“Winter . . .”
It had been so long since he’d called her by her name. Always Princess. Always Highness.
Her lip quivered, but she refused to cry. She wouldn’t do that to him.
Jacin’s fingers curled around his knife.
It was torture. Jacin looked more afraid than when he’d stood on trial. More pained now than when his torso had been stripped raw from the lashings.
This was the last time she would ever see him.
This was her last moment. Her last breath.
Suddenly, all of the politics and all of the games stopped mattering. Suddenly, she felt daring.
“Jacin,” she said, with a shaky smile. “You must know. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t love you. I don’t think such a time ever existed.”