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.


40. Chapter Forty: Khyber

      Something shifted beside me and my eyes fluttered open. I was in an unfamiliar room and sitting up I could make out what must have been my clothes scattered on the floor. I was in The Jailor’s Wife. That would explain the uncomfortable bed.

      A soft sigh reached my ears and I looked to my right. Samera was facing away from me, her long, dark hair splayed across her back. Leaning down, I pressed my lips to her naked shoulder. Her skin was cold so lying back down I wrapped my arms around her and pulled the covers up. Breathing in her scent, I felt myself smile. I’d never felt so happy. Rolling over, Samera rested a hand on my chest. Her palm was rough. My hands were probably silken in comparison to hers. Brushing a strand of hair from Samera’s face, I wondered if I should wake her. In order to escape the city without anyone seeing us we would have to leave at first light, as soon as the outer gates opened. I hazarded a guess that sunrise was still a few hours away and closed my eyes. I fell asleep to the sounds of Samera’s heartbeat and quiet breathing.


      Samera was gone when I woke up. I must have known it before I opened my eyes, because my pulse had quickened and my stomach was churning in panic.


      The sheets were cold and her clothes were gone. Cursing under my breath, I jumped from the bed and hurried to dress myself. Where had Samera disappeared to? We needed to leave as soon as possible. A glance out the window told me that it was mid-morning. Yanking my boots on, I headed for the door, not caring that my shirt wasn’t properly buttoned. I opened it to find a red-faced Orien, his hand raised as if he had just been about to knock.

      “Your highness,” he wheezed, out of breath. There was sweat on his forehead. “You must…”

      Interrupting him brusquely I said, “Did you pass her?”

      Orien must have known that I meant Samera, for he shook his head. “No your highness.”

      Pushing passed him I went to run down the hallway, but Orien grabbed my arm.

      “You must come with me back to the palace,” he told me firmly.   

      I shoved Orien away. “I have to find her.”

      I had made it to the stairs when he replied, “It’s the King, Khyber.”

      Suddenly frozen to the spot, I turned to face Orien. “What about him?”

      “He’s dead.”

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