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"Quickly boy!" shouted the tall and burly soldier as he stopped beside the stunned Dom. "You ain't no pretty ladies's man anymore but a member of the King's Own! Don't just standing there gawping - start shootin' at them Scanrans!"
Dom tightened his grip on his bow. To murder - to take away another's life - it was wrong! He couldn't do it. Yet he must; didn't he want to protect his country from harm? This was the only way. His mouth tightened as he drew the string back and let the arrow fly. Zing. The arrow whistled through the air and struck a Scanran squarely in the neck. Dom watched in horror as the man toppled and fell, blood pouring from his wound.
A minute: that was all it took to kill a man.
"Your brother Lornac is dead," Lord Masbolle informed his son. His voice shook. "He...died in a Scanran raid last week."
Dom's blue eyes widened in shock as the pain and grief coursed through his veins. He had ridden for almost a day to Masbolle, eager to greet his parents and siblings, and instead, was faced with this news! Tears streaked down his cheeks and he bowed his head.
His father turned away from his only son, hiding the tears glittering in his eyes.
The steward stepped forward with cold eyes. "No more shirking your responsibilities now, Domitan. You are the heir of Masbolle now."
A day: that was all it took to change Dom's life.
Dom grinned at Kel; his blue eyes flashing in his weather-tanned face. "No more fooling around now, squire," he told Kel mock-seriously. "This is the real deal and the King's Own is no joke. Fighting 24/7 sound good to you?" Despite the fact that Kel had been with the Own a year now; it was a running joke used every time the two were called out to battle.
Kel grinned back. "Serving my lord sounds good to me," she replied demurely.
"How about serving him up for dinner for a matchmaking mama then?" he suggested wickedly.
A warm glow lit within him as she laughed, hazel eyes dancing with amusement. If he blushed, a blush would have spread across his cheeks. His heart quickened its already rapid beating and he felt hot all over.
A year: that was all it took to confirm that he was madly and completely in love with Keladry of Mindelan.
He looked at her seriously for a moment; his blue eyes shone in the moonlit night; then he slowly got to one knee. "Keladry of Mindelan, will you marry me?"
Tears sparkled in Kel's eyes as she smiled radiantly at him; she had never been more beautiful. "I will, Dom," she answered softly, half-laughing, half-crying as he gently slid a diamond ring onto her ring finger. "Willingly and with all my heart. I love you."
Dom sprang up and swept her into his arms. The two kissed softly under the gentle caress of the moon.
An eternity: that was how long he wanted to be with his true love.