Liosa & Artair 3

Chapter One

The scream was enough to chill blood and it had Liosa and Artair jumping to their feet as a maid came running out of the castle and over to them. “Hurry, you have to hurry.” She said out of breath, a look of terror on her face.

“Calm down, what’s going on?” Artair asked.

“It’s your father my lord, he’s gone nuts. I…I had to lock him in his office, he shifted and he’s ripping the room apart. Your mother and little Nicholas are in there. I’m sorry.”

Artair was running and Liosa was close behind, both of their hearts slamming against their chest as they made it to his father’s study. The door was closed and they could hear growls and crashing coming from the other side. There were guards standing there, swords drawn. “What happened?”

“We were told he was drinking his tea when he suddenly lost it, sir.” One of them answered. “We want to go in, but we don’t know where the young prince and your mother are located.”

“You said he was drinking his tea?” Liosa asked.

“Yes ma’am.”

“We have to go in there, Nicholas is in there.” Artair said as he reached for the door and Liosa grabbed him.

“Wait, just wait. We can’t just go charging in. It could make things worse, he might hurt them.”

“Liosa, he…I…”

“Let me.”

“He might…”

“He won’t, trust me.”

“I do, just please let me stay close.”

Liosa gave him a quick kiss then grabbed the door handle and pushed it open. They could smell blood and see the room had been destroyed. Standing on top of the desk was Maol in wolf form and he jumped down the moment he saw them, growling, his fur standing on end. “Una, are you and Nicholas okay?” Liosa asked.

“U…under the desk. He…he bit me…he didn’t mean too.” They heard a whimpering response.

“Okay just stay there.” Liosa slowly moved towards the enraged wolf. “Hey father in law, it’s okay, everything’s okay, it’s not your fault. You need to calm down though because Nicholas and Una are scared and you don’t want them to be scared.”

He growled again and Liosa worried about Una’s wound. She just had to hope he had enough self control not to hurt her too badly. “come on, Una is hurt and though you’re famously the cold hearted king I know you love her very much. Your grandson needs to be checked out too so we can be sure he’s okay, calm down and let us help you. You’re old and wise, I know you can get yourself through whatever haze you’re in” he whimpered, seeming to struggle to make himself go into the corner and lay down. It took awhile but he laid down, giving Liosa the chance to get Una and her son out of there.

“That’s a good uh boy.” She said once they were safely out of the room. She moved slowly over to her father in law, her hand held out as she soothed him. “Can you change back for me Maol?” He whimpered, looking confused and for the first time scared. “Easy, it’s okay.” She got down low, letting her fingers move over the top of his head. “There see, it’s alright.”

“What in the hell is going on?” Artair asked.

“I don’t know, but the guard said he was drinking his tea.” She answered as she gently stroked Maol’s head.

Artair found the empty cup under the desk and sniffed it. There was something off about it. “I think something was put in here.”

“Do you think it was the maid?”

“No, I mean I hope not. Everyone here is so loyal to us.”

“Maybe once he’s able to shift back, he’ll tell us.”

“You should go check on Nicholas, I’ll stay here with him my love.”

“Just be gentle with him, I don’t think he’s all there yet.”

Artair nodded and Liosa hurried out, happy to see Una being tended to and no wounds on Nicholas. “Mom!” he exclaimed and ran into her arms “baby”

“Grandpa really hurt grandma” he said with watery eyes. “I’ll be okay, he didn’t mean to honey” Una said soothingly. Her main worry right now was that Nicholas didn’t become afraid of his grandfather because of this. She had been Maols wife many years and while he wasn’t always the sweetest husband she knew something had to be off with him, he would never hurt her on purpose or any of his other family members. Liosa walked over and asked the healer tending to her “is she going to be okay?”

“He could have done much worse to her. She’s going to be just fine”

“see Nicholas” Una said and he hugged his mother, burying his head in her shoulder. They all knew it would be hard for him to understand since he was still so little. Barabal spoke up “Maybe he needs to be taken away from all this for now. I have him Liosa” Liosa handed her son off who seemed fine leaving with his great grandma.

“What exactly happened, Una?”

“Maol was just sitting there finishing up some paperwork while I played with Nicholas. He promised to accompany us out to the garden when he was finished. The maid brought his tea like she always does and he started drinking it like he always does. He suddenly started shaking and grabbed his head. I could hear the sound of his bones popping as the change was forced over him. I knew something was wrong, but I touched him anyway and he grabbed onto my arm. Nicholas screamed and he let go and just started destroying the room. I couldn’t get to the door so I just grabbed Nicholas and got under the desk. I’ve never seen him like that, ever.” She started crying and Liosa sat down and hugged her. “He didn’t mean it, I swear.”

“I know, he looked confused and upset. He’s probably going to beat himself up over hurting you and scaring Nicholas.” She did her best to comfort her mother in law. “Does he have any enemies?”

Una pulled back. “I don’t know, I mean he’s a king, he could have plenty. His father and grandfather could have had some. I feel so useless.”

“Why?”

“Because I never showed an interest in the politics side of things, before the boys were born and before you and Artair married, he would say it wasn’t my place, but I should have started learning after you came here. I’ve been so content to let him do as he pleases, but I should…I should’ve…”

“Shh, it’s okay, everything’s okay. This isn’t anyone’s fault. We’re waiting for him to change back to see if he can tell us anything.” Una just nodded, looking more distraught that she couldn’t help her husband. “Tell me, do you know if there are archives of the kingdom’s history? Notes of notable moments, stuff like that?”

Artair finally got his father to shift back and his first concern was Una “where is she, is she okay?” he sounded almost panicky. While it didn’t surprise him as much anymore it was still weird when his father showed any emotion, even about his wife. “I think she’s fine dad. Are you sure you’re fine before I take you to her”

“I’m fine, I need to see her.” Artair took his father to his mother whom he wrapped in a hug. They all really knew he was upset then to be seen giving public affection. “I’m okay, I’m sorry I caused you to hurt me”

“Una” He said emotionally then finally asked “where is my grandson?”

“With grandma, she thought it would be better to get him away from the situation for a bit.”

“He must be terrified of me.” Artair had never seen his father look so beaten down and heartbroken and Una pulled him into her arms. “Careful my love, you’re wound.”

“Just stay here with me, I need you close.”

“Alright.”

“Dad, do you have any idea what was in that cup?”

“It’s a toxin assassins used back in your great grandfather’s day. You poisoned one shifter and he or she could take out an entire room of people, your target included.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because I’ve seen it at work.”

“Were you…”

“An assassin? No, but I spent some time with the ones my father and grandfather kept around. They let me join them from time to time.”

“So they made a lot of enemies then.”

“There was a war on, everyone had enemies and sometimes innocent people died.”

“I was just about to check your archives.” Liosa said.

“My father and grandfather were very meticulous, every important instance would have been recorded. If you go to the back of the library, you’ll find one of the cases moves. Please be careful with anything you find in there.”

“We will, you two rest and please don’t worry about Nicholas, once he’s calmed down I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Maol lifted his wife somberly and carried her to their bedroom. Liosa and Artair quickly went to the library and found the bookcase that moved easily. “I’m king now and there’s still so much I don’t know it seems”

“You haven’t been king long my love and thankfully for your kind you’ll have your father and grandmother many more years to come until you’ve learned more about ruling and the kingdoms past.” They soon focused on the task at hand to get to the bottom of why Maols tea had been tampered with. Until they knew what was going on how could anyone eat or drink in the castle without fear of hurting the family. They especially didn’t want Nicholas going through the trauma of another family member being forced to shift.

They went through the books together until they got hungry and then Artair went to grab them something while Liosa continued her search. They were both fascinated with the kingdom’s history and if Artair had been alone he might have sat straight through lunch. He came back with cups of tea and plates of some meat pie the cook had been working on, making sure to test them both before allowing her to even take a nibble or a sip. “Silly don’t risk yourself.” She said, giving him a look.

“Better me than you.”

“I guess I am stronger than you, could you imagine me going berserk, I might eat you alive.” She winked, trying to lighten the mood and was happy when she was rewarded with a small smile. She ate as she continued to flip through books, marking anything of note until she came to a gap in history. She sat her fork down, flipped a few pages back then forward, then gentling bent the pages back, seeing a few had been removed. “Artair?”

“Yes love?”

“Does this look guilty to you?” She handed him the book and he looked it over. “They’re gone.”

“Not just gone, but removed, with a knife. Look how straight the edge is. It looks like it happened a long time ago, I wonder if my father would know anything about it.”

“It’s almost like someone was hiding something.”

“Like they were ashamed.”

Chapter Two

“we need to talk to my father about this right away”

“and we need to make sure Una is involved in the conversation. She’s right, she needs to be more involved and shes going to be involved regardless of if your father wants it. You’re king now Artair, if he fights us on it you have to remember you’re the king and women don’t just have to listen to their husbands anymore” Artair nodded and the two got up, leaving what was left of their meal and hurrying out. Eating was fairly low on the importance scale when a matter was so serious someone cut out some of their history to keep it a secret. They went straight to their room since the two had been instructed to rest, Maol answering quickly when they knocked.

“Is everything alright?” Mail asked as he let them in.

“We need to talk if you are both up to it.”

“If it is about what happened then yes.”

Artair opened the book and handed it to his father. “Where are these pages?”

Maol looked down at the book, let his finger run over the spot where three pages had been. “I didn’t take them if that’s what you’re wondering. Your grandfather did when I was just a boy, never said why, only that his father told him to.”

“Did he keep them?”

“That is something to ask your grandmother, she kept most of his possessions.”

Artair took the book back and let out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad it wasn’t you.”

“I have always owned all my actions, regardless of if I was proud of them. You know that. Maybe this is why my father was so adamant about owning your actions. Perhaps your great grandfather should have owned up to something he didn’t” Artair nodded and left his father to talk to his grandmother. They found Barabal in Nicholas’s room, sitting on his bed as she stroked her hair. He was sound asleep so they waited for her to stand and come out of the room with them before talking “what have you found out? That look on your face says there was something terrible”

“There are pages cut out of this history book and dad says grandpa did it because his father told him to. Did grandpa keep the pages?”

“we can check his things. Nicholas should be peacefully sleeping awhile” They followed her to her room and she pulled out a large box from her closet, setting it on the bed as she said “everything in here is precious to me. You two be careful touching his things”

“You know we will grandma, thank you.” Artair said as he opened the box.

“How is your father?”

“He’s taking it pretty hard, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so upset. Mom is trying her best.”

“He’ll come around and hopefully he’ll be better for the experience. Even though we live such long lives, they could be snuffed out in an instant, he needs to spend more time being gentle and open. You two have done wonders with him.”

“Not me, Liosa and Nicholas.”

“Oh hush, you’ve done just as much.” Liosa interjected.

“But I wouldn’t have if not for you. You took us all by surprise.” He smiled. “My father really didn’t know what to do with himself when you were in the room.”

“well I wasn’t going to be anything but myself and he had to get used to that. Everything’s changing in this kingdom and it’s being caused by both of us.” Barabal smiled at them then left to sit with her grandson again while they handled this. As she walked out the door she said “don’t hesitate to fetch me for more help if you require it” She trusted Artair and Liosa to handle this and she knew the best way to let them lead and figure out ruling was to let them do things on their own if they could. It would also be hard to look through her husbands things and they didn’t need her getting emotional over the past.

It didn’t take the two long to find what was obviously the missing papers. Artair had a feeling he would keep them. He had followed his fathers orders because he had to but he knew his grandfather would have wanted the truth to be known. They sat on Barabals bed and Artair began reading the old papers out loud so his wife could hear. They wanted to read them over themselves before they consulted Maol and Una again on what to do.

“No wonder your great grandfather wanted these pages gone, what he did was monstrous.” Lios said. “He drove out entire clans, just uprooted them and forced them out into the snow.”

“But why remove these? They were in that room, no one else knew they were there but my grandfather and my father.”

“He probably believed one of them would do something about it or he just wanted the proof gone so no one could dispute any claims he made about the clans. I’m surprised he let it be recorded.”

“From what I can gather, it’s so future kings and queens can have something to refer to when making the tough decisions. Go to war or don’t? Ally with that kingdom or close our borders? The person who wrote these said a lot of those clan members died.” He let out a long sigh. “I can’t believe I never knew, that my father never knew and he knows everything.”

“Well not everything.”

He huffed out a little laugh. “You know what I mean. My grandfather held onto these until he died. Why?”

“Maybe we’ll never know, but we should discuss this with Maol, he needs to know why he was poisoned.”

Artair agreed and while he wanted to hurry he wouldn’t disrespect his grandmother or his late grandfather by just leaving his things all over the bed. They carefully put it all away and shut the lid before leaving the room to talk to Maol and Una. Maol answered the door quickly “have you learned anything?”

“yes, apparently my great grandfather drove out entire clans for his own selfish desires. He just uprooted them and forced them out into the snow, not caring what happened to them. This is apparently much deserved anger. I suppose some from the clans newer generations don’t plan to stand for what their ancestors went through. I’m sure they think we’re aware of what he did and turn a blind eye, enjoying having everything to ourselves.

Maol took the missing pages and read them then re-read them. “I never thought he would do something so reprehensible. I will try to make amends if at all possible, but I will not forgive my wife and grandson nearly dying.”

“They may not have known they were in there.” Liosa tried. Even though she herself was angry for her son and mother in law being put in harms way, she didn’t want to start a war with a small clan of people. “They probably hoped we would put you down.”

Maol sighed. “Fine, if we can find them, I would speak to them, though I would like a shot at the person who actually poisoned me.”

“A shot to do what?” Artair asked.

“To knock him on his ass. I will forgive their anger and hope to help heal their pain, but I would have hunted them to the ends of the earth if Una or Nicholas had died.”

“Then I will go and see if they will return with me.”

“I should come too.” Liosa added.

“Please stay here with Nicholas.”

“Artair.”

“Please my love, I don’t even know where they are and if anything happened to you, it would kill me. Stay here.”

“Then at least take your brothers.”

“I will.”

“alright then” normally she wouldn’t be for him handling something involving the kingdom alone but their son had been through a lot. God forbid anything happened but after seeing his grandfather bite his grandmother and forcibly shift last thing he needed was for both parents to be taken prisoner or harmed. She walked with him to gather his brothers then saw him off before going inside to see if her son was still napping. So much time had passed chances were high he was up and playing with his great grandmother. “where is my grandson?” Barabal asked as Liosa entered her sons room. She got her up to speed and explained she had stayed behind for her sons sake. “that was a good choice. I’m glad you’re so involved and are changing so much in this kingdom when it comes to women being equal but this way is best and Artair can handle this.”

“I know he can, he’s a good king”

“especially for such a young one. My husband would have been beaming with pride to see Artair as he is now” She smiled and they both began playing with Nicholas. After about an hour Liosa said “hey baby, why don’t we go see grandpa?”

“Is he okay now?”

“yeah and that wont ever happen again. Your father is seeing to that. Somebody made your grandpa freak out” Nicholas nodded, seeming to just accept that so Liosa and Barabal each took one of his hands and took him to see his grandparents.

“So where are we going exactly?” Baltair asked as they ran.

“One of the last locations of one of the clans.” Artair answered.

“It’s been ages, do you really think there will be clues there to their current location?”

“”I’m hoping so, maybe they left something behind that still has their scent on it. My great grandfather drove them out so they didn’t exactly have time to pack.”

Baltair sighed. “I hope Anna will forgive me for not meeting her at the dock.”

“I didn’t realize she was coming to visit.” Calum said.

“I could have sworn I told you.” He sighed again.

“You should just tell her how you feel after this, it would make things a lot easier.”

“I’d rather not ruin the relationship we already have.”

“Never thought I’d see the day you couldn’t talk to a woman.”

“Come on guys focus.” Artair said then added. “Calum is right though, stop chickening out and tell her.”

Baltair didn’t answer but they could tell he was considering it. Baltair simply felt inadequate, its what held him back from asking. She was absolutely amazing and he had spent his life so far sleeping with any woman that let him. He had even hit on Liosa when he already knew she was engaged to Artair. He just didn’t see a woman like her choosing someone as disgusting as he was. He felt selfish for even wanting to ask when she could have someone better but he deeply wanted to. He wanted to be a better man and deserve Anna. It would be embarrassing to admit but ever since meeting her he hadn’t slept with anyone and he hoped that maybe that would mean something to her.

When they found the remains of one of the old clans villages, they just stopped and stared for a moment. The buildings were old and destitute, some of them suffering from heavy water and plant damage since there had been no one there to take care of them. Artair felt sorrow creeping into his heart for these people. “Look for anything that may help us and take in any scent you may find.” He said as he took the first step forward into this abandoned place. The house he went into still had bed rolls in it and one of them had obviously belonged to a child. There were things left over, hand made toys, drawings on the wall, even an old rotted book. He picked up the teddy bear that sat near the head of the bed, his thumb brushing over its damp, mildewed fur. He could not imagine having to force Nicholas to leave everything, to carry his son out into the snow where they may or may not die. It was terrifying to think about and he found himself hating his great grandfather for hurting these people.

Back at the castle Anna arrived and Liosa was relieved to see her “welcome sister”

“what’s going on? Your face, I can see the tension” Liosa brought her up to speed and Anna sighed “wow”

“yeah so Baltair, Calum and my husband are trying to track them down. I stayed so if something happened little Nicholas didn’t have to go through any more trauma than necessary. “can I help?”

“I doubt it but I’m really glad you’re here”

“Me too, I can’t have anything happening to you. I see this kingdom as luckier and luckier that Artair is leading now. This kingdom needed a king with a bigger heart”

“I just hope they come back okay”

“They will, until then lets catch up. I know we write but I’m sure there’s plenty of little things that didn’t make it into letters. Small talk might not be helpful but it seems there isn’t much of a way either of us can be helpful right now” Calum, Artair and Baltair were on the move again. They were following Calum since it was him who felt he had a strong hold on a scent he found in the village. They were getting farther and farther away from home and Artair was beginning to think none of them were going to see the girls they loved anytime soon.

The three set up camp around midnight. They wanted to go on but it would be rude to intrude in the middle of the night when they did find them and if these people deserved anything it was some respect. Artair had no idea how he was ever going to make this up to them. How do you make up the fact that this was done and then ignored for so long. His grandpa had actually known what happened and Artair knew there was no way his father had never noticed pages missing from their history. He saw someone had suspiciously cut something out then moved along, probably not worrying about it for a single second because it didn’t harm his life any.

All he knew was he was going to set this right. He had already planned to use his rule to right many wrong things in his kingdom but now his determination was stronger than ever. Finding this out lit a fire under him. He would fix this and then he knew his wife would happily help him seek out any more major problems he hadn’t been made aware of yet. That night Nicholas slept with his grandparents which made Liosa happy because she knew how relieved it made them. She and Anna also decided to have a sleep over. They hadn’t done this since they were little girls but they lived so far apart that they thought it would be fun since Baltair and Artair were gone. The boys were up before the sun had even rose in the sky. They skipped breakfast, not a one of them hungry and just went on. They were glad when they finally found their settlement but unsurprisingly the three men were met with hostility.

“Hey easy.” Artair said, raising his hands. “We just want to talk.”

“Go to hell clan killer!” One of the men said, his hands wrapped tightly around a spear.

“I don’t know if we’ll be able to get in without incapacitating these guys.” Baltair said, ready to defend his brother if he needed to.

“Is that all your kind know? Violence?” The man said angrily.

Baltair glared at him. “You met us with weapons.”

“Everyone needs to calm down.” Artair said. “We are not here to hurt you, we just want to talk to your leader, if you have one. This is is important.”

“Hemshel.” A voice said from behind the three men. It was authoritative and it startled the villagers. They all looked over their shoulders at the woman standing there. Artair studied her. She looked to be about his grandmother’s age. “Do you think it speaks well to attack those who come in peace?”

“But they are…”

“If they had wanted to, they could have stopped you by now, but they have not.” She let her eyes fall on Artair as she moved closer. “You have his face.”

“My father’s?” She nodded. “So I’ve been told.”

“What is your business here?”

“One or more of your people poisoned my father and I know why, I’ve come to make amends.”

“That is not all. You want the one who hurt your father.”

“And nearly caused the death of my son and mother.”

“Look into my eyes and tell me what you would do with him.”

“My father wants to knock him on his ass, I share the same feeling.”

She smiled. “All three of you come with me.”

“You’re letting us in?” Calum asked.

“I am not the one who gave the order to poison your father. I have long let go of what was, not like these three who obviously don’t understand what wolves could do to them if they were so inclined to shift.”

“You don’t blame my father?”

“I know where the blame lies and it is not with a man who was a trusting child at the time and his own father who was a trusting son. Your great grandfather was the monster, the soldiers who followed him without question were the monsters. Now come.”

“Yes ma’am.”

They found a place to sit and talk “I can practically feel the waterfall of things you wish to say to me so please speak Artair, I’m listening”

“I truly want peace. I mean that with all that I am. I know the kings before me have been heartless. I don’t think for a second they didn’t deserve the nicknames they had, even my father as the cold hearted king. Since Liosa has gotten me interacting with the people more I even know people don’t ever call him by his name, it’s always the cold hearted king and I want to change the way my people feel. I’m ashamed and during my rule I plan to right every wrong the kinds before me have set in motion. I come here deeply apologetic and I want you to trust I’m going to make everything better. I plan to read every single page of our kingdoms history and with my wife I’ve already made strides to make things with our women better aswell. They aren’t being raised just to be possessions of a man any longer and I hope even way out here you’ve seen that. I can’t tell you I’m sorry enough and I hope you’ll guide me on how I can make things better with your people. I also hope you’ll let me know of any wrongs you might remember that could possibly not have been recorded in our history”

She smiled again “You are a good man Artair and yes, I know of the changes already being made to your kingdom. I will happily help and there are many who will instantly accept your apology but of course there are some who still hold anger and pain in their hearts from loved ones lost. I look forward to working with you and if that’s all you wanted to say I will confirm who I feel did the poisoning and if I’m correct I will have him answer for what he did. Fighting wrong with wrong is still wrong and he needs to face his crime”

“Thank you for your time.”

“Please, you and your brother’s stay here tonight in my home, you have come a long way.”

“Thank you.” She nodded and stood, gesturing for them to follow. Many of the villagers watched them, curious children came as close as they could, wanting to see these strangers. Some of the adults glared, but it was to be expected. “May I ask you something, ma’am?” Artair said once they made it to her home and were lead inside.

“Of course.”

“Why didn’t my grandfather do anything?”

“I believe people like you father and grandfather put far to much trust in the previous generation. They were kings, they make the decisions, they must know what they are doing.”

“That doesn’t make them right.”

“And that is why you are different, you question.”

“I may not have if not for my wife.”

“Then I must meet her when things have calmed down.” She lead them to the back of her house and opened a door. “Please make yourself at home, I’m going to find the man who took it upon himself to poison your father and bring him back here so you may punish him as you see fit.”

She came back awhile later, guiding the man on by the collar of his shirt. She let him go and he looked livid but he didn’t go anywhere. “do whatever you’re going to do.” he said and Artair replied “you’re really just going to take it” the man scoffed at Artairs question “I really don’t want to talk to you. I’m only here because I was given no other choice. I’m not sorry for poisoning such an awful man from such an awful kingdom. You, you are better, I’ll give her that but it doesn’t make me sorry. Do whatever you have to do, kill me for all I care. I will not apologize for trying to kill someone known as the cold hearted king descended from other cold hearted kings”

“he’s growing as a person” Artair tried but the man obviously didn’t want to talk any longer. Artair sighed, I will take the high road and not hand you your ass but you are going to jail” he shrugged again and the woman they had been talking to said “I’ll go with you to make sure you get him there.” Baltair and Calum seemed pissed at Artairs decision but they wouldn’t fight with him on the choice in front of people. They took him back home in the morning and Baltair threw the man in a cell. “May I meet your wife now?” the woman asked and Artair guided her away. Calum went to tell his father the man was now imprisoned there. He knew his father would want to know.

Liosa smiled when Artair introduced the clan leader, Kahla and Liosa immediately introduced Nicholas and then struck up a conversation with the woman. She was such an interesting person and her enthusiasm had Artair smiling. Liosa was such an amazing woman, able to make friends with anyone who came her way and had such a generous heart. He hoped Baltair could find this kind of happiness with Anna, knowing she would be good for him. “Artair?” His name being called had him snapping to attention and he looked up as Calum came running into the library with Beatris close behind . “Oh good I found you.”

“Is everything alright?”

“Dad, he’s gone down to the cells, he’s pissed.”

“Shit.” Artair was off at a sprint and Liosa asked Beatris to watch Nicholas and keep Kahla company as she followed. They could see Maol entering the man’s cell as they entered the prison and just as they got there his fist was making contact with the man’s cheek, knocking him back and against the wall. “Dad.” Artair grabbed him as he started after him, pulling him back. “Dad, calm down please.”

Maol growled at the man who had dared poison him and the cell door was quickly shut and locked. Artair let him go and Maol spit at the man. “Next time you want to fight, you come and face me like a man you bastard. If my wife or grandson had died I would have slaughtered you like the coward you are.” He turned away, walking past Artair who didn’t know what to say, but Liosa followed him and pat his back.

“Feeling better, father in law?”

“Much.”

“Good, go on up and introduce yourself and Una to Kahla, she’s really quite nice.”

“Alright, I will.”

Liosa let him go and went back to Artair who was watching her with admiration and amazement. “What?”

“You could tame lions my love.”

“I dont think he intended to do much more than that. Una and our son are just fine and thats what matters to your father.” Their prisoner just sat in silence and the two of them left. Kahla stayed awhile and they all became very close. Artair kept to his word to start on the very first book of his kingdoms history so that he could read over it and fix any other wrongs before they got as far as this wrong had. He didn’t want something worse to happen because a generation decided to retaliate. Hurting Una like he had seemed to draw even more feelings out of Maol. PDA with his wife was all the time and they truly seemed happier together.

Even Baltair finally spoke up before Anna went home this time and told her how much he loved her. To his surprise she accepted him and decided to stay in their kingdom. Everything was getting better and though Altair knew there was much work to be done on this kingdom he was incredibly proud of his progress as king.

~ The End

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