This story is based on the film One Night with the King.

Usual disclaimers apply.

Beguiling the King

Esther's POV

Esther couldn't believe her ears. The King needed somebody to read the Royal Diary to him and she had been chosen.

Hegai walked with her down the corridor. She was scared and worried; was she really ready to face the King, alone at night?

"Hegai," she asked him, "can I really read to the King, alone, dressed like this?"

Hegai didn't bother to reply. He knew that if the King was as astute as everyone claimed he was, he would see Esther.

She sat on the stool and picked up the scroll, looking around the room. She knew the rules, this night she wasn't a candidate. She was just a servant and as such had to follow protocol, not to look him directly in the eye, not to speak unless he asked her to and most importantly not to approach him uninvited.

The King was behind the curtain and she could barely make him out. He was making sculptures of some sort. She couldn't see him clearly but she remembered him well, she knew that he was a handsome man.

She read from the scroll, it was all dreary about grain supplies, death and lost sheep. Halfway through the reading Esther couldn't help herself, if the King wanted stories to help him sleep, why not tell him a really interesting one. The worst he could do was telling her to stop.

She began to tell him the story of Jacob, Rachel, Leah and Laban. The King didn't say a word, he just listened to her speak.

"In the morning Jacob said to Laban, did I not serve you seven years for Rachel? Why have you beguiled me?" Esther said.

"Why have you beguiled me?" Xerxes asked her.

Esther couldn't believe the King was speaking to her, his voice was deep and the most musical and beautiful sound that she had ever heard.

"Did he get to have his bride?" Xerxes asked, again.

Esther was too shocked to speak. The King was interested in her story, he wanted to know.

"Yes, he did," she replied, softly, "after serving seven more years."

He come out from behind the curtains and looked at her.

"What do they call you?" he asked her.

"Esther of Susa," she replied.

"Susa, no," he said, smiling softly, "nothing good can ever come out of Susa. Look at me." She looked at him; her memory had served her well. He was the best looking man she had ever seen. She wondered what he thought of her.

The King held out his hand to her, "come," he said, "come and see what I am doing."

Esther couldn't believe it, the King wanted to share something with her. While he was explaining to her about the Greek god of love, his hand accidently touched hers.

And that was the moment.

That was when Esther knew that she would love this man forever.


Three nights later Esther was standing by the palace wall when Hegai joined her.

"You didn't read to the candidates today," he said.

"My throat is sore," Esther replied.

"It's your heart that's sore not your voice," he told her. "It's been three days since you read to him."

"Three days," Esther repeated, it felt like a lifetime.

Hadn't he felt anything at all? Hadn't he fallen in love like she had?

Why didn't he send for her? Just to read to him, be with him, not to marry him.

Why did he not want to see her?

She knew that he was receiving other candidates, what if he chose one before it was her turn? What if she other girl impressed him?

Xerxes' POV

Xerxes was vexed and he was too tense to sleep.

"Why not get someone to read to you?" he was told, "It will lull you to sleep."

Xerxes highly doubted it but he agreed it couldn't be any worse than it was now.

A young girl entered the room; he figured she had to be one of the candidates. She sat on the stool and began to read. Her voice was fine, she knew how to read.

At least Hegai had chosen well, Xerxes thought to himself.

He was listening to her talk about events that had taken place that day around his empire. She began to talk of a Jacob and his love Rachel. He stopped working on his sculpture, that couldn't be in the Royal Diary. He wanted to stop for her impertinence but instead he found himself intrigued by her story.

"In the morning Jacob said to Laban, did I not serve you seven years for Rachel? Why have you beguiled me?" she said.

Xerxes couldn't help himself, "Why have you beguiled me?" he asked her.

Unconsciously he stepped closer and left the curtains that were separating them, suddenly he was filled with the urge to know this girl better.

He asked her name and even invited her to see his work, something that he never did.

As they talked about the Greek god of love, his hand accidently brushed hers and Xerxes knew that he was lost.

"You will read to me, again," he told her.


Three nights later the King sat in his room waiting for the candidate to show up. He hoped it would be Esther, but it wasn't.

Where was she? Why wasn't she being sent to him?

Luckily the candidate couldn't bear his sight; she vomited and had to be removed. Hopefully Esther would be brought to him tomorrow or he would have to come up with all kinds of excuses, he just hoped no one caught onto his game.

Had she not felt bond, he wondered? Had she not felt that they were destined to be together?

Please review and tell me what you think. Should I continue with this?