Apricum (Apricum Kingdom #1)

Orphaned and in charge of keeping her young brother alive, Helga survives by using her powers to kill for hire. But, when she is kidnapped by people wanting to exploit her, Helga's life changes drastically. No longer sure who to trust, she escapes and goes looking for her brother Finn. But she's been keeping secrets even from those closest to her, and secrets have a way of finding you, in the end... [PG-15 for violence and language - keep in mind that the protagonist kills for a living. Some references to sex.]


10. Nine

Eight years ago


"Freyja! Lily!"

"Child, remember what we talked about inside voices," Lily admonished me softly as I can careening around the corner, panting with the exertion of running up ten flights of stairs to my room.

"Sorry," I said, lowering my voice slightly.

"Well, what it is?"

"Papa says I am to entertain a Prince next week. He's asked me to create a kind of..."

"Plan for the day?"

I nodded. "I have no idea what to do," I admitted quietly.

Freyja giggled. "Is he going to be your husband?"

I wrinkled my nose and stuck my tongue out at her. "Ew, no."

"Why not?"

I opened my mouth to reply, but Lily clapped her hands and interrupted us. "Now, now, girls. That's enough of that. We have a timetable of fun to prepare!"


Later, when Freyja and I were getting ready for bed, she turned to me and eyed me curiously as I brushed my teeth.

"What?" I asked, toothpaste flicking everywhere.

She smiled. "Why don't you want to marry?"

I frowned at her as I rinsed out the bubbles. "What do you mean?"

She shrugged. "You never want to marry any of the Princes that come to visit."

It was my time to shrug. "They're usually ugly and boring."

"That's true," she grinned. "But maybe this one will be handsome."

"Or maybe he won't be."

Freyja sighed, plopping down on my bed next to me. "You're going to be Queen one day. Doesn't that mean you'll have to marry a Prince?  Even if he's ugly and boring?"

"Mama says so. Papa doesn't like to talk about it, but I think he agrees with her. I just don't understand why."

"Won't you be lonely if you didn't marry?"

I shook my head quickly. "I don't think so. There's always someone around here. Plus, there's Finn. And I can adopt a child."

She frowns at me. "I guess. I just don't get why you're so against it."

"The idea just doesn't appeal to me, Frey."

She hugs me before hopping down from the bed. "Then I'll help you, even if I don't understand you. You know I'd do anything for you."

I smiled at her gratefully. It was nice to know that, no matter what, I'd have someone fighting for me, in my corner. "Thanks."

"Goodnight, you freak."

I laughed. "Goodnight." 

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