Maybe I’d always been broken and dark inside.
Maybe someone who’d been born whole and good would have put down the ash dagger and embraced death rather than what lay before me.
There was blood everywhere.
It was an effort to keep a grip on the dagger as my blood-soaked hand trembled. As I fractured bit by bit while the sprawled corpse of the High Fae youth cooled on the marble floor.
I couldn’t let go of the blade, couldn’t move from my place before him.
“Good,” Amarantha purred from her throne. “Again.”
There was another ash dagger waiting, and another Fae kneeling. Female.
I knew the words she’d say. The prayer she’d recite.
I knew I’d slaughter her, as I’d slaughtered the youth before me.