High Prince James Viante Montaine Del Timeria De’Arc is exactly what he seems. The spoiled, unprincipled son of the most powerful man in the known world, his whole life is presented to him on a golden platter, his every wish carefully tended to, his every command fulfilled. Conversely, Dante is a Taboo child, his very existence a sin, his life a crime punishable only by death. But Dante has one thing James wants more than anything - an adventure like those in the old stories, a time without the ever-present boredom that threatens to strangle James. And for this gift, the wealthy boy is willing to pay any price, break any oath, destroy anyone and everyone in his way.


4. She.

 The Lyr shifted restlessly about her, never still, never quite in motion. Had she been able to see them, to open her eyes and watch their half-movements, it would not have bothered her so, but she could only sense them, sense their foreign wrongness. Or maybe that belonged to her. But she could not see them, could not open her eyes, for she had lost that ability long ago. The faint stir within her could not make a dead heart beat again.
 And so she lay there, not quite dead, never quite alive, wondering what exactly death was. If it was sleep, she’d long since had her fill of it. If it was nothingness, oblivion, then she’d prefer never to find out. Rather, she thought death might be something like her un-life, like a motionless blackness filled with the shuffling and crying of the Lyr.
 Why the Lyr cried, she had no idea, nor desire to know. There were many of them, somewhere just above her, or perhaps they were very far away. She couldn’t tell, for her eyes could no longer open, no longer see. Or, perhaps, they never had been able to. She couldn’t tell, couldn’t decide if there was a difference.
 She had tried before, had felt warmth and light on her eyelids, had heard human tears and felt human sorrow rather than that of her Lyr companions, but no matter how she tried, her eyes couldn’t open. All her attempts had done was pull at the stitches, making them itch painfully.
 But now it was just her and the Lyr, crying, trapped in the dark. For, she had come to realize, tombs were quite dark when no one was around. They brought the lights with them, took them away again when they left, but never left them for her. Maybe they thought she liked that dark, considering she’d never been able to open her mouth to tell them otherwise.
 Or maybe that was what they told themselves. Maybe they were simply afraid to see what they’d done to their dead, to the corpses of their families and friends. For the humans couldn’t understand about un-death, just as they could never appreciate their lives.
 She hated them, but she hated the Lyr more.
 The Lyr understood. They felt her, felt her small stirrings, and they feared her.
 And so she hated them.

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