Saffron looked on bitterly as the finishing touches were added to the pyre and the congregation muttered and jeered. They were growing restless. Both they, and the pyre were ready now.
“I knew you would be the making of me. I just didn't realise it would be this much” She said turning to Heléna who was being held firmly by a priest guard.
“You are learning what loyalty is, then, what power costs, and what love is worth out here. I can be thankful I have taught you something at least. I could teach you more!”
“I am sorry Heléna, but I have a son. My family would have always come first, even if they didn't hold the same values, the same heart”
“You could save me. In memory of our time together. I could teach you more! Exile me or punish me some other way! ”
“Heléna”, Saffron answered, “You arranged to have my husband murdered. Your greed has put you here, if I did nothing, you would have me wrapped around your finger again, before.
“Please, my lady” Heléna began to beg, slipping out of the guards reach and falling down onto all fours. Saffron nodded and the muscled priest- guard grabbed at the back of Heléna's dress, and dragged her back up, tearing it as he pulled, baring her back and shoulders for the waiting crowd.
Saffron had wanted to comfort her and meet her on her knees, but she couldn't risk it being one of her tricks. She looked up at the guard who seemed just as terrified of Heléna as she was.
“We can't save you My lady Heléna. We daren't”, the guard nodded in agreement
Heléna sighed, 'worth a try' and smiled happily, as though she were a child going to a new sweet shop rather than a master manipulator waiting to meet her death.
“I could reveal your secrets, tell the crowd that you don't believe! They will listen, they will remember.”
“They might, but probably not. The people love to see the mighty fall lower than themselves. They care not a jot what you say, only how much they get to humiliate you, how loudly you scream as the flames fan at you, and the smoke smothers your breath”
“You are smarter than you first appear, Saffron”
“Being the wife of a priest king I had witnessed more of these things than most. I know how they go Heléna”
“You know how they went, but not this time!”