* * *
“The day you were knighted was one of the proudest moments of my life,” I said. I felt the weight of the words, heavy on my tongue, rattling as boneweed in my throat’s desert. “Remember you how I asked to fasten the shield pin upon your cloak?”
He stared at me, as though I were speaking of someone else. Slowly, that expression slipped from one of incomprehension to incredulity and then directly to disgust. “That you would take pride in my accomplishments, as though they were your own, was one of the reasons I’ve resented you for so long. You did not sponsor me for my sake. You did not teach me. You did not rise and fall and get up again beside me, through training.” He must have seen the hurt and confusion on my face then, as he quickly continued, “Do not think to make such a face, Elodie. You cannot seriously expect me to believe you do not know how insufferably self-centered and arrogant you are.”
I could feel my cheeks burn as I turned my face away — this was not the Kellis I’d known. This was not the one who’d been companion to my brother and I for my whole life. “I do not know what she has done to you, Kellis,” I began, but he interrupted me easily.
He crowed, “She has opened my eyes, Elodie. She has let me finally see! She–”
“She had Elias murdered on the field, by a bowman,” I say, and then there is silence again, and it is unutterable agony that I cannot find surprise on his face at my revelation.
* * *