Happy release week! I’m so excited to share my story from the Once Upon a Harem series. Each day through Friday (5/25) I’ll post a page from Their Royal Ash.

 

Read the previous pages

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four

Page Five

 

Chapter two, page six

 

Kieran was definitely withholding information.

When he set me on my feet in the middle of my living room, I crossed my arms and glared at him. “What are not telling me?”

One dark brow lifted, then he lowered his shoulders. “Have a seat. You must listen to everything I say. No questions or talking until I’m done.”

Uh oh. It was bad if he needed to warn me. I wasn’t a child anymore. I could handle whatever he said. After all, I had survived the last year on my own.

Once I sat on the sofa, I patted the spot next to me. The need to be near him was overwhelming. Plus I felt safe close to him.

He sat without question. Either he too craved closeness, or he sensed my neediness. “Don’t look so scared.”

He wrapped an arm around me and pulled me so my head rested on his chest. A soft sigh escaped me. “Just tell me.”

“Like I said earlier, the king believes you are dead. Jonah confirmed your death to him.” I stiffened but remained silent. It was hard because the questions churned in my mind. Like did Kieran know it was Jonah who pushed me off the cliff? But if Jonah confirmed my death, why did he lie to the king? Unless Jonah believed I was dead.

Kieran tightened his hold on me as if to send a silent reminder to let him finish. “When I heard of your death and that Jonah was the one to kill you, I went to the wolf intent on tearing him apart. To my surprise, your step-brothers beat me to Jonah. The three of them had the guard pinned to a wall, each taking turns…um, never mind. I think seeing how the princes reacted to the news almost as violently as I made me pause. In that moment, I realized that my connection to you was still there, meaning you were not dead.”

Kieran paused and kissed the top of head. My thoughts whirled. What happened after I left? Kieran continued with his head leaned against the back of the sofa. “After I secured the area so no others would overhear us, I told them you weren’t dead, but not how I knew. The princes stared at me suspiciously. I ignored them and asked Jonah why he lied. The male simply said no child should be a slave or beaten and it was better if the king believed you were dead.

“The five of us have been putting things into place to carry out our plan. It’s taken a little longer than we wanted. That’s why it took me so long to hunt you down.” Kieran fell silent and stroked my hair, running his fingers through the dark blonde strands.

I lifted my head and stared into his green eyes. There was more to the story. I waited, raising my brows. When Kieran didn’t speak, I did. “There is more to the story. What is this plan? How is it supposed to make me feel better?”

“The king is preoccupied with other things.”

Ha! “What other things?”

Kieran sighed and cupped my cheek. “I told them you were too smart. Conell has stepped up his training and with Jonah’s help, constantly reminds the king that the people loved your mother. So much so that if word got out the queen was poisoned and the king did nothing to find the one responsible, the people would turn on him.”

A smile lifted my lips as tears blurred my vision. My mother was responsible for setting a voting system in place. The people of the Kregon Kingdom had a voice when it came to new laws. Plus, the king had already said my mother fell ill and passed in her sleep from a fever.

 

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