(IP) A Long Journey and a Restless Heart
warrior rested in the lush, green grass of the hillside, watching the peach
tinted clouds above her. The pennant she held was torn and battered, the horse’s
face upon it nearly unrecognizable.
ache in her bones was familiar, and normally, she enjoyed it: it was proof of
her hard work. She was one of the Queen’s guard, and one of her best warriors. From
the time that she was twelve years old, all she’d ever wanted was to be one of
the Queen’s knights. But on this solitary hillside in the country, Selene could
not help but wonder if it was time to tell the Queen that she wanted a
horse stood behind her, his long, dark mane fluttering in the breeze. His
familiar weight was a comfort, the scent of hay and apples making her think of
home. Home also made her think of someone else, but she didn’t dare follow that
train of thought. It wasn’t forbidden, exactly, but a knight wasn’t to enter an
official relationship, not unless they asked the Queen’s permission to hang up
heart ached; to distract herself from her conflicted thoughts, she reached for
the satchel that rested against Achilles’s flank, filled with dried meat,
cheese, and fruit. It was a lonely, solitary meal, but it worked. Giving Achilles
an apple and a carrot, she gnawed on her portion of the food, knowing that soon
she would return to the palace, to that familiar feeling of isolation and
loneliness and her.
she might, Kaia could not stifle the memories that pounced whenever she was not
fighting or exploring, and she could not ignore the rush of heat and love that
lived on inside of her heart, despite the distance between them.
stared at the palace in the distance, gilded gold and pink in the coming dusk.
A mad, crazy, impossible idea began to form inside of her mind, too reckless to
bring to fruition. Or was it? The scene unfolded in her mind like a dream.
rode Achilles to the palace gates, waiting for the door to lower and grant her
passage. Rose was standing in the great hall, clothed in a gown the rich color
of sapphire, the hair she’d been named for piled in a chignon at the nape of
her long neck. She was deep in conversation with a male courtier, and as Kaia
walked up to her, she felt a reckless rush of jealousy, and had to resist
Rosie, I’m home,” Kaia said, walking over to her, clasping her beloved’s hands.
“I’ve come to take you away from here.”
blinked, her brow wrinkled, and she stared up at Kaia as if in a dream.
Kaia? You mean it?” She whispered, in a high, flutelike voice. “Don’t toy with
my affections. And The Queen—”
give up my knighthood if it means being with you, Rosie.”
couldn’t take your career from you.”
course, I love my profession, Rosie. But I love you more.”