He doesn't know why he does this to himself.

He knows she doesn't like him, he knows she never will, but he keeps trying and trying and trying in the hopes that he can win her over. It's a lost cause now. He'd be better for her than Alister, but she just doesn't see that and it hurts.

What does Alister have? Looks. That stupid 'bad boy' thing. Too much raw talent to be normal. He won't be able to support her, and as queen, she needs someone who can. If she's going to marry a wizard, Han Alister is the worst one she can pick.

But she doesn't hate Alister, and she hated (hates? He doesn't even know now.) him.

He doesn't know what he's done wrong – no, he knows what he's done. But… that shouldn't matter. He was… he was protecting her. If she would've just married him, if she wouldn't have been so damn stubborn, none of this would have happened.

But now she's going to marry Alister and they've had the nerve to invite him.

It's all Raisa's doing; Alister wouldn't want him there. It is just sheer luck that he hasn't died by Alister's hand already.

But… should he go?

Raisa will look beautiful. That much is certain. Of course, it would only hurt him more to see them married. But… but, if he didn't go… she would think that he hated her. And that isn't true. He loves her. No. Loved her, he can't afford to love her anymore. He loves – loved her, and hates Alister. Alister, who murdered his family and stole his girl. Alister, who stole his spot as high wizard. Alister, who started it all by stealing the Waterlow amulet in the first place.

If Alister wouldn't have gotten involved, he would have been married to Raisa long ago.

But that hadn't happened.

And now Micah was stuck alone, because, like he's realized, he can't afford to love her anymore.