This is a serialized story, Part 1 can be found here
The Golden Lady of the Valley of the Sun was now called back to her duchy on affairs of state; or, rather, her husband the Duke’s affairs of state. She was installed back into her lonely, sun-drenched palace, walking the colonnades of her walled garden with her retinue of attendants. There were jeweled ladies with the most agreeable of faces and opinions, stealthy and silent serving girls with impeccable lineages, and lute players and harpists with lips as tender as summer apricots and chests as hard and smooth as the walls which imprisoned her in luxury. The Duke, having been provided with an heir no more than a year after their betrothal, was satisfied, and left her to embellish her enclosure. But although the walls of the garden of the Lady of Light were wide, her fingers were longer, and nary did a mouse fart out of turn that the Duchess did not hear of the odor. Bemusement upon hearing the news of the escape of two tributes and the execution of another was succeeded quickly by envy for release, by death or flight, from the paths of her own prison. Jealousy did not rest well on the brow of the Duchess of the Valley of the Sun; it stuck in her throat, clawed at her finely tuned mind, and bent the syllables of her refined cadence as she dispatched the order for her spies to scour the highlands in search of the lost flowers of the garden of her brother.