-Twelve-

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"Your first impressions on the girl are wondrous. Not only have you threatened her to not speak to her fae friend but you make her sick by forcing her to eat an animal. Brava, Lochelan. Brava!"

A growl emanated deeply within as Alazar clapped at my demise and small errors. Yes, I admit making her eat fish was not the wisest but I will not apologize for telling her to stop associating with that male fae of hers. It made no sense and was a distraction for her. Who needs acquaintances when you have part in running a kingdom?

Then of course making her cry yesterday... That was another mishap I made. My approach was stern but I suppose I had to talk in a more mindful tone. She had made it clear she did not wish to be spoken to like that and I made a mental note in my head that I would try to hold my tongue when ordering her about.

As I sat in one of the meeting chambers, I frowned. Iona was late. After her memory issues were exposed to me I requested General Iona to have the most tight lipped and well trained soldiers guard Estelle. I did not want loose lips in the slim chance that they witnessed her memory problem. If they did speak on it, they would just be put to death promptly. I rather not kill well trained fighters though. 

Iona entered the moment I was ready to complain about her. Her face set like stone as she walked into the chambers, lips pressed tightly together.

"I apologize for keeping you waiting," she murmured as I watched her bow slightly to Alazar who smiled at her. She did the same to me.

It did not matter, I just wanted to see who she had chosen. "Where are the two soldiers?" I questioned, ignoring her apology.

Her nostrils flared and she grit her teeth together. "I am not sure but I was very transparent that they needed to be here. I should have walked them here if they were going go be this late."

Iona was the general of our army. She knew who was capable and who was not. This task should not be complicated for her. She knew her men well and they all feared her. As it should be of course.

After I approved of the guards I would be going to fetch the princess and her sister for the morning meal. Just thinking about seeing her had me anxious.

Would she accept my apology or turn it down? Or maybe, hopefully she would just forget all that had happened. That would be rather convenient.

"Ersen wishes to marry within the month."

Both Alazar and I glanced at Iona. She seemed ready to shift and kill. One could not blame her. Of course he wishes to marry her within the month. His obsession with control is akin to my fathers. "You need to recruit in the village? That will take at least two months."

"Ah yes. Recruiting is much more important than marriage," Alazar added as Iona stared at him with a sly smile. "You are a general. You do not have time for marriage and entertaining a husband. Much too busy."

She cleared her throat, staring at me with a knowing look. "Of course. Prince Loche if you will propose that to the King then that would..be generous."

Of course I would have to speak to my father before Ersin clawed his way into my fathers ear. I had to make sure that Iona didn't kill him. Which she is fully capable of. One wrong move on her part and she is thrown into the dungeons. "I will speak with him later." She bowed her head slightly before we heard knocking at the door.

"You may enter."

The door opened slightly and before I even saw his face I was aware of who this male was. He trained with both Iona and I when we were younger. He came from a noble mother and a bastard father. We had sparred plenty when we were youngbloods. Then an unfortunate set of events transpired and he was stuck doing menial tasks for low level gentry.

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