OKAY THE GOOD NEWS IS I'VE FINISHED PROOFREADING, YAY!! THE BAD NEWS IS ITS 6 CHAPTERS, NOT 10, AND NO ONE HAS YET TO COMMENT :( I WILL BE POSTING ALL OF THE REMAINING CHAPTERS AND I HOPE YOU'VE ALL ENJOYED THE RIDE!! THERE IS A SEQUEL BUT IT IS NOT FINISHED YET. I WILL BE WORKING ON IT FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS!!
Watching Dezi and their youngest daughter sleep, Kahlem wishes she were Sen. He misses her bright eyes and smooth skin. Mostly, he misses the bond they shared. Now thanks to the scheming bitch Queen of the Seelie Court, he will never get to see her smile or laugh or be able to hold her in his arms again.
A sick feeling fills his stomach accompanied by the feeling of dread. He exits his bedchamber and enters his sitting room where the source of his sickness, Audric, stands waiting for him.
“I trust everything is going according to plan.” Audric’s black eyes pin Kahlem to the spot. “My master grows more impatient by the moon.”
“He will have his prize, but this task has proved to be quite difficult.”
“I needn’t express the importance of success in this endeavor, do I?”
“No.” Kahlem shakes his head.
“Remember your bargain. The Courts in exchange for-”
“Kal?” Dezi calls from his bedchamber. “Who are you talking to?”
With a wave of his hand, Audric silences the room. Half a second later Dezi’s body thuds to the floor. He whips around to Audric who places a calming hand on his shoulder. “She’s sleeping, as is your young daughter.”
“What if she’s injured?”
“You have Magus’ here who can attend her,” Audric replies nonchalantly.
“The Winter King has an heir. Without an heir, the only way I can rule is through fear.”
“Deliver what you’ve promised and that won’t be a problem.”
“Once I deliver his package, my business with your master will be complete.”
Audric nods, but something’s off. Kahlem knows better than to trust him. There’s nothing stopping Audric or his master from betraying him once he makes good on his promise and he doesn’t like those odds.
As if sensing Kahlem’s reservations, Audric motions towards Kahlem’s bedchamber. “The rightful Queen will bear you an heir. It grows inside her as we speak.”
Kahlem is relieved, but only slightly. As powerful and insightful as Audric and his master seems, they had to have known about Sen’s death. Taking a deep breath he asks, “Did you know my betrothed Sen would be murdered?”
Without hesitation Audric replies, “There isn’t a loss of life my master and I are notaware of.”
“And yet you didn’t warn me?” Kahlem is careful not to let his tone sound accusatory.
“Her death was necessary. She kept you from your full potential.”
“I lovedher.” Rage simmered behind his eyes.
“Then do not let her sacrifice be in vain. Finish what we’ve started.”
Audric evaporates into black mist that disintegrates before Kahlem’s eyes. He knew Sen would be murdered and said nothing. He could have warned him and saved her life, but Audric and his master chose not to. Once he’s done conquering the Season’s Plane, Kahlem would make both Audric and his master pay.
Dezi stirs for a second time and he rushes to her side. The moment he enters the room she hunches over and spews her insides all over the floor. Kahlem calls for a Magus to tend to her and her pregnancy is confirmed. She’s confined to bed for the remainder of the day with her ladies in waiting tending to her every need.
In between checking on Malich’s progress and assuring everything is on order for him to begin the war he’s waged on the Seelie Court and all who support the Seelie Queen, Kahlem checks in on Dezi. He has a servant assigned to tasting all of her food and beverages and another checking her clothing, bedding, and anything she comes into contact with for poison or any sign of danger. He will not let what happened to Sen happen to Dezi.
He wants to separate her from his other wives, but Dezi is against it. She’s grown close to the other women and fears being singled out and given special treatment will only put a strain on the relationship between them.
“Do you really think Mal can pull it off?” Arokin asks, entering the council room with Bevi in tow and leaving their personal guards just outside the room.
“Our dear brother has always been gifted where the female population is concerned.”
Arokin nods. “Very true. I didn’t think he had it in him to settle down until he met Queen Arya. They seem very fond of one another.”
“At least they did before our brother here cleverly drove a wedge between them.” A sinister smile crosses Bevi’s lips.
“Alone they are formidable opponents, but together they’re a force to be reckoned with. I could not in due conscious allow that union to take place,” Kahlem laughs.
“What are your plans for expansion once this war is over?” Bevi asks.
“As my partners in crime, the Autumn and Fall Courts will be both yours and Arokin’s to do as you wish, but the Seelie and Unseelie Courts will be mine. All will answer to me though.”
“As we should.” Bevi inclines his head.
While the brothers revel in their victory not yet won, Malich returns, entering the sitting room and eyeing his brothers suspiciously. “Have you done what I’ve asked?” Kahlem asks.
“Yes,” Malich nods.
Kahlem waves him inside and he lays out the plan for his brothers. They’re pleased with the newest turn of events. “How?” Arokin asks, amused.
“I simply made an offer that couldn’t be refused,” Malich smiles.
For the first time since starting this war Kahlem feels as if they have a chance. That is…ifMal is to be trusted. He wouldn’t put it past his brother to betray him somehow.ns184.108.40.206da2