When Lady Arabelle Cousland was twelve years old, she developed a painful crush on sixteen-year-old Nathaniel Howe while his family was visiting the Cousland estate for the summer. He was clever and quiet, skilled with a bow and he claimed he could pick his way through just about any lock that tried to hold him in. If she didn’t know any better, he was a sign from the Maker himself.
But her father didn’t take her childish infatuation seriously and eventually encouraged her to move on, though she never quite forgot Nathaniel. She carried a token of his in her quiver for eight years, an arrow he’d loosed in the practice yard that summer, a lucky charm she believed kept her safe and alive numerous times she should have met the Maker.
Eight years after that fateful summer, Arl Howe betrayed Teyrn Cousland, and Arabelle swore vengeance against the Howes. Killing Rendon Howe to avenge her parents felt like it should lift the heavy weight that crushed her heart, but it didn’t. It only made her feel worse.
Face to face with Nathaniel Howe at Vigil’s Keep for the first time in over nine years, he forces her to answer for her vengeance against his family and face her once childish feelings for him in a time when her grieving heart cannot handle such confusion.
NOTE: This story is a strange, sort of experimental word adventure I’ve been working on. A Lady Cousland/Nathaniel Howe story, it will draw from elements of memory, personal correspondence between herself and Bann Teagan Guerrin and “present” moment interactions. This tale is directly connected to Through the Heart.