The After Effects

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The Follower's Back

The click of my heels was the only sound that filled the hallway as I approached the huge doors. Locke had followed me most of the way to the Throne Room, before he peeled off to talk to Julie.

I nodded to the guards, who bowed a greeting before opening the door for me.

I hate when people bow to me. I rolled my eyes as I marched down the carpeted walk that led to the throne.

“Someone’s in a good mood.” The King mused as he saw me roll my eyes.

“Someone’s a liar.” I wasted no time in getting to the point.

“Oh?” Dark blue eyes smirked in amusement.

I paused feet away from the throne, glaring at the prick on the throne. “You and my brother think you guy’s are so slick.” I crossed my arms.

The door opened behind me and in stepped my brother.

“Oh shoot, did I miss the accusation?” Locke jested. “I ran the whole way here for nothing.” He stepped up next to me, his frame towering next to mine. The bastard wasn’t even breathing heavy or red-faced, the King must keep his guards in shape.

The King chuckled as he faced my brother. “I’m afraid you did.”

King Samuel clapped his hand as he stood. “I’m glad you’re both here. I would like to discuss some things with you two while I wait for another.”

My brother and I followed the King as he led through a side door in the Throne Room and down the hallway into his meeting room.

A huge round table filled most of the room, surrounded by fifteen empty chairs while a huge map coated most of the table.

That’s weird, I thought he only had thirteen advisers, including himself. Locke being one of them. Why the extra two?

“Is this about the North?” Locke asked. His usual brotherly voice was gone, replaced with a business only voice.

“Yes.” The King said, rounding the table and facing us while placing both of his hands on the map. “The Vikings are encroaching, which is an act of war. The Northern King refuses to do anything about it.” The King gestured to us. “You two know him better than anyone... What should I do?”

Whoa Whoa Whoa. The King of the South is asking for our advice? I was genuinely shocked that he came to us.

“How close are they?” Locke asked, his head tilting as he looked at the map.

The King gestured to me, causing them both to turn to me.

“I spotted them as far as two hours south of the Black Forest,” I said, reaching over to gesture the general area on the map.

Locke cursed. “That close?” He turned to me and I nodded. “Any camps?”

“A few, but they were completely picked up beside the fire pits. I don’t think they’re just pillaging and plundering for fun. I think they’re running low on resources.” I explained.

Thoughtful looks crossed both of their faces as they thought about what I said.

“Or they’re stocking up.,” Locke suggested. “Preparing for.. something.” The implication was obvious.

War. The Vikings were readying the Northern Territory for war. Taking resources from others and hoarding them in the North.

“We don’t know for sure, but I think that’s a safe assumption.” I nodded.

Locke and I looked to the King who was deep in thought.

“The last thing we need is another war. More death and destruction.” The King said, shaking his head. “Declaring war on them would cause so much harm.”

I sighed. “I don’t think we should declare war yet. Send spies, or whatever it is you guys do to collect data, but we need to be sure that-”

I was cut off as the door to the meeting room opened. With my back to the door, I saw the King’s and Locke’s expression change.

Both of them wore grins.

Uh oh, this can’t be good.

“What is she doing here?” A deep voice spoke. A familiar deep voice.

I turned around to meet icy blue eyes and felt my stomach drop.

The cloaked figure from the bar two days ago, stood in front of me. His burning blue eyes staring into me.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, copying him like I had at the bar.

“I would like to introduce my son, Soren.” The King spoke from behind me as the Prince of the South stared daggers into me.

The male reached up and pulled his hood down.

Two things happened.

One, I swear my world slowed as I looked at the hottest man I’d ever seen. Like if the King is hot, then the Prince of the South is a Norse god.

Two, I realized that it was possible to hate somebody on sight.

The Prince had his father's dirty blonde hair. Which was styled the same as Locke's hair. In fact, the prince shared a lot of his father's features, the biggest difference being the King's dark blue eyes and the Prince's bright, icy blue eyes. Considering the rest of his body was covered by that black cloak, it was hard to tell, but from what I could see he was extremely chiseled and built.

"Why is she here?" Soren seethed, again repeating his earlier question.

"I take it you two have already met?" The King grinned, obviously loving the animosity between us.

"Sadly." I frowned. Rolling Soren's seething self of my shoulders, I turned back to the map.

If I ignore him, he has to go away... Right?

Locke gave me a look that said, we aren't done talking about this. I brushed him off too and went back to talking.

"Where was I?" I clapped my hands. "Oh right. We need to be sure that their stocking up. They could just be running low on supplies, but judging by the people we're talking about, I wouldn't have high hopes for that." Locke smirked at me as he realized what I was doing.

The King nodded his head, though I could tell he was barely listening, his attention on his son.

Soren stood by the door, still glaring daggers at me.

With a sweet smile and a flutter of my eyelashes, I turned to the Prince. "Do you need something?" I quoted him, word for word, from the bar.

Finally taking those piercing blue eyes off of me, Soren turned to his father. "Who is she?"

"An adviser." The King said simply.

Soren narrowed his eyes at his father, noticing the vague answer.

I couldn't help but wonder why the King didn't call me by my title for once. Odd.

"Now if you are done acting like a scorned child, we have important matters to discuss." The King told his son.

"I read all of your letters," Soren said, while taking his cloak off.

"There's been new developments." The King said, before turning to Locke.

They launched into a discussion, which I somehow faded out of as my eyes became glued on Soren, or rather his steller body.

Powerful thighs were fit into black leather pants, a white pirate-like shirt was tucked into the pants, the top unbuttoned, showcasing his chiseled chest. The shirt was rolled up at the elbows, showing the veins and muscles in his forearms. Tattoos peaked out of his shirt, on his chest, forearms, and neck. The bits of ink showing were stunningly beautiful. My eyes drifted up and down him several times before I realized I was staring.

It got worse as I met his eyes again, which were smirking at me.

"You've got a staring problem," Soren said simply, calling me out.

"And you've got an attitude problem." I rolled my eyes and turned back to the King and Locke. Who were both watching the exchange with amusement.

"Is that all for today?" I asked the King, who nodded.

"I should catch Soren up on everything." The King said.

"Wonderful." I silently told Locke that I was going, him seemingly on the same page. "Maybe you should teach him some manners," I suggested to the King before leaving, not waiting for a response.

Locke followed me out, waiting to laugh until we had made our way down the hall a ways.

I couldn't help but chuckle a little too.

Once Locke got control of himself, he turned to me. "I don't know what you did to that man, but wow he hates you."

"Don't worry, the feeling is reciprocated," I said. "Now, you wanna do archery?" I asked my brother. I need to shoot a straw target before I accidentally shoot a more hot, more princely, and more alive target.

This is going to be an interesting change of events. I sighed.

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