Rival Love (The Blue Falls Series Book 1)

Rune King’s Daughter
May 14, 2017
Rival Love
June 17, 2017
The war was coming, and all Stefan could do was prepare his people. After so many decades of peace, it was inevitable. His brother had certainly sped things along marrying a human. Harold had been a good man, and he had his heart in the right place when he’d married Lily, but now the traitorous girl had run away with the enemy. The only hope he had of stopping the impending battle was to get Lily back and figure out who was responsible.

He walked along the long Oriental rug in his brother’s office. No, it was his office now, wasn’t it? It was difficult to imagine why Harold had left him in charge. He would need to grieve once he’d settled everything and put a plan into action. For now, he had to suck it up and deal with things. He’d heard rumors of a possible unrest amongst the people and that there might be an uprising if certain rules weren’t altered. Still, he couldn’t imagine that would lead them to kill their leader. It had to be the work of an external party, though one with intimate knowledge of what went on behind these closed doors.

Then there was Lily. She was a once in a lifetime type of girl. For the first year, he’d been insanely jealous of his brother. She was beautiful, sweet, and thoughher situation wasn’t ideal, she had made the best of it. Once he got to know her, he started to accept they would only be great friends and enjoyed her company.

What kind of woman ran away with the man who’d killed her husband? It didn’t seem like she cared at all and he’d really liked Lily. It just didn’t seem like something the girl he knew would do. Could she have been pretending the whole time? Unable to fathom it, he decided it was important to give her the benefit of the doubt. At twenty-four he was going to be a young ruler, and jumping to conclusions wouldn’t help his people keep faith in him. If he made sure to cover every angle and get them the truth, they’d respect him. He addressed the advisor and a small group of the guards that protected the alpha and their people.

“Men, we have to go after her. It won’t do to let the people know we simply let her run off whether she is responsible for Harold’s death, or not.” He straightened to his full height and put on what he hoped was an authoritative voice.

“If I might say, sir, I think she’s guilty and should be thrown in the jail along with her co-conspirator.” The head guard was twice as tall as Stefan and clearly had a negative outlook on the recent events. Clinton was ready to wage war war at all times. Stefan thought perhaps he slept in his uniform.

“Throw away the key for good measure,” Clinton added disdainfully.

“I think we should allow Lily the chance to explain herself. After all, she is to be my wife now that my brother is dead.” The thought excited and terrified him. He wasn’t sure Lily would be willing to taking her place by his side. Even if it was written, as the alpha now he should be able to marry, or not marry, whoever he pleased. He would be content with her. It would be a dream come true, but unlike Harold, Stefan wanted the woman he married to love him in return.

“You’d marry the woman who killed our leader?” Clinton was clutching his chest like the very thought stole his breath. “Your brother?”

“If she killed my brother, my last thought would be to marry her. We will bring her back here, and we’ll give her the chance to defend her actions.” Stefan loved Lily in a brotherly way, but he wouldn’t deny she was beautiful. The fact she was to be his wife in the event of his brother’s death didn’t vex him in the least. That was of course if she wanted to be his wife. The last thing he wanted to do was force it.

Clinton left the room clearly not happy with the options Stefan had given him. He couldn’t go to war over this, not with a much stronger Alornian army. The Slamarion and Alornian clans were named from the places they came from. Years before they’d gone underground to hide from the humans. In the old country, they’d been bitter enemies although history never accounted for why. Once they’d moved, and as the years progressed, they’d struck a deal of peace. Slamarions weren’t known for their fighting style, and Stefan worried his army would be led to slaughter.

His army could very well be overrun by the Alornians who spent their whole life training for battle, whereas his did not. It was their custom, even though a supernatural war hadn’t been waged for decades. Then there was the matter of his enchanting sister-n-law. Stefan didn’t really believe her capable of such a heinous act. As far as he could tell, while she hadn’t truly loved Harold, they had gotten along quite well. Of course, women had fooled his brother in the past. “Gather four or five men, we’ll set out in search of her. Take two with you and start looking. I shall follow shortly.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Oh, sweet Lily, what have you done?” Stefan muttered to himself as he looked out the window over the small town which he now ruled and the dense forest beyond.

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