A NAGGING NEED to use the bathroom woke Sian and she slipped out of bed, wincing at the pain in her calves. Ouch. Guess I haven't worn heels for a while. She snuck through the room. Climbing back into her nice warm bed and knowing that today was their free day felt fantastic. She stretched out to try and relieve some of the tightness in her legs. Last night was so enjoyable. She ran through the evening in her mind. Daron had led her through nearly every dance and at the end of the evening they'd enjoyed a walk on the inner gate. It had been very romantic. Mmm and he's such a good kisser. She giggled to herself then rolled over.

'Guys, wake up!'

EHHH. 'WHAT?' I groaned. Why is Sian bugging us? It's our free day.

'Where's Kassie?' Sian sounded panicked.

'What'dya mean?' mumbled Loi, pushing herself up and looking about with bleary eyes.

'Where's Kassie? Her bed hasn't been touched.'

Struggling to sit up, I stopped and took a moment to untangle myself, then twisted to look. Sure enough Kass' bed looked neat and tidy, not a pillow out of place. As I started to answer, one of the doors to our suite opened and a rather rumpled Kassie walked in.

'KASSANDRA BOYD. WHERE the hell have you been?'

Kassie stopped short in the room and gave Sian a look.

Last time I checked I was still the oldest of the group, she thought and ignored them while she headed to the shower. When she came out, a good twenty minutes later, they still hadn't budged from their beds. The sensation of three sets of eyes watching her felt unnerving. She found the long tunic she used for a nightie then climbed into bed. After a pause three heavy thuds hit the bed. 'Kassie,' squealed Cat. 'Where were you? Whatcha been doing?'

'We'll tickle it out of you,' threatened Loi.

Kassie pulled the covers down from her face and gave them all a stern look which then dissolved into a very naughty one.

AFTER A LONG and pointless attempt to get any more information out of Kass, we gave up and instead got ready then headed to breakfast. Ms. Kassie snored away when we left the room and we gossiped while walking the corridors.

'I can't believe she was out all night,' Loi couldn't seem to decide if it was scandalous or not.

I chuckled. 'She looked like she had fun.'

Sian snorted. Loi and I exchanged an amused glance; Sian's the prude of our group. Then she giggled. 'Did you see her neck?'


'I missed that!'

RUMAL WATCHED THE doors to the Great Hall experiencing a bizarre sense of anxiety. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt like this. The sound of the girls voices at the doors had him tensing when he watched them enter. Kassie isn't with them, he realized with a pang. He stood to greet them as the other men did, then stared in surprise when the three girls stopped in front of him.

'Rumal, you look so tired,' Sian had a look of concern on her face that didn't match the mocking tone of her voice. The other two gave him cheeky smiles.

'Ahh, where's Kassie?'

'You know, that's exactly what I said when I discovered her bed un-slept in this morning.'

There was a long pause while he considered his options. 'So she's in bed now?'

'Yup. Seems she's pretty tired too,' Cat grinned.

'Well then, if you'll excuse me I'll arrange to have breakfast delivered to her.' The girls chuckled as Rumal hurried out the room.

'I THINK THAT'S the closest I've ever seen Rumal come to blushing,' Daron glanced at Sian. 'What was that all about?'

The Arrival, Book one of the Birthright TrilogyRead this story for FREE!