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.


1. Chapter One: Samera




      They’d done it on purpose. Of course they had. They knew I hated going to the mines.

      Heaving a sigh I continued walking down the rocky path to the mine entrance. It was when I walked around the side of a grass covered hill I caught sight of them

      They’d left their lunches at home. They liked it when I had to hand-deliver them. You would think that my father would know better, but he acted as childishly as Omer, my childhood playmate. Omer’s father, Torrance always had to join in as well, though not as enthusiastically as he once had.

      Finally noticing me they cheered. I considered leaving their lunches where I was so that they would have to come and get them. But I didn’t. Everyone always said that I didn’t have a mean bone in my body, that I was a pushover. Sometimes I thought that they were right.

      “Samera,” Omer grinned at me when I reached where they were resting on some boulders.

      Greeting them I gave out the lunches.

      Stood nearby were other miners and they shouted when they saw me handing the food out. “Any for us sweetheart?” they laughed.

      As usual I ignored them. Miners were always happy when it was time for them to return to the surface.

      The entrance to the mine was a few metres away and I forced myself not to look at it. If I did then my claustrophobia would make an appearance and I would have a panic attack.

      “What have you been doing?” my father asked me with his mouth full of food.

      “The usual,” I answered, taking in the black marks on his cheeks where he had wiped his hands, forgetting that they were covered in coal dust.

      He grunted.

      I had been doing housework and helping Myra, Omer’s mother. She was a healer and I always did jobs for her when I had the time.

      “I hope that you’re busy planning my party.” Omer beamed.

      It was Omer’s eighteenth birthday soon. Eighteen was the age that you were considered an adult. It had been my eighteenth birthday a month ago. I didn’t feel any different though.

      “Of course.” I replied with a weak smile, glancing at Torrance, who was pretending to fully focused on his lunch. I wondered for the hundredth time if he felt as guilty as I did.

      Returning my attention to Omer, I thought of the work that I had done. With Myra’s help I had made banners and was gathering together ingredients for all the traditional foods that would need to be cooked. Omer’s birthday would be especially important because once he was eighteen he could take a wife.

      Omer winked at me as if he knew what I was thinking and I muttered a quick farewell. Turning on my heel I went back the way I had come, my thoughts still on Omer’s birthday. We were arranged to be married. We had been since my parents found out that Myra had given birth to a baby boy. I was just over a month older than Omer and he often teased me about it, saying that he should find someone younger that could look after him in his old age. But he wouldn’t marry anyone else, only me. It was an arranged marriage, but Omer was more than happy that I was to be his wife. I was indifferent to the matter. I had to marry so that I was no longer a burden to my father, although I did all the work around the house now that my mother was gone. Omer was nice enough, however I didn’t love him, but who married for love these days?

      Leaving the mines behind me I strolled into town. There weren’t many people around, but that was because everyone was at work, which was where I was going. I did errands and jobs for the Head Priest at the Church of the Divine Goddess. It was the biggest church in Fitore, the capital city of my country Retani. Climbing the stone steps I stopped for a moment to look out at the city. When the sun was out it looked beautiful, but unfortunately at that moment, dark clouds were blocking the sun and the city seemed dull and oppressed, mirroring my mood. I hurried inside hoping that the weather would be better when I finished work later.

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