A small redheaded servant girl was listening in the corner. She ran to Princess Aleese.
“Princess, may I speak with you of a personal matter?”
“Of course, Glenna, what’s the matter?”
“Princess, are you… married?”
“No, Glenna,” Aleese sighed. “I would rather slit my own throat with a dull knife than to marry one of these disgusting unkempt earthworms you call men around here. King Aaron has been threatening me to chose or have the choice made for me. But I refuse. Why? Has the King asked you to please use your considerable influence with me to sway my choice of a mate to the one who promised him the most money?”
“No, My Lady, I would never do that, although the King does not ask. The king demands, he screams, he tortures, then commences cutting off body parts. But luckily for me, the King doesn’t know I exist. But, I have to tell you something very, very important. A man was here earlier today, claiming to be your husband. The guards laughed at him, beat him, kicked him, and threw him out into the rocks.”
“No, dear Glenna, I have no husband. I HAD a husband, oh, a wonderful one, a kind, sweet, gentle, handsome one, but… he is dead now. He was killed in battle on Nord, a battle against the Bishopites. He led the charge, and amazingly, he was the only one killed. He always told me he wasn’t a brave man. And I have wished with all my heart for the last two long, cold, lonely years that he wasn’t brave. Maybe if he were not so brave, maybe he would still be alive, and he would be with me today. But he was brave, and he did die. And when he died, all that was good and kind, happy and sweet within me died with him, and now I am this wild, nasty, mean, shriveled-up shrew-bitch of a woman you see here today. Moral of this story, pretty young thing: Do not love, and never, ever love unconditionally. That kind of love breaks your heart and shreds your soul. Love is a knife to your chest. Love is a kick in the gut. Love is never-ending heartbreak. Love is heartache that you never outgrow. My sweet Drew is dead, but my pain lives on."