Kyera continued down the path, unconcerned with her surroundings as she considered possible answers to the Empress' health. "She should be getting stronger…" Kyera puzzled aloud. Yes the Empress was improving, but with the amount of power being poured into her, it should be at a much faster rate. "Unless…" her eyes narrowed as she shot a glance at the two palaces, barely visible beyond the trees.
"You suspect something, don't you?" a soft masculine voice asked her. Kyera's eyes darted toward the sound as she reflexively pulled her dagger. The blade caught the sunlight as did the purple jewel in the hilt. "Its just me, Lady Kyera." Alexi tried to sooth her. He half expected the blade to still end up buried in his chest. She lowered her weapon and resheathed it offering the prince a smile.
"Ahh, Second Prince I did not see you there." Kyera greeted bowing low. He frowned slightly at her formalness.
"I see no one else around, call me Alexi." he replied with a warm smile. It was a dashingly charming expression that dazzled her for a moment. "I believe prefer Kyera to your title, Princess." he added with a smirk.
Kyera froze, her blood became ice in her veins as her heart stopped. How could be know? Her expression however stayed calm and collected as she raised an eyebrow.
"How do you know?" she asks smoothly, wondering how much he truly knew. Her life could hang in his hands, and that was more terrifying than death.
"How could you be anyone else? I was suspicious when Princess Raina recognized you. I knew you weren't just Mally's sister. Then I heard mother and a maid discussing that Mordrin ordered food taken to you, and poison tested it himself. Why would he do that unless…" Alexi smiled at her as the explanation came to its climax. Her heart broke into a sprint… she never dreamed she could endanger Mordrin too… "Your his lost little sister." he finished and Kyera blinked. Several seconds passed and she began to laugh. Relief washed through her. Mistaken identity. She had never been so glad to be taken for someone else. He raised an eyebrow. "Something funny?"
"No, just a relief. It's been so hard hiding a princess in plain view and now someone else knows my secret. It's liberating." she replied with a grateful grin. He chuckled at her reaction, mesmerized by those golden pools. He was certain she would bewitch him yet.
"I bet. I can hardly begin to guess how you must feel. Having to hide and guard yourself." he replied shaking his head. "I would be careful though." his warning was said with a smile and yet it uneased her more than if he had growled it at her.
"Oh, and why would that be?" Kyera asked raising an eyebrow. She had already assessed he wasn't a threat, but the palace was a misleading place.
"Others may seek to use you against your brother, should they find out you are connected. I will protect you best I can, but…" his eyes darkened as ghosts of the past filled his mind. The suffering and hate in him was tangible to Kyera, she could sense it. A knife twisting in his heart, deeper inside that muscle than any true dagger could be and without the benefit of being lethal. "Sometimes nothing can stop the monsters that live in these halls."
Her eyes softened as she watched his face, wondering who he had failed to protect. "I will be weary. Thank you." Kyera replied reassuringly and he offered her a smile.
"Good, see that you do." he agreed, that hatred seeming to dissipate just a bit. The vaguest hint of that smoldering fire in his eyes.
"Out of curiosity, why are you helping me?" Kyera asked figuring it couldn't hurt. He chuckled, but it was not a sound filled with joy or lighthearted amusement. It was dark and almost sinister.
"My dear girl, it is less helping you and more praying you can help stop this." Alexi replied offering her a hopeful smile. "We will speak more when we have the time." he replied nodding at her and walking past.
SO remember there is no chapter tomorrow. However on Friday we will get to a bit of 1 on 1 time between our Lovely lady and a Prince.
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