A chance meeting between a prince and a peasant results in consequences that will not only change their lives, but also the kingdom.

Cover by Zillah Designs.


5. Chapter Five: Samera


      Myra was one of three healers that lived in the lower town. The poor couldn’t afford to pay the ridiculous prices that doctors charged, so they went to people like Myra. When I had the time I would help Myra and go with her on her visits. Myra wanted me to be her apprentice, but that would mean me giving up my job at the Church and I couldn’t do that. Healers didn’t get paid in money, they were given favours and favours didn’t buy food.

      “Pass me the ground ivy will you, Samera?”

      Reaching up onto the shelf I took a jar off and handed it to Myra. There were no labels on the jars, but as I couldn’t read, they wouldn’t have been of any use. Instead, I knew by sight all the herbs that Myra used. She had taught me a lot already.

      Myra kept all her ingredients in the kitchen as there was nowhere else to put them. We were working in there and I sat down on a chair feeling exhausted. I had been up before the sun that morning, tidying the mess that my father had made the night before. I had also gone to the market and spent all the money we had on food. There wasn’t enough to last a week, but we would have to cope.

      “Lift your head up.”

      Blinking in surprise I found that I had been falling asleep. “I’m sorry, Myra.” I said, doing as she told.

      Myra wiped something cold onto my face, making me hiss in pain when the poultice came into contact with the bruise on my cheek. “A ground ivy poultice does wonders for bruises.” she told me.

      Muttering my thanks I looked away, not wanting to meet her gaze. That wasn’t the first poultice she had made for me. I had deserved being hit though. I shouldn’t have spoken to my father like that. It wasn’t my place.

      Myra sat down and I felt her eyes on me. “How are you coping, Samera? It’s been six months, but something as terrible as your mother’s death will take a lot longer to stop hurting.”

      “I think about her all the time.” I admitted, the poultice chilling my skin. “I feel... I feel so guilty.”

      She reached across the table and took my hand. “It wasn’t your fault. It was an accident. We all just wish we knew what your mother was doing at the shipyard.”

      I closed my eyes, holding back tears. I knew and so did Torrance, but I would never tell anyone. More lives would be ruined if I did and I couldn’t stand that.

      “Omer becomes a man tomorrow.” Myra’s voice was proud, and gazing up I saw that her brown eyes were shining. “Then in the spring you will join our family. I can think of no one more worthy of my son.”

      Tears slipped from my eyes. “Myra I...”

      A frantic knock on the front door interrupted me. A healer’s work was never done.


      I took the stranger’s cloak with me to the Church that afternoon. I didn’t know if I would ever see him again, or if he would even want the cloak back after I had used it, but I couldn’t keep it. So I gave it to the Head Priest, telling him what had happened, and giving him a description of the stranger.

      The Head Priest was shocked. “That was his royal highness, Prince Khyber.”

      I was speechless. A prince, the stranger was a prince.

      “I will see that his highness receives his cloak.”

      Thanking the priest I wandered off to tend to the altar, consumed in my thoughts.


      My father was quiet that evening and we ate dinner in silence.

      He wasn’t a bad man. I knew that. But ever since my mother’s death he had taken to drinking and gambling. It was only when he was drunk that he was violent.

      Watching as he stood up and left the house without a word, sadness stirred in my chest. We had been such a close family when my mother had been alive. Maybe things would be better when my brother returned.

      There was a knock on the backdoor and coming to my senses I gathered up all the dishes. “Yes?”

      “Just me,” Omer smiled coming inside. “I brought you some more water.” he carefully placed a bucket full of water on the floor, his dark hair ruffled by the wind.

      I walked over to the sink. “Thank you, Omer. Anyone that didn’t know you might think that you were after something.”

      “Maybe they would be right.” he replied, joining me and brushing hair from my face. I turned to face him and Omer’s eyes grew wide. “What’s this?” his fingers touched the bruise on my cheek which was a lot better than it had been thanks to Myra’s poultice. “What happened?”

      “It’s nothing, don’t worry about it.”

      I bent down to pick up the bucket of water but Omer stopped me and did it himself, pouring some into the small sink.

      “Are you excited about your birthday tomorrow?” I asked changing the subject as I washed the dishes with lye soap. The soap had been a gift from a woman Myra and I had helped.

      Omer gave a small laugh and stepped closer, looping an arm around my waist. “Of course I am. Tomorrow I will be one step closer to marrying you.” his lips were cool as he pressed them to my hair. He drew me into his arms and away from the sink, kissing me on the lips. There was a whistle from outside and Omer reluctantly pulled away. “I will see you tomorrow.” he kissed me again quickly before disappearing into the night.



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