29. Attack

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After about an hour, a dinner, a dessert and a few cups of wine, I finally let the King go. He had kindly gone through all of the notes with me, which I wasn't expecting him to agree to so spontaneous. We hadn't argued much but rather we had become a team of sorts. Making laws and focusing on finding an equally approved way of dealing with a crime, we'd gotten quiet good at it. It was at times like these that I no longer viewed the King as evil but more as a partner in crime. Except that we were dealing with crime and not committing it.

I liked to think that the King also enjoyed these times with me, but I shook that thought out of my head as quickly as it had entered it, as now was not the time. I excused myself after dinner and had gone back to the study alone.

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*Theodores POV*

It had been another day of work. The war at the frontlines are brutal and discussions over tactics and strategic planing had consumed my everyday life. I had thought about going to the frontlines to fight, but Alice had stopped me. She was the reason for my staying here. Her annoying eagerness had caused many arguments but also brought us closer together. I didn't like admitting it but I looked forward to spending dinner with her, everyday. It was fun watching her argue with me. She wasn't capable of changing my mind but she was very good at soothing it. I enjoyed her little frustrated ticks. She would bite her thumbnail or play with her long hair when she tried to get me to change my mind.

It wasn't like I cared for her, but she amused me, and I couldn't help but want her around. The more time I spent with her the more her beauty astounded me. She'd changed since she first came here. There was now determination in her eyes instead of fear and she looked healthiest now than she ever did in the time I had come to know her.

"Your Grace?" My thoughts get brought back to reality. My 7 advisors and I are standing around the war map.

"Yes, yes." I answer annoyed before excusing everyone for today. Usually I had my head in the game but today was different. Alice's worried face about how much time she had left followed me everywhere and left me completely unfocused.

I contemplate about sending a servant to fetch me some wine, but decide to go into the grand study to visit Alice instead.

I try to think of a reason for my visit but then remind myself that I don't need a reason for I am the King. I wonder why I feel the need to explain myself to her, when I never cared about what others thought of me.

Everything about her is changing everything about me, and I'm no longer trying to resist.

I turn a corner, and am taken by surprise as a small figure almost comes crashing into me. "-uf."

I stand my ground and look down, as my little Alice looks upwards at me.

"Your highness!" She smiles up and embarrassedly takes a step and a half backwards.

"Klutz." I laugh expecting her to get agitated, but she doesn't. Instead she holds up a scroll towards me. "I've finished!" She smiles.

It can't be. We only spoke about a handful of laws yesterday. If she were to done already she'd have to have been awake all night?

"You finished, already?"

"Yes, now we could court the prisoners tomorrow and no one would take any space away." she smiles proudly. And she can be proud of herself. It astounds me that she was able to work so hard and without sleep to achieve something that was this important to her.

I reach out my hand to touch her soft cheek. "You did well, Alice." I praise her as I gently rub my thumb along her face. She looks away shyly and blushes.

"May I go get some rest? Before dinner?" It is only now that I see the dark circles under her eyes.

"Yes, you're excused." I let go of her and take her finished scroll. I would have to look over them anyways. If there were to be a mistake in it someone would have to rewrite it all.

A few hours later I knock on Alice's door to check on and tell her dinner is ready. She's sleeping calmly in her bed, clearly still exhausted. I walk over to her bedside and take a seat on it. Alice's long lashes start fluttering as she slowly comes back from her dream world.

"Your highness?"

"Mhmm?"

"Did you read through the laws?"

"Yes."

"Are you satisfied with my work?"

"Yes, you did good." I pause. "Would you like some dinner?"

"Uh-uh" she snuggles into her blanket some more, almost already wondering off into her dreamworld again.

Guess I'll be eating alone tonight then...

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*Alices POV* 3 weeks later

The war has been raging and seeing my people be prosecuted on an almost daily basis was difficult, but I had done my best to ease their fates, by creating fair laws. I watched the first few mass prosecutions with the Kings permission to reassure myself of that my laws were being used. After I reported the King how well things were going one evening he had toasted with me to it and told me that he had titled these new laws "Alice's Law". At first I'd thought strangely of it but those laws were made to give my homelands people a second chance. It was also his way of praising me and it was working. I'd also been allowed by the King to tend to some of the Lyrian prisoners, which were badly injured. This I was only allowed to do under the supervision or at least one of his men, but I didn't mind. I brought them water and bread running up and down the stairs till my arms and legs had hurt. I also bandaged some of them and tried my best to cheer them up and explain to them how the courting would work.

I knew there would be a risk of someone recognizing me but I doubted it. I was wearing maiden clothes as I worked in the dungeons and no one would expect to find a former princess in the enemies castle especially not in the dungeons.

One moment had caused me to question what I had been doing though. It was two weeks ago...

In a cell of about 4 men one of them was badly wounded and when I opened the cell to tend to him another man tried to jump me with a sharp rock they'd broken out of the dungeon walls.

"Die Walzenorian whore!" He had shouted at me, and I saw my life flash before my eyes.

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