[Half/Time 01] Half Upon a Time

[Half/Time 01] Half Upon a Time by James Riley

Book: [Half/Time 01] Half Upon a Time by James Riley Read Free Book Online
Authors: James Riley
Tags: YA)
doing so well on your own?” the princess replied sweetly.
    Jack eyed them both, then sat down between them. “I’m pretty sure there’s enough mocking going on for everyone,” he said. “Let’s all just scoot over and make some room here, all right?”
    May started to respond, but something behind him caught her attention. “Hey, um, Jack?” she asked as she stared at whatever-it-was.
    He glared at her. “What, Your Highness?”
    “So … where’d you get the sword?”
    Jack threw a look over his shoulder. There, plain as day, was the hilt of the knight’s sword, sitting securely in the scabbard strapped to Jack’s shoulder.
    “What sword?” Jack asked.
    The princess stared at him. “Are we really going to play that game?”
    Jack frowned. “
That
sword? I got it inside the giant.”
    One of her eyebrows raised. “Of course you did,” she said. “I take it there was a shop just behind his teeth, then?”
    Jack stared pointedly at the ground in front of him. “Not exactly,” he said. “I just found it. It probably got stuck in there, you know, in the giant’s mouth … when he ate someone.”
    “That is
quite
a sword, young Jack,” the prince said, leaning back to examine it. “In fact, it looks almost familiar….”
    Jack gritted his teeth. “How old are you?” he asked Phillip.
    “Pardon me?” the prince said, leaning forward again.
    “How
old
are you?!” Jack repeated.
    “I am fifteen years old,” the prince replied.
    “Then you’re not much older than me, Your
Highness
,” Jack growled. “Can you try
not
calling me ‘young Jack’?”
    The prince looked surprised. “I meant no offense, my friend!”
    Jack started to protest the “friend” part too, but May reached over and put a hand on his arm to calm him. He swallowed his comment and glared at them both.
    “So how did you two find yourselves here?” the prince asked, apparently oblivious to the hostility emanating from Jack.
    “We’re on our way to the Black Forest,” May said, before Jack could elbow her to keep quiet. He elbowed her anyway, so she elbowed him back, a lot harder than necessary.
    “The Black Forest?” Phillip asked, a look of concern crossing his face. “That’s hardly the place for a princess!”
    “It’s a secret quest,” Jack said dismissively. “We can’t really talk about it.”
    “We’re looking for my grandmother,” May said.
    Jack dropped his head into his hands. “What part of ‘secret quest’ were you not clear on?!”
    “
Whose
grandmother is it?”
    Jack threw her a dirty look.
    “Exactly,” May said, then turned back to Phillip. “My grandmother was kidnapped from my … my castle. I was taken too, but I escaped, and here we are. She told me to go to the Black Forest to find help, so that’s where we’re going.”
    “A worthy quest!” Phillip said, his eyes burning with passion. “For such a goal, I cannot help but offer my full assistance.” The prince paused, his eyes sparkling. “That is, if you’ll have me.”
    “Oh, we’ve already got too much assistance as it is—,” Jack started to say, but May quickly interrupted him.
    “Of course we could use your help!” she said. “Jack seems to have forgotten about the enormous guy chasing us.” She smiled sweetly at Jack, which just made things worse, then turned back to the prince. “Besides, you seem pretty useful, your prince-itude.”
    “I welcome the opportunity to exhibit more useful behavior,” the prince said, bowing low at the waist.
    Jack rolled his eyes. “No, seriously, we wouldn’t want to take you away from whatever it is you’re doing,” he said.
    The prince shook his head. “This giant is slain. And since I cannot return … I mean, since my only task is to avenge my father by slaying the giant who murdered him, I must seek out more giants. That means I may travel where I will, and with whom I would.”
    “Maybe you just found that giant,” Jack suggested hopefully, nodding toward the

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