DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. Not that I wouldn't love to, but... no. XD Also, the letter from von Glower is straight from the game and I didn't write it.

A/N: this is a fic I started a few months back not really having a clear idea of where this was going, so I posted it on my LJ at first. Now that I have a much clearer picture of where this fic and the following ones (yes, this one is the first of a series of fanfictions – I'm THAT obsessed with GK) will go, I guess posting it here as well wouldn't hurt, just in case there is still someone out there interested in reading GK fics.

Well, I know for a fact that there is at least someone who does, and it happens to be the same shady individual who got me into GK in the first place. Seems like your counter revenge turned out to be more effective than I expected, VampireNaomi, but you can be certain that there will be a counter revenge to the counter revenge someday when you least expect it. Be very afraid. XD

Okay, enough with my babbling and on to the fic.

Grace cursed under her breath as she ran through the maze that was the theatre's basement, closely followed by Leber – who, she faintly noticed, clearly wasn't too used to run anymore, at least judging from the way he panted. He seemed to be even more out of shape than Mosely, and for a moment she wished she had him to help her out instead of that guy. She just hoped he wouldn't collapse before they could find the Black Wolf: he was the one with the gun after all.

But will Gabriel be free from the curse if Leber shoots von Glower now?

That was a million dollars question, she thought with a grimace as she stopped just for a moment to slam a door open and run in the next room. She had been pretty sure that he would be if everything went according to the plan, with von Glower turning into a wolf in front of everyone and Leber immediately shooting him: it was how the trap was supposed to work, and Gabriel had helped setting it up – he would have had a hand in his death, and he would be free.

But the plan hadn't gone as it should have, and von Glower had managed to escape the trap, at least the way it was supposed to work – how could she guess he could just jump down the balcony like that? – so she couldn't be completely sure that killing him now could serve to free Gabriel from the curse. What if it didn't? Then they would take away any chance he could have to turn back to normal by killing von Glower in his place… given that it wasn't the black wolf to find them first, she thought. How many chances could there be that the beast was waiting for them to come, ready to jump from behind any corner? And what if it had managed to make it outside already?

And what if you run into Gabriel instead? What if Leber ends up shooting him?

Grace viciously shook her head to chase away the thought as she turned another corner, still followed closely by Leber, and she felt a pang of anger at the thought. Why couldn't he just stick to the plan? Why did he just have to put himself in danger like that? After that mess was over she would give him the scolding of his life, she decided, getting ready to turn another corner… then she froze as a snarling sound reached her ears.

Leber almost bumped into her, but she barely noticed – all she could think was that she could hear the snarls of two wolves, coming from the furnace room. Gabriel and von Glower had to be in the both there, she realized. So maybe she could still fix everything and make sure Gabriel would break the curse on himself by actively participating to von Glower's killing!

"This way!" she almost shouted, reaching to grab Leber's jacket and literally dragging that mountain of a man along, tiny as she was. "In the furnace room!"

Her words seemed to make Leber's cop instinct kick in, for he finally began running for real, even getting ahead of her as they both went into the furnace room… and then halted right past the door. Grace's already racing heart began beating even more wildly at the sight in front of her – a huge black wolf crouching defensively by the opposite wall, fangs bared, a threatening growl coming from its throat as it kept its flaming eyes fixed on them. No, Grace thought, not on them – on the doorframe behind them: it wanted to escape, not to attack, but it didn't dare to try getting past them because of the gun Leber was shakily pointing against it.

Another growl reached her ears, and Grace turned to see another huge wolf in front of the wall at their right, a dark grey one – Gabriel. It was staring at the black one, growling, but still not attacking, probably sensing that the other wolf would be stronger and more experienced in fighting. Grace turned to Leber. "Shoot it – shoot the black one!" she cried out.

"Stay back!" Leber shouted, but he still didn't shoot, pointing his gun against Gabriel and von Glower alternatively. He was clearly afraid that if he shot one of them the other one would attack, and he was trying to determinate which wolf he should shoot first if he wanted to make it in time to shoot the other one before it attacked.

"Damn!" Grace muttered under her breath. She turned to look at Gabriel, and she saw that his gaze was no longer fixed on the black wolf – it was fixed on her, and she was relieved to see how intelligent, how human those eyes were. He could still recognize her, she thought, frowning a little as the grey wolf began shaking its head, still staring at her. He was trying to tell her something, but what…?

She slowly turned to her left, where he was tilting his head towards, to see the furnace in which the fire was roaring, and she suddenly knew what he wanted her to do – he wanted her to open it so that he could try pushing von Glower inside the furnace and to his death. She slowly nodded at Gabriel and stepped forward, reaching for the handle. The black wolf's snarls increased in volume and she paused, her heart skipping a beat, but it didn't attack and she dared to take yet another step, her hand almost touching the handle…

After that, everything happened so quickly that Grace barely had any time to realize what was going on. The black wolf seemed to somehow guess her intentions, for he finally made a desperate leap for the door. She heard Leber shouting, but before he could shoot Gabriel jumped as well. He and von Glower collided in mid air and fell on the ground heavily, howling and growling, fangs bared, locked in a vicious struggle.

Before she could think of anything, let alone do something, she felt someone grabbing her shoulder and pulling her back – Leber – and just a second later two gunshots exploded from the gun, deafening as they resounded in the small room. There was a loud yelp, and for a horrible instant Grace thought that he had just hit Gabriel, even killed him, but a second later she could see with utter relief the black wolf slumping on the ground, bleeding from some gunshot wound on its right side.

The grey wolf immediately tore itself off the black one and darted to the door, passing right between Leber's legs. Leber turned with its gun lifted and shot again, but missed. He tried to aim once more, but Grace immediately grabbed his forearm. "No, don't shoot! Let him go!" she exclaimed frantically, grabbing his forearm and making him miss again just a moment before the wolf turned a corner and disappeared from sight. One more howl resounded in the basement, then nothing more.

"What…?" Leber looked almost comically lost, staring at her as if she were insane. "What in the world…?"

Grace ignored him and walked back in the furnace room to make sure the black wolf was truly dead, and she took a step back when she saw no wolf – on the ground where the beast has fallen there was von Glower, unconscious and naked, bleeding profusely from two bulled wounds on his right side, just below the ribcage. Grace drew in a deep breath and took a step closer just as Leber went back into the furnace room as well.

"Mein Gott," he muttered, his skin an unhealthy ashen colour as he glanced down with widened eyes at the naked, bleeding man on the ground where the black wolf had been only moments before. "What happened?"

"Long story short, you shot a werewolf," Grace said, crouching next to von Glower and reaching to press a finger on his neck, and she cursed under her breath as she felt a heartbeat. It looked like the book she had found in Gabriel's library was telling the truth – a werewolf could only be killed if its heart or brain were damaged. The injury on von Glower's side looked extremely serious was bleeding profusely, but it hadn't damaged either and wouldn't kill him… and it would probably heal much more quickly than the usual human rate.

"A werewolf?" Leber was repeating weakly behind her, but Grace didn't even hear him. For a single moment she was tempted to just finish von Glower, but she quickly pushed away the thought. Tempting as it was, it could mean taking from Gabriel any possibility to break the curse upon himself: in order to be free, he had to have a hand in von Glower's death. Had he been killed by the gunshot while fighting against Gabriel, it would have probably been enough… but if she killed him now, Gabriel could be condemned, and she couldn't take risks. God, trying to do exactly as that book about werewolves said was a lot like having to obey a contract with something like a million provisions.

And what about Ludwig? He set up the trap in the theatre – if von Glower doesn't die here and now, he will never be free.

Grace bit her lower lip at the thought, but she eventually forced herself to ignore it. As much as it pained her denying Ludwig his eternal rest after all the help he had given her, it would mean condemning Gabriel… and that was something she couldn't allow it to happen. Besides, it could very well be that Ludwig's chances to be freed had vanished when von Glower had managed to escape from his seat and into the basement, technically getting away from the actual trap – whatever had happened next was beyond Ludwig's plans, and thus beyond his control or responsibility.

"I'm so sorry, Ludwig," she murmured to no one in particular before she got up slowly. "We must carry him away from here," she heard herself muttering, a plan forming in her head. She would bring him in Rittersberg, she decided, and keep him locked in the same dungeon where his father had been imprisoned centuries before. Then she would wait for Gabriel to show up – she could only hope that his instinct would draw him home, but after all he seemed to be still capable to think rationally even in his wolf form – and then… then he would deal with von Glower himself and put a end to that mess.

"You mean, in a hospital?" Leber seemed still lost, the gun dangling limply by his side – he looked everything like a kid waiting to wake up and find out it was all a bad dream.

"Oh, of course. Do you really want to explain to anyone in the hospital how come you shot a naked man? Or are you going to explain he was a wolf until five minutes ago and then hope they won't take you in as well?" she snapped, and Leber shut his mouth, clearly realizing that the only result he could get by explaining what happened would probably be losing his job and being sent in a mental health facility.

Good, Grace thought with some relief, he seemed willing to cooperate. She went on. "Look, trust me on this one – it's better for everyone if you just let me handle this. Just help me getting him outside and in the car. I'll explain you everything in due time if you want, but now-"

"Nein!" Leber almost shouted – he definitely looked like he needed to sit down, or have a drink. Maybe both. "I want to know… nothing more of this insanity. I help you take him away, and then I want you to… disappear from my life, ja? Nothing happened here," he added, and he looked like he was doing his best to believe it, refusing to even look at von Glower's still form.

Well, it was more than Grace could have hoped for. It was perfect. "Of course," she said, her mind working quickly to think of a way to get von Glower outside without anyone noticing. "There is a ventilation tunnel that leads to the street behind the theater," she finally said. "We can get through that to avoid being spotted. The car isn't very far, and it's dark outside. We could pretend he's not feeling well while dragging him."

"But he's naked," Leber said, unwillingly looking down at von Glower and shattering the reassuring illusion that he was just dreaming. "Someone could see you, and it's not so dark that they wouldn't notice…"

Grace thought for a few moments. "I'll fetch Gabriel's coat – it should cover him well enough."

"What?" Leber seemed alarmed. "You're not planning to leave me alone with him, right?"

Despite everything, she smirked a little. "Are you afraid?"

He gritted his teeth. "Fine," he almost growled, lifting his gun and aiming at von Glower's unconscious form, ready to shoot should he move. "Get that coat and come back here. Quick!"

Grace was out of the basement before he even finished speaking.

It was very early in the morning, barely dawn when someone knocked the door of Schloss Ritter. Gerde – who hadn't gotten a minute of sleep that night – immediately lifted her gaze form the book she had been reading. She put down the book and hastily got up from her desk, her heart beating somewhere in her throat – could it be Gabriel? Grace had called to that night to tell her that something had gone wrong with the trap, but she was in a rush and didn't go into details: she only asked her to stay up that night should Gabriel return.

And she very much hoped it was him to knock the door, she thought, reaching to open it. And indeed it was Gabriel, she realized with relief and some perplexity. Relief upon seeing that he was fine and that even though he looked kind of tired, had some mud stains on his face and torso and his hair was a mess he seemed much more healthy than he had in the past couple of months… and perplexity at realizing that he was naked, using few branches taken from some bush to keep his groin covered.

He gave her a sheepish smile. "Uh… hi, Gerde. Mind to let me in and give me some clothes before I tell you a funny story?"

A quick shower, some clothes, and quite a lot of coffee later, Gabriel's story turned out to not be that funny after all.

"So the trap didn't work," Gerde said with a worried frown as Gabriel took another sip of coffee.

"Looks like we underestimated the way a werewolf can jump. He landed like a cat or something," he said, scowling a little. "What I wonder if what the heck happened after I ran away and went back here. I don't think Friedrich- I mean, I don't think von Glower is dead. I would have turned back into human right away if he died, right? I had to wait for dawn instead, though being a wolf really comes in a hand when you have to get from Munich to Rittersberg on foot. I just hope Grace is alright."

"She is," Gerde immediately reassured him. "She called tonight to tell me to stay up in case you should return here. She didn't tell me much else other than that the trap hadn't worked, but she was perfectly fine.

Gabriel seemed immensely relieved. "Ah, great," he smiled before he stretched his arms a little. "Man, I'm sore."

"You seem to be doing better than you did in these past two months, though," Gerde pointed out, watching him intently.

"Well, yeah. I feel a lot better this morning," Gabriel admitted. "Perfectly fine, really. I stopped feeling sick after I actually turned into a wolf. Seems like all the drawbacks go away when the Change is complete. Pretty convenient."

"I see," Gerde bit her lower lip before she spoke again. ""What was it like? Being a wolf, I mean."

"Well, the change itself hurt like a bitch. And changing back isn't much better, with the bones and everything changing shape and direction…" he paused shuddered. "But once you're a wolf, it's not so bad," he admitted. He had felt so powerful, so aware of everything going on around him, so alive. "It's not like I want to stay like that," he added quickly as he saw Gerde's worried expression. "Once Grace gets here to explain what the heck happened, we'll think of some other plan to get me back to normal. But it wasn't as bad as I thought, I… was still myself. Mostly. I mean, I knew who I was and what I had to do. I could recognize Grace. I could understand what she spoke. I was afraid I'd turn into a complete beast, but looks like I didn't."

"Maybe it's the Ritter blood," Gerde suggested. "Perhaps it's what allowed you to keep control over yourself from the first time."

"Yeah, could be. Some more convenient stuff," he grinned a little and was about to add something else, but he was cut off by someone banging at the door.

"Gerde?" Grace's voice came from outside. "Gerde, it's me! Has Gabriel come back? Is he here?"

Gabriel grinned a little before he got up and went to open the door himself. "Guten Tag, Gracie. Coffee?" he asked nonchalantly, and he was about to add that she looked like she needed it – she was pale, with dark shades under her eyes and she looked more tired and anxious than he could remember seeing her – but before he could add anything else Grace's hand hit his face in a slap that made him stagger backwards with a yelp.


"This is for messing up and running around like that at the Opera!" Grace yelled, and Gabriel gave her an apologetic grin, still rubbing his cheek – fine, maybe he deserved it.

"Uh… yeah, sorry about that. I wasn't really thinking clearly."

"You weren't thinking at all, were you?" she snapped, but she couldn't keep the relief from showing in her voice. She sighed – well, after all maybe it had been better that he had sneaked on the stage: hadn't he been able to chase von Glower after he managed to hide in the basement, the black wolf could have managed to escape… and hell knew how they could get another chance to get him. "Anyway… some stuff happened after you left."

Gabriel nodded. "Von Glower is still alive," he said – it was a statement, not a question. "So the gunshots didn't kill him, eh?"

"No, but he was seriously injured and unconscious. I managed to drag him outside and in the car. He's here," she glanced up at his face to see him suddenly get a little paler "here in Rittersberg. I locked him in the dungeon, and Mr. Smith is guarding the door. Gabriel, I know it's not exactly something anyone would enjoy having to do, but…" she reached for something in her pocket – the Ritter dagger – and handed it to him. "It's the only thing to do."

A grim expression crossed Gabriel's features. "Yeah, I know," he said quietly, reaching to take the dagger. "Will you come with me, Gracie?"

"Of course."

Gabriel nodded and briefly waved at Gerde before he walked outside, followed by Grace. There were a few moments of silence as they began walking down the path that led to the small town below. "I hope I didn't screw up the Opera too badly," Gabriel finally spoke, clearly wanting to speak of something that wasn't the fact he was about to have to murder a man. "It would suck for your friend, it was his big chance."

Yes, Grace thought with a pang of guilt, she would have felt horrible if they ruined Georg's great occasion, but thankfully it hadn't happened. "It's alright," she said. "When I brought von Glower in the car to get here, I could ear the applause from outside. The actors kept going, and everyone thought they just had incredible special effects," she laughed a little at the thought. "And all newspapers report that it was a success. One of Wagner's best works, they say – masterfully interpreted."

Gabriel's expression brightened. "Oh, great! And, uh… what about the actor I taped to the chair?"

Grace chuckled. "They think it was some crazed fan. He couldn't see you clearly, and nobody suspects you. The guy is a tad shaken, but I bet he's loving the publicity he's getting now."

"Awesome. Last thing I need is more trouble."

"Yes. Speaking of that…" Grace turned serious again as they walked into Rittersberg's square. Gabriel followed her gaze, and while he couldn't see he was really surprised to see a small crowd of people outside the dungeon he certainly wasn't happy about it.

Are y'all here to see the show, ladies and gents? To see the hunter slaughter the big bad wolf? Will you tell the story to your grandchildren?

"Gabriel, are you alright?" Grace asked worriedly as she saw his expression.

"I don't like it, Gracie," Gabriel admitted under his breath as a few people turned to look at them- "The killing part."

She nodded. "Of course you don't. I'm sorry, but…"

"It's what I gotta do," Gabriel finished quietly. "I know."

"Herr Knight," Werner Huber walked up to him. "I assume you're here to finish that creature."

He seemed eager to see von Glower's blood spilled, and for a moment Gabriel felt almost disgusted before he remembered that the child whose killing had started his investigation was his niece. No wonder he longed for revenge: no one should die like that, let alone a child. "Guess so," Gabriel said, and Huber frowned at his slight hesitation. "But I've got to remind you – he's not the one who killed your niece."

The man clenched his jaw. "But he's the source of the curse, ja?"

"Well, yes…"

"Then he has to die. Some… things should not exist," he said, and Gabriel realized that as far as he was concerned, von Glower was just as responsible as von Zell for Toni Huber's death. Understandable and maybe not completely untrue, but still…

"Yeah, sure," he finally just said before glancing at the crowd. "How about telling everyone to get back home or something? This is not a show."

"Herr Knight, people want to be sure-"

"This. Is. Not. A. Show," Gabriel repeated, and now he sounded angry enough to make Huber hesitate. "Tell them to go away. There is nothing to see."

Werner Huber stared at him for a few moments, clearly not pleased, then he finally walked to the others and spoke to them. A few wary glances were shot in Gabriel and Grace's direction, then the crowd finally began to walk away.

"You don't feel at ease with having to kill, do you, dear?"

Gabriel turned to see Mrs. Smith giving him an almost motherly glance. He shrugged. "Not really, no," he said, grateful for the fact she wasn't urging him to kill. It was a nice change.

"Oh, I understand. I wouldn't have the courage myself," Mrs. Smith went on, putting a hand on his shoulder. "It wasn't an easy choice you had to make-"

Something in her speech about choices made Grace's eyes suddenly widen. The letter! She had never told Mrs. Smith that she wouldn't show it to Gabriel until everything was over, and she still hadn't. If she mentioned von Glower's letter…!

Please, stop talking now. Stop!

"… But I'm sure you're making the right choice," she was going o.n "I knew you would since when I read the letter…"

"Letter?" Gabriel interrupted her, a confused frown on his face.

"Yes, of course," Mrs. Smith said "the letter from von Glower, remember? The one he- oh!" she trailed off as she realized that Gabriel had no idea what she was talking about. She shut her mouth, but them damage was done and she could only clear her throat a little uneasily as he turned to face Grace.

Grace had shut her eyes and wished she could just disappear as Mrs. Smith spoke. She should have told her to not mention that letter In front of Gabriel, but she had seemed so sure that he should read it before making his choice that she hadn't told her she hadn't shown it to him, and… well… but she was wrong, of course. She didn't know Gabriel as well as she did. Grace had made the right choice, she knew she had-


She sighed and opened her eyes again to see Gabriel staring at her, a slight frown of confusion and suspect on his face. "Gabriel, look-" she began, but he cut her off.

"What letter, Grace?" he asked slowly, staring straight at her face. She bit her lower lip and finally glanced away, the slight sense of guilt she had felt since when she had decided to keep von Glower's letter hidden from him suddenly growing. But she would show him that letter eventually, she just… she simply…

"It was the right thing to do," she muttered, and Gabriel was taken aback by the guilty expression on her face. What was it she had kept hidden from him? Why would she keep something important from him? She was the last person he would have expected to do something like that, she truly was.

"Let me decide if it is," he finally said, a hint of anger finally showing in his voice as she held out his hand – Grace faintly noticed that Mrs. Smith had backed off once she had realized something was wrong. "Show me whatever letter you kept from me, Grace."

She opened her mouth to speak again, but no words came out. She eventually drew in a deep breath and took something from her pocket – an envelope. She silently handed it to him.

Gabriel glanced down at it, and he felt his heart skipping a beat when he read the sender's name – von Glower: he had written to him a letter barely a few days after he had been bitten by von Zell. He swallowed, suddenly feeling nervous without even knowing why, and took out several sheets of paper from the envelope. Grace didn't dare to say a word as he began to read.


I know you are very ill right now. The Change is always painful. I went through it myself when I was only twelve, and I did not even know what was happening to me. I'm sorry I am not there to help you, but I have a pretty clear sense that you would not welcome my presence. You are safe in Rittersberg. For now, that is enough. Let me speak, then, of the future.

You hate me now. I know this. But I have some hope that by the pass of the second moon, when the sickness wanes and the blood has inflamed the greater part of you, you will see things differently. You will need me then and, I think, you will want me then.

It is for hope of this that I did not have you destroyed the night you were bitten by von Zell. I could have done so. You were passed out for hours at the lodge. It would have been a simple thing to wake the men, show them von Zell's corpse, and make up a story that would enrage them enough to kill you. I did not. Let that be proof of my true desire for friendship with you. I have desired companionship for more years than you have lived.

I have even, very rarely, taken the risk and Changed others. But the Blood was always too much for the brain and my Chosen One ended up dead. Or mad. This is why I started the hunt club. It was my idea that if I could first indoctrinate men's minds to the religion of tooth and claw, that they then might be prepared for the Change. As you have seen, it did not work. Von Zell was the best of the lot. If he had turned out well, I would have taken the others, but there's no point in even trying with them now.

But you are different. You are a Ritter. Your blood is already supernatural. Yes, I know of your family. I have studied much over these long years. When we met, I felt somehow that you would not be destroyed by the Gift. You have an enormous streak of the beast in you and you are innately strong in the Occult. You will be powerful and beautiful in the Change, I am sure of it. I did not intend for it to happen so soon and in such a way, but perhaps fate has its own reason.

But how confused you must be. You may feel I used you to dispose of von Zell. I did. He had to be taken care of, and you obligingly showed up. What was I to do? I am too old not to have learned at least this much about the light – you cannot shut it out. Better to let it in and let it simply dim to adjust to the relative brightness inside.

Think well on these things as your body adjusts. Think about meeting me in Munich in two months time. We can leave Germany if you wish and go anywhere you like. I will teach you how to hunt, how to live safe and well. You can feel the night wind on your face, taste the heartbeat of the kill beneath your jaws. It is glorious – much more so than the priestly life the Schattenjäger offers.

Don't confuse yourself with ideas of good and evil. Nature shows us that there are no such distinctions. You and I both inherited something from our fathers. Is your legacy any less of a curse or blessing than mine?

Join me.
Yours –

Grace bit her lower lip as Gabriel finally finished reading and lifted his gaze to look at her, a mixture of astonishment, confusion and anger on his face. "Why the hell did you keep this from me?" he demanded to know, his grip on the letter tightening without him even realizing it.

"You were unwell, and-!"

"And you couldn't find one moment in two months to show me this? Give me a break, Grace!" Gabriel snapped. "Why didn't you show me the letter?"

God, could he really be that dense? "What do you think?" Grace snapped back. "I wanted to make sure you wouldn't do anything stupid like… like…" she trailed off, unable to even finish the sentence.

"Like joining him?" he finished. "I can't believe you, Grace! Did you really think I could have...?"

"Honestly? I couldn't tell," she retorted, and Gabriel abruptly shut his mouth. Did she really think there could have been a chance for him to choose to join von Glower?

Can you really say there weren't any?

He frowned at the thought. Fine, his attraction to the philosophy von Glower had developed and somehow to von Glower himself was above doubt: there was something in that man, in his magnetic personality and in the way he lived his life that appealed him. But that didn't mean he would have chosen to behave any differently had he read the letter before the night at the Opera. Would he…?

Gabriel shook his bead angrily. "No, you're wrong. It wouldn't have changed anything."

"Then why does it even bother you that you didn't read it?" she retorted. "If you would have done the same anyway-"

"It should have been my choice, Grace!"

"Didn't you say you would have chosen to carry on with the plan anyway?"

"I would have! But…!" he hesitated and for a moment he seemed unsure of what he could say next, then he groaned and just stuffed the letter in his pocket. "Oh, the hell with it. We'll discuss of that later, okay? Now I have to…" he paused and turned to the entrance to the dungeon. "Is he awake?"

"Barely, from what Mr. Smith said," Grace glanced at him carefully. "Are you going to… finish him now?"

"I guess… maybe. Maybe not. Not right away," he added quickly as he saw the expression on her face. "I need to understand some more stuff, and he can give me some answers. He'll stay harmless for another while anyway."

She nodded. "Do you want me to come with you?"

"No," Gabriel said, more harshly than he had mean to. "I'm going alone."


"Alone. And don't wait for me here," he added. "I don't know how much it will take, and I probably won't feel like getting through a third degree once I get outside."

She bit her lower lip as she realized he was still upset over the fact she hadn't been planning to show him the letter until von Glower was dead. She tried to ignore a pang of guilt and tried again.


"I won't do anything stupid, don't worry," Gabriel cut her off a little bitterly before he stepped into the dungeon and shut the door behind him. Grace stood her for a few more moments, not really knowing what to do or say, then she sighed and turned to walk back to Schloss Ritter. She had done the right thing, she told herself, still trying to ignore the sense of guilt and hoping that Gabriel wouldn't mess up.