Fen Wallek

Chapter 16 Part 7 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Temmin rose from the book oddly comforted. "He let the boy Ardunn live? He didn't change his mind once they were in Tremont?"

"No," said Teacher. "Tennoc took Ardunn to Marsury, where he became quite the pet of the Lady Inglatine. At Marsury he trained with the Brothers and Guardsmen, served with distinction against border incursions to the far north of Barle and the Leutan border, and married Eselda, the youngest of Temmin the Bastard's daughters by Cariodas. He was never allowed to return to Kellen, but was given a holding in northern Barle. Ardunn was the first Marquess of Hawksfield, and took the name Anamma."

"Anamma? But they're still at Hawksfield--I have Anamma cousins!" exclaimed Temmin.

Chapter 15 Part 1 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

Temmin brooded in his study, saying little to either the nervous Fen as he juggled the luncheon service or Jenks when he came to check on his disciple's work. "What did he do to put you in a mood, sir?" said Jenks.

"What did who do--Wallek? Nothing. He's fine." Fen exhaled and dropped a fork. "A little less scrutiny, Jenks," smiled Temmin, rising from the table. "It's no wonder he's dropping things with you breathing down his neck."

Jenks propelled the trainee and the luncheon cart out the door. "Sir, if you need me--for anything--just ring. I will answer the summons."

"I'll be all right, Jenks. Teacher will be here soon to whisk me off into his fairy tales." Jenks lifted his eyebrows but continued into the hall and closed the door behind him.

Chapter 14 Part 9 | Son in Sorrow | IHGK Book 2

What Temmin hated most about leaving the book's spell was its lingering after-effects; the wounds, fear, hatred, even love and desire took time to dissipate and always left him confused and disoriented. "I'd wondered how magic worked in battles. I mean, if it were me, I'd just stand out front with you and let 'em have it. I guess it doesn't work that way."

"No," said Teacher, "otherwise we would own more of Inchar than we do. Your father has no magic in any event, and my magic has been greatly eroded over the centuries."

"Eroded? Eroded how?"

Chapter 16 Part 4 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Steel glinted against Arta's throat, and in Temmin's imagination red bloomed against the white of her skin. But here and now, the steel wavered ever so slightly. He cast about for anything he could draw upon for guidance. He thought of Jenks: "Who are you more afraid of? The Gods, or your father?" Now that he feared for two innocents, not for himself, he wasn't sure.

Chapter 16 Part 3 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

Freshly bathed, Temmin pulled on his new Temple garb--red, the color of the postulant Lovers, a happier, somehow less serious shade than the official Tremontine red garb he wore the last time he was at the Temple. "Will I see the Holy Ones again before tomorrow?" he asked over a late supper with Anda in the Supplicants Chamber.

She put her wine glass down and replied, "No. You won't be seeing them until it's time to draw down the Gods tomorrow night. It's not at all an easy thing, you know, Tem."

"Allis says it's something like being a puppet."

Chapter 15 Part 1 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

The letter was folded and sealed, and pressed into Fen's hands early the next day at the train station. "Give this to my groom, Alvo Nollson--only him, d'you understand? You can trust him. He will help you," said Temmin. "He's my best friend."

"Must be some groom if he's your best friend, sir," said Fen.

"Friend and groom, the best of both. Crokker should be expecting you. He's fierce, but don't let him frighten you."

"Never worry, sir, we worked for Mr Affton," said Arta; she smiled, though her pale face and trembling hands betrayed her.

For appearance's sake, Temmin kissed Arta on the forehead and Fen on one cheek. Though the kisses were innocent, he'd grown increasingly fond of both of them, he thought absently as they waved from their compartment window through the steam of the train's departure. He was responsible for them now, the first time he'd felt responsible for someone else's well-being, and it frightened him somewhat.

Chapter 14 Part 6 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

"How can I serve you, Your Highness?" said Teacher, surveying the crying couple on the floor.

"You can do things for me, yes?" said Temmin. "You're not forbidden to help me?"

"I may do whatever is in my power for you, save in that one matter."

Temmin laid out the situation, with interruptions from both Arta and Fen until he ordered them to be quiet. "I want to send them to Whithorse. Take them through the mirror."

"No," said Teacher.

"No? What d'you mean, no? You said you'd help!"

"Taking them through the mirror will not help. The King will suspect something if they suddenly disappear, and then I will just have to bring them back. You must send them in plain sight. Let everyone believe what they already believe, and that you are sending your new lovers to take up residence near your home."

"But how can I send Fen with her?"

"Sir," said Teacher, "let them believe what they already believe."

"Oh. Oh!" said Temmin.

Chapter 14 Part 5 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book 1

He was the Duke of Whithorse; his word there was law now that he'd come of age. He would send them to the Estate. He would send them to Alvo. "Don't go away. Here--finish your brandy."

He sprinted to the door, and called for a footman. When the young man ran up, a discreet smirk on his face, Temmin realized that Arta was right: her reputation was already ruined. "Does something amuse you, Caid?" barked Temmin. A more sober expression quickly took up residence on Caid's face. "Find that footman Wallek, and bring him here. Then go fetch Teacher. I need him."

Chapter 9 Part 1 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

Temmin set out on his early morning ride the next day with thoughts of Allis. He saw the multitudes of green in her eyes everywhere: pale, tender new leaves; ferns lacy and bright; the deep moss blanketing the tree trunks. Nothing held him back now but his father, who could only disapprove, not stop him. He said the nobility would be angry. Why would that matter? Who could stand against the royal family? And why should he care about what his father feared? The King didn't care about anything other than molding his son into a copy of himself.

He rode through the King's Woods, already knowing it by rote and absorbed in his thoughts, when he noticed a movement up ahead, not far from where he'd found Arta crying. Had she returned, or was it a deer hiding in the underbrush? As he drew nearer, the figure moved toward him, not away from him; it was no deer, but a man.


Chapter 5 Part 5 | Lovers and Beloveds | IHGK Book One

Temmin slept late the next day, but went out on his usual ride; while he had no marketing of his own to do this Paggday, he had the day off with everyone else. "No hangover, Jebby! There's a rare thing after a party. I wouldn't even have minded one today, what a night," Temmin said to his horse. The gelding snorted. They walked at a leisurely pace through the King's Woods, down a tributary path of the War Road. He knew the Woods were safe, but he still half-expected to see Brothers secreted in the underbrush.

The morning chill lifted. Mist rose thready from the meadows he glimpsed through the trees; birdsong and the murmur of streams rushing down to the Shadow River were the only sounds. A beautiful day, the kind of day that made him wish to ride until dark, and sleep where he stopped. He certainly hadn't slept well the night before. He knew the assassination attempt was political, but in his young heart he could not get over it: why would anyone want to kill him?

Into this green restfulness came a discordant sob. Temmin pulled Jebby up short, listening. It came from just ahead on the trail; he urged Jebby toward it, until they came to a downed log just off the path, and a girl sitting atop it, crying tears enough to join the Shadow in their own little salty stream.


Get an exclusive free ebook from the world of the Intimate History! Exclusive content, contests, new releases and more.