Her voice stuck in her throat so rapidly that she instinctively raised her hands to her neck, as if what she had on was not a necklace, but a choking garrotte. Emhyr continued to measure her with his eyes, still full of praise for Stella Congreve. At the same time he also felt anger. Unfounded anger and therefore even more terrible.
“Know that I had nothing to do with your kidnapping girl,” he said sharply. “I had nothing to do with your kidnapping. I gave no such orders. I was fooled…”
He was angry with himself, aware that he was making a mistake. He should have ended this conversation long ago, ended it with grace, with power, menacing, like an emperor. It was necessary to forget about this girl with the green eyes. The girl did not exist. She was a double. An imitation. She did not even have a name. She was nobody. The emperor does not ask for forgiveness, does not apologise to someone who…
“Forgive me,” he said, the words sounded strange, unpleasantly sticking to his lips. “I made a mistake. Yes, it’s true, I am guilty of what happened to you. Guilty. But I give you my word that you will come to no danger, no injustice, no harm, no threat. Do not be afraid.”
“I’m not afraid,” she lifted her head and etiquette notwithstanding meet his gaze. Emhyr flinched, struck by the honesty and trust in her eyes.
- Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski, Gwent card illustration by CDProjektRed