55. Animals, Not Angels

Musical Score, Adam Ant, Rough Stuff “Basically her family built a trap, and I walked right into it. They created this story about how I’m this violent, depraved, out-of-control monster. Her brother taunted me until I pounded the shit out of him — one of my army buddies had to pull me off of him […]

54. Honor and Responsibility

Musical Score: Beastie Boys, Body Movin’ (Fatboy Slim Remix) Sieia told Valentine to meet with Marcus, and now it seems like it must be too late. He doesn’t need to seek approval for anything. The whole thing is bound to be awkward. And yet, when Marcus returns to Liamelia, he sends Valentine a note indicating […]

53. What Did You Do to Your Hands?

Musical Score: Sugar, The Act We Act He masters an impulse to flee the house, ride up into the mountains. Instead, he forces himself to go to Sieia’s sitting room. He finds her seated by the fire. “Did you see her? What happened?” “I did. I don’t know.” He drops into the chair opposite hers. […]

51. Threats and Promises

Musical Score: Husker Du, She Floated Away Valentine returns home, exhausted, only to find the household in an uproar. A letter has arrived from Valykria’s grandmother. Her family is still pressing her to return, promising that all will be forgiven. Even Sieia’s equanimity has been shattered. “Good God, Valentine, where have you been? She’s holed […]

47. Eralon Amakir, Esq. Gets a Beating

Musical Score: Die Antwoord, DJ Hi-Tek Rulez Valentine continues to drive their marriage plans forward. His thwarted desire finds expression in absolute, swift conformance to what he believes to be Valykria’s wishes. He tells himself again and again that he placed Valykria in danger by taking to the Underdark and compromised her by traveling alone […]

46. The Weight of the Past

Musical Score: David Bowie, Breaking Glass When he gets back to the townhouse, he finds Valykria alone in Sieia’s sitting room, as he hoped he would. She’s holding a novel in one hand, and staring into the fire. She looks a bit tired and sad. When she sees him, he face brightens. “Valentine! Where were […]

45. This Lesson Is Free

Musical Score: David Bowie, The Width of a Circle A gypsy child walks up to Valentine on the street, tugs on his sleeve. “Sir, a word with you.” “What, child?” “Listen carefully.” He bends down, fixes his gaze on her face. “This evening you will travel one mile down the highway. Secure your mount in […]

44. Desire

Musical Score: Husker Du, No Reservations Valentine’s desire for Valykria has an entirely different feel from his love for Ariadne. It may be as simple as the difference between consummated and unconsummated passion. Because he knew that Ariadne loved him and was his, Valentine felt satisfied, calm and happy with her. Being young and male, […]

43. There Can Be No Real Objection

Musical Score: Spin Doctors, Two Princes They arrive late on the third night of travel. Cantering through the city gates, Valentine feels as if a holiday is coming to an end. He’s starting to realize that they gray will regard his actions very seriously. He’ll have to account publicly for decisions that seemed personal and […]