For hours Kahlem cradled his wife and unborn child in his arms. The Magus couldn’t save them and confirmed his suspicions that Sen had been poisoned. Soon afterwards, he received word that the Seelie Queen Arya, Malich’s paramour, had ordered the death of his wife and child. An order she would pay for with her life. What kind of woman would kill in such a savage manner, and achild no less?
As he stares at Sen’s lifeless body, her womb cut open to remove his child, his son, hatred grows inside him. Sen’s burial is only a few short hours away and vengeance has gripped his heart.
“We move on the Seelie Court as soon as my beloved and my son have been laid to rest.” Kahlem orders. “I want as many soldiers at the border as possible and I want her surrounded. Am I clear?” His eyes slide to Malich’s.
“Arya would not harm a woman or child. It is not who she is.”
Of course he would come to her defense. Malich is powerless when it comes to Seelie Queen. He can’t see beyond his own cock as far as she’s concerned. “If its not her, its you. Or perhaps Princess Grayson did this to me. What about Rhesus, Odin, Odious or Cassius? If not her, then it has to be one of you,” Kahlem glares at him. “I have proof she is behind this and when I get my hands on her, she’ll wish her death is as swift.”
Malich bristles. Kahlem catches the slight gesture and meets his brother’s gaze. They were once close. Young Mal used to idolize him, but now he looks upon him with disdain. Perhaps he deserves it. Ever since Mal became a threat to him, he’s done nothing but try to kill him, but he still loves his brother. In some ways, its Mal’s disdain for him that makes him want to kill him. He wishes more than anything to go back to the way things were when they were younger, but too much has transpired between them. Kahlem fought for his right to rule because he had no choice and its cost him. It cost him his parents, five of his brothers, and it’s even earned him a few disgusted looks from his citizens. Those bold enough to express their disdain anyway.
Silently Kahlem wonders if Sen and his son would still be alive if he’d chosen a different path. The crown hardly seems worth it without Sen at his side to share it with. And his son…oh Gods, his son. They were murdered because of him. It’s his fault they’re dead. He pushed too hard and commanded too much and…no…he refuses to accept blame for their deaths. The Seelie Queen made a choice to avenge herself. She made a choice to kill his wife and son and the blame falls on her.
“Is she that good in bed?” Kahlem asks. “Is she so good that you would forsake me?”
“You’ve forsaken me brother, not the other way around.”
“Father left me no choice Mal.”
Malich scoffs, “Kal, there is always a choice. You chose wrong. You chose to commit horrible acts against our parents and I, and for what, the crown? Tell me, what good is having the crown when everyone around you hates you? What good is the crown if you’re willing to bury those you love in order to acquire it? Bury enough of us and soon there will be no one to turn to but your own subconscious.”
Kahlem takes in his brother’s words, but Mal is the enemy now. He can’t dwell on his words too much because Mal would still steal the crown from atop his head if given the chance.
“You used to look up to me once and now it seems as if all we exchange these moons are unpleasantries.”
“I didn’t start us down this road Kahlem, you did.”
“I’m going to kill her Mal. I have to.”
“Then once again we are enemies, because I will do everything in my power to stop you.” Malich warns.
Kahlem looks to Queen Grayson standing beside him. Clearly she’s in love with him, but her feelings don’t appear to matter to him. He thought Lizbet would make Mal happy, but it appears he only has eyes for the Queen Kahlem wants dead.
Malich nods, takes his wife by the hand and escorts her out of the room. Her belly swells too. If she provides Mal with an heir before Kahlem can produce one of his own, then his citizens might seek an allegiance with Mal instead.
Once the room is empty, Kahlem kisses both his wife and his son on their frontal lobe and swears to get vengeance for them. With her gone, he’ll either have to find a new bride or defer to his second wife Dezi. Before he met and married Sen, it was she who found his favor. He broke her heart when he cast her aside for Sen and she’s withdrawn herself from the public eye since.
Together he and Dezi have seven daughters. No sons. None of his wives have bore him any sons and he has six of them now.
For the first time in forever it feels like, he travels to the East wing of the palace where his wives have apartments. His third wife Arlet is the first to see him and her eyes grow wide. She quickly straightens her hair and her dress, but she’s not the one he’s here to see and her smile fades.
All of his wives, save Dezi, come out of their apartments in the hopes that he’s there to see them. They remain hopeful until he comes to a stop at Dezi’s door. She’s singing.
Pushing open the door Kahlem watches as his children’s eyes light up. They come running over to him, wrapping their arms around him, but Dezi doesn’t move. She doesn’t dare look at him, keeping her eyes on the floor. Anan has blessed her throughout the cycles. Her golden hair has gotten longer, her eyes seem bluer, and her curves are more accentuated than he remembers.
“May we talk?” Kahlem asks.
Dezi lifts her eyes from the floor to meet his gaze. “Whatever you wish your Majesty,” she inclines her head. He sends their girls from the room and closes the door behind them.
“As you’ve probably heard, Sen and our son were murdered.”
“Yeah, well I’m not surprised in the least. She was a horrible person and she made you horrible too.”
Kahlem bristles. It’s no secret Dezi and Sen didn’t exactly like each other. Sen conquered the other wives the way she conquered his heart, by force and cunning. Still, hearing Dezi speak of her so negatively tugs at his heart.
“She didn’t make me any more horrible than I was already, you just always opted to see the good in me, ignoring the rest.”
“I lovedyou, and you cast me aside for her.”
“I needed an heir, not a harem of girls I have no use for and she gave me that.”
“They are your daughters and what good did it do her, she’s dead.”
Kahlem let his anger get the better of him and he grabs her by the throat. Dezi holds her hands up in surrender.
“Do not speak of her in that manner,” he warns her.
“Why not? It didn’t bother you when she fed you lies about me…about our children. Lies you believed so readily even though you of all people should know me better. I would never betray you and I’ve never taken another lover Kal. Perhaps now that she isn’t here to poison your mind you’ll be open to reason.”
“This fools errand you’re on, it won’t end well for you. I see many things Kal and a few moons back I saw your lifeless body lying on the ground with you drawing your last breath.”
“If you’re such a great seer, why did you not see me breaking your heart,” he scoffs.
“I did, but at the time I thought I meant more to you than that. I guess I was wrong.”
Kahlem didn’t come here to fight; he came to her for comfort. She’s always been good at that. Whenever he and Sen would be at odds end with each other, it’s Dezi he’d turn to for both comfort and advice. And even though he’d broken her heart and Sen continuously conspired against her, to his surprise, Dezi’s advice was always wise and just. ns 188.8.131.52da2