LAST CHAPTER!! I HAVE TO GET BACK TO LIFE UNFORTUNATELY, BUT I WILL MOST MORE WHEN I CAN. SEE YOU ALL NEXT FRIDAY FOR SURE THOUGH!!
Pushing Arya away took every ounce of strength in his body, but he had to. This is no longer a game to him. The lives of everyone he loves hangs in the balance of the outcome of this impending war.
“The war will get worse before it gets better,” his father claps him on the shoulder. He’s finally gotten his strength back. “Many lives will be lost, and for what?”
“For Kahlem’s ambition, this is the price we all must pay.”
“As long as he has mother, yes.”
“I’ve been working with your lieutenant to find her. There are tunnels and crypts beneath the palace. The tunnels run towards each of the Courts. I had them commissioned as an escape route in case they were ever needed.”
“A tunnel isn’t what I need right now,” Malich pinches the bridge of his nose between his thumb and pointer finger. “What I need is to not be married to Lizbet Grayson. What I needis for her not to be carrying my heir and for my mother to be safe.”
“You’re thinking of the Seelie Queen,” his father realizes.
“In losing her I will have lost the good parts of myself,” Malich sighs.
“Aye,” his father nods. “No one understands that better than I.”
“I gave instructions for her to kill me if she has to. When she does my lieutenant will come for you. She will take care of you.”
His father waves him off. “It won’t come to that. I’ve seen the way she looks at you. She’s in love with you.”
“What good it’s done her,” Malich shrugs, “I’ve withheld truths from her, betrayed her and conspired against her. I don’t deserve her.”
“No one ever falls in love with the one who deserves them. In fact it’s quite the opposite. She’s changing you for the better son, if I may say so myself.”
A smile spreads across his lips. “She makes me want to be better. Before her all I could think about was the crown and taking back what was stolen from me. If I could, I would go back to when Kahlem offered me back my birthright and tell him to shove it up his arse.” Malich realizes. “Everything changed after that.”
“That’s the wondrous thing about time. It can be used to right all mistakes.”
Lizbet enters the room unannounced and Malich tries not to be annoyed by her presence. He’s come to resent both the Queen and the child growing inside her. A fact he hasn’t exactly been subtle about. Her aunts Delilah and Portia have shown their true colors now that he does their bidding. They’ve completely disregarded the Queen vying for his favor instead.
As usual, Lizbet looks as if her world is about to end and he wonders what has brought on this latest pity party. “Yes, please…do come in,” Malich tries and fails not to sound irritated.
To her credit, Lizbet doesn’t falter. She straightens her spine, puffing her chest out and holding her chin up. “My sources tell me you’ve granted my aunts more land and riches?” Her tone sounds accusatory.
“My aunts have been trying to pry that land from my fingers for many cycles. How can you just give it to them without consulting me?” She both sounds and looks wounded.
“I am your King am I not?”
“Am I to answer to you instead?” He casts her an icy glare, cutting her off.
Lizbet’s lips started to quiver and tears glaze over her eyes. Malich hates to see her upset almost as much as he hates the fact that she helped trap him into this sham of a marriage. She starts to leave when he grabs her gently by the arm and stops her. His temper has grown short with her, but she is in no condition to deal with his many moods.
“Forgive me,” he whispers against her skin as he presses a kiss into her temple. “This war has me a bit on edge.”
“You cannot give my aunts that land. It belonged to my mother and it was never meant to fall into their hands,” tears fall from Lizbet’s eyes.
Malich flicks his gaze to his father then back to his pregnant betrothed. “I will see the land returned to you. Is there anything else?”
Lizbet nods. “I know you’re angry with me, and you have every right to be, but I’d prefer it if you consult with me before you do anything that will affect me or my people? I don’t question your ability to lead, but we both know you care very little about this place. It’s the only home I’ve ever known.”
Again Malich looks to his father who nods to him. “As you wish,” he inclines his head to her.
“Thank you,” she finally smiles, relieved.
Planting a bold kiss on his cheek, Lizbet leaves the room and Malich meets his father’s gaze once more. His father would never approve of the way he treats Lizbet. In truth, he knows she deserves more honor, he just can’t bring himself to give it. Not after what she’s done.
“The Seelie Queen isn’t the only one who loves you son. So does your betrothed and she carries your heir. If you sew the seeds of discontent she will poison the child’s mind against you. There is a saying amongst us married males…happy wife, happy life.”
“This is not what I want father.”
“No, but this is what you chose.”
“What choice did I have? If I hadn’t you’d still be under the influence of darkbane. It’s the right thing to do.”
“Yes, it was…now own it and stop brooding around here as if your world is over,” his father scolds him, gripping Malich by the shoulders. His father has never taken this tone with him before. “You now have three kingdoms under your rule and a fourth at your disposal. Use it. You know how Kahlem thinks and what he’s capable of. To beat him at his own game you must think like him. He is arrogant and believes he is cleverer than what is true. Use it.”
His father has always been his biggest supporter and hearing his father speak so highly of him reminds him of that truth. Malich nods. He’d been so busy licking his wounds that he forgot to fight. He forgot who his true enemy was. It isn’t Lizbet, it isn’t Ihsan, and it isn’t time or the marriage he’s been confined to. His brothers Kahlem, Bevi and Arokin are his enemies. Together he and his father devise a plan to defeat his brothers.ns126.96.36.199da2