He called me from the sithen. He told me now was the time that I would prove to him whether I could be a Queen or not.
And I was foolish. I was reckless. He made me angry and all I wanted was to prove something to him, as if anybody could ever prove anything to him.
How small I must have looked to him. How insignificant. But I just kept pushing, kept trying with all my will and magic to push him back.
I could have called on Isabella. I could have used the power the necklace gives me, that she gave me.
But I didn’t.
He was too big, too horrifying … too compelling.
He said I had three choices: prove my power, run away “to your absent goddess” (ha!), or let him take blood.
I chose the third option; only, thinking he would have no use for what was given freely, or perhaps thinking it would impress as my giving hair freely to Nemaine impressed her, that it might grant me some mercy from him. I still imagined he might be brought to laughter, to some kind of joy, and that maybe I could do it.
I was wrong. While I think it amused him that I cut my own wrist open, he used the opportunity to pull me close and sink his teeth into my neck.
After that, I was dizzy.
I don’t know how much he took. I was dizzy and faint and I could not hold myself up, and he towered over me like a dark god.
Something made him draw back as I was on the verge of losing consciousness. He licked his lips, said I was a royal bastard, and that I tasted like Saone. Saone? Could Saone be my birth mother? Surely no one could ever steal a child from her. And surely she would have known me, when we met.
I did not have much time to mull it all over. Earlier, I’d asked him if blood was all he wanted from me. The single word answer was, “No.”
I don’t know how long that night was.
I don’t want to remember. I tell myself, it will fade, he will fade away like dust, and I draw him like dust, and I paint over the drawings, and I cannot stop drawing him, just like the first time we met.
I have rarely felt shame. When I awoke, as if from a long fall in a dream, on the sithen floor, with the two remaining white ladies standing over me silently, I felt shame.
I felt shame because, in some horrible, desperate corner of my mind, a voice whispered, “You wanted this, wanted to lie with a god, wanted that power.”
I don’t want to remember.