I want to die.
I do not know how long I have been crying in my study, nor do I give a damn. Even the portrait of my several-times great-grandfather John Graves has fallen silent and let me grieve...or whatever it is that I am doing.
Damn you, Cicuta! Why did you have to do this insane thing? Did you really think I could let you just walk out of my home after I refused to sign that godforsaken contract? What the hell possessed you? Wasn't the handfasting agreement enough? You could have parleyed your way into a multitude of favours from me on the strength of that. But no--you had to go for the big gamble. And I had to tell you the truth. Fools, both of us!
How do you think I have survived in the Cause for eighteen years? I clawed my way up from nothing, all the way to the inner circle, by cutting away everything I cherished in my life. I made the choices which killed me inside a little more each day, for eighteen years. And you thought I would hesitate to kill you?
Damn! Why did I have to kill her? I didn't want to! I just want to lead a normal, peaceful life. I cannot even say whether I remember what 'normal' feels like, anymore. Why does my answer to every problem seem to be, 'kill it?' Is that all I am?
I should just end it--end it now.
My glance strays over the items on my desk, and my gaze falls on my grandfather's silver letter-knife, with his initials engraved into it. I take it out and heft its cool weight in my hand.
Even as I say the word, what I imagine is shards of razor-sharp ice cutting into my skin and burning with the cold as they dig down.