In His Daughter's Eyes

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear…

-In My Daughter's Eyes


Skye pulled her knees up and hugged them to her chest. She was sitting on the same spot at the top of the stairs of Kolvir that she often came to these days; when she wanted to ponder the turn her life had taken. Some thought it a bit morbid, but Skye ignored their whispers and continued to visit the bloodstained stones. Right here, on the spot her father's heart ceased beating was one of the few places she knew she wouldn't be bothered. They would wait until she was back among the rest of the living to say something - though whether it was to her or around her depended on who was talking.

She heard a sound and turned sharply to see a hawk perched on a boulder behind her. She quirked an eyebrow at it, wondering whose it was - if anyone's - and then let her gaze travel up to the castle. Corwin was there — the vain, selfish, unrepentant bastard. She hoped he choked on something unpleasant. Like his own lies and vanity, or sense of entitlement. She gave the castle a last look full of anger and loathing before turning her eyes back out to the city below.

Truth be told she was avoiding Oberon too. She'd heard the stories from her father, from Gerard. Her grandfather wasn't blameless in her father's death. He'd been with that green-eyed bety-├ír for the attack. Unlike her loathed uncle though, Oberon exuded power and personality. Skye's hold on her temper and emotions right now was too unsure for her to be in the man's vicinity. She honored her father's memory not at all by inviting Oberon's wrath…

Or in fleeing this place on the swiftest horse she should lay hands on. Back to her Na's people where things made sense. Where traitors were put to death before they could cause larger troubles. She heard the scraping of talons on stone and knew the predatory avian was still behind her as she wiped angry tears from her blue eyes. She didn't want to be here. Oh, she was aware of the greater problem they were facing, a greater problem made easier for their enemies by that — man. But she couldn't mourn her father properly here; not among the strangers who didn't care. They barely cared what happened to their siblings. They certainly didn't care that she had lost her Da. Eric had died defending them and this place, and they didn't care. No one outside of Gerard, who had seen a glimpse of the Eric she adored in his eyes when he had told the younger man of his daughter; and Julian -who Eric hadn't even trusted with the secret of his child; it had been Julian who had seen the barely contained rage and sorrow and helplessness in Skye and found the time to have a quiet word with her before he had returned to Arden.

But she couldn't just leave. A promise to Eric kept her from returning to the Shadow of her birth. She rested her chin on her knees, crying the silent tears of a grieving child for the father she had adored.

The cry of the hawk startled her after so much silence, and she jerked her head up to watch it take wing and cruise the updrafts over the city below. Skye watched it circle and then fly back towards her. Another cry and it was banking down towards the city; to a section of town she was familiar with. It drew her eye to the flutter of black draped from upstairs windows of a building it took her a moment to identify across the distance. It was Eric's favorite tavern. He had managed to find time to slip out with her since she had arrived, and they had gone to dinner there. Everyone knew him, liked him….


Eric had been a good Regent and King. The people liked him. Nowhere was it more apparent then in the places he visited with Skye. He wouldn't have taken her anywhere that wasn't welcoming, of course, but the regard had been genuine. There would be stories told, toasts to their fallen patron and king. Skye sniffed and wiped her eyes as she climbed to her feet. The distant cry of the hawk drew her forward and down to the people she could find some sense of closure among, people who had lost friends and family to Corwin's assaults. People who toasted her father and cursed his green-eyed brother. People who wouldn't think any less of her for her grief.

The tree that grew rebelliously beside the tavern held a hawk in its branches when Skye stopped under it. She looked up at the bird silently for a long moment as it regarded her in similar silence. Wordlessly, she lay a fist over her heart and held it for a moment longer before turning away and heading for the door.

As she stepped inside, she thought she heard the pleased cry of a hawk taking wing over the sounds of welcome and condolence from the tavern's patrons.


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