New Roots (Fate's Intent Book 8)

BOOK: New Roots (Fate's Intent Book 8)
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Prologue

 

 

Adele

 

A lonely misery had consumed me.

The torment I was feeling seemed like it would never go away as if my world was already over—

It’s been two days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Izin

 

“Your majesty, do you have a moment?” I was disturbed for the first time all morning and only briefly looked up. It was Marie, the nursemaid charged to care for our Adele. “I must speak with you regarding the Princess.”

“Yes, of course. Go ahead.” I continued with the work in front of me and let her speak.

“I’m afraid depression is hitting her. She hasn’t spoken to anyone in two days and all she does is stay in bed.”

“Yes, we’ve expected her behavior to be like this. She just needs time to get used to being away from Zayden.”

“But we’ve been trying everything. As primary caretaker of her health, I know she needs to start eating something or she’s going to risk losing her child.”

I immediately stopped with the phrase and my eyes shifted. “She’s not even eating?”

“No, sir. We’ve brought every meal to her but she never touches a bite. I think she needs to hear reason by someone she’ll listen to.”

“Well, I hear that’s few and her father has already returned to Kalu.”

“Yes, but perhaps you could be her father? You have good reasons for her to stay healthy.”

“True but I don’t know what the chances of her listening to me are.”

“Worth trying for, I’d say.”

I nodded and looked back down at my papers again. “Very well. I will speak with her.”

“Thank you, your majesty.” She didn’t walk away. She stayed right where she was and just watched me. “Ah, perhaps now, your majesty?”

“Oh, now.” I cluttered all the papers together and started to get up. “Of course. Before this matter gets any worse would be best.” I walked out and started making my way through the main hall towards the stairs.

“Where are you off to in such a hurry?” Kathryn asked, walking out of the dining hall.

“It would seem Adele is not taking Zayden’s leaving too well. I must speak with her so she stays well for the baby.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

“Well, Zayden looks like you. What do you think she’ll do seeing you?”

“She doesn’t have to look at me to listen, darling. It’s something I have to do. Can you do something for me?”

“Of course, my King.”

“Could you make sure the General gets these?”

I handed her the papers and just wanted to keep her mind off her worry. “Right away.”

“Thank you, my Queen. We’ll rejoin for lunch?”

“As always.”

We kissed and I went up the stairs to see Adele.

I walked right into her room after knocking with no reply and Adele was laying in bed, looking towards the balcony. I walked over and her breakfast tray was still sitting next to her without a bite taken from it.

“You sadly missed a delicious breakfast.” I placed the silver cover back over the tray. “Allow me to move this out of the way for you.” I moved the tray to a table and sat in its place on the bed. Her back was to me and she had yet to show a sign that she noticed my presence. “I understand how hard this may be for you. The life of a royal never comes easy. We have obligations we must always put before ourselves but that doesn’t mean we would have those around us suffer for it either. He wouldn’t want you endangering yourself because of his obligations and neither do I.”

Adele stayed exactly the way she was but spoke softly for the first time without any emotion as if she had none left to give. “And yet no one asked what I wanted.”

I smiled while she spoke and responded like it wasn’t a surprise. “He will be back in time for the birth of the young Prince. That is, if you still choose to have him.”

“How could you even suggest that?”

“Well, based on how you’ve been spending your days, it would seem you’ve already chosen it to be that way. You haven’t lost Zayden, Adele but if you don’t turn this around, you’re going to lose your baby.”

I touched her exposed arm as I started to get up and Adele showed more signs of actually living by turning and taking my hand before I could pull it away. “Wait. Stay and talk to me some more.”

I paused there, standing at the edge of the bed as our hands slipped apart. “You think I have that kind of time?”

Adele smiled and started to sit up, moving herself back so she was propped up with pillows. “Is spending all day signing a bunch of papers more important than making sure this country’s future is secure?”

She tapped her fingers on her stomach and I stood with a slow smile. “You definitely have your mother’s way of manipulating others.”

“I remember how you’ve talked about her before. She never told me she once had a fling with the Senian King.”

Something about this got me to smile again and I sat back down on the bed. “I was only Prince at the time but she must not have ever spoke of her past much to you then if you didn’t know that.”

“Not around my father, no.”

“You okay talking about this?” I heard something in her tone that resembled sadness.

“Yeah. I’d like to keep my mind off—” Her voice started to become weak and familiar tears once again came to her eyes. “Oh, what’s the point?!” She fell back into a laying position and covered her head with the blankets. “Just leave me so I can die alone!”

I laughed to her foolishness of being able to turn herself back into a little girl. “You’re not going to die here and you’re definitely just as dramatic as her too. I remember the countless years I spent with your mother. We went to the royal academy together as children.”

I waited for a response from Adele. It took a few seconds but I got one. She started moving under the blankets and moved them down off her head. “That’s how you met?”

“Mmm hmm. So I’ve known her for a long time. She was actually one of my closest friends.”

“I can’t believe she’s never mentioned that even when we visited.”

“Probably because she knew about my parting with your father. Bringing you to me could have brought up some bad things. Mixing with the other side has always been forbidden. Yes, I did it too but as King, I couldn’t change the rules for her sake or the people. She was protecting you and she was right to.”

“But what if it wasn’t?” She started to sit up more at my height.

“How do you mean?”

“You were her friend, you wouldn’t have—”

I slowly shook my head. “She was with my enemy and even though I had arranged it, that was years ago. That wasn’t who we were anymore. I had to see her as a traitor.”

“But even still. I can tell you still cared about her and would have liked to see her again.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time together when we were younger. So yeah. I guess I did.”

Adele smiled and nudged my arm. “And then you were with her.”

“Yes. We tried that once.” I admitted. “We were friends for so long that it just seemed right. The people were stuck on believing she’d become my Princess despite the natural Prince/Princess way of everything.”

“I remember you saying that but then you saw Kathryn and everything changed. Oh! I hope you weren’t with her when that happened.”

“No. Not really but even if we were, we would have mutually agreed to part because she reacted the same when she saw Aleks.”

Adele put her hand on her chest and sighed sweetly. “That’s so sweet.”

“I’m glad it happened despite all of that bad stuff because here you are.”

“In a weird twist of Fate. I still remember acting like I hated Zayden when we met.”

“Acting?”

“Ah, well, no. Acting? What are you crazy? I didn’t say that.” I didn’t believe that fake tone for one second and raised an eyebrow. She caved. “Okay. Maybe I did. We just don’t talk about it. Well, Zayden and I, I mean. I’ve seen him before all of this happened.”

“Oh, the murder incident when he was young of his instructor.”

“Yeah. I know he says he’s over it but I still don’t like to bring it up. He got so mad when he found out it was me and violent. I’ve never seen him like that before and he actually left me.”

“But also came back.”

“Only because I was almost killed. I don’t think he would have come back if I wasn’t.”

“Ah, yes. Arianna. I remember hearing of it.”

“We try not having it mentioned. Like now, this isn’t helping me.”

“Maybe this will.” I got up and went over to her breakfast tray, taking a bowl of fruit and a fork from under the silver cover. “Everything else is cold but this started out cold so it should still be good and you need it.”

I handed it to her with the fork stuck in it. “Thank you. I suppose I do.”

“Lunch will be coming up and I’ll make sure you get some of it but you have to promise to eat it.”

“I promise. We’re not done talking, are we? I’ve actually enjoyed this. I don’t want you to leave.”

“Well, I suppose I should be glad. I hoped that the dream you had about me wouldn’t forever strain our relationship.”

Adele laughed, trying not to choke. “I’d like to not talk about that. I’ve never felt so helpless in all my life.”

“And yet you’re so powerful.”

“I could have stopped you, well, if it were actually real but that would have only killed me.”

“I suppose you’re right but I apologize for making you feel helpless. The dream was probably brought on by the way I behaved during that time.”

“It’s okay.”

“Just so you know, even if I wasn’t with Kathryn, I would never have been with anyone as young as you, no offense. I’ve just liked to always keep things age appropriate unlike someone else you may know.”

“My father, you mean?”

“Yeah. He’s turned into quite the lady catcher hasn’t he?”

“You have no idea. Tell me about back when he was fun!”

“When he was fun?”

“I didn’t see much of that growing up and since my mother died, well, I haven’t really seen him happy. He just uses all of those women. I started seeing the happiness when he was with you so you must have had some.”

“You’re right. We did have fun.”

We sat there for the rest of that morning and just talked. Adele’s mood was lifted from Zayden’s departure and she wasn’t as sad about it anymore. We were both glad of it. See? I knew I could help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2

 

 

Troy

 

The first week was treacherous. We spent those days away in a normal travel pace southwest to our first stop in the many visits to the colonies. It seemed very slow going with the silence of voices and just the sound of horses cluttering those long pauses. The royal party followed behind just as quiet, not as our protectors but as announcers and the image of approaching authority. They would not speak unless spoken to and we clearly had no intentions of starting conversations. We didn’t even talk to each other for that matter, knowing our words would be about our wives we had to leave behind.

We only spoke briefly when we stopped for the night in western Seni that was notorious for being bandit country.

“I’ll take first watch.” I said emotionless after the several shelters were put up for everyone.

Zayden merely agreed with a nod and walked inside the largest one with Rift.

“I’ll relieve you in a few hours.” Darius replied. “The sooner we get through it the better.”

I nodded as he went inside after Zayden and I sat out by a small fire, trying to keep warm through the cold autumn night. The stars were bright in the sky and the moon rose high. I sat still and almost breathless while staring into the fire. My sword sat next to me wrapped in my belt as a light breeze blew by, clanking a loose strap on the metal.

The sound of night was all around and the horses were occasionally making their noises but it all seemed muffled to me. My mind was on Jaylyn though maybe it shouldn’t have been but I couldn’t help it. I missed her and still remembered the tears she cried when I left.

I knew Zayden ordered against it but I had to see her. I looked northeast in the direction of the city and brought my vision right into my room at the palace.

Jaylyn was asleep in our bed still on her own side like she was leaving room for me and I wished I truly was there to hold her. She looked peaceful with her blonde curls placed around her and the blanket tucked right up under her arms so they were exposed and placed gently over the front of her.

With one hand over her ribs and the other on her stomach, I reached my hand out to hers and grazed the top of it. She started to move a bit and I watched her sleeping lips speak my name.

She could feel me and I brought my hand close to her face. I was able to touch it for just a moment but something went wrong. My hands were pulled back and I watched Jaylyn’s bright green eyes pop open while she began to sit up before something hit me to the ground.

It knocked my vision blank from seeing her and I was back at the campsite. There were men all around moving quietly while they tried tying me up—bandits.

I instinctively fought back. They had already managed to tie off my hands and tied a gag in my mouth so now, I had to improvise. I used my feet to grab my sword and spun it around, hitting a few of them while I flipped myself backwards over them to get to my feet. They just kept coming and I was powerless without my hands but I didn’t give up just yet.

My sword was on the ground in front of me and I kicked it up while the blade came free of the sheath but before I could even try to catch it with the nook of my arm, I was hit hard on the back of my head and darkness set in.

BOOK: New Roots (Fate's Intent Book 8)
12.61Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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