Chapter 1

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To be caught would mean punishment, to not be, would mean to be able to sleep with a full belly.

To leave to luck would be too big of a risk.

Adira had already entered the guarded palace to return now would be pointless. She had only decided to sneak into the palace because their crops had withered away with the winter, leaving them with little to none to savage. She knew the palace had an abundance of food to share they simply did not want to. She battled with herself that afternoon as she helped her mother wash that day, her belly growled. There would nothing that would pacify such creature if not a good meal, something they did not have at home.

As wrong as it may be, desperation had won over righteousness.

Adira had observed the palace enough times to know its weak point.

The wall nearest the shore, on the southwest end of the island. The palace was a guard with high walls enclosing it. She had only seen it from the main gates, a beautiful garden surrounded the palace. The building itself sat high on a hill.

Adira knew no one would come by the southwest side of the palace. The water was too close and when the tides were high it seemed it almost touched the palace walls.

She was not sure how, but she had managed to take hold of the vines that grew on the wall and pull herself up and over. She lowered herself to the ground and hid behind the tall bushes. She was in, no turning back now.

In and out. She could do it.

As she walked into the palace, she did not glance at her surroundings. Never having seen such riches were sure to blind her. She could not afford to lose herself, if she were caught fate would not be too kind to her.


The servants were to live in the lower half of the palace, where the storage of food was. All she needed was to find it. She waited for nightfall to enter the palace, and only had the low burning torches to guide her. She did not look around and walked quickly to the servants' quarters.

Only now, she needed to find the right door.

Here. The open doorway, she peeked inside of it.


Everywhere she looked, there was food! So much food and she would only take so much. From her cloak, Adira pulled a sack she tied around her waist. She went around, grab food, and threw it into her sack. There was only so much she could take otherwise, the weight of the sack would bring her down.

"There." She whispered to herself, that was all she was taking, it would be enough.

Tip-toeing the same way she came in, she left. She embraced the sack, hoping to stop the noise it was making. All she needed to do was get out of here now.

She was almost there, so close. She could savor the fruits she took, even the ones she had no idea what they were.

"You, there!" A shout came from behind her.

Hades! She cursed.

She could not look; it would only slow her down. Holding the sack tighter, Adira ran out of the palace and towards the wall.

"Stop her!"

Oh, no! She could hear their thundering steps and the clatter of their weapons.

She threw herself behind the bushes and rolled into them. Trying to blend in and control her erratic breathing. She willed her heart to stop beating profusely.

Adira rose to her elbows and looked from in between the bushes. She could see as soldiers stood at the steps of the palace, not quite at the gardens, glance around.

Just as Adira looked around, she saw a giant fountain, yet no statue adored the water.

From her elbows, she rose to her knee and prepared to climb over the wall. Looping the sack across her chest, she threw a last look to the gardens.

More soldiers had joined.

Time to go.

Her eyes moved from the soldiers to the fountain. As she turned to face away from it, it seemed as if something had broken from the water. Adira watched, perplexed as a head of a man emerges from the water. He shook his head once his shoulders rose from the water.

Dark long hair.

Was this a bath, not a fountain? Adira lowered herself to her hunches. Observing the questioning man.

Confused, she continued to watch the man as she rose higher and higher from the water. She had seen shirtless men before. However, his back was beautiful not a scar marked his sun-kissed skin. Muscles defined his back. Like valleys that tempted her to run her fingers down. Broad shoulders, with thick arms. Not like the ones she had seen, like the wrestlers in the village whose arms were the size of her head, rather he just seemed the right size or the young boys whose arms were not much larger than a child. Tilting her head to the side, she continued to watch as the man threw his head back and run his fingers through his shoulder-length hair.

"Check the grounds, not a single corner left unchecked!" The voice of a man broke through the night.

Right, they were still looking for her. Adira shook the daze that had fallen over her.

"What in Hades is going on?" A thunder of a voice spoke. The voice of the man from the bath, Adira looked back at him. He finally turned around and that was when Adira had seen the most beautiful man she had ever seen.

The alluded prince. 

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