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.


19. Chapter Nineteen: Samera


      I hurt in places that I didn’t even know existed. Groaning I tried to open my heavy eyes.

      “She’s waking up!”

      I flinched at the loudness of the excited voice. There was pressure on my fingers and I managed to prise my eyelids open. I had to blink several times because it was so bright. A face slowly came into focus. It was the prince. He beamed at me, his expression of delight. My words wouldn’t form. I wanted to ask what had happened. Why did I hurt so much?

      I gasped in pain when someone gathered me up into their arms.

      “Sami, oh thank the Goddess.” it was my father.

      “Rasun, you might want to be a bit gentler with her.” that was Myra. She was stood next to my bed smiling.

      My father released me looking sheepish. “Sorry,” he lay me back down and I winced in pain.

      “Why isn’t she talking?” Menul asked, peering at me. His blue eyes were filled with worry.

      Celeste and Kushla exchanged a glance.

      “What’s going on?” a sleepy sounding voice asked. Then Omer was at my side so happy that he was crying. He pressed his lips to mine and stroked my face. His arm was in a sling and his face was covered in bruises.

      “What happened?” I said but my words came out all jumbled and didn’t make sense.

      Omer’s eyes widened and he turned to Myra for an explanation, but she ignored him and made me drink a foul tasting liquid.

      Moments later my eyes fluttered shut and sleep claimed me.


      “No, you’ve got to be wrong.”

      Myra sighed. “I hope I am, Omer, I really do.”

      There was the sound of sniffing and I opened my eyes. Omer and Myra were sat beside my bed. They were facing away from me, so they hadn’t noticed that I was awake.

      “But you’ve got to prepare yourself for the fact that Samera may not be the same as before.” Myra continued.

      Samera... that was me... How could I not be the same as before? And before what?

      Hating to see Omer so upset I reached out and grabbed his hand. He jumped but then seeing that it was me he smiled. “Hey, how are you feeling?”

      “I’ve been better.” but my words were a growl. Tears overflowed from my eyes and I started sobbing.

      “Hush,” Omer said stroking my hair. “Its okay.” it obviously wasn’t because he was crying too.

      My eyes were wide as I gazed at Myra. What happened? I tried to say with them. What’s wrong with me?

      “Samera,” Myra took my hand and squeezed it gently. “Are you in pain?” I shook my head and she sighed in relief because I had understood her. “Do you know where you are?”

      From where I was lying I couldn’t tell, so I shook my head again.

      “You’re in the warehouse that Prince Khyber turned into a place where the poor can come for help and for somewhere to stay. Do you remember it?”

      I nodded this time. Omer caressed my cheek and I smiled at him.

      “You were hurt. You’ve been here for a week now. You’ve had lots of visitors.” Myra said. I noticed that she seemed to have aged since the last time I had seen her. She had more grey hairs and looked worn.

      Where are my father and Menul?

      Myra shook her head not understanding. I attempted to sit up but she and Omer stopped me.

      “You need to rest, love.” Omer told me.

      Love? Yes, he loved me didn’t he? Did I love him?


      Prince Khyber visited me nearly everyday. He was more worn too. He didn’t look like he was sleeping very much. I hesitantly reached up and touched the purple bags underneath his grey eyes. Khyber laughed and held my hand in his. They were big and warm. I liked them. His hands never touched my face like Omer’s did.

      “I haven’t had much time for sleep recently.” Khyber told me.

      My eyebrows slanted in concern. Why not?

      He hesitated and glanced upwards. His hands still clasping mine, Khyber shook his head. “It’s not important.”

      Where is Menul?

      I had seen my father but Menul hadn’t reappeared since I had first woken up after the accident. Khyber tilted his head not understanding. Opening my mouth I tried to say my brother’s name but it came out as. “Mnghl,”

      Khyber shook his head and patted my hand apologetically. “I’m sorry but I don’t understand.”

      Bitter tears formed in my eyes and I turned away.

      “How about I tell you a story?” he asked. “You like my stories, don’t you?”

      A smile formed unbidden on face. I did like his stories. I especially liked the one about the spoiled princess. I also liked his facial expressions when he spoke.

      Seeing that he had my undivided attention Khyber laughed. “Alright, let’s see...”

      He told me a tale about a goat that couldn’t stop eating. He ate all the grass in the kingdom, all the vegetables, all the fruit and all the furniture, all the money and even all the people. After all that the goat had eaten so much that he exploded into millions of pieces. His remains transformed into magical seeds that grew into trees, the produce of which was people, money and furniture, grass, vegetables, and fruit.

      I burst into laughter but it sounded like I was wheezing. It was more like a laugh than the guttural noise I used to make though. Khyber smiled and squeezed my hand. I squeezed back.


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