I never knew I’d see her again.

Perhaps that makes me all the more foolish.

Angelique has returned.  Last night was the anniversary of my turning, and thus was the the night of a morbid, annual vigil by Angelique.  Did love drive the visit… or fear… or self-congratulation?

Having found me alive, she had the temerity to preemptively introduce herself to the family as my wife!  Which, technically, is true.  In fact, at this point, she has yet to marry Sky Rumson or Quentin II.  Strange.  After our dealings with Petofi and the Leviathans, I have actually collaborated with her as a colleague.  As she cured me in the cave in 1897, I even began to think of her as a troubled friend.  Yes, yes, I know that I cursed her when I was cast from Parallel Time, but I was writing in spontaneous anger.  Angelique, while unpredictable, proved herself to be the strangest of allies.

But this is not that Angelique.  She is only the potential for becoming that Angelique.  When I look into her eyes, I know that I am seeing the person who freshly sent Josette to her death.  But how “freshly”?  That was forty-five years ago for her.  And for me, that was two centuries more.  Josette has given me permission to seek love elsewhere, and in my dabblings with Roxanne, I have.  Finally, Angelique did introduce herself to the family as my wife, which has significance beyond mere spite.

There was a time, although fleetingly and under duress, that I actually treasured her as a wife.  We became lovers in Martinique for a reason.  I even had a sad envy when I knew she was in the arms of Rumson.  Why does she so often resort to cruelty?  I simply do not believe — in fact I know — that such is capable of better.  Her cruelty is like the habit of an opium addict.  There are such addicts who have been cured.  Could Angelique?

And why am I devoting time to this when Judah Zachary is again at large?

Perhaps because this as is important to me, and just as frightening.



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