‘Unmarked’ excerpt

“Wait, please,” Sypia said, the aggression fading from her voice. It was obvious from her actions she was now trying to appeal to his humanity, perhaps to call for pity. Lyn advised himself to leave, as to not be pulled by the ploy, but he stopped. He turned to face her, expecting to see a pouting lip or a sorrowful glance from the princess, but that was not the case at all. It was a look of defiance.

Despite being a member of royalty, this woman had a somewhat vulgar disposition. She was certainly no straight-spined, luxurious woman you would expect. She wore the garb of a commoner, a male’s, in fact. Lyn could deduce, from the choice of frayed, blue veined Capri’s, sandy tan and mud-splattered tennis-shoes, she did not stay at the castle for long periods of time. The only thing regal was the hair-pin with a royal white jewel that bulged off the right side of her head, the side where her hair was left to curl to its own devices. It was probably a gift from someone, as she seemed the type too busy to care for appearances. Probably something from her brother, the recently kidnapped crown-prince, had given her, knowing the king’s lasting relationship with her. If one could call that a relationship. The other side of her head, kneaded with braids, had not been tended to a maid for quite some time; wads of hair were breaking free of the braids grips.

Her face though, was startling. Although she could not be considered unattractive, she clearly had the face of her stubborn mother, who had been known to have her dark eyebrows permanently knotted into a half-scowl.  Her eyes were a gray-blue, not a common color for this region, yet common from the east, where her mother reigned from. Her teeth were clenched tightly, possibly tighter than her fists, where her skin was clearly blanched. She could be mistaken as angry at the moment, but it was clear enough to him she was not. No, her clenched appearance was one of holding back determination, one with a clear goal to pursue. It was a dangerous expression.

“You know as well as I do that I don’t want to be here. I am well aware of who you are, Silver. You are a murderer. Of children, no less. If there was any other damned way to do this, I wouldn’t be risking my life just so you could twist me around your finger. But you are the only one I can turn to right now to save my brother. You are the only one,” she spit out the last words as if she’d tasted something repulsive. She was purposefully injuring her pride for his assistance. He could not help feeling impressed.

“And how would I benefit from this? Your Father would not approve of any award you could give me. And I suspect you are on your own for funds, am I correct?” He had no choice but to ask, unless his appearance as Silver would be compromised. He stepped closer to her until her eyes were forced to look into his colorless ones. “Why should I give a damn?”

Sypia stepped back, looking away. Probably intimidated, no doubt, by his appearance. White hair, clear eyes, no coloration in the cheeks, he more closely resembled a specter in this form.  He made himself smile in a sinister way, surprised how well it fit in his cheekbones. He was grateful for a moment he could not see himself in the mirror, as to see his haunting appearance.

“I will erase your death sentence,” she said at last, still not looking at him.

“And?”

“I will give you my hand  in marriage.”

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