A Letter to Lady Thrune
I imagine this letter will come as something of a shock to you – most believe that I am dead, or at least that I have fled Kintargo. This has, to some extent, been what I wanted people to believe – the Victocora fire was set by people who would most assuredly wish to finish the job if they found out that I had survived. But I can tell you that I am very much alive, and I have worried deeply about you as things in this city move apace.
I am certain you have noticed that the situation in Kintargo has become more dangerous of late, no matter one’s political leanings. It is becoming ever more perilous to remain in the middle. Before long, all of us will have to make our allegiances public. Although I cannot go into any great detail, I must be honest with you – I am involved in some very dangerous activities, activities which are likely to get me killed. It is very probable that I will die in the chaos that is to come. I tell you this only as a preface to what I am about to say. I no longer feel that I can leave things unsaid for fear that I may never get the chance to say them – I learned that lesson with my parents.
Gwen, I love you. I love you deeply and ardently. I have loved you since the day I first met you and I will love you until the day that I die, a date which may not be too far removed. I love you so passionately that it has been agony to keep it a secret for all these years, when I wished nothing more than to shout it from every rooftop in Kintargo. I have tried many times to rid myself of my ridiculous fantasies, but to no avail – my love for you has only grown over the years that we have known each other.
I say this not because I hope to undermine your marriage or convince you to run away with me – I wish only your happiness, and my understanding is that you and your husband are very happy together. I have kept quiet about my feelings for so long because I did not wish to cause any discord. You, Corthos, and Eliza were my dearest childhood friends, and I had no intention of jeopardizing that friendship in any way.
But I feel that I can no longer remain silent on this most vital point. I know that my soul would never find peace if I died before telling you how I truly feel. I love you, Guinevere. If nothing else, it feels good to finally come out and say it.
Yours, always and forever,
Master Victocora -
I must say, this was certainly a shock to receive. I had been under the impression that you had likely fled after the Night of Ashes, as nobody seemed to make a public claim to know you. As years went on, it only seemed to make sense that you had left. To receive any sort of letter from you would have been a shock, certainly, but to receive such a letter….
Rexus, I am unsure of how to respond to this. It is true that my marriage appears to be a happy one, and I am proud of what my husband has accomplished. And yet, I find myself filled with concern for you – knowing the proclivities that my own brother has for trouble, it seems likely that you are stuck in the same circles as he. I would never want you to risk harm to yourself on my behalf, or for an idea that you and I both know to be unrealistic – but I also would not want you to spend time with things unsaid. I know that you have a poet’s heart and soul, and the idea of leaving things unsaid would be torment on you.
It is funny, in a certain way. In our childhood, I had always been fascinated by the stoic demeanor that you carried, as if you were aware of a deeper thought than any of us could see, even as we led you on into silly games. Rexus…you are right to not expect anything more from this letter than a chance to clear your mind, but I cannot simply pretend that this is all that you have to say.
While I am certainly still a married woman, I would greatly like a chance to see one of my oldest friends. My friends are so rare these days – with Eliza having passed and Corthos being…well, himself – that I should greatly enjoy a chance to meet with you. Alasdair will be working in the courts most evenings this week, and I have a fitting to make at Anton’s Clothiers in the Villegre tomorrow night. Perhaps we could meet then – I know that these fittings will be quick, but I have such a tendency to chat Isadora’s ear off that I may take an extra hour or two.
Let me know if you would like to meet. I feel that we must have a lot to talk about and catch up on. I do not want you to think this anything more than what it is, Rexus – nor any less.
It is so good to hear from you, and to see you alive and well will be a great gift.
- [The name Guinevere is written, then scratched out] Winnie