Lost Princess

Lost Princess by Dani-Lyn Alexander Page A

Book: Lost Princess by Dani-Lyn Alexander Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dani-Lyn Alexander
pummel him.
    None came.
    Chayce’s posture relaxed even more, his gaze fixed on the two thrones behind Jackson.
    Jackson waited, allowing him a few minutes to collect his thoughts.
    When Chayce spoke, his voice held something other than anger for the first time since before their father’s death. “Explain.” A bit of interest, however slight, tinged the words.
    Jackson pounced. He’d only have one chance to gain his brother’s approval. “We need to get Cymmera under control before we can conquer another kingdom. I know you want to invade Argonas, but have you thought any further than that?”
    Chayce frowned.
    Apparently, he hadn’t thought past getting what he wanted. Oh, well. Even though the younger boy had lived several centuries, he was still only the equivalent of a teenager. It would serve Jackson well to keep that fact in mind.
    “Our own kingdom is in upheaval. We have no clear chain of command. We live under the constant threat of invasion. We’ve already lost two cities, had countless citizens massacred. Our people are scared, and we’ve…I’ve done nothing to reassure them.”
    He paused for a minute but couldn’t read anything in Chayce’s expression. The other man stood, still as stone, and waited.
    “Things are going to change now. I needed time to come to terms with all of this, Chayce. Can’t you understand that?”
    The plea for understanding went ignored.
    “Fine. Here’s the deal. Ryleigh is going to take her place at my side.”
    Chayce stiffened. His eyes remained hard. His jaw tightened even more, and Jackson wondered fleetingly if it could shatter under the pressure of his clenched teeth.
    “Ryleigh will ascend the throne as Queen of Cymmera, her rightful role. She will be my second in command and rule in my place should I become unable.” All right. So he probably should have discussed this with Ryleigh first, but, in a perfect world it would be this way. And who knew? Maybe things would finally fall into place once he put his foot down. He shook his head, hoping to eliminate the sound of Ryleigh’s laughter echoing through him.
    Chayce interrupted his reverie. “So why are you telling me this, Jackson? What do you want? A pat on the back?”
    Jackson’s temper surfaced again, and again he wrestled it under control. Maybe he was getting better at this. Or maybe he would be the first Cymmeran ever to develop an ulcer. Either way…“I want you to be one of my advisors.”
    Chayce’s face turned an angry shade of purplish-red, smoke all but pouring from his ears.
    Jackson rushed on before he could explode. “You’re strengths lie in strategy and battle. Two assets that will serve our kingdom well in the coming days.” Jackson dropped any pretense of formality. “Look, Chayce. I want you to be my advisor. You will be next in line for the throne after Ryleigh.”
    Interest finally piqued in Chayce’s eyes.
    Jackson hesitated. Was that eagerness he saw there as well? A vision of Kai’s eyes—so eager to take over his father’s role—assailed him. He ignored it. He couldn’t go through his entire existence without trusting anyone. Chayce was his brother. Even though they’d had their differences lately, nothing could change that fact.
    “Together, the three of us and Elijah will restore order to our own kingdom. Then we will invade Argonas, seek out Kai, and eliminate the threat to Cymmera once and for all.”
    “As your advisor, I feel it only fair to warn you…” Sarcasm filled Chayce’s words. He shook his head. “You’ve already given Kai time to strengthen Argonas. Trust me, Jackson, he won’t have had any trouble coming to terms with his responsibilities. He’s already ahead of you in that respect. Once he healed enough, he would have immediately seized control. The instant he heard Daygan was dead. You can’t allow him much more time.”
    Jackson nodded. He didn’t really want to hear it, but Chayce was right. “I agree. It won’t take long. Once

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