White Roses

Summary: One-shot – The final 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.

White Roses
By: Silver pup

Day 30 of Retniw, 370 AR

Murtagh is simply the most fascinating child in the world. He has only been in the world for fifteen days, yet he stares at me with such wise and bright eyes. It is as if he knows all the answers to the mysteries of the world. I just love staring into his hazel eyes, thrilled to recognize that the color is from me. He is from me. I'm still so awed over the fact that Morzan and I made this being, this living and breathing form of life. We created life! How can one not be happy over such a thing?

Morzan has become permanently attached to Murtagh's side. He always watches him, studying every detail of our son and occasionally reaching out to touch his face. I think he's worried that if he leaves Murtagh alone for too long then he'll somehow disappear. I think Morzan is afraid to lose him.

I keep telling him Murtagh isn't going anywhere but he doesn't listen. He just keeps watching Murtagh intensely, and occasionally reaches out to touch his face tenderly. While most would probably find this alarming, I find it relieving. I was a bit afraid that Morzan would distance himself from Murtagh; unsure how to take on the role of a father, just like how he was unsure of how to be a husband when we were first married. But instead of pushing our baby away, Morzan has bonded and taken on the role of as a father with ease.

Day 34 of Retniw, 370 AR

Murtagh does not cry often but when he does it's like all Hell has broke loose. Take tonight for example. I was happily wrapped in Morzan's arms in our bed, drifting to sleep when this piercing scream jolted us both out of bed. Blood pumping, I rushed to the nursery that is connected to our room to find Murtagh screaming his little lungs out. But you know what's funny? He had no tears in his eyes, and his face was just twisted up in anger as he continued to scream like there was no tomorrow.

"Looks like he's just crying for the hell of it," Morzan commented dryly as he stared at Murtagh from over my shoulder.

I gave him a dirty look and turned to pick up my screaming son. "Okay, sweetie enough," I cooed to the infant. "Hush, darling, mama and dada are here now."

Murtagh sniffed and stopped screaming, turning to cuddle closer to my chest. His small hand griped my nightgown tightly and he closed his hazel eyes to the world.

"I think he wants to sleep with us," Morzan said as he took my hand in his and led me back to our bed. "And I agree. Come on, Murtagh can sleep between us."

"But what if we roll over him or something," I protested, fear tingling down my spine at the idea of hurting or, Gods forbid, killing Murtagh.

"We won't roll over him," Morzan promised me as he got into bed. "Trust me on this. My brother, sisters and I used to sleep in the same bed as my mother all our lives. And not once did she accidentally 'roll' on us."

I was still skeptic and Morzan seemed to notice. With a sigh, he pointed to Murtagh and said, "Selena Murtagh wants to sleep with us. Why do you think he's clinging to you like a leech?"

He had a point. Murtagh was griping my front as tight as possible, and had a peaceful expression on his chubby face. He looked so adorable, how could I possibly refuse?

And so, I placed my baby between my husband and I, and crawled into bed. Morzan had this wide and satisfied smirk on his face as he gazed down at Murtagh. It made me wonder what he was thinking.

"What are you so happy about?" I whispered as I pulled my blanket on me.

Morzan looked at me innocently. "What are you talking about? Can't a guy just be happy?"

I just stared at him, not falling for his little act. Then, after thinking a bit more, I suddenly realized the reason why he was so satisfied.

"You want him to sleep with us," I accused with a smirk.

Morzan sniffed but didn't deny it. "So? I just want to keep him where I can see him. Anything wrong with that?"

"No," I whispered and snuggled close to Murtagh. "Nothing wrong with that."

And truthfully, there isn't.

Day 37 of Retniw, 370 AR

Today Triannon commented that I am rather possessive of Murtagh. Thinking it over, I realized she was right. Even though there are women here to help me, I stubbornly refuse to allow anyone near him. I change him, wash him, dress him, feed him, play with him and put him to sleep. But he is my son and I want to do all the things that come with being a mother. Besides, we don't have forever so I don't want to miss a moment with him like I did with my own mother.

Surprisingly, Morzan does not object to all the attention I give Murtagh. I suppose it's because Murtagh belongs to him just as much as I do. Actually he gets pretty possessive over Murtagh as he does me. Morzan doesn't like other people holding our baby for very long, and he never leaves anyone alone in a room with Murtagh. He's even insisted that Murtagh sleep with us from now on. I don't mind that though since I like having my baby near me. It makes me feel more assured of his safety I suppose.

Day 40 of Retniw, 370 AR

Aderes met Murtagh for the first time today. The red dragon looked down at Murtagh and sniffed him before letting out a snort. 'What a scrawny little thing. Are you sure he's yours, Morzan?'

"Of course he is," I snapped but I knew Aderes was simply joking. "And of course he's small. He's a baby!"

"Don't mind Aderes, Selena," Morzan interrupted as he glared up at Aderes, "the lizard here just doesn't know how to act around a baby, considering he has never been around one."

'Are you trying to make a point, Morzan?' Aderes growled as he lowered his head down to glare at Morzan eye to eye. It was rather funny considering Aderes's head was almost as big as Morzan's entire body.

Before Morzan could retort, Murtagh reached out for Aderes and cooed. Aderes looked down in surprise to see Murtagh's little hand flat against his red scales. Then he looked back at Murtagh and blinked. Then he looked back to Morzan and asked, 'He's rather warm and soft. Is that normal?'

Morzan shrugged. "I guess."

I rolled my eyes. "All babies are small, soft and usually warm."

Aderes looked back down at Murtagh curiously. 'Truly? That's interesting. But why is he touching me?'

"Because he likes you," I said with a grin. It was true after all. Murtagh gazed up at Aderes with his serene hazel eyes, gazing into the dragon's red ones with an understanding that baffled me. My child is such a mysterious one.

'He is special,' Aderes stated with a warm tone I have rarely heard him use. 'A very special child. I see great things happening from him one day.'

"Of course," Morzan said with a rather smug smile. "He is my son after all."

'Don't strain your arms patting yourself on the back,' Aderes said dryly. 'Selena, why did you marry him?'

"Because he has a nice smile," I said and grinned at my husband.

Morzan gave us both dirty looks. "Okay that's it. I'm disowning you both right now."

"Fine," I retorted and turned away. "Come on, Murtagh, let's leave daddy here to pout."

"I do not pout!" Morzan yelled back while Aderes simply laughed and began insulting Morzan. I left them both to their bickering while Murtagh just cooed happily in my arms.

Day 45 of Retniw, 370 AR

I saw someone today that I never thought I would see again.

Lord Aithril, my ex-fiancé.

Oh to see such a horrible man made my blood run cold.

It was today when I went with Morzan to the palace. He had to pay a visit to the king, and I went along because there was nothing else to do. Murtagh was home with Triannon, taking his usual afternoon nap. I was waiting by the gardens; admiring the pale pink roses and ignoring some of the whispering that was around me.

Then he came.

"Selena? Is that you, lass?"

I spun around in surprise, recognizing the voice but not able to place it. Then my eyes landed on a tall man with cold gray eyes, watching me intensely...

"Lord Aithril," I mumbled and stared at him numbly.

The fiend smiled at me wickedly. "I thought it was you. I would recognize those lovely curls anywhere."

I rolled my eyes and had to resist the urge to spit in his face. "What do you want?"

Aithril gave me an innocent look. "Whatever do you mean? Can't I simply talk to the woman I was once going to wed?"

"No you may not," I snapped and turned away to march back into the palace.

To my distress, he followed and caught up to me rather easily. "Why so cold, poppet? You act as if you don't know me. Have you forgotten how... intimate we once were?"

I gave him a revolted look. "We were never 'intimate', milord. In fact, in case you forgot, you tried to force yourself on me."

He gave me a cold grin. "Indeed. And you refused me. You know, I was quite hurt by your rejection, poppet."

I glared at him. "Oh really?"

"Really," he answered then reached out and grabbed my wrist, stopping us both. His eyes swept over my form in a suggestive manner, and he had the nerve to give me a lecherous smile. "But I must say, Selena, you have grown up very much since our last encounter. You have become... a woman."

I glared and yanked my wrist free from his slimy hands. "Milord I think you should know that I am now a married woman, and talking about such matters with another man is highly inappropriate."

Aithril narrowed his eyes. "Married? You married another man?"

"Yes I did," I answered and gave him a chilly smile. "One who I love very much. We even have a child now."

"Well it seems you didn't waste any time," he growled and took a threatening step towards me. "Tell me, how long did you wait until you gave yourself to him, you little whore?"

That's when I punched him. I was rather proud of myself too since I managed to make his nose bleed all over the place. Or at least until he slapped me. He slapped me rather hard, and managed to knock me to the ground.

"You little bitch!" he screamed, holding his nose as blood gushed all over his face and down his shirt.

By now everyone in the hall was staring at us and whispering. And then, perhaps by luck or simple fate, Morzan was suddenly storming down the hall, his eyes dark and burning with rage.

Before Aithril could react, Moran had him by the throat and dangling a few inches above the ground. With a growl, he threw Aithril out of the glass window that overlooked the gardens. There was a sickening slap as his body met the stone ground, and then screaming and yelling.

Morzan ignored this though and simply walked up to me to help me up. "Are you alright, Selena? He didn't hurt you very much did he?"

I shook my head, a bit dazed and surprised by what had just happened. "No, I'm fine. Just a bit shaken up..."

"Who was that son of a bitch? And why did he lay his dirty hands on you?" Morzan growled as he pulled me close.

"Well, do you remember when we first met, and I told you I had run away from home to avoid an arranged marriage?" I asked softly.

Morzan nodded, still glaring at the spot where he had thrown Aithril.

"That's the man my father wanted me to marry," I whispered and then winced as Morzan tightened his grip around me even more. If he hugged me any tighter, I'm afraid I might have cracked a rib.

"And why did he hit you?"

"Because I punched him for calling me a whore," I mumbled, my cheeks flushing slightly.

Morzan looked down at me, arching a single brow as a smile tugged at him lips. Then he let out a low chuckle and kissed my forehead. "That's my girl. Don't be afraid to defend yourself against anyone."

I couldn't help but roll my eyes at his words. "Thanks."

Morzan chuckled again then turned serious once more. Signaling to a servant, he whispered something in the man's ear before tuning leading me out of the palace and back home. Since then Morzan left again and hasn't been back yet. I have the feeling that the reason is because of Lord Aithril.

Day 48 of Retniw, 370 AR

Today Morzan told me that another Rider, one named Taron, killed himself today. When I asked why, he told me that Taron had too many debts he couldn't pay, and had a drinking problem. Even though I never met this Taron I still find myself feeling sorry for him.

I also haven't heard anything on what could have happened to Lord Aithril.

Day 52 of Retniw, 370 AR

Since seeing Lord Aithril again, I find myself thinking more and more about my father. Even though he disowned me I still love him. Perhaps I can send a letter to him? After all, he deserves to hear that he is now a grandfather, and Garrow would surly like to hear that he has a nephew. Perhaps I will ask Morzan about it later.

Day 57 of Retniw, 370 AR

I've composed two letters that Morzan has agreed to send to my family. One is to my father and another to Garrow. Below I've written the drafts of the letter.

To Father:

Dear father,

I know that you probably don't wish to hear from me, but I thought it would be at least honorable to inform you that you are now a grandfather. Yes, I've had a child, a son actually, and his name is Murtagh. He was born on the fifteenth of Retniw here at Norwood Manor right outside of Urû'baen. He has my hazel eyes, and his father's golden-brown skin. He also has a few of mother's freckles across his nose, and your dimple.

I love him and his father dearly.

Incase Garrow didn't mention it; I got married almost two remmus ago. My husband is... part of the Empire. He works under the king as his second-in-command. Yes, that's right, I married Morzan of the Thirteen. Are you surprised by this father? Or perhaps proud that I managed to marry such a powerful man? Or perhaps skeptical, since you always said that I was such a simple girl who would never make it on her own.

Well I proved you wrong there. I did make it. Even after you abandoned me and grandmother died and left me alone with her estate. I made it by traveling to Urû'baen, paying a group of local merchants to give me passage. Then I survived by working as a maid in the palace. Yes me, a simple country girl who never had to work a day in her life. I made it and even managed to fall in love with a wonderful man. A man who loves me, and makes me feel fantastic.

But this probably all means nothing to you, correct? You probably don't care how much you hurt me when you disowned me. It wasn't the name, or title or money that I missed either. It was you. Your rejection hurt me so much, still hurts me. I still can't believe you could do something so cold to your own child. I look at Murtagh and I know that I could never leave him. I could never leave him like you left me.

I... I have so much I want to say to you in this letter. So much anger, so much hurt. But I don't think that words could express them correctly enough that you could understand. So I won't even bother to express myself through this letter. Just know that I, your daughter if no longer by word then by blood, have made it without your aid. I have survived and am now happier than I have ever been in my entire life. And know also that despite what has happened between us, I still love you father. And I think I might even forgive you someday.


To Garrow:

Dear Garrow,

Congratulations big brother, you are now an uncle. Yes that's right an uncle. On the fifteenth of Retniw, here at Norwood Manor right outside of Urû'baen, I gave birth to my son Murtagh. He has our hazel eyes, Morzan's tanned skin, mother's freckles, and father's dimple.

Sounds perfect don't he? And don't roll your eyes at me either bird-boy because I'm serious! Murtagh is perfect. He is such a quiet child but has strength to him. I know it sounds silly since he is still a baby, but every time I look in his eyes I see something there.

And stop laughing at me Garrow because I know you are.

Anyway, Morzan and I are doing well here in our little home. I've taken to redecorating a bit, and sorting out the gardens outside. Just recently I've planted some roses that should bloom in Ginrps. Red, yellow, pink and peach roses. I also plan to bring in some rare black and silver roses from the south. Well, if Morzan can get me some anyway.

So how are you doing Garrow? Still spending your days in the library reading? Or perhaps in the forest hunting? Or maybe you found yourself a lass, hmm? Don't be afraid to admit it brother dearest! I think that it is about time you got yourself a wife after all. Reya wouldn't want you to spend the rest of your life alone after all.

Ah, Murtagh has just started crying. He is probably hungry for his dinner. Well, in that case I must end this letter now. But I hope you hear from you soon brother. I miss you dearly after all...

With all my love and more,


Day 61 of Retniw, 370 AR

Murtagh caught a cold last night. The healers are doing all they can but he just keeps getting sicker. I don't know what to do but sit by his side, praying to every god and goddess I have ever heard of to let me keep my baby. I can't lose him. Not my Murtagh, not my precious son.

I wish Morzan were here. He left yesterday to visit the king and has not yet returned. I have sent a messenger to the palace to retrieve him. I hope he comes home soon. Murtagh needs him.

Day 62 of Retniw, 370 AR

Last night Morzan returned home. He came rushing into the room with fear etched on his handsome face. He went straight to Murtagh's side and lifted our son into his arms carefully before murmuring some foreign words.

I don't know what the words did but a red light engulfed Murtagh before slowly dimming out. Morzan let out a relieved sigh and held Murtagh close to his chest. Looking over to me, he smiled and said, "He'll be fine now, Selena. I've healed him."

"But... how?" I asked in shock.

Morzan simply smiled mysteriously. "Magic, my love. Magic."

Day 65 of Retniw, 370 AR

Murtagh seems to be fully healthy once more. But I'm still a bit stunned by this whole magic thing. I'm thinking of talking to Morzan about it.

Day 68 of Retniw, 370 AR

Well Morzan hasn't told me much about his secret magic. But I think if I keep bugging him he might give in. I find myself growing more and more intrigued by this magic he has. I wonder if he could teach me some? It would be a useful skill. After all, Morzan won't be here to protect Murtagh and me all the time. I need to be able to protect our son and myself somehow, and we both know that I'm not the biggest woman around. I hope he will see the same reasons that I do.

Day 69 of Retniw, 370 AR

I spoke with Morzan last night and he told me he would 'think' about teaching me a few tricks. Not the answer I wanted, but it's better than nothing I suppose.

Day 4 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan has left for another battle today, and will be gone for some time. I miss him terribly but at least I have Murtagh with me. Morzan also promised me that when he comes back, he would teach me all the magic I want to know.

Day 9 of Gnirps, 371 AR

I have taken to having Murtagh with me in the garden while I work. He enjoys looking around at the different flowers, plants and insects. Whenever he spots something he likes he'll babble something in his secret baby language, as if asking me what it is. In return I will tell him the name of the plant/flower/bug and some information about it. I know he can't really understand me but he will eventually.

Day 13 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Murtagh seems to have a love for water. Every time I give him a bath he practically glows. He loves splashing around and cries every time I have to take him out. When he gets bigger I will take him out to the small creek in the forest that Morzan showed me, and teach him how to swim. I think he gets this love for water from me, since I used to spend long, lazy days swimming in the lake near my home back in Caravhall. Sometimes Garrow would come with me, and we would spend the day jumping off boulders into the lake, or compete in who could dive the deepest. Then when got tired we would lay on the large, smooth rocks under the warm sun, talking about silly things. Looking back on such days brings an ache to my heart because I know that I will never get the chance to relive my childhood again.

Day 17 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan came back today. He seemed rather tired but pleased with himself over this latest mission. He won't tell me the details but I suspect it has something to do with the Varden.

He also brought back gifts for Murtagh and me. For Murtagh, a finely made horn of white and gold stone, and for me a jeweled butterfly clip for my hair. He said that the clip matches my hair, and the horn just seemed like a good idea. Morzan never fails to surprise me.

Day 20 of Gnirps, 371 AR

The Ancient Language of the Gray Folk is what triggers our magic. Morzan told me this today in our first lesson on magic. So far he has only gone over the history, meaning and all other basic information I need to know. This is all rather boring but Morzan promises that the magic will come in time, but that I first must know the basic outline of magic and how it works. I suppose this is all fine since I'm still trying to absorb all of this. I think this magic thing will be much harder than what I originally thought.

Day 23 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Today we took Murtagh out to see the secret valley nearby. The wildflowers were in full bloom so everywhere we looked we saw color. I think Murtagh liked it since he kept smiling and cooing to Morzan and I. Then he lay under the shade of a tree to watch Morzan teach me some new archery skills. I think Murtagh liked the bow since he kept staring at it in wonder. Morzan believes that he might take a liking to it when he is older.

Day 37 of Gnirps, 371 AR

On Morzan's neck there is a long scar that runs straight over his throat. I noticed it before but never thought much of it. Occasionally I have seen Morzan rubbing his fingers across it, his face showing that he was lost in thoughts. Tonight as we lie in bed, I noticed him tracing it again and finally asked him where he got it.

The reaction I got was not the one I was expecting.

Morzan's eyes turned dark and arctic as his body tensed. Alarmed, I reached out and touched his hand but he jerked away from me, and stood up to walk over to the window. I didn't know what to do so I simply sat there in bed and waited for him to say something.

I don't know how much time passed before he finally spoke to me. When he did his voice was low and empty, making my heartache for him. I had no idea what could have made him act so... dead.

"Did you know I was born a peasant?" Morzan asked with his back still facing me. "I was born to Onir and Azula Farinson nearly eighty years ago. I was the oldest of the four children they had. My little brother Murtagh came next, then my sisters Hestia and Evelyn. There was a three-year difference between Murtagh and I, a four-year difference between Hestia and I, and a six-year difference between Evelyn and I. All of my siblings died before they ever saw their tenth year. All thanks to my father Onir."

Morzan lifted a hand, and I knew he was rubbing his scar across his neck. "When I was born my father tried to kill me. He didn't want a child to support, didn't want the responsibility and didn't want to share my mother with anyone else. He was a selfish drunk who came home one night, took his knife and tried to slit my throat open. Me, his four-day-old son. It was simply luck that he was so drunk that he didn't cut my throat deep enough for me to die. And it was luck my mother was able to get the blood to stop before I bled to death."

Morzan still didn't turn to face me, but kept rubbing his neck and speaking. "When I was eleven Hestia was killed first. My father locked her in the cellar of our farm, and refused to let her out. We tried to help her, but my father was bigger and overpowered all of us easily. She died there, starved to death because she fought back against a man who tried to rape her. A man my father allowed to use his daughter for a few gold pieces."

"The next to die was Murtagh. My father's beatings got out of hand and he accidentally broke my brother's neck. He was only nine at the time." Morzan paused to take in a shuddering breath. "The next to die was Evelyn. She had gotten sick and there was no money for medicine to save her. She was seven when she died, just like Hestia."

"The final person to die was my mother. I was fifteen and it was during one of my parent's many arguments. I was lying in my bed, listening to them when I suddenly got the feeling something was terribly wrong. I ran to their room to find the door locked, and had to break it down to get in. When I did I found my father kneeling over my mother with his hands wrapped around her neck. He had strangled her to death. My father had killed my mother. She was the last person who meant anything to me, and he took her away!"

Morzan turned around abruptly. He was breathing hard, his arms were shaking and his eyes were burning in fury, pain and guilt. "I killed him right there," he whispered intensely. "I just kept running my knife into his chest over and over, again and again. There was blood everywhere; on my hands, my arms, the floor, his body... the blood pooled around the bodies of my parents, entrapping us all in the circle of death."

His mismatched eyes met mine and I shuddered at the dead look in them. "Does that answer your question, my love?"

"Oh, Morzan," I murmured as I got up and walked up to him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him close, whispering words of comfort and love. Morzan simply hugged me close and buried his face in my hair.

We stood there for a long time before Morzan finally walked over to our bed to sleep. I didn't follow him though, simply chose to watch over him for the rest of the night.

Day 39 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan and I have not spoken about his confession from two nights ago. But I don't think we need to, for when I look into his eyes I see a peaceful acceptance in them. I think speaking about his family was something he needed to do. I can recall hearing my mother say that holding things in can destroy you. I didn't understand what she meant then but now I do.

Day 40 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan is a jaded warrior who has killed thousands of people, men and women alike. He doesn't care for many people, but the ones he does love he loves with an intense and passionate love. He is possessive and controlling, cold and ruthless, and can be a bit self-centered at times. But he is also sarcastic and intelligent, charming and mild, and can be very loving to a select few.

I do not pretend to understand how his mind works, or try to change him to fit my needs. I love him for who he is, flaws and all. He is my warrior of ice, my lover of fire. He is my husband for life, the father my child.

He is Morzan and he is my world.

Day 44 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Murtagh is getting bigger every day. Soon he will be walking and talking just like the rest of us. This makes me sad, since it shows that my baby is growing up. I want him to stay the way he is now. But you know what's even stranger? At the same time I'm also eager to see him grow up. I want to see the type of man he will be one day. I want to be able to proudly say that I raised him, that I helped him become the, hopefully, wonderful man that he is known as.

Hmm, funny how none of this makes sense. I want him to stay little but at the same time can't wait for him to grow up. I wonder if this is something that all mothers go through?

Day 47 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan will be leaving tomorrow for Surda. He says that the king is sending an ambassador to establish a treaty between Alagaësia and Surda, and that he is going to make sure everything goes to plan. He says he'll be back in a week, two at the most. I'm still going to miss him.

Day 55 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Galbatorix stopped by today to meet Murtagh. He came without warning, so I didn't have time to prepare myself for our meeting, which is probably why he caught me dressing in my room. My face is still red from the embarrassment.

"My dear girl calm down," the king said in amusement. "It's nothing I haven't seen before."

Like that's reassuring, I thought as I struggled to lace up my gown. "Y-your majesty, I wasn't expecting you today." Or any other day for that matter.

"Mmm. I came to meet Murtagh, actually," he answered.

My heart picked up speed at his words, and I struggled even faster to get my gown straight. "Oh? And may I ask why?"

"The same reason I wanted to meet you," he explained patiently. "You are important to Morzan. Murtagh is important to Morzan. And Morzan is important to me."

When I turned around I found that he was watching Murtagh, who lay fast asleep on my bed. On instinct I moved in front of his view to block those ruby eyes from my son. He met my gaze with a raised brow, obviously seeing my intention clearly.

"Like a mother bear protecting her cub," he mused softly, lazily interlacing his fingers together behind his back. "You seem to fit into the role of a mother quite well."

"Thank you," I answered as I crossed my arms over my chest. "I've been trying my best to raise Murtagh properly. It... Has not been easy."

He smiled at me sinisterly. "I would think not. You are raising a baby after all."

He looked over my head to stare at my son once again. "Hmm. What a small child. He looks healthy though. I assume there has been no problems regarding his health?"

"None that I am aware of," I lied. I didn't want to mention the time when Murtagh was sick, but from the small smirk he wore I think he already knew. Bastard.

"Morzan mentioned that he has your eyes," the king commented as he looked back at me.

I lifted my chin challengingly. "Indeed. His eyes are hazel like mine."

He raised his eyebrows. "Truly? I wonder what else he has inherited from you."

"It is too soon to tell, sire," I told him. "He is still a babe yet."

Those burgundy eyes glittered with something I could not read. "Indeed. But one day he will grow up and will embrace the role that he was born for. A role that was decided long ago..."

Those words made me shiver in fear while alarms went off in my head. My instincts screamed, get him away from Murtagh!

"M-my ki-king you need to leave n-now," I stuttered while taking a step back. I could feel my heart beginning to pick up speed again.

He tilted his head to the side and regarded me curiously. "May I ask why?"

"I have other matters to attend too," I lied softly.

He smirked in a way that made me realize he knew I was lying. "As you wish. This is your home after all."

"Yes it is," I agreed stiffly. "Now get out."

Red eyes turned cold as the king straightened his shoulders. "Watch that tone, girl. You forget who you are speaking too."

I said nothing and simply continued to stare at him as my blood began to pound in my ears. Finally he turned away and left my room, left Murtagh and I. It took me a few minutes before I finally relaxed and sat down on my bed. A soft gurgle told me that Murtagh was awake, and I looked over my shoulder to meet his concerned eyes. I smiled and reached over to touch his cheek comfortingly. "Don't worry, sweetie. I'm fine now."

Murtagh cooed something in his baby language that made me smile. Only my son could make me feel instantly better after facing off against the king of Alagaësia.

Day 58 of Gnirps, 371 AR

I hate him.

I hate the king. I've come to realize this after thinking it over for the past three days. I hate him for stealing my husband from me so often. I hate him for making me feel so insignificant whenever I speak to him. I hate that whenever I meet his eyes, I feel like I'm being tested or something. And what I hate most is the power I know he holds over my family and I. I wish he would die and leave us all alone!

I don't know what to do with these feelings. I know can't possibly tell anyone for it is treason to harbor such ill thoughts against the king. But I also know it is not healthy to hold everything in for long periods of time. So what do I do now?

Day 61 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan and Aderes are back. Morzan, Murtagh and I spent the day in Aderes's tower catching up. Even though they were not gone long, it is still good to have them back.

Day 67 of Gnirps, 371 AR

My father and Garrow are dead.

The messenger who was to deliver my letters just came back with them today. He says that when he got to the estate in Caravhall all he found were ruins. The estate was burned down, and there is nothing left but ashes and bodies. To prove it he gave me my father's ring he always wore. It is a simple gold band that bears the words BB in black letters. It is an old ring that had been passed down for generations, and shows that we are descendents of the old royal family: The Bromming family. Of course that was before Galbatorix took over.

But the point is that my father and brother are dead. Gone forever. I will never see my Garrow's half-smile or my father's stern gray eyes. Never will I hear the sound of my brother's laugh whenever I tell him some corny joke. Never will I hear my father's stern voice as he lectures me on something foolish I have done.

There is nothing left. Nothing...

Day 74 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Its been raining these past few days. I haven't left my bed since I got the news. Morzan has given orders for everyone to leave me alone. I'm grateful for his understanding, and I'm grateful that he's been taking care of Murtagh for me.

Day 80 of Gnirps, 371 AR

Morzan came in to see me today. He says everyone in the estate is worried about me. He says that he wants me to come out of my room and see Murtagh. I just keep telling him to just leave me alone but he won't listen. He insists I should do something, even something small like taking a walk outside in the garden with him. He says that seeing my flowers will make me feel better but all that did was made me cry again. Flowers remind me of Garrow, for when we were children we used to play in our mother's garden.

Morzan has finally left me alone.

Day 84 of Gnirps, 371 AR

I finally left my room today.

It was only to see Murtagh though, but Morzan is thrilled that I'm finally moving around again.

Day 1 of Remmus, 371 AR

I finally went outside to see my gardens today. Aderes has been watching me all day. He says that he is here to make sure I don't collapse in tears and scare the servants. Real subtle Aderes. Real subtle.

Day 4 of Remmus, 371 AR

Today I finally laughed again. It feels nice to be at ease again.

Day 8 of Remmus, 371 AR

Murtagh has begun to crawl all over the place. It brings a smile to my face to see him so active. I've asked Morzan to begin teaching me magic again. He agreed and said we'll start this evening. I'm rather excited about it.

Day 14 of Remmus, 371 AR


I'm with child again! I just had a baby nearly two seasons ago yet my body still goes and makes another one. I think Morzan should start sleeping in the other room for a few weeks lest we end up with more children than we can handle!

Day 20 of Remmus, 371 AR

This pregnancy isn't going well. I've been sick these past days, and haven't been able to get out of bed. A fever keeps coming back, and I'm having trouble breathing. I fear for my baby's life as well as my own.

Day 31 of Remmus, 371 AR

The healer says that I'm not pregnant but sick. There is something in my womb that is making me ill and if it doesn't go away then I'll die. When Morzan heard that he went ballistic and killed the healer. He left then and said he'll be back soon with help. I hope he hurries.

Day 36 of Remmus, 371 AR

Morzan is still gone and I'm getting weaker. Please hurry my love.

Day 40 of Remmus, 371 AR

Last night I had a dream of my mother. She was sitting in her garden, singing a lullaby while she tended to her flowers. Then she looked up and smiled that bright smile that always made the room light up.

"Go back, Selena," she said as everything began to fade away. "Go back and live your life..."

I woke up after that to find Triannon standing over me, pale and shaky. She says I've been tossing and turning with a horrible fever for two days now. Only now did it break and leave me to sleep in peace.

Day 43 of Remmus, 371 AR

I saw Murtagh today. He's getting bigger every day. I hope I get to see him grow.

Day 46 of Remmus, 371 AR

Morzan is back, and has something that is supposed to kill the thing inside me that is making me sick. I took the strange potion. Don't know if it worked yet. Morzan hasn't left my side.

Day 51 of Remmus, 371 AR

I'm alive and getting better each day. Morzan hasn't left my side still. I find this very comforting.

Day 63 of Remmus, 371 AR

Got out of bed today. Finally managed to walk around without falling once. I'm very proud of myself.

Day 66 of Remmus, 371 AR

I asked Morzan how he knew what to get to save me. He said he recognized what was wrong with me, and went to see a witch for help. He didn't say who this witch was, only that she owed him a favor and repaid it by saving me. I wish I could meet this witch. I really would like to thank her for saving my life.

Day 71 of Remmus, 371 AR

Murtagh walked today!

To was so sudden and surprising but still wonderful. Morzan and I were simply talking in our room, watching Murtagh crawl around the floor. Then he stopped suddenly and grabbed a chair and began to walk! Morzan and I are so proud of him. My little baby boy really is growing up.

Day 81 of Remmus, 371 AR

Morzan is leaving on another mission. He says that he'll be back in a few weeks. I shall miss him.

Day 83 of Remmus, 371 AR

The season is nearly over already. I feel I have missed it thanks to my illness and grieving for my family. Hopefully the next season will bring something good.

Day 10 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Morzan has come back. We spent the day playing with Murtagh in the gardens.

Day 22 of Nmutua, 371 AR

I'm going to kill Morzan.

He took Murtagh flying with Aderes.

The halfwit, what was he thinking?! Doesn't he know how dangerous it is for a baby to be flying in the sky with a dragon? I swear I'm going to castrate him the moment he walks through that door!

But first I need a knife from Triannon...

Okay, Triannon won't give me anything sharp and pointy. Guess I'll just have to settle for yelling him deaf.

Day 23 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Yelled at Morzan and Aderes yesterday. They both tried to defend their actions but I wouldn't hear it. Everyone in the estate watched us in amusement as I yelled at my husband and his pet dragon. I'm sure it was a sight considering I barely come up to Morzan's chest, and don't even get me started on Aderes...

But on the bright side, at least Murtagh was okay.

But I still don't forgive them.

Day 27 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Dear merciful gods he's alive.

My brother is alive.

Garrow is alive!

I just received a letter from him. Apparently he is well and living with Marian in my grandmother's old estate. He says he left father a week before the estate was burned down by bandits on account that he went and married Marian without father's consent. He says he'll keep me updated and hopes I'll write back soon.

I think I'm still in shock or something because I don't know what to make of all of this.

I think I need to rest.

Day 30 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Sent a letter back to Garrow. Hope he gets it soon.

Day 36 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Morzan mentioned today that he could see much of his dead family in Murtagh. When I asked him what he meant, he explained that Murtagh smiles the same way his mother and sisters smiled. Then he went on to say that Murtagh also had his brother's laugh, and scrunches up his nose when he's thinking, which is the same thing his sister Hestia would do. Finally he revealed that Murtagh has his jaw, chin, nose, skin tone, lips and will probably have the same build.

Murtagh looks like Morzan.

And apparently, Morzan looks like his father.

We stopped talking after that.

Day 40 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Another Rider came to visit Morzan today. Says his name is Orlane and has an azure colored dragon named Termain. He seemed friendly enough, but I can't help but get the feeling he's up to something...

Day 45 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Like I thought, the Rider Orlane was up to no good. The man poisoned all of our food and water, which is why a few of our servants are now dead. It is a good thing that Morzan always has someone check our meals before we eat or else those dead bodies might have been us.

Anyway, Morzan ordered all of our food to be thrown out and the well emptied. He then left to pursue Orlane and extract justice for our fallen servants. He hasn't come back yet but I get the feeling that Morzan has completed his task.

Day 57 of Nmutua, 371 AR

I finally received a letter from Garrow. Apparently he is well and plans to move somewhere else eventually. He says that I should come visit before he leaves, and to bring Murtagh so he can meet him. It sounds like a good idea but I will have to ask Morzan before making any plans.

Day 63 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Morzan says that we can leave to visit Garrow on the tenth of retniw. I've sent my reply to Garrow and can't wait to leave. It will be nice to finally leave the estate and even better to see my big brother.

Day 74 of Nmutua, 371 AR

I've hired some more servants today to replace the ones we lost thanks to the poison incident. As it turns out, one of the new servants is Triannon's nephew, Tornac. He's an amusing brunette with a bright smile and has seemed to take a shine to Murtagh. Funny enough, Murtagh seems to like him as well, which is very odd since he usually doesn't warm up to strangers so fast. Still, they like each other and so I've allowed Tornac to play with him. But in my sight, of course.

Day 81 of Nmutua, 371 AR

Morzan doesn't like Tornac. He says it's because he doesn't trust him but I know it's because he's jealous over the attention that Murtagh gives him. He always gives Tornac these nasty looks whenever he sees him; something that Tornac thankfully takes in stride. Honestly, Morzan really does need to get over this possessive streak he has or else I fear I may end up slapping him silly one of these days.

Day 5 of Retniw, 371 AR

Five more days before we leave to see Garrow. I can't wait.

Day 9 of Retniw, 371 AR

We leave tomorrow on Aderes. I'm a bit nervous about taking Murtagh flying again but Morzan assures me he'll be fine. I hope so because if anything happens then I'm putting the blame on him.

Day 13 of Retniw, 371 AR

We made it to grandmother's old estate and were welcomed by Garrow and Marian. I've been spending all my time simply talking with my older brother. I really have missed him.

Day 15 of Retniw, 371 AR

Today is Murtagh's first birthday.

In celebration of this, Marian and I baked a big chocolate cake with cherries and strawberries in it. Murtagh loved eating it and enjoyed throwing it around even more.

For presents, Garrow gave him our father's silver knife with a ruby built into the hilt on the top. I was surprised; this is the only thing that Garrow has left of our father and asked him why he was giving it up. Garrow simply shrugged and said that Murtagh would need it more than he would. I was silent after this.

Marian made Murtagh a cute little stuffed lion that Murtagh gleefully named "Tornie". This is actually short for Tornac, but since Murtagh can't say that yet he calls him Tornie. Morzan was very disgruntled about this but I just found it hilarious.

My gift for my son was a small quilt that I've been working on for some time now. The pieces of this small quilt all hold a certain memory or value. One square was cut from my wedding gown, another was cut from Morzan's clock, a piece from Aderes's bed, a square from my brother's old shirt, one from my father's jacket, a piece from my mother's old dress, another from Marian's dress and a patch from my grandmother's old cloak. All of these pieces are from our family, and will keep my son warm with our love. Well, and the magic I wove into it as well, but it's the love that really counts.

The final gift for Murtagh was from Morzan. It turned out to be a necklace, a very special necklace actually. On the silver chain was a small circle of melted amber and in the amber was a small purple flower. Now this flower is very common and I see it all the time in the forest, but what made it special was that it was picked on the day that Morzan and I found out I was pregnant with Murtagh.

"To show that you were always on my mind," Morzan whispered as he gave the necklace to Murtagh to play with. He then turned to me and smiled sheepishly. "What can I say? It just seemed like a good idea."

"And it was," I whispered back as I wrapped my arm around his waist and watched our son with his gifts.

All in all, I believe we gave my son a good first birthday, one of many more to come.

Day 23 of Retniw, 371 AR

We have returned to Norwood Manor today. It's nice to be home again.

Day 25 of Retniw, 371 AR

Today is my own birthday.

I am nineteen today.

It's funny that only four years ago I met my husband. And during all that time look what happened to me. I've lost and gained much during these four years, and I've grown up a lot since then. I'm no longer that little country girl who spent her time daydreaming in the forest. I am more now, so much more. A wife, a mother, a friend... I think I can honestly say I am a woman now.

Day 27 of Retniw, 371 AR

Morzan gave me two things for my birthday. The first one was a pure silver music box with black and white roses painted on it. The second was a red, orange, and yellow baby bird. Morzan says that it's called a Phoenix.

"I know it can't replace Sereda," Morzan whispered as he handed me the cage with the sleeping bird. "But I hope it will at least ease that ache I know you still carry for your wolf. Happy birthday, my love."

I cried then, mostly in joy but also a bit in sadness. Morzan was right after all. I still do miss Sereda and think about him a lot. The guilt, anger and hurt is still there but this bird, this tiny new friend, has began to help ease it a bit.

Day 30 of Retniw, 371 AR

The phoenix is a girl and I decided to name her Isha. I keep her in my room next to the window but usually let her out so she can fly around. She seems happy with her new home, and enjoys sitting on my shoulder and going where I go. She follows me everywhere and loves to play with Murtagh. I admit, she is a bit odd for a bird, but I still love her.

Day 37 of Retniw, 371 AR

Today I asked Morzan where exactly he got Isha and he said form the king. Shocked, I asked him why the king let him have Isha, and Morzan said because he asked for her. I don't think he really got what I meant so I shut up then.

Still, I don't understand why the king of the Empire would allow Morzan to take such a rare bird as a birthday gift for his wife. I guess it's just one of those things between the two that I'll never understand.

Day 44 of Retniw, 371 AR

A snowstorm hit the mansion today. We've all been stuck inside; including Morzan since I told him it would be suicide to go out in the snow now. He's been pouting in his room ever since.

Day 58 of Retniw, 371 AR

Morzan has to leave on another mission, but this time will be gone until the second season! I have to wait for nearly two seasons for him to come home, nearly half the year! I can't believe the things the king sends him on sometimes. Or perhaps this is payment for Isha? Oh I hope not...

Day 60 of Retniw, 371 AR

Morzan and Aderes left. I've been depressed all day.

Day 67 of Retniw, 371 AR

Murtagh asked me today when his daddy is coming home. I told him not for a long time and then he started crying. He didn't stop no matter what I said or did, not until he cried himself to sleep. My poor baby. He really does miss his daddy.

Day 73 of Retniw, 371 AR

Today I took Murtagh out to play in the snow to keep his mind off Morzan. He seems to love the snow just as much as Morzan, which doesn't surprise me. I can see a lot of my husband in my son even though he's still only a baby. It's just instinct.

Day 1 of Gnirps, 372 AR

The start of a new season.

Another step closer until Morzan is home and back in my arms.

Day 13 of Gnirps, 372 AR

The king paid a visit today. He came to check up on Murtagh and I apparently but I don't believe him. Anyway, he tried to talk to Murtagh but my son just stared at him silently. Finally Murtagh pointed one chubby finger and asked, "Does it hurts?"

The king stared down at my son before slowly blinking. "Does what hurt?"

Murtagh pointed behind him. "Da stick that mama says is up you're a–"

"Okay, sweetie that's enough now," I interrupted as I quickly covered my son's mouth with one hand and grabbed his arm with the other. I gave the king a pained smile while my face began to turn red. "I'm sorry about that. It's about nap time and he gets a bit odd if he doesn't go straight to sleep."

The king arched a thin brow as he stood up straight. "Indeed. In that case I shall take my leave. Have a pleasant afternoon, Selena, Murtagh."

As soon as the king was gone I let go of Murtagh and gave him a firm look. "Sweetie, what did mama say about repeating things you hear?"

Murtagh shifted uncomfortably. "Not to."

"That's right," I said as I tapped his nose. "Now I'll let you go this time, but next time you're going to be in trouble. Okay?"

Murtagh nodded even though his eyes glittered in insurgence. I couldn't help but get the feeling that this wasn't the last time I would be having one of these talks with him...

Day 20 of Gnirps, 372 AR

I received a letter from Morzan today. He says he and Aderes are well and can't wait to come home. I showed the letter to Murtagh and he went ecstatic. He even insisted on sleeping with it though why I don't know. Must be a child thing.

Day 33 of Gnirps, 372 AR

I took Murtagh out to the forest today for a picnic. He had fun chasing the butterflies around and played with Isha a bit. Then we had our lunch by the river and then went swimming. Finally I carried him home as he tired himself out from such a long and active day. My silly little Murtagh.

Day 45 of Gnirps, 372 AR

Another letter from Morzan. Says he's doing fine and should be home soon. I can't wait.

Day 67 of Gnirps, 372 AR

Haven't heard from Morzan in some time. I hope he and Aderes are okay.

Day 7 of Remmus, 372 AR

I wish Morzan would come home. I can't help but get the feeling something bad is going to happen. Triannon says its just nerves but I think it's something more.

Day 11 of Remmus, 372 AR

Murtagh hasn't stopped crying all night. I've done everything I thought of to please him but he just won't stop! Right now Triannon is holding him for me since I need a break. I just don't know what to do for him!

Later - Hour 4 of the Moon

He finally stopped crying. Sleeping quietly in my bed right now. I still don't know why he was crying for so long. Triannon suspects that he was simply upset over something but I don't know how. Perhaps it has something to do with Morzan? Dear gods I hope not.

Day 12 of Remmus, 372 AR


Aderes is dead.

I just heard the news from Morzan. He came back today, looking like he has aged ten years in the past weeks. I don't know what to make of this since it seems unreal. Aderes, dead? Rude, obnoxious, lazy Aderes? The overgrown lizard whose arrogance could fill an entire country? Aderes dead...

I think I need to lie down.

Day 15 of Remmus, 372 AR

Morzan has locked himself in his room. He won't come out no matter what I say. I can't begin to imagine how he must feel losing Aderes. He told me once that Aderes was like the other half of him. To lose half your soul... it seems so horrible.

Day 17 of Remmus, 372 AR

The king came to see Morzan today. He actually got to go into his room, something that no one has been able to do. I don't know what they talked about but when the king left a few hours later, Morzan came out of his room. He looks half-dead. He hasn't said anything to me only went to sleep on my bed with Murtagh next to him.

Day 20 of Remmus, 372 AR

Morzan left yesterday and hasn't been back. I worry about his state of mind thanks to losing Aderes. Triannon says that she'll send some guards out to find him but I don't think that will help much.

Day 23 of Remmus, 372 AR


Morzan came back today drunk.

He's very nasty when he's drunk you know. He was swearing at everyone and destroying anything he could get his hands on. Then he dragged me off to our room and made love to me roughly. I'm still sore even though it was hours ago.

I asked Triannon to keep Murtagh with her for protection. I don't trust Morzan around him when he's in this... state.

I really wish Aderes were still alive.

Day 35 of Remmus, 372 AR

He won't stop drinking.

Morzan won't stop drinking. It seems that everyday he is drinking something with alcohol in it. I worry over his mental and physical health from this. I know he is hurting over Aderes but this really isn't the way to deal with the pain.

I think it's time that we sat down and talked.

Day 37 of Remmus, 372 AR

He won't listen to me! We got into a huge argument yesterday over his drinking. I can't remember everything we said but the end results were him storming away while I collapsed in tears. Why won't he listen to me? Can't he see I just want to help him? Why can't he understand?

Day 40 of Remmus, 372 AR

Morzan came to me tonight. He didn't say anything, simply crawled into my bed and held me close. Then he did something shocking.

He started crying.

He cried into my chest as I held him, whispering words of comfort and stroking his hair. I don't know how long this went on but when he finally stopped it was dawn. Morzan fell asleep then, and I've just been sitting here watching over him.

Day 43 of Remmus, 372 AR

Morzan told me it was an ambush that killed Aderes. He says that his troops turned out to be Varden members who ambushed him when he was alone. He couldn't fight them all and would have died if Aderes, rude, arrogant, lazy Aderes, hadn't protected him. Aderes died protecting his Rider.

Oh, sweet Aderes...

Day 50 of Remmus, 372 AR

Murtagh asked me today where Aderes was. I told him that he went away, far away and we won't see him for some time. I'm afraid we both started crying then and we didn't stop until we fell asleep.

Day 60 of Remmus, 372 AR

Morzan is getting steadily worse each day. More darker, more violent and less the man I know and love. He's changing into a stranger and I can't stop it. Oh Aderes, what am I going to do?

Day 73 of Remmus, 372 AR

Morzan says he is leaving again. He says he is going to track down the bastards who killed Aderes and won't stop until they're all dead. While I can't deny him revenge, I also can't help but get the feeling that this won't really help him either.

Day 1 of Nmutua, 372 AR

The start of a new season and Morzan is still gone. I wonder where he is...

Day 22 of Nmutua, 372 AR

I received a letter from Morzan today. He says he is well and will be home soon. Somehow this doesn't make me feel any better.

Day 37 of Nmutua, 372 AR

Morzan returned today.

Dear Gods, he has changed.

His eyes are darker, tainted and empty of that fire that made him who he was. He's colder to me now, and won't even pick up Murtagh like he used too. I feel like I'm looking at a stranger, and not my husband. He doesn't even talk to me the same way.

Oh Morzan, what have you become?

Day 44 of Nmutua, 372 AR

Morzan wants me to come back with him to court. He says he needs me to spy on the other Riders and gather information on his enemies. When I asked him why he slapped me and said not to question him.

Since I can't bring Murtagh with me, I have asked Triannon and Tornac to take care of him. They agreed and promised that he will be fine. I'm a bit nervous about leaving my son alone; this will be the first time I've done so. I'm not sure if I can resist the urge of running back to him when I get to court but I will try. I don't need to give Morzan another reason to get angry.

Day 50 of Nmutua, 372 AR

The court is filled with aristocrats who smile at you pleasantly with cold and judging eyes. They can be kind and helpful one minute, and will stab you in the back the next. Power is all that matters, and it seems that everyone will do whatever it takes to get it. As the wife of Morzan, I've got to deal with these people now on a daily bases. I don't want to but I have to because my husband is now one of these people.

It's funny. Just last year we were laughing and joking with Aderes, and now suddenly we're in the king's court trying take down people I've never even met before. My life has changed in a flash; in a simple death of one dragon my life has collapsed.

Yeah. Funny how it all turns out.

Day 70 of Nmutua, 372 AR

Morzan says I'm doing rather well as his spy. I've been able to flirt my way with men and charm my way with women. I've grown good at lying and hiding in the shadows, listening to others unnoticed. The magic and fighting Morzan taught me comes in handy when getting rid of unwanted attention.

I've become the perfect spy for my husband, but I feel that I have failed him as a wife.

Day 86 of Nmutua, 372 AR

The days change and soon it will be a new season.

I haven't seen Murtagh in so long. I want to ask Morzan when I can visit him but I'm afraid to. I don't understand him anymore, and I never know what he's going to do next. Morzan truly has become a stranger to me.

Day 7 of Retniw, 372 AR

Morzan says I can visit Murtagh on his birthday but that is all. That's not as long as I want but it's better than nothing.

Day 15 of Retniw, 372 AR

Murtagh has grown so big! He's so beautiful, my child, my baby boy. I don't think I have ever been happier than when I saw my son playing in his room, his clothes and face dirty.

"Murtagh?" I whispered as I stood in his doorway.

Murtagh looked up and stared at me silently. I held my breath as he studied me critically before asking slowly, "Mama?"

I nodded as tears streamed down my face and held my arms out. "Yes, sweetie it's me. It's mommy."

"Mama!" Murtagh yelped and ran up to me, throwing his arms around me and hugging me back just as tightly.

I don't know how long we sat there with our arms wrapped around one another, but eventually Triannon showed up and said, "Welcome back, milady."

I smiled at her and stood up with Murtagh in my arms. "Hello, Triannon. It's good to be back."

"And it's good to have you back," Triannon said and I knew she meant it.

I spent the entire day with Murtagh. We played games, talked, walked around the estate and so much more. I think the last time I laughed and smiled this much was when Aderes was still alive, and Morzan was normal.

Eventually though the day came to an end, and after putting Murtagh to bed I found Morzan waiting for me in the hall. We said nothing as we returned to the palace and the life I now lead.

Day 25 of Retniw, 372 AR

I am twenty today. For my birthday Morzan gave me a small dagger with my name written on it in the Ancient Language. I thanked him quietly before returning to my room to cry my eyes out. I miss Murtagh so much that it hurts. I miss Aderes, my home, my old life and everything that came with it.

And most of all, I miss my old Morzan.

Day 42 of Retniw, 372 AR

I killed a man today.

It was a courtier, a man that Morzan sent me to spy on. He was drunk and demanding, trying to force me to lay with him. Finally he resorted to violence to get his way and I had no option but to defend myself. With the small dagger Morzan gave me, I rammed it right through his ribs and into his heart.

My favorite blue gown is now stained a permanent purple from the red blood that spilled all over me. There are bite marks all across my pale skin, and my lips are swollen from rough kisses. And my dagger, my beautiful dagger, is forever stained with the blood of that man.

I killed a man today, and I don't think I'll ever forget it.

Day 67 of Retniw, 372 AR

Morzan says that when the new year starts I can return to Norwood Estate. I can spend the next two seasons with our son before I have to come back with him to court.

I can't wait for the new year.

Day 1 of Gnirps, 373 AR

Today I go home to my son. I can't wait to see Murtagh, can't wait to hold him and play with him. I just can't wait to be with my baby.

Day 4 of Gnirps, 373 AR

I've started on cleaning up my garden since its overgrown with weeds, plants and grass. Murtagh declared that he will help me, and even Isha has been helping by eating the insects. My little helpers spent the whole day with me in garden before we retired to a long bath and a giant meal before bed. I can't remember being so happy over being something so simple as gardening.

Day 17 of Gnirps, 373 AR

I haven't seen Morzan since he sent me home. I wonder what he's doing and where he could be.

Day 29 of Gnirps, 373 AR

I sent a letter to Garrow and Marian today. I hope to hear from them soon since I miss them.

Day 47 of Gnirps, 373 AR

Morzan stopped by briefly today.

At first I didn't know he was here since all he did was stand in the shadows watching Murtagh and I. But finally he stepped out and I saw something flash in his eyes. I don't what it was because it was gone in a blink and he was his usual cold self once more.

"I'll be leaving for the rest of the season," he said lowly as he met my eyes coolly. "But I'll be back before the third season rolls around. Be ready to leave then."

I nodded in understanding and he turned to leave, ready to walk away as usual.

But then Murtagh spoke up.

"Daddy?" Murtagh called in his soft little voice.

Morzan paused and looked over his shoulder to stare at Murtagh coldly. "What?"

In response Murtagh smiled, smiled brightly and with as much love as a two-year-old could muster. "I love you."

With those three simple words I saw something change in Morzan's eyes. For a moment, just a brief moment, I saw my old Morzan staring back at me. The one I fell in love with, the one who I still love. But then it was gone, he was gone and it was simply Murtagh and I once more.

Day 63 of Gnirps, 373 AR

I finally got a letter back from my brother. Apparently I am now the aunty to a baby boy named Roran, after the God of Storms and Weather. It turns out that my brother and Marian are in Caravhall, and now owns a farm in the country. They even made me a small map on how to get there if I ever want to pay a visit. For some reason I felt the urge to trace the map in my diary and burned the letter. I don't know why, but something told me that it was important that no one know where Garrow and his family live. Strange…

Day 1 of Remmus, 373 AR

Only one season left before I must leave Murtagh again. I pray this season goes by slowly.

Day 12 of Remmus, 373 AR

It doesn't feel like it, but it has been one year since Aderes died. I still miss him dearly and I know Murtagh does too. And Morzan... well just look what happened to him.

I wonder what Aderes must think of all this, wherever he is now anyway. Actually, I wonder what things would have turned out if Aderes had lived. Probably different, better than the way things are now.

Day 27 of Remmus, 373 AR

Today Murtagh asked me why his daddy doesn't love him anymore.

To say I was shocked would be an understatement. For a few minutes all I could do was stare at my son in silence. Finally, when Murtagh started crying, I came back to my senses and quickly comforted my son. I whispered that his daddy did love him that he always had and always would love him no matter what. I told him that daddy was just different now, and probably wasn't going to be the way he was before. I told him that no matter what happened, no matter how daddy treated him, that he would always love him. Even when it didn't seem like it.

By the end of my words I'm afraid I began to cry too. Soon we were just hugging one another, crying for the man that we both loved and lost.

Day 45 of Remmus, 373 AR

My garden is blooming once more. The flowers, plants and grass are healthy again. Everything looks wonderful, beautiful, and I'm very proud of it. I'm very proud of my little helpers as well. Murtagh and Isha were a lot of help, and I'm thankful I have them.

Day 63 of Remmus, 373 AR

The third season is approaching.

Soon it will be time to leave Murtagh again.

I dread that day every minute of my life.

Day 1 of Nmutua, 373 AR

Morzan has come for me. It is time to leave and be his spy once more.

Day 19 of Nmutua, 373 AR

For once in a long time, Morzan has spent the night with me. I don't know why but he came to me tonight, silent and sad, and made love to me with gentleness he hasn't showed in a long time. And in our passion he called me something he hasn't said in a long, long time.

Aiedail. He called me his beautiful Aiedail.

Day 41 of Nmutua, 373 AR

I'm pregnant.

It's odd but I'm not really surprised by the news. I think I knew, in that moment of passion I shared with my husband, the making of our third child. This baby in me, I can feel it growing as strange as that sounds. I know this child will be born come next year, I just know it.

Now how to tell Morzan...

Day 48 of Nmutua, 373 AR

I decided not to tell him. I know this is stupid of me but I don't want Morzan to know yet. It's just another one of those feelings I seem to keep getting. I can't tell Morzan yet and I won't.

But I swear I will eventually. He deserves to know about his own child after all.

Day 62 of Nmutua, 373 AR

The days go by and my baby grows each day. I find myself missing Murtagh and my home more and more every day. After spending so much time with him again I find it hard to be without him once more. I wish the season would end already.

Day 76 of Nmutua, 373 AR

Morzan says I can return to the manor to visit Murtagh on his birthday, just like I did last year. This gives me something to look forward too at least.

Day 10 of Retniw, 373 AR

Five more days until I see my Murtagh again. I can hardly wait.

Day 15 of Retniw, 373 AR

Murtagh... oh I'm so happy to see him again. It feels so nice to hold him in my arms and to simply know that he is here. One day really isn't enough time for a mother to see her child.

Day 25 of Retniw, 373 AR

Twenty-one today. But somehow I feel much older than my real age.

Day 47 of Retniw, 373 AR

Today I asked myself why I stay with Morzan.

It was a completely random question but it just came to me while I was watching him speak to some courtiers. I don't really understand the reason why I stay with him since he is hardly the man I knew anymore. But yet, despite the stranger he has become, despite the yelling, hitting, drunken rages, painful confession and all he has put me through, I still stay by him.

I guess it's because deep down, underneath the mask he is wearing now, lurks the man I fell in love with. The man I made a vow to stand by no matter what.

Until death do us part, I will stay with Morzan.

Day 68 of Retniw, 373 AR

Today Morzan took me home to see Murtagh. I don't know why but I'm happy to see my son again. We spent the whole playing in the snow, just Murtagh and I. But I think Morzan was watching us because occasionally I could feel eyes on me, eyes watching me with a burning intensity that made me uncomfortable.

Morzan, what are you up to?

Day 81 of Retniw, 373 AR

Dear Gods, he knows.

Morzan knows I'm pregnant.

He told me today that he knows; that he's known since it happened. He says that he didn't mention it though since he wanted me to bring it up first. But since I haven't he finally just decided to tell me. I don't know why he wanted me to confess first but I have a bad feeling about this. I have a bad feeling about all of this.

Day 11 of Gnirps, 374 AR

He hurt him.

Morzan hurt Murtagh.

He threw his sword, his bloody sword at our son! Dear gods he could have died from such a wound. It was only luck that the healers saved him, only luck that he lived.

Why, why did he do this?! What was the point, the purpose of hurting our child? He had no reason, no right to touch Murtagh. He can hit me all he wants but the moment the thought of hurting Murtagh entered his mind means war. I swear I won't stand for this. I won't let him hurt my son...

Day 12 of Gnirps, 374 AR

Today I confronted Morzan about what he did to Murtagh.

He didn't say anything to me as I yelled at him and slapped him. He just let me vent out my anger and fear on him. He just stood there and took it, watching me the whole time with such sad eyes. Finally, after my anger died down, my husband took my hand and kissed my cheek.

"I love you, Selena," he whispered in my ear as his tears slid down my neck. "I love you, I love Murtagh, and I love our unborn child. And I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Aiedail..."

Then he was gone and I was alone once again.

Day 23 of Gnirps, 374 AR

My children cannot be raised here in such an environment. While I would like to believe Morzan's words, I know that I must be logical about this. The chances of him hurting either of my children are much too great. I have to get them out of here while Morzan is gone. I have to for both their sakes.

Day 26 of Gnirps, 374 AR

Murtagh cannot be moved yet. I'm running out of time.

Day 30 of Gnirps, 374 AR

I left today for Caravhall. I had to leave Murtagh behind since he's still healing. But I have a plan on how to get him out of the estate. After I get to Caravhall and give birth to my baby I will return to get Murtagh, who will be healed and able to travel. Then I will take him to Caravhall and leave him with his younger sibling.

But first I have to get to Caravhall.

Day 43 of Gnirps, 374 AR

I met a strange fortuneteller today.

She said her name is Angela, and she told me my fortune. It was all a bit disturbing to be honest, and it is a good thing I don't believe in this type of stuff or else my family would be in trouble.

Day 56 of Gnirps, 374 AR

Made it to Caravhall. Finally found Garrow and his family. Need to rest now.

Day 60 of Gnirps, 374 AR

Garrow hasn't asked me why I'm here alone or where my family is. All he did was agree when I asked him to take in my children for me.

It's times like these that I'm glad I have a brother like him.

Day 73 of Gnirps, 374 AR

The baby is coming.

Can't think, can't write. The pain hurts so much.

Day 78 of Gnirps, 374 AR

I had twins.

A boy and girl.

The boy lived but the girl was stillborn.

I'm not surprised I had twins since my father was a twin. But I am surprised that my daughter died. There was no reason for her to die, no reason at all. But she did. My only daughter is dead.

At least my son lived. Now I have two sons, two little boys.

I named the boy Eragon and the girl Laiyla.

We buried my daughter in the front yard and held a small funeral for her.

Now I need to sleep.

Day 80 of Gnirps, 374 AR

I've written a letter each for Murtagh and Eragon and asked Garrow to give it to them when they turn eighteen. I've also made an extra copy for Murtagh just in case I can't get him back here to Caravhall. I've asked Garrow not to tell either boy about Morzan or myself. I don't want them to know until they are old enough to really understand my choice.

Now I must pack and leave soon. Murtagh needs me.

Day 82 of Gnirps, 374 AR

I held Eragon for the last time today. I've been rather distant with my son since he was born but only because I don't want to get attached to someone I have to leave. But holding him then, in my arms and close to my chest, I realized that it was impossible not to form a bond with him.

Eragon is my son, my youngest child. We formed a bond the minute I found out I was with child. There was no way I couldn't possible not love him as much as I love Murtagh. As much as I love my other two deceased children.

I love you Eragon, and don't you ever forget that.

Day 16 of Nmutua, 374 AR

I made it home only to discover that Morzan is dead. He was killed a few weeks before when rebels snuck into the palace to steal something.


My Morzan is dead.

I can't help but feel like part of me has died as well.

Day 21 of Nmutua, 374 AR

I can't stop crying.

I can't help but cry because I miss him so much. It hurts, dear Gods it hurts. Morzan, why did you go? Why did you leave me alone? Why?

Day 26 of Nmutua, 374 AR

At night I dream of Morzan when we first met. By the river all those years ago. Just the two of us. I dream of the way he smiled at me or the way he would laugh at one of my corny jokes. I dream of his eyes, both a different color but bright with passion as we made love. I dream of his touch, so warm and protective. I dream of Morzan as he sat on top of Aderes with his sword in hand, my dark hero with the fiery eyes.

Oh, Morzan... why did you leave me?

Day 35 of Nmutua, 374 AR

I am dying.

The healers confirmed it today, but can't figure out what's wrong with me. But I think I know what's killing me. My broken heart. I love Morzan so much, even after he changed, that the idea of living without him kills me. I can't live without him here. I just can't.

Day 38 of Nmutua, 374 AR

I asked Triannon and Tornac to take care of Murtagh for me. I can't take him to live with his brother and can't send someone to take him in case someone discovers Eragon. I can't allow that. I can't allow the king to know that Morzan has another son.

But even though I can't give him a better life, I just know Murtagh will be okay. He's strong, much stronger than Morzan and I ever was. He'll survive the challenges waiting for him. I just know it.

Still, I feel guilty about leaving them. I can only hope that they live a good, full life each. And I hope that they find one another. Siblings should be together no matter what. I hope Murtagh and Eragon find each other in the future and forge a bond; one like the bond Garrow and I share. I guess I can only hope.

But still... I'm sorry that I'm leaving you both alone. I'm sorry Murtagh. I'm sorry Eragon.

I'm so sorry...

Day 40 of Nmutua, 374 AR

Murtagh came to visit me today. I hugged him close and sung him a lullaby my mother used to sing me. Then I told him how much I love him and that I will always be with him. Then Triannon took him away and I know that was the last time I will ever see my Murtagh.

Later - Hour 6 of the Moon

I've been thinking about my life. My family and my friends. My mistakes and my achievements. Everything I've done and the consequence of my choices. I've thought it all over and realize that, while my life was never perfect, it was fulfilling. There were times when it was hard and times when it was easy. There were times when it seemed like nothing would get better, and times when it was almost paradise. I lived how I thought was fit, how I thought was the right way.

And you know what? I don't regret any of it.


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

Then check out the pairing to White RosesShattered Ice by blizzardstar2000.