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.


35. Chapter Thirty Five: Samera

      I passed Myra some cloth and tried to block out the mother’s screams. This wasn’t the first birth I had been to, but it was the first time I had helped Myra to deliver the baby.

      “Nearly there,” said Myra encouragingly. “Just one more push.”

      The woman cried out in pain and I gulped. Now that I had been blessed by the Head Priest I could marry and marriage led to children. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so worried if Khyber was to be the father but instead it would Omer. Shoving the thoughts away I silently hoped that the Goddess wouldn’t see fit to punish me again. My father had been hung so the only family I had left were Myra, Torrance and Omer. I didn’t know what I would do if they were taken away from me too.

      Wailing reached my ears rousing me from my thoughts.

      “It’s a girl,” said Myra as she carefully cleaned blood off the new-born baby.

      I watched as Myra handed the baby over to the woman. The baby was wailing but the mother was so happy that she was crying.

      “What are you going to name her?” Myra asked.

      “Leanda, after the princess,” answered the mother breathlessly.

      My thoughts went to Princess Leanda. She was leaving for Dulmire soon. I wondered if she wanted to go and how Khyber felt about his sister’s arranged marriage. No doubt the king would soon be organising for Khyber to be wed. The thought of Khyber being with another woman was too painful so I quickly concentrated on helping Myra as the mother birthed the placenta.


      Feeling Myra’s eyes on me I glanced at her. We were preparing dinner together in the kitchen of her house, my new home.

      “I know that look.” Myra smiled warmly and cupped my cheek. “Don’t worry, Samera; Omer will soon be back and then it will be you giving birth and raising children.”

      I presumed her comment was supposed to reassure me so I nodded and thanked her. That night I cried myself to sleep. It wasn’t the first time or the last.


      Omer returned a lot sooner than we had thought. In fact it was four days after the birth. Myra, Torrance and I were sat eating dinner when the backdoor opened. Omer’s hair was longer and he had a beard. His brown eyes were unreadable. He was wearing his army uniform and had a cane.

      “Omer!” cried Myra, knocking her chair over in her haste to run over to him. She swept Omer into her arms and started sobbing. “Goddess be praised!”

      Torrance slowly rose from his seat before joining his wife and son. I felt tears fill my eyes. I was so relieved that Omer had come home alive but I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I would be married soon. When Myra and Torrance had returned to their seats I stood up and walked over to Omer. His lips drew into a smile and he yanked me into his arms.

      “I’m so glad you’re safe,” I whispered into his chest.

      Pressing his nose into my hair, Omer held me close.

      When Omer and I separated, Myra asked. “Would you like something to eat, son?”

      “No thank you. I’m tired. I’m going to bed.”

      Myra was disappointed but didn’t push him. Omer started hobbling over to the stairs, wincing in pain.

      “Let me help you,” said Torrance.

      “I don’t need help.” Omer’s voice was surprisingly cold.

      Myra, Torrance and I watched silently as Omer struggled up the stairs.

      I stayed up late in the hope that Omer would be asleep when I went to bed. Entering the bedroom as quietly as I could, I saw that Omer was lying on the floor wrapped in a blanket. I quickly changed into my nightdress and got into bed.  


      Wild cries woke me in the middle of the night. From the thin stream of moonlight that had slipped into the room where the curtains didn’t quite meet, I could see Omer thrashing around in his sleep. Throwing my covers back I left the warmth of the bed and knelt down beside him.

      “Omer, it’s just a dream,” I said soothingly. “Wake up, Omer.”

      Startled, his brown eyes slowly focused on me. “Samera?” He sat up and kissed me, his hands clutching my body.

      “You were having a nightmare,” I commented when Omer released me. His expression dropped so I told him to join me in the bed. “Why were you on the floor?” I asked once we were under the sheets.

      “I’ve gotten used to sleeping on the ground.”

      Brushing some strands of brown hair from Omer’s face I asked. “What was your nightmare about?”

      “You don’t want to know,” he murmured, his eyes meeting mine. “I’m so happy to see you again, Samera.” Omer pressed his lips to mine. “It was the thought of marrying you that kept me going.” Resting his forehead on mine, he asked. “Why are you staying here?”

      “My father is dead and so is Menul.”

      “I’m so sorry.” Omer stroked my cheek gently. “Are you living here now?”

      I nodded silently and closed my eyes so that they wouldn’t overflow with tears. “What happened to your leg?”

      Turning away from me, Omer muttered. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

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