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.


7. Chapter Seven: Samera


      There was a lot to do the next day. As the party was in the evening when the men returned from the mines, Myra and I spent the morning hanging up decorations and doing the last of the cooking. We were fortunate to live on the outskirts of the lower town, so our back garden was essentially the countryside. We had set up tables and chairs at the edge of the forest. Myra and Torrance had been saving money for Omer’s eighteenth birthday all his life, so there were even lanterns scattered around ready to be lit in the evening. His parents had spent a lot of money on the party, but after all it was the day that Omer became a man. 

      My thoughts went to my party. It had been small and unimpressive. The money my parents had saved for my eighteenth birthday had been all but depleted to pay for my mother’s funeral, so there had only been a few taeckla left. I hadn’t minded though. I hadn’t felt like celebrating my birthday, not without my mother.

      “Samera, you’re going to be late.”

      Drawn from my reverie I realised that Myra was stood in front of me, loose strands of her greying hair fluttering in the wind.

      “Oh no I lost track of time.” I hurried to untie my apron.

      “Come to my house when you’re ready this evening.” Myra called after me.    


      I didn’t stop rushing around all day. Barely making it back into the lower town before curfew, I sprinted through the streets to my house. Once inside I had a wash and pulled on my best dress. Brushing my hair I left it down for a change and slid a flower clip into it. My only jewellery was a pearl necklace that had been in the family for generations.

      “Samera,” Myra beamed when I arrived at her house. “You look beautiful. Omer, Torrance and Rasun have only just arrived. Would you mind helping me with the last of the food?”

      “Of course not,” I said, taking a basket filled with bread rolls from her. “Sorry I’m so late.”

      “It doesn’t matter. I know how important that job is for you.”

      We ventured outside and walked to the edge of the forest. There were quite a lot of people gathered around the tables, and with the lanterns lit the whole scene looked rather magical. Gazing around, I recognised our neighbours and Omer’s family and friends. I couldn’t see my father though. Treading around the outside of the party, I hoped to catch a glimpse of him.

      “Here’s ya cut.”

      There he was, in the shadows with Remy. My father accepted something from him.

      “Ya do know who I work for, don’t ya?” Remy asked, sounding amused.

      “Of course I do.”

      Catching me watching, Remy gave a smirk. “If ya get really short for cash, I’m sure I’d be able to find some work for ya daughter at the whorehouse. Kale treats them well.”

      My father looked horrified and even more so when he realised that I was watching. “No, I would never do that, Remy.”

      “Shame.” he sniffed. “Goodnight, Rasun.”

      Remy gave me a wink as he left and I shuddered.

      “What was that about, father?” I asked warily. “Does he work for Kale?”

      Kale was one of the nastiest gangsters in the lower town. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to make money.

      “I don’t know, Sami. Here, buy some food tomorrow. Treat yourself to something as well.” he pushed a bag of coins into my hand and my eyes grew wide.

      “I can’t take this. What did you do for him?”

      My father shook his head and walked away, not wanting to talk about it.

      I didn’t have much time to consider what to do next, because someone covered my eyes with their hands.

      “Guess who.” the voice was deep, but due to the noisy party guests I had no idea who it was.

      Hazarding a guess I said. “Omer?” the hands dropped and I was spun around to come face to face with my brother. “Menul!” I cried overjoyed at the sight of him. Flinging my arms around him, I laughed. “It’s so good to see you. I wasn’t sure when you would be back.”

      Menul was a few years older than me, but we had the same dark hair and blue eyes. People often thought we were twins. He had been away training in the army for several months.

      “It’s great to see you too, little sis. So got much news for me?” he asked once I had released him.

      I shook my head. “Not really. How long are you back for?”

      Menul gave a shrug. “Until I get called up for service, so there’s no telling when that will be,”

      “May I borrow Samera for a moment?”

      We turned to see Omer who had a lopsided grin plastered onto his face. I wondered how much alcohol he had drunk already.

      “Of course you can, Omer.” Menul said, slapping him on the back.

      I tried to catch Menul’s gaze to beg for help, but he was already eyeing up a pretty redhead who fluttered her eyelashes at him flirtatiously. Taking my hand in his, Omer led me away from the party. No one noticed as we disappeared into the tree line.

      “Omer we shouldn’t go too far.” my voice was tight, indicating how nervous I was, but he didn’t pay any attention, instead he plunged us deeper into the forest. “We should go back, you’ll be missed.” soon there was no light and I could no longer hear the noise from the party. “Omer...” 

      All of a sudden his mouth was on mine. He pressed against me, forcing me backwards until I was trapped between him and a tree. Kissing my neck Omer moved his hand up my thigh.

      “No,” I protested attempting to stop him. “Omer please...”

      Groaning he reluctantly released me, and rested his forehead on mine. His breathing was uneven and hot on my skin. I sent the Goddess a thank you that Omer had stopped. After a while he silently took my hand and we returned to the party.

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