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Guilhem found himself standing on a natural stone platform. A couple of wide, shallow steps directly in front led down to an area where the ground was flat and smooth. A calelh was burning on the stone altar giving a little light.

The two sisters were standing facing one another, Oriane holding the knife to Bertrande's throat. Alais was completely still ...

Alice shook the memory from her head. Audric's hands were tied in front of him and he was tethered to the ground like an animal. On the far side of the chamber, lit by an oil lamp flickering on the altar, was Marie-Cecile de l'Oradore.

'That's far enough, I think', she said.

Audric turned, regret and sorrow in his eyes.

'I'm so sorry', she whispered, realising she had ruined everything. 'But I had to warn you ...'.

Do you believe you can change your destiny?' he (Sajhë) said, seeking an answer. Alice found herself nodding. 'Otherwise, what's the point? If we are simply walking a path preordained, then all the experiences that make us who we are - love, grief, joy, learning, changing - would count for nothing.