“I have the power to control people’s thoughts and actions...What am I, if not a Goddess?”
In a world where all those in power have power the Princess must play a dangerous game with a dangerous man.
Who will win? What will the consequences be?


10. Chapter Ten

Chapter Ten


I used the back door in the garden and led us outside. Not many people were allowed in the back of my castle, it was mostly just the staff and myself. In the spacious area; the staff housing was laid deep in the back corner. In the other was one of my favourite places - the equestrian shed.


“Horses?” Max said and I beamed at him.


“You can ride?” I raised an eyebrow suspiciously.  


“Of course.” Max lied, straightening his shirt.


Giggling I pulled him forward, waiting for the the barn door to open. The unique horse smell infiltrated my nose - it wasn’t overly pleasant, but not revolting either. It was a smell that simply reminded me of being a child. What little girl doesn’t want a pony? I had grown up with these animals - the only pets my father had allowed.


I led Max towards the grey mare in the second stall. The mare had been my favourite horse for the longest time. She had always been my faithful steed. She would let me talk and whine all day long while I brushed her, just as long as she got some sugar cubes to go with it.  


“Max, meet Aster. Aster meet Max.” Aster huffed, her chocolate eyes glancing over him.


“Hello. Nice to meet you.” Max formally greeted the horse, bowing.


Rolling my eyes I gave Aster a look that I felt she understood all too well. Lacing my fingers through Max’s I slowly started walking towards the next stall. The brown gelding inside barely looking up at us. I made a clicking noise and the horse automatically moved to stand closer to the door.


“This is Rab. She’s a very easy, happy girl. You should have no problem saddling her I assume?” I barely glanced at Max while I spoke, my eyes fixated on the horse.


With Max’s quick assurance that he would be able to ride Rab I sprinted back to Aster’s stall. Throwing the door open I nuzzled against her, whispering about nothing in her ears while I readied her saddle and other accessories.

Once everything was in place I changed my normal shoes into riding boots, opting not to change out of the dress I was wearing. I just wanted to get outside and ride. It had been far too long since I had been out. I was just itching to be set free on the world.


“You ready?” Max asked interrupting my thoughts.


I jumped, glaring at him before nodding. Placing my foot in the stirrup I jumped, gliding over Aster easily. When I first started riding, I had needed either my father’s help or a stool to be able to climb over, now I could do it myself.


“How about I make you a bet?” I questioned, my breathing already erratic even though we hadn’t done anything yet.


“What bet?” Max said, eying me suspiciously. He probably figured I was a good rider, but the poor boy had no idea what he was getting himself into.


I had been riding since I was three. Been in dozens of competitions, shows and other things appropriate for a Princess. Some people cried foul play; because I was royal, I must’ve cheated. Once they saw me ride, they never questioned it again. I wasn’t only a good rider, I was a smart rider.    


“I’ll race you to the staff quarters. If I win, I get to ask you five questions of my choice.” I supplied, grinning evilly.


“And if I win?” Max asked.


“What would you want?” I said. Max raised an eyebrow suggestively and I had to laugh.


“A kiss?” Max said hopefully. I rolled my eyes and nodded.


Either way, he was never going to beat me.




For once in my life, I was right. I was waiting by a massive oak tree when Max finally pulled up.


“How did you… I didn’t see you the whole time!” Max explained slightly out of breath, and I laughed.


“I went the back way.” I knew my castle the best. I knew every shortcut and round about way. When I needed to, I could be anywhere within a few moments.


“That’s cheating.” Max glared.


As Max climbed down from Rab I kissed his cheek. After all, he never said where the kiss had to be. I knew I was being unfair, but I was simply in too good of a mood to really care. Max sighed deeply, carefully sitting against the trunk of the tree.


“Alright. You can ask.” Max sounded like he was already regretting his decision.


“Why did you leave?” I had wanted to ask this question for so long, and now I would finally get an answer.


“My parents were dead. I had no-one and nothing. I couldn’t stay in this country any longer. I knew I had a cousin or something in the South, so I thought I might try to find some of my distant family.”


“Why didn’t you just tell me that?” I asked quietly.  


“I didn’t think you cared all that much. I mean, don’t you remember how much you used to tease me? It was that or you didn’t talk to me at all.”  Max explained, a light tone to his voice.


“Did you know about what the King used to do to me?” I questioned, a hard edge to my voice. I hated that this happened every time I tried to talk about the dragon on my back.


“I knew there was something bad going on.” Max explained.


“Did you ever find your family in the south?” I asked finally, changing the subject back to him..


“I was told after a few years that the cousin I tried to find had come here to try and find me. By then, I was already deep into the country's politics. I couldn’t just leave to find Daniel.”


I wondered vaguely if there was any connection to the golden-eyed man I had known once. They were, after all very similar in looks and had the distinct yellow eye colour all the members of their family had.


“Why do you have yellow eyes?” I asked realising I had never come to fully understand what had happened.


“The story goes that my family wasn’t descended from Adam and Eve, but was in fact the creation of the evil serpent. Once God knew of us, he cursed us with the eyes of a snake for the rest of time. Ever since then, any child born to a member of our family has yellow eyes. “ Max shrugged.


“Well, what do you think?” I said.


Max raised an eyebrow and my smile fell. I had already used my five questions. At least I had asked all of the important ones. This one might just have to wait a little while to be answered. But it would be answered. Knowing what he thought about the story of his family seemed important to me. My own family ‘story’ had a huge effect on me as a child. I couldn’t imagine what growing up thinking I was the devil’s creation would be like.


“Princess!” A maid ran over. Her cheeks were flushed, fear flashing across her features.


“Yes, Adeline?” I asked, focusing all of my attention on her.


“There’s a man in the courtroom wielding a gun. He wishes to speak with you.” She stated, rather out of breath.


I cursed under my breath, both Adeline and Max looking at me strangely. I forgot sometimes that not many people heard me swear. It was an extremely unladylike thing to do. I had been trained to find other words to describe a situation, but sometimes, the situation warranted it.


“What does he want?” I hissed, asking myself more than either of the people around me.


Slowly, as though afraid of retribution Adeline raised her hand. I turned my eyes on her, expecting her to comment.


“He asked for you, Majesty. I believe he wishes to test his mind on your power.” Adeline whispered, as though the prospect scared her.


I looked at Max, watching slowly as his features went from anger, to protectiveness. Sighing dramatically I rubbed my forehead. If I allowed Max to leave this place he was bound to get himself hurt trying to protect me. If this stranger wanted to test himself, then I would offer him the opportunity. He would bow beneath me, just as he should.


“Do you trust me?” I asked Max.


He regarded me for a second before nodding curtly. Bending over him I placed a hand on his chest before drawing the hunting knife he refused to go without from his pocket. Before he had a chance to react I pinned down the back of his shirt and drove it deep into the tree root beside him.


“Good. Now stay here.” I stated, grinning at the furious expression on Max’s face before turning.

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