Illicit Affairs (A Secrets in Stained Glass Story)

Episode 4 released on Sunday, and we have just one more episode, which airs August 20th at 10am Pacific. Until then, though, we will have three more pieces of story content before the finale. This one is a Jenna story, covering a key moment in her past which you may have wondered about from the show. This is the longest story, and we hope you enjoy! Major Spoilers for Episode 3 of Secrets in Stained Glass are below; definitely go watch that first. You don't need to have watched Episode 4, however!

If you missed some of our other stories, check out our Secrets in Stained Glass tag. For a PDF version of the story, click here!


Illicit Affairs

By Eric Lake & FeatherWriter

Content Warnings: Graphic depictions and glorification of violence, swearing, suggestive content, description of a hanging, physical threats by a romantic partner, brief description of someone being on fire.

1009 FE: Six months after the Elariel manor fire

Jenna Tekiel, heir of House Tekiel, prowled through the slums of Luthadel. Lord Ruler, it was absolute perfection to be on the hunt again. No longer bedridden from grief, she at last felt strong again. She sprinted across the roofs of the dilapidated buildings here in the slums of the Cracks, her pewter easily allowing her to jump between the structures.

Pewter was part of her strength, yes, but not the most important part. She finally had purpose again. Destiny. Perhaps that had been the true Ascension of the Lord Ruler: not power, but the purpose, knowledge, and determination to do what was necessary.

Jenna had a sliver of that ultimate knowledge now. According to the Steel Ministry, Julian's bodyguard, Ches, had turned out to be a half-skaa rebel, and thus, solidly implicated in the devastating fire at the Elariel manor six months ago that had murdered Julian and so many others. That intelligence had snapped Jenna into action, bringing her back to life itself. And it made sense Ches would do it; Jenna always sensed a contempt for the nobility that he tried to hide. Ches probably attached himself to Julian and his house, Lunarche, as his main inroad to noble society, and Jenna’s engagement to Julian gave Ches even more opportunities. And now Julian was dead because of it...

Focus, Jenna thought to herself, leaping across to another tenement. She couldn’t get sucked back into her despair from the fire. The fact was, she had trusted Julian, and Julian trusted that bodyguard, for some reason. How was it her fault when Julian’s trust was betrayed? All that could be done now was see to it that traitors met God’s justice, and Obligator Verity—blessed woman that she was—had given Jenna the chance to get it done. Such illicit affairs were not unusual for Jenna, but this would be her most important one yet.

You don’t have to do this. Julian’s words. You don’t need to be Tekiel’s dagger. Jenna shoved the thoughts away. She wanted to do this, not anyone else. Lord Ruler forbid that she wanted to reclaim some sense of control after everything had been taken from her.

A few more jumps later, Jenna had arrived, thirty-seven structures west of the Erikell dock along the river. Since the Lord Ruler had sadly not created Jenna as a Mistborn, the mists without tin were a constant challenge, so she had memorized her route precisely. Verity had said Ches would go to the alley to the west of this, and fortunately, the Ministry had killed the person he was to meet, presumably torturing them to get at this bodyguard. Good.

She peered over the edge of the roof and looked to the alley below. Jenna was shocked it was almost a reasonable width, nearly six feet wide, which was unusual for the chaotic, crowded tenements here in the Cracks. No one was there yet—good, since Jenna was early to the meeting—and the alley had, among the piles of ash that had not been swept away for ages, some barrels, broken crates, and trash.

She knew the Ministry would have stashed one of their execution hooks down there for her. She was tempted to go and check, as well as wait down there, but the Ministry had learned Ches was a Coinshot—confirming his half-skaa status—and the only way a Pewterarm could defeat a Coinshot was with surprise. If she chose the wrong place to wait, as soon as he learned it wasn’t the man he meant to meet, he would launch off, and Jenna would have lost her one chance.

So, she curled up on the rooftop, her dark, ash-colored trousers and clothing hiding her presence. She drank her pewter vials, and kept one eye overlooking the alley.

Then she waited.

The mists swirled, and in them, she could have sworn to a Steel Inquisitor under the penalty of death that, for a moment, she saw Julian’s face. The rational part of her knew that people simply saw patterns in them that were not truly there, but it still made Jenna imagine Julian being burned alive. She saw the images so vividly: his blonde hair set aflame, his spectacles melting, and a desperate plea in his eyes for Jenna to forgive and save him.

If it had been a mere week ago, Jenna would have wept, but tonight, she felt what she could only interpret as divine wrath burning in her. She would use every bit of authority she could to make sure those responsible for the fire would be burnt to ash, no matter how many rebels and traitors it took. If she had to do it personally, so be it. She made a mental note that she would speak such an oath to Verity, so it was official.

You don’t have to kill. You can be better.

Could she? Julian’s ideals had left him as a burnt husk, and Jenna lived. The Lord Ruler had made a world where it was either kill or be killed.

And Jenna damn well wasn’t going to be killed today.

She spotted a figure in the mists walking down the alley: the bodyguard, likely. The reason her fiancé, and so many others, were dead. The time was right for him to arrive. Jenna half-expected he would have used his Allomancy to do so, but it was probably best for skaa criminals to not have such a loud profile.

The figure went to the end of the alley and slouched against the wall of the structure that Jenna was at. She would say it was luck, but it was simply that the Lord Ruler’s designs were flawless, as always. No doubt, she was meant to impose this retribution.

Jenna waited a minute, until there was some noise several tenements away to mask her drop, then she burned pewter and leapt.

She crashed into him, grappling her arms around him from behind, and then the man burned steel, identifying him as Ches. They launched backward into the wooden wall, Jenna colliding with it first. But, flaring pewter, she barely felt the pain. The Push intensified—surely he was flaring now—no doubt trying to crush Jenna against the wall.

Frantically, Ches Pushed against different anchors to change directions, anything to get Jenna to release him. Soon they rose up the wall, Jenna's back scraping against the building. But he was a fool. Not even the Deepness would get Jenna to stop now.

Jenna snarled, doing her best to pull and twist the bodyguard to the wall. Though he wasn't the biggest man, she had to work against his strength as well as the force of his Push. Jenna, however, was stronger, and had the Lord Ruler on her side. She swung him with all her strength against the building, and with his Push assisting her, he brutally slammed into the wall.

Wood broke; bones snapped.

He cried out.

Jenna grinned. Ches stayed aloft, wedged up to the wall from his Push, and now Jenna simply held on. He would not be allowed to get away.

They met eyes. His face was scarred and burned, but underneath the damage, Jenna recognized Ches’s hateful gaze.

“It’s you,” he wheezed, recognition dawning in him.

“You,” Jenna said, “have made some grave errors. They shall be corrected now.”

Then, keeping one arm around Ches, she released the other, raising her fist, and bashing his face as hard as she could manage. She did it twice more for good measure.

Julian would have been so disappointed. Jenna could live with that.

The Steelpushes ended.

They both fell. Jenna kept her hold on his torso as they crashed to the ground, but it barely hurt her. If Ches was still alive, it would have hurt him far more.

It seemed he still breathed, somehow, but it was strained. Coinshots, so maneuverable, but so fragile and brittle. She rolled them both over, and Ches was crumpled, weak below her. The bodyguard wheezed, and she saw the horror and desperation in him. Good. Now he would know what Julian must have felt like in his last moments in the fire.

“You thought you were only dealing with Elariels,” Jenna hissed. “Unfortunately, you hurt Tekiel as well. And that is unacceptable to me.”

Ches spat blood. “Stupid bitch, you don’t even—”

Jenna snapped his spine, and his struggling ceased.

She kept her brutal clench around Ches’s corpse, her heart racing and her arms bloodied. This was so unlike the others she killed, out of duty or self-defense. Here, she felt so different. She was good. Powerful. Righteous. She was perfectly in control, in pure transcendence. Or... divinity, even, and that was not her Allomancy’s doing.

Only one thing left to do to finish the job. But as she threw Ches onto the ground, his skull cracking on the stone, Jenna heard the soft crunch of another pair of feet landing in the ash. She spun, and recognized that arrogant face instantly.

However, for once in his life, the wide eyes of Dier Venture did not look nearly so arrogant now. His gaze flicked between her and the corpse she had broken, frozen in place. He was no threat to her now. How could he be? He was prey; just another fragile Coinshot.

Jenna grinned and glared at him. “Hello, Dier. This is quite... unfortunate for you.”


As far as House chores went, Dier had always felt assassinations were a tossup.

On the one hand, there were benefits. The chance to get out of the keep and away from the rest of the family was always a welcome one. Sailing high through the night on graceful lines of steel was one of the few experiences these days that still gave him any measure of joy. Aside from the way Vasha kept creeping into his thoughts unbidden—Sloppy on your corners again, Clip. Did you completely miss the fourth anchor on that roof, or did you over-swing the angle on purpose? Stop show-boating like a silly debutante and keep it clean, just like I taught you...—his Steelpushing was an escape, a few moments of freedom, a reprieve.

And tonight wasn't even a real assassination mission. He was just a bit of insurance, it seemed. Straff had been clear there was someone else making a hit tonight, a “loose thread being snipped” and all Dier needed to do was ensure it actually happened. Maybe a bit of coin-spray cleanup if the killer had gotten sloppy, or the target was putting up a fight, but more than likely a cold site, and a hook through the neck as confirmation. A job already complete.

And jobs somebody else had already completed were Dier’s favorite kind, after all.

On the other hand, it seemed like more often than not, even the most straightforward, hands off, so-simple-even-you-couldn’t-mess-this-up-Dier mission assignments of Straff’s had a truly bad habit of putting his life in some kind of mortal peril. A fact that was not lost on him as he froze, stock-still and half crouched in a dismal alley across from one of his dear old friends, who looked for all the world like she was enjoying imagining which of his bones would feel the most pleasant to snap.

Just what I get for trying to be a gentleman about it all.

When he’d heard the sound of a scuffle, he’d made his way over to investigate, as anyone would. When he’d recognized from above a struggling Jenna Tekiel, pinned halfway up an alley wall as she wrestled with someone burning steel in what was obviously a lethal exchange, he’d thought it only polite to perhaps drop in and lend her a hand with that. Sure, she’d never been particularly fond of him in their little friend group with Maevis and Lucius all these years, but the fact that she’d always been an uptight, fun-hating, wet blanket of a person was no reason for him to just let her die.

Besides, he’d thought, the idea of perfect little Tekiel owing him a favor after he valiantly saved her life was too tempting to pass up. When they’d dropped to the ground again, he'd seen his chance.

But before his feet had even hit the ground to enact what would have surely been an incredibly gallant and mostly selfless rescue, his prim and proper “friend” had effortlessly snapped the neck of the other Coinshot with one hand, and he had immediately realized that he perhaps might have mixed up who exactly was the assailant and the victim in this little dust-up.

She turned to regard him with a grin that could have cut glass, and Dier was forced to acknowledge several difficult truths as he met that terrifying gaze:

One, Jenna Tekiel was some kind of Allomancer, and an accomplished killer at that.

Two, she had kept this fact completely secret in all the years he’d known her.

Three, she was almost certainly intending to murder him within the next minute for having learned this about her.

Four, if she really did have pewter—and he was almost entirely certain she had pewter—he was standing far too close to be able to get aloft again before she closed the distance between them.

And five, that it was completely and utterly unfair that he was probably about to die right after he’d finally discovered that there was actually something interesting about her.

“Hello, Dier,” Jenna said, in a tone wholly unlike anything he’d ever heard from her before. “This is quite… unfortunate for you.”

“Jenna,” he said with a strained chuckle, forcing a smile onto his face. He began to straighten from his landing excruciatingly slowly, watching her all the while for the barest twitch of a move in his direction. “I’ll… admit it’s unexpected, running into you like this. But you seem to be doing, ah, well for yourself, if I may say.”

Though she could surely hear how thin his lighthearted tone was, inside his thoughts raced, every part of him feeling like it had gone sharp. His first suspicion was Mistborn, and it was the more dangerous possibility, of course. There’d always been whispers that she might be a Soother—another reason they’d never gotten along—but it wouldn’t be the first time someone had hid Mistborn status by feigning to be a Misting instead. Oldest court trick in the book.

But each passing second brought new information: he braced for her to Pull his coin pouch from him, but the tug never came. None of his lines pointed to her, meaning she carried no metal of her own. That could have been to allow her to get a drop on her Coinshot quarry, but as moments passed with his own metals untouched, he reassessed.

Pewterarm, then. Still plenty deadly, as the unfortunate lump on the ground had learned the hard way, but perhaps he still had some kind of chance of wiggling out of this. He found himself suddenly regretting just how many times he’d intentionally gotten under her skin for a laugh in their little group, though. Surely she wouldn’t still have any hard feelings about any of that, would she?

“Things are at last starting to become right in the world,” Jenna said, her gaze burrowing into Dier. “But now... you’re here. Unideal. Witnesses are problematic. It would be a shame if you did something foolish and got yourself murdered. I would prefer against doing that, but,” she waved back to the corpse, “I do what I must.”

“When have you ever known me to make a fool of myself, Jenna? Positively unlike me, really.” He tried to give her his most winsome grin, all the while forcing himself not to take a step backward. He had a feeling any movement on his part that even suggested he meant to flee would be… counterproductive to his ability to keep breathing.

“Now,” he continued, “I’m sure you’re weighing all kinds of strategic considerations on the benefits of killing me or letting me go, but given that we’re old friends, I do feel like it should count as some point in my favor that I came down here intent upon saving you from a terrible attempt on your life. I see now you had the matter well… ah, well in hand, but how was I to know that from above?”

“Yes, indeed. That is why I opened with ‘Hello, Dier’ rather than killing you. Very fortunate your face is so distinctive in the mists.” This seemed like the point where Jenna would have clasped her hands behind her back—her favorite domineering stance—but she was clearly readied to jump at him at a moment’s notice. “Why are you here, Dier? We’re halfway across the city from Keep Venture. Curious. I am not in the mood for games, so start talking. Choose your words carefully.”

“Can you promise you’re not going to just kill me off as soon as I do?” He raised an eyebrow at her, his grin coming to him a little more easily this time. “See, this is normally the part where you'd call for some kind of obligator to serve as witness, I suspect, but we appear to be quite scandalously unchaperoned out here, do we not?”

He felt electric, dancing on the edge of death like this, adrenaline still coursing even as he tried to lean back into an easy tone and affability to try to get her to lower her guard. And this Jenna... It felt like he was meeting a stranger, a fascinating stranger, like everything about her had shifted. That half-wild delight in her eyes, the naked cruelty in her words. After years of being endlessly bored trying and failing to crack through the cold iron slab Jenna always carried around instead of a personality, his head was spinning to try to conceive that she was the same person standing across from him now. This vicious, self-assured creature eyeing him up like she thought to make a meal of him, her once-unassailable restraint now replaced by something dangerously paper-thin. She seemed alive in a way he’d never before known her to be.

And for the first time in a very long time, he felt alive as well. Now, if I could just figure out how to do something to ensure I can stay that way…

Jenna raised her eyebrow back—just slightly, but enough for him to catch. “I swear it by the name of the Lord Ruler, I will not kill you here, should you tell me the truth. I don’t want to kill you, you fool. But a woman has to be careful.” She smirked, and though a touch of her coldness seemed to fade, that knife’s edge energy in her posture never wavered.

“Well, as someone with a vested interest in ensuring you continue not wanting to kill me, perhaps we might work something out?” He dipped his head to her slightly, though he kept his eyes trained upon her, not trusting her enough yet to look away for even a moment. “No one needs to know what I may or may not have seen tonight, and in return for your magnanimous sparing of my life, well... You’re an ambitious sort, yes? I’m sure the Lady Heiress of House Tekiel could find some use for the skills of a humble Coinshot, could she not?”

She grinned. Was that... joy? “Perhaps I could... But that is not an answer, Dier. Why are you here? It is important. I will not ask again.”

His smile wavered, just a touch, as he squirmed in place with the decision. It’d be a gamble, to tell her, as her interest in the information was probably one of the few things holding her back. Not to mention disclosing Venture interests was a risky call under any circumstances, particularly to a member of a powerful house like Tekiel. But he also wasn’t blessed with an abundance of choice here, and when Push came to Pull, if it came down between his cousin’s orders and saving his own skin, he was always going to pick himself first.

“On the name of the Lord Ruler, you said?” he asked, weighing the strength of that oath. All that religious stuff did seem to carry weight with her, or at least it always had in the past. “Fine. Venture had a… passing interest in an incident expected to occur tonight. I was sent to confirm that it actually got done. Which I will admit, I had not managed to do before getting distracted over here with my very chivalrous attempt to come to your rescue, and thus I should probably be getting back to my actual task sometime in the near future.”

He eyed her, considering whether or not he should leave it there, but had a thought that in this case, perhaps a little more information might get him off the hook faster. “It was supposed to be a Ministry thing, it sounded like. Whatever grievance you had with this unfortunate fellow, I can’t imagine it’s any of my business, all right?”

“Indeed not,” Jenna said. She stared at him for a few long, excruciating moments. “Very good, Dier. In fact, speaking of completing tasks, I am not quite finished.”

He blinked, then risked waving a hand for her to continue. Though what more she could have to do to the poor bastard, he couldn’t fathom. “Well, don’t let me keep you, then."

“I am going to turn my back on you now. Let me be clear: our conversation is not finished. If you shoot off into the night while I am not looking... well. We certainly would not be able to work anything out then, would we? You’d be on the end of an extremely different deal.”

“At the very least, you’ve piqued my curiosity,” he said, placing a hand on his chest. “Best behavior, I swear.”

Jenna shot him a look that said she’d believe that when she saw it, but did in fact turn away from him to pick up the body from the ground. Shooting off would have been the smart thing to do right now, he knew, but he was curious what was going on here, and if she wanted to give him a little test to see if he’d cooperate, he could play along. He did take her moment of distraction to surreptitiously drop another coin beneath him, aiming for a spot of ash to try to hide the clink. He might not intend to make immediate use of it, but it never hurt to be prepared.

The pieces began to click into place as Jenna walked a few steps to an inconspicuous pile of ash, kicking free the very distinctive implement stashed beneath. Dier sighed softly as he recognized the wicked hook of a Ministry ritual execution, cursing himself for having ignored the little blue line that had pointed to it as a bit of metal when he’d arrived.

As he watched, Jenna rather efficiently lifted her victim and curled the hook into just the right angle to insert it, then jammed through his throat. Paying no mind to the bloody mess she’d made of her hands with the gruesome act, she tugged upon it a few times to ensure the body was secure, then with a quick glance at the roof above, looped the rope it was tied to, and swung it up towards a jutting piece of the stonework eaves. With pewter-assisted accuracy, her aim was perfect, the rope catching her target exactly as she’d meant it to, and with a hard yank, she hoisted the unfortunate man into the air. Suspended now as he was, Dier caught sight of his face—or rather what was left of it—and frowned at the extensive scarring that marred every inch of his features.

When she finally turned back to him, looking altogether too pleased with her work, he offered her a few quiet claps of sardonic applause. “All right, so maybe you did have something to do with my little errand, it turns out. Very clever of you. Suppose I really shouldn’t be that surprised to find you’re doing Ministry dirty work, after everything else that’s come out tonight. You always were so very devout, after all.”

“Oh, please,” Jenna said. “As if anyone who was devout would do this on a whim for the Ministry. Your understanding is a tiny sliver of the truth.”

“If it’s all the same to you, I think I prefer to keep my sliver and call that enough. I feel as though I’ve had quite a bit more truth about you dropped on my plate tonight than I was expecting, Lady Tekiel.”

“Quite. We shall discuss that now. Come. We should not still be here. It would be unfortunate for you if any more blood needs to be spilt. You’ve been a good boy at following instructions, so I again swear that I won’t kill you, if you follow me.”

For a moment, he considered making some sort of quip about what part of the Lord Ruler she was going to swear on this time for him, but decided perhaps that pressing his luck when she seemed to be entertaining the idea of letting him live was not the wisest plan. So instead, he gave her a long, deep stare, still turning over this strange, captivating puzzle of the real Jenna Tekiel in his head, like if he could only find some hidden insight in her eyes, everything about her would simply click into place.

But the simple answers about who she actually was eluded him, and that only made him more determined to ferret out what they were. As he stared at her there—bloodied, confident, demanding to be obeyed—he couldn’t quite keep the question on his mind from slipping free:

“Have you always been like this, underneath it all?” It was barely more than a murmur, speaking more to himself than actually looking for an answer from her. “I can’t for the life of me figure out if you’ve changed… or if I just haven’t been paying you enough attention.”

“I ensure people will never notice.” Jenna glanced to the hanging corpse, making a thin smile. Then, with pewter-enhanced strength, leapt onto a crate and started climbing up the building. She looked back to meet Dier’s eyes. “You coming?” A challenge. Or threat.

He overtly dropped another coin, hoping to hide the fact that he’d slipped one to the ground earlier, then Pushed off them both, landing lightly on the rooftop above. When she crested the top a moment later, he offered her a gentlemanly bow. “After you, my lady.”

Jenna didn’t hesitate and bounded between the structures, and Dier quickly took to the air to follow her route. He kept waiting for her to stop somewhere up above, away from where they’d be overheard on the streets, but she moved with purpose, clearly with some kind of destination in mind. He let himself get a bit showier with his steel work this time, appreciating that he had a bit of an audience as she continued to check that he was still following. If the ghost of Vasha haunting his thoughts had suspected him of behaving like a “silly debutante” before, well…

His lighter spirits were dampened somewhat when they moved out of the slums and into the start of more properly cared for buildings, however, watching as Jenna jumped down to a secluded street there. At the base of a building, she moved some objects out of her way, dusting off ash, and pulled a hidden lever, revealing a cellar to the shops above. She motioned Dier inside.

Immediately, he hesitated, realizing the strategic implications of following, and he knew with full clarity why she hadn’t wanted to stop on the roofs at any point on the way here. Open air favored him: having room to maneuver and keep himself out of her reach was the strongest asset he would have if this came to blows. Getting him to step inside, to trap him in an enclosed space, was a sure way to tip the advantage squarely in her favor. The kind of injuries he could inflict with a handful of coins at close range wouldn’t slow her down if she flared her way through it, and he certainly wasn’t going to be able to shove her around with steel either, given her strength. Even if he was lucky enough to somehow hit her in a way that was lethal, pewter would keep her on her feet and functional long enough for her to ensure that he died first.

She turned back to look at him when he stopped, raising an eyebrow with an expression that made it clear that following her in was not a request, and he felt his heart rate kick up again to a thready flutter. Dangerous games, and dangerous little acts of trust she kept demanding from him. Was she actually trying to gauge his willingness to negotiate, or was it all just a ruse to trick him into a trap he wouldn’t be able to escape?

He could leave now. He was further back this time, and he had a coin already poised beneath him from his landing. If he wanted to make a break for it here, he was reasonably certain he could. It was probably the wise thing to do, to cut his losses and go back to tell Straff this juicy bit of intelligence about Tekiel’s Allomantic capabilities, consider Jenna an enemy from here on out.

But then she gave him that obsidian-sharp smile again—with a hint of a dare in her eyes that was shockingly reminiscent of someone he’d already wasted enough time remembering—and he found himself stepping forward to do as she asked instead. She waited for him to go in first, and he paused in the threshold, giving her a knowing look as if to say he knew full well what he was giving up by complying, and then continued on in. As she closed the door behind them both, he tried not to imagine it as the sound of his fate being sealed.

Inside, Jenna lit two candles. It was a small suite, surprisingly well-furnished with a sofa in the first room, with cabinets lining the wall, and a washroom in a second room in the back. She went into the washroom, retrieving a wet towel and wiped off some of the blood on her, then she opened the cabinet and grabbed... wine glasses? Yes, then a bottle of wine, and began pouring two glasses. She took a sip of hers first, and offered Dier the second.

He took it, kicking it back with a quick tip, appreciating the surprisingly fine quality. “I will say I’m going to be very disappointed if you’ve brought me all the way here just to kill me with something so uninspired as poison, all things considered.”

“Poison is dull,” Jenna said. “That’s a last resort method. And if I wished for your death, Dier, you would be dead right now. Consider it a great honor that I’ve brought you to a safehouse of mine.”

“I hope you can forgive if I wait to feel honored until I am graced with the opportunity to leave it, actually.” He looked around, eyeing the tight surroundings, full of all kinds of obstacles that would almost certainly get in his way if he tried to escape. “But for now, you’ve got me tucked away in your secret little box. Shall we discuss, then, what comes next?”

“Precisely my thinking. You have to understand how thoroughly inconvenient this is, Dier. Tonight was to solve problems, not add new ones. You understand that revealing my pewter would be...” Jenna’s eyes glinted with the fire from the candles. “Grave. I was thinking on the way over if it would be wiser just to kill you and deal with the Ministry paperwork instead. Perhaps I am a bit of a fool myself, or simply too kind, that I did not. What assurance could you possibly give me that you would not reveal my secret, Dier? I can deal with you, if you do, and I will make sure it is excruciating. But it is so inconvenient if you do. Do you understand?”

He spread his hands in surrender, smiling at her again. “I’ve got no interest in becoming a new problem for you, and a rather strong interest in avoiding being disposed of in any way, excruciating or otherwise. It truly wasn’t my intent to stumble upon any of your secrets tonight, I assure you. Hell, by the way Straff talked about it, he made it sound like I was looking for a cold stiff, not an active fight between two Allomancers! This isn’t exactly in line with my plans for the evening either.”

He took a breath, running a hand back through the hair that had escaped his braid, and fixed her with another disarming smile. “Look, as far as I’m concerned, the job my cousin sent me out here to do is done. He wanted confirmation a kill had happened tonight, and it has. Saw the body on the hook with my own eyes. If he saw fit to decline to mention that there was a risk that other Allomancers were involved in this little mission, then I don’t see why it’s any of his business what Allomancy I may or may not have seen on site. He doesn’t have to know, and no one else does either, all right?”

Jenna made a gleeful, wicked smile. “Against your house’s best interests?”

For the first time, Dier’s smile slipped, giving way to something darker, something bitter instead. “Does that surprise you? I don’t see why my house’s interests should be the deciding factor in anything. It isn’t as though they’ve ever given half a thought to my best interests, after all.”

“I like that, Dier. This pleases me greatly to hear you say that. And it certainly is in your best interest to stay silent about me.”

He eyed her, trying to size up what she really wanted out of this exchange. She was political, ambitious, traits he’d always lacked himself, but could use to his advantage. He dipped another courteous bow, and this time did let his gaze leave her, another little gesture of dangerous trust, another little bit of power conceded to her advantage.

“So let’s talk about your best interests, then. Jenna. And what I might be able to do for you to serve them.” His eyes flicked upward again, wanting to watch her reaction. “I meant what I said about how useful I might be to you, if you had need of someone like me. Give me a chance to prove I can be trusted with a secret like yours. A chance to reassure you that letting me live can be an act in your interest as well.

“I wouldn’t ask for something so banal as kindness or mercy from you. I’m not going to beg that you spare me out of the goodness of your heart. We both know the Great Houses don’t deal in any currency as worthless as altruism. If you’re offering me the indulgence of having spared my life, well, I intend to do the courtly thing and ensure that debt would be repaid. Ensure that you understand what an asset someone like me could be for you, indebted as I am. Ensure you can see the opportunity this little accidental disclosure between us has created. For you.”

Jenna laughed, almost a giggle. So strange to hear from her, yet... intoxicating. Dier desperately needed to hear it again. “A useful Dier? My, we are learning so many new things about each other today. Mmmmmm... I do so like my advantages. My little knives. All right, Dier. This will be fun.”

“Seems we’re both full of surprises tonight,” he said, “aren’t we?”

“We will make sure an oath of yours is witnessed by a trusted obligator. You will tell no one of this arrangement, yes?”

He swirled the wine in his glass again, taking another sip as he nodded to himself. “Can I admit something to you, Jenna? Stumbling into you in that alleyway is the most interesting thing that’s happened to me in… honestly, I can’t fathom how long. Sure, I think I’ll enjoy the experience a bit more once I’m certain I’m going to survive it, but rest assured I have no intention of jeopardizing your goodwill after I fought so hard to attain it. If you want to do the little routine with an obligator, I’ll do whatever you need to keep things amicable between us.”

“Very good. I am so glad to hear it.” Jenna met his eyes. She seemed thrilled—truly happy—but beneath that, something... ravenous. “I’ll feel better once you do a task for me, then we can all rest easy, thoroughly assured there’s no subterfuge here. Hmmmm. How useful would you like to be for me, tonight?”

He perked up, not bothering to keep the interest out of his expression at that. A chance to prove himself already? A chance to see the look on her face when he returned, triumphant, from whatever task she might set? He knew, deep down, that there was a good chance she was just toying with him, perhaps looking for some brief amusement before she rid herself of the liability he now represented. A way to get a bit of use out of the fool who had placed himself so fully at her mercy before she tired of him.

And yet, all he could think of was how delightful it would be to prove her wrong, to actually win her trust. Imagining the game going on, another chance to get to know the real Jenna she’d kept so carefully tucked behind her mask all these years. Let’s see if you tire of me once you see how useful I can really be, old friend…

She could have demanded he bring her the Lord Ruler’s signet ring on a necklace, and he’d have immediately made his way directly to Kredik Shaw.

His grin threatened to split his face as he bowed to her one more time. “How might I be of service, my lady?”


Two months later, Jenna stomped through Luthadel again, still wearing her ball finery—though with a long cloak over it—after the Lekal ball, toward that same safehouse where she and Dier had come to their arrangement before. An arrangement that had been going so well, until tonight.

Focus, she thought. Blessedly, despite all the thousands of thoughts swirling in her, she could hone in on the fire burning in her. Usually the flames were passion, but tonight, it was pure fury. That gave her at least some element of control, something which Dier seemed insistent on annihilating. Unacceptable.

She shoved the lever to the safehouse, bounding inside and quickly shutting the door. Candles already lit the chamber, and Dier stood against the wall eyeing the entrance. His suit’s shirt was wine-stained—Jenna’s doing. Despite her death glare, somehow he had the audacity to give a smug grin back at her.

Jenna would not allow herself to be distracted by that face, nor did she let him speak. With pewter, she crossed the room in a flash, and with a single hand, picked him up and slammed him back against the wall, pinning him there hard. It probably hurt, but they both knew he was not as fragile as he looked. He’d be fine, for now.

“I know you are not a pious man,” Jenna whispered into his ear, summoning every bit of malice in her, “but now would be the time to begin making one final prayer.”

He made a satisfying wheeze as his back hit the wall, but despite it, he still managed to huff a strangled little laugh. “Should have… sprung for a nice bottle of wine with the proposal… I see. I just worried… you would think it was too much, dearest.”

Jenna released her grip slightly, only to immediately pummel him back into the wall. His head bounced off the surface and he grimaced, obviously in pain.

Too much, she realized. Precision and care. Fury was a focus, but now the fires within her were flaring far too high. It had been almost two decades since she accidentally killed someone, and she could not, under any circumstances, break that pattern.

She took her right hand and clenched his throat with it, but despite her pewter, she was careful to not instantly snap his neck. Unfortunately.

“You have NO IDEA how catastrophically you have doomed things,” Jenna roared. “A marriage proposal? In public! Without DISCUSSING WITH ME before you did it?” She squeezed his throat. “It would be so trivial for me to press a little harder here and end you. It is only with the infinite love and grace of the Sliver of Infinity that I have not already done so.”

“Jenna, Jenna,” he begged softly, eyes a bit dazed from the hit to his head as he placed his hand on top of hers. He affectionately patted it as it tightened around his neck. “Can I just… Can I explain? Please… I’ll behave.”

She held him there for a few long seconds, staring into his eyes—gorgeous steel-blue, nearly grey eyes. There was fear in him, yes, but perhaps more terrifying beneath it... trust. As if he didn’t think she would actually clamp down the vice on him. It was utterly insane, and it cut through the fires ablaze inside her, dousing them completely.

Jenna released her pressure, carefully easing him down to his feet.

What am I even doing? she thought. The one person who finally understands and I almost kill him. Like her uncle, when she had been eight, sparring with her using pewter for the first time. One slight punch misplaced, and he was gone. That was why precision mattered, why her whole life she had to be perfect. And she could have easily thrown it away there.

She extinguished her pewter. She noticed she had started shaking, but with force of will, she stood firm. She prayed to the Lord Ruler with all she had that he wouldn’t notice the weakness.

“Fine,” Jenna said quietly, avoiding his gaze. Hopefully he would think she was too upset to look into his eyes, and not anything else.

Dier slumped against the wall, tugging his cravat loose to try to get his breath back, but despite the rough treatment, he still managed a smile at her when he looked up again. “Look, would you believe me if I said I thought you’d appreciate the gesture?”

Like a puppy trying to impress its master, incapable of grasping any higher level of understanding. Jenna sighed. It was unfortunate she couldn’t affix a more permanent leash. “You were actually serious last week, when you asked me in private?”

Dier’s little smile faltered, and he seemed puzzled and hurt at that. Lord Ruler. “Was I…? Jenna, of course I was serious last week! Hell, I would have been serious tonight if you’d said yes, but I admit my intent in bringing it up in front of the crowd was somewhat… ulterior.” He began to smirk again. “I mean, did you see the looks on all of their faces?”

She rubbed her temples. This was going to be a problem. “Their reaction is precisely the issue.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Are you certain of that, dearest?” He clicked his tongue. “Oh, don’t tell me I got one over on you. I thought you were the strategic one between the two of us. I was certain you’d see right to the heart of my little scene.”

Precisely,” Jenna repeated. “I am thinking of strategy because you’re completely inept at it. I expected discretion! Do you understand what would happen if they figure out the killings you’ve done for me, and if they make the connection between us? That is far easier now that you have made such a loud pronouncement! If the Haughts get wind of the death of Claudine... Lord Ruler, and those Hasting blacksmiths...”

Dier straightened, stepping across the room to her and laying a hand on her cheek, trying to turn her face toward his. “You didn’t see the look on your face when I made the proposal, Jenna. But everyone else did. That mortified fury, that shocked rage? I couldn’t risk your reaction being anything other than genuine if it was going to work. ‘Lord Ruler, hasn’t that poor Tekiel girl been through enough? What a hideous thing for that boy to drag her through, just to make a scene. A proposal, can you imagine, and so soon after losing that fiancé of hers…’

He met her eyes with a satisfied smirk. “The loss of one of my suit shirts to your wine was a small price to pay, in my books. Who would imagine you would ever want anything to do with such an odious fool as me after a scandalous impropriety like that? How inconceivable that the perfectly polite and tactful Tekiel heir would so much as speak with that Venture miscreant, especially after he pulled such a stunt upon her. Yes?”

Lord Ruler, how was it that this man was so infuriating that Jenna so often both wanted to snap him in half and ravish him?

Jenna reach out a hand, slowly—with great care, so he did not see it as a threat—moving it to lightly touch the back of his neck, slightly dragging her nails along it. She could feel the goosebumps on his skin as she did. Then she pressed her nails into it so that the pressure was very noticeable, but not damaging. He made a fun squirm at that.

“I do not like surprises, Dier,” Jenna said, her mouth dangerously close to his. “I would congratulate you on the ingenuity, except that it’s a terrible idea which—most importantly—you did not clear with me. I keep thousands of secrets, and can act convincingly so no one would ever know the difference. It’s not like it’s hard to pretend to hate you, anyway.”

He chuckled softly, eyes watching her mouth. “Mmm, but you’re so very beautiful with that vicious, murderous rage in your eyes. I just couldn’t help myself… But very well. No more surprises.”

She moved to drag her fingers across his cheek and smiled. “Good.”

“You should actually marry me, though. While we’re on the topic.”

Jenna went cold and slowly backed away from him. “That... would be extremely challenging to navigate. Inconceivably so. But all right. I cut you off last week when you suggested that, and that was clearly an imprudent move on my part. Make your bid. I will listen.”

Dier leaned after her when she stepped away, as though Pulled by a line of iron, but her words surprised him enough to let her put space between them. “R-really? I didn’t think you would…” He blinked, then seemed to regain control, returning to his usual self. “Well, I honestly think it’s an option worth considering, is it not? I’ve quite enjoyed our arrangement thus far and I have to believe you have as well. We make a strong team, you must admit. Your strategies and strength, putting my steel to good use. Have I not been the very picture of a loyal and dutiful partner?

“Why wouldn’t we want to formalize that? Our houses are both powerful, we’re of rank with one another, and neither one of us have any other real marriageable prospects since your, well, loss. Yes, the secret is fun, we won’t be able to keep up a secret like this indefinitely, even after my rather artful obfuscation tonight. I know we’re both very careful and clever about it all, but at some point we’ll need to think about what comes next. I mean, won’t we?”

Jenna frowned. More problems. This was a delicate situation. If she said the wrong thing, and cut him loose, that would be... quite inconvenient, for so many reasons, not that least bit because she truly would miss him. That was the shocking fact that she had learned over the past two months.

“Dier... I will be honest with you. I enjoy this. I do not enjoy the surprises, but... You see a part of me almost no one sees. Well. Except before their deaths. House Tekiel forged me this way but they think I’m cold... They don’t see the fires of passion in me. You do.”

And death and destruction. The part Julian could never love. The part Dier seemed to adore.

“So I say this to mean... This is important to me.” She frowned. That was true, but all was not well. Jenna had to be perfect with him, lest the illusion on him break. Dier was a viper, as was Jenna, and there was no place for saccharine things like vulnerability or weakness here. She needed to be guarded, like she had been with Julian, but about the opposite things. She had to be in control of herself. But she would never be able to admit to any of that. Fortunately, there were so many other issues with Dier that she could focus on instead.

“But... there are problems with this, Dier. I will be Lady Tekiel. I will never renounce my title. Ever. And... despite all of this, you don’t actively work against Venture. It would be terrible for Venture—and you—to renounce your title and join me. Straff would never allow it either.

“Then there are the myriad political issues given what we have done here. Again, terrible if they track our involvement, maybe a house war. Maybe you’re discreet enough that you weren’t recognized, but no one would expect you to act alone. They would suspect me if this happened.

“And most important,” Jenna said, burrowing a glare into Dier, “you literally debase me in front of the court. You are a laughing stock by your own design, and because of that, if this all were to occur, you would make me a laughing stock. Things are already hard enough with constant pressure for me to marry out, rather than rule. I spent much social capital to ingratiate Julian into high society, and I am lacking that now. It is unacceptable to have that be tossed even further down into the center of the world itself by marrying you.

“If the Lord Ruler graces us with an opportunity to navigate the political situation to do this, and you want to help rule with me in the open... Well, you’re very useful, and good at what you do. Simply extend that in other respects. It’s not that hard.”

Dier tipped his chin back. “I might point out my worthless reputation is the reason my little scheme worked in the first place. There are advantages to being the rude idiot who’s made it clear he’s determined to never amount to anything. And I’ve been nothing if not thorough in that particular regard.” If anything, there was a vicious sort of pride in his voice, to speak of how thoroughly he’d ruined his public image.

“No,” Jenna said. “You need to be useful in more than these tasks I have you do, for this to be public and it be advantageous. Your worthless reputation is exactly the problem if you want to proceed. When you set your mind to a task, you’re effective. You clearly have set your mind on literally becoming refuse bathing in the ash, and that is not what the future Lady Tekiel needs. You have to be better. For the Lord Ruler’s sake, you could at least be... Neutral about things, rather than performing such colossal self-sabotage!”

Dier’s expression darkened, the pride there rotting into derision. “I think I’ve proved I can be of more than enough use for your many purposes, Lady Tekiel. I see no reason why I should have to prove my value to every idiot at court as well. If you wanted some sniveling suck-up trying to integrate himself for the approval of the Great Houses, maybe you should have married your little low-born Lunarche when you had the chance.”

Jenna rushed to him and snatched him by the throat again. She snickered. “Oh, you really don’t get it, do you, Dier, dearie... Perhaps you need to be taught a lesson. So we are going to go slowly and carefully, so you might get it through your impenetrably thick skull.”

He grinned back at her, showing teeth, utterly unthreatened despite how powerless his position was. “Oh, by all means, darling. Enlighten me.”

It was so tempting to burn pewter again and smash him to the floor for his stupid, smarmy insolence. “I well know people’s impressions of Julian at court, and the risk I was taking. Lucius wouldn’t say it to my face, but I knew. ‘Some lowborn, what a fool Tekiel is for bringing him.’ ‘Yes, that makes sense, this is the best she could get. No man in proper society would serve a female head of house.’ I feel like I heard your cousin Straff say that, several times. So I know. You aren’t aware how the perception of these matters can rapidly become reality. That’s what politics is: turning people’s thoughts into action, instilling their will upon the world. I have to say that to you because I legitimately think this is an alien concept to you.

“But, what also happened with Julian, after that first impression, is they saw something different. His ambition, his charm. He was a force, even if no one in high society cared to admit it. That brought me strength. A House Lady, with a brilliant confidant.

“You, on the other hand... What impression will you leave on me, should we marry? My father is old, and I am young. This is not a short-term arrangement. It doesn’t matter what idiot lower nobility think, but it absolutely matters what the sharks at the top think. And they will never take me seriously with a fool like you. You wouldn’t be a confidant. You’d be a jester, and I would be the butt of the joke. And that means, when I am head of my house, that people won’t work with me. They will laugh. They won’t see some hidden merit behind your face, like they did with Julian. They will see a fool, because that’s all you want them to see. At first, the problems will be small, but I know these will grow and grow, and doom me. And if I am doomed, without me and your Venture title, how long do you think you’ll last?

“You want to marry? Fine. But your behavior is completely self-defeating, to us together, me personally and to your very life, you fool. And if you can’t see that... Well, that could lead to some problems for us.”

Jenna shoved him to the ground and released him. He went down hard, which felt oh so good. He barely got his hands behind him to break the fall. After winces and groans, he looked at Jenna with a bitter snarl.

“They were always going to see me as nothing of consequence, Jenna. At least this way it’s on my terms. Let the court burn for all I care. Enjoy finding yourself some nice little well-behaved country nobleman to make you look good for all of them. Lean into being the boring, flawless Jenna that nobody could find fault with, then. I'm not here for her. But if that’s all you want to be, then fine. I’ll keep the worthless mess that I am far from whatever it is you’re after.”

He looked down at the wine-soaked shirt he still wore, now starting to set in as it dried. “Wouldn’t want someone like me to get a stain on you, would you?”

Blackness in the Ashmounts, what a complete catastrophe. Damn you, Dier Venture.

She clenched her fists so hard that her nails made the inside of her hands bleed. Lord Ruler forbid that Dier try at all to listen, improve, or do anything at all. Of course he wouldn’t get it. Jenna planned. Dier obeyed. It was going so well, so effectively. But she had to screw everything up with intimacy, just as she did with Julian.

Now he was going to abandon her, leaving her alone in the mists. He’d leave, with a wealth of incriminating knowledge on Jenna Tekiel. It would be so much easier to kill this idiot, but Lord Ruler, she looked at Dier and felt a deep and profound anguish in him that bubbled up within Jenna too. In that, she knew she deserved all of this.

You could have been better, Jenna imagined Julian whisper, but you chose the wrong path. I can't believe I ever loved you.

Jenna found herself growling a guttural noise as her mind churned with every dark thought—every consequence—of him leaving. It felt like the Deepness subsuming her entire world.

The court would know her mistake, laughing at her bedding this manwhore.

Straff would know her secrets.

Her mother would be disappointed; a fate worse than death.

Dier would hate her again.

No one would ever truly understand her.

No one would ever respect her as Lady Tekiel. How could they?

Just kill him.

No! Jenna thought. Focus, focus!

She needed to act, to do something—any purpose to grip onto—before she lost her control completely.

Jenna roared, burning and flaring pewter as fast she could, and went for the cabinetry affixed to the wall, ripping an entire section of it off, and slamming it to the ground. The wood broke and glass shattered inside. Dier flinched back towards the wall as the shrapnel went flying, covering his eyes to protect them.

She stared at the wreckage in glee. Better... good. No longer was she falling forever within the darkness of the Deepness. Now she felt like she stood over it, on an Ashmount’s peak, dominating the beast, in command of it.

“Do not dare imply that I don’t care about you, Dier,” she said. “I agree with many points in your marriage proposal. Don’t you see that I’d like it to be possible? Lord Ruler, and here I am falling in love again, foolishly, with someone who hates me... How typical.”

He lowered his arm slowly, looking up at her from the floor. “Did you just say… love?”

“Yes, you idiot. Not paying attention there, either, hmmm?” Jenna looked at him, smirking. Maybe if you were better at the game, you wouldn’t miss such things.

“Jenna, I could never hate you. Not for this.” Dier reached to place a coin behind him on the floor, using a light Push to get back to his feet. He sighed, giving her an apologetic smile. “I know I frustrate you. It’s a vice I’m not likely to quit any time soon. But you have to know I’d pull my heart from my own chest if you asked for it served on a platter, if only for a chance to see you pleased. To think of love, of you loving me? You… mean that, really?”

It took supreme effort for Jenna to not appear stunned. So that is why he places his life so eagerly into my hands. He would do anything for me, except, apparently, make himself better. That legitimately frightened Jenna. It was reckless, self-destructive devotion. She wouldn’t be able to threaten him to fix or improve things, either, so she would need different tactics. She wasn’t sure what that would entail. Julian never needed motivation to be ambitious and conniving, after all, so she lacked the right knives for the job.

“I’m as surprised as you are,” she said. It could be a terrible, complicated thing for her to still feel it. “But... don’t make it a whole thing.”

“No, no, never,” he said innocently, but a slight smirk began to form. “I’d do nothing of the sort… my love.

“I legitimately considered killing you there, before, and I don’t say that in jest. Do I need to reconsider that?” Of course, he’d just like that more.

“I’m sure you’re not the first,” he said, stupid grin on his face. “But no one’s gone through with it yet, at least. Seeing as we’re both still here, would you perhaps permit me t—”

“Just shut up and kiss me.”

With a wicked little laugh he flicked another coin behind him, Pushing it into the wall to propel him forward, Jenna bracing herself with pewter for the collision. He grabbed her face with both hands, and she wrapped her arms around his back. Her heart raced, and then they kissed. There was a primal intensity to it, flaring high, as things should always be. Unrelenting passions, not saccharine nonsense. There would be many problems with this relationship, but this wasn’t one of them.

And Jenna felt hungry, the fire in her demanding to burn him up, but her brain broke through the flames for a moment. “One more thing.”

He panted, but obeyed, pausing as well. But he was ready to pounce in an instant. “Yes, love?”

She glared at him. “Don’t, with that. This is precisely why I didn’t want to say anything. Anyway. Now that I am thinking...” Lord Ruler, Dier was so arrogantly handsome. It was so cute that he was shorter than her, too. So easy to control—in some respects, at least. “...thinking...more clearly, I have thought of a resolution to our impasse.”

“That is what you do, is it not?”

Jenna smiled. “I hear your proposal. It’s politically complicated—which you don't need to understand, or agree with, but it is a fact—so I cannot agree yet. However, this can perhaps be worked on together. It will be challenging, but I do so know you love a good challenge.”

His eyes narrowed. “All right. I’m intrigued. What did you have in mind?”

“I admit I have difficulty imagining a proper route to success, but I shall spend some effort trying to think on it and let you in on such plans. It is a delicate matter and will take a long time.” And Jenna would need Dier to be better, and that would take... longer than she would like. “For now, however, I think it best if you actually do more public proposals.”

His surprised reaction was truly delicious to watch.

“Yes, I’m certain you’ll enjoy it, and my reaction will throw the scent off of anyone at court thinking we are in league together. I’ll have to be rather aggressive towards you in public for continuing such boorish behavior towards me, but,” she dragged her nails across his back, “I believe you’ll find me far more appreciative later, when we’re alone once again...”

His eyes practically sparkled in the candlelight with glee. “Embarrassing you repeatedly in public and making an ass of myself? Well, you know I live to be of service.”

Jenna grinned. “Veeeerrrry good. Now, you can be of service by making me a... thorough. Apology.” She tapped her finger against his mouth after each word. “For your... surprises tonight.”

He licked his lips. “Well, I certainly think I have a lot to make up for, after all.”

She tossed him to the sofa and quickly joined him. For a time, Jenna got to forget the many problems with Dier and political schemes, and could just focus on feeling.

How nice it was that no one needed to die for her to feel such passion.


jenna sketch cropped.png

(Portrait Sketch by Elisgardor)


Author's Note & Acknowledgements

Hi, Eric here! Thank you all for reading this story of some... not great people (don't let Jenna tell you otherwise). This was quite a different experience for me to write, both because of the very different character of Jenna Tekiel, but also because this was my first big collaboration! So, I wanted to give a huge thanks to my brilliant co-author, FeatherWriter. She is a fantastic writer with far better instincts than I, and really brought this story to the next level. 

Very early on in character creation for Secrets in Stained Glass, Feather told me that Dier would be extremely into who Jenna was, and we quickly developed a lot of this. We even ran through this scene of them meeting in October or November of 2022, before the cast had done our Session 0, and long before we recorded episodes in February. We wrote almost all of this in the span of a few days shortly before Episode 1 came out, and then we did revisions and tweaking, but it really came out so well even initially, and I have to thank Feather for that. The scene that had the most revision was the first one, which needed a lot of work.

The way we did this is I wrote Jenna's prose, dialogue, and actions, and Feather did the same for Dier's. Then, in revision, we fused it to be a proper story. That's a simplification, as we have read this over and over so many times making adjustments, so both our fingerprints are all over the place, but that's how this happened!

I also want to thank Matt, our fearless Narrator and creator of all this Secrets in Stained Glass madness. His feedback and continuity were invaluable. He also punched up the Ches dialogue to fit with the character, so you can thank him for that. What a nice chap that Ches guy is. He also did the bit of Vasha thoughts in Dier's head, too!

Big thank you to the beta readers on the cast, like Verónica, and all the 17th Shard staff members who gave feedback on this and line edits. This story is better because of it! In particular, thank you to my darling wife, Jessieone such 17th Shard stafferwho very graciously let Feather and I do this flirty, villainous... thing.

Finally, thank you for reading and watching this show. I hope you're having a blast. It's almost all over soon. Episode 5, the finale, premieres August 20th, at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern. 


Edited by Chaos


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