Chapter 22 - The Garden

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Hi friends!

I am so sorry for posting this chapter late. I had hoped to finish it yesterday. Yesterday I hosted a birthday party for my husband. It was a very busy, but rewarding day. We will be celebrating all weekend.

I want to share some news before you dive in. Last week I finished writing Reyr the Gold. There are 54 chapters, and they need a lot of editing. I would like to have this published in July/August. I gave it a great deal of thought, and decided that starting this week, I will post two chapters per week, one every Monday and Friday. This means the book will be finished posting here on Wattpad by the end of July.

Finally, I know many of you miss Claire and Talon. The last half of the book almost all Claire + Talon related chapters. :) Next post will be this Monday. Have a great weekend you guys! As always, your support is amazing!

xx



Kastali Dun

Desaree couldn't help her smile as she placed her last item of clothing-a chemise-into her wooden trunk. It felt as though she had never been happier. She closed the latch to her trunk and a knock sounded at her door.

"Come in," she called from within. It was probably Claire. She and Claire were both overwhelmed with excitement. She turned to Claire and said, "I feel as if this is a dream." Her eyes grew wide. It wasn't Claire who faced her. "Verath! I had not-I did not expect..."

Verath stood framed in the doorway, surveying her activity. What he saw was a newly packed chamber, whose occupant whose occupant was clearly in a rush. His eyebrows drew together. "Are you leaving?"

"Leaving? What do you...? Oh! But you do not know yet. How could you?" Her dreamlike state shattered. To Verath, the situation must have looked suspicious. She took a seat on her bed to collect her thoughts, then said, "Today I received the best news imaginable. You will smile when I tell you."

"News?"

Her grin was making her cheeks ache. "I am to be Claire's handmaiden."

"Then you are not leaving? I almost thought...never mind." His gaze softened. "Handmaiden, you say? This is a pleasant surprise!"

"Wait, you thought I would leave without...without saying goodbye?"

"It crossed my mind."

Her chest tightened. "Have a care, sir! You know me better than that."

"Forgive me. It was a silly." He fell silent for several long moments then said, "Will you be living with Lady Claire?"

"I will have my own accommodations." As she said it, her chest swelled with pride. "I have been given a chamber across the hall from Lady Claire."

He nodded. "A fine chamber; I have seen it myself."

The chamber in question was not entirely unique, nor was it the best, but it was better than most. There were a number of these chambers along the Hall of Kings corridor on the inner side. The outer rooms were occupied by Dragonwall's royalty and highest-ranking individuals. Their rooms all offered ocean views with large sweeping balconies.

The rooms across the hall were intended for those who served, most often handmaidens and man servants. "I will be just across the hall from Claire. It is quite convenient."

"And when did this development come to fruition?"

"Why, only a short while ago!" Unable to contain her excitement, she told Verath exactly how everything happened: Earlier that morning she had shared her desires to become a handmaiden-something she kept buried-with Claire and Saffra. Claire took matters into her own hands and went to the king. As good fortune had it, the king agreed to Claire's request. They were both so overcome with excitement (when Claire gave her the good news), that they both broke into laughing fits.

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