My mother, my mother...blood poured from a wound at her shoulder- and I could not think. God, I could not think. Fear- confusion- panic. I wanted to cry. I tried desperately in some way to cling to her, to help, but I could not find any practical way to be of use. All I could do was hold onto her. But she was not looking at me. She was looking at the man. And the look she gave him was one of love.

"Edmond, don't go outside!" she pled brokenly. "Edmond, don't go!"

I heard Jacapo draw something in his hand, and I startled. Like a rabbit, my head shot up, expecting a death blow, or expecting something bad to happen. Jacapo had given the Count a sword.

"Try, and never quit," he said to the Count, in a way that was meant for him alone.

"Zatarra," he murmured to the Count, "You must end this." He spoke softer. "Even the priest would understand."

I was surrounded by secrets. I had just been told I was the son of this man; a man who I had believed had wronged my family immeasurably. My father had just pulled the trigger on my own mother! What was this?! What priest?