I remember the Falcon now. I remember throwing him from the walls of father’s castle. I remember you begging me, pleading with me to spare his life. I remember how pathetic you looked on your knees, tears streaming down your face. How weak. How helpless. And how I despised him for making you so wretched. Like an alchemist performing his trick in reverse, transforming something so sublime into something so vulgar. You truly loved him, didn’t you? Clinging to my surcoat, you offered me anything if I would spare him from our Game.

And I had you, then. In that moment, you truly would have done anything. Given in to any command. And you would have done it without any hesitation or regret because you knew that act would have saved his life. Would have saved your happiness with him.

I had you.

No act would have been too demeaning. No act would have been too profane. And you know exactly how many vulgarities and profanities my imagination can summon. Anything for love. The love of your precious Falcon.

I had you.

You. Proud Ismene Yvarai, begging at my feet. The woman who makes men beg. She who has tamed a thousand hearts with only a glance and ten thousand more with only the promise of a touch. You offered me anything, then. On your knees before me. Snot and tears on your face. Disgraceful. Disgraced. Humbled. And with your surrender before me, do you remember what I asked? Do you remember?

On your knees, looking up at me, I asked, “Are you still a virgin?”

And that is when you lied to me. And that was when I knew he had to die. Because you lied to me. He made you lie to me.

And so I threw him from the walls of father’s castle. I watched him plummet and I watched his body break below. And I remembered your lie. Your deceitfulness. Your treachery.

Yes, Ismene. I have lied to you. I have performed the very same treason you accuse me of, now. And I do so because I suffer from the same pain.

Here I am, at your knees, with tears in my eyes. I cling to your dress with weak, trembling fingers. My head bowed with shame, I admit, I am weak. I am helpless. I cannot live without her.

I hope you remember the moment when you knelt before me. And I hope you remember my cruelty. I hope you remember it because I want you to remember the pain of asking such a thing.

I am asking for your mercy which I know is still in your heart. I will offer you anything to spare her.

Please, my sister. I plead. I beg. Please. Let her live. It is such a little thing.

Please. Let her live.


A Game of Tears — Part 37
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