Chapter Two: part two

Eloran knelt before the King, his head bowed. “I am sorry, your highness. This will not happen again.”

“I was terrified Eloran. Your mother was, too. Why did you do this? Did you really think to find out anything about the Taren bandits?”

He kept looking at the ground. The King, Eloran and Klaes were in a private room. The King did not discipline his children in public. “I thought to find out more information, yes. I did not realize how foolish an endeavor it could be.”

“This is not the first time you’ve said this to me. How do I know you mean it this time?” King Falk looked both fed up and worried.

Eloran heard the worry and the disappointment in his father’s voice and looked up. He placed his hand over his heart. “On my honor, father. I will not do this again.”

The King looked surprised, but it quickly faded. This was the first time Eloran used that phrase. Usually, Eloran muttered an apology quickly, without much conviction. The king nodded. “All right. I believe you. Go see your mother. She was terribly worried.”

Eloran stood, bowed and left the room. King Falk turned to Klaes. His advisor spoke.

“His horse threw a shoe and forced him to stop. A Finaran found him. Her name is Anan. They spent some time together, but they did not sleep together.” He paused as the slightest of frowns creased his brow. It disappeared before the King could see it. “They seem taken with each other.”

A glint of recognition came to the King’s eyes. “Who is she? The name sounds familiar.”

“She is the youngest child of King Nassir of Finara. She is a fierce warrior, which is why she was appointed as the Guardian of the Gate.”

The King nodded in thought. “Did she place a spell on him?”

“No, she would not do that.”

“But he’s willing to change because of one visit with her?”

“Anan has a way with men, sire. They love her, sometimes after just a moment with her. She does not tease, she does not flirt, she exists and men want her.”

The King stared at his loyal advisor for some time before speaking. “You sound very sure of yourself.”

Klaes bowed. “I was her tutor, your highness, before I came here. She turned many heads, but not consciously.”

“Yours perhaps?”

The advisor continued to bow. “She was too young for me, sire.”

King Falk sighed heavily. “Is she dangerous?”

Klaes stood tall, a little offended by the implication. He put aside his displeasure at the thought of Anan with another man and answered the King truthfully. “Quite the contrary, sire. She would be a good match for your son. You have thought about a marriage between our two worlds. This would be to your advantage, and theirs.”

The King sighed heavily again. “Will they see each other again or was this a one time occurrence?”

“They both want to see each other again, but are not sure when that will happen.”

The King nodded. “As long as he does not run off without telling anyone, I am not opposed to it.”

Klaes bowed to the King. “Yes, your grace. Thank you.”

King Falk nodded and turned his thoughts to other matters.

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