by: Mette Ivie Harrison
She was not beautiful as Princess Issa was. There was no kindness in her eyes, no grace in her mannerisms, no shyness in her meeting of his eyes. She was thin and wiry, yet every movement betrayed the expectation of betrayal. She was like a wild animal trapped in a cage, her eyes quick and wide, taking in everything, including Kedor himself.
She saw him and dismissed him in that one glance. Who was he to her? Who were any of them? They were all refugees here in the underground courtyard below the castle of the Weirese King Jaap. Whoever they had been, they were nothing and no one now. He was a duke’s brother, if anyone still believed him alive.
And she? Who had she been, before she had given up her identity for life itself?
Kedor could not help but stare at her whenever she was nearby, and look for her when he thought he smelled a hint of her musky scent or heard the sound of her firm footsteps.
She had hair the color of copper coins, but there was so little light to make it glint and shine. And it was cut short as a boy’s, presumably the price of her escape to Weirland from Rurik, where she had lived for some time as a boy to disguise the fact that she was ekhono, that she had the male magic rather than the female.
The hair had grown longer over the last three weeks that she had been with them, so that it was just starting to curl over her ears, and she pushed it back constantly, as if annoyed, because she was not used to her hair like this.