Felicia: Blood Bond
Author's note: This is a continuation of the book Felicia.
For Our King!I walked into the throne room with the thought of what I had told the Raidian royal family last night on my mind. I had on the dress Rebecca had given to me for the celebration starting tonight. It was light purple, made of many flowing layers with glitter all through it, and gems that represented my family and the radian royal family that went around the v-neck and waist. I came up to Sir Tristan but he froze suddenly. “Is something wrong, Sir Tristan?”
He cleared his throat and blushed, “No, not at all, my queen. I was just surprised by how beautiful the Radian royal family gems look on you. They truly fit.”
“Thank you, Sir Tristan,” I whispered as I felt sick, “Have you by chance seen my son? He seems to have gotten away.”
“Yes, he was at the archery range with the king and princess of Radia.”
“Alright, thank you very much,” I said kindly and then walked away. I went down the staircase on the west side of the building but suddenly felt dizzy and quickly sat down in the middle of the stairs. I felt hot and light headed. I quickly closed my eyes and leaned back on the metal hand rail that was behind me. My breathing was fast and painful, but I had to keep breathing or I was afraid I would faint. A cold hand was placed on my arm and I slowly opened my eyes to see Eliot kneeling in front of me on the stair I was sitting on.
“You look ill, Felicia. Should I call for the doctor?” He asked with concern that did not lessen even when I shook my head in response.
“I just felt like I was going to faint. The feeling will pass soon.”
His face turned to a snarl, “When Vladimir gets back here I am going to punch him for hurting you like this.”
I brushed my hand across his cheek with a smile, “I’m fine, Eliot. Do not worry.”
“How can you tell me not to worry? You almost fainted by just walking down the stairs!”
“This time it was my fault. I promise.”
“How could it be your fault?”
“I made Vladimir cheat and that has made our bond weaken which is difficult on the person who does not do the cheating.”
“How could you make him cheat?”
I looked away from him, “Vladimir got the pain I am facing when I was contacted by…Dimitri,” I whispered, “I put him through this pain so I deserve this.”
“But you did not cheat! My brother just contacted you through your conscience! You did not ask him to!”
I nodded, “But I did cheat before this so I cannot be mad at him for anything. He gave up seeing anyone else and I went and slept with another man. I made him angry and he took it out on me,” Suddenly the area around us was filled with the voices of Dimitri, King Samuel, and Rebecca. I quickly forced myself to stand as they came to the end of the staircase.
“Mama!” Dimitri hollered and quickly ran up the stairs to me. I ignored all pains in my body and picked up the boy. I kissed him on the cheek and he smiled to me, “Grandfather helped me shoot the target! He said I’m getting better!”
I laughed, “That’s great, baby. I’m very proud.” I replied and he glowed with my praise. I then looked to Rebecca and the king as they walked up to me, “Rebecca, could I speak with you privately before we go to the festival?”
“Of course,” She said with a smile and I set Dimitri down. I walked with Rebecca out of the building and to the grass, “What do you need to talk to me about?”
“Actually I wanted to ask a favor of you.”
I nodded, “I was wondering if you would honor me and Dimitri by becoming Dimitri’s godmother.”
“Godmother! You want me to be his godmother?”
I nodded again with a smile, “Shall I take your enthusiasm as a yes?” I asked and she quickly hugged me.
“Of course! I’m honored that you asked me!” She said with a smile as she let go of me.
“Then I shall tell Dimitri the good news,” I said and then led her back inside. I went to Dimitri and picked him back up, “Guess what, baby.” I said with a smile to the little child.
“Rebecca is going to be your godmother. Isn’t that great?” I asked and he let out a gasp of joy as he looked to Rebecca.
“Really Aunt Rebecca?” He asked with enjoyment and she nodded. He let out a cheer and then hugged me tightly, “This is the best day ever, mama!”
I nodded to him, “And I also have a surprise for you today too.”
“A surprise! What is it?”
I poked his nose, “You’ll just have to wait and see like everyone else!” I laughed and he let out a whine.
“Not fair, Mama! I want to know before everyone else!”
I shook my head, “It’s a secret! But I will be sharing it this afternoon at the beginning of the festival!”
“Then let’s go!” He insisted and I laughed.
“We cannot go until the others get here!”
“Oh yea!” He said with a smile, “Peter is coming, right? He promised the next time he came over he would play with me!”
I nodded, “I’m sure he will!”
Suddenly Dimitri squeezed onto my dress and I looked to him with concern, “He’s here, isn’t he?” Dimitri asked me with concern.
I sighed and nodded, “Yes, Vladimir just arrived in town a few minutes ago and will be here shortly.”
“Does he have to come, mama? He will just make you sad again!” He whined and I sighed to him.
“This is not your place to speak, Dimitri. I told him to come.”
“But he’s really mad, mama. I can tell.”
I nodded, “But don’t worry. He will not be rude towards you or I will hit him, okay?”
“Yea!” Dimitri said with a smile, “Can we go see if Peter is here yet?” He asked and I nodded. I then led the group back upstairs and to the front of the house. I froze when I saw Lucas and Glen. Lucas had a large bandage over his right eye that quickly sent my mind flying. I set down Dimitri and quickly ran over to him.
“Dear father, Lucas! What did you do?” I yelled as I wrapped my arms around him, “Are you trying to give me a heart attack!”
He hugged me, “It’s nothing.”
“Nothing? It is certainly not nothing! Who gave you that?”
“One of the men that was trying to kill you,” He said and I looked away from him with shame. He put his hand on my cheek and turned my face back to his, “It’s alright. I did not lose my eye.”
“You’re too reckless,” I said with a frown but then kissed the bandage over his eye, “Does it hurt?”
“Not as long as you are not injured.”
I smiled towards him, “Because of you I do not have to worry,” I said but then let go of Lucas. Peter ran into the room and quickly sprinted at me.
“Miss Faith!” He yelled as he squeezed himself to me. I hugged him back as I noticed he was almost as tall as me.
“Hello Peter.” I said with a smile and then moved the odd hair on his head back to place.
He smiled towards me, “You’re the only person I allow to do that, Miss Faith.” He informed me and I smiled, but let go of him as Dimitri ran over to us.
“Mama…” He whispered as he grabbed onto the end of my dress.
“I know, baby.” I whispered but quickly grabbed Eliot’s waist as he started to storm out of the room, “Eliot, don’t!” I hissed as I squeezed him in my weak arms.
“He deserves a few good punches to that cheating face of his!” He hollered as I felt everyone’s eyes in the room fall upon me. Suddenly Vladimir came into the room and looked to me holding onto Eliot. I had to squeeze him tighter as he pulled on me, “I’ve got a problem to settle with you, Vladimir!” He hissed and Vladimir let out a laugh.
“Oh yea? Over what?”
“You know over what! Don’t act so naïve!” Eliot hissed and I felt sickness flowing through me.
“If you do not stop this, Eliot, precious Felicia will faint again,” Vladimir said with assurance as Eliot turned to me. I quickly let go of him and smiled towards Aaron as he came into the room.
“Aaron, where is Luther?”
“He’s checking on Sapphire and Ruby,” He said with a smile back and then bowed towards me, “I must thank you for what you did for Prince Luther last month.”
“It was nothing, Aaron.”
“What did Mama do?” Dimitri asked Aaron.
“She captured three people planning to attack Prince Luther when we could not find them.”
“When was that, Mama?”
I smiled towards him, “While you were with your uncle a few weeks ago I went riding and found the three men. It was nothing short of a fluke.”
“A fluke I would be dead without,” Luther said as he came into the room. He embraced me and I did the same to him, “It is so good to see you, Felicia. It has been too long.”
“Indeed,” I whispered kindly as I let go of him, “Well what are we standing around here for? We have a festival to go to!” I said with a smile and then walked over to Dimitri. I picked him up and he let out a cheer of enjoyment.
“You’re going to tell us your secret now, right?”
I taped the end of his nose, “Soon, my child. Be patient.” I joked and then started walking. Peter quickly came to my side as everyone else followed. We left my home, left through the gate, and went to the center of town. As we came close the view of enjoyment came upon us. People shuffled throughout the large area of food, games, and greeting that quickly halted as I reached the platform made for an announcer. I cleared my throat and smiled towards the crowd as it fell silent, “Good afternoon, my citizens! Today is the landmark for our 2nd year of ruling Parethia as our own once again!” Cheering filled the area and then died down, “Now I ask you all to join in celebrating this day and I also come to bear news!” Everyone seemed to focus on me intensely, “In four months our country shall receive our new princess of Parethia and I also ask you all to celebrate over such proud things! Now please enjoy yourselves!” I called as everyone in the crowd cheered with happiness that they now had a princess, but I could tell that all those close to me held their breaths. I grabbed Dimitri as he ran to me and I hugged him to me.
“Mama, I’m going to have a sister?” He cheered and I laughed even though I wanted to weep.
“I knew you would be pleased!” I said with a smile as my body ached. Pain surged to me from Vladimir while morning sickness and depression squeezed me. I forced myself to only focus on Dimitri as I carried him off of the platform and thanked a large group of people for their blessings to me for my daughter. I felt sick and suddenly my sickness seemed to increase. I handed Dimitri to Rebecca as she came up to most likely yell at me, “I’ll be back!” I called as I ran off and then quickly sprinted to the castle. As I was about to go in I crouched at the door and threw up repeatedly. I started crying and shaking with no way to relieve my pain. I sat down on the ground a few yards away and looked up when Vladimir’s body shaded me from the sun.
“Is this child mine?”
“How do you know for sure?”
I looked away from him, “I took an herb so that I could not become pregnant with Glen’s child. I knew you would hate me more if this child was his.”
“So I guess we should get married?”
I looked up to him, “No, ask the girl you slept with before to marry you. I’m just the person keeping you from dying of this curse so you do not need to treat me like anything more.”
He let out a sigh, “You know you’re more than that to me.”
“Don’t treat me like you do the other women, Vladimir. I am only that to you so don’t try to make this into something it is not. I am the queen of Parethia, your slave, and the mother to my child. That is all I can ever be because I was forced to stay at your side! If I could leave you and not hurt my people and my son I certainly would, but that is not an option!” I brushed away tears as they came down my face, “I so badly wish I could take back everything! I want this child to be Glens! I want to marry him and have him become Dimitri’s step father, but I can’t because I will hurt everyone if I do! I want so badly to be selfish, but I could never do that to everyone!” I stood and walked past Vladimir and he grabbed my arm.
“Then what are we going to do, Felicia? You don’t want to be with me but we have to be together so tell me what you want me to do! I am stuck in this with you so we have to work together!”
I looked off to the direction of where everyone was celebrating, “You will stay beside me, I will have your child, and you will do as you please. Take other women to your bed while I take care of my children. That is the only way to make it through this hell.” I pulled away from him and quickly walked back to the festival. As I walked I made myself presentable and look happy even though death was a beautiful thing to me now. I walked up to the party and saw the Radian royalties, the Alethian royalties, Glen, Lucas, and Dimitri all together which warmed me slightly. I walked through the crowd and smiled when someone would bow towards me or congratulate me, but one man caught my eye. I looked to him again to make sure I was not seeing things but my first glance was right. The man was much taller than me, strongly built, handsome, blue eyes, and had a beautiful shade of blonde hair. Yet, something about him made my stomach churn. I stared at him to try to figure it out, but when the man noticed my staring he quickly turned away and walked in the direction to my left. And there it was! The clue to prove that my odd feeling was correct! A stray dark brown hair was at the very low part of his neck, almost unnoticeable if you were not looking for it. I quickly followed after the man and made my way through the crowd, but lost him. I kept going in the direction I had last seen him in, yet he was gone. Suddenly I was pulled into a small alley between two stores as my mouth was covered. Leather touched my lips as the handsome man’s face came closer. He smiled towards me in a disgusting way.
“Why do you cast such an enchanting glance upon me, my queen?” The man asked as he removed his hand from my mouth but pushed his body against me so I could not escape from his gaze.
“I am certainly not the queen of a half-breed like yourself,” I hissed, “You are one of the men trying to kill those close to me. So tell me, Sir, whose head have you come to take? Mine, my brother’s, my son’s, the Radian royal family’s, the Princes of Alethia, your general, or your prince? Who do you scout to kill?”
He smiled towards me, “You have proven it is not possible to kill those you speak of, Queen Felicia, but there is someone who is defenseless without you and will not be protected by the ones you have already protected from us.”
“Who do you speak of?”
“King Vladimir,” He hissed in a maniacal way that made chills go down my spine. He was right. I was the only one who would protect Vladimir here at this festival, “He will soon no longer be a king; he shall become the earth’s nutrient.”
“Well you certainly cannot kill him while pressing against me, Sir. It is not possible.”
He smiled again, “I do not enjoy dirtying my hands, Queen Felicia. I am not his killer. I am merely a distraction,” He suddenly pressed his lips to mine and I quickly bit his lip as hard as I could. He quickly recoiled from me and hit my face with power, but I did not back down. I shoved him away, giving myself enough time to pull out my father’s sword. I charged at the man as he got to his feet, but he did not have time to move. My sword forced him against the brick wall on the other side of the alley as he coughed blood. I pulled out my sword because of the lack of time, but had to stop when the dying man grabbed my calf. His nails acted as claws to tear away my skin in five lines before he hit the ground and was still. I shoved my sword back into its sheath as I started to run.
“Move! Out of the way!” I hollered at the top of my lungs as I ran through the festival. People quickly moved out of my way as I sprinted much faster than I knew I could. I spotted the large group of those who were close to my heart and felt fear strike me, “Lucas!” I yelled and he quickly turned to me with shock, “Protect Vladimir!” I added as I heard the footsteps of brown eyed devils. I quickly turned as one hopped off the roof of a home close to me and he darted at me.
“Murderer!” The man hissed at me as I heard some of my soldiers running to my aid. I quickly started off at the man and he thrust his sword towards me. I blocked it with my sword I had pulled out quickly and then pulled away before thrusting my sword into his side. I cut his torso halfway through and left him to die while I went to fight another man with brown eyes.
“For King Darius!” The new fighter yelled, but he was not near my skills. I cut him at the connective tissue of his neck and shoulder until I had hit his heart and then pulled away from him.
“For our King!” A third man yelled as he attacked me while my back was turned and tried to stab me, but I hit his sword. He slit the right side of the waist of my dress and I struck his chest. There were only three of the almost 20 men that started to sprint off. I turned to the few soldiers who had killed a lot of the men and now watched me.
“Half of you follow those men! The rest of you, search the surrounding area for more attackers!” I ordered and my soldiers ran off. I quickly went over to the group as I saw blood on Lucas and Vladimir who both had swords drawn. I put my sword away and ran to Vladimir. His arm was cut so I quickly turned to the crowd watching in horror, “Someone go fetch a doctor!” I ordered and many people ran towards the castle. I grabbed Vladimir’s arm and inspected it. The laceration was not terrible, but was still bleeding profusely. I used a handkerchief that had been in Vladimir’s shirt to try to stop the blood. I turned to Lucas to see his face was still in shock, “Give me your handkerchief.” I asked and he quickly handed the small cloth to me. I put it over Vladimir’s wound but looked to him when he used his other hand to grab my right wrist.
“You’re bleeding,” He whispered with a pale look on his face.
“It is just a scratch,” I replied but then looked to the doctor as he ran over to me, “Vladimir’s arm is cut.”
“Follow me, King Vladimir.” He said and I was about to follow but was stopped when I heard Dimitri.
“Peter, let me go!” He cried as I saw his tears but Peter pulled on Dimitri’s arm harder.
“You have to stay here!”
“No!” Dimitri cried, “I want mommy!” He looked to me with despair and I quickly went to him. Peter released him and stared at me. I knelt down to Dimitri and searched his body for injuries.
“Did any of those men touch you?” I asked as I put my hand on his cheek which made him cry harder. He wrapped his arms around my arm and wept.
“Mama,” He whimpered and I could not hold back my own tears. I quickly embraced the child and folded him into my body as I shook. I had failed. No matter what I did I could not save his innocence from corruption because I am the corruption. I am hurting my son because of my natural savagery. I quickly forced myself to stop crying and looked to my son. I kissed his cheek and then hugged him again. Yet I was shocked when Dimitri pulled away from me, “Your wound!”
I smiled towards the child as he realized my bleeding cuts had suddenly covered the areas of cloth around them in blood, “I’ll be fine soon enough.” I replied but looked to Lucas as he picked me up.
“Don’t worry, Prince Dimitri, I will make sure your mother reached the doctor immediately,” He said and then started off. I lay my head against his chest as he carried me, “How did you know they were going to attack? I had the whole festival surrounded and yet they still got in and would have been unnoticed if you had not come.”
“One of them caught my eye and gave me an odd feeling so I decided to follow him and I found out from him.”
“You are incredible, Felicia.” He whispered as we came into the castle. I was brought to the infirmary where I had been so many times before for injuries to see it was occupied by a soldier with a cut on his arm, Vladimir, the doctor, and a few maids. When I came in they all seemed to freeze as Lucas laid me on the first bed.
“Where are all of your injuries, my queen?” The doctor asked as he came over to me. I pointed to my side and then the cuts on my leg.
“What on earth gave you those scratches?” Lucas asked as he kneeled beside my bed.
“The man I confronted that told me of the attack.”
Suddenly Lucas touched my cheek and I felt a sharp pain, “Did he also punch you?”
I nodded, “He tried to rape me and when I attacked back he punched my face.”
Lucas suddenly fumed with anger, “That man did not deserve a quick death if he did such things to you! How dare he try to rape the pregnant Queen!”
I smiled towards him, “It’s alright Lucas, please calm down.”
“My queen, you will need stitches on your side.”
I nodded to the doctor and turned on my side. He slowly injected me with numbing medication before he started the process of giving me stitches. I looked to Lucas as he took my hand in his, “Squeeze my hand if it hurts.”
I smiled slightly to him, “I have become used to it.”
He gave me a painful look, “When you were a maid you barely knew of physical pain, but now that you have come back to royalty you are injured continuously.”
“I did as a child also.”
A maid came over with a smile on her face, “I can testify for the queen on such matters. I was a maid of the previous king and queen and the young princess always seemed to come home from a hunt with more injuries than any of the men.”
“I will be fine soon enough. I am cursed, but am blessed by the presence of other’s with royal blood and the presence of such good friends at my side,” I squeezed Lucas’s hand, “Thank you for protecting Vladimir.”
“I would kill myself if ordered by you, Felicia.”
I felt tears welling in my eyes and quickly brushed them away, “You used to say that to me when we traveled together, I remember. But that was because you loved me then.”
He smiled, “I still love you, Felicia. But not as the young, naive man I was. I love you as my best friend, my new family, and my queen,” He kissed my hand, “And I will always be here and shall do whatever you ask of me till my last breath. My only goal in life is to keep you safe in your father and Dimitri’s place.”
I nodded to him, “I know,” I whispered but looked up as Luther came into the room. He walked over to me and kissed my cheek, “How is he?” I asked with worry straining my voice.
“He’s better. Peter and Rebecca calmed him down, but all he keeps saying is that he wants to come see you.”
I looked to the door, “Is he waiting outside for me?”
He shook his head, “Rebecca thought it was best if he could not disturb you so she brought him to your room so he could lie down and rest for a while. Both of you need some time to rest.”
I smiled towards him, “Would you rest in this situation, Luther?”
He sighed, “This is not similar to the time you captured General Aaron and I. You do not have the strength anymore to compare yourself to the way things were before. Rebecca and Eliot have informed me of what has happened to you lately.”
“Lately? What happened?” Lucas asked as he stood and looked Luther directly in the eyes.
“Felicia has been terribly sick lately and has been getting into a lot more fights with attackers.”
“Do you speak of the time Prince Glen and I were traveling at her side and she was stabbed in the back by the man that stole the young prince from Felicia’s room?”
He nodded, “And some small fights that have happened since.”
Lucas turned to me, “You must be terrifying Prince Henry daily.”
“He does not know of most and I had planned to keep such trivial events from each of you also. I only seem to be causing trouble lately even though I have been trying my hardest not to.”
“You’re too unguarded,” Lucas retorted, “You need some personal guards to follow you around.”
I smiled, “I could never do such a thing.”
Lucas gave me an angry look, “Dimitri would insist on it if he was here with you.”
I looked away from him, “Do not speak of him.”
“Lucas,” I warned, “He is gone. The only Dimitri I can care about now is my son. Prince Dimitri of Raidia is gone so I cannot keep thinking of him. I cannot fix what I caused in the past so I must try to forget of him and everything that he has said or done.”
“But you love him, Felicia.”
I sat up as the doctor finished my stitches, “Wait my queen!”
“My Queen you need to rest!”
I turned to the concerned maid and doctor, “Send for my brother, the king of Raidia, the king of Alethia, Prince Glen, and the Prince of Atria.”
Lucas grabbed my shoulder to stop me, “What are you planning, Felicia?” He asked with concern in his voice.
I looked back to him with power in my eyes, “I was not careful before and I lost people I loved. I will never let that happen again. These followers of Darius shall join their king in hell before they can touch anyone again.”
Suddenly Glen entered the room and just froze. I knew he was shocked to see such an expression of pure hate on my face, “What is this about, Felicia? Why are you calling all representatives from each country here?”
I looked away from him as my heart ached, “I told you a long time ago that I shall never let anyone, not even Henry, know what I have planned and I still believe that is the best way.”
He suddenly became angry, “You always told Dimitri of what you planned.”
I felt anger fill me more, “So you want to die also?” I asked, “You want me to tell you my plans when I only let one person in on my secrets and he was killed? You want to follow in his footsteps?”
“Of course not…”
“Then you must either follow me blindly once again or leave my home and never return. I have too much to deal with so I do not need to add a traitor.”
He smiled slightly, “I was not wrong before to follow you blindly and I also still believe that is the best way.”
I turned as I heard something moving and quickly fled over to Vladimir to try to pull him back to his bed, “You need to rest!” I insisted but was surprised when he kissed my forehead and then embraced me. I felt the warmth of his body and my heart squeezed.
“The best medicine for both of our wounds is to stay like this. No amount of sleep can compare to your power.”
“Vladimir…” I whispered as I looked to him.
“I’m trying to say I’m sorry,” He whispered and then brushed a tear off my face, “I don’t want you to be in pain because of me again.”
I felt flushed as he smiled, “I accept your apology.” I whispered but then looked to the door as Rebecca appeared with a frown.
“He is just like his father,” Rebecca hissed as she quickly walked over to me. I let go of Vladimir and turned to her, “He will not leave his room till he sees you. That is just like my brother!”
I smiled towards her, “I shall take over care of my son. Thank you for your help, Rebecca.”
She smiled back, “What else is a godmother good for?”
I turned to Luther, “Could you go check on Sapphire and Ruby for me?” I asked and he nodded. I left the room and went down the hall to my room. I knocked on the door and Dimitri opened it. He quickly threw himself around me and I embraced him.
“Mama!” He repeated continuously as I pulled him closer.
“I’m here, Dimitri,” I whispered and then stood with him in my arms, “I promise on your father’s grave I will never let something so horrible happen near you again. I will keep you safe and out of any harm’s reach,” I felt myself about to cry, but held back, “After everything I cannot lose you, Dimitri. You are my everything; my life, my soul, my essence, my compassion, and my comfort. I will never let you see something like that again.”
He grabbed my dress, “Mama, don’t fight anymore,” He whispered, “I don’t want to lose you either.”
I pulled him closer but could not reply. I looked as Miss Lydia came near me. I smiled towards her, “Dimitri, go with Miss Lydia. I have to prepare for the arrival of other royals.” I said as I handed him to her. He quietly left my side and I went to the throne room to see Henry sitting in his throne just watching the empty room. When I came in he sat up to watch me.
“You do not look pleased, Felicia. Is something the matter?”
I sat next to him and watched the window across from us, “I cannot accommodate to his wishes.”
“Whose wishes do you speak of?”
“What does he ask of you?”
I looked to Henry, “He does not want me to fight ever again.”
“I would sincerely enjoy that also.”
I put my head in my hands, “I was raised to kill! I was raised to stand at Sylvia’s side with sword at hip, bow in hand, and quiver on back! I was not made to be a mother, wife, or queen!” I looked to him, “How can I give up the only thing I have left that reminds me so much of Father? When I practice sword play I feel as if I am honoring our king’s memory.”
“And a bow with arrow must remind you of Dimitri the first.”
I gave him a side glance but did nod, “I would give the world for that child’s happiness, but he only has asked one thing of me and that is the one thing I can never give up!” I looked to my own hands, “Why does he have to ask me such a thing? Does he not understand that I fight to protect him and his people?”
“He is just a child, Felicia. He will understand at some point.”
“I would rather die than disappoint that innocent boy, but giving up father is not an option.”
Henry put his hand on my shoulder, “Then teach him. Teach him how to shoot and fight. Once he has felt the power of you and Dimitri’s natural talents flowing through him he will understand why you cannot give up fighting.”
I looked to him and smiled slightly, “When he was shooting before did you notice it?”
“Notice what, dear sister?”
I let out a quiet laugh, “He looks just like Dimitri when he was his age. Shooting at the range and counting the hours between the lessons, he will soon become just like that.”
“Maybe he will become as great as Dimitri.”
I shook my head, “No, I will make sure he becomes better. Then he will be unstoppable.”
He looked to my stomach, “Then will she sit where you do? Or shall you have Dimitri bestow upon your throne?”
I smiled, “I shall see how their natural personalities progress. Whoever is much like Sylvia, dedicated and interested in studying more than anything else, shall take my place. Whoever of the two is much like you, Dimitri, or I, free spirited and intent with training, will replace you when the time comes,” Suddenly a chill filled my body, “I need to go. Vladimir is looking for me,” I said as I stood. I went down the hall and to Vladimir’s room. I knocked before opening the door to see him sitting on a couch near his bed, “You needed me?” I asked quietly as he sat up to smile.
“I am aching, please help me,” He asked and I quickly shut the door. I went to him and sat beside him. I pulled my legs to my open side before leaning into him. He turned slightly so that I lay mainly on top of him as he embraced me tightly, “I shall never take another woman, Felicia. I promise you that with all my heart.”
“How can I believe you?”
He pulled me even tighter against him, “All I could think about while watching that other woman was you. All I ever think about is you lately. I have become obsessed and want you so badly to be only mine that I am willing to injure our relationship in the process.”
“I knew that, but it is nice hearing it from you,” I whispered, “I have not betrayed you since that time long ago with Glen and I will never do it again. As long as you stay at my side, I promise on the lives of my brother, my son, and my people that I will be faithful.”
“You should say OUR brother, OUR son, and OUR people, Felicia,” He whispered and I was utterly confused, “I want to get married. I want to marry you in front of everyone. I want to take you as my wife and claim the place beside you in ruling this country.”
“If you wish to be married with me, then I do not protest.”
“I want to marry you before the end of summer. I want to claim you as my own before the next season.”
“But summer ends in two weeks.”
He kissed my head, “Then in two weeks, we will marry,” He whispered, “I shall claim Dimitri as my step son and we shall finally become the family that is destined to happen.”
I rode to the spot I had been called to and stopped when I saw blood on the dirt below me. I looked to see two of Luther’s soldiers corpses’ on the ground before looking up to the man drenched in blood that stared at me with odd eyes. He was obviously a follower of Darius and here to kill me, so I decided to face him. I got off of Sapphire and walked closer towards the man. He started shaking and pulled a third soldier I had not seen from behind him, “Come any closer and I shall kill this man!” He hollered and I quickly dropped my bow to the ground. I pulled my sword out of its sheath before placing it on the ground also. I put my hands in the air.
“Let that soldier go!” I ordered and the man threw the soldier to the ground that let out a large grunt. The man came at me with a sword while laughing loudly.
“Die, you savage beast!” He hissed as he came at me. I quickly dogged his first three attacks, but the fourth one got my arm near my wrist. Pulling out a dagger before he could notice, I attacked him in a flash. The dagger went through his skull and he limply slumped to the ground. I quickly went over to the two corpses to make sure they had no pulse and no chance of living before heading to the soldier with a large cut across his chest. I knelt at his side and he gave me a look of terror as he tried to move away.
“Don’t hurt me, please!” He cried and I quickly pulled my hair behind my ear.
“You can trust me, soldier. This earring proves I am the queen of Parethia. I have been sent by your prince and king to help you,” I whispered and then put my hand towards him, “May I examine your wound? I want to make sure you will not be more injured by ridding with me,” I said and he nodded as he lay down on the dirt. I pulled up his shirt to see a deep laceration, but not deep enough to pierce organs. I quickly went over to Sapphire and pulled off the bag of medical supplies. With gauze and some tape I put on the best bandage I could for the time being. I then picked up the soldier like a princess and carried him to Sapphire. I helped him onto her before getting on behind him, “Lean back on me so that you are not straining your wound, soldier. I will bring you to my home in order to see the doctor who will help you until you are well enough to return home.” I whispered before the soldier nodded. He leaned back on me and I made Sapphire start moving. His breathing soon slowed and he fell asleep on the way back. When I reached the castle a guard ran towards the gate in front of my home.
“Open the gate! The queen has arrived!” The soldier hollered and then saluted me with his right fist over his heart before I moved on. I quickly went into the castle grounds but got off of Sapphire while making sure I did not wake the soldier sleeping in my arms. I quickly carried him upstairs to the infirmary where the doctor ran over to me as I set the soldier on a bed.
“He was attacked with a sword and had a large laceration down his chest but it did not reach his organs,” I informed the doctor who quickly brought two nurses to help him stitch up the man. I left the infirmary and made my way to the throne room where I found a soldier talking to Henry, “Soldier! Please send someone to inform the king of Alethia that one of his soldiers survived the attack and is now under my supervision!” The soldier quickly left the room with a salute towards me and I looked to Henry as he watched me.
“You should get your arm wrapped, sister.”
I smiled, “Oh, I forgot. I shall do that right now.” I said before following through with my promise and going to the infirmary. When I came in I saw the soldier from before sleeping so I quietly asked the doctor to help me. Once my arm was wrapped I left the infirmary and went outside to where Lucas was giving Dimitri riding lessons. When I came out Ruby quickly ran over to me with Dimitri on her back. As she stumbled I quickly grabbed Dimitri before she fell. I set him on the ground and quickly helped the young horse up before looking to Lucas who came over to me.
“She was doing wonderfully till she saw you.” He said with a smile as I brushed dirt off of Dimitri.
“Then I am sorry I interrupted,” I replied, “But it is time for dinner and I hoped you would join us, Lucas.” I said and he kissed my forehead before nodding. We all went inside and to the dining room to see Henry and Vladimir talking. They both stopped chatting to look at us but I was shocked when Vladimir came over to me and grabbed my arm that was wrapped.
“What on earth happened, my bride?” He asked with worry.
“It is just a scratch, Vladimir,” I replied, “I was told there had been an attack on a group of Luther’s soldiers near our boarder so I went to go see if any of his soldiers were still alive. I was able to save one soldier, but had to kill the attacker first.”
“You are too reckless. You shouldn’t have gone by yourself to attack that man.” He said with a sigh as he hugged me.
“I am alright,” I whispered, “Well let’s eat.” I said with a smile to Vladimir who nodded. I sat at the head of the table with Dimitri to my right, Henry at my left, Lucas next to Henry, and Vladimir beside Dimitri. I was pleased when I saw Vladimir help Dimitri cut up his meat when it was given to the young child. He was like a true father, which tore my heart in blissful joy. I ate as I listened to Lucas tell my brother of Dimitri’s natural ridding skills.
“He certainly is wonderful, Prince Henry. He easily tamed Ruby even though she is a very wild mare. It reminded me much of the days Felicia trained Sapphire as her own horse.”
“He must come by it naturally,” Henry agreed, “But he has become magnificent at archery and sword play also so he will become a wonderful heir to the military, right sister?”
I nodded, “He will follow in his Uncle’s footsteps, I am sure,” I replied and then looked to Dimitri, “Isn’t that right?”
Dimitri nodded, “I want to be just like uncle!” He replied with a smile, “Then I can protect my little sister when she takes mommy’s place! I will make sure to leave our country to victory!”
“He talks like an adult,” Lucas commented, “He must get that from listening to his wonderful mother speak to the country.”
I smiled towards him, “Speaking of the country, when will you be leaving us, Lucas?”
“I shall leave in two days.”
“Well then you should ride with Luther’s soldiers since they will be going near your home.”
“Oh? Why are his soldiers going to come through but not him?”
“Luther must stay at his fiancé’s side since she is pregnant.”
“I never thought I’d see the day where Luther would think to marry anyone other than you, sister,” Henry commented, “He seemed infatuated with you.”
I nodded, “He was, but I have made it clear that we can never be more than friends ever again just like his army general.”
Henry looked to Lucas, “I am surprised you will be leaving now, Lucas, since my sister shall be giving birth in the next week or so.”
“I requested that Lucas go back to Prince Glen’s side. He did not want to go, but I assured him that you and Vladimir could take care of me,” I replied but then smiled towards Lucas, “But I hope you will be coming back at the end of the month for the wedding.”
He nodded, “Of course, Queen Felicia,” He said with politeness, “I am sure everyone in all of the countries will come to see such a historical day.”
I sighed, “That is precisely what I worry about. Followers of Darius have already tried to attack Vladimir and Dimitri before, so they will most likely try to take us down at such a joyous moment.”
“They are at least human, Felicia, they are not cruel enough to attack you on such a day.” Henry argued and I sighed again as I put my cheek in my hand.
“You have not seen them when they attack, brother. They lose all humanity in hopes of killing me or scaring me by killing someone I love. They will surely attack on the wedding day."
“Then we should make the wedding more secure and small.” Henry suggested but I quickly shook my head.
“And run from the enemy? Never. I would rather be killed than run like I am still a child. We must face them, or they will never leave us alone.” I said but then looked to Dimitri when he grabbed my hand. He smiled kindly to me.
“Mommy, Prince Glen will be coming to the wedding, right? I want to see him again. He was always nice.”
I put my hand on his head, “If you would like him to be there, I shall send another invitation with Lucas.” I whispered and he seemed to become extremely happy. I looked to the window and saw a smaller group of soldiers coming to the side of the castle and stopped in the side courtyard, “Soldiers?” I asked as I looked to the table, “Has something happened in Radia? Those are Radian soldiers.”
“I have not heard anything.”
“Neither have I.” Lucas agreed with my brother.
I quickly stood and looked to Vladimir, “Watch Dimitri.” I insisted and he nodded. I ran out of the castle and quickly to the leading soldier. When I appeared many of the men immediately dropped to one knee, “Soldier! What is the meaning of your sudden appearance at my home?”
The head soldier quickly came to me and bowed, “I have been asked to bring you something from King Samuel,” He said as he gestured for me to follow him. When he walked away I followed closely behind and did not stop till we reached three chained men. I stared at them as their brown eyes tried to cut me, but quickly looked up to the leading soldier for an explanation, “The king found these men on our country’s boarder and found out they were sent to kill you and your brother, so he believed the best course of action was to send these men to be interrogated by you. He said you were the best for the job.” He whispered and I looked to the men again. My eyes went to Lucas as he walked out of the castle.
“Lucas! Secure Dimitri in my room! Make sure they are heavily guarded!” I ordered and he quickly nodded before sprinting back into my home, “Soldiers! I need soldiers!” I called and five younger men quickly came to my aid, “Transport these men to the holding prisons. Make sure they cannot escape.” I ordered and the men quickly did as told. I turned back to the soldier and smiled, “Give my regards to King Samuel and tell him to see us sometime soon.”
“Of course Queen Felicia.” He mumbled before moving his troops away. I followed a few yards behind the captives, but looked to Vladimir as I came into the castle. He watched the captives go past him and then looked to me for explanation.
“King Samuel found those three men on the boarder of Radia planning to come attack our home. He asked for them to be delivered to me so I could interrogate them.”
He sighed, “Why can’t people just leave us alone?”
I smiled sadly, “I’m sorry you have to go through this.”
“But you are going through it also.”
I nodded, “Yes, but I chose to come back into royalty and to kill Darius. You did not choose anything and are forced her by the curse.”
He sighed, “I did choose to be here, Felicia. I want to be with you regardless of this curse or not.”