It was sometimes a difficult thing to keep her promises.

She didn’t make many to other people, but she made plenty to herself…which was just as important, but without the witnesses and social pressures, were reliant on her to be the promiser, the promised, and the arbiter.

Her own personal codes – the things that were important to the integrity of her own self image – were at times also alien to the people around here…and sometimes to herself.

She had vowed to never marry; to never engage in sexual relations. And at the time she made this promise, it made perfect sense. It still did, she told herself.

The kiss with Corbin. If had been her first and her last. Fourteen and overcome with the wants and passions of love.

She had felt out of control. Like she wanted to spend every moment with him – waking and not. She was hungry for him in desperate ways that were all-encompassing where he was nearly all she thought about.

It was infatuation and it was all so new.

And all her guards were let down, and she hadn’t been attentive to the sermons at Convocation. Her heart hadn’t been in her prayers. Her thoughts had been full of lust and selfishness.

And it was shortly thereafter that the…atrocity…of what happened to Miette had occurred.

It should make a difference that Miette was resting peacefully now, and that the Rocheaux tomb had been cleansed. And it did. Miette had told her she was forgiven. And she believed her.


But the guilt had always been so heavy that its residual mass still lingered. It was like wearing a tight piece of jewelry or corset for so long that even if the item was removed, the body still remembered its shape.

She could never undo what had been done – she could only keep moving forward and trying to be better.

And in the terrible aftermath of her crimes, in the days that followed the blood and stains and sleepwalking, she turned over in her mind every single thing she could have done differently.

At first, she had tried to find an explanation for the signs of violence that she had woken up to – anything that would explain that it had nothing to do with her.

She had been hunting. She had tried to defend Miette. Maybe she had been wounded in a way that had closed up? A really terrible nosebleed.

And then when logic intruded onto her thoughts, and she was left with the conclusion that she must have somehow harmed Miette…then the sickening guilt, the loathing, and the backtracking into what she could have done differently started.

She could never afford to be distracted again. She was a person that demons, spirits, and Malefic could influence and infect. She was not safe.

And so she would never love – not in that way. She promised herself.

And then, one day, god wiling, she would take the vow of the Nuranihim officially. Then it would be a promise to god, and not just to herself.

That was the plan. And she had stuck to it.

At this point in her life, age 31, she was past the point that most married, and soon the danger would be past. She would age, and everyone around her…even Corbin…would pair off. And she could remain, steadfast and devout…laying Malefic to rest in eternal penance.

The Sanctum had never turned up, but she had taken on the cloth all the same – different vow, and different rites, but needed all the same.

She might never be able to rely on god to bear witness to her oath and keep her promise.

So she had to tread carefully – because if she let herself down, others would surely follow.

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