Lizbet couldn’t wait to get the infamous Malich Jarrah back to the Winter Court. She’d been preparing for his arrival since the King of the Summer Court made it clear what his intentions were. With her father consumed by sickness, the Winter Court needs a king. Her enemies are watching and waiting for her father to die. The moment he does, they’ll lay siege to her kingdom. With both her mother and father dead, the responsibility of a kingdom would fall to her as an only child. Who better to help protect her kingdom than the King of the Redlands or the Red King as some have called him? With Prince Jarrah at her side she’ll be known as the Queen of both the Redlands and the Winter Court. Her enemies wouldn’t dare challenge her with him at her side.
Lizbet glances sidelong at her future king, remembering the night he stole her virtue and any hope of her falling in love with anyone else. He’s by far the most handsome man she’s ever seen. Far better looking than his older brothers with hard rough edges and the cunning of a true Fae King. She spent one night with him and found it impossible to get him out of her head, although his Fae preternatural sexuality probably had a lot to do with it. Fae males project a powerful innate sexuality that draws females to them.
As they enter the Winter Court, Lizbet’s cousins Geneva, Ingrid, and Loran stood amongst those eager to greet their future king. Her cousins are like sisters to her, and her aunts, Delilah and Portia, fill the role of her mother who died during childbirth. Her birth.
Prince Jarrah dismounts, the motion more graceful than anything she’s ever seen, and helps her down off of her horse, a true gentleman. His brothers told her about the woman he’s in love with, this Seelie Queen. Whoever she is, she’s trained him well.
Lizbet takes the prince to meet her family and when he removes his hood she watches as every woman within the Court clutches their hearts. Malich Jarrah is truly carved from the Gods. The Prince offers her family a small smile, and even that serves to highlight his already beautiful features.
Her family greets him with warmth and a curtsy, but his mind seems to be elsewhere as he disregards them with a nod, eager to get out of the cold and to his chambers. Hurrying to match his pace, Lizbet has to practically run to keep up with his long strides as he follows Banon to his new quarters.
Finally alone, the Prince sits in a chair, elbows resting on his knees, scrubbing his face with his hands while she watches, waiting for a chance to speak. Carefully, Lizbet approaches the moody Prince. “Is there something wrong your highness?”
“Everything is wrong Princess,” he sighs, leaning back in the chair as if his world is coming to an end. She tries not to take it personal.
“Is this about the Seelie Queen?” She asks.
“Her name is Arya,” he glares at her, “and yes. I cannotmarry you.”
Panicked, Lizbet drops to her knees before him, her hands on his knees, pleading, “But you must. If we do not have a king our enemies will lay siege to our kingdom.”
“That is not my problem,” he waves her off. At the moment he looks more like a young male throwing a tantrum than a King.
“Your brother’s are one of our enemies. The only reason we have peace with his majesty interim King Kahlem Jarrah is because I agreed to marry you. With you as King of the Winter Court and he holding your leash-”
“Kahlem wishes to wield me and your kingdom to his benefit,” the Prince scoffs, both cutting her off and finishing her sentence. The Prince is far wiser than his youthful looks suggest. She nods.
“I do not love you, nor will I ever. I am incapable of it because my heart belongs to another. Is that the type of marriage you wish for?” He asks.
These are cruel words from the male who has captured her heart. Lizbet shakes off the coldness of his words and focuses on the task at hand. “Perhaps over time you may grow to love me as you love the new Queen.”
Cold, angry eyes slide to greet hers, narrowing to slits. He doesn’t speak, but his thoughts are evident in his eyes. He won’t allow himself to. He removes her hands from his knees and stalks to the other side of the room. Tiny blue currents of lightening web through his fingertips, the only sign of how truly agitated he is. She heard about his lightening…saw a glimpse of it when he reached climax that night.
Clasping her hand over her growing womb, she wonders what the future will hold for their child. His eyes track her movements and grow wide. She quickly removes her hand and stands to leave but he steps into her path, his eyes trailing down to her stomach. Gently he places his hand to her abdomen. It isn’t long before he feels a response only he would be privy to, that of a father and his child.
“Shit.” He curses. His eyes shut and he lets out a long sigh before softening his expression. “How far along?”
Shrugging, Lizbet relies, “Not far.”
She watches his eyes as they contemplate asking her to get rid of it. They both know she can’t. He removes his hand from her stomach and laughs, mostly to himself, before scrubbing his hands over his face again.
For a moment Lizbet watches him battle with his emotions until only his anger is left. His lightening crackles louder as the seconds pass and then finally it lashes out at the desk in front of him, splitting it into two smoking parts. Fearing for her safety, she backs out into the hall, listening and watching as his rage gives girth to a violent outburst, destroying anything and everything in the room until all that’s left is smoke and shattered furniture.
His lieutenant, Dax, approaches cautiously and closes the door behind him, shutting her out. When it opens again, the room looks as if it hasn’t been touched. The Prince seems calm now and he offers her a small smile before inviting her back into the room.
Lizbet makes sure to keep a good distance from him and enters the room putting on a brave face. The Prince is used to conquering by use of either force or fear, but she won’t allow him to intimidate her as he’d done that night they spent together. The night he turned her into a woman. The night their futures intertwined. “I tried to tell you. I wrote you letters, but you never responded to them.”
The Prince simply nods. His mood is somber and his thoughts are still far away. They’re probably with the Queen of the Seelie Court. The Queen he’s in love with rather than the future Queen carrying his child.
“Do my brother’s know?” The Prince asks.
“Of course they do. It’s why they insisted on such a quick betrothal. We’re all hoping to avoid a scandal.”
“Good,” he sighs, “Let’s keep it that way until I decide otherwise.”
“You mean until you can find a way to tell the Seelie Queen yourself.”
The Prince simply nods. It isn’t like Lizbet to be jealous of anyone. In fact, most of the girls in her Court are jealous of her, but she felt a twinge of jealousy towards this new Seelie Queen. The Prince’s thoughts are always of her, always. She hopes perhaps a child can change his perspective a bit.
Banon appears and although she is Princess of the Winter Court, she is escorted from the room while he discusses the kingdom with the future King.ns184.108.40.206da2