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The Misbegotten King
By Anne Kelleher Bush
Warner AspectAnne Kelleher Bush
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIn a Traitor's Hands
Annandale looked up from the low pile of blankets on which Abelard lay. In the weeks of captivity since their arrival, there had been no change in his condition. The King's eyes were closed, as usual, his breathing was shallow. The skin sagged from his cheekbones, and beneath the ragged garments he wore, his body was little more than bones and sinew covered with a leathery husk. She could feel his mind, however, and the never-ending torment in which he existed as his body and the last vestiges of his will fought Amanander's enchantment, and she did what she could to ease the misery. But her attempts were futile; nothing short of her own death could wrest Abelard from Amanander's control, and she knew that even were she to make such a sacrifice, the King would only die.
A wave of loathing swept over her, nausea so acute she felt as though she might vomit. Hold fast, daughter. The voice whispered through her mind, like a scent of roses in the midst of offal. She closed her eyes, concentrating on the voice. Hold fast? she wondered. For how long?
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