written for fiefgoldenlake dot proboards dot com's Decathlon contest!


Wyldon of Cavall has never wanted what Gary of Naxen has. The job of prime minister is far more thankless than that of training master, and even his familial station- a duchy and family to the Crown- seems more fraught than it could be.

But oh, how Wyldon wants his wife. He tries to think of his own wife, waiting for him at home, but Cythera floats to the front of his mind; blonde, warm, and understanding where Vivenne will only try her best to be. It isn't that her best wasn't enough once, but now it pales in comparison.


Mithros, she wants to have him. Gary's life is so swallowed and twined with Jonathan's that she can almost be an afterthought, something he only thinks of when she's directly in front of him, and there Wyldon of Cavall is in front of her, duty-free and drifting, needing what he can give.

She could have him, twenty years on. That thought becomes more appealing the longer she entertains it. He had never been interested in her when she was young and flighty and men dueled over her glove, but now, older and grounded as she is, he could be hers.


He isn't that sort of man, to take what isn't his. Wyldon drilled honor into the pages until it spilled out their ears, saw some of them take it to heart and some of them ignore it, indeed horribly and spectacularly so.

He never was that man. He's proud of it.

And yet.

There's an ache for Cythera, deep in his stomach, curling itself around his lungs until he's going to choke with it. And it's unlike him, gods help him, but something is happening to him and he slowly realizes that it's much less strange than it should be.


"I used to like you," Cythera says, a little lightheaded from the fire and the wine. "When we were young, I used to want you. But I was always in Delia's shadow and you were so distant, I never thought I could have you."

Wyldon's brows raise. "You were the loveliest girl I'd ever seen. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough, and you had Naxen circling you and marking his territory."

"You could have had me," she says. "If I'd known that you wanted."

"I was careful," he replies. His knee bumps hers.

"Maybe you shouldn't have been."