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Never-before-seen second chapter (from when it looked like Halamar as leaving for the Path of Enlightenment)



Halamar was gone. Not just running from her, as she'd always thought he would, but from the whole world. He couldn't be more thoroughly not here if he'd died, except a dead warrior could be a hero, and he'd never be that.

The rejection stung, of course, and the ropes lay forlorn and unused in the corner, where she'd thrown them in a rage, but more and more, she was coming to terms with it. After all, what had she really wanted him for? He was stupid and he ran away and he was useless when you needed help.

The ropes were still here, where she'd put them. Reliable ropes, that didn't leave you for the bloody Path of Enlightenment, that didn't leave you alone on Styx's floor. Ketch knew about rope, perhaps more than her about using it to stop people leaving, certainly more about using it to kill, a short length of it between his strong, capable hands, some bastard man choking his life away between them.

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