|Author||E. M. Kinsey|
|Followed by||The Forges of Dawn|
Set in the mines that the slaves are forced to work in, Anagamia and Kirai endure the grueling lives of ones marked like they are. They in particular are harassed and tormented by the overseers, Kirai because he used to be a Lord and Anagamia because she carries the spawn of the current lord, Vireka. Kirai tells her not to show her pain to them -- they take pleasure in it when she does -- and Angamia tries her best, though she comments it is hard. A guard nastily comments that Vireka will kills what she gives birth to, or let someone else -- maybe even him -- do the honors. Kirai assures her no such thing will happen, as Vireka has no other heirs.
And he ensures it by sacrificing his own life, as it's all he has left to take.
Vireka comes down to the mines some time later, telling Anagamia through hatred and clenched teeth that by law his cruelty cannot extend to her while she is pregnant and that her cub, no matter how 'corrupted' is his heir until he can make something better. Anagamia doesn't care about any of that though, wondering only where Kirai is. Vireka tells her that, unlike the child, his brother was not safe from his wrath and is dead.
Anagamia tries to get at Vireka, to shred him, but her bindings only allow her so far. She is taken to the deepest and darkest parts of the mines, but the fire in her has been lit.