It was a dark and stormy night… The wind was howling like an engraved cursed beast. The fog covered the landscape with heaviness that could cut through a knife. Why am I here? Meghan thought. Suddenly footsteps where heard rushing towards her from behind, and she was forced to look back.

Frozen in fear, the heavy breathing were terrifying when the wails of thousand accused souls accompanied him. Her screams pierced the dead silence in the still of the night.

Drops of blood covered his face, the glistening blade dripped with the scent of fresh blood.

His eyes met hers and her voice traveled out of her throat. She stared at him like she was already lost. She watched his every movement, swift and steady and she couldn move, just like she was stuck to the ground she stood on.

When he reached her face, he looked intensely into her eyes. His own eyes burned like embers in a flame. The pounding of a dying heartbeat broke, and she found herself collapsing. She was falling but she wasn falling fast, it was as if time had a spare for her life. When she reached half way to the ground, she felt a strong arm grab her stiff body. He saved her!

She smiled but the smile didn reach her lips before her breath suddenly started turning shallow, her eyes shutting abruptly. She was dying!

Then she felt a tear dropped on her face. With her last strength, she forced her eyes open and she looked at him. She saw sorrow, pain and most of it all… regrets. Her hand reached for his face as she caressed it softly. She wished she would remember what his face really looked like but as she opened her mouth to say something, her eyes shut and he cried, wailed and then, the earth shook in great force.

”Ahhh! ” She screamed as her eyes shut open. She panted heavily but then hissed at the sudden pain at her forehead.

Alina rushed to room when she heard her scream. She stroded to the bed and sat down. ”My lady, is everything alright? ” She asked worriedly.

Meghan looked at her and then looked at everywhere. The room looked familiar. This is her room. Then it was a dream! She thought and sighed. But why did it look and feel so real?

”My lady, is anything the problem? ” Alina asked again, and Meghan slipped to reality.

She shook her head. ”Am fine. ” she replied shortly, her eyes still searching for something.

Alina smiled. ”Am glad you are awake, you got me worried. ” She confessed and when she looked at Meghans expression, her smile dropped. ”My lady, are you sure you are alright? ”

”How long have I been asleep? ” Instead of answering, she asked.

”For a week now, my lady. ” Alina answered.

Meghan shrieked. ”A week?! Has it been that long? ” She asked but the question was directed to herself. She attempted to lean on the headboard as Caithre helped her sit properly.

”How are you feeling now, my lady? ”

”My head feels as if it weighs a ton, but I feel much better than before. ” She explained with a low sigh.

”Thats because your strength has just recovered, you still need to rest. ” Alina urged.

”I have rested enough. ” She said. She arched her brow when she remembered something. ”Where is my son? Has he been feeding well? ”

Alina gave a barely perceptible nod in confirmation with a crisp assurance. ”Yes, but he barely rested seeing you in such a terrible condition. ” She said to Meghan.

She smiled. ”A– ”

They where interrupted by door. The emperor barged in. ”You
e awake. ” He simply said.

Alina rushed off the bed and bowed. ”Greetings emperor. My lady… ” She looked at her and then her gaze landed on the emperor before lowering her head to the floor. ”… Emperor, I beg to take my leave. ” She said and the emperor waved his hand at her in response and she hurriedly left.

”You have missed a lot. The preparation has just commenced. ” He said and dropped onto the couch.

She looked at him blankly. ”What preparation? ”

”Don tell me a week of slumber is also a week of forgotten memories. Do you even know who you are? ” He said and Meghan almost snorted.

e getting married in two weeks time, but the festival of reunion will occur in a week, so you need to get prepared. ”

Her gaze sharpened at the emperor with a disgustful look on her face. ”How many times will I have to repeat I will not get married. ” She said.

”And how many times will I have to remind you that our lives is at stake here. Do you need me to tell you that you are like a bomb to us all. ”

”Speak for yourself. ” She retorted with a frown.

Then he glanced at her window. ”Is either you risk it or get risked for. ”

She scoffed. ”There is nothing to risk and precisely, you have no right to tell me what to do. Not like you are my father! ” She glared sharply at him and he faced her.

”I won be surprised. You denied your mother, why won you deny me. But soon, you will deny yourself too. ” He assured with conclusion and pushed himself to his feet. He had to do what he could do to mitigate the disaster and be sure his plan fell where it belonged.

”You must do this. ” He looked at her firmly. ”I will make sure your honor and your sons status are not harmed. ” He said it as a vow but a flash sarcasm and fake promises scaled through.

Meghan gritted her teeth. ”Don you dare drag my son into this. ” She warned.

”Just don mess this up. ” He finally said.

”And what will you do? ” The question was half taunt, half fear.

In response, he smiled and walked away. Her eyes followed his figure out as she looked through the doorway. His expression was hard, as if frozen into place. She detected no softness in his eyes or his demeanor, and yet she thought his gaze lingered on her face.

His words were just like a vow but by evening, she grew sick of her own thoughts. Worse, all sorts of possible sights and pretty revenge came easily to mind. Revenge she would never enact could not distract her from her long real pain, her cursed life and the ache of losing her son.

She could have fled the country with him. He would be lying in her arms, just like she always wanted. If she had run, would her father really have been destroyed? Will her life be any different from this? It was a possibility, she knew, but would they actually care?

She collapsed to her knees before the fire, her eyes watching the dance flames. She felt like the burning log in fire, and slowly turning knot of black ashes. And at that dark moment, she concluded she had only an option in mind… to run!

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