Kingdom by the Sea
by Anna del C. Dye
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Anna was born in the extreme South along some famous beaches. She grew up with four other siblings, being placed in the middle.
Captain Axel: promised to Serena. He is lonesome, bearing too much on his young shoulders. Like a good man, he never asks, but tries to figure things out in his head and usually he is wrong. He will be sorry before the end of the book.
The King: never wanted to share his life with a wife let alone a child. He blames Serena for her mother’s death and the reason he doesn’t have her mother’s kingdom in his pocket. He is selfish, greedy and Rasptane’s puppet.
Chancellor Raptane: Axel’s strange father. He is too busy for his son, but never too busy to gain more power or money. He is selfish and evil.
Elazar: the stable man who is in love with the princess. Torn between his feelings for her and his self-appointed task, he can’t either leave nor stay in her kingdom. He knows he will loose her if she finds out his secrets and if she does…her father will sent him to death.
“Captain. Please read this before you make up your mind.”
“As My Lady wishes.” He bowed his head.
She handed him a parchment that she had hidden between her back and that of the chair on which she sat. In silence, he read the rest of the details that Serena had written for him to understand the mission. She watched his eyes grow big and then return to normal, only to repeat the movement many more times before finishing the parchment. Then, he rolled the instructions and handed them back to her.
He stared mutely at her while she placed the parchment in the candle’s flame and then walked toward the hearth to watch it burn. When it was entirely consumed, she returned to his side.
“Any questions?” she murmured.
“No, My Princess, I’ll be there. It’ll be an honor to help Your Highness with this task.”
“It’s my honor to have you at my side, Captain.
“Good evening, Elazar,” she saluted him.
“My princess.” A breathless sigh escaped his lips when he saw her there. ‘If angels existed they would look just like her.’ Her dark hair, twisted up on top her head, made her taller or perhaps she was a little taller. Her riding outfit seemed to reflect the orange tones in the horizon behind her and it brightened his heart.
“I wonder if My Lady would enjoy a ride tonight,” he said.
“Just for a short while,” she answered. “I need to retire early.”
He helped the princess onto her mare and gave her the reins. Soon, he too was on his horse and they headed in the direction of the lake.
“Does My Lady feel better now?” he asked. He noticed that her soft smile didn’t reach her beautiful eyes. When he had arrived six month earlier, she didn’t have a care, now in a scarce few months, she looks preoccupied, silent and sad.
“I’m scared,” she answered. His horse stopped of its own accord, but hers kept going. He clicked his tongue and reached her side.
“May I know of what, My Lady?”
They passed through the familiar forest that was still warm from the heat of the day.
“Everything: me, my father, Chancellor Rasptane, Axel, the slaves. Things have changed so much in a few weeks and I’ve learned much, but it all leaves me insecure and alone.”
“Sirian,” he called to the officer, “take the ladies down, please.”
“Aye, Aye, sir,” he saluted and called, “Kit, bring the key.”
“Aye, Aye, sir,” the sailor echoed.
The women made a line behind Sirian, who followed Kit. Ezack posted himself in the rear.
Linah took a step toward the line when she felt the captain’s hand reach for her arm and stop her. “Please, stay a moment,” he begged.
‘He begged, why? She had become his possession when he captured her. Why would he beg her for her company?’
They watched together as the prisoners disappeared down the stairs.
“It’s not right that I stay,” she told him. She had broken the silence that had thickened on the ship’s deck.
“Why not, my lady?”
“They’re willing to sacrifice their lives for me and I shouldn’t betray…”
“You’ll be chastised if you are seen with me, is that it?”
“I’ll lose their respect if I fraternize with the enemy,” she confessed.
“So that is what I am to you.”
“To us, yes, you are our enemy.”
“I wish I could change that, believe me. My hands are tied. I am nothing but the princess’ errand boy.”
“She’s a monster and you are with her.”