CHAPTER 25

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Nabir watches Saya as she weeds her plants, she can tell that things did not go well this morning from her face, and from the king's semi-quarter eaten food.

"My lady, it's time for you to eat something. You have been with these plants for hours," she tells her.

"Nabir I'm really not hungry. The king is angry with me and I don't know what to do"

"Tell him the truth"

"I can't Nabir, you know that," Saya says, looking at her before she turns back to her plants. The young maid thinks about what could possibly help her lady's situation. The king likes to be in control, so when he doesn't have his way, it's hard for people to make it up to him. But in Saya's case, she might not need to do that much.

"What if you give him a gift?"

"A gift? What's the occasion?"

"His birthday"

Saya stands up immediately facing her. She never knew that today was the king's birthday!

"Him and King Stephan are twins."

"What? That means the day of Stephan's celebration..."

"Was also his birthday as well. That's why Stephan celebrates it in his palace. Although, nobody ever acts like it's his birthday because a lot of people don't know that him and Stephan are twins. The few that know do nothing because the king doesn't want his birthday celebrated."

"I didn't know this. I called him a monster, on his birthday."

"Maybe that's why he left that piece of information out when he told you his past. He didn't want you to feel bad."

Saya feels like a pile of waste. How could she claim to love a man, and not even know his birthday. She needs to give him a present, not because she's trying to make up for today, but because she wants him to have a present every year from her for his birthday, starting today. She wants to show him, she meant what she said when she confessed her love.

"I know what to give him," Saya smiles at Nabir. They leave the garden and Saya walks straight to her chambers. She has been waiting for the right time to give him this, and it seems she found it. She opens her chest and takes out the blue top she had been working on.

"My Lady! It's beautiful!"

"Thank you. I really took my time to do this pattern. It was a very difficult design." The royal pattern on the front, lining the edges, is the symbol of Moore, a circumscribed letter 'M' with a cross sitting on top, while at the back is a lion's face at the center. She used golden thread for the mane of the lion and silver for the rest of the design.

"I didn't want it to be too much and at the same time, not too plain"

"I'm sure he will love it," Nabir assures with a smile. Saya folds it neatly and leaves, headed for the king's chambers. She gets there and the guards make way immediately, letting her through the doors.

She slowly opens the door and walks in. She sees Xerxes lying on the bed, his hand over his eyes and nose.

"Xerxes?" she calls in a low tone, but loud enough for him to hear it. He doesn't respond.

She calls him again a bit louder, but he still doesn't budge, that is when she knows he's ignoring her on purpose. She feels her heart clench a bit but ignores it. She slowly walks to him and sits on the bed, in a heel sitting position, his body facing hers horizontally. She hides the top behind her and taps his arm.

"Xerxes," she calls yet again, but he doesn't move. "My Love please answer me, I'm sorry," Saya feels tears in her eyes. He has never ignored her like this, it hurts so much.

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