A Perfect Sunset

- A Serialized Novel -

A reluctant queen becomes involved in intrigue in a kingdom ruled by a tyrant and on the verge of revolution.

Author’s Note: So the characters decided to share some names with me for a change. I was pleasantly surprised. Also, I enjoy these conversations between the two rebels a lot. 🙂

Again, this is part of the pick a serial (yes, you can pick both, details here,) so leave a comment in some way if you want more.

Two Rebels, Two Fools

“I may have underestimated the queen.”


Removing her cloak, Anokii set it down upon the rocks, welcoming the cool air of the catacombs. She had wanted nothing more but to run to the freedom of the depths, and that was the sort of childish longing that she thought she was long past. “She asked me which of the ministers were loyal to the king and which of them served him out of fear.”

“You think she plans a coup of her own?”

“It is possible. She has no reason to be loyal to him, after all.”

Gekin moved to the rock, lowering himself onto it with a bit of a groan. He would be too old to guide their people to safety, too old to make the journey. Anokii would worry over him more and more until he accepted that. “There is the treaty.”

“A treaty we all know is a farce? She has said as much before, and her people must know it as well. Perhaps they expect her to work here as they work elsewhere.”

“A war from two sides is one the king would not be likely to win. I would like it, if I knew that we could trust her people or her, but we do not. She might be what we need, or she might be our downfall. I do not think that it would be wise to do anything until we are sure.”

Anokii reached up to let her hair fall free, wishing she had the time to soak in a long bath. Cool water sounded very good when she thought about it, but she never had the time to indulge such things, nor could she with her duties. She was supposed to be back to help the queen undress for the night. Those court dresses of hers were impossible for one person to manage on their own, a foolish thing only the royals could allow themselves to do.

“What are you thinking?” She studied her husband, wishing she knew more of the way his mind worked. He had so many thoughts locked away behind his eyes, and she could never know them all, not unless he looked at her with love and she knew exactly what was on his mind. “I suppose the decision must be made by our leaders.”

“How much we cooperate with her, yes. That is not for you or me to decide, so I must go to them and tell them what we know and what we might be able to do. Still, without some kind of test, this seems a foolish task.”

“It is a dangerous journey to make without any kind of certainty, since it will take you longer to reach where they have secreted themselves than it does for you to reach the borders. You would like to test her first?”

“Give her what she wants.”


“I will be waiting to take you away if she makes any sort of move against you. I will not let any harm come to you, my ninaimant, I swear it,” he said, rising to come to her side. He put his hands on her face and kissed her forehead. “We must see what the queen will do.”

“She may do nothing.”

“Then she does nothing.”

Anokii lowered her head. “We have been reckless, I think. I have—I called you by your name, and I have not done that in many years. I have thought of myself by the name I had thought forgotten. We are taking too many risks.”

He shook his head. “Perhaps this means that it is truly close to the end. We may have the freedom we have been denied for centuries.”

She turned away, reaching for her cloak to pull it back over her. “I fear we are fooling ourselves.”

“We may be, but what is life without hope?”

“Worse than life without love.”

He caught her, wrapping his arms around her. “Do not doubt that you have love. Never doubt that. I have loved you many years, and I will love you many more. If my life leaves my body, my love will never leave you. Just remember me as I have always been—a fool devoted to you.”

She laughed. “I am the same.”

“Come back after you have helped the queen. I will wait for you. As always.”

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