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Chapter Nineteen

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Reylor couldn't help but watch her lying there, thinking how better suited black looked against her skin than the brighter garb of the Empire.

The Empress lay unconscious in the bed within the chambers Reylor had prepared for her arrival, and he had no intention of moving her any time soon. The chain around her ankle that attached her to the bedpost would most likely assist in that as well.

Once the Borderlands had come into view, she began to grow aggressive, and it was safer for all parties involved to have her immobile upon their arrival. He hadn't wanted it to be this way, but sometimes one must take matters into their own hands. His brother was not going to make any of it easier for him, so he decided that the only way he would be able to get what he wanted was to begin anew of his own making.

Reylor scoffed at himself as his endeavors played through his head. He had been erased from the Annals already, what would the Prophecy matter at this point? His future was his own now, and by the Empire's own doing.

There was much to do now, but the magic necessary required time to perfect, and he only had a moon's cycle to complete it.

Could he convince Alexstrayna within that small amount time?

For her sake, he hoped so.

	Reylor had ordered his mages to bring Alextrayna to his chambers the moment she awoke, and though it was not until later that day, they followed his orders dutifully

Reylor had ordered his mages to bring Alextrayna to his chambers the moment she awoke, and though it was not until later that day, they followed his orders dutifully. He had just sat down for his evening meal when the door opened, and between his mages was a very awake, and very belligerent, Queen Empress.

"Wonderful!" he exclaimed as he stood to meet them. "I was hoping you'd be awake in time to join me..."

She looked at him with those beautifully dark doe eyes.

"Fuck you."

One mage raised a hand to strike her for her disobedience against his Lord. She braced for the impact, but Reylor grabbed the mage's wrist before it met its mark, bent it backwards at an unnatural angle, and in one fluid motion cracked the bones beneath his fingers. The mage released Alexstrayna in a yelp of pain, but Reylor refused to let him go.

"You will never raise a hand to the Empress, do you understand?" His voice remained steady as the mage's eyes widened at the severity of his circumstance.

The mage nodded silently, and Reylor released him from his hold.

"Be gone now," he commanded as he took Alexstrayna's arm in his, and the other mage assisted his injured brethren through the chamber door.

The Empress' face had gone ghostly white- Reylor had hoped she would have had a stronger stomach for violence. "Come, Empress, don't look so surprised. We don't get what we want if our underlings don't fear us."

He sat her down in the opposite chair at his table while he took his own. "I do hope you're not going to try to run. I'd hate to have to damage your other ankle with another chain."

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