I panted, my breath coming in harsh, painful gasps, but I kept moving across the slippery cobble. A shout rang out from behind me, my heart wrenching as I didn’t stop, didn’t look back. I rounded a corner, skidding on the snow, and instantly crashed into the Prince. As I blinked away stars, warm arms wrapped around me, pulling me close. Soft lips pressed against my ear, whispering the three words that ignited a battle.
“I’ll kill you.”
Sparks flew in the deep blue darkness, the familiar crash of swords colliding ringing through the night. Tiny snowflakes adorned Basil’s locks, making my stomach flip as I reluctantly deflected another blow. A sigh created a puff of mist as I dodged and defended all his strikes easily. As our blades clashed, both of us pushing against one another, I caught a glimpse of his face. Fire blazed in his eyes, burning furiously, his teeth gritted in a desperate attempt for revenge, though past the fire, I saw reluctance, and even worry. Entranced, I gazed into his eyes longingly, and he took this to his advantage. He gave a huge shove, tripping me over, watching me thump onto the hard cobblestone and pinning me down with the tip of his sword as he kicked my sword away. His face was angry, eyebrows knitted and mouth pulled in a thin line, but there was another emotion hidden away, deep in his soul. Fear came crawling forward, fear he couldn’t kill me, fear he would lose even more by doing so, fear his brother was dead, fear he was a coward, a terrible leader. His gaze never left mine as we stared intently at each other, thoughts whirring through our minds.