“Sir,” Hudson asked when the room almost emptied. “Mr. Samuel called on your cell phone. He said you are expected at his party. Ms. Helena is already there.”

He piled up the diagrams in front of him, put them in a folder and lifted his eyes to face the most loyal person to him.

“Inform Samuel that I’m not going. I’m really tired,” he said and raised his masculine voice, being sure that she could hear. He wanted to prove to her that he was conscientious and hardworking. “I’ll go to bed. It’s already late.”

Hudson nodded politely, and his employer ordered him with a rapid eye movement to move to the other side, where the Queen was still looking at a bunch of papers completely concentrated. She had disengaged the members of her team, and she rubbed her neck momentarily. Hudson nodded again and walked towards Roselyn’s side.

“My lady, the meeting is over. Please, go to your room.”

Roselyn smiled kindly to the squire in front of her and touched his arm. He was a noble man assistant, and he was one of the very few people who had respected her since the first day. She acknowledged very well that his repeating questions weren’t asked out of curiosity, but because of the King’s commands. 

 “I have to check the contracts once more,” she replied and the King pouted disapprovingly for her zeal. “In an hour or so, I will go upstairs.”

“It’s twelve thirty and you are working for more than fifteen hours without a break. Tomorrow, you have to visit the RCCI. We will depart thirty minutes later.”
“I know,” she smiled wryly. “Send someone to wake me up at 6.30. And tell my stylist to be at my room an hour later.”  


The RCCI, the Redmonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was located in a large building in the center of Densmore, the capital city of the state. They were there to discuss about the extraversion and the competitiveness of small companies and to promote the palace’s measures against tax evasion. After the two-hour meeting, the president insisted to show them a photographic exhibition about the history of the Chamber. Afterwards, they would attend lunch with the presidium and some important entrepreneurs.

“After some alterations in the statute the seventh chairman in 1965….”

The voice of their guide was becoming unbearable. Roselyn hadn’t heard a word, and she wouldn’t make it till the exit. It was just a minor malaise. She needed to breathe deep. It would pass.

“Thirteen months later, after the founding of Saint Michael’s tobacco industry, the Chamber moved to a new direction…”

Things were worse than she thought. Every step was becoming difficult, her legs felt so stiff and unable to support her weight. Every power was abandoning her body. She was feeling hot and then cold. She tried to breathe, but she was suffocating. The loud buzzing sound in her ears prevented her from hearing anything else. There were black spots in front of her and her stomach was tied in a knot. The King next to her hadn’t realized anything. He was saying something funny and now everyone was laughing. She breathed deeper without any melioration and the corner of her eye caught his welt built figure. It was either him or the floor.

“Alexander,” she whispered powerlessly.

“Are you talking to me now?” the King noted in a hoarse voice, and there was pure sarcasm in his voice, but she couldn’t reply.

Everything around her was collapsing. She was so weak, so vulnerable. Her mouth was dry. The air was suffocating. She grabbed his forearm, and before she passed out, she felt familiar strong arms around her and heard him calling her name.  Then everything went black.

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