When Prince Nemir is forced to leave his cushy homeland to make nice with a neighboring kingdom, he knows the trip will be unpleasant. He's not much of the outdoorsy or adventurous type and Tasnia is known for its roughness, its chimera, swamps and worst of all, its oves...
Soluc is the leader of the militia of the oves, the ogre-elf hybrids of Tasnia. But controlling a group of half monsters who want nothing more than to draw blood and have fun is proving more complicated than he expected. Especially when there is an extra prince in the kingdom just to confuse him. Not to mention a jealous brother, willing to stop at nothing to take his place...
His brother was right. They couldn’t mess up where it concerned the humans and their prince; the outcome would be too unpleasant.
He bent down next to Memet and pulled back the fabric gently.
“Check his head for bumps or cuts,” Memet said.
Doing as he was told, Soluc stroked prince Allard’s hair back, examining his face first. For such a small being, he had strong features; a straight nose, square jaw, high cheekbones, but his skin was just too soft.
Soluc ran his fingertips over his cheeks and neck, feeling it again.
Skin like this did not belong on an adult, he decided.
He looked up at a ripping noise and found Memet tearing the front of the prince’s shirt open to examine his chest.
Soluc raised a brow. Okay, maybe he was a grown man, despite his small size and smooth skin. Chests like that did not belong on children. He was slight but defined.
Shaking his head, Soluc went back to his task, running his fingers deep into the thick, dark hair.
“There’s a bump on the back of his skull, here,” he said, “and one at the front, here.”
Memet came to examine the spots indicated and finally, sat back with a sigh.
“No cuts, a few bruises and two small lumps.”
He looked up at Soluc with an amused smile.
“Hard to believe, but it looks like they did a good job getting the prince.”
“Yeah,” he agreed. “I definitely did not expect that.”
A soft moan drew Soluc’s attention back to the form in front of him. He crouched down even lower to look at the human as he began to sigh and shift in discomfort.
Prince Allard moaned again and it became clear that it was a moan of pain.
Slowly, his eyes fluttered open, focusing on the canopy above them for a moment before he shut them tightly again and pressed a hand to the back of his head.
The little thing was delicate it would seem, or a little bump on the head wouldn’t have been enough to knock him out cold for hours.
Finally, his eyes fluttered open again, exposing dark eyes of a depth that Soluc had never seen before.
He stared at the color—almost black, he was sure—with wonder until they focused on him.
The prince blinked at Soluc blankly, until Soluc thought to say something. He wasn’t very good at kidnapping people, it would seem.
“Hello, Prince Allard,” he said softly. His father had once said that being gentle was the best way to deal with humans. “Don’t be alarmed. You won’t be harmed as long as your family answers our ransom.”
Said prince, furrowed his brow in confusion and then shut his eyes with another hiss of pain.
When he opened them again, the focus was slipping even farther from his eyes.
“I’m not Prince Allard,” he said.
Soluc had misheard him.
He leaned in.
“What?” he asked. His voice came out unnecessarily sharp but the prince didn’t seem to notice.
“I’m Nemir,” he murmured. “From Suvahl.”
And he was out.