She's been busy building a life in the city, building strength and respect in the guard, growing a circle of friends and lovers. Next to that, her family has seemed almost imaginary, their old familiar problems far away. It hasn't occurred to her until now that anything could truly change in the village. But if it has changed, and changed dangerously, then she must do what she can to understand the threat and meet it. If the Apple Orchard King is the threat, then this is an opportunity.
Giro and Cecilia have seen each other four more times. Each night they can get away, they meet atop the Phoenix Gate and Cecilia asks Giro to show her some fantastic new sight of the city. One night they see a play at the Theatro Satyrico; when the two actors in the comic love triangle face off with swords, Giro and Cecilia critique the fencing loudly enough to enrage the rest of the audience. Another night they sneak out of the city to the Sauvian Vineyards and stumble home drunk on a dozen different vintages. Yet another night, they enter a tavern separately wearing carnival masks and, in the sanctity of a darkened chamber, remove one another's clothes—hardly speaking, as though they're making love atop a delicate ice cap where a single loose word might shatter the stars.