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Thom stared into his tankard, absently swirling the alcohol around, mood entirely unbefitting the holiday.

Alanna was away in Corus. In Tortall. Away from home - from Thom - for the first Midwinter ever.

And Thom had schemed and plotted and manipulated and even magicked things to fall out exactly as they did. He had no right to feel lonely.

Frivolity and midwinter luck, that was a Tortallan holiday. Thom wondered if Alanna was enjoying it at all. He wondered hard, so he wouldn't have to think about how he knew she'd hate it.

Midwinter luck. Goddess. He'd best pray to the gods for forgiveness - he'd get none from his twin.