Anger supplanted grief and she rose, setting her mask in place. Safe behind her disguise, she marched into the palace. No one barred her entry.
She stormed past dancing couples, past the table still heavy with food, and straight to the bed she had shared with Siegfried.
The command halted her, hand on the doorknob. She turned slowly and faced Baron von Rothbert.
“You know you’ve lost him.”
Her rage dimmed slightly, a wave of sorrow washing out its flames. “Yes. It’s time he saw what he lost.”
The Baron covered her hand with his own. “He can’t. He believes that Odile is you and nothing will change that.”
She pulled her hand free, crossing her arms. “That may be, but he will face losing us both. I will kill her.”
The baron laughed. “You are a vapid girl, low-born and common. Did you really think he could step down so far as to marry you?”
“If he believes she is me, he did.”
“Oh, yes, he is infatuated with you, but the king knows who he wed.”
“You. You did this to me, to Anna!”
The Baron backed away. “I never meant for the Baroness to get caught in this. If you’d stayed where you belonged, like your mother, none of this would have been necessary.”
“I am nothing like my mother.” The words sprayed amid venomous spittle. Turning her back on the evil man, she threw the door open and marched into the dark sitting room.
Behind her the Baron added, “At least we agree on that.”
The door closed again, leaving her in blackness. She could hear them, in the next room.
Yanking on her hair, she screamed her pain and frustration. For once it was a real cry, not a honk.
The commotion in the next room stalled and the door opened. Light spilled from the lamps there, over Odette. She remained on her knees, weeping.
“Odile?” Siegfried asked.
Odette lunged for him, murderous rage seizing her again. She knocked him flat, something she couldn’t have done except that she caught him off-guard.
Taking hold of her wrists, he stopped her clawing him and rolled her over so he could pin her to the floor.
“Odile, what is it?”
A gasp from the bed preceded a flutter of feathers. Odette only caught a glimpse of the bird flying out the window. How did she do that?
In her surprise, she stopped fighting Siegfried. He stretched over her, keeping her wrists down, and kissed down her neck.
“Mm, a mask. Shall I pretend you are not my wife?”
Odette choked on tears. What cruel irony. Even mistaken for his wife, he wouldn’t treat her as one.
Be sure to hop around to all the other teases!