Queen’s Blood Claim
“I remember the first time I saw you.”
Davina chuckled. “I’m sure I was screeching in the halls of the palace in Zhar. My mother hated that I’d been so wild.”
A rumble from Alexios’ chest vibrated against her ear, and she found comfort in the sound.
“No. The first time I laid eyes on you, you were scurrying in the woods, tripping over yourself carrying food, which I’m sure you’d stolen from the kitchens. You were heading to a baby foal you’d discovered under some bramble.”
Davina took a moment to enjoy his face. Lines fanned the corners of his eyes while his dark lashes stretched away from them. He smiled, and his lone dimple made its tiny dent. Her mouth parted. It had been a long time since she’d seen him smile like this. His joy spread through her.
“I remember the foal. I named him Laeb,” she chuckled. “I knew someone was there! I’d stopped to look, but I couldn’t see anyone. It was you?”
“Yes. I was in the woods taking some time to myself. The barracks were loud, and I still struggled with my transition. It was my first time seeing the Queen’s daughter, but I knew instantly who you were.” He buried his hand into her hair at her nape, his thumb lightly caressing her scalp.
“I saw you and knew then that this world was not so bleak. That there is light and beauty capable of vanquishing any darkness. And that a beautiful, rambunctious, young girl who sneaked food for an injured foal, would always have a piece of my heart.”