Fire Within: part 1
Sleep would not come this night. She sipped her fragrant tea, watching some last yellow flames flicker before guttering out. Her fire burned lower now
- most of the blaze was long since gone. All night she had sat there, staring at the flames.
As she stared, she dreamed. She dreamed of glorious futures full of freedom and new beginnings; of her empty past; of pain and loss and heartfelt sorrow. She dreamed of duty and cunning and service, of poisoned banquets and treacherous ambassadors. Most of all, she dreamed of a single true friend, his rightful throne, and a bitter, empty life without him.
The queen’s cup grew cold in her hands as the wind picked up. She tried to bear it, setting the cup to the ground with a noble’s practiced elegance. For a moment, she felt strong. Yet a violent shiver soon welled up in her, the unforgiving elements undoing her studied self-discipline in a heartbeat.