Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Title: The New Bargain
Slowly opening eyes, adjusting to the light, I became aware of my surroundings. I gasped and sat up. This was not where I doused off.
Oh crappers. I was back at the manor, in my room. Hearing the door open, I turned to face my dad, the king, and his gaze was stone cold just like his personally was. I waited for him to say something. But he just continued to stare. I dared not look at him and just kept my face down.
“Do you know such stupidity that you do not care for your own safety?” I sighed. He was going to lecture me again. Here we go again. “I expect an answer when I speak Eileen.” I rolled my eyes and hoped he didn’t catch it.
“I know, father.” I simply said, still not looking up at him.
“You know what?”
“I know what I did was wrong but I just can’t do this arranged marriage. Not to him. Not to a werewolf! They killed mom. You do not care that you are handing me off to live with mom’s killers?” I gazed at him.
“This is not a about you,” he said, his face composed but still held an angry expression. “This is about the good of our realm, our kingdom. You will not bow out of this.” He gritted.
“What about my wellness! Don’t you care about my happiness? That I’m marrying someone I don’t know and love. Someone who already detests me because of who I am?” I said, my eyes were starting to get glassy but I held it in.
“You need to stop focusing on yourself and start thinking about the good of our kingdom and of the people,” he was changing the topic as always.
“You have a duty as a father!” I yelled, getting more impatient by the second.
“Do not dare tell me what my duties are! My duty is to my people! Unlike you, I know what my responsibilities are! You have yet to learn your place.” I winced. That stung me like a bee’s needle. It was moments like these that made me realize how much I missed mom. How could she have married such a cruel man? “This discussion is over. You will marry the mongrel whether you like it or not.” He pointed his finger at me. “The maids have packed your stuff and are being brought to the plane. You leave in fifteen minutes.” He turned to leave.
“Wait! I have to say goodbye to Mia. It’s the least you could do, don’t you think?”
“Oh, I almost forgot. Mia’s been confined in a cell for the atrocity she committed.” What was he on about now?
“Atrocity? She didn’t do anything.”
“On the contrary, she kidnapped our princess and broke the law. That girl must be punished,” he countered. He couldn’t. I had to save her but I was leaving in fifteen minutes. I’d never reach her in time. Not with all the guards around. “She had no right to take you out of the manor. You could have run into rebels who would have surely killed you.”
“Please father,” I begged, crossing my hands together. That’s not something I do lightly but she was the only closest thing I had that I could call family. “Please set her free. She’s my friend. Don’t harm her.” I begged with my eyes.
“I already knew it would come down to this. You care too much for this commoner. You will do what is necessary to keep her out of harm’s way. I will release her.” It was not a secret that my father harbored bad feelings towards lowly commoners. He didn’t like me being around Mia. Yet he agreed so quickly.
“Thank you,” I sighed, not quite sure what he was up to.
“On three conditions,” he said, giving me a warning look. I nodded. “You will leave willingly. You will marry the prince. And when the time comes…” I did not like where this was going. “You must be ready to please the prince.”
I jumped out of my bed and onto to the floor. I threw my hands in the air and then fisted them.
“That’s preposterous! You make me sick! How can you say that to your own daughter? Fathers are supposed to be protective!”
My right cheek abruptly turned sideways and it stung. I stroked it. I turned to gaze at my father. I inhaled a breath and held it before letting it out. He turned to leave and slammed the door with so much force that I was sure it would fall down just like I did.
With my backpack slung over my shoulder, I climbed the stairs to our private jet and stopped at the entrance. There was nobody here to see me off.
I have no one. In a way, I had no home. My mom was dead and I loathed my father. Mia was my only friend, who was probably being released this very moment. But she would not make it in time to see me. Or be allowed to for that matter.
I was going to be surrounded by werewolves. Soon, I would be married to one and supposedly sleeping with him as my bastard father said that I must “please” him. The very thought made me shiver with disgust.
I turned around one last time for old times’ sake and walked into what would be bringing me to my impending doom. But not before making a pact to my deceased mother that when I stood a chance, I would reign in my personal hell. I would let no werewolf seek control over my body. I would find a way out and travel where no man would ever dare enter and create a place I could call home. I would not be used like some meddling fool stop an endless war that has gone on for centuries between my kind and the mongrels.