Chapter XI

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Annika was dressed in a white dress with her hair hanging free. Her eyes were red-rimmed and frightened. The knife rested in the middle of her throat.

“Let her go,” Damon said. “Before I put an arrow between your eyes.”

“Guards, relive their weapons and take the prince’s cousins to the dungeons. Leave the prince with me for a bit.”

            Four guards then showed up behind us and took our weapons away. Damon and Katherine were then led away by two of them and the other two left me with James.

“You are fighting a fool’s war, little prince. Even with all the dragons on your side. I have the Powers of Hell.”

“Maybe so, but there are two ways this will end. You or I or both of us will be dead.”

“If things went to plan. We wouldn’t be here.”

“What plan?”

“Annika, why do not you tell the prince what your mission was that day you were captured.”

“What mission, Annika?” I asked her.

            James then lowered his knife, put it in Annika's hand and shoved her to me. She stumbled and fell into my arms, crying.

“Tell him.” James said.

“Tell me what, Annika?”

“The day you captured me was the day I failed my mission.”

“What mission?”

“I was supposed to hunt you down and kill you. Even when you released me from the dungeons, I plotted to kill you.”

“What stopped you?”

“Something happened that I did not plan for: I fell in love. I fell in love with your kingdom, your village, your family, and you. Most importantly you, Derek.”

"Kill him! Kill him, Annika! Kill him and redeem yourself in my eyes!" James yelled.

I let her place the knife to my chest and I noticed that her hands were trembling.

"I cannot." she sobbed, letting the knife drop. "Father, I love him."

“And that is why you are weak. Just like your mother. She was weak and let her emotions get to her. It seems that she passed that to you. Guards take him away.”

            Guards grabbed me, but I managed to say to James.

“If you hurt her...I swear, I'll kill you.”

"Your threats mean nothing to me now. When Annika is dead I will force you to kneel before me and surrender your kingdom before I kill you."

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