Alberich turns; hawkish profile lit up by the setting sun. And his thoughts, usually so strict, so ordered are full of her.
The Queen, a slip of a girl turning into a woman. The Queen, a warrior and a leader. The Queen, who is also just Selenay, a woman who is being betrayed by someone who loves her.
The rage he feels at it is unfamiliar to him. A hot, wicked heat in the pit of his stomach, that burns. Like the Fires themselves had wormed their way into his body. And they, they want him to take her from that beast of a man. They want him to play the whore, seducing the girl away from the devil. He hates himself for agreeing to.
He closes his eyes and prays for darkness, prays for silence. The failing light denies him both.
She comes to his room in the night; eyes swollen with tears unshed. This is all part of the plan. He wipes his sweaty palms on his nightshirt, and condemns himself in his mind as he takes her hands, so soft, but with strength hidden, into his own rough, sword callused paws.
"Alberich..." He shushes her, brings her close to him. He knows what she needs, what she wants, and he hates it, hates it that he will be the one that will give it to her.
"Forget him." He whispers as he pulls her to his bed.
He cries in the morning when he sees her bright hair strewn across his pillow, her soft, glorious smile.
And she is so beautiful. He wakes her with a kiss.