Snow was diving on cloud 9 into the catacombs under the palace. Midnight was long gone and she sneaked, still giggling, into the cardroom.

She went silent when she noticed the statue-like woman in the middle of the room, back turned to her and busy with some task.

Snow's eyes glinted at Talia's sight. Her friend never rested, but recently she spend most of the night with prince Jakob, singing him to sleep... now it was finally Snow's turn again to report her nightly adventures!

Humming she hoped towards her. She knew Talia had long noticed her presence - she just choose to ignore her.

'You won't believe what a fantastic night I had!' she greeted her friend merely and let herself fall behind her ungracefully.

Talia didn't look up and continued to oil her zaraq whip. She did this with the same devotion, as with which Danielle was fond to fuzz over Jakob's jacket.

'Guess you awakened half the palace again', she said dryly.

Snow was used to her neglecting of the men topic... but just because of that it was so much fun to tease her with it!

'Don't you want to know with whom-'

'No.'

Oh, today she was particularly grungy, but Snow did not press the thought any further.

Instead she buried her hand in Talia's silky, black hair and played with it.

'I've never experienced such magical hands', she sighed and got closer to Talia. 'I never would have guessed how many knots one can have in the neck! Here, for example...' She let her fingers trail down from Talia's hair to her tanned neck and pressed the soft skin.

The outcome was that Snow felt how Talia's muscles tensed under her hand and she blinked in surprise.

'Snow...' Talia said, for some reason strained. Snow ignored her.

'Man, I also didn't know one could be so muscular in the neck. Now relax, will you! That's what this is for after all...'

Gently she began to massage the brown shoulders in front of her. Talia's whip fell to the ground. She moaned. Snow smiled satisfied while she gave herself to her fresh memory.

'Isn't that great? And then he started to massage my stomach from behind, like this...'

She snuggled closer to Talia and slang her arms around her waist, to massage her rock-hard stomach, 'Our clothes were soon gone too and then he had me - ANGH!'

Snow cried out and before she knew Talia had gripped her wrists and smashed her to the ground and suddenly Talia was above her, pressed down on her, like a predator hovered above its prey.

Her toned body burned almost painfully on Snow's cold skin, which was exposed on her stomach, her wrists were in Talia's iron-hard grip tied to the floor and Snow looked shocked into her friend's face.

Talia's eyes were wild and full of pain... and something... more. Their faces were so close; Snow could see each of her eyelashes.

Talia's breath went fast and loud, her thighs framing Snow's sides and the Allessandrian felt every muscle of the woman above her. She shivered.

'Talia, what-'

With a sudden turn Talia's eyes widend; she whispered something Arathean.

Then she teared herself apart forcefully, jumped to her feet in one graceful move and stood above her like a scared animal, eyes locked onto her.

Completely shaken Snow looked up to her; her fingers trembled when she pulled her blouse over her breasts.

'Talia...'

Faster than the eye Talia turned on her heel and went away, with a speed that would have filled any horse with envy.

Snow groaned and got up, she wanted to call after her, but Talia's steps had long faded to silence. What devil had ridden her?

Confused she rubbed her hurting wrists. Never had she experienced Talia so out of control.

Also this expression was new to her, this anger, this... greed.

Snow could not imagine why her sleeping with a man should make Talia so angry.

She was always angry of course, but today?

Nervously she bit her fingernails. She and Talia fought all the time, but she never wanted Talia to be really angry at her. Not without knowing the reason.

Right the next morning she told Bea of the incident and the queen listened closely.

'... I really don't know what made her going crazy Bea', Snow finished breathlessly.

'Does she know the man perhaps? Is she in love with him? No she would have... did she tell you something?'

Bea's expression let her go silent.

With a sad smile the queen put a hand on Snow's shoulder.

'I can't help you on this matter. You have to discover Talia's problem on your own.

But whatever it is, I think it would be... helpful, if you could stop to describe all your romances to her in detail.'

Snow glared at her, and then she shook of the queen's hand in frustration.

'You know exactly what her problem is!'

Bea examined her carefully. When she saw the disappointment in the for her usually warm gaze of the queen, Snow's heart sank even lower.

'Yes, I do know Talia's grief', Bea said finally. 'But I don't have the right to tell you.'

Snow swore. 'Goblinshit! How can I do better, if you don't tell me?'

But the queen remained silent.