“Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment.
“No” I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.”
“Many nights I drifted off to sleep to his rumbling voice reading from a book of battle strategy. And despite myself, despite what he’d done and what he was, I came to love him. It’s just not a comfortable kind of love.”
“I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing. You may win in the end, you may ensorcell me and hurt me and humiliate me, but I will make sure you lose everything I can take from you on the way down. I promise you this is the least of what I can do.”
“He rises from the throne. “Come, have a seat.” His voice is replete with danger, lush with menace. The flowering branches have sprouted thorns so thickly that petals are barely visible.
“This is what you wanted, isn’t it?” he asks. “What you sacrificed everything for. Go on. It’s all yours.”