They continue onward and come upon a cave in the mountains. Deciding to bed there for the night, they make camp. Phèdre tends to Joscelin’s wounds. The intimacy of the moment leads to them kissing and then lovemaking. Joscelin is the only person that Phèdre has ever chosen freely without a contract and it is as much a first for her as it is for the formerly celibate Joscelin.
Afterwards Joscelin is circumspect, realizing he has broken the last of his vows. He still is Cassiel’s servant, and he can’t forgo that oath, no matter how he’s broken it and what they’ve just done. Phèdre understands. The two are contemplative, particularly about Kushiel’s hold on Phèdre and what it betokens with Melisande. In anger, she tosses the diamond choker across the cave, but Joscelin reminds her it is the only wealth they have. She agrees to take it back to use if they need, otherwise she plans to throw it at Melisande’s feet and prove to her that Kushiel’s Dart throws truer than Kushiel’s scion.
The next mornings, as they prepare to leave, Joscelin notices a sigil on the wall. It is the sign of Blessed Elua, and the cave is the one from the legends, the place where Elua and his Companions sheltered on their long journey before arriving in Terre d’Ange. Heartened at this, they realize they are close to home.
- The Cave of Elua and his Companions