The last time Ranulf had run into Sulien, the older man had called him a misbegotten English Judas and spat onto the ground at his feet. Yet now that same man was approaching the bed with a jovial smile, so apparently pleased to see the Judas again that Ranulf half-expected him to announce that a fatted calf had been killed in his honor.
I would see him, Edward.'It was no request; he knew it to be an ultimatum. He shook his head violently, not trusting his voice. Time passed. She was staring at him, saying nothing, and on her face was a look of stunned disbelief, of anguished accusation he knew would haunt him for the rest of his life. But when she spoke, her voice held no hint of tears. It was not a voice to offer either understanding or absolution, spoke of no quarter given, of a lifetime of love denied.'God may forgive you for this,' she said, very slowly and distinctly, 'but I never shall.
What do you know of sacrifice? Need I tell you of York's dead . . . of Sandal Castle? My brother did survive the battle, his first. He was seventeen and he entreated them to spare his life. They cut his throat. Their heads were then impaled on York's Micklegate Bar to please the House of Lancaster, to please a harlot and a madman. She had my father's head crowned with straw and she left a spike between the two. . . . That one, she said, was for York's other son.
The great hall was shimmering in light, sun streaming from the open windows, and ablaze with colour, the walls decorated with embroidered hangings in rich shades of gold and crimson. New rushes had been strewn about, fragrant with lavender, sweet woodruff, and balm... the air was... perfumed with honeysuckle and violet, their seductive scents luring in from the gardens butterflies as blue as the summer sky.