Morgana took off her bangle and placed it in her dresser then slowly prepared for bed. She had dismissed Gwen early, concerned that her personal servant would notice her distraction.
The strange distorted images of her dream the night before fascinated and frightened her. She gave a small wry smile. It had been nearly two years since she'd last had a nightmare; a prophetic dream, she corrected herself.
Since Morgause had given her the ensorcelled bangle that allowed her the luxury of a full-night's sleep, she had worn it almost permanently. She'd had it on during the year she'd spent with her sister in the study of magic. She'd had it on when she'd summoned the dead to aid Cenred's invasion. She'd had it on... she paused at the stab of pain that coursed through her, even though the conversation was in her own mind... she'd had it on when that murderous betrayer had poisoned her.
She looked out the window at the black icy cold of winter; the fingers of frost caressing the pane, and drew her fur-lined robe closer around her. It was times like these that she felt so alone. The unusually-harsh winter kept Morgause stranded on the Isle of the Blessed. Her sister's magic did not work as well in winter for reasons that Morgana had not understood. While she waited for spring, she was stuck in a Kingdom surrounded by enemies. Her dangerous charade had so far succeeded in fooling everyone. Everyone except Merlin, that is.
She stilled the vicious flicker of anger that tore through her as she thought about him and what he'd done. Anger was not her friend. She was supposed to be relieved and happy to be home. Obsessive anger over a servant would be noticed and the last thing she wanted was to be noticed.
Their social positions had so far protected her: no one would believe a servant over the King's beloved Ward. But she could also not move against him without attracting attention and suspicion. Not from Uther who doted on her, of course. But Arthur and some others may start asking some difficult questions if she was seen wasting her time on eliminating someone so far beneath her.
The images that had tried to break through the protective magic of the bangle tapped insistently at her brain. There was something she needed to know and only one way to find out what it was.
She climbed beneath the warm sheets, the heated brick Gwen placed in her bed having done its work. She sighed in pleasure as her ice-cold feet thawed. Then she closed her eyes and willed herself to sleep.
And woke up ten minutes later with a sharp intake of breath.
She had wanted to know, had pursued the knowledge and so she had no one else to blame. The question was: what was she going to do about it? How could she stop her nightmare from coming true?