I feel dread come over me as I see Paula drag a strange man in. The king’s guards point their weapons at Paula, she looks at me and shrugs as if to say this is your problem.
“What is this?” King Mona asks.
“I saw him put something in the wine. I only asked him what he was doing and next thing he tried to kill me, so I’m guessing he must have put something dangerous in the wine but my word won’t be enough so here I am.” Paula kneels while talking.
Immediately the strange guy rams himself into one of the guard’s sword. The hall goes into screams and shocks as the King’s men try to bring order and relax the concubines.
I signal at Paula to come over to my side, she moves and is stopped by Samael.
“Hold it!” There’s complete silence.
He checks the dead body’s hands and on his palm is the tattoo of a dragon. He sighs and looks at Paula.
“You might have saved our lives tonight but this is a member of the house of Black Cads, they are assassins trained with the highest level of the fighting arts, so how is it that a little maid is able to subdue him?” He looks at Paula suspiciously.
“Luck?” Paula asks and Samael smirks.
“Who is your mistress girl?” He asks.
Paula looks at me and I smile brightly at him, I have never talked to him before but I know enough to know he is not a man to be trifled with.
I’ve faced him once or twice in war, never a hand to hand combat; just from afar and behind Brahim. I don’t know what to make of him as he pierces me with his gaze.
He walks slowly towards me, “Princess Salem, I see I should thank you for having such a skilled maid. How lucky are you?”
“Luck is far from it. Paula is more like a sister to me than a maid. She learnt the fighting arts from the soldiers back at Roelum. She is a quick study and has really fast reflexes. She is better than most men at fighting; I am not surprised that she was able to subdue such a man. She has saved me several times from more troubles than I can count. I can stand for her and say she has nothing to do with this if that’s what you are trying to ask.” I play with my hair while looking at him.
“No, no no… Don’t get me wrong, I was just curious about how someone that small could take on someone twice her size. Should I take this to mean that you are also quite skilled?” He keeps looking at me in a way that makes me uncomfortable which I guess is his goal.
I keep my eyes on him as I shrug “I know a thing or two but there’s not much for an abandoned princess to do.”
He smiles and bows at me. He looks at Erin and bows mockingly and I decide at that moment that I don’t like the guy. His air of superiority chokes me and I look at Erin to see him stiff and holding the wine cup so hard I fear he might break it. I wonder what kind of history those two have.
King Mona smiles at him satisfactory and I suspect something just happened but I have no idea what and that pisses me off.
“Let’s not let a little thing like an assassination attempt stop us from enjoying tonight. Let’s be merry.” He grins cheerfully and if I was anyone else I would not have noticed the look he gave Samael.
Everywhere settles into a rhythm. Some ladies are invited to dance, I see Elena and she smiles coyly at me, I hear murmurs about her having guts to be here.
I whisper to Erin “Do you want to talk about your tense relationship with your brother or do you want to talk about your uncomfortable relationship with Elena?”
His body relaxes as he leans on me. “Is there a third option?”
“Can I sleep in your chambers tonight?” I ask with a glint in my eyes.
He widens his eyes and I feel the heat that comes from him. He holds my hands and kisses my forehead.
“Well…” He’s unable to finish as I see a knife coming straight at him and I throw an apple at the knife… The apple hits the knife and both object falls.
There’s a cold silence for a second as all hell breaks loose. Assassins in different uniforms from the maids to the guards show up and a full blown fight goes on.
“Are you okay?” I ask Erin. He nods and picks up a sword and tries to join him, I hold him back.
“Take a good look at what is happening right now? What do you think?” I ask him.
“This is not the time!!! We are in danger!!!” He tries to pull me up.
“Shhhhhhh and watch. Tell me what do you see?” I ask him again.
He resigns and looks at what is happening, the concubines are rushed to their chambers but King Mona and Samael are still on their seats staring straight at me.