The wood cracked against the fire where Ofelia, the house elder, kept the coals burning. It was almost the end of winter, but the cold was still close by. She sat on her living room in her nightgown tucked within a thick fur robe that kept her warm against the cold of midnight. Small gusts of wind from the
They crackled against each other as
"Imprint." her voice was rough and low.
"The visions imprinted me to her." He spoke with a hint of annoyance in his tone.
"No, sire." The woman yawned before she continued, "You imprinted on her."
"I've never met her before!" his voice shook the small cottage.
"You do not need to know someone to imprint on them. It just happens." She chuckled at his frustration, "Imprints are rare, sire. The complexity of it all cannot be explained until we let time takes its course."
His chest ached with guilt. He has bedded several women, women nothing like the red headed first born in Wolfram house, Sophia, whom he trained and fought beside with. She was his friend and lover. She knew every scar on his body. And deep down his heart he ached to cause her pain, for he knew he had nothing left for her.
"What does that make Sophia?"
"She becomes no one." The old woman faced him blankly, "The next time you see her, she'll be just like everyone else."
He was certain it was impossible. His mind now trailed back to the pale girl he left sleeping on his bed. It had been three days since the union and he could not keep his hands off her. He scowled at his lack of control, how his walls would come apart when it comes to her. He was better than this. No woman could make him feel this way. It was a
"What proof does anyone have that she's the one I have imprinted on? I could be making this up, old woman."
"We don't need proof," her voice now raised, "The world does not need proof. The imprint shall instill a change in both of you this world can see. That is all."
"What change?!" he was furious as he snapped a bone from one of the mobiles and threw it against the pit.
"For one, walking to my cottage in the middle of the night is the first time in five years you have sought my aid, grandson."
His hands fell to his sides as he took hold of his anger before her. Embarrassed, he untangled what remained of the hanging pigeon bone. He has finally surrendered. Both hazel eyes met and for a brief moment Torryn found comfort in them.
"And the girl?"
"The girl is called Luna from this day forth," She stood up slowly pacing back to her chambers, "for you have imprinted on her. You shall serve her, care for her, protect her and you are bound to her."
"And who in the world made up that rule?"
The old woman's eyes peeled wide open as bags of loose flesh dangled down her eyes. She was tired and so was he. She walked towards him, raised a finger and placed a firm tap on Torryn's chest where his heart would be.
The walls were crying.
Leaning against the stone bricks of Grimlake house, a six year old Snow rested her ear against the cold rough surface. The walls of the stone house would echo every sound its corners encapsulated. She often heard the waves of Caelum lake splashing against the pillars of the dungeon flights of stairs below her.
But now, she could only hear a soft whimpering from the hard rocks. She put her book aside and settled her small feet into her shoes as she followed where the cries were strongest. Her shoes clacked against the stone floor. She could remember how her stepmother handed her the pair. They were growing too small for her sisters. It pleased her that her new mother cared for her so.
Exiting the hallways of the gallery where she usually hid, she walked to the kitchen where giggles of her sisters admixed with the cries of one of the handmaids.
"Do it, Clara, try setting her lashes on fire."
"Just her lashes," this was followed with more chuckles as Snow pushed the creaking door to where her sisters were.
One look at Snow and the girl's smiles were replaced with thin grim expressions. At least, they stopped whatever they were doing, Snow thought. It gave her enough time to comprehend what was happening. Her sisters were forming a circle around the handmaid whose both palms lay flat on the floor just as where her knees are. She rested and was heaving for air when Snow arrived.