“Well.” The princess looked at the man kneeling in front of her. He, in turn glared up at her. “This is certainly a situation.”
“No.” His voice was harsh. “This is an inconvenience. What happens when you let me out of the chains – that’s a situation.”
“It certainly could be.” She perched on an upholstered stool and studied him. He was all over muscle, fighter-style, and all over bruises and cuts. He was kneeling because he’d been chained that way, and even the chains, thick as her wrist, looked as if they were straining to hold him. “But here’s the problem. I don’t want to be here, you don’t want to be here. And any solution that leads to one of us not being here leads to us both ending up dead.”
“How do you figure, princess?” He sneered her title like an insult.
She didn’t respond in kind. “You heard my father. I have to survive you for a year. And you have to survive me – which, I admit, should be easier for you.” She ran her fingers over the hilt of her belt-knife. She wasn’t helpless – but she had to sleep sometime.
“Like he’d kill his precious daughter.”
“He is the King, and he gave his word. Emotion is secondary to honor.” She needed to move. She stayed sitting down. “And if you kill me, you won’t make it out of the city.”
“But you probably won’t.” She leaned down until she could look him levelly in the face. “So. Neither of us want to be here. How do we get through this?”
If you want more of this story – and this one could go on for a while!! – drop a tip in, ah, the tip handcuffs:
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/820967.html. You can comment here or there.