Prologue

It was dark at the outside of the Towton Hall, rough rain was banning of the windows and the thunder growled somewhere close.

- He is here, Richard whispered from the darkest shadow.

- Who? Fredrika asked and tried to keep herself as much calm as it was possible.

Richard was silent and only thing which Fredrika heard was her own breathing and the rain.

Temperature at the corridor dropped quite violently and her heart accelerated its beat.

There was now more than one phantom at present, she was sure about it.

She felt cold sweat on her back and the freezing air grabbed on her legs.

Everything seemed to become cold and dead around her, something was coming and all the warmth of life escaped from its way. She was the only one who didn't run away. Her warm heart pumped up daring this anonymous danger which was coming towards her.

Fredrika started to tremble with fear, she wanted to run but her legs were like rooted on the carped under her.

- It is Tudor, Richard replied after long silence and his voice was full of ice cold hate.

This information didn't help Fredrika at all, her heart was about to explode for pure horror. Her pajama had become damp from her sweat and she wanted to scream but her voice was stoked in her throat.

Then she felt Richard's light hand on her shoulder.

- He is not here for you, it's me he is after, now go back to your chamber and stay there till the dawn.

His voice was soft and calm, full of warmth which eased up Fredrika's fear. He poured new courage to her veins and she felt how the cold fist of horror released her. Her heart slowed down its fast tempo and the sickening feeling in her stomach faded away.

He turned her around gently and she walked back to her chamber.

Fredrika crawled back under the blankets like a caterpillar of a butterfly and tired to sleep. After few minutes she felt that same coldness around her again. Maybe it was Richard but if it was him something wasn't right, this one was far too rough and raw.

Suddenly all the blankets were stripped away from her and a heavy weight pushed her chest.

Her eyes flew open and she saw a ghostly burning figure above her.

Its face was as ugly and horrifying as demons' and its eyes burned with rage.

Raw fear took her once more and she tried to cry for help.

Freezing hands grabbed on her throat and started to strangle her.

- I gave you a warning but you didn't listen; now you'll die Yorkist bitch! The figure roared.

Fredrika tried to free herself from the grip of the dragon faced demon but it was hopeless. She was unable to breath and soon she would be dead.

Every light faded away when the black flowers of suffocation took all the space. And the last thing which came into her mind was her king's gentle smile.