my heart is broken all to pieces

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“Oh, but they must, or see the realm riven once more, as it was before we wed the dragons. Father told me so. He said we had the Imp to thank, for sending us Princess Myrcella. She is so pretty, don’t you think? I wish that I had curls like hers. She was made to be a queen, just like her mother.” Dimples bloomed in Tyene’s cheeks. “I would be honored to arrange the weddingRoger Dubuis hong kong, and to see to the making of the crowns as well. Trystane and Myrcella are so innocent, I thought perhaps white gold . . . with emeralds, to match Myrcella’s eyes. Oh, diamonds and pearls would serve as well, so long as the children are wed and crowned. Then we need only hail Myrcella as the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, and lawful heir to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and wait for the lions to come.”

“The lawful heir?” The prince snorted.

“She is older than her brother,” explained Tyene, as if he were some fool. “By law the Iron Throne should pass to her.”

“By Dornish law.”

“When good King Daeron wed Princess Myriah and brought us into his kingdom, it was agreed that Dornish law would always rule in Dorne. And Myrcella is in Dorne, as it happens.”

“So she is.” His tone was grudging. “Let me think on it.”

Tyene grew cross. “You think too much, Uncle.”

“Do I?”

“Father said so.”

“Oberyn thought too little.”

“Some men think because they are afraid to do.”

“There is a difference between fear and caution.”

“Oh, I must pray that I never see you frightened, Uncle. You might forget to breathe.” She raised a hand . . .

The captain brought the butt of his longaxe down upon the marble with a thump. “My lady, you presume. Step from the dais, if it please you.”

“I meant no harm, Captain. I love my uncle, as I know he loved my father.” Tyene went to one knee before the prince. “I have said all I came to say, Uncle. Forgive me if I gave offense; . Do I still have your love?”

“Always.”

“Give me your blessing, then, and I shall go.”

Doran hesitated half a heartbeat before placing his hand on his niece’s head. “Be brave, child.”

“Oh, how not? I am his daughter.”

No sooner had she taken her leave than Maester Caleotte hurried to the dais. “My prince, she did not . . . here, let me see your hand.” He examined the palm first, then gently turned it upside down to sniff at the back of the prince’s fingers. “No, good. That is good. There are no scratches, so . . .”

The prince withdrew his hand. “Maester, could I trouble you for some milk of the poppy? A thimble cup will suffice.”

“The poppy. Yes, to be sure.”

“Now, I think,” Doran Martell urged gently, and Caleotte scurried to the stairs.

Outside the sun had set. The light within the dome was the blue of dusk, and all the diamonds on the floor were dying. The prince sat in his high seat beneath the Martell spear, his face pale with pain. After a long silence he turned to Areo Hotah. “Captain,” he said, “how loyal are my guards?”

“Loyal.” The captain did not know what else to say.

“All of them? Or some?”

“They are good men. Good Dornishmen. They will do as I command.” He thumped his longaxe on the floor. “I will bring the head of any man who would betray you.”

“I want no heads. I want obedience.”

“You have it.” Serve. Obey. Protect. Simple vows for a simple man. “How many men are neededistick tc 60w?”




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