CHAPTER TWO | AN INTRODUCTION

As I write, my husband is sleeping on the floor. Last week I slept on the floor. Then I slept downstairs on the actual floor, with no bedding. The bed in our room is a memory foam bed. He doesn’t seem to mind.

Oh yes! I have a husband! You wouldn’t know it by everything I’ve said so far. But my other 500-year-old uncle, Gustaf (good grief, there’s two of them, I know) turned my husband into a link at the start of my term in office.

He didn’t tell us. We found out years later. We’re not happy about it. But it’s done. And that’s some powerful magic right there. Unbreakable. For now. I’m looking for a cure.

That’s because being a link means he’s suddenly ‘beneath’ me somehow. He’s my servant, in a way. (He just snored a little! I don’t blame him for going deeper into his sleep as I write this. I would too.) We don’t understand the mechanics of it all, but from what we do know, historically, links were made by Kings and Queens out of their greatest enemies.

The links lived with chains around their necks, in a hole, and played gateways for the royal figures.

Well, I may be royal, but my husband sure as heck wasn’t my greatest enemy. He was my greatest friend and love. We traveled the world together before I fell sick. Then he played caregiver. He didn’t leave.

Then I got this job, and my uncle slammed the link on him. My other uncle. Gustaf. He doesn’t eat people like Stephan, but he can be terrible in other ways. Case in point.

___

I understand this is a terrible introduction to my uncles, and even my heritage (dang it! I just stretched to adjust from the pain, and a cat swiped at my toe and it tickles. I’m kinda pinned. I can’t move to scratch it or move the cat. Argh! Very distracting!)

And… they’re gone. That’s cats for you. I don’t even know which one it was. Lila, Tas or Tiberius. Could be any of them. They’ve been influenced too much by my family. My 500-year-old family.

They are nothing if not warriors.

And that’s the thing. I love my uncles dearly, and my aunt, who is also 500 years old. They were born in France. Gustaf actually apprenticed with Leonardo da Vinci. Stephan baked Gustaf in an oven when he was 8-years-old. They are very different.

My aunt was sold by their parents, because she was so beautiful as a child, that a wealthy couple passing by one day offered to buy her. As parents often do, even today, they lied to their children to hide their own shame and/or survival: they told Gustaf and Stephan their sister drowned in the nearby lake.

It saved their parents.

But Gustaf and Stephan had no sister until recently. They ran into their sister during a mission. And the boss told me who she was. He spilled the whole story.

Thankfully, she’s nothing like either of them. She is a sort of queen in her own right. She rides a flying horse. And she does missions, just like Gustaf, just like Stephan (for most of his life) and just like me, their great great – who knows how many times ‘great’ – great niece.

We all found our way to each other, in the end.

And I realize now, what that means. The End really is coming.

<–Chapter One

Chapter Three–>

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