Authors: Liia Ann White
Artist: Sour Cherry Designs
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is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
This one’s for the two most important women in my life.
Mum, because you’re the best mother anyone ever had. You’re
my rock, my best friend and I love you more than you’ll ever know. Thank you
supporting me constantly and putting up with everything I put you through.
For Buda because you’re my
and have helped me cope with one of the toughest years of my life so far.
You’re my soul mate, the love of my life and my
I’ll never love anyone like I love you.
And finally to Sara Brookes and Emily
for being my constant motivators, supporters and helpers.
You’re the best friends I could have hoped for – I’m so happy to
have you both in my life for work and real life. You’ve helped me through
everything this year and I’m incredibly thankful for that.
The Water Lands, 1
Princess of the
, and future ruler of the Water Lands.”
As the kingdom’s attendant announced her arrival in the
rolled her eyes. Stating her entire
title each time she entered the room was so ridiculous and unnecessary. But
Father had always been a stickler for rules. He was one of the last remaining
old-school faeries, insisting his lands follow the ancient laws laid down by
had never followed the rules.
Her mother was the enforcer of the family. Since she’d died,
had used her father’s obliviousness to her advantage
and rebelled against him and the kingdom at every chance she got.
Father looked down at her clothing with a frown. She
preferred to wear combat gear, consisting of a skin-tight top, pants, and
versatile boots. The rest of the kingdom would prefer she conform and dress in
something more fitting for a princess, a flowing gown that had no practical use
whatsoever. She was a healer for the army. She needed to be prepared for
“I do wish you’d wear something
has prepared for you, even if only when dining in the court.” Father spoke with
a slight wheeze.
“And I do wish you’d see someone about that cough you have,”
she told him, sticking out her chin stubbornly. “It’s getting worse, Father.”
sat by his side at the head
of the royal dining table. Several heads turned and people gasped when she
spoke to the king with a tone of disrespect. Once again, she rolled her eyes.
She’d been doing a lot of that lately.
“Mind your business,”
snapped at the gawkers. All of them looked down and focused on their own
conversations. She turned back to her father, filled with concern. “Please,
Father. You’re becoming ill. You need to slow down.”
He waved a dismissive hand at her. “Oh, please. I’m
. We don’t get these illnesses you keep referring to.
I’m twelve hundred years old. I’ve had a full life. Maybe it’s the Fates
telling me it’s almost your time to rule the Court.”
A shudder spread through
very being. Although she’d been trained for it her
entire life, she never wanted to be a queen. She hated politics and had also
grown tired of death threats. Ever since she was born, there had been several
assassination attempts. While the majority had some from the
kingdom. Her parents had the traitors executed. She hated being royalty.
“You know how I feel about becoming queen,
The king picked up his fork and waited for a servant to
place a plate of food before him. “We are not discussing this again.
Especially in front of our guests.”
Those who shared the dining room were friends, followers and sexual slaves of
her father’s. Faeries were very sexual beings. They partook in intimate acts in
front of company just as they would eat or drink. While she was no prude,
definitely didn’t approve of women fondling and
kissing her father while she sat inches away.
When a blue-haired vixen ran her hand up the king’s thigh,
stood so quickly her chair flew out behind her. “I’ll
be in my quarters if you need me.” She almost growled the words out.
Father barely seemed to notice, too busy concentrating on
his food and dick to pay attention to her hissy fit.
stormed down the hallway
toward her living quarters, angry at the vulgarity of the woman with her
father. Crossing the bridge over the lake that separated her quarters from the
rest of the castle, she came to an abrupt halt. She was acutely aware of the
fact that she was by herself. She’d never been truly alone. Guards always
followed her. No matter where she went, at least one pair of eyes watched her.
She always sensed them.
But right now, she was completely alone.
called to her magic, feeling the water beneath immediately respond. While faeries
were attuned to nature and able to control all four elements, most of them
specialized in one area. As future queen of the Water Lands, she’d been born attuned
to the element—but that wasn’t her only strength.
As the most successful
in the realm,
wasn’t surprised when the
queen ordered him to kidnap a member of the
royal family. The two kingdoms had been at war for
over ten decades. It began because of a simple territory dispute. Now, each
just wanted to one up the other.
He left the
army to stay
out of the fight he deemed “ridiculous and unnecessary.” Unfortunately he was
labelled as a traitor after that. He struck a deal with the late
king to leave the
so he could lead an anonymous life. The one condition was that he
as an assassin. After all, he’d been the most
successful officer in the
army, rising to
the highest ranks before his fortieth year, a feat that took most eighty-plus
years to accomplish.
Very little surprised him anymore.
He’d always thought he was
immune to the emotion—until he saw his target.
. She was officially
the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen. Long, wavy blonde hair touched the
small of her back and was highlighted with every imaginable colour. Her tall,
curvy body was covered in a tight top, pants, and boots. She dressed like a
warrior rather than royalty. For the first time in his life, he hesitated to
approach a target. In two silent steps, he stood behind her, alert and ready.
The moment he called for the air, the ability he used to knock out his victims,
a wave of power washed over him. With wide eyes, he regarded the princess and
reached for his sword.
Water from the lake where they stood whirled and surrounded
him. His hair whipped around his head and a force of power held him completely
still as the whirlpool closed in. Concentrating, he called his energy forth and
the familiar heat of power rushed through his veins. An invisible shield formed
around his body, encasing him in a cocoon that was virtually impenetrable. The
golden aura spread from his body, pushing the water back a few inches so he
could unsheathe his sword. It took more effort than it should have. She was far
stronger than he’d expected.
The water dropped back into the lake but he kept his shield
up as a precaution. Who knew what else had been kept from him?
“Who are you?” Princess
asked in a low, threatening tone. She’d also drawn her sword and stood in a
defensive stance, a shimmering black aura surrounding her body.
He said nothing.
That was his golden rule—never
to the target. Do the job and get it over with. What happened to
them wasn’t his concern. All he wanted out of the deal was money and anonymity—the
ability to live away from both kingdoms.