At some point in your life, you'll notice that everyone around you is living a lie.
Nevva Winter realized this at a very young age. The people of Quillan were all living lies, every last one of them. Their lives were pointless, mediocre, a never-ending routine of senseless doings. And in trying to cover up this fact, they would gamble away what useless nothings they had on the Quillan Games.
Her father had lived a lie. Her father, her adored but stupid father, who had tried to give her a better life, but had gambled away his own in the process. Her mother had lived a lie as well. Her mother, her beloved but weak mother, who had died because she could not deal with what her husband had done. And Nevva had been shuffled along down the path they had wanted her to take, the path of education, yet at the price of her freedom. It was because of them that she was living a lie, paying off the debt that her deceased father could not, but yet it was also because of everyone else: all the others who were forced to live their lies out, all the others who were forcing her to do the very thing they were because they had nothing else to do. It was an endless circle of lies, mounting and springing and sprouting from each other, to the brink of insanity.
There was no point to it. There was no point to any of it. There had to be a bigger picture to all this. Nevva clung to this hope desperately as she led out the dull pattern that was the life others had created for her, clung to it as though it were her only lifeline, which she sometimes felt as though it was: the one thing that prevented her from sinking to the very bottom.
But then he came.
He was anything but a lie. He was nothing but truth. And he was exactly what she needed.
He saw her intelligence immediately, saw her purpose and potential, saw her desire and her soul. He shared with her his truths, the truths, the truths that she had longed for her whole life, the truths that genuinely made sense. And so she followed him, for he provided what others had not, what others could not. To her, they were invincible together, because they were truth, and truth could not be pushed away forever, it would always win in the end: because that was the way it was meant to be.
It went on this way for some time. He was more powerful than she, but it was still a shared arrangement, still a bond between them. He relied on her, and she him. He was her partner, her companion, her truth.
Yet then the emotions came, the spiraling and twisting emotions: the emotions that – even though she was special and gifted and talented, she could not escape – for a small part of her was still the average and vulnerable human. And so came the feelings. The attachment. The infatuation. The – dare she say it – love.
She had developed feelings for him.
She was attracted to her provider.
She lusted for the one who had shared everything with her.
She had fallen in love with her truth.
However you put it, Nevva Winter was hopelessly in love with Saint Dane.
At first, she tried to deny it to herself. She was brilliant, she was dexterous, she was a phenomenon. She did not have such silly, flighty emotions such as this lust that she felt for him. No. She was above all this. She was.
But her feelings became too strong to even try and pretend to herself that they did not exist. So next, she tried to get rid of them.
She tried to keep herself away from him for long periods of time, with the hope that by separating herself from him, her feelings would disappear – but isolating herself away from him only made her long for him more.
She attempted to become infatuated by another man, would stare endlessly into their eyes as she flumed from territory to territory – but it was always his pale blue eyes staring back at her.
She forced herself to think back on her parents' relationship, on how stupidly her mother had become so dependant on her father. Nevva told herself firmly she did not want to be so ridiculously inane – but at the same time another voice in her head told her this was different, she was smarter than her mother, her mother who was too weak to live on by herself.
She could not deny her feelings, and she could not get rid of them. Nevva didn't see what else she could do: she concealed what she felt for him. She buried her desire deep inside, hid the adoration flowing in her veins, worked hard to not let him see anything behind her cool, detached mask. Because she knew, whatever these stupid emotions did to her, that he could not know. He had made it quite clear to her that he found humans and their petty emotions dumb and amusing, that they were inferior beings, and that the two of them were far above that. She was held high in his eyes, and she did not want to destroy that by revealing such human tendencies, such utter weakness.
So she went on with her life, just as she had done before, remaining as neutral as possible. It was very difficult at times, but Nevva was talented, and she put her talents to good use, perhaps a better and more important use than she had all her life. Yet things were changed in their relationship; no longer could she merely meld into one truth with him, now a part of her had to revert to her old ways of slight deception.
She had seen many territories now, and had seen many lies. Even when not in Quillan, everyone around her – with the exception of her love – was living a lie. And though she tried to pretend otherwise, Nevva herself was – yet again – no different.