Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language and violence.
Honorine let her graying hair drop, letting her black ribbons float to the floor. She would be fifty-two tomorrow. Next month, it would've been Jean-Noël's twenty-eighth. But he was dead. Her son had died in her arms almost seven years ago, when those damnable bombs had gone off up and down the Meretican Empire and brought about the deaths of millions.
His death had been caused by his wretched, evil, damnable father.
It was almost April 16, 2074. That would be the exact day, but it still wasn't for two more months. But she couldn't wait that long. So what if the King had him in chains for the rest of his life? That bastard didn't deserve to live.
She was garbed in a black dress, as if to go to a funeral. Her pale, misty eyes were full of grief and suffering. What she was about to do could've been done with magic, covered up... but she wanted the world to know what she had done and why.
She slowly made her way down the cement hallway, watching, waiting for some sign of life from Jaques vra Jeanardé. He was laying on his cot, scratching away with a pen on old notes and parchment. The King had given the traitor that much-- his books, his writings, his pens. But he didn't deserve those any more than he deserved to live.
The cell was simple-- cot, chair, table, toilet, sink, a shelf for anything personal he was allowed to have. The man himself wore a dark purple sweater and khaki jeans, a nice pair of shoes on his feet.
Honorine cleared her throat, staring the ancient man down. "Hello, Jaques."
The eighty-nine-year-old stopped scratching notes and placed his pen on the table. "Honorine," he said. The old snake was pale, and his eyes were gaunt and hollow. His once-neat hair, mustache, and goatee were now an overgrown, unkempt mess.
"I know," Jaques answered, slowly standing up, keeping a hand on the table. "So Sinestra, and Michael, and everyone else have reminded whenever they come to visit."
"You don't care."
"I take it that's not a question?" Jaques asked rhetorically. "No, I do not."
"And of Justinian, Justinia, and Coralie? Do you not care that they were trampled as the army came for you?"
"They were pawns in a greater game. But that game is not over yet."
"You disgust me," she growled quietly. "I loved you once. Natalia loved you once. And you've repaid our love, our years of hard work, by being the reasons we've lost children. I lost one. She lost one. You lost nearly twenty, but you don't care. You didn't care when Ismelda passed. You didn't care that almost your entire bloodline had been wiped out--"
"Shut up!" the old man snapped. "I don't care because there is no reason to care!"
"Oh, but there is," Honorine said quietly, opening her handbag. She held a gun now, and she was already pointing it at him. "You're a pathetic weasel. You killed my son. You caused the deaths of so many members of her family, of your family. And she and her new husband dare to spare you, and you show no remorse."
The old man smirked, his snake-like eyes glaring at Honorine as he allowed himself a small, dark chuckle. "She ran to Michael, as she always does. That's nothing new."
"There is no love in your heart," Honorine said quietly. "Maybe there never was."
Honorine was the one in the cell now, quiet, alone. At last, she could rest.
The trial would start in the summer. She was allowed visitors, and already many had come-- the King, the Queen, their kids, their grandkids, even their great-grandson, who was hardly a year old. Lawyers had come as well, seemingly in packs, as well as advocates for the execution of the wicked man that was at last gone from the world.
He would hurt no one else's child.
He would kill no one else's friends.
He would never be anything more than a dark memory.
At last, Honorine could sleep peacefully at night, not worrying about him trying to escape, not worrying about what he could do to some poor girl with his words. The snake was dead, and she had outlived him.
"Thank you," so many had said. "You've done a great service for so many."
The King had been disappointed, of course. He'd always been too optimistic, too hopeful. And that'd proven his downfall more than once in the past few decades. But he understood. Michael always understood...
But it didn't matter what King Michael thought.
At long last, Honorine was free.