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.


9. Chapter Nine: Samera


      I had hoped that Menul would be a calming influence on our father, but if anything he only made him worse. Every night they went drinking and gambling. I didn’t know where they got the money from because I kept all the money we had hidden in my mattress.

      Unfortunately for me there were only two bedrooms in our house, so Menul and I had a room between us. I could have asked my father if he would swap rooms with me, but I didn’t dare. He had shared his bedroom with my mother for years. I doubted that he would want to give up those memories. Menul often came into our room drunk in the early hours of the morning, stumbling and cursing. He never brought women back with him, so for that I was grateful.

      “Samera, wake up.”

      Someone was shaking me awake disturbing what had been for once a nightmare free night. Groaning I rolled over and unwillingly forced my eyes open. Menul slowly came into focus.

      “What is it?” I replied yawning widely.

      “Come to the kitchen.” he told me. His breath stank of alcohol.

      My mind felt foggy. “Why? What time is it?”

      “Just come downstairs.”

      Menul disappeared and after a considerable amount of effort I left the warmth of my bed. Wrapping a blanket around myself I went downstairs. My father, Menul and Omer were slumped at the table which had several bottles scattered over it. Omer beamed when he realised it was me.

      “Is something wrong?” I asked when no one spoke.

      My father lifted his intoxicated gaze to meet mine. “We’re hungry. Cook us something to eat, Sami.”

      He had used my nickname but that didn’t disguise the fact that he had just given me an order. I stared at him in disbelief. He had made Menul wake me up just so that I would cook them some food.  

      I chose my words carefully as I replied. “It will be time for breakfast soon. Why don’t you wait until then?”

      “Now.” my father growled.

      Pulling my blanket tighter around me I set to work cooking them something quick and easy. I felt my father’s eyes on me as I worked.

      “Don’t worry, Samera.” Omer said happily. He seemed blissfully unaware of the tension in the room. “Soon we will be rich and you won’t have to do anything ever again.”

      I paused in my cooking to look over at him. “What do you mean?”     

      Omer smiled goofily and Menul was watching our father who glared at me, an indication that I should hurry up. My thoughts remained on what Omer had said, but I made them all something to eat without saying another word. My father and Menul chatted while I worked, saying nothing of interest. Omer was staring at the wall smiling. I hoped that he hadn’t been to one of the drug dens.

      “Here you are.”

      Placing the plates of steaming food in front of them I turned to leave, but my father stopped me. He yanked my plaited hair, bringing me to my knees. I whimpered because of the pain and the coldness in his eyes.

      “Question me again, and you will be punished. Do you understand?” his voice was a deep growl.

      Tears filled my eyes. “Yes father.”

      He released me and started eating. Slowly rising to my feet I drew my blanket tighter around me, as if it could stop me from falling to pieces. Omer was busy stuffing his face with food, but Menul had seen had what happened. Staring at me with his blue eyes he said nothing, and turned away so that he could eat.


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