Continuing Tales

One Promise Kept: Book 4

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by Manniness

Part 13 of 15

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One Promise Kept: Book 4

Later, after Mirana has inspected not only Alice’s throat but also the stitches Tarrant had so swiftly sewn on the battlefield and the Pain Paste he had immediately applied, she asks, “How did you manage this?”

Alice answers simply, wearily, honestly, “With an Uplander anatomy text.”

“Elaborate, please, Alice,” her friend orders her.

She does, explaining that while Uplanders have vital blood vessels on either side of their throats, when the head is pulled back and the esophagus exposed a cut to the throat need not be fatal. So long as it is not too deep. “I invited Tarra to try for my throat, judged the distance and... well, since Tarrant already had the needle and thread and the Pain Paste at the ready...”

“You stepped into the blade, trusting your Hatter would be able to stitch you up in a thrice,” Mirana summarizes, glaring at the clean handkerchief now wrapped around Alice’s throat.

“No one sews faster in all of Underland.”

“You are a fool.”

“A Champion. Same thing.”

“I should not forgive you. You endangered your life and frightened my daughter... frightened me.

“I don’t deserve forgiveness, most especially not from Tarra,” Alice admits, looking up across the field where Leif is assisting her onto Winsommer’s back. She still looks utterly lost; her expression is vacant and pale beneath the splatters and smears of blood that Leif had tried – and failed – to wipe off with his sleeve cuffs. Alice feels a twinge at the sight of her: a broken might-have-been Champion.

Well, there is still time for Tarra to recover. And she may yet. But now the young woman knows what it feels like to take a life. Now she Understands what she, as a Champion, must sacrifice for the White Crown.

The queen sighs, drawing Alice’s gaze back to their on-going discussion.

Alice smiles. “Mirana. I’m a Champion. I fight. I use whatever weapons are at my disposal to win. It’s not honorable. I know that. But that’s what I do. And I won’t ever change.” It feels good to say those words out loud, finally. To feel the truth of them: yes, she is a Champion... and nothing has the power to change that. “Well, unless I die, I suppose.” Yes, Death would certainly bring her Champion days to an End.

Her friend – the queen – sighs once more and then smiles. “Yes,” Mirana agrees sadly. “I know.”

She rubs Alice’s shoulder then looks up. Alice watches through blearily focused eyes as she gestures someone to come closer and, a moment later, Maevyn clatters into view. With a satisfied nod at Alice’s new companion, the queen excuses herself: “I believe I would like to have a word with my daughter...”

Alice grins at the still-young and gangly jabberwocky. “I’ve you to blame for transporting my son to this battle?”

The juvenile ruffles its crest in affront. “Well. There were Thrambleberries involved and... and... how was I to know you were going to...!”

The creature snaps its jaws closed and glances around, ensuring that no one is within hearing distance before lowering its head and hissing, “You never mentioned you and the Hatter figured out how to Stop Time!”

Alice blinks. “I... What?”

“You drank jabberwocky blood and the Hatter drank jabberwocky blood... You didn’t think that just faded away, did you?”

When Alice doesn’t answer, Maevyn grumbles, “I shouldn’t even be explaining this to you...” It sighs with resignation. “The two of you, together, can Stop Time with your will.”

“Because we drank jabberwocky blood years ago?”


“... I see.” Really, what else is there to say to that?

“Hm... good. And while we’re on the topic of seeing things: I could see it all, you know,” the jabberwocky informs her sadly. “The knife, the blood... Being this close to the Time Disturbance, it would have been hard not to! I couldn’t move, but I could See. Watch.” Maevyn shudders. “It was horrible! And what’s worse: you’re just going to let the princess believe she nearly killed you?!”

“No!” Alice croaks as softly as she can. “Of course not!”

Maevyn seems slightly appeased. “Well, that’s one thing, then.”

“Is there more?”

The jabberwocky nods. “You should know that all those present today who have been touched by the blood of a jabberwocky could see the Truth.”

Alice frowns. “But none of the other jabberwockies are here...”

“No, they aren’t, so they didn’t See. If they were far enough away, I doubt they Felt Time stop, either. But there is one more here who did See.” The dragon informs her, “There’s one other way to be Touched besides by drinking the blood. If you share blood with a drinker...”

Alice’s frown deepens, still not understanding.

“Tamial,” Maevyn finally informs her bluntly. “Tamial has been Touched and his eyes newly Opened, although how that happened, I have no idea...”

Alice thinks of unathorized looking glass travel and a trip to the past and thinks she can make a pretty good guess on that.

The jabberwocky obligingly continues, “He shared your blood while he was in your womb, Alice. Once a Drinker of the Blood, always the Blood remains. As such Tamial is not just your child, but a child of the Masters of Time... and he Saw it all.”

Tamial saw me ask his father to slit my throat? No... NO! And yet... what if he had seen that?

Dear Fates...!

Alice feels her throat work and then throb in protest as she tries to push back the despair and gather her words. The wound aches and she wonders if it’ll start bleeding again and she ought to care about that, but, brangergain i’tall, this is Important!

“Tarrant,” she begs. “Tell Tarrant.”

“I already have,” the jabberwocky replies, looking up and in a direction that Alice cannot direct her attention toward without moving her entire body. “He’s speaking with your son now.”

Alice blinks up at the young jabberwocky for a long moment as its dawn-colored gaze stares back. “Maevyn...?”

“Yes, Alice?”

“Who else knows? Did you tell the queen? Is that why she gave us a moment?”

The jabberwocky shakes its head. “I will tell Krystoval, or course, but no one else will know. Nor should they. This is a very powerful – a very dangerous – ability you insist on exercising with your mate.”

“So I can... rely on you – and Krystoval – to ensure... we never abuse it?”

“Yes, of course, Alice. Of course.”

“Thank you,” Alice sighs out, feeling utterly drained. “Now, why did everyone give us a minute alone if they dont know...?”

“Ah. That would be because I’m your bodyguard for the trip back.”


“You’ve got to admit, you need one,” the creature informs her. “You don’t take very good care of yourself, Alice.”

“Blast it. You’ve been talking to Chessur.”

“I have not.” Again, the multicolored crest goes up with the jabberwocky’s indignation. “I’ll have you know he has been talking to me about you. Non-stop since he finished briefing the queen the day before yesterday. So. I’m quite the expert on your self-destructive tendencies.”

“A perfect bodyguard,” Alice allows.

“Especially since my memory is utterly perfect.

Alice sighs... again.

“Now, can you stand on your own or do you need a claw to assist you?”

“A bit more than a claw,” she admits.

“All right. I’ll collect Fenruffle.” The jabberwocky pauses. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he has Questions for you about that performance. Eyes of a hawk, gryphons have.”

“Blast,” Alice swears... again. Closing her eyes is the only escape possible at this point and she indulges in it. Unfortunately, the next time she opens them, it is obvious that she had not escaped but succumbed to the blackness behind her eyelids.

Her eyes rove around the pale room: Mamoreal. Somehow she had slept the entire return journey away.

“Tarrant?” she rasps. Her lips and mouth dry, perhaps due to the line of fire circling her throat, burning away at her skin.

“No, it’s me.” And then the face of her apprentice enters her field of vision. Tarra still looks too pale even though the dark blood has been scrubbed from her face and her hair has been restored to its natural color. Tension pinches her expression and narrows her eyes.

Yes, Tarra is very Angry with her.

Despite that, she offers Alice a cup of water.

“Uncle Hatter and Tam went back through the looking glass. To say their good-byes to your family.”

“Ah.” Yes, Margaret had probably flown into a Panic when she’d realized Tam was missing from his bed. But that doesn’t explain why Tarra – of all people – has been allowed to sit at Alice’s bedside and watch over her. “The queen is...?”

“Already beginning the negotiations she promised.”

“Then shouldn’t you be there as well? It’s one of the duties of the Queen’s Champion to―”

“I’m not the Queen’s Champion,” Tarra snaps.

Alice watches the emotions chase each other across the young woman’s face. “You could be,” Alice tells her, after a long moment.

“Could I?” Tarra replies on a sniffle. “Tell me something – honestly,” she continues and Alice winces at the bitterness of her tone. “Does it ever get any easier?”



“No. No, it never does. Not even if you desire the death of your combatant with all your heart. It is absolutely wretched every single time.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell me that?”

Alice feels her brows lift with incredulity. “I did.”

And because Tarra knows Alice is right – she had been warned again and again and again about the price this position would exact from her soul – they are left in undulating silence.

“Where are we?” Alice asks suddenly.

“At Mamoreal,” Tarra replies, giving her an irritated look.

Alice exerts all her self-control and manages to not roll her eyes. “I meant, where in the castle are we?”

“Oh. First floor.”

“Good. Help me up.”

“What? No! I already got a ten-minute lecture from Uncle Hatter about―What-do-you-think-youre-doing?!

Alice smirks as Tarra ducks under her arm. Mission accomplished.

“Damn it,” the girl swears, no doubt realizing how skillfully she’d been manipulated. Again.

“You have every right to be angry with me,” Alice tells her. “Every right. I used you. I used your training to manipulate you into doing exactly what I wanted you to do on that battlefield and I used your sword to make you think you’d slain me. That is what a Champion must do, Tarra. And now I will show you why.

“Where are we going?” Tarra asks in a tone that is equal parts exasperation and apprehension.

Alice doesn’t answer. She steers her apprentice out the door and down the hall, careful not to turn her head and disturb the bandages around her throat. She knows she must look a fright and the thought reminds her of Tam... of what he had seen... of what he had – undoubtedly – not been able to understand.

Im so sorry... she Sends along the heart line and the replying warmth that is both his depthless love and righteous anger makes her eyes sting.

Yes, he will have plenty of things to say about this, that, everything... later.

Step by step, they navigate the halls until Alice stops Tarra in front of a pair of grand and ornately detailed white doors.

“The throne room?” Tarra checks, not bothering to use the correct name for the room: the Royal Reception Hall for Visitors. It is a rather long name, after all...

“Yes. The throne room. Open the door.”

Tarra does. The room echoes with their footsteps – Tarra’s boots and Alice’s borrowed slippers (perhaps whoever had arranged her room had expected her to need them, had known it would be impossible to stop her from wandering around the castle) – as they approach the centrally displayed chair upon the dais.

“Take a look,” Alice invites her would-be successor.

“At... the throne?”

“Yes. Look at it. Really look at it. Because this,” Alice continues, gesturing, “is what a Champion fights for and will die for.”

Tarra, however, does not look at the throne. She turns her head and frowns at Alice. “What are you talking about?”

“I’m talking,” Alice struggles to explain, “about fighting for an Idea . A Champion must fight for more that just a sovereign, a friend, a family member. A Champion fights for all of Underland, for the betterment of its citizens. Why do you think I’ve always taught you to confront the enemy, embrace them, call them out and count them? It’s a Champion’s job to keep Underland safe and whole and united! That isn’t possible if one enemy is defeated but their conspirators remain!”

Tarra turns her head toward the throne, finally, when Alice gestures insistently once more.

“What result works for the betterment of all most effectively, Tarra? Do we meet on the battlefield or allow shadowy rumors to eat away at our country? Do I defeat you and allow dissatisfaction to grow and fester among those who have lost the fight? Do you defeat me and allow these rebels to undermine the peace that it is the queen’s responsibility to uphold?”

“You died... you nearly died,” Tarra replies softly.

“No, Tarra, I showed them Death. I showed them the dark path they were so eager to take.”

“But... what if some of them had... liked it?”

“That is a gamble I chose to take.”

“I... I...”

“Tarra, the truth is: I am expendable,” Alice insists bluntly, honestly. “One day, I will die. Likely in the service of the queen and because either I am too weak to perform my duties properly or, hopefully, because my death benefits Underland. Think about this, Tarra! Is this the life you want for yourself? Do you think this is the life your mother and father want for you? To die... for a chair?

“I... You... You fight for...”

“That chair, Tarra. I fight for the person who sits in it. The job that comes with this chair. Peace. Prosperity. The future. That’s what this chair represents. That’s what I fight for. And perhaps that sounds noble, but you already know that the way I fight is not. I will use whatever I must, whomever I must... to win.”

And she has. She has even used Tarrant time and time again. She had used him just before facing Jaspien and his forces, had relied on him to allow her to showcase her false weaknesses, had relied on his silence. And again, she had used him to pave her way in Upland, to strengthen her position in that inflexible patriarchal society of London. And today she had used him. She had used his hand and his knife to make Tarra believe she had cut her own mentor’s throat.

There is no denying the fact that this life has made Alice ruthless in ways she had never, ever even thought would be possible.

But it is possible... because here she stands.

And yet, perhaps, being ruthless is not – necessarily – a bad thing. Yes, anything is possible, if only she believes it is!

I am not evil, she decides, regarding the throne in silence with her student, but I am ruthless.

And she accepts that.

Just as Tarrant has always accepted that.

Perhaps, once day, Tam will understand – according to the Oraculum he will, at the very least, forgive her – but for now... Tarrant’s understanding and her own... that is enough.

“This throne...” Tarra whispers, the tone of her voice changing, alerting Alice to a very Significant Thought occurring in the young woman’s mind.


“It... Do you see how it... breathes?

Alice nearly turns her head in Tarra’s direction at that. Nearly undoes all of the progress the stitches and Pain Paste have made. Nearly... but doesn’t. “Breathes?” Alice confirms.

“Well... yes. Do you see how the grain shimmers? Like... like...”

“Like currents in the Crimson Sea?” she ventures, not seeing anything dynamic in the throne at all.

“Yes! Precisely!” Tarra enthuses, leaning closer to the dais. “And the light around it... do you feel it?” She reaches out a hand, an perfectly unscarred hand, toward the throne, palm facing the object of her attention. “Here. Hold up your hand. Can you feel it?”

Reluctantly, Alice does... and feels nothing at all. But... she thinks she knows why. Alice smiles. “You feel it. You see it.”

“You don’t?”

“No,” Alice replies softly, nearly shaking her head. “I don’t have the Vision for furniture making. The Talent.”

“The...? What?”

“Tarra,” Alice muses. “Perhaps your time with Master Setteeson... awakened a natural inclination for the craft? Perhaps you have an... Instinct for this?”

“I... do?”

Alice almost laughs at her befuddled expression. “I think you just might.”

“But... what does that mean?”

“It means, if you choose not to be a Champion... you do not have to be a princess.” And the thought that Tarra is not bound to Championhood as Alice is brings with it such relief that she feels as if she is burning up from the inside out. Fear for Tarra, doubt that she and Mirana had done the Right Thing in allowing her to take Alice’s place temporarily... All of it goes up in smoke... and drifts away.

“You don’t have to be a princess,” Alice repeats. “You could be something Different.”

“Like Ama and haberdashery?”

“No, like Tarra and carpentry.”

“Into-home wares.”

“Pardon me. Into-home wares.” Alice grins.

Tarra frowns. “But... I’ve wanted to be a Champion since... since as far back as I can remember!”

“Don’t let the past limit your future,” Alice replies. “Perhaps you were meant to be a Champion... so that it might lead you to furniture making.”

“... Oh...”

“Just think about it.”

Tarra nods. Thinks.

For several long moment, Alice lets her. Eventually, however, Alice clears her throat and announces, “And now, if you don’t mind, I think I’d like to get back in bed before I’m caught out of it.”

Tarra comes back to the present with a blink, a smirk, and a laugh. “Hah hah! Not so tough now, are you?”

“I’d like to see how brave you are in the face of a very Mad Hatter!”

Tarra snickers. “Oh. Right. Good point. I guess you’d have to be good at self preservation to still be a Champion after... how long has it been? Fifty-some-odd years?”

“Twenty-two. Still having trouble with Maths?”

“Hah. Don’t tell Sir Fenruffle and I won’t tell Uncle Hatter you were out of bed.”

“It’s a deal, madam.”



Tarrant steps into the room, glances down at the floor beside Alice’s bed and sighs. “Let’s just dispense with the necessary facts and acknowledge that, yes, you did somehow manage to convince Tarra – or someone equally gullible – to let you out of bed and go galumphing around the castle.”

“There was no galumphing,” Alice asserts on a rasp. She doesn’t bother to deny that she’d... wandered. The spike of guilty alarm that had made her heart leap had confessed her crime.

“Your slippers have been moved,” he says, offering up the evidence.

She doesn’t refute him. “Tell me how the trip went.”

He does.

Alice listens to a tale of mirror-aided time travel, a sword fight, a damsel in distress, and a...

“Lord Manchester... You honestly believe that Lord Manchester could have murdered his own son?”

“Tam believes it.”

Alice swallows as she considers that additional burden on her son’s already weighted mind. “What did you tell him?”

“I told him about monsters and men and mothers who fight for the sake Underland.” Tarrant glances away. “I think I managed to get all the words in the correct order...”

Alice opens her hand, reaches for him. “What does Hamish think of Lord Manchester’s...?” She cannot say it. Despite having known Lowell, she cannot say the words “kill” and “son” in the same sentence. “How is Winslow?”

He tells her. “Winslow is... distressed, of course. Hamish mentioned that he’d quite recently grown very close with his grandfather.”

Alice closes her eyes and curses the past. This is why the past must stay where it is. Nothing good ever comes of revisiting it! “How are Hamish and Margaret... managing that?”

“Hamish – with Winslow’s assistance – is in the process of investigating, although, should he find a witness willing to speak out against Lord Manchester or should he manage to locate the man whom Manchester had hired to... do the deed, he is not optimistic that anything will come of it.”

“Winslow won’t have to apprentice with Manchester Manufacturing, certainly!” Alice protests.

At last, Tarrant sinks down onto the edge of the bed. He looks tired. Perhaps fighting his natural inclination to give in to her had taken too much out of him when he is already at the edge of his limits. “Yes. Perhaps that will be the one bright point in all of this. Hamish mentioned something called blackmail, which sounds rather difficult to read, in all honesty, but he seems quite confident that it will be effective in allowing Winslow a choice in his future.” He looks down at Alice’s hand (and the heart line climbing up the back of it) where it rests on top of the quilt. “Who am I to question such certainty?”

She lets his assumption about blackmail pass. Perhaps later she will explain that while the intent of the correspondence is dark, the message is often written with the Light of Truth, making it very legible, indeed.

He reaches out and plays with the ends of her fingers. She plays back, tapping his fingertips with brief caresses. “Tam, you’ll be happy to hear, does not seem to have suffered from his overly sensible decision to confide his misadventures in Margaret and Hamish. Winslow has forgiven him.”

“We should reward him for that,” Alice remarks, thinking of their son’s selfless bravery. “It was uncommonly mature of him.”

“Yes. I already have. At least in part. What is more worrisome,” he continues before Alice can ask what Tam’s reward had been, “is that he is very conflicted over what he... that is, what he saw at the battlefield.”

“Is that why he didn’t come with you to see me?”

She had received visits from nearly everyone thus far today:

Tarra had been the first, of course. And, Alice dares to hope that her apprentice is no longer quite so angry with her.

Mally had come next, blustering and demanding answers: “There I was, hidden away in the hood of that damn cloak, waiting for Tarra to talk us outta trouble an’ then she went an’ talked us inteh it! Thats what you taught her to do?!”

“Mally, a Champion has to think about the ramifications of―”

“Rami... Rami...! I’ll ram you if you ever, ever, EVER―! ” The dormouse had been too incensed to continue for a moment. Then she had taken a deep breath and, with a swish of her tail, had turned away and marched for the door. “Don’t let me catch you using princesses to cut your throat, again! If anyone’s got the right to slice you open, that’d be me!

She’d even managed to slam the door rather soundly behind her.

Thackery had arrived shortly, declaring, “Tea!” He’d shoved the tea tray onto the bedside table and had thrown a spinach puff at her. “Nae time teh chat! A mahn’s berries need lookin’ afteh!”

“Feather-brained and pompous, hm?” Sir Fenruffle had rumbled by way of greeting, causing Alice to wince and flounder for words.

But the gryphon hadn’t come for an apology, apparently. He had, instead, continued, “Very fortunate the Hatter was so nearby and had sewing thread and a needle on hand. Very fortunate considering how fast Uplander blood is. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing the blade touch your throat...”

“You must have blinked,” Alice had told him as his beady, golden eyes had glared down on her, not blinking once.

Leif had bothered her next: “First let me just say, damn you Alice for teaching Tarra how to be so blasted stubborn!”

There had been a bit of shouting and bit of blaming and then, with his well of frustration dry – for the moment – he’d moved on to making jokes at her expense.

“Got quite the collection of scars, don’t you?”


“Oh, most definitely. It must take real talent to flail about in battle, cutting your hand on your opponent’s blade by accident. ” He had shaken his head, his mane rippling.

“It was a classic Futterwhacken move, not flailing,” Alice had argued and had not told him that the cut on her palm had been necessary in transferring blood onto Tarra’s sword. And then, when Alice had grabbed her slit throat with her right hand, the additional blood from the cut on her hand had made Alice’s injury seem even more gruesome. It had all been planned. Of course, she will never tell him that.

And now, finally , the one person she most desperately wants to see and speak to and be with is here... But things are not all right. She cannot bluff or lie or tease her way out of this painful confrontation.

Tarrant does not meet her eyes as he says, “I have always hated what this position, as Queen’s Champion, demands of you. Tam is beginning to hate it as well.”

“I’ll speak to him later today,” she blithely assures him, eager for her punishments of the day to end and the rewards to make an appearance.

“And what will you say to heal him?”

That makes her pause. Alice knows what her husband wants to hear: he wants her to promise to quit, to announce that Tarra will take her place beside the queen. But Alice’s oath to Mirana is the one promise she must keep. It had been her first Underlandian promise. Even before she had sworn to Tarrant that she would return one day, she had taken up the Vorpal Sword, had slain. Those sorts of promises cannot be Undone.

She knows what it will take to heal Tam, to heal Tarrant, but she is not capable of offering either of them what they need.

“I’ll tell him that we’ll be going back to Iplam soon. The queen will not need her Champion again for a long time.”

He frowns – fiercely – and pulls his hand away. Her fingers feel cold without the contact.

“Tarrant...” she begins, knowing there is so Much they still need to discuss. The emotions engulfing his heart have not abated in the slightest despite the queen’s estimate that she will make a full recovery. She desperately wants to know why he still feels so... conflicted . The danger is past. Once again, they have triumphed... together.

So why does he seem so... defeated?

“The Barterment will begin the day after tomorrow,” Tarrant says softly, stubbornly, ignoring the presence of the lingering horror between them – horror at what Alice had asked of him, horror at what he had done to her at her behest, horror at what Tam had seen.

Alice would have nodded if not for the wrappings around her throat. “And I fully intend to be there for that.”

“You should rest.” Not so very long ago, she would have expected him to insist on that point. But now his tone wavers, uncertain. She focuses on the heart line, but the message Tarrant’s heart is currently sending her only makes her more confused: there is a resonance of sorrow, a twinge of panic-frustration-fear, and a distance that feels like nostalgia. If only that blasted knife wound hadn’t damaged it, the message might have been clearer! More easily discernible!

“I intend to help look after our Hightoppians,” she replies. “I’ll be there, Tarrant.”

Surprisingly, he does not argue. Tarrant collects her hand in both of his and raises it to his cheek. She obligingly fits her palm to the curve of his face and allows the touch to evoke her love for him. She Sends it.

He chokes.


“I do not understand,” he lisps very softly. “How ye can luv me sae much... yet gi’ yer life teh th’ queen.”

In all honestly, Alice is not sure she understands it, either. But she thinks it might have something to do with...

You are Underland... to me,” she murmurs. “I cannot let anything hurt your home, our home. You. I cannot let anyone hurt you. And if a revolution were to happen... If those children had managed to rise up against the queen... Don’t tell me you wouldn’t be out there, on the front lines again, with your sword, fighting for the White Queen. Don’t tell me it wouldn’t destroy you to hurt, maim, kill those sons and daughters of your people.”

She’s not sure if that makes any sense at all, but it must have made sense to him. His smile is sad when it tugs at his lips. “You have always saved me, Alice,” he muses. “And, perhaps wrongfully, I have always hoped you would.”

“We’ll save each other,” she insists, guiding his face toward hers.

He breathes out a long, warm sighing breath as her right hand tangles in his hair. And then his lips brush over hers softly, once... twice. On the third pass, she opens to him, invites him in although no invitation should be necessary. They have been lovers for nearly two decades; her body is his, as much as his is hers.

She hears his boots hit the floor, which is good – they’ll keep the bedroom slippers company now that her feet are not occupying them – and then he settles down on the bed beside her. He lies on top of the quilt, fully clothed, but Alice is in no condition to insist on fewer layers between them. He gently inserts an arm beneath her neck and wraps the other around her waist.

He kisses her even when his breath hitches and warm tears fall on her cheeks from his eyes. She does not understand precisely why he cries – perhaps he cries for Tam’s lost innocence or Alice’s never-ending obligations to Underland or his own complacency in allowing her to choose that path – but she does not need to understand it. She Feels it in her heart. She holds onto him, kisses him, and promises him:

“I will never let you go.”

He hides his face in her hair at that declaration. He does not refuse her vow and the silence of the room – Underland itself – witnesses it... and accepts it.

One Promise Kept: Book 4

A Alice in Wonderland Story
by Manniness

Part 13 of 15

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