I'm baaack! Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty-Five: Asking for Help

Reina's face visibly paled. "M-my f-father? H-he's th-the king? No, that cannot be-"

"It is," Parker said, nodding. "Reina, it's true. We are cousins. Uncle Jared…he's your father."

Reina looked from Parker to Temperance to Booth. "No, that cannot be! My father was a shipmate. He died before I was even born! My mother said so! She told me stories about him! She wouldn't lie to me!" There were tears in the young girl's eyes. "You're lying to me!" She took a step back towards the door but Parker stopped her.

"Reina!" he said, pleading with her, "trust me; we're not lying to you! Have I ever lied to you?"

Reina sniffled. "How am I supposed to know? Isn't it a point of a lie that the person doesn't know you're lying?"

"She has a point," Temperance said, "But in this case, we're not lying to you, and I don't believe Prince Parker would have any reason to lie to you."

"I don't," Parker confirmed, "I would never lie to you, or anyone, unless the circumstances were dire. And these are not. Trust me, please Reina, when I say I'm telling you the truth about Jared. He's your father."

Reina looked deep into Parker's unwavering gaze and could not deny the honesty she found within them. She gasped, stepping away and crumpling to the floor. Angela was at her side in an instant, attempting to calm the young girl, rubbing a soothing hand on her back.

"Shh, Sweetie, it's okay," she murmured in the girl's ear, wrapping her arm around her trembling body, "everything is going to be just fine."

"No, it's not!" Reina sobbed. "All these years…all these years I let my mother fool me into thinking that my father had died and now…now I find out he's been alive and well all along! And that he's the King, no less! And now you, all of you, want me to help you overthrow him? Why should I?"

Temperance kneeled in front of her and clutched at her hand. Reina resisted for only a moment but stopped struggling when she realized Temperance wasn't letting go. "My parents," Temperance started, struggling against tears of her own, "my parents were run out of my village, along with my brother, abandoning me because your father, King Jared, wants to kill them! He wants to kill them and kill me, and anybody opposed to him. But what he's doing is wrong, Reina. He is raising taxes to pay for his own selfish wants and he is depriving his people of food and necessities needed to sustain life, just so he can have more for himself. And he took my own cousin from me, as well as other young girls! He took them so that they would serve him and be his wives! His father before him, a cruel, cruel man, did the same as him and it needs to be stopped! Look what they did to your uncle!" She motioned to Booth, who was still in disguise as a guard. "He was exiled because he did not agree with your father! Trust me, Jared must be stopped. But that won't happen if we don't have your support. Please, say that you will help us end this madness?"

Reina looked up into Temperance's eyes. She was quite for a long time, just looking at everybody around her, feeling the warmth of Angela's arms around her, seeing the distraught faces of those around her. Some faces she recognized, some she didn't. Then she spoke.

"Okay," she said, nodding and wiping away the last remnant of her tears, "I'll help. What do you need me to do?"

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