“You did what?!” Lady Amandine screamed across the table at the man looking down at her. “I let her go.” He looked down on her more out of pity, he knew more than most how heavy the burden she carried was. “You cannot do that, I don’t care who you are!” “You more than anyone knows that I can.” She glared at him. “I cannot lead this country if you are going to step into Yew prison and release KNOWN terrorists and traitors.” “I think it is time you took a bit of a break Danica, you have dealt with personal tragedy, mental distress…” She interrupted. “This isn’t about that, this is about Law and Order!” He spoke calmly and clearly. “You murdered a man in cold blood and dragged his body across Britain. Does THAT sound like law and order to you Danica?” He used her first name again, one that she rarely heard anymore, those with any sense had long stopped using it. “That man was a criminal, a thief and a traitor.” “So you murdered him and tore him to pieces for information, to find yet another man whom you ordered the Royal Guard to execute without trial.” The dark-headed man spoke calmly and clearly. He was a rock that broke the waves of emotion that Lady Amandine piled upon him. “It wasn’t like that.” She was nearly defeated, she was not used to having her logic tested. It had been a long time since anyone had second guessed her, or her decisions. “Danica, I am going to need your sword, and your armor.” He did not flinch, but she did. “Like hell you will!” “Danica, your sword and your armor.” “No damned way.” She stood and put her hand on her sword. “Think carefully Commandant, do you really want to draw *THAT* sword against *ME*?” He peered into her in a way that only Addie had done before, and she found that her sword would not come from its scabbard. It was at that moment that she realized that she had in fact been wrong, in this and in other things. Even the Sword Caliburn, the great sword of the realm had found her at fault. “By Royal warrant I arrest you in the name of the Crown of Britannia, to be held and bound over for trial in Yew. I cannot allow our nation to divide Danica, my friend would not like it, *I* would be remiss if I did not intercede here. I am sure Lord Simeon and Lord Edom would agree.” Danica removed her armor in front of the man, he had already disarmed her and taken her pride. Her modesty was pointless by this point. “I will carry the sword for now, as is my right. Your armor will be kept by Lord Edom.” Not once had the man raised his voice, threatened her or pressed himself upon her. He had disarmed her totally by his own leadership and bearing. As she was escorted through the streets of Jhelom by a cadre of her own knights to Yew she couldn’t help but admire the man's style and grace. So few leaders had his ability and mastery, maybe her knights would be in good hands after all. Once in Yew, the walls pressed in on her. Lady Amandine was alone, the cold bars and hard stone felt like a womb. She wondered if she would escape it with her life.