I do not own nor profit from Red River or this fanfic. It belongs to Chie Shinohara.

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Kail Mursili shot to full attention.

The goblet left his hand before he had time to think. "That girl!"

He gave no thought to protocol, to rituals and rules. All he knew was that before him stood that strange, intriguing girl, and he could not let her perish before he found out more about her. Their meeting had been brief and chaotic, but it had burned itself into his brain and would not let him rest.

He did not remember the words he spoke, barely registered the shock of the assembled crowd. As he took her delicate face in his hands, looked into her lovely, albeit frightened eyes, he felt something within him shift. He did not regret the lie that allowed him to remove her from the clutches of his scheming stepmother.

All he knew was that he had to have her, to keep her. He needed to know more of her, all her dreams and secrets. From the first, he was thoroughly caught in a web not of his own making.

And as their relationship evolved, the strands of that web would weave them ever more tightly together, until he didn't know where one began and the other ended. Ishtar or no, she had been brought to his time for a purpose and a plan. The far reaching and often bizarre adventures they found themselves in confirmed that.

Oh yes, she had a purpose in the Hittite empire. And so long as he lived, he would ensure that included his life as well.