Disclaimer: Queen of Swords was created by Fireworks Entertainment, and is owned by ContentFilm. This story is NOT affiliated with the rights holders or the show's original creators. No infringement is intended and no profit is being made. This story is for entertainment purposes only.

The author would like to thank Robert Vincent for all his valuable support and input.


21st December 1818.

No one could feel like celebrating Christmas in Santa Helena now.

The rain was subsiding, but there were enough of God's tears left to shower the funeral and those in attendance.

Padre Quintera performed the ceremony as Vera's coffin was lowered into the grave. Don Gaspar Hidalgo struggled to maintain a brave, prideful face for the public. The cracks in his armour were all too visible, and he looked ready to breakdown completely. And no one could blame him. The love of his life, the only person who had ever really loved him…gone forever.

His heart torn away from him…leaving him forever scarred and bleeding.

Vera had always been popular among Santa Helena's elite. All her friends had shown up, absolutely devastated.

Senorita Tessa Alvarado being more so.

The Spanish Aristocrat was uncharacteristically silent. Dressed in black and wearing a veil to hide her guilt in the part she had played – and the cuts and bruises on her face – Tessa paid her respects to her dear, unfortunate friend in the form of a white rose gently tossed into the grave.

Marta had long recovered to stand by her mistress' side, squeezing her hand in comfort. Robert Helm was also on hand to make sure that they were both alright.

The atmosphere of the funeral was one of great mourning, despair and guilt over what had happened. Tessa and Captain Marcus Grisham felt it more than anyone else. Strangely though, neither exchanged even a glare with each other. Both kept their distance away from each other, perhaps more out of mutual loss and sympathy.

Like Tessa Alvarado, Captain Grisham was unnaturally silent throughout the ceremony. As always, he performed his duties, leading his men to salute the departed Senora, yet it was the most painful thing he'd ever had to endure in his life. How Marcus wished he could just…cry like everyone else was crying, join everyone else in paying their respects to his beloved, and let Vera and everyone else know just how much she meant to him.

And how knowing that he could not – under any circumstances – just tore the murdering captain apart. Unable to contain himself completely, Grisham allowed himself a small tear to fall, hoping Montoya wouldn't notice.

However, the Colonel had noticed, and let his Captain have his moment, remembering Carlotta. The Governor likewise paid his respects to Vera and Gaspar, taking no joy whatsoever in the Senora's untimely demise. He cast a look at Tessa and her friends and allowed them also to have their moment to grieve.

The exact details of Vera's death never came to public light. The Senora's murder could not be labelled otherwise, but Montoya had decided it best to write it off as 'investigation ongoing' for now – given the fragile stalemate between himself and the Queen of Swords – until he could come up with a new plan.

The Williams family were all in attendance to pay their respects. And like Tessa and Grisham, both Lionel and Maria felt responsible for the part they played in Vera's death. Maria feeling so guilty for tearing into Vera upon discovering Tessa's secret, inciting the Senora into committing suicide.

And Lionel feeling more so…knowing that it was his failure with the Juan investigation that had created all this.

After the funeral, the wake took place at the Rose Courtyard. Any chance of celebrating Vera's life and honouring her memory was quickly diminished when Gaspar turned to see Lieutenant Williams and hit him in the face, screaming in rage that it was all his fault that Vera was now dead, little realising how actually true it was. Gaspar was just looking for someone to vent all his grief on, and he could think of no better target than the Golden Boy.

After yelling abuse and slapping Williams again – who simply allowed Gaspar to treat him so – the angry, distraught Don was led away by his fellows. Williams stood on the spot, feeling like he deserved everything he'd received.

And Tessa and Maria…couldn't even face each other.

Later that night, Gaspar sat in his big, cold hacienda all alone with an untouched decanter of wine.

Grisham lay all alone on the bed in his quarters, completely trashed once more. This time by his own rage.

Montoya sat all alone in his office…plotting his next move.

Maria and Lionel huddled each other, guilty, responsible and fearful.

As were Tessa and Robert, faraway in their own dwelling.

And Marta…continued to be haunted by visions of the future.

Visions of a bloody, mortally wounded Maria fighting Grisham in the jailhouse…of Montoya's soldiers storming the Alvarado hacienda as Lieutenant Lionel Williams valiantly tried to fight them off…of Mary Rose standing on a hillside looking afraid…of Roman and Fenner in disbelief as to who they'd bumped into, of Kami rushing to her friends' aid, of Maria screaming in despair over what she'd been made to witness, of the whole of Santa Helena being torn apart by rebellion and war…

Of Tessa Alvarado, the Queen of Swords…locked in mortal combat with her arch-nemesis, Colonel Luis Montoya, the corrupt governor…for the very last time.

As Marta screamed her daughter's name…at the massive funeral pyre.

All on her own, at the table in the living room…Marta once more drew the tarot cards.

The Wheel of Fortune.

The Lovers.

And finally…Death.

Marta shook her head in disbelief.

"Please, God…not again."