The rage clawed at him like a tangible, living thing. He had been thwarted, bested by a girl who should have been his to command.

A shudder ran through his body as he thought about her body curled on the floor, the sound of his fists raining blows onto her back and legs and the almost unbearable hardness. He had wanted her so badly and it would have been so easy to throw her onto his bed but he wouldn't do that. Not force himself on her. He wanted her compliant. He wanted the full hopelessness of her situation to sink in. He wanted her to give herself to him.

Instead, she had disappeared from his dungeons and none of his guards were admitting to knowing what had happened to her. They were lying, he knew that, but the fact remained that she was just gone, vanished from a locked cell that nobody could find the key for.

And she had married the Housecarl who was so far beneath her it defied description.

The Dragonborn and a servant.

If she had chosen him, she would have been queen. She would have been his.

He didn't think that she would refuse him, refuse to come at his summons. His fists clenched to knuckled white as he thought about her message and the undeniable truth of what she had written, about how all of his Jarls seemed to know about his obsession with her and their warnings about his unacceptable behaviour towards her.

"Leave her be," they had all said. "She is the Dragonborn and not yours to command."

He would show them. And her. She would be at his mercy again and he would show none.

He lit the last of the candles that framed the grisly effigy and took up the knife. He prayed to the Nightmother.

"Sweet Mother, sweet Mother, send your child unto me, for the sins of the unworthy must be baptized in blood and fear."

Argis the Bulwark would die, and the Dragonborn would be his.


Thank you for reading.