A humble cabin in the woods was Marta’s true home and her prince had just seen it. Her lies had been revealed due to one simple fact she could’ve attended to earlier: exhaustion. She had allowed her body to tire, ignored the yawns and fogginess in her head. It was, of course, no surprise that the magic in her system waned, leaving her muscles aching, mind unclear, and heart exposed to Elya’s justified wrath.
Anger drew lines across his forehead, tensing his jaw and clenching his once
Home wasn’t far away.
Marta stopped to drink from a stream under the cover of trees once again. The water quenched her nerves and soothed her scratchy throat. She stroked the egg, wondering just what Grand Prince Vladimir would do with such a rare gift. Would he have the servants place it under warmers until it hatched and then lock up the bird in a fancy cage? What of his esteem for her? She already had Elya’s love but a lady of nobility was tasked with providing expensive dowries
Deep in the forests of Mirovinia lived an aging lumberjack named Paskale and his daughter Marta. As the sun awakened the sleepy woods with warm, delicious rays of pink-orange light, she stood troubled on the back porch of their cabin home, fully in the knowledge that tomorrow morning she’d be marrying Elya...and still had no dowry to give.
Her papa was a very old man, having retired from his job at the lumber mill more than a handful of years ago. She spent most of her days reluctantly