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.


43. Chapter Forty Three: Samera

      Torrance and some of our neighbours were waiting outside the Church when Omer and I took our first steps outside as man and wife. They cheered and rushed over to congratulate us. My cheeks hurt from my false smile as I thanked them all. Everyone fell silent as a bell rang out across the city. I turned in the direction of the palace, my eyes widening. The bell only rang when a member of the royal family died. Panic overwhelmed me as my heart raced. Was it Khyber? Was he… I couldn’t even think about it. I swallowed back bile.

      “The king is dead!”

      I exhaled in relief and then felt dread. Was this my fault as well? Was the Goddess making Khyber suffer because of what we had done?

      No one spoke for a while and I glanced at Omer. There was annoyance on his face. The king’s death had ruined his perfect wedding day.

      “Let’s go back to the house,” Torrance said, clapping Omer on the shoulder.

      Everyone was subdued as we sat around the table. As was traditional, we were waited on hand and foot. I wasn’t hungry but made myself eat as I didn’t want to seem ungrateful. Omer kept close to me, his hand almost always entwined with mine.

      Night arrived all too soon. Torrance left the house to give us some privacy and Omer led me upstairs to his parents’ room.

      “What are we doing in here?” I asked, wiping my sweaty palms on my dress while Omer’s back was turned.

      Glancing over his shoulder at me as he pulled the faded curtains shut, he replied, “My father said that we can have this room from now on.”

      I hovered in the doorway, my eyes fixed on the bed. It was bigger than the one in Omer’s room. That must have been why Torrance wanted us to have it. Omer grabbed my hand making me jump.

      He laughed softly. “Are you nervous?” Omer pressed his lips to mine and his hands gripped my waist. “Don’t be.” Leading me over to the bed, he kissed my neck.

      I tried not to tremble, reminding myself that I was Omer’s wife now and that I had to give him everything he wanted.

      Omer moved behind me, his fingers brushing the top of my spine as he unbuttoned my dress. I closed my eyes, forcing myself not to cry. I had to do this. I had to. That didn’t make it any easier though.

      The brown wedding gown fell to the floor and I stepped out of it, now only in my thin underdress.

      “Why don’t you get into bed?” Omer’s mouth was at my ear, his breath hot on my skin.

      The reeds rustled as I slid under the sheets. Sitting silently, I gazed at my hands, glad at least that Omer hadn’t made me fully undress. The bed shifted slightly as my husband joined me. He was wearing only a shirt and rested a hand on my thigh. Omer’s lips met mine and he kissed me passionately, his weight making me overbalance. We fell backwards and Omer landed on top of me, a hand in my hair. Memories of the night before filled my mind and for a moment Omer was Khyber. I was so overwhelmed that at first I didn’t notice Omer’s hand at the top of my thigh.

      Seeing the panic in my eyes he smiled, saying, “I’ll be gentle, I promise.”

      I closed my eyes, hoping to see Khyber’s loving face, but it wouldn’t appear.

      I was stuck in the present and what would also be my future.

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