*THIS BOOK CONTAINS GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF ASSAULT, MURDER, RAPE, DEATH AND SUICIDAL TENDENCIES*
‘Primefyah. I’m not a primefyah. No way in hell’
She lay on the thin mattress on the floor, her hand resting on her belly, rubbing it absentmindedly.
‘you should be here for this, Logaen. I can’t do this alone.’
She blinked her eyes, stopping tears from forming. She hadn’t cried since she was thrown in prison. Not since she watched the love of her life die right in front of her, his body being kicked over a cliff.She had no happiness left, no hope. Just bitterness. Rage. Anger.
When she found out she was with child she became hopeful, knowing that she would have a piece of Logaen forever, but it didn’t take away the pain of knowing he would never see the face of their child, hold them, watch them grow. She closed her eyes as hot tears rolled, which made her angry.
“fucking pathetic” she whispered to herself
She felt a flutter in her belly and couldn’t help but smile, rubbing it.
“Not you little one. Mama is the pathetic one.”
She couldn’t help but think about tiny fingers, and toes grabbing and kicking. She hoped it would look like Logaen, not her. She wanted a baby with its fathers eyes and smile. She didn’t want a Gemlish like her, she wanted a little Logaen.
Her sex throbbed and she groaned, trying to ignore it.
‘I’m not peeing again’
She tried to sleep, thinking if she pretended the feeling would go away. But it didn’t. She rolled sitting up and took a moment to try to stand walking over to the bucket on the floor. She sighed, hiking the dress up revealing the scrapes on her legs from the dress, wincing as the fabric scratched against already open scrapes. She squatted over the bucket, holding onto the wall with one hand.
‘How fucking humiliating’
“Are you really pregnant?”
Samina jumped at the voice, and rolled her eyes in annoyance, ignoring Jules.
“I know you didn’t just disappear, Alpheda”
Samina raged at the title, “I am not the Alpheda.” She hissed
“I know, you’re Primefyah.”
“Will you stop!? I’m not a Primefyah! I’m not leading an army, or a rebellion! I just want..” Her voice cracked
“Want what?” Jules got up from her mattress and walked to the bars. “Hey, what do you want?”
“To die.” She whispered
“Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that, not even as a joke, Samina.”
“You don’t get it. Everything I’ve been through… I thought… I thought I was finally happy. I thought I found my home, my place, my love. But it was torn from me. I can’t do this. I can’t be your inspiration, can’t fight for you. Just fucking leave me alone.”
Samina walked back over and sat down on the mattress, hands on her belly.
“He burned my village to the ground.”
“My family was slaughtered. My husband, my sisters, my parents. I was pregnant when it happened. I lost the pregnancy afterwards.” Jules was quiet for a moment, “You’re pregnant?”
“Then you have something to fight for. That child inside of you needs you, just like so many others in the realm.”
“It doesn’t even matter now, I’ll be dead tomorrow” Samina sighed, laying back
“We’ll see about that one… Primefyah.”
Samina turned her head, “what do you-”
The guard pounded on the cell door with a blade, causing her to wake with a jolt.
“Get up, bitch”
She sat up as he opened the door and stared at the man.
“Why?” She asked,
He grabbed her arm, pulling her up to her feet,
“I fucking said get up!” He pushed her forward, causing her to stumble, and almost fall.
“Hey! Don’t you fucking touch her, asshole!” Jules yelled from across her cell.
“Watch your mouth, slut” another guard said
Samina was pushed forward to the second guard, where her wrists were shackled with heavy metal cuffs connected with chain.
“What is going on?” Samina questioned.
The response she got was a slap across the face.
“Don’t fucking touch her! She’s pregnant!” Jules screamed, fighting to get at the guard as she was shackled and pushed forward. The guard smirked and punched her in the gut, causing her to let out a groan and topple forward a bit.
“Hey!” Samina cried, “Leave her be!”
She was pushed forward, where they were joined by several other prisoners, all shackled as guards pushed them forward out a heavy wooded door into the sunlight.
The light burned her eyes as she was used to being in the dimness of the prison for so long, and she had to squint to see her surroundings.
There was a shackled man in front of her, so she was grateful she wouldn’t be the one bumping into things. She heard lots of commotion, and as her eyes adjusted to the light she took in the sights. There were carts, lots of people bantering, selling their goods, people pulling wagons by their horses or mules. Chickens sweated in cages, or running loose, and dogs, some mangy, running around trying to get scraps of food from vendors. The people looked like peasants, but they weren’t in a village. No, this was a capitol city. She could tell by the high walls surrounding it, although this area looked… poor. The rich never did seem to care about the poor. There were huts and shacks surrounding the are as far she could see. This wasn’t the interior of the city. There were no stone roads, no extravagant homes, nothing to show that this was a capitol city. This was the peasants row. Beggers, slaves, farmers were the occupants here
Beggers pleaded with others asking for coins, food, anything, children ran around barefoot chasing each other and dogs while their mothers haggled for goods, the smell was nauseating, manure, rot, and sewage all mixed together was incredibly overwhelming.
The prisoners were pushed into a covered wagon roughly and the door slammed shut behind them, the only light coming from the barred windows on either side.
There were twelve of them crammed into the small space, some sitting on benches that lined the sides, the others forced to sit on the floor of the wagon.
“You okay there?” Jules nodded her head from her seat across from Samina
Samina nodded to her, although she didn’t feel okay. Her stomach was turning summersaults from the bumpy ride, and she blew out a breath trying to settle it.
‘Oh god, do not vomit’
“You don’t look so good.” A man with long dark hair and scars and tattoos over his bare chest said, looking up at her from the floor.
“I’m…” She covered her mouth, “I’m fine.”
Another man scoffed, “If your’re gunna hurl, aim the other way.”
She rolled her eyes and looked out the window, seeing a fence and large gate. The wagon stopped as men on the fence motioned, and the gate was opened. The wagon continued, entering the center of the city which was a far cry from the exterior.
Terra cotta houses lined the cobble stone road, where woman in elaborate flowing dresses walked with children in fancy clothes, men wore rich suits and cloaks. The aroma of freshly baked breads and spiced foods filled the air, a sharp contrast to the people on the outskirts. Samina couldn’t help but shake her head.
“Look at them” Jules shook her head in disgust, “All those people living in poverty just outside these walls, and they act as though they don’t even exist.”
“The rich easily forget what they can’t see. And what they can’t see, they act as though doesn’t exist” An older man said
“The rich get richer” the man with long hair said
“And the poorer get poor” Samina answered
“They suffer at the hands of the rich. At the hands of the Gyius.”
“Wait.” Samina turned back to look out the window, “Is this… Are we in Lavantre?”
Jules nodded, “Yup. The capitol of Theyrion. Welcome to the Gyius’ dwelling. Welcome to your trial”
Samina sat gobsmacked as she saw they were approaching a large white terra cotta building, looming over the square of the city with massive towers, large stained glass windows, gold lions, and gargoyles and the faces of the gods decorated the sides of the building. Large long steps ascended the building where large oak doors sat, closed.
The wagon stopped in front of the steps, and soon the door opened where guards pulled the prisoners out into the city. Spectators had formed and were laughing at, booing, and tormenting them. Samina was the last out and she was greeted with loud booing, people yelling, screaming, some throwing pebbles.
“Let the bitch burn!”
“Kill her and that unborn bastard!”
“May the Gyius stone her to death!”
Samina grimaced, shielding her stomach from the stones. Although there were a few who showed sympathy.
“Show her Mercy!”
“She is with child, the Gyius will be fair!”
They were ushered in the building, the doors closed behind them, muffling the cries of the people. They were brought forward into a great hall with marble tiled floors, white walls, dark wood pews, where some spectators sat, people of nobility, she assumed and a long table with seven men sitting. The prisoners were lined up one in front of the other, and one at a time, were pushed forward to stand trial.
She recognized Archbishop Holdae, and Vizier Deacon, but not the rest of the men, who were clearly high priests of the Gyius.
‘The seven holy men’
Holdae sat at the middle of the table, a scowl of disgust on his face as the first man was pushed forward.
“Thalonious of Banglador. You stand before us on charges of theft,” Holdae started, “How do you plea?”
“Innocent, holy one.” Thalonious bowed his head, “I was simply trying to catch the thief”
The holy men looked at each other, nodding.
“Very well,” Deacon stated, “You are nearby released from your charges”
The next man, was found guilty and sentenced to a work camp. The trials went on, and soon Jules was up.
“Juliette of Manaheim. You stand before us on charges of assault. How do you plea?”
“Self defence!” She hissed, “The man was assaulting my little sister, attempting to rape her!”
“Hearsay!” Holdae bellowed, slamming his gavel.
“You are sentenced to three years imprisonment.”
“That’s bullshit! You sexist bastard!” She was pulled away by guards.
Samina was grabbed by the arm and marched forward, where she recognized Laemen in attendance, along with Halaria, who looked at her with a pained expression, her eyes red. Laemen gave her a slight, quick sympathetic look, but maintained his composer, comforting his mother, careful not to show any emotion.
Holdae scowled, an evil smirk across his face, as the spectres all sat taller, craning their necks.
“Ah, there she is.” Holdae started, “The Gemlish Girl”
There was a low mutter flowing through the spectators, whispering amongst themselves,
“The Alpheda of the Realm…” Holdae smirked. “You, Samina, Alpheda, are charged with treason, adultery, attempted murder, conspiracy to disobey your husband, the Alpha King, and crimes against the Gyius.”
She heard a sniffle and turned to see Halaria, holding a handkerchief to her mouth. Samina turned back swallowing hard, her head held high.
“You bear the bastard of the man you were having an affair with. Do you deny these charges?”
She thought for a moment, as Lucius appeared from a side door. He looked like he had lost weight, tired. The scar across his throat quite prominent, although healed. He smirked when he saw her disheveled appearance, her dirty, messy hair, her feet mull of dried mud, her skin red and scratched, the dark circles under her eyes, and the gaunt look of her face. She lifted her head, narrowed her eyes at Holdae said said,
“I do not deny these charges, for they are all true.”
A wave of shocked gasps and whispers filled the air, Halaria closed her eyes in pain.
“Are you pleading guilt?” Holdae asked in confusion
“Yes. I am guilty of all charges”
The crowds gasps and words drew louder, and Holdae brought his gavel down.
“Silence!” He ordered, “Well then, this has made the decision easy.” He looked at the other holy men, who all nodded in agreement before turning back to Samina.
“Samina of Arthouros, Alpheda of the Realm of Theyrion, I herby declare you guilty of all charges”
Saminas’ mouth went dry as her heart raced in her chest, fear filling her lungs.
“You are sentenced to death. In three hours time, you will hang by the neck until you are dead in the square of the capitol for all to witness.”
Halaria screamed as the spectators gasped and awed.
Saminas’ mouth dropped in shock and disbelief, her eyes glistened as guards pulled her away.
She sat in a cold room in a tower alone and in silence. Shock. Fear. Acceptance. She ran her hand over her belly as she stared out the window at the gallows where she would be hung, swallowing hard, blowing out a slow shaky breath, as a crowd had already gathered. She turned from the window, fiddling with a strand of hair, trying to calm her nerves. There were footsteps outside the room, and the clatter of keys as the door opened.
Halaria stepped in, guards closing the door behind her. The women looked at each other, before Halaria ran to her, wrapping her in her arms,
“Oh liebling.” She sobbed, “What did you do?”
Samina allowed the tears to fall in Halaria’s embrace,
“I’m so sorry” she sobbed out
Halaria shushed her, trying to sooth her, “You must be strong, do not let them see your fear when you go out to…” She closed her eyes, “You must show strength.”
Halaria placed a hand over Samina’s belly, sadly.
“My grandchild… All I would have left of my baby..” Halaria sobbed into the handkerchief. “Please, tell me what happened, why he… please” she begged
“Lucius…” Samina calmed herself, “Logaen challenged him because… because of me. We all thought he was going to win, and then… Lucius pulled a hidden blade. He cheated. He drew the bald into Logaen and kicked him off a cliff.” Samina sobbed, remembering every detail. How Logaen cried out her name, how he had asked her to flee, and how she had ignored his plea, instead seeking revenge and failing miserably at it.
Halaria drew in a breath, her lips into a fine line nodding slightly.
Samina turned from her, “I am so sorry Halaria! He would be alive if I…”
Halaria turned her head back, forcing Samina to look at her,
“Samina, liebling. My son loved you.” She whispered, “Nothing could stop him from fighting for you. Do not, for one second, let your thoughts drift to feeling responsible for his death.” She caressed Samina’s cheek lovingly,
“You were what made him happy. I have never seen him as happy as he was with you since Lydiene died. They were so close, Lydiene being only one year older than him. I thought that spark in him had disappeared so long ago, but you brought it back. Lucius…” Halaria’s voice deepened slightly, “Has always been difficult, mean. He was the second born, but even before Laemen was chosen to join the Gyius he showed signs of being an Alpha. He was always cruel to his siblings, the staff, and that only worsened when Andreous died.” She said her husbands name with sadness, as though the very thought of him and his death broke her heart. “If I’m being quite honest, Lucius has always… scared me.”
Samina looked at Halaria.
“I love him, as a mother must love her children, but I do not like him, or the man he has become. Even when Elisabetta was alive, he was cruel, but so was she. When she died…” Halaria shook her head, sighing.
The door opened and a guard stepped in,
Halaria gasped and grabbed Samina’s face, kissing her cheeks as she cried. Samina held onto Halaria.
“Halaria, please. My sister Osilda, please get word to her that I love her! And my parents… Tell them I forgive them, my siblings too, promise me!”
“I will, I promise”
The guard grabbed Samina’s arm, pulling her from Halaria’s embrace.
“Wait!” Halaria rumbled through the folds of her dress, pleading with the guard, “Wait. One moment, please!” She begged
The guard sighed, and nodded releasing Samina. Halaria pulled the bracelet that Logaen had given Samina from her dress, and smiled sadly.
“It was with your things, I bribed a prison guard to give it to me.”
Samina smiled through her tears and held her wrist out as Halaria clasped it. The guard grabbed her arm again and pulled her from the room, Halaria kissed her fingertips to Samina, and as Samina descended down the steps, she saw Halaria fall to her knees.
The crowd booed and laughed as she was escorted through them to the gallows.
“May your body rot!”
“Mercy upon your soul!”
Samina walked through them with her head held high, no sign of expression on her face, but her heart was racing in fear as she climbed the steps up to the gallows.
The executioner stood awaiting her, as the guard released his grip. She stepped forward, swallowing hard, facing the crowd. Holdae stood on the platform with Deacon, Lucius in the crowd with soldiers surrounding him, held no expression.
She noticed several people wearing long capes, and did a double take on one person in particular. A man who turned away, but not before she saw a beard and long hair peeking from the robe, light in colour. She saw another, this one seemed to be that of a tall woman, she could make out the shape of her breasts, but she didn’t have light hair, no, it was dark, braided. The people throughout the crown carried what looked to be canes. The executioner put the rope around her neck, tightening it as Holdae spoke.
“Samina of Arthouros, Alpheda of the Realm, do you have any last words?”
She thought for a moment before answering, but before she did she heard someone whispering in the crowd,
“Primefyah” one of the cloaked individuals whispered
“The only words I have are these. Vengeance will fall upon the Alpha King for the murder of his brother”
The crowd gasped and whispered
“Primefyah” now more people were whispering, chanting
The sound of wood hitting the ground in unison with the chanting,
“Primefyah.” Boom! “Primefyah” Boom!
The chanting got louder, causing the crowd to look around, a woman screamed, a baby cried as the chanting got louder
“PRIMEFYAH, PRIMEFYAH, PRIMEFYAH!”
A man yelled out a battle cry, and the cloaked figures yelled out,
They pulled weapons and attacked the soldiers, the guards, anybody. People ran, screaming as they tried to flee, some being struck, some being killed. Samina looked around in shock as the cloaked figures, clearly trained fighters, took down the guards and soldiers that didn’t flee. The executioner, distracted, wasn’t paying attention as Samina freed herself from the nous around her neck, and walked to the edge of the platform, where she heard the distinct sound of horse hooves, thudding against the stones.
She turned to see a familiar figure riding on the horse. His hair had grown out, evident by the bun it was in, a short beard covered his jaw, and he looked bigger, stronger, more muscular. He wore battle gear dark in colour, a sword in one hand, slicing through soldiers who tried to stop him. She felt hopeful and happy at the sight of him, unable to hide the smile creeping across her mouth as he held his free hand out, his horse running by the platform. She took the hint and started to run backward across the platform, her own hand outstretched. The man grabbed her forearm, and she grabbed his as she was pulled onto the horse behind the man, immediately grabbing him around the waist as he pushed his horse farther. The cloaked figures all started running running after them, taking out soldiers and citizens along the way.
The gate was open, the bodies of the soldiers who were watching it lay hanging over the edge, their throats slit, or along the ground, the abdomens gutted with their insides sprawled out all over the ground. Samina winced at the sight, turning away.
As the exited the city, more people sat on horses, and the cloaked figures who had been running jumped onto empty horses, and they all rode off as soldiers attempted to follow.
They rode through the forest for what seemed like hours, as the sun was setting, before coming to a clearing where Samina was overwhelmed by the sight.
Hundreds of men and women in battle gear stood around fires, tents, and horses and dogs chattering. Her mouth dropped. The man stopped the horse, and where someone helped her down. The man on the horse jumped down, and smirked at her, before holding his arms out,
“Well, what do think?”
Samina threw her arms around him, overcome with emotion, and the man laughing returning the embrace. She pulled away and looked at him,