The familiar morning glow of the twin suns above Ravouir’s mountains engulfed the boulders outside Princess Allysarealle’s glass doors, reminding her of her mother’s crystal shards she found as a small child. They were hidden away in her father’s chests and she stole them from him, the Shellavan High King, for she had nothing of her mothers. It was like her mother had never existed.
Allysarealle curled among the soft cushions in her generous circular chair. She allowed herself be lulled into the deceptive warmth promised by the ancient giant rocks outside her bedroom. She knew it was more than her father’s grief that stood between her and his affection. The letter in her hand told her she carried within her something far more insidious than the legacy of being the cause of her mother’s death in childbirth. His distance was usually intolerable, but now it was worse since war threatened to break out between her people and the Kannawan. All attempts at peace by the Harmaine in the Ambassador-Lands had failed and the youngest Kannawan Dark Lord, Karrãnson, flaunted a battle prowess far beyond what anyone had ever seen. A princess should never have privilege to the raw truth faced by a king, but she managed to drag it from Prince Germaine from the neighbouring kingdom. And thank the Gods he told her, for now she knew what lay before her.
Stunned at the reality of her mother’s death and that she bore the same curse; she let the pages of the letter fall from her fingertips and to the white marbled floor. Her father knowingly plotted her fate through forcing this wedding to Prince Ferwaine and like her mother, she too would bear a child on her death-bed. Her heart beat against the heaviness in her chest, did he hate her that much?
She should bare her royal duty with grace, like a warrior rising to the challenge of battle, but this was different. She would rather die drawing a sword to the enemy than in the throes of delivering a child. Mesmerised by the flaming rocks outside her room, she knew there was one answer — despite the chaos of looming war she had to escape her father’s kingdom.
Lord Karrãnson eyed his most trusted warrior, Kãlleren, in a way that he knew the older, wiser man saw straight through him. He glanced back at the unconscious woman slumped in his arms; a line of blood trickled down her forehead but she was not dead. Tyorãn, his eldest brother, wouldn’t hesitate to use this moment of weakness as reason to justify his impotence and his father Sãtron would be more than willing to proclaim his execution. That would solve the brotherhood rivalry for power and the supreme throne upon their father’s death.
“My Lord,” urged Kãlleren, “we should go before the slave soldier’s return.”
Karrãnson stared at her perfect face; her golden hair fell over his black leather glove that covered his forearm. Of course Kãlleren cared, his own life was dependent upon the life of his Lord. All his men’s lives were spared because of his leadership. And taking this woman in risked it all.
A wave of anger swept through Karrãnson’s chest and mind. He was a fool for even contemplating saving her.
“You’re right,” and the young Kannawan Lord laid the listless body back on the dusty road. Her hair fanned the dirt in the waning afternoon light of the second sun, turning it from gold to bronze. The lace gloves over her arms must have once been white.
Conscious of his four warriors’ gaze upon his back, he took one last glance at the lifeless body. He touched her hand as she lay motionless. He took her hand.
Kãlleren cleared his throat. In the distance hooves trotted upon the solid road towards them — slave drivers. He rested her slender hand back upon the earth. The slave drivers would thrust a spear through her skull, he had no doubt. She was useless unconscious. Or maybe they would use her for a while to warm their beds. A sick feeling grew in his stomach; something screamed in his head.
Impulsively, Karrãnson grabbed her and threw her limp body over his shoulder. His warriors would never let him live this down but he ignored the stunned glares on their faces and threw her over the saddle on his horse and mounted behind her.
“Come,” he commanded and forced the animal into a trot.
His warriors hesitated, but were soon trotting behind him. Karrãnson smirked without another word. He would hide this woman and make her his and Tyorãn and father would never know.
And on a lone planet, circling twin suns billions of light years from where three golden planets once peacefully governed the universe in all their wisdom and glory, fate had found her way. Perhaps an ancient race of Gods had a second chance.