Silver Roses

Summary: One-shot – The second look into Selena's journal.

Authors Notes: Due to lack of information of the way things are dated/timed in Alagaësia, I have improvised and set up my own way. Also, please note, that some grammar and spelling mistakes were intentional for this is written in journal/diary format.

Disclaimer: I do not own any familiar characters featured in this story. They all belong to the creative Christopher Paolini.


Silver Roses
By: Silver pup
One-shot


Day 20 of Remmus, 369 AR

As a child, I always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding. I would be married outside in the beautiful gardens of my home, where my family and friends would wait quietly in anticipation for my arrival. My future husband, whose face would always be handsome, would be dressed as a prince waiting for me with a bright smile. And then I, dressed in the most beautiful dress I could think up, would walk down the isle gracefully. I would be older and beautiful and everyone would be happy for me, happy that I found the perfect man to stand by for the rest of my life. Yes, as a child I had a wonderful vision of the perfect wedding.

But in real life my wedding was the exact opposite. I was not married outside in the gardens but inside an old temple of Shai, the goddess of sunlight and fertility. No family or friends were there, only a withered old priest and a single maid. I was dressed, not in my dream gown, but a simple red and white dress with my hair pulled back into a tight braid with pearls woven into it. And I was not marrying a prince but a warrior who I still don't understand.

As a child this wedding would be an utter disappointment to me. But I'm not a child anymore, and this wedding… it was strangely the best day of my life. I know it seems so odd for me to say this, to be so happy over something so bland, but I am. I truly am happy.

After the wedding Morzan took me back to the private chambers I have been staying in for the past week. When we got there he sat me down and gave me this lovely gold bracelet, one with strange engravings in it. He told me that I was to wear it on my left wrist and explained that it was a custom of his religion for the man to give his bride a piece of jewelry that once belonged to his mother.

"This was my mother's birth bracelet," he told me quietly as he held my hand in his, and traced the strange markings on the bracelet. "It was a tradition of her family to be given a bracelet or necklace with their name on it. That's what these engravings spell. A-Z-U-L-A. Azula. That was her name and this is the only thing I have left of her. Take good care of it, Selena."

Then he kissed me on my forehead softly and hugged me against his chest. Hugging him back, I suddenly realized why I was happy. To be with him, just next to him… that alone is enough.

Day 23 of Remmus, 369 AR

I have been staying in a suite of private chambers in the East wing of the palace. Morzan says that I will have to wait awhile until he can take me back to his own estate for it is currently deserted, and in need of repair. I told him that I don't mind either way, and that he can take all the time he needs.

Truthfully I don't mind waiting or staying in my room. The rooms are quite lovely and comfortable and have a large library that I am allowed to use. The only drawback is that I do not see many people. There is a single maid who brings me my three meals every day, but she is mute and has no interest in listening to me. There is Morzan who comes to see me every day but he usually has to leave after only an hour.

I can't help but get the feeling that this isn't what marriage is about.

Day 26 of Remmus, 369 AR

I don't think Morzan knows how to act around me now. Sure, he talks to me but he won't touch me or look me in the eye. I find this all a bit discouraging but reassure myself that if he didn't want me then he would have never married me. From what I've seen, Morzan is the type to think things through and would not make a rash decision on something as important as marriage.

But still, I don't understand why he has been acting so distant. Perhaps it is a man thing? But then I don't recall ever seeing father or Garrow acting like this…

Speaking of my family, I have to remember to ask Morzan if I can go back to grandmother's estate. Marian is probably still there, waiting for my arrival home so I can pay her. I also hope that I can somehow send a message to Garrow if I get back to the estate. I miss my brother after all, and my father, even if he did disown me.

Day 29 of Remmus, 369 AR

Success! Morzan has agreed to take me back to grandmother's estate before the season is over. He didn't give an exact time but promises before nmatua hits us. He even promised to help me get a letter to Garrow! I was so relieved, so excited over his answer that I threw myself at him in a tight hug with a kiss on the cheek. I think he was a bit surprised by my display of gratitude, for his eyes widened by a fraction, and I have come to connect that to his way of showing shock.

I admit that I surprised myself by my bold act, but my feeling of joy still runs through my blood, so I doubt I won't feel embarrassed about it until later.

Day 32 of Remmus, 369 AR

Morzan is finally relaxing around me again. I guess he simply had to get used to the idea of being married to me. I admit that I still find it astonishing at times. I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that I would end up with Morzan. He is the king's right-hand man for goodness sake! And what am I? I am a simple country girl who was disowned by her father for running away from her psychotic fiancé! It all seems so surreal at times.

Still, I would not choose any other man to stand by then Morzan. He may not be prince charming but he is everything I ever wanted and more. In a way, he is much better than some fairy tale prince.

Day 35 of Remmus, 369 AR

Today Morzan took me on a tour of the royal gardens. I surprised but delighted to be able to walk outside in the morning light and fresh air. But my delight soon turned to discomfort when I became aware of all the stares and whispers of the other occupants in the gardens. Morzan kept a firm grip on my hand, interlacing our fingers together and glaring at anyone who would dare to meet his eyes.

After a while I began to relax again, and focused more on the flowers and plants than the people. I spent a good portion of the time leaning over some delicate bud, rambling on to Morzan about what I knew about it from books and my own experience. Morzan would also slip in some bit of information about the flower/plant, answering my questions and providing more knowledge. I sometimes forget how intelligent he is.

It was all going well until she showed up.

The beautiful blond woman who sat with Morzan the day I saw him.

She came up to us with a small group of fluttering women, following behind her like confused ducklings. She walked with clear arrogance, her curvy yet slim shape hugged by a lovely ice blue gown that was woven with sparking diamonds and sapphires. Her long golden hair was pinned up with pearls and jewels, a few loose strands falling into her lovely face. And she was beautiful, I can't deny that fact. Her face was one of an aristocrat with sharp features and clear white skin. Her eyes were equally enchanting; two orbs of clear sapphires that were sharp and cunning.

She was, all in all, an intimidating woman.

When Morzan saw her he cursed quietly and tightened his grip on my hand. I glanced up at him in surprise and uncertainty but he didn't notice. His eyes were locked on the woman who stopped in front of us.

"My Lord Morzan," she said coolly, her voice low and sultry. "How lovely to see this fine morning."

"Countess," Morzan replied stiffly, tilting his head in acknowledgment, but making no move to take her hand and kiss it in greeting like the other men of the court would do.

This little fact oddly pleased me.

"What can I do for you, Countess?" Morzan asked bluntly, his eyes not once leaving her blue orbs.

The Countess smiled and I was reminded of a cat that had just corned a mouse. "Why, I came to say hello of course. After all, our visits with one another have always been… interesting."

The way she said the words 'visits' and 'interesting' made it pretty clear that there was more to it than she was letting on. It made me tighten my grip on Morzan's hand.

The Countess seemed to notice for her eyes turned frostier. She turned to me now, her eyes studying me from my feet and slowly making its way up until she stopped on my face, one gold eyebrow raised in question.

"And who is this? She looks familiar… isn't she one of the maids?" Her honey voice was laced with disgust and mockery and made my cheeks burn.

Morzan simply gave her a smile that could only be described as cruel. Raising my hand to his lips, he gently kissed my knuckles. "This is my wife, Lady Selena. Selena this is the Countess Amelia von Sviniya."

Looking into the eyes of the Countess Sviniya, I saw for a moment a flash of shock, anger and pain. Then her eyes were cold once more; the blue as frozen as a lake in retniw. It was the pain in her eyes that hit me the most though. Did she care for Morzan? If so, then I could see why she would be hurt by his sudden news of a wife.

I was hit by a strange sense of pity for the Countess, and so I turned to Morzan and said quietly, "Morzan I am not feeling well. Could we return to my chambers?"

Morzan raised a dark brow in surprise and wonder but nodded in agreement. Turning to the Countess Sviniya, he gave a short nod and said, "I'm afraid we must leave you and your ladies now. Have a good day, Countess."

I didn't have time to utter my own goodbye for Morzan was leading me away, back into the palace and to my chambers. As we walked away I could not help but glance over my shoulder and meet the Countess Sviniya's eyes once more. Those frigid blue orbs were locked on mine but this time I did not feel any fear from her dark look. Rather, I felt only a strange sense of sympathy for her pain. While I don't know for sure, I have a pretty good guess that she must feel something for my husband.

As we walked back to my rooms I could not help but turn to Morzan and ask what his relationship with the Countess Sviniya was. Morzan gave me a bored look but shrugged and answered anyway. "We had a relationship. She was beautiful and willing and I… well I accepted. Then I met you and… well it's in the past now so don't worry about it."

I didn't answer but looked away. So I was correct in my guess. Morzan and she had a relationship, one that the Countess Sviniya obviously felt more for than he. And today, seeing him with another woman and discovering that he was married… it must have hurt her. This pain, this brief moment of weakness showed that she was just like me: human. Human makes her flawed and imperfect, and puts her on the same level as me.

And this doesn't make her intimidating anymore. Actually, it makes me feel bad for her.

Day 39 of Remmus, 369 AR

Today I got to spend some time with Aderes alone. I have not seen the dragon in some time after all, and Morzan said that he would not mind seeing me again. Aderes lives in one of the towers of the palace, one that is so tall and wide that I have to crane my neck just to see the middle part of the pillars.

Still, it was nice to see Aderes for he is an interesting creature. He comes off a bit rude but I have learned that is just what makes Aderes who he is. He also seems to have a strange distaste for moving and enjoys lying stretched out in his tower. I think I spent a good hour sitting with him, talking about simple things.

Finally, as the sun began to set, Aderes asked me a surprising question. 'Would you like to fly with me, little mortal?'

I looked up at him in disbelief and shock. "M-me? You want me to fl-fly with you?!"

Aderes gave me an annoyed look. 'Did I stutter?'

"Well no–"

'Then what is the problem?'

"Nothing," I said as I shook my head. "I'm simply surprised that you asked. Don't you need Morzan's permission or something?"

'Of course not,' Aderes answered and gave me an offended look. 'He is my Rider not my Master. Now do you wish to ride with me or not?'

I nodded shakily as my blood began to heat up in a mix of nervousness and fear. "Yes I do. But how do I get on?"

Aderes lowered his gleaming body down to my level and instructed me on how to properly get on a dragon. He was patient with me, and would not leave until I was comfortable and ready.

My hands began to sweat and shake as I looked down from my very high perch on Aderes. Taking in a deep breath, I patted the dragon and said, "O-okay, ready."

Aderes gave what sounded like a chuckle but I can't be too sure. 'As you wish...'

And then he jumped off the ledge of the tower.

I think I must have screamed for there was this piercing noise around me. Or it could have been the sound of the wind rushing against me. Well, either way, I was surrounded by noise and wind in my face making my eyes water. Then Aderes opened his wings wide and began to glide down, slowly regaining control. When he did he began to beat his powerful wings, going up into the sky and away from the ground.

How can I describe the feelings of flying? No words can really, only the knowledge that I have never felt freer than when I was on his back, gliding through the sky without a care in the world.

As I got more comfortable, I let go of my death grip on the saddle and raised my arms wide like a bird and threw my head back and laughed. I untied my curly hair and allowed it to fly wildly in the wind as the sun began to set in back of me. Then I closed my eyes to the world and became only aware of the sky and wind...

Day 43 of Remmus, 369 AR

Today Morzan told me that we would be leaving tomorrow to my grandmother's estate. I am to bring only one bag with me for the trip, and to make sure I wore loose and comfortable clothing. We are also going to be riding on Aderes for the entire trip.

I cannot wait for tomorrow to come.

Day 46 of Remmus, 369 AR

We arrived last night to my grandmother's estate only to find Garrow was there! I was so happy to see my brother, so relieved when I threw my arms around his waist and cried into his shoulder. I have truly missed my only sibling.

Garrow hugged me back just as fiercely, telling me how much he missed me and how worried he was about me. I don't know how long we stood there hugging one another, only that we separated when Morzan cleared his throat.

I pulled back and looked to my husband and was surprised by the look in his eyes. It was that dark look that he wore when that man had grabbed me. Alarmed, I moved over to him swiftly and took his hands in mine.

Keeping our eyes and hands locked, I spoke softly, "Morzan, I would like you to meet someone very important to me."

The muscle in his jaw twitched and his eyes became darker. "And who is he?"

I glanced over my shoulder and gave my brother an encouraging smile. "Morzan, I would like you to meet my older brother, Garrow."

"Brother?" Morzan's surprise drew my attention back to him. His mismatched eyes began to lose that dark and dangerous light, becoming more like the gaze I was familiar with. He arched a slender brow in puzzlement and hesitation. "You did not tell me you had a brother."

I shrugged. "You didn't ask."

Morzan snorted but his eyes were curious and amused. A good sign.

I smiled at him and turned back to my brother who stared at us in a mixture of emotions. "Selena," Garrow said slowly as he stared at Morzan. "Who is this?"

I took in a deep breath and braced myself. "My husband."

"WHAT?!"

I flinched at my brother's response and took a step back, feeling Morzan tense behind me. "Garrow, please, allow me to explain–"

"Explain? Explain?! What is there to explain, huh? You're married, Selena! And to who? Some strange woodsman?!" Garrow yelled, his hazel eyes flashing with fire.

Morzan stepped forward now, his eyes turning darker every second. "Woodsman? I'll have you know, boy, that I am a man with more power than you will ever have."

My brother gave him a nasty look. "So? Look, I don't care if you are Vishi himself; you have no right to lay your dirty hands on my baby sister. Let alone marry her! Selena is only sixteen! Sixteen! She is still a child practically!"

"Not much of a child from what I've seen."

"Why you son—"

"Enough!!" I yelled, finally irritated by their bickering. "Stop it now. I did not come here to listen to the two of you argue. I came here to pay Marian and see my brother."

I turned and laid a hand on Morzan's arm and said, "Morzan, may you leave us alone for a moment? I wish to speak to my brother and straighten things out."

Morzan continued glaring at Garrow over my head but finally looked down when I squeezed his arm. He met my pleading eyes and gave a sigh of defeat. "Fine. I'll be outside with Aderes if you need me."

"Thank you," I whispered and gave him a smile of relief.

Morzan shrugged and left, leaving Garrow and I alone. Turning back to my brother, I gave him a dirty look and said, "Honestly, Garrow. Acting like a nut to my husband. What are you thinking?"

"What was I thinking?" my brother snapped and glared back at me, looking much like our father right now. "You're the one who went and married some stranger!"

I rolled my eyes and placed my hands on my hips. "Oh don't be stupid, Garrow. I've known Morzan since I first came to grandmother's house last year. And just this past season I met up with him again while I was working at the palace. One thing led to another and now... well now I'm his wife."

Garrow didn't seem satisfied with my answer for he kept glaring at me. Sighing, I reached out and placed my hand on his and looked him in the eye. "Garrow, please understand that I wouldn't have married Morzan if I didn't love him."

"Love?" My brother sounded surprise. "How can you know you love him if you never fell in love before?"

"How did you know you were in love with Reya?" I shot back, pushing back the stab of guilt when I saw Garrow flinch.

My brother looked away, his eyes still angry and wary. I reached up and gently placed a hand on his cheek and forced him to meet my eyes once more. "Garrow, do you trust me with your life?"

He arched an eyebrow in surprise. "You know I do, Selena."

"Then trust me with my own," I replied softly.

Garrow's hazel eyes widened before they softened in defeat. He raised his own hand and placed it on the hand against his cheek. "Do you truly love him, little star?"

"I do," I answered with no hesitation, his childhood nickname for me making my heart soar with hope.

"… Then I suppose he is now my brother-in-law, huh?" Garrow said grudgingly.

I laughed and threw my arms around his neck and hugged him. "Oh, little raven. Thank you, Garrow. Thank you so much."

Garrow said nothing, simply hugged me back tightly. "I love you, little sister."

"I love you too, big brother," I murmured back and knew in my heart that this would never change.

Day 48 of Remmus, 369 AR

Morzan and Garrow still have yet to get along but at least they aren't arguing anymore. Marian thinks it is a male thing but I think it is just plain stupidity.

At least Garrow is leaving tomorrow. Father has summoned him home and Marian is going with him, apparently to work at the manor since she needs a new job.

Still, I am going to miss my brother and friend.

Day 50 of Remmus, 369 AR

Since Garrow and Marian left it has been quiet here. Garrow took the dogs back with him to the manor so now there is no barking at dawn. The rainy season has also finally come and so we have been stuck inside for these past few days.

Morzan seems restless inside. I feel bad since I know he only came here because of me. I tried speaking to him but he didn't want to talk. I suppose I'll have to wait for him to be in a better mood. However long that will take.

Day 53 of Remmus, 369 AR

Morzan is still grumpy.

I am getting rather sick of his sulking.

Day 55 of Remmus, 369 AR

I finally told Morzan to stop acting like a child moping around the house. He looked rather surprised by my bold statement but I don't care. He is annoying when he acts like this and I want him to stop it. He told me I should mind my own business, and I pointed out that as my husband he was my business. Then he called me a nag and I called him a jerk.

He retorted with a curse and I told him to watch his mouth.

Then he said I'm an annoying little girl and I called him an insensitive old man.

He retaliated with an insult that actually hurt my feelings and made me angrier.

I told him I wished I never married him and he said the feeling was the same. He glared at me and said he wished he taken the Countess Sviniya over me.

That caught my attention, and before I knew it I was up and tackling him to the ground, beating my fists against his rock hard chest in a futile attempt to make him hurt. I wanted him to feel how much that had upset me, and how I incensed I was. I wanted him to react, to yell back or push me off or something. But Morzan only let out a grunt and grabbed my shoulders and rolled us over so that he was on top now, and maneuvered both my wrists so that he had them pinned above my head.

I still struggled though. I pushed and cursed him even though I knew I couldn't escape. Finally after my anger and energy died down, I glared up at him while breathing harshly. Morzan stared down at me with his own chest heaving and his eyes dark with something I could not identify. Then he did something I did not expect.

He kissed me.

He kissed me full on the lips with a hot passion that made my own blood boil. The hands holding my wrists loosened and one slid down to cup my cheek, while the other moved up to interlace our fingers together as one. My own hand swept down to entangle itself in his soft and uneven hair. Then he gave a small bite to my lower lip and began to kiss the corner of my mouth, then my cheek and jaw and down to my neck.

It was strange. My skin felt like it was on fire and my heart was racing with the speed of a hundred horses. It was like instinct took over and demanded that I follow it. And before I knew it I was tugging off his tunic, running my hand down his back and he was pulling down my dress and kissing every inch of skin he could find...

And outside the rain continued to fall.

Later, after the passion was spent, we laid in each other's arms on the floor with nothing to cover our naked bodies. I lay on Morzan's chest, listening to his heartbeat as he played with my hair lazily. I felt strangely satisfied with our lovemaking. The fire had burned down so that only cool embers were left in me. It was a feeling of deep peace and joy.

"That was interesting," Morzan commented idly, wrapping a loose curl around his finger.

I looked up and met his eyes with a grin. "Indeed. Who knew fighting could have such wonderful results?"

He chuckled, the sound vibrating through his entire chest. "Aye. Remind me to aggravate you more often."

I couldn't help but giggle at his answer before laying my head back against his chest. Tracing patterns across his tanned chest, I asked, "Morzan, what was it you were saying while we were... you know."

My husband let out a snort of amusement and tugged on the curl lightly. "It was 'Aiedail', Selena. It means 'morning star' in the Ancient Language."

"Morning star?" I repeated and sat up to look at him seriously. "Where did you get that from?"

He shrugged and placed one hand on my bare hip and rubbed his thumb over the skin. "I don't know. It just came to me when I saw you riding on Aderes for the first time. With the sunlight behind you and your head tilted back... and your hair was loose and your face looked so peaceful. You just reminded me of the morning star."

I couldn't help but be touched by his words. It wasn't often that he was gentle with me or expressed such emotion. Obviously he was much more relaxed after sex. I made a mental note of that for future reference.

"Morzan," I whispered and took his other hand in mine and held it against my cheek. Staring him in the eye I said, "Make love to me again?"

Morzan smiled at me with warmth that he rarely showed. He sat up and hugged me close and whispered, "Always, my, Aiedail. Always..."

We spent the rest of the night in each other's arms.

Day 57 of Remmus, 369 AR

It is still raining outside but Morzan said we still have to head back to Urû'baen tomorrow. Since then I've been locking up all of my grandmother's possessions since it will be some time before anyone comes back to the estate. I'm taking a few things with us of course, since Morzan says his estate should be ready by the beginning of next season.

Today though I managed to convince Morzan to dance with me in the rain. He didn't want to at first, saying that it was childish and silly, but I pointed out that no one would be here to see it but us. It helped that we had just made love not an hour before. So finally he came outside and stood with me in the middle of the gardens and danced with me. We danced the slow waltz, then the much more energetic waltz that involved a lot of spinning and dips. Quite a few times we slipped or fell but it was fun, and even Morzan couldn't help but laugh at times. I think I shall forever remember how he looked standing there with his head thrown back, rain falling down his face and hair as he laughed and laughed.

Day 61 of Remmus, 369 AR

We're back at Urû'baen now. Morzan has been away, busy with his duties. I've been in bed, sick with a cold. Perhaps dancing in the rain wasn't such a good idea.

Day 3 of Nmatua, 369 AR

Morzan says that tomorrow we will be moving back to his main estate. I'm rather excited to see my new home. I wonder how it will look like.

Day 4 of Nmatua, 369 AR

Morzan's main estate is what I expected. A tall, looming castle close to the palace yet distant enough from the rest of the city. Inside it is decorated in a simple yet elegant manner, something to be expected from a man I suppose. Outside there is a garden but it is a bit overgrown and I have decided to take it upon myself to clean up. All in all, it is a wonderful place that I believe I can call home.

Triannon, the chief steward, was there to greet us when we arrived. An older woman with a wiry frame and sharp blue eyes, she was a woman who seemed to demand respect. She looked at me curiously and raised an eyebrow in surprise when Morzan introduced me as his wife. She then regarded me with a mixture of amusement and puzzlement but was polite none the less.

"Welcome to Norwood Manor, my Lady," Triannon greeted with a small curtsy of respect. She then shot Morzan a smile and said, "It will be good to have a woman living here now. This place needs a woman's touch, if I do say so myself."

Morzan snorted and surveyed the entrance hall. "Perhaps. I've always thought that it was fine the way it is. Perhaps a bit bland but nothing wrong with that."

Triannon snorted. "A man's view." She then grinned at Morzan and tilted her head forward. "No disrespect to you though, milord."

"Indeed," Morzan replied with a brow raised.

I could not help but giggle at their banter, causing Triannon to smile and Morzan to roll his eyes. My husband pivoted around and said, "Well I know when I must leave. Triannon, show Selena around and to her room. Selena, do whatever you want here for it is your home now just as much as it is mine."

He then placed a comforting hand on my shoulder and whispered; "I'll see you tonight."

Then he was gone and only Triannon and I were there. The older woman gave me a comforting smile and said, "Come, milady, allow me to show you to your new chambers."

I smiled and nodded as Triannon led me down the long stone corridor. On both sides of me there were wide, arched glass windows that allowed refreshing sunshine into the estate. Triannon did not say anything to me on our trip to my chambers; probably because I was too busy gawking at the estate. I think she found my curious stares amusing for every time I looked at her she wore a small smile.

When we arrived at my new rooms I found them to be just like the rest of the estate. Rich colors of blue and gold, dark brown furniture with exotic designs and wide windows. Everything was neat and clean but the rooms gave off a masculine appeal.

I also discovered that Morzan has ordered new clothes for me, along with jewelry, accessories and anything else a young woman might need. It is both comforting and alarming to know that he would do that for me; comforting that he would think of my well-being but alarming over how… controlling and possessive he can be. I noticed it a few times but thought nothing of it until I overheard a couple of maids talking about a man that Morzan had mutilated. He had castrated him, cut out his eyes and tongue but left him alive for some reason.

Horrifying description, but what caught my attention was that this man was the same one who groped me that night Morzan kissed me. I admit that it frightens me somewhat that he would do that to a man over touching me. But yet at the same time it is reassuring. It tells me that he must feel something for me other than lust. I hope dearly that it is love.

Day 7 of Nmatua, 369 AR

I find myself loving the estate more and more every day. The servants here are polite and friendly and seem to accept my presence easily enough. Morzan has also given me full reign on the house, saying that I could redecorate however I liked. He reasoned that since I was to spend more time here than he, I should get to make the place as homey as possible. I still cannot help but feel pleased that he thought of me.

With his permission I decided to tackle my chambers first. I want to bring in some lighter colors, like pastel peach and white, or lavender and light pink. I want a softer feeling to my rooms rather than the high and mighty one I get every time I walk in.

I have also been spending some time in the little garden that is overgrown. I have cleared it of most of the weeds so now there is only dirt. On the first day I went out there the servants rushed up to me and told me that they could do it. I politely refused; informing them that I wished to personally fix the garden up myself. They reluctantly agreed, and allowed me to continue with my work but they still give me odd looks.

I don't really care though for I enjoy spending my time outside, under the wonderful sun. The sun has never ceased to amaze me you know. Every day it rises, coming to our aid whether it be to help our crops grow or to give a way for the lost. It watches over us, giving and never asking for something in return. Generously the sun comes to us every day and we all take it for granted. I wonder what the reaction would be if we were to awaken one day in complete darkness? How would we survive without our Mistress of Light, who finally left us for we never noticed her or thanked her for all she does?

I wonder what would we do...?

Day 12 of Nmatua, 369 AR

This evening Morzan told me that he will be leaving me for the rest of the season. Apparently he needs to go south and supervise the new training camps for the soldiers. It will take all of this season but he assures me that he will return before winter hits us.

I won't lie and say I'm not sad about the news because I am. But I'm also not very surprised. I've been waiting for something like this to happen for Morzan is an important man and has duties he must keep. I know this and have come to accept that he won't always be around. It is not easy to get used to but I've come to acknowledge that it is just the way things are.

Besides, I like to keep in mind that a least this time he will be coming back to me. And that is better than not coming back at all.

Day 15 of Nmatua, 369 AR

Morzan left yesterday.

I feel lonely and empty inside already. I wish the season were over already.

Day 21 of Nmatua, 369 AR

I have been trying to keep myself occupied so despair does not override my senses, and it has been working. In the daylight anyway. The night though is a different matter. At night I sleep alone and my mind drifts to where Morzan could possibly be and the hollow feeling in me grows. I truly do miss him.

Day 26 of Nmatua, 369 AR

I overheard some of the servants today gossiping about me. I was surprised but then I learned that they were simply saying how the king's court seems to be buzzing about Morzan's new mysterious wife. Apparently the Countess Sviniya spilled the beans that Morzan got married but no one knows to who. I'm surprised that she didn't reveal my identity, but I suppose she doesn't want anyone to know that Morzan chose a maid over her, a Countess. The Countess was rumored to be pushing Morzan to become her consort, and so it was surprising that he turned her down.

The servants then went on to say that the court believes me to be some princess or someone equally powerful. Princess? Me? Hah! I may be related to royalty but I am no princess. The servants then got a good laugh over the rumors as well, admitting that while I may be no princess I am a good lass. This made my heart bloat with love and gratitude to know that they like me.

Still, it was humorous to know that all those peacocks got their feathers ruffled over trying to find my identity. I'm still chucking over it now.

Day 26 of Nmatua, 369 AR

Today I met the king.

My hands are still shaking as I struggle to write this down as a maid, Clara I believe her name is, draws my bath. It is hard to concentrate though for the whole encounter still replays itself over and over again in my mind.

It happened this afternoon while I was in the garden. I was pulling some weeds and humming some folk song I did not know the words to. The sun was out and playing behind the clouds once in awhile, giving me a pleasant shade and relief from the heat. About halfway through my work I looked up, wiping sweat from my brow and saw him.

He stood in the shade of the entrance into my home, standing tall with his hands laced behind his back. His eyes were watching me carefully, and I could not help but stare into those intense orbs. Those eyes were so strange, so exotic and intimidating. They were eyes of the darkest red, much like a fine red wine that my father would drink after supper as he read a book by the grand fireplace.

Red, red wine eyes that watched me like a hawk watches its prey. I felt my back tense and slowly stood up, knowing that I was looking into the eyes of my king. For a moment I simply stood there, studying his tall and lean figure. He was around the same height as Morzan but perhaps not as broad across the shoulders and chest. His face was much more defined than Morzan though. The planes and arches of his bones more pronounced, and his skin darkly tanned and dried by the sun. Perhaps he was handsome once when he was younger, but now his face looked cold and jaded, as if he had and/or still carried a large burden on his shoulders.

His hair was thick, full and as black as the night with steel gray streaks. He was dressed in red and black, the clothes rich and finely made. Around his hips was a black leather belt where a sword hung in a black sheath. He was, all in all, a man who gave off an air of royalty and command.

I met his eyes coolly, even though my heart was racing and my hands were shaking. "Good afternoon, your majesty."

The king raised one thin eyebrow, his eyes boring into mine and making me even more uncomfortable. "You have manners. Good to know that you are no barbarian."

I blinked, not quite sure to take that as an insult or complement. Finally I decided to just ignore it and be direct. "May I ask the reason why you're here, my king?"

His thin lips twitched slightly and I noticed his eyes flashed with an emotion I could not place. "I came here to see you, of course. I decided it was time to meet the woman that my second in command took as his wife."

"And are you satisfied with what you see?" I asked as I felt a shiver of fear crawl up my spine.

He tilted his for head forward slightly, his eyes studying my form from top to bottom. "I have not made my judgment yet. Though I do see why Morzan is so protective of you. You are very beautiful."

My mouth opened in surprise and my face began to heat up. "Th-thank you… for the compliment, your majesty." What else was I supposed to say?

The king didn't reply but turned to look at the garden. His exotic eyes went over everything before he met mine once again. "I see you have taken an interest in gardening. May I ask why?"

"Well, I like nature," I replied honestly as I brushed a loose curl out of my eyes. "I enjoy being outside and doing something productive."

"Productive," he repeated slowly. "You have nothing else to do here at the estate?"

"Well, no, I don't," I answered as I skimmed over what I did every day. I honestly had nothing to do other then what I made for myself. "The servants take care of the estate and Morzan asked nothing of me before he left…"

"I see," he murmured delicately. "Tell me something, Selena. Are you aware of the Countess Amelia von Sviniya?"

I bit my bottom lip and nodded. "Yes, sir. I had the… pleasure of meeting her personally."

The burgundy eyes stared into my. "And do you know of the relationship that existed between her and Morzan?"

My jaw clenched and I nodded tensely.

"Then you are aware that the choice between who to marry came down to the two of you?" he asked boldly, and noticing my surprised reaction, smiled grimly. "I see. You did not know that the Countess was quite close to becoming his wife over you."

I felt something in me twist at that statement. "I did not know of that, my king."

"Hmm. I suppose Morzan deemed it irrelevant to speak of," he mused more to himself then to me. He then met my eyes once more and smiled frostily. "You must know how surprised I was when he chose you over the Countess. After all, other than your body, you have nothing to offer Morzan. The Countess does though. She has wealth, land, good blood, intelligence, beauty, magic ,and much more. But despite these admirable qualities, he still chose you."

He cocked his head to the side and his eyes flickered over my form once before he sneered. "But you… you have nothing but that young body of yours. Disowned you have no money, land, or standing… you have nothing. You are no more than a simple little girl from the country. But he still chose you. Tell me, do you know why Morzan made you his wife?"

I swallowed a lump in my throat and shook my head. "No. No I don't. I simply assumed that he, well, felt something for me and…"

He let out a low chuckle. Then it became a full out laugh as he scorned my words. "Oh, you silly little fool. So naïve, so innocent and so very dense. A man like Morzan does not marry for 'love'. He marries for power for that is how the game of politics is played here in the court."

I turned away as tears began to prickle in the back of my eyes. His words hit me hard for I knew them to be true. I always wondered, always questioned why of all the women he could have, he picked me. I don't know the answer but then neither does the king it seems. Only Morzan knows but he won't tell.

Why me…?

"Do you love him, Selena?" he asked suddenly. "Is that why you married him? For you love the image you see?"

My head snapped back to face him as I stared at him in puzzlement. "What do you mean?"

"You know nothing about his past," he said bluntly, ignoring my flinch for it was true. "You know not what he has done or what he will do. You do not even understand him for no one does. Only a select few have a good grasp of his character, but even then they don't understand him completely."

His eyes grew colder. "Yet despite all this you still married him. And for what? Money? Power? Love? You married Morzan with a childish dream in mind. You see him as some sort of prince charming perhaps? Or maybe the mysterious hero? All of these are something out of a romantic story book that young girls like you are entranced by. You are in love with the idea of being in love with him, aren't you?"

I turned away to stare at the tall tree at my left. For a moment I was silent, simply thinking his words over before I came to my answer. "You're right. I know nothing of Morzan's past. I don't know when or where he was born. I don't know if he loved his parents nor had any siblings. I don't even know how old he is or if Morzan is his real name. But I do know that his favorite color is green for it is the color he wears most often. I know that he is more comfortable outside in the wild than inside, for he becomes less tense the moment we step into the forest. I know that he has a dimple in his left cheek that is only visible when he smiles. I know that when he thinks deeply he curls a strand of hair around his middle finger and index finger."

By now tears were falling down my face but I kept going. "I know that he is memorized by the night for when he looks up at the moon and stars he gets this curious look on his face. I know that he likes to read books while he sits up in a tree. I know that he enjoys hunting for the bow is his favorite weapon. I know he has no patients for fools or politicians. I know he doesn't like potatoes for he always makes this pinched expression when he sees them and refuses to eat them…"

I looked up and met his eyes as tears fell from my eyes and my throat began to tighten. "And I know that he has done horrible things. I know all of this and I still love him. I love his faults. I love his personality. I love him even if he doesn't love me. I may not understand him fully yet but I still love him. And I... and I will stay by his side until the end. If not only for my love for him then for the vows I took when I married him."

It was silent for a long moment as I tried to regain my composer. During that time he simply stared at me with an unreadable expression etched on his face. Finally, he let out a chuckle and shook his head slowly. "Ahh, child," he said softly. "I was wrong. You do love him. Perhaps more than either of you realizes."

He turned his head away, his eyes half hooded. "And perhaps loving him is more important than understanding him. Perhaps loving him the way you do is what matters the most. Perhaps it is this, this above all things, that he needs the most…"

He turned away then, ignoring my tears and me. "Good day, Selena. I hope you have learned something from this talk. I know I have."

Then Galbatorix was gone and I was alone once more with nothing but his words tumbling through my mind.

Day 41 of Nmatua, 369 AR

I've been reading so many books lately. Morzan has a rather extensive library, and I've been using it to keep my mind preoccupied. I don't wish to think about everything the king told me, and I find that simple gardening is no longer enough to hold my mind. So I've been studying all these different subjects in Morzan's library. History, mathematics, politics, literature, religion, foreign languages… I've been reading all of it. While tutors schooled me back home, I was never allowed to learn as much as Garrow did. It is not acceptable for a lady to know things other than knitting and raising children and throwing garden parties. Thank the Gods I don't have such restriction here! I prefer to know about the world around me thank you very much.

I have learned much from all these books. I wonder if I can finish the entire library? Worth a shot since I don't have anything else to do.

Day 53 of Nmatua, 369 AR

I think I've grown a bit. I'm a little taller now and my dresses are rather tight across my hips and thighs. Perhaps I should ask Triannon about these sorts of things? She would know when I should stop growing and all other female matters.

Day 67 of Nmatua, 369 AR

Morzan is back!

He came back this morning but didn't come back to the estate until the afternoon. At the time I was in the library, curled up in a wide red chair next to the fireplace reading a book. Outside it was raining so I had a blanket draped across my lap to keep me warm. I was content and peaceful so I didn't really notice the door opening until I heard a deep voice chuckling.

Startled, I looked up to see Morzan leaning casually against the doorway. He smirked at me and waved a lazy hand. "Hello, Selena."

Filled with joy I leaped out of my chair and shrieked as I ran up to him. "Morzan you're back," I sobbed as I launched myself into his arms. He caught me and wrapped his arms around my waist tightly and hid his face in my hair. My own arms were locked securely around his neck and my feet dangling a few inches from the floor, but I didn't care. I was just so happy to see my husband!

"You're back," I mumbled and pulled back to smile at him. "I missed you so much."

Morzan smiled at me and set me down but still didn't remove his arms from around my waist. "How have you been, Selena?"

"Alright," I replied truthfully. "Though I have been a bit lonely without you."

He kissed my forehead comforting. "Well don't worry, you won't be alone anymore. I'm back now and we have time to catch up on all that has gone on."

I smiled at him again and hugged him tightly.

Day 70 of Nmatua, 369 AR

I told Morzan everything I did during the time he was away. Everything but the king's visit. I thought maybe I shouldn't tell him but tonight it finally slipped up. It happened while I was in my room, sitting on my bed and brushing my hair. Morzan came in quietly and stood in the doorway for a moment, simply watching him. When I saw him I smiled but then froze at the familiar dark look in his eyes.

"Selena," Morzan said softly. "The king told me he paid you a visit while I was gone."

It took all my self-restraint not to tense at his words. I had to force my voice to remain casual and not reveal any emotion. "He did. He wanted to meet me apparently."

"You want to give me a bit more detail than that?" he asked lightly but his eyes got darker.

I sighed and looked down at my hand. "What do you want to know?"

He smiled but it was cold. "Everything."

So I told him everything. Why not? It wasn't as if I could really keep it from him. I've never been a good liar, and Morzan seems to know my secrets before I can even call them secrets. So I told him what happened. I told him what I said and what the king said. And the whole time I didn't once look him in the eye. I didn't want to know what he thought of it all.

At the end of it all he was simply silent. Then he turned around and left me alone. As soon as the door closed I hung my head and cried.

Day 1 of Retniw, 369 AR

Today is the start of a new season. The snow has come and everything is cold and dead. And Morzan has yet to speak to me or look at me since my tale.

Day 3 of Retniw, 369 AR

Morzan has finally come to me. It was tonight and I was lying in bed, staring at my open windows as cool night air came in to pay a visit. The moon was full and bright and I enjoyed simply laying under her silver light as I tried to fall asleep. Then my door opened and Morzan walked in. I didn't look at him, simply laid there with my eyes closed.

He wasn't fooled though. He came to my bed and tugged off his boots and got in bed next to me. When he pulled me in to his arms I finally opened my eyes and met his mismatched pair. I still find his eyes lovely you know. One dark brown and the other light green. Different, exotic and a reminder that he is a complicated man.

"Why me?" I asked as I wrapped one arm around his lean waist and another entangled in his hair.

He pulled me closer to him with one arm on my hips and another wrapped around my waist. He stared into my eyes for a moment before smiling. "Because you saw me."

"But so did the Countess," I said softly.

He shook his head. "No, not the way you did. She saw me differently. You saw the real me. And you accepted me. Accepted me and wouldn't try to see me as something different that would please you."

"But that still doesn't tell me why," I pointed out. "You could have married the Countess and kept me as your mistress. Wouldn't that be the wisest choice for a man of power?"

He sighed then gave me an irritated look. "You shouldn't take his words so seriously. Galbatorix said some things simply to get a reaction."

I stared at him blankly, still not comprehending what he was getting at. Or rather I didn't want to believe what he was getting at. To hope for something only to lose it...

Morzan smiled at me and leaned in closer. "I love you, Selena."

Four simple words. Four simple words that I wanted to hear for so long from him. And he finally said them. He finally told me he loved me. And to my embarrassment all I could do was start to cry. I cried and hugged him tightly as he ran a soothing hand up and down my back. But I think he understood. I think he understood how relieved I was, how happy to hear him say that he loves me. I think he understood for it was just as relieving for him as it was for me.

Day 5 of Retniw, 369 AR

I have discovered something new about my husband today.

He loves the snow.

When we woke up this morning it was to the sight of snow covering every inch of the estate. When Morzan saw it he practically lit up in excitement. He dragged me out with him on some borrowed horses and into the woods. There we rode to a secret valley that was covered by a white blanket. Morzan says that during the warmer seasons the place is filled with wildflowers, and promises to bring me back to view them. I'm rather excited over that for I love flowers very much. Wildflowers are nice, not as good as roses, but still nice.

We spent the day out there in the small valley. Morzan taught me how to use a long bow since I never got a chance to learn how. Garrow only taught me how to use a small dagger and some hand-to-hand combat. Morzan says that I should know more than that and so has begun to teach me. He promises that he will also teach me how to use a staff since it would be easier for me to wield thanks to my small frame. I was a bit offended by that but can't argue because it's true.

We also spent some time in a snowball fight that I started. I threw a snowball at him first and Morzan retaliated, since he is never one to back down from a challenge. I'm sure we looked foolish out there, pelting each other with snowballs while laughing hysterically. Imagine two grown adults acting like children over simple snow! Morzan's reputation would be ruined if anyone ever saw us.

Later, Morzan told me he lost whatever dignity he had left from that fight. I simply laughed since he still had snow in his hair and his clothes were messed up quite badly.

Day 9 of Retniw, 369 AR

Morzan has been sent off on another order from the king. This time he will only be gone for a few days. A week at the most. I sometimes wonder what he does on these trips. Can't be that great since he always looks annoyed when he talks about them.

Day 12 of Retniw, 369 AR

Morzan is back. He came back this morning. We spent the whole day in bed since then.

Day 15 of Retniw, 369 AR

Tonight Morzan and I sat on a stone bench in the garden and looked at the sky. He showed me all the constellations in the night sky. Then he explained the story behind each of them. I was surprised by how many there are. After a while it began to snow again, and since Morzan loves the snow we sat there for some time. It was rather peaceful and beautiful to see my garden covered by a pure white blanket. And Morzan looked just as wonderful with the snowflakes falling around him and onto his hair and skin. I wonder if he knows how beautiful I find him?

Day 19 of Retniw, 369 AR

Today Morzan and I got into an argument.

It was about the king. We were talking about the Empire and the Varden and I made an offhanded remark about the king. Morzan took offense to it, and before I knew it we were yelling at each other. I don't remember what we said but I do remember when his hand connected to my cheek.

He slapped me.

Morzan slapped me.

I raised a hand and touched my cheek gently as the skin began to swell and heat up. Tears stung my eyes as I turned back to look him in the eyes. Morzan looked stunned. He was staring at his hand then at my face then back at his hand. He flexed it once then turned around and left the room.

He hasn't been back since.

Day 25 of Retniw, 369 AR

I am seventeen today. Morzan is still gone.

Day 28 of Retniw, 369 AR

I've been thinking over the argument between Morzan and I. The slap he gave me and the look in his eyes when he realized what he had done... all of it has been going through my mind, and I've finally come to a conclusion. I've decided to forgive him for he seemed to be caught up in his anger and lost control. I don't think he would ever deliberately hurt me. I don't know why I believe this but I just do. Perhaps I'm just naïve. Or maybe because I'm too in love with him to care.

Day 32 of Retniw, 369 AR

Morzan came back last night.

When I saw him all we did was stare at each other for a moment. Then I held out my arms and he walked up to me and hugged me tightly. He whispered how sorry he was that he hurt me and I told him he was forgiven. I'm simply happy that he is back in my arms once more.

I didn't mention that he missed my birthday.

Day 37 of Retniw, 369 AR

Aderes took me on a ride today. It was fun riding through the sky as it snowed. I think Aderes enjoyed showing off to me too since he did quite a bit of tricks. Morzan says that this is because he can be very vain at times. Actually he said that all dragons are vain at some point. I wonder why.

Day 44 of Retniw, 369 AR

Curse Aderes! The little worm managed to sneak out of me my birth date. He then told Morzan who came barging into my room. He demanded to know why I didn't tell him that he missed my birthday. I told him it wasn't important. He then began cursing in a language that I have never heard before then stormed out of the room again.

A few hours later he was back with a gift. It was a wolf pup. Yes, that's right a wolf pup. I don't know where he got it or how but he did. And he gave the pup to me and said that it was my gift from him. I asked him why he was giving me a wolf and he explained that it was to keep me company while he was gone and to protect me.

I admit that I'm a bit touched by his gift. The pup is a male and is pure black with green-amber eyes. He is rather adorable, and I decided to name him Sereda. That's Aderes backwards. My own way of getting revenge on that overgrown reptile for spilling my secret. That's the last time I tell him anything important!

Day 52 of Retniw, 369 AR

I think Morzan is a bit jealous of Sereda. The puppy spends all day with me and even sleeps in the same bed as me. I play with him, wash him, groom him, talk to him and so much more. Sereda has become my constant companion over these past days, and I've come to love him very much.

But Morzan always gives him this annoyed look when he sees the pup, and pulls me into his arms. He holds me tightly while glaring down at Sereda and I can't help but laugh at such a silly scene. Imagine the great and mighty Morzan sending death glares down at a pudgy little pup! Oh, how silly my love can be at times.

Day 63 of Retniw, 369 AR

Morzan seems in a particularly foul mood today. I asked him why but he won't tell me. I've decided to ask him about it later when he has calmed down.

Day 64 of Retniw, 369 AR

Well, I found out why Morzan was so angry yesterday. It turns out that the king has appointed another Rider the honor of leading the troops into some big battle against the Varden. Morzan is enraged because this battle is important, and believes the Rider who is leading it will screw things up. It has something to do with trades and routes and if they lose the battle it will be a major blow to the Empire's economy.

I asked Morzan why he wasn't chosen and he said it was because the other Rider did something important and Morzan didn't. He was pretty vague about the details but I think this Rider got the mission because Morzan botched his last one. It is all so confusing still.

Day 3 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Glael, the Rider who pissed off my husband, is a tall and wiry man with tanned skin and dark eyes. He is completely bald but has an odd mustache that is pure black. He seems pretty arrogant and full of himself.

I know all this because I was spying on him today. I snuck out of the estate and into the palace. Listening around I learned whom and where this Rider was and searched him out. When I found him I kept a close eye on him all day. I wanted to see why this man had gotten the mission that my husband so badly wanted. I didn't learn much but I plan to pay a visit to him tomorrow and keep watching him.

Day 5 of Gnirps, 370 AR

For two days I've been watching Glael and today he finally caught me. Well actually he already knew I was there, and simply decided to let me know. It happened while I was watching him from a balcony and he looked up and smiled at me. Ten minutes later he was at my side, commenting on how he noticed I've been following him for the past two days.

Panicking, I put on a guilty smile and admitted that I had been watching him. I told him that I had heard about him and was curious to meet him, but haven't the courage to approach him yet. It was a half-truth but he bought it and gave me a charming smile and told me not to be shy.

I smiled pleasantly even though inside I was sneering in disgust at this man. What a lecher! He practically oozed slime and when he placed his hand on my hand I had to hold back the urge to gag. I could see the lust in his eyes, and I had to wonder how a man like him ever became a Rider.

But anyway, the pervert asked me to meet him tonight in his chambers so we could 'talk' more about him. I agreed, though why I don't know. Perhaps I can find something important about him that could help Morzan in the long run? After all, it's all for Morzan's benefit that I searched him out to begin with. Seeing my love so angry about being rejected, and then worried about the outcome of the battle... well it just made me want to do something to help ease his mind.

Day 6 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Well, one thing I can say about Glael is that he enjoys his ale and spirits a bit too much. When I met him in his chambers he was already drunk. But that just made talking to him easier for he spilled his guts to me the moment a laid one hand on his thigh. I had to endure some groping, of course, but I think it was worth it from what I discovered.

Most of the things he told me were rubbish but there was something that caught my attention. His dragon, Eridor, is ill and no one but Glael knows. He says that if he tells the king then he will lose the mission he got, and he can't afford that. This, apparently, is his last chance to regain favor of the king or else he is 'free prey' for the other Riders. Whatever that means.

I hope to tell this to Morzan and maybe he can make something of it.

Day 8 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Well I told Morzan, but he didn't really react the way I thought he would. He was pleased about the information, yes, but very upset that I had placed myself in danger. He told me never to do something so foolish again, and made me tell him everything that Glael said and did to me. I told him of course, and at the end of it he had that dark glint in his eyes.

Alarmed and nervous, I apologized and promised him I would never to do that again. Morzan didn't say anything, simply pulled me up against him and kissed me with a different sort of passion. It wasn't the usual fire kisses he gave me, but hard and rough and dominating. This kiss was about owning and possessing, claiming me and showing whom I belonged to.

He pushed me against the wall and made love to me right there. His hands held me so tight that I have bruises on my skin, and he kissed me so hard that my lips are raw and swollen. And all the time he kept muttering "Mine." And I, I gave myself to him completely and fell into his dark passion.

Day 10 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Morzan went to the king today and told him about Glael. He didn't tell me what the king said or did; only that Morzan is now in charge of the mission. He leaves tomorrow.

Day 12 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Sereda is getting bigger and bigger each day. He is so adorable, especially when he begs me for food. And the way he runs around and plays… he has so much energy that I can't help but be amazed. Sereda is truly one of a kind.

Day 19 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Morzan is still away. I've been very lonely and sick for the past few days. At least I have Sereda to keep me company.

Day 23 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I've been throwing up a lot lately and been stuck in bed. I wonder what's wrong with me?

Day 36 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Well the healer confirmed it today. I'm with child. I'm not sure how to react since I wasn't expecting to get pregnant so soon. What am I going to do? What am I going to tell Morzan? I'm not ready to be a mother yet. How am I supposed to take care of a child? It is times like this that I wish I had my mother here with me.

Day 41 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I've been eating the strangest foods lately. Triannon says that it is natural for and all pregnant women go through it.

Day 43 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I'm rather worried about Morzan. Shouldn't he be back by now?

Day 46 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I've heard gossip from the servants that many were killed in the battle that Morzan was in. I pray to the Gods that my love wasn't one of them.

Day 48 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I haven't been able to sleep these past few nights, too consumed over my worry and fear for Morzan. I can't lose him now, not when I still need him. And what of our child? How will he or she fair with no father there to guide him or her? I pray every night that he comes back to me but so far he hasn't.

Day 52 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I can't eat anything now. All I do is worry and the feeling is beginning to grow more and more. In the pit of my stomach I feel something burning hotter every day. I fear for my health and my baby.

Day 61 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I lost the baby last night.

I had a miscarriage, as Triannon says, and haven't left my bed since then.

I've been crying for now I have lost my first child, and I might have lost my husband.

What am I to do now?

Day 66 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Morzan has come back!

He came to me this morning, injured and dirty but alive! When I saw him I threw myself into his arms and cried in relief. It feels so good to have him back again, here in my arms where I can see him, feel him, and smell him. He is back and I am complete once more.

Day 67 of Gnirps, 370 AR

I told Morzan about the baby and he took it pretty well. He says that it simply wasn't the right time for us to have a child. He says that our first baby will rest and wait for us in the afterlife. When he told me that, I'm afraid I began to cry once more, but this time it was in acceptance. I may have lost one baby but I can still have more yet. And one day, one far away day, I will see my first child once more.

Day 73 of Gnirps, 370 AR

Today Morzan took me to the secret valley to see the new flowers. He was right when he told me there were wildflowers. The whole valley was simply covered in them. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.

We spent the entire day there in the valley. He taught me how to wield a staff, just like he promised, and practiced with a long bow for some time. And when we got tired we simply lie next to each other on the ground and stared up at the sky. I amused myself by trying to figure out what animal shape the clouds looked like. Morzan entertained himself by making snide comments about my guesses. Honestly, men.

Day 1 of Remmus, 370 AR

I think I might be with child again. I've been feeling the same symptoms as the first time. But it seems so soon though. Perhaps it is simply a false alarm?

Day 11 of Remmus, 370 AR

Hmp. Morzan made me visit the healer to confirm if I'm carrying or not. Turns out I am. I'm still surprised since it was only last season I lost my first child. Perhaps this is the Gods way of making up for stealing my first born from me.

Day 24 of Remmus, 370 AR

Today Morzan told me he would like two children. I asked him why and he said because he wanted one of each. A boy and a girl. I think that would be nice. A boy, strong and handsome as ever. And a girl as sweet and pretty. Yes, two little ones would be a nice idea.

Day 32 of Remmus, 370 AR

Sereda has been missing for all day. I asked some of the servants to look for him but they haven't found him yet. I hope he is okay.

Day 34 of Remmus, 370 AR

It has been two days since I've seen Sereda and I'm very worried now. Where could he have possibly gone?

Day 35 of Remmus, 370 AR

Dead. Sereda is dead!

The servants found him this morning on the front steps of the estate. His body… oh my poor puppy. His body was shredded and his head cut off. Morzan wouldn't let me get more than a glance of him before he ordered the servants to bury the remains. I've been in my room, crying all day. Who could have done something so vile? Sereda was just a puppy! He has never hurt anyone before! My constant shadow, my little pup is gone...

Day 39 of Remmus, 370 AR

Morzan has tracked down who killed my Sereda. It was Glael! He discovered that I was Morzan's wife and exacted revenge by killing Sereda. Morzan promises me that the fiend will pay. I hope so. He deserves it for what he did to my friend.

Day 42 of Remmus, 370 AR

Glael is dead. I feel strangely numb about this. I wonder why. I expected to be satisfied perhaps. Or maybe filled with hate. But I feel none of this. Simply numb.

Day 54 of Remmus, 370 AR

Last night I was awoken by the sound of moaning and groaning. Alarmed, I sat up and turned to find that it was Morzan, and he was sweating profoundly and his face was twisted up in pain. I quickly leaned over and wrapped my arms around him and began to whisper that he was fine and safe. After some time later he stopped and opened his eyes and looked down at me with this haunted look.

"Selena," he mumbled as he stared into my eyes. "What...?"

"You were having a bad dream," I told him softly as pulled him closer. "But it was only a dream. Everything's okay now."

"No, it's not," he said and let out a deep sigh. "And it will never be."

"I don't understand," I said softly as he pushed me back to lie on my back.

Morzan gave me a cynical smile as he gazed down at me. "I know. And I hope you never will."

Looking into his eyes, I felt my heart ache at the broken look that lurked in them. He looked so vulnerable, so human. I've never seen him look like this before. It made me want to hold him in my arms and never let go. I wanted to kiss away his pain and misery, push away the dark memories and bring back only the good ones.

"Oh, Morzan," I murmured and pulled him down to hold him against my chest. He buried his face into my neck and held onto me as he took in deep and heavy breaths. I ran my hands through his hair and down his back, murmuring words of love into his ears...

It was a long time before either of us fell back asleep again.

Day 73 of Remmus, 370 AR

My belly gets bigger each day. I wonder if my child is a boy or girl?

Day 76 of Remmus, 370 AR

Morzan and I went over some possible names today. If it is a girl then the choices are Roselyn, Lily, Maiyn, Isandra, Douna. And if it is a boy then either Tris, Javier, Jadin, Androd, Morden. Only ten ideas but better than nothing.

Day 88 of Remmus, 370 AR

I just realized that Morzan and I have been married for one year now. Funny, it feels so much longer to me.

Day 1 of Nmatua, 370 AR

Today is the day of a new season.

My belly gets bigger and now I am beginning to have trouble standing up and walking. Being pregnant is not very pleasant.

Day 3 of Nmatua, 370 AR

The healer paid me a visit today. She said I'm doing well and the baby is fine. I'm secretly relieved about this.

Day 12 of Nmatua, 370 AR

Morzan is going away on another long trip. He won't tell me much; only that he will be back as soon as possible. I hope he's right.

Day 24 of Nmatua, 370 AR

Today the baby kicked! It was so wonderful to feel that strong pressure, to know that the child in me is strong and healthy. I think that this child will have their father's strength.

Day 43 of Nmatua, 370 AR

I find myself wondering what my family would say of all this. My father will soon be a grandfather and my brother an uncle. Perhaps I can send them a letter after the baby is born? At least then they will know that they have a new family member.

Day 56 of Nmatua, 370 AR

Morzan is still away.

Day 69 of Nmatua, 370 AR

The king paid a visit to me again.

He simply came to check on me. Asked me how I was feeling, if I was ill or tired. Then he left. How odd.

Day 12 of Retniw, 370 AR

The baby is coming. It is too soon for the birth. I'm scared for my baby. Why is this happening? The healers are telling me that this happens sometimes. Where is Morzan?

Day 13 of Retniw, 370 AR

It hurts. Oh Gods it hurts so much! This baby is taking everything from me. How am I going to get through this?

Day 15 of Retniw, 370 AR

Baby came finally. It's a boy. Healers say he'll be fine. I'm so tired.

Day 17 of Retniw, 370 AR

I finally got to hold my son for the first time. He is so tiny! His face is so soft and round, his fingers so small and perfect. He is such a quiet child, so peaceful and innocent.

It's so strange. The moment I held him in my arms I loved him instantly. I never felt such love and protectiveness for anyone before. I don't even love Morzan as much as I love our son. I wonder if all mothers feel like this when they first hold their child?

Day 18 of Retniw, 370 AR

I awoke tonight to see Morzan holding our son in his arms. It was so strange to see him suddenly there for he has been gone for so long. But here he was. Morzan was finally back and holding our son, staring at him like he couldn't believe the baby existed.

"Morzan," I mumbled and he turned to me. He smiled at me and asked, "How do you feel?"

"Tired. And very sore," I told him honestly. "When did you get back?"

"Tonight," he answered as he looked back down at our baby. He brushed his hand across the baby's smooth cheek and chuckled. "He's so soft. And so small. It's a wonder that something so innocent could share the same blood as me."

I frowned but was too tired to argue with him over his words. Instead I changed the subject. "What are we going to name him?"

Morzan didn't say anything at first. He just stared at our son mutely. Finally he said softly, "Murtagh. We'll name him Murtagh."

"Murtagh," I repeated, the name foreign and unusual but pleasant. "It's nice. But why that name?"

"It was my brother's name," he said simply. "I was playing with the idea of naming one of my children after my younger brother or sisters. And now, looking at our child, I know now that it is the best choice."

Morzan looked at me so hopefully that I couldn't help but agree. "Then Murtagh it is."


To Be Concluded In — White Roses

Curious to see Morzan's thoughts on all of this?

Then check out the pairing to Silver RosesSplintered Ice by blizzardstar2000.