IV. The Second Son

IV. The Second Son

A Chapter by D.S. Dirck

IV. The Second Son

Year: 643ALD


He approached the hall with caution. A subtle glance revealed his breeches to be unlaced, and he stopped to quickly tie them before proceeding.

With a little luck, Kira would be gone. He hoped to buy her enough time to dress and escape through his chamber window. She proved quite adept at scaling the garden trellis. Her sense of balance rivaled that of a cat, leading him to wonder if all Reysians were so agile. Or just her. Sneaking into his room now for several nights, she had yet to be spotted.

The first light of dawn ascended over the city of Springhaven, and with it, the servants would be appearing for their daily duties. The kitchen staff were always early to arrive, firing the ovens and filling the keep with the aroma of baked bread. The smell alone was enough to rouse everyone from their sleep.

A quick turn of the corner, and Kevyn found himself face-to-face with a well-dressed old man. The light glittered off the golden cufflinks on the man’s tailored doublet. By the long beard and fine clothing, he instantly recognized his father’s highest advisor, Master Steward Alyester Croyle.

“Master Kevyn,” Alyester exhaled. “You are up early this morning.”

He glanced at the stone tile floor, unsure how Alyester moved so quietly.

The rug must have masked his footsteps.

“So?”

“I’m just saying�"”

“I could ask the same of you, Alyester.” He made certain to maintain eye contact with the steward. “I’m going to breakfast, now. I thought I might take Serralyn out for one last ride.”

The steward rasped his long grey beard, squinting in suspicion. “You would do well to stick to the hills. The flats are bogged from the rains yesterday.”

Knowing the steward displayed a knack for eyeing falsehoods, Kevyn measured the old man’s eyes. “Thank you for the advice.”

S**t. He’s not buying a word of it.

Alyester again rasped his beard, taking notice of Kevyn’s poor choice of riding attire. “Have you made all your preparations for tomorrow? Are you ready to be a Ranger?”

“Yes. I think so,” he answered with feigned confidence. “My sword training has progressed well, and I’m not a half-bad shot with a bow, though I’m not the bowman my brother is.”

Alyester nodded. “Bear in mind, young master, there is more to being a Ranger than swords and bows. A watchful eye and keen mind can prove as effective as any weapon.”

Kevyn shrugged, taking the advice half-heartedly.

Turning to walk away, Alyester glanced back. “You would be wise to remember that the Rangers also bend the knee to the Dawkins. They still hold your father in deep enmity.”

“Still?” Kevyn asked with a hint of disdain. “Did my father not pardon them? Did they not get to keep their lands after the war? After the rebellion? What else does Hugo Dawkins think he is entitled to?”

Alyester stiffened. “You are a man of seventeen years, my lord, but you have much to learn in the ways of politics. Hugo Dawkins still holds many grievances against your father for many reasons.”

“You can spare me the history lesson, Alyester. It’s too early,” Kevyn jeered.

“Indeed it is,” the steward scoffed, vanishing around the corner.

Finding the Banquet Hall deserted, he followed the scent of cinnamon rolls and bacon emanating from the kitchens. The morning air inside the hall was cool yet muggy, signifying another hot day to come. As he sat at one of the tables, a half-portly man with a plump face in regal dress approached.

“Mind if I sit here?” the man asked.

Kevyn looked around the expansive hall, gesturing to the fifty other empty tables. Glancing upward he noticed a mat of tight curls covering the man’s head, instantly recognizing him. “Lord Law…”

The man waved a hand dismissively. “Please, my brother is Lord Law. I’m simply Gabriel.”

Kevyn nodded. “Gabriel…

“How are you, Lord Kevyn?”

“I’m not a lord either, you should know.”

Taking a seat, Gabriel leaned over the table. “You could be, you know? Your family has been piddling around Springhaven for such a long time, people have already begun to murmur about who’s ruling Brightshore these days.”

“My uncle Deckard was Overlord of the Ashlands, you know.”

“True, but dead men make poor leaders,” Gabriel mused. “Then again, living ones sometimes fare no better. Are they going to be serving soon? I’m terribly famished.”

Kevyn inclined his head over to the far wall towards the entrance to the kitchens. The smell of eggs and bacon intensified without any sign of the staff in sight.

“What about you?” Kevyn asked. “Would your brother not give you a lordship?”

With a mirthless chuckle, Gabriel rolled his eyes. “Troy and I… I’m sorry… Lord Law and I, don’t often see eye-to-eye. He chides me at every opportunity, plying me for your family’s secrets.”

“And what do you tell him?” Kevyn pried.

Gabriel shrugged. “What is there to tell? Not much, sadly. The gossip mill grew tired of whispering of your father’s incessant drinking long ago. He doesn’t w***e or plot or scheme. He’s rather quite a dull man, honestly. Though I will say the stresses of the job seem to have taken a toll on him as of late.”

Kevyn nodded in agreement.

Gabriel slowly leaned over the table. “I think it’s time to organize a raid. What say you, Lord Kevyn? Will thou brave the wrath of the mighty Samwell and his indomitable army of kitchen wenches in search of mythical biscuits and apple tart treasures?”

Kevyn laughed, rising from the table. “What’s the plan, commander?”

“Clarice turns the spits, and Yelta tends the poultry sheds at first light. With a little luck, Samwell may be tending to the cauldrons while Donna’s pulling tarts from the oven.”

“You know the routine well,” Kevyn commended.

“This isn’t my first pillaging, you know,” Gabriel smiled. “Now, you’ll distract Sam and I’ll make off with what I can. I’ll meet you in the Great Hall.”

Kevyn’s stomach growled as he pushed into the kitchens through the north door. The smell of roasted pig hit him so strongly he nearly forgot what he was doing.

“Master Kevyn!” shouted a husky voice. “Up and early this morning, eh?” Across the kitchen a hefty man in a blood-and-grease-stained apron shouted.

“Morning, Sam,” Kevyn replied. “I’m starving.”

“You’re gonna have to wait,” Sam chided, waving a large ladle about. “Donna just now pulled the tarts from the…” Sam gestured to the empty table on the other side of the room. “Donna.”

An elderly woman bent over a nearby table stiffened up, spinning around. “What is it?”

“Didn’t you have a tray of cherry tarts right there? I just saw them a minute ago.”

“They were apple,” Donna answered. “What did you do with them?”

“I didn’t take them,” Sam replied, baffled.

Damn, that was fast. He’s good…

Kevyn gracefully ducked away from the kitchens, finding Gabriel in the Great Hall, hoarding an entire tray of apple tarts in the far corner.

“Here, take these.” Gabriel handed him five of the sweet-smelling pastries, still piping hot from the oven. “Careful you don’t burn yourself.”

Taking only two, Kevyn handed the rest back. “You’re fast. You know?”

Speaking with his mouth full, bits of crust flew from his lips. “It’s much harder to do alone. Not that it’s impossible, but a fruit tart is worth only so much trouble. Now, if I had more help, I could probably get the bacon, too.”

“Or you could just wait for them to start serving.”

Gabriel scoffed, shoving another tart into his mouth. “And wait in line? No thanks. Me and lines, we don’t agree.”

Taking care to avoid any wandering kitchen staff, the pair sat, talking of less important matters.

“Say, I saw a Reysian girl skulking around the gate earlier,” said Gabriel. “Do you know anything about that?”

“I’m afraid I don’t.” Kevyn feigned ignorance, quietly cursing himself.

She’s been seen…

“I didn’t get a good look,” Gabriel replied, stuffing the last tart in his mouth. “Definitely one of Ambassador Nimirion’s girls. Kira or Sera likely. Real beauties they are, I must say.”

“Yea,” Kevyn nodded, and Gabriel smacked his arm.

“It is you,” the portly man gasped with wide eyes. “You’re a terrible liar, and your brother is too much of a jester to court a creature as fine as that.”

Kevyn exhaled through his teeth, glancing around the room. “Don’t say anything. Please.”

“Oh, I’m the last person you need to worry about. I’m the best secret keeper in Springhaven.” Gabriel rubbed his protruding pot belly. “You think I got like this from apple tarts alone? Gaunt men are poor keepers of secrets. Good work, by the way. I commend you.”

Kevyn stared in confusion. “For what?”

“What I wouldn’t give to have a Reysian woman,” Gabriel sighed.

“There’s lots of them at the brothels,” Kevyn argued.

“It’s in poor taste for someone like me to partake in such things,” Gabriel replied with an air of sadness. “I’m talking about love. To have one love me.”

“A romantic, are we?” Kevyn teased.

“I do dabble in poetry,” Gabriel replied. “I’m not bad with a lyre, either. Though sadly it earns me little notoriety amongst the women. Curse of the third son, I call it.”

“What?”

“The first born gets the inheritance, the second born gets the scraps, and the third gets nothing.” Gabriel climbed to his feet, wiping the crumbs from his yellow tunic. “At least you’re only a second son.”

Kevyn nodded, unsure what else to say. “Leaving, are we?”

“Law!” a voice bellowed from across the room. Kevyn and Gabriel both turned to see Mayor Vickon Torgray looking particularly cross. The man’s large mane of thick grey curls seemed more frazzled than normal. “You’ve got a line of petitioners choking the hall in the Registrar. I can’t get in my office. Would you be so kind as to decline them from their petty needs?”

“This early?” Gabriel replied.

“Yes. This early,” the mayor insisted, turning to Kevyn. “You’re still here?”

“I’m not leaving until tomorrow,” Kevyn sharply answered. “Nice to see you, too.”

“Likewise,” the mayor nodded, unconcerned. “Now, Mr. Law… Can we…?”

“Yes, yes!” Gabriel snapped back, escorting the mayor away.

Finding himself alone, Kevyn made his way to the archives in search of Springhaven’s other master steward, Classidus Pondarius. The antithesis to Alyester Croyle in every way. A short, bald man, he shunned the finer garments in favor of the traditional brown robes of his order. As many wise men let their beards grow indefinitely, he kept his short and bushy, but well-trimmed, often complaining it was a nuisance to read when one’s beard repeatedly fell into the book.

The steward sat scrawling messages that arrived overnight, when Kevyn appeared. “Why Master Kevyn, how pleasant to see you.” The steward’s rosy cheeks beamed.

“Master Pondarius,” Kevyn nodded. “I thought I’d come to bid you farewell.”

“Indeed.” The old steward continued scribbling on the parchment.

Stepping forward, Kevyn took a seat on the dusty leather chair opposite the steward’s desk. “I know our lessons have been over for some time.”

The steward nodded. “Your reading and writing are of a scholarly level. Your mathematics could use a bit more practice, though.”

“I don’t want to talk about mathematics.”

The steward stopped scribbling, raising his curious eyes. “What is it you wish to talk about?”

“You always forbade the discussion of dragons,” Kevyn replied. “You said father would be angry with you. This time tomorrow I’ll be gone. I want you to tell me about them.”

With a deep breath, Pondarius moved around the table, taking a seat on the desk with folded hands. “Dragons,” he sighed.

“Yes,” Kevyn enthusiastically replied. “Why are only priests permitted to speak of such things?”

“Superstition, I suppose. Your father would have been wroth with me had I sent you home from our lessons with knowledge of such things. But superstition can be a powerful thing. There are those who believed at one time that the mere mentioning of the word might somehow lure them across the sea.”

“But that’s silly,” Kevyn argued.

“Of course it’s silly. But, you have to understand, the Elytian Empire you and I know is but a shadow of its former self. The Empire of the old world spanned lands five times larger than what we have today, and was comprised of nine kingdoms coexisting under one banner for three thousand years.”

“But what does that have to do with dragons?”

“Because in a few short months dragons destroyed what it took us several millennia to build,” the steward grimly replied. “I suppose it’s somewhat poetic, in a tragic kind of way. The very thing which brought us to power, was ultimately our undoing. They served us as beasts of burden and weapons of war for a thousand years. They were ours to command.”

“So, there were different kinds?”

“Precisely,” Pondarius replied, glancing to the small candle sitting next to him, running his fingers over the flame. “It is written that we bred them for different purposes. There were some that breathed fire, and others that breathed ice. One breed was too large to fly, yet commanded a roar that could break stone. It served well in the quarries. And in contrast, there were smaller ones, no larger than dogs.

“What purpose did they serve?”

Pondarius shrugged. “I really don’t recall. I’d have to refer to the tomes to answer that question.”

“So where did the wild dragons come from, then?” Kevyn asked. “If we tamed them for so many years, why did they turn against us?”

Pondarius shuffled to the bookshelf and fingered through the stacks of dusty books, removing a specific tome bound in worn leather, with browned edges. The binding was wrinkled and crumbling to pieces. He held the book for Kevyn to see: Prophecies and Allegories of the Antecedent Gardner.

“This here is an account of events leading to the scourge. Six hundred and fifty years ago, Steward Malachi Peruvius was gracious enough to document the events that led to what we call The Scourge. Here is an excerpt which might answer your question:

Men became complacent in their dominance of the draconalia, or dragons, as we call them. Once known only as a tool of the Imperial Legion, lesser kings and other lords used them for their own ends. Over time, we believe some escaped to the wilds and reproduced. Those were the wildborne. By the time Emperor Alexander Pelenoire moved to manage the crisis, it was too late. A swarm swelled in the northwestern province of Roa and moved from city to city, scouring the land like wildfire.


Pondarius carefully closed the book. “Through complacence, we sowed the seeds of our own doom.

“Do you think dragons still live in Old Elytia?”

“It’s possible, though difficult to say with certainty,” the steward replied, removing a pipe from his pocket and lighting the contents from the candle nearby. “There’ve been no expeditions back to the old world in the six centuries since we left.”

Kevyn glanced to the window, looking westward. “When my time with the Rangers is over, perhaps I’ll sail westward and find out.”

“A thousand years of shipbuilding knowledge was lost when we made it to the New World. The master shipwrights did not survive the Great Migration. Only now are we barely able to build boats capable of sailing such distances.” Pondarius inhaled a long draft of smoke, blowing rings upward for his own amusement. “I’m certain once your brother becomes the High Steward, he will have no qualms with you undertaking such an endeavor.”  

Kevyn absorbed every word behind the backdrop of dusty books. “It would be a wonder to see one again,” he confessed.

“I hope I’m not interrupting,” spoke the familiar voice of Alyester Croyle.

“Not at all, Master Croyle,” Pondarius replied. “Come in, come in.”

The gold buttons on Steward Croyle’s embroidered doublet sparkled in the sunlight streaming in through the windows. “Master Kevyn, I checked for you at the stables, but the stable hands said you hadn’t stopped by. Your father has summoned you.”

Kevyn ran his fingers through his short brown hair, knowing full well his lie was figured out. Rising from the chair, he turned and bowed to Master Pondarius. “When we next meet, I’ll be a Ranger.”

“And a fine one, I have no doubt,” Steward Pondarius smiled, shaking Kevyn’s hand. “Be safe, and good luck out there.”

Alyester escorted Kevyn from the library, passing through the undercroft adjacent to the Great Hall. Boxes and crates lay stacked against the wall alongside ornamental armor sets and tarnished candelabras. In the corner lay the old wooden throne, covered in a dusty white cloth, unused for twenty years. Not since the death of Emperor Derrius Pelenoire had a ruler sat in the forgotten chair.

All his life, Kevyn watched men plot and scheme against one another just to win but a shred of the power his father wielded. It was beyond his understanding, why his father shunned the crown.  

The undercroft opened into a narrow hallway, ending at the main foyer of the keep. A long spiral staircase led to the Tower of the Regent, the tallest point in the whole city, eclipsing even the Triarch Towers. Climbing the endless steps seemed a daunting task. Kevyn wondered if the stairway contributed to his father’s distaste for rule.

Purple curtains covered the windows, leaving the room illuminated only by the failing embers of a hearth from the previous night’s fire. Fine silk sheets lay balled up on the couch, evidence of someone having slept there.

Lord Peter Hathaway stood six-and-a-half feet tall. A once tall and proud man, he now seemed thin and frail. His enameled mail hung loose and jangled as he moved, no longer fitting the man he had become. Leaning back in his chair, his fingers danced over the edge of a pewter wine cup. With tired brown eyes, he looked to his son, searching for the words to say.

Kevyn bit his lip and gave a nod. “Alyester said you wanted to speak with me.”

“I did,” Peter replied with a deep, tired breath. “I know you planned to leave for Sunterland tomorrow morning. I’m afraid I need to make use of you one last time.”

“What would you have me do?” Kevyn asked suspiciously.

Taking a sip of wine, he paused to savor the taste. “As you know, the Rex of Duria and Thane of Reysia are coming here. I need you in Banesbridge to see Rex Brandor safely across the border. Sir Conley and Sir Ryker will assist you on the journey, along with a small contingent.”

“What? No.” Kevyn rose in defiance. “They’ll be expecting me in Sunterland in two weeks. There’s no way I’ll make it in time.”

His father waved a hand, dismissing the issue. “I’ll sign a note excusing your tardiness. Besides, as steward of the crown, the Rangers are mine to command, which means you, are mine to command.”

With a defeated groan, Kevyn slumped into an empty chair, rubbing his face. Banesbridge was a cold and bleak place. Summer in Tor was nearly indistinguishable from winter in Springhaven. “Why? I mean, can’t you trust the northerners to see the Durs safely across the border?”

Peter drained the cup and reached for the nearby flagon. “Did those history lessons with Pondarius teach you anything? Rex Brandor is about to cross into the very city he demolished fifteen years ago, and with Berrin Tosch dead, who is left to keep the Torish in line? His son? I think not.” Wine spilled over the table as his father overfilled the cup. “I can’t, no, I won’t risk any harm coming to Rex Brandor. It would mean guaranteed war between our people.”

“Then maybe you should go,” Kevyn suggested. “Or send Chrys? I’m just putting it out there. He is your heir, after all.”

“He is skilled with a bow, but you are the better swordsman,” Peter admitted, “and a grown man. Should things go wrong, I’ll not have my heir cut down.”

“Oh,” Kevyn laughed mockingly, “so that’s the way of it? I’m the expendable one? Now that’s the father I know and love.”  

“Spare me,” Peter snapped through clenched teeth.

“Pfffft. Whatever,” said Kevyn, flicking his hand in dismissal. “This is bullshit.”

“Enough!” Peter roared, striking the cup off the desk and sending it flying, with wine spraying over the floor. “I’ll not be mocked here, now, by my own blood. Don’t think I haven’t heard about you and the ambassador’s daughter. Did you think you could sneak around behind my back? Here, of all places?”

Kevyn held his tongue while his father continued his tirade.

“You dishonor him, his daughter, me, and yourself. If your folly was to lead our name into ill-favor with the Reysians over this, don’t think I wouldn’t have you flogged in view of the entire city.”

Breathing hard, Kevyn knew the argument was lost. “Anything else?”

“No. Now go,” his father bellowed.

“Good day then, my lord.” He bowed all the way to his knees before walking out of the room.

You’d been saving that one for a while, haven’t you? Well played, you old b*****d. Well played…

Outside the door, Alyester waited patiently. “I sense that could have gone better.”

“Really, Alyester?” Kevyn gave the steward a strong sneer. “You had to tell him?”

Alyester folded his hands, glancing downward. “It’s not my place to hide things from the master of the house, my lord.”

“We are all well aware who your lord is Alyester,” Kevyn jeered, “and it’s not me.”

The crisp autumn air greeted him as he went outside to calm himself. His attention shifted to the panging sound of steel ringing out from the nearby practice yard. It appeared his brother was training with the arms master, Sir Donald Blackwell.

Perhaps Chrys has gotten better? Maybe Sir Donald won’t disarm him immediately this time? Yet, as the thought occurred, Chrystopher’s practice sword fell to the dirt with a dull clang.  

“Ouch! You got my hand!” Chrystopher cried, flinging his helm off and letting his curly brown hair fall to his shoulders.

“M’lord should wear a mailed glove, like I told you,” Sir Donald Blackwell chided in a ragged tone. His cragged face conveyed not an ounce of sympathy for the eldest of the Hathaway sons. “I might have broken your finger. Your arms are bruised and bloody as well.” The man spit after every other sentence. “Go have Steward Malcom take a look at your hand, right quick. Until then, we’re done.”

Chrystopher shook off the pain, and glanced up, to see Kevyn. “Brother! There you are.”

“Where else would I be?” Kevyn answered. “I can’t miss watching you get beaten into the dirt.”

“Hey now, I’ve gotten better,” declared Chrystopher, waving his bloody sword hand. Cradling his mangled finger, he leaned into Kevyn. “Did I see that Reysian girl running out of the keep this morning?”

Kevyn’s face turned to stone.

“You lucky b*****d! Do you realize how hard it is to bed a Reysian maid? Serra Nimirion won’t even look at me, and you’re giving it to her sister�"her much prettier sister, if I might say.”

Kevyn laughed. “Alyester already sold me out to father.”

“You should have known better than sneaking her into the keep.”

She’s the one who insists on sneaking over. I can’t stop her,” Kevyn lamented.

“Oh, woe is you, brother!” Chrystopher scoffed. “Send her to my chamber, then if you’re so terrified of father.”

“It’s forbidden though. Reysians and us.”

“Forbidden to marry, yes. But not... You know...” With a wide smile, Chrystopher made a thrusting motion with his hips. “Is that how she likes it? Or does she prefer it from behind?”

“F**k you.”

“Come on brother! Do a courtesy, at least for the rest of us who don’t even get the table scraps,” Chrystopher complained in jest.

Kevyn exhaled, shaking his head. “She says she loves me. What am I supposed to do? I’m leaving tomorrow.”

Chrystopher shrugged, “So what? You’re leaving. She knows. Did she think you were gonna stay?”

“I think she did,” Kevyn nodded.

“Not too bright is she, then?” Chrystopher remarked, placing a bloody hand around Kevyn’s shoulder. “Just one thing before you go. Tell me, and be honest.” His grin was enough to warn an awkward question was coming. “How sweet is that Reysian maiden in bed? Be serious.” Chrystopher’s eyes narrowed. “Is there more than flowers and leaves between her legs?”

Kevyn shoved him at the question, sending him tumbling to the ground as his plate mail rang in a loud clatter. Seated in the dirt he shrugged. “Don’t act like you wouldn’t ask me.”  

“She was tight. I can tell you that much.” Kevyn gripped his brother’s hand, pulling him back up.

Chrystopher burst into laughter. “Perhaps we shall call you dragoncock from now on?” His laughter echoed through the courtyard, catching the attention of several servants. “Here Ye! Here Ye! On this day I dub thee, Sir Dragoncock!” Chrystopher picked up his glove, dusting himself off. “I need to pay Malcolm a visit and get my battle wounds tended to. Good day, brother.”

The rest of the day was spent in preparation for his unwanted journey northward. Unpacking his bags, he tossed out the thin woolen shirts and tunics intended for the warmer southern climate in exchange for heavy leather and a fur cowl, cursing his father the entire time.

Unable to sleep, he lay awake, staring at the ceiling. The air was too warm for a fire, and he opened the window in hopes the wind might cool the room. His quarters lay on the second floor of the Royal Apartments, and the window was easily reachable from the roof of the lower level. All one need do was scale the garden lattice on the southeast wall, which was Kira’s preferred means of entry.

He lurched from bed, moving to the open window, staring out into the darkness. A sliver of moonlight hung in the sky, not bright enough to illuminate the landscape. Checking the window one last time, he retreated to bed, struggling to suppress his disappointment at things.

I was so close. So close to getting out of here. He’ll probably have more bullshit for me to do when I get back. He’ll have a whole two weeks to cook some excuse up.

Just then, the bed creaked and a weight seemed to push the mattress down further. He stirred in a panic, until the essence of cinnamon and cloves reached his nose. The tips of her fingers caressed his cheek, and her tongue danced inside his mouth without warning.

“How did you do that? I didn’t even hear you.”

A slippery tongue licked the edge of his left ear and he felt her hot breath. “Are you not happy to see me?” Kira asked.

Her body carried the constant scent of cinnamon and cloves, leaving Kevyn to wonder if she used perfume or just naturally smelled that way. Her hair had a faint gold and green glittering to it, which beamed even in the moonlight, smelling of sweet oil and pine.  

See you? It’s pitch black in here.

“I got the wrath from my father today over you. Everyone saw you leaving this morning.”

She was halfway undressed when she shrugged. “So?”

“I’m not going to Sunterland tomorrow,” Kevyn informed. Even in the dark he could sense her wild enthusiasm. “I’m going to Banesbridge instead.” The enthusiasm evaporated.

“Where is Banesbridge?” she asked.

“The capital of Tor. I’m to meet the Durish Rex when he crosses the border.” Even talking about it left a sour taste in his mouth.

“I could go with you,” Kira resumed undressing, as Kevyn scoffed.

“Oh that’s just a great idea. Did you come up with that all by yourself?” A hard slap rained across on his face, stinging fiercely. Kira Nimirion may not have been known for her high intellect, but she had no tolerance for belittling comments. “What did you do that for?” he stammered, rubbing the sting off.

“I came here to f**k you, not listen to you mock me, Lord Hathaway.” She knew he hated being called Lord.

He finished rubbing the sting out of his cheek and licked his lips. “Fair enough,” he said undressing himself.

It was forbidden for them to be married, and no man sired a child with a Reysian woman. Reysians often lived twice as long as men, if not more. Yet despite those harsh truths, she was still drawn to him like a moth to a flame, and he failed to understand why.

An hour later he lay in bed, staring at the stone ceiling. Her arms and legs tangled around his own as she slept with her face nestled in his neck. Her breath washed over his chest like waves over sand and he pulled her tighter, breathing in her scent. TomorrowIt all begins tomorrow.



© 2016 D.S. Dirck


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Added on March 11, 2016
Last Updated on April 4, 2016
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D.S. Dirck
D.S. Dirck

Fort Wayne, IN



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I am an unpublished author searching for a literary agent and eventually publication. In the mean time, I'm here to network with other like-minded (and even non-like-minded) authors. I'm by no mea.. more..

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