Valek was insufferable for the first three months after Aiyana departed. He shouted and snapped at everyone; even the Commander at one point. During his challenges he fought with such intensity that he nearly injured his opponent on more than one occasion. He was a man on a mission; a mission to ignore his feelings. Eventually Janco had had enough. The more irritable Valek became the angrier it made Janco. One rainy afternoon Ari and Janco were in the training yard sparring. They were the only ones training, the rain driving everyone else inside early. Valek passed them a few times while he was running laps. He had not run at dawn since Aiyanas departure. When he finished his final lap he approached the pair; collecting his sword as he went. Ari tried to intercept Janco but he could not stop his friend taking up Valeks challenge. The fight did not last long; Jancos anger flawed his skills. Valek soon had him pinned up against the wall. Janco struggled against the hold but Valeks anger made him stronger and he kept Janco in place. "That was poor Janco." Valek criticized. "You're angry today. You're letting it cloud your judgement. You know getting emotional allows your opponent to find a weakness and gain the advantage." "Is that why you hurt Aiyana? Because she made you emotional?" The mention of her name caused Valek to drop his hold. "What?!" "You broke her heart Valek; did you know that?" "Do not speak of things you know nothing about Janco." Valek said in a dangerous voice. "I know plenty! I know she was in love with you and you broke her heart because you couldn't cope with her secret. Does her being the real Princess change that much?" Valek felt the emotions he had tried to lock away starting to rise; his breathing quickened. "You know?" "Yeah I know. She told me. Right after she hit her head." He said, implying he knew when and where it happened. "She lied to the Commander; to the Generals; to me!" "She did what she thought necessary to protect herself! Did it ever occur to you that her playing a maid allowed her to see the real Ixia; without the airs and graces we put on for Kala?" "She tricked us for her own use…" "How?! Did she ask you any questions about the Commander; about Ixia; anything?!" Jancos words hit Valek like a brick wall. He stepped back from Janco, turned and walked away. When he reached his suite Valek slammed the door and locked it. He paced his room frantically; pulling at his hair and launching rocks at the wall. Eventually he threw himself onto the couch and sat with his head in his hands. I was wrong. The shock took his breath away. He was never wrong. How had it happened? He'd never even noticed. You broke her heart circled his mind. He'd acted blindly, his actions rash. Oh God, I hit her. He felt sick. Jancos words sank in and his anger from the past months started to wash away. He started to see the situation for what it actually was. The scene from her announcement and his actions afterwards replayed in his mind; this time he saw them through clear eyes. He saw the tears in her eyes but this time he saw the pain in them at the cost of her admitting who she was. He remembered what had happened in his office and was filled with shame over what he had said; how he hadn't helped her when she fell. Emotions Valek had never felt before ran through his body. Shame, guilt, regret tumbled in one after another. He had no strength to do anything but sit there and let them come. It was over a week before anyone except the Commander saw Valek again. He kept himself largely locked in his rooms reviewing over and over the events of the past; regretting them more each time he did. Eventually there was a tentative knock on his door, and another and another as he failed to answer. Sighing and irritated he crossed to the door and flung it open. Janco stood before him. "What do you want?" He snarled. "I need to talk to you." Valek wanted to slam the door but, after a moments pause, he let it go and went back to his desk. Sitting heavily in his chair he said "What?" Janco looked downcast, his eyes on the floor. "I came to apologise about before. I was out of line. I shouldn't have said what I did." Valek paused. It was true, he shouldn't, but if he hadn't then Valek would still be mad at Aiyana. He let out a long sigh. For once he didn't want his formidable reputation; he just wanted to be a normal man. "What you told me about Aiyana…is it true?" "That you broke her heart? Yes. Kala told me." Janco was shocked at Valeks demeanour. He looked dishevelled, like he hadn't slept in days. He had never seen his boss like it before. Part of him was surprised he had answered the door, let alone that they were having this conversation. Perhaps there was more to Valek than just a master assassin. "What can I do?" Valek asked in a low voice. For a second Janco thought he had heard wrong. "Sorry?" Valek had the chance to end the conversation but he couldn't bring himself to. He couldn't stop thinking about Aiyana. "Janco, if you breath a word of this conversation to anyone I will personally make your life hell; it doesn't leave this room." "Understood boss." "I'm in love with Aiyana." Valek said in a rush. "The shock of her announcement, mixed with my feelings for her caused me to lash out. I was so blinded by anger that I hurt her without even realising it." "She expected you to be mad; she expected everyone to be. She didn't expect you to hurt her." "I went too far. Is it too late?" Janco sat on the couch. "I can't answer that Valek. Only she can." They sat in silence for a while. "Maybe you could write her a letter?" "A letter?" "Yeah. Write to her; apologise; tell her how you feel. That way you can be honest and no-one has to know but her. Your reputation would remain in tact." Valek thought about it. "That sounds like a good idea…but how would I get it to her?" Janco blushed. "I could get it to her." Valek raised his eyebrows. "How?" "I've been writing to Kala." He said growing redder. "Aiyanas bodyguard?!" Janco nodded. "At first I just wanted to make sure they got back home alright, and I didn't want to upset Aiyana by sending one to her so I contacted Kala….and we've sent a couple of letters since. I could put your letter in with one of mine. Then no-one would even know you'd sent one." "That sounds possible." "I will let you know when I am sending one." Valek nodded. "Thank you Janco." He said sounding genuinely grateful. "No problem boss. Your secret's safe with me." Six weeks later when Janco sent another letter to Kala, Valek gave him one to hide inside