Courting The Royal Brat (Book 2 of "The Royal Brat")
All Weyland Stonehill wanted to do was to attend court and perhaps go to the University of Delania. But when he is ensnared by the hooks of courtly intrigue, he finds himself courting the heir to the throne herself! Princess Kitiara is The Royal Brat, but is there a lover underneath? More
All Weyland Stonehill wanted to do was to attend court and perhaps go to the University of Delania. But when he is ensnared by the hooks of courtly intrigue, he finds himself courting the heir to the throne herself! Princess Kitiara is The Royal Brat, but is there a lover underneath?
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Of all the things he had thought likely to occur that morning, taking a casual stroll through the back halls of the palace with the princess, while her Companion walked a few steps behind them, was not among them.
Last night there had scarcely been time to notice. But now, with Kitiara matching him stride for stride, he was surprised to see that she was very nearly as tall as he was. Of course, he was not as tall as many. Fred had received most of his father’s height, leaving little left over for him. But still, Kitiara’s shoulder brushed his companionably as they walked and spoke of inconsequential things. He fought to keep his eyes away from the swelling neckline of her gown. The last thing he needed was for one of the royal guards to catch him ogling the princess.
“Tell me, Lord Weyland…”
“Please.” It was more than he could bear, to have her address him in so formal a manner. “My name is Weyland. Unless my brother falls off his horse or gets eaten by an ogre, I’ll never inherit Stonehill. So there is no need to call me ‘lord’”
“Very well.” Kitiara smiled, and behind them, he heard Lady Eleanora make a low sound of approval. “Tell me. Have you ever heard of ‘Alianna’s Gift?’”
He racked his mind. “No. I can’t say that I have, princess.”
“My name is Kitiara. It would please me if you used it. I am sure we are going to be friends, Weyland. Good friends.
“Alianna’s Gift,” she continued, “allows those of the royal house to see into the souls of others. With a touch, we can get a glimpse of their innermost selves. Whether they or kind or cruel. Noble and generous, or wicked and self-serving. Ambitious or lazy.
“It is a gift of the land, my mother and I believe. Of Delania itself, meant to help us rule wisely and well. But like all gifts, it can be abused. My grandfather was one who did so. If the tales about him are true, he used it to seek out women who would welcome the sexual attentions of a king, and cut a swathe through every willing woman at court.” She made a face. “No wonder the kingdom was a shambles by the time Mother took the throne. The only part of him that ever did any thinking was below his waistline.”
He kept silent, trying to discern where the conversation was going.
“Mother was wiser. Much wiser, once she gathered up her courage and began to use it.” She sighed. “A pity she didn’t start earlier. Then she would have known her first husband was a liar and a lecher and only pursued her because he wanted her throne for herself.”
“Truly a pity,” came an amused voice from behind. “Of course, if she had done as you say, you would never have been born, my lady.”
“Well, yes.” Her plump lips twitched in a smile. “There is that.”
“But Mother did begin to use it, eventually. So she knew that Father was the right man for her. And when Lady Eleanora’s father came up to her before the Battle of Fisher’s Crossing with the news that one of her nobles was intending to turn his coat during the battle and betray her, she knew Baron Tentrees was telling the truth.”
“He wasn’t a baron yet,” Eleanora protested.
“This is all very interesting,” Weyland said. “But what does it have to do with me?”
“This,” Kitiara said.
And kissed him.
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