Chapter Nineteen: The Kiss

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Anya

There was a knock at my bedroom door, and I quickly went to answer it. A young maid stood there with tight curls and a hesitant gaze. She held out a note.

"Are you really Lady Anya?" she asked.

"Yes," I said with a frown, not understanding why she'd ask me that question.

"I've heard about you," she admitted, lowering her eyes to the ground in respect as if I were royal. "The guards all talk about your training sessions. They say you are the strongest, possibly even stronger than the Prince. The King has announced his chosen four to the land and sings praises. It is an honor to deliver this note to you and see you in person. Thank you for what you'll do for our land."

I took the note from her and nodded. I wasn't sure what to say as her words had caught me off guard. The King spoke praises of us? We were already revered in the land? I'd done nothing to deserve such a title, nothing at all.

"I'm simply a girl with a unique gift that has been chosen to fight," I told her. "I'm no hero."
"But you will be!" she beamed, looking into my eyes. "I know it! You'll be Lady Anya, Queen of White Fire."

"Queen?" I laughed. "Well, I certainly appreciate your imagination. Thank you again for the note."

"Any time, my lady, I'm sure this won't be the last time Sir Luca sends you letters. We'll meet again."

She blushed and scurried away.

I closed my bedroom door, took a seat on my bed and examined the letter. The smooth parchment had beautiful handwriting on the front that read my name. I unfolded the letter and began reading it.

I crumbled the letter as I bit down on my lip. If I'd once thought the Prince was harsh then I'd completely underestimated the King. He was absolutely awful.

I rose from the bed and made my way out of the room. Within minutes, I was standing in front of the Prince's door. I didn't know what I was thinking to just barge right, but there I was, standing in his door way, blinking in surprise.

He was propped up on his bed with his white shirt unbuttoned, revealing his wonderfully sculpted chest and abdomen. He seemed to have just woken from a nap by the sight of his disheveled hair and pink eyes. He sat up further with a frown.

"Have you heard of knocking? If I hadn't of sent my guards off, they would've tackled you and possibly hurt you," he chastised.

"Forgive me, your highness, but my urgency is important. The King knows everything! How is that possible?"

"Because he is King." Prince Sebastian said flatly. "He has eyes constantly watching."

"Luca took a book from the Witch's Closet. It's now missing. The King must've had someone follow us there. They probably saw Luca return to his room with it! Why hadn't we been smarter?" I wanted to pull my hair out. "We need to get the stone and the books from him before he does something with them. What have you learned since we last spoke?"

"Well, he accepted what I'd said about you being my mistress. He also admitted to taking the stone, but don't worry. He also has no clue that you told me."

"What are his plans?"

"I'm not entirely sure, but he seems to think it will benefit our kingdom." The Prince looked uneasy. "Nothing my father does ever benefits this kingdom."

"Then what will we do?" I asked him, and the Prince stood from his bed, pacing the length of his floor while deep in thought. As much as I tried to tear my eyes away from his bare chest, I could not. That was, until his door opened and the King walked in.

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