Samera

A chance meeting between a prince and a peasant results in consequences that will not only change their lives, but also the kingdom.

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36. Chapter Thirty Six: Khyber

      Storming through the palace, I searched for my brother. Our father had left for the front so Abelard was once again in charge. I eventually found him lounging in the drawing room, draining a glass of wine.

      “You gave the witch hunters permission to search the lower town?” I demanded hotly.

      Slowly raising his dark eyes to meet mine, Abelard smiled. “Hello, little brother.”

      “Why did you do it?”

      He sighed and refilled his glass. “What’s the matter? Are you worried that your whore will be burned at the stake?”

      I knocked the drink from his hand, staining the rug that covered the stone floor. The glass smashed, sending shards flying.

      “You should not have done that, brother,” said Abelard, his voice cold. He rose from his seat and closed the space between us menacingly. “You’re treading on very thin ice, Khyber. Not just with me, but with our father as well.”

      “Call off the witch hunter.” Clenching my hands into fists, I resisted the urge to hit Abelard.

      He smirked. “I don’t want to. I think a bit of prosecution is just what the lower town needs.”

      “Innocent people will die,” I told Abelard angrily. “Is that what you want?”

      Shoving past me with his shoulder, he said, “The only things I want are another drink and a woman. I didn’t ask to be first in line to the throne but it’s a burden I have to bear.”

      “Don’t you have a conscience?” I shouted after Abelard as he left the room. But I knew the answer. He didn’t.

 

      “Khyber, there you are.”

      Looking up from where I was sat, hidden away in the library, I found a flushed Mariella hovering nearby. Her red hair was slightly wild, as if she had been out in the wind.

      “Is everything alright?” I asked, closing the poetry book I had been reading. It was one of the many that I had read to Samera.

      Sitting down in the chair beside me, Mariella replied, “There’s something I need to tell you.” She seemed anxious.

      I leaned forwards slightly. “What is it?”

      “It’s about Samera.”

      Fear lanced through me. “What . . . what about her?”

      Mariella’s green eyes were fixed on me. “Omer, the man she is arranged to marry, has come back.”

      It felt as if I had been stabbed in the gut. “He’s back?” I repeated my voice breaking.

      She nodded solemnly.

      I forced myself to ask, “When are they getting married?”

      “Samera said that they haven’t decided what day yet, but it will be within the next few weeks.”

      Nodding, I attempted to fight back tears. “Is she . . . is she happy?”

      Mariella touched my hand. Her voice was gentle as she said, “No, she’s not but she will be, Khyber. She just needs time, time away from you. Do you see what I’m trying to say?”

      “Yes,” I whispered.

      Mariella was telling me to stay away from Samera for her own good. It was something that I knew I couldn’t do.

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