Prologue: A Queen is Born
By the gods, woman! I’m not blind! I can seet thatshe’s not mine!” King Rekzor roared, pointing furiously at the babe in his wife’s arms. “That, that thing is an abomination!”
Crimson eyes flashing, Queen Ignis met his fury with the hot blaze of her own. “Abomination or not, she is our daughter!” The ‘our’ was stressed so fiercely that Rekzor could only stare in gaping silence.
How could she be dumb enough to think that he would believe her? The evidence of her infidelity was staring him right in the face! No child of his would have blue eyes. He was a fire elementalist, born into one of the oldest clans. Red eyes had been dominant in his family for millennia – as they had been in his wife’s line! For the babe to have blue eyes, the bitch must have cheated.
Rekzor growled. He had half the mind to strangle her before she could regain her strength. But the other half, blast it, was still madly in love with her. Even when faced with solid proof, the King couldn’t bring himself to punish his queen. Gods knew why; she fucking deserved it.
Snarling, he shook his head in disgust and turned away. He couldn’t look at them for a moment longer. Her eyes pleaded with him, while the baby’s called him a fool.
Stalking to the door, Rekzor addressed not his queen, but the midwife.
“There was no birth here, tonight,” he snapped. “Do you understand? Our baby was born without breath.”
“Rekzor!” Queen Ignis shouted.
Turning, he created a ball of fire in his hand. His eyes were as dark as his soul, expressing the depth of his anger. “Shall I burn it now? Shall I toss this ball at its head!”
He was spitting with fury. His heart was breaking. He hated that fucking babe.
And yet, his wife had the audacity to pull the bastard tighter to her chest. “You will do no such thing! She is our daughter!”
“She is no daughter of mine!” The fireball got hotter, brighter. It twisted with his pain, fed on the anger boiling inside him. “She has blue eyes!” he roared. “She will have the power of water – an ability neither of us has!”
“I did not sleep with a water elementalist!” Queen Ignis’ entire body flushed, her skin burning with the force of her own rage. She was one of the very few fire elementalists with the ability to turn her whole body into a weapon. Most, like he, could only control it through their hands.
“Do not lie to me!” If he threw the ball, Ignis wouldn’t be hurt. The babe would though. It would cook alive, not yet old enough to smother its flames. Oh gods, was he tempted.
“Don’t you dare,” she growled. The baby started to cry, the room getting too hot for its fragile flesh.
King Rekzor sneered in disgust. Still, he could not bring himself to kill the babe. Ignis would never forgive him.
He sucked in a harsh breath at that, wanting so much to scream. She should be the one begging for his forgiveness. She was the one that had robbed him of an heir by sleeping with a fucking water elementalist! She was the one who had broken his trust, who had broken his heart.
Shaking his head, he closed his fist. The flames snuffed out as if they’d never been. “Get rid of it tonight,” the King ordered. “Or I swear upon Awryn’s last breath, I will burn the bastard alive.”
Not waiting for an answer, Rekzor stalked into the hall and slammed the door shut behind him. He waited until he’d rounded the corner before dropping to his knees. With a heart-wrenching scream, he threw his arms out wide. Fire erupted from his palms, licking down the hall in testament to his anger and pain.
He didn’t stop until he heard it – the solemn tolling of bells. Breathing deeply, he then dropped his arms to his sides. Fire no longer poured from his palms, no longer screamed of his agony. For the bells had a message, the most beautiful message of them all: the bastard was dead.
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