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“After our last meeting, Millicent? No, I think not.” The Queen’s jaw tightened, as did her grip on Moira’s hair.

“My husband’s death was a tragedy, nothing more than an unfortunate hunting accident. After all, if anyone is to blame it is your husband. He was responsible for the king’s safety. He failed. He is lucky that handsome head of his still rests atop his shoulders.” said the Queen. 

Moira jerked her head away, ignoring the strands of hair left in her sister’s hand. “Your mercy surprises me, your Highness. If, as you say, my husband is to blame, his forgiveness has been swiftly earned.” 

The Queen glanced at the mirror and smiled, her composure regained. “I am giving you and your husband a gift, Moira, an honor really. Proof of my love and gratitude for your faithful service to the late king. You see, you and Ulrich are now bound to me. Ulrich to love and protect me,” The Queen offered Ulrich her hand. With a look full of love and devotion, he took it and gently placed a kiss upon it, “and you will be my eyes, my ears, and my most trusted advisor, as you once were.”

The Queen motioned to one of her guards. The man stepped forward and offered her Moira’s own bone knife.

“Be careful with that knife, sister. The runes are old and unpredictable.” Moira warned.

“Yes, the runes are powerful. I never studied the old forest magic as you did, but I do know that a bond formed with this will be more powerful than any spell I might make alone.” The Queen slashed open her own palm, laughing as the blood ran through her fingers. The Queen brought her hand to her lips, smearing her own blood across them. She bent her face only inches from Moira’s.

The End

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