There has been a fix I wrote the orig on a whim, thanks to my reviewer who helped me out with the finer points. Note to self: Remember to take book to work on lunch can look up characters. Ugh I even put one of my other's names in there, I am all mixed up. Plz to forgives!!!

The book is Kristens, the idea of the end is mine I needed it. If I get enough reviews I'll do a poll to see who wants the story to end in their way. My disclaimer: It isn't mine don't sue me. I just wanted to play

Grandmother was sad to know that those who had intrusted her with their lives in the white world were brutaly murdered by the awakened sleepers. Though the purpose to which their lives fufilled, giving their essence to the greater cause, was nobel indeed she had had to keep their fates a secret from themselves and their screams of pain were a weight on Grandmothers heart. Their horrid corpes looked to her with hollowed out eyes and gaping mouths loose in an eternal scream that was forever silenced. The Girl and she were within Grandmothers sheild and not prey to the hunger of the sleepers but even the little girl grimaced as the sleepers dropped the dry husks of the once living people to the hard ground. She let her tears of sadness drop from her eyes, and to the ground but held her head high for in the end their deaths meant the rebirth of Second Empire.

Karigan woke to the sound of her own scream, sweat sticking her covers to her body her nightshirt drenched. The horror of her nightmare followed her as her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the moon seeping through the arrow slit of her room's only window. She sighed as she threw off the covers swung her feet over her bed and placed them on the cool stone. She lay her head in her hands as she tried to forget the horrid images of people with dead trees tattooed upon their hands screaming and writhing in pain as a dark figure loomed over them sucking the life from their bodies. She had seen the grandmother, the one Fergal had seen last year watching with what looked like remorse in her eyes. As time passed in wakefulness the nightmare faded from her memories, though the room was still stifling.

Karigan grimaced as she tugged on her breeches, sword, and boots. She quickly scooped up her shortcoat in case she felt a need for it later and strode as quickly as she could through the castle to the outside where the cool night air awaited her. She breathed deeply the smell of drying laundry, and dry dirt as she strode across the servant's grounds over to the fencing field. She quickly flung her shortcoat to the side and pulled out her sword. As she began to go through the patterns she practiced every day she thought of the dying people and her dreams but the memories were faded like a nightmare, though somewhere deep down she felt that they were true. When she finished her last sweep of the pattern she sheathed her sword with a sigh and let out a strangled cry. She was tied, weeks of terrible filled nightmares and the inability to sleep had left her worn and disgruntled. Still there had been no reply to the kings message to Allen at the wall which also meant no reply to her apology. She had a mind to jump on condor and demand a response from him just so she could settle her heart on that matter.

When she turned to where she had tossed her shortcoat she found she was no longer alone in the practice field. Holding her coat stood King Zachary in nothing but breaches, boots and an untucked nightshirt much like herself. His hair was tousled and his face gaunt, it seemed he had had as many a sleepless nights as she herself had had. She wanted so much to reach out and stroke the lines of his eyes, his hands, and his lips, but such thoughts were fruitless as always. He was her king, and she the servant, even though they both loved one another like any man and woman ever could. As she walked forward she schooled her features as best she could and nodded to Fastion who stood behind Zachary a silent guardian and observer.

As Zachary handed her her cloak and opened his mouth to speak Karigan interrupted, "Your highness, I did not mean to disturb you. By your leave, I will leave you to the yard alone." She took the cloak and bowed stiffly to him averting her eyes from his as he accepted the words. She thought at the moment she would have been able to get away with that, but it seemed that he was not satisfied with that small of amount of civility. His fingers wrapped around her wrist and yanked her back a step, without apology he released her hand lifted her chin so that he could look her in the eyes. This was a mistake for she saw in those eyes a depth of want that frightened her.

"Are you well Karigan?" He asked her softly, a simple enough question.

"Quite well your highness, I thank you."

"Are you angry with me?" A slightly dangerous and purposeful question.

"Of course not your highness." A simple response with no room for further conversation.

"Will you answer me a truth if I ask you a question?" A Very dangerous question.

"I will answer anything my king may ask of me highness." A dodging answer.

"Do you love me?" The question she dreaded among all questions he could ask of her. She loved him, yes. Of course she loved him, she loved him as a woman may love a man, as a wife would love a husband. She wanted to embrace him, to be embraced, to be loved in life and in bed by him. A dangerous question indeed.

"Of course highness. I love king and country." With that she bowed, "By your leave I must find my bed it is quite late and I am very tired." She left as quickly as she could and was relieved not to be restrained.