“You know our job, right?”
Fire lit around Njemile’s fingers. She put them out in a fist and brushed her palms on the plates of her armor.
Raising his hands, Wikum laughed. The metal bobbles of his satchel jingled as his stomach moved up and down. “Forgive me for asking,” he whispered. “And people tell me my temper is short.”
It was a relief to see him walk back to the throne room, leaving Njemile alone in her space. He was another one of them, the people Avalrin had managed to dig his claws into. With Queen Zira withdrawing from the world, the bastard was blessed with opportunity.
The Queen Consort refused to see the queen since the day her deposition was decided. Though Zira had made every effort to be together, those efforts were soon depleted and a cloud took over her vibrant yellow eyes. Like a storm crowding the sun, remorse consumed Queen Zira and with her retreat, the days passed and the black moon rose.
It was an unpleasant task Njemile faced.
Shaking her head, she rubbed her eyes and turned from the hallway. Something like fear, a shiver of hot and cold tendrils spiraled up her spine as her fingers wrapped around the door to her room. It was another day she would push through the weight of the air and try to breathe normally. Her jaw hurt from fighting a frown. Her eyes burned from lack of sleep. Yet, there was a pull, an undeniable draw to the room, smelling those summer orchids and winter fox tulips that Duci filled her baths with. The feeling of a warm body next to her was comforting, being capable of hearing another person’s heart beating against her own chest made Njemile feel alive.
And it tore her soul to shreds.
With the dragging of her leather against the iron handle of the door, her knuckles pinching skin between material, Njemile pushed the door open, took a deep breath and straightened her back. She stepped into the room, closed the door and latched it.
-LionHead Rose by Xaneria Ann