Meliore Fabbro paced her husband’s unlit study awaiting an audience with him. Tancred Fabbro was the Lord of Parthenope, the Grand Duke of Campania, an Italian kingdom situated north of the Bay of Naples on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This was the time of the evening her husband customarily withdrew to his private chambers to peruse the various documents and legal papers that had mushroomed across his desk during the day… With weathered hands, Meliore gently brushed dust from her tan riding dress. She was disheveled but dared not risk a moment refreshing in her quarters. Few had knowledge of her premature return to the capital city and she meant to keep it so… Tancred had no reason to expect her this soon. Surprise.
Betrayal – Chapter 1

Anyone who has been reading The Crystal Crux series from the start knows this is where the adventure began. Meliore Fabbro is the first character I introduce to the readers.

Meliore is an intelligent, industrious woman who has an impeccable reputation at Court and with Church leaders. Much of Tancred’s success is attributable to her boldness and generosity, more than he knows or acknowledges.

As Meliore moves about her husband’s dark study, examining his knick-knacks, reliving distant memories, feeling nostalgic, the reader begins to connect with her. She really loves her husband, a man she was commanded by her father to wed when she was fifteen.

Meliore was fifty-eight -years-old now and life, so far, had been quite a journey. She had given birth to three fine sons, Avenel, Gherardus and Turstin. They were wise and intelligent men with castles and lands of their own, each serving their father’s distinguished kingdom with unabashed devotion.
Betrayal – Chapter 1

Meliore is not without her weaknesses. She chooses to see her family through rose-stained glasses. Her husband has been faltering as a leader as of late. He is ill in both mind and body. And he wasn’t there for his sons when they needed him. They are not as devoted as she believes.

Feeling rather flirty all of a sudden, Meliore embraced a bold notion and smiled. She slid over to her husband’s bulky armoire and let the tan gown fall off her shoulders and onto the floor.
Betrayal – Chapter 1

Meliore has been gone for a fortnight and decides she will not only surprise but seduce her husband here in his study when he returns. She slips into his favorite nightshirt and sits on his favorite chair, a high back chair Tancred’s father gifted him on their wedding day.

Legs crossed, she gripped the armrests, her fingers digging into the dragon’s eyes. This was going to be exciting. They were going to make love, spontaneous love, right here, right on the floor of his study… And then a strange buzzing sound disturbed the room.
Betrayal – Chapter 1

And as anyone who has read the books knows, Meliore dies. Meliore and Tancred die in that room that night, assassinated by their sons. Betrayed.

Allen M Werner is the author of the epic fantasy series The Crystal Crux.

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