Loki Staad blinked awake, and stared at the stone ceiling of his room.

The first thing he smelt was the metallic scent of blood. The first thought he had was 'Who?' and his second feeling after confusion was pain.

The wounds on his back seared and he found he couldn't move, tied to the stone beneath him. Slowly, memory came back to him and he winced, remembering the brutal whipping over… her. That innocent but somehow fiery princess of the Trylle.

The thought of her made him dizzy and he suddenly needed her. But he was Vittra, and her Trylle, no less than a princess. An engaged princess, he reminded himself.

That was a mistake. Suddenly the pain got to him, the burning of his wounds, the anger, and the loneliness built up, he wanted to rip her fiancée up, watch him bleed. And then he saw it.

All he had to do was escape. There was no reason not to, his anger would fuel him. Moving his limbs caused unimaginable pain, but he did it. The ropes broke and he untied his ankles. Standing, his knees weakened, but he continued, putting one foot in front of the other, concentrating on her image, on… Wendy.