Every week, we’re going to post some new fiction for you to devour and read, with original art as a header, and then a collected version for purchase from our store when the book is complete. Questions? Comments? The writers are right here, and they’ll respond as they’re able.
– 03:00:01:09 –
Thea’s plan was perfect. It was going perfectly.
He had spoken about it with River many times over. He would come up and live with the Lady Wyrd and she would recognize that they were meant to be together and they would fall in love and he would claim her again and again in ways that no one else ever would again. He would silence her madness, focus her, make her even greater than she already was. That’s what was going to happen. That’s what would have to happen. There was no other possibility.
It was Thea’s destiny to be Lady Veskur Wyrd’s lover.
Even Figo Jera had recognized that inevitable truth. His Lady had told him how her little toy had bowed out and away in order for Thea and his Lady to fully explore their love for one another, free of whatever ties might have otherwise bound her. It was a sign that he was right, that she would belong to him, that she would be his, that his possession of her was right and proper. She was so beautiful, so full of fire, and he would make that fire what he wanted and define her until she was exactly what he believed her to be so that everyone else could see her for the beauty that she was.
River and Thea had told his Lady Wyrd that they would work together five days out of seven, those last two days a chance for Thea to get out from under River’s domineering presence, but neither River or Thea had any intention of working together. The point of this exercise was to rescue the Lady from her unworthy lover and bring her to the attention of someone who could devote themselves to her as she deserved, not bask in the careless affections of some base noble from the pathetic House Jera.
And things had started exactly how Thea had dreamed they would. The Lady Wyrd met him at the gate of her home, showed him to the rooms that had been prepared for his coming. Her keep was smaller and colder than he would have imagined, but that was no matter; it just meant that they would be closer physically, making the happening of their inevitable union all the quicker.
He took a couple days to settle in and the good Lady played the perfect host during that time. On the third day, however, she turned back to her studies and when he went to be with her in her laboratory she ignored him for the most part, deigning to notice him only long enough to ask him to leave. The fourth and fifth days saw a pattern emerge, and on the sixth day the Lady Wyrd politely contacted River and arranged to take Thea to him on the eighth.
The Lady Wyrd was still polite but she grew more distant. Circuits that Thea was unfamiliar with were used to lock her laboratory when she was working within. On those oft time she wasn’t, Thea would wander in and look around, taking note of the wonders that his beautiful love had called forth from her mind.
He read his Lady’s notes and messages. He felt no qualms about doing so, as everything that his Lady was belonged to him, even if she did not realize this yet. He learned all about her love affair with Figo in greater detail than he ever could have wanted. He scowled at those messages, vowing that his Lady would never speak to or be seen with Figo ever again when he had claimed her fully. Having read the messages and come to his decision, he then burnt those messages until there was nothing left but ash. He was not satisfied until they were gone completely – there was no sense, he thought, in her dwelling on what would be useless dreams from the past, not when their future together was so full of light.
Thea also learned of another toy from the healer’s house, some child named Endrall Sahr. He read the letters between those two and felt claws of jealousy tear at him; there was a closeness implied by those letters that he did not approve of, an echo that was not natural. Those letters he left alone for the time being, sorting through the rest of the messages that had been sent to his love.
A gold and silver seal caught his eye and he carefully unfurled a missive from Deeam Wsael, pouring over writings directed to his Lady from the future Freyr himself. The note dealt with some sort of glove, which mystified Thea – why would the future Freyr want to discuss keeping his hands warm with someone as wonderful as his Lady?
Only a handful of other notes had been kept over the passage of seasons. A surprisingly friendly series of notes with some noble from the Ygg line named Sotaas. Thea’s lips turned at that; the nobles of House Ygg were only barely better than the barbarians that festered outside the borders of Midgard.
He left before his Lady returned, returning everything he had not destroyed to the places he had found them. His Lady, if she noticed that he had been there, said nothing about it at all.
The eighth day came and his Lady took him to meet River. The other noble was leering and gregarious, alternating his attention between his instrument and his latest breathing toy. Thea was amazed at the skill with which he played both instruments, he looking up now and again to share one of his many observations regarding the Lady Wyrd and all her flaws.
“Why do you let him talk to you like that?” River’s toy asked. Wyrd had no answer. As she sat silently doing nothing, River pulled her apart with words. His Lady would later try to pull herself together, saying that River mocked others with the same hostility and thought that dogs used when marking their territory, but Thea knew exactly what River was doing and appreciated his efforts; his friend was ripping the Lady apart so that he would have the chance to put her back together as he saw fit.
They walked for some time afterwards, through the woods and buildings of the town they found themselves in. The summer was warm, a cool breeze rich with salt brushing over them from the southern seas. River, he knew, lived for moments like this one, shining brighter than the sun itself. And as for his dear Lady, well, so frazzled was she by River’s insults that she said nothing when Thea returned to her home without so much as a stopover with his friend.
She said nothing when he followed her into her laboratory the next day, complained not in the least when he dogged her every step. When social engagements forced her to go to Deeam’s Court he went with her, sitting in the same carriage. She looked more worn as the visit wore on, her eyes taking on haunted shadows, her conversation becoming more terse.
The way she lit up when they bumped into Figo made Thea’s soul burn.
Figo was crass enough to refer to Thea’s Lady by her first name, was disrespectful enough to touch her without his leave. He was a bore, a simpleton, the very worst sort of degenerate. This didn’t surprise Thea, as all his House were perverts. He was cruel with his words, hurling insults with a smile on his face – when Thea hinted at the truth of his uselessness he merely smiled and nodded and called him a dryw.
Well, not in so many words. The intent was there, though. The flash of hatred in his eyes, the knowledge that his Lady was with a real man and not the lie that he was. Thea expected his Lady to defend him, to set the record straight, but she said nothing for all that meeting, her eyes shining with an idiot light and an undeserved adoration.
He was glad when Figo was gone and spoke about how good it was to be away from such unworthy company at length. For some reason this only made his Lady withdraw further, so he gave her the space she seemed to crave when she went out to walk the lands around her keep. In truth, he was glad to let her go for a short time, anticipating their reunion with a breathless fever while taking the chance to prowl her laboratory without watching eyes.
There was a new missive from Figo that his Lady had not had a chance to look at. He burned it, deeming it unworthy of his Lady’s attention. Then he turned his gaze to some of the other notes, noted one from the healer’s scion, Endrall Sahr. They’d met briefly at one of Deeam’s functions, the young man tall and handsome and instantly making Thea ill with his presence and the way his Lady fawned over him. It was sluttish, whorish, a disgrace in comparison to what she should have been.
When he had tried to pull his Lady away she had turned to him, hissing, and threatened to kill him.
Endrall’s note had been opened, his Lady already penning a reply. The impertinent youngster had wanted to know whom his Lady thought would win in a confrontation between the two of them, Thea and Endrall. His Lady had favored the child over him.
Thea growled as she read and re-read the letter. The disloyalty evidenced in this letter was not something he could bear, the anger in him settling into an entropic storm that ate away at his calm, consuming his confidence. He reset all he had rifled through to where it had been and retreated to his rooms, a hundred curses exhaled with every breath, his vision swimming with pain. The slut knew nothing of loyalty, nothing of honesty, nothing of the destiny that was right in front of her.
Nevertheless, he would have her anyway. He would show her the truth.
Wiping the motes from his eyes, he swore that before he was done that his Lady would know that he was the only love she would ever know – and if he could not have her, no one would.
More is coming next week. If you like the artwork, why not go and thank Meghan Duffy at duffyartdesign.com? She’s cool people.