successive paramours with whom Zbinka spends most of her time and inheritance.

Zbinka, it seems had used her charm, sophistication and nerves of steel to organize the coup that forced Paynor from his seat of usurped power right into the very prison cell he had used for Nalev. As proud as she was about her involvement and Rad'en's, she was a bit sketchy on the details of the entire Council's demise. Being raised in no less than three courts, I knew when propriety demanded me to hold my peace. After all, they weren't asking about the father of my child. And that worked out perfectly. More perfectly than the pregnancy itself.

A few short days later I suffered my first miscarriage. D'Hir was first to come to my aid. Sweet D'Hir who I'd practically raised since he was five years old. Before long Misha was at my side. I was thankful that it was a short ride to Gelassi from Cznorh. Messengers came regularly from Neopar to check on my recovery, but nothing from Roarke who was not returning messages from his tower. He knew what had happened, but the darkness had overtaken him once more and we had no strength to spare one for the other.

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