short story, story promptLiam has to escort the irritating Lady Alycia to safety. Will he manage to keep her safe or will he end up handing the young lady off to the Beast Race to be rid of her?


“Well, what am I supposed to do now?” Alycia complained. “You can’t expect me to stay in this hovel for the next few days, surely? I’ll be ill within an hour!”

Liam let out a long, slow breath. Listening to this girl harp on about the massive list of things that were unsatisfactory for her was more stressful than trying to keep her safe from the Beast Race. He had to constantly remind himself that he couldn’t simply hand her over to them. It would make him feel better for a little while, but ultimately it was a bad idea. The Beast Race only needed this spoiled brat in their clutches in order to demand anything they wanted for her safe return.

“You should get some rest,” he told her, kneeling in the centre of the small shack. A ring of charred stones formed a neat fire pit. He began stacking twigs. It would get cold this evening. “You need to keep your strength up.”

“Face me when you talk to me,” she demanded. “I am a noble lady of the Golden House and you will treat me with the respect I deserve. On the same subject, you should address me as ‘my lady’. It’s only proper for a servant to do so.” She sniffed delicately. “I may be on the run, but I will not be treated like a commoner.”

If she keeps this up, I’ll wrap her in a bow and give her to the Beast Races myself! Forget the consequences! He glanced over his shoulder at her. “Forgive me, my lady, but I thought warmth and food would be a priority at the moment, given that night is falling and we have travelled a long way today.” He returned his attention to the pile of sticks. “And I’m not your servant, so I won’t be treating you as my superior. And on that subject,” he looked pointedly at her, “if you want to be fed tonight, you’d better get started on preparing it.”

The shocked look on her face instantly made him feel better. Obviously, it was rare for someone to put her in her place. Well, this wasn’t a luxury holiday to one of the Southern Isles. He wasn’t going to wait on her hand and foot.

Alycia finally got her voice back. “You expect me to do what?”

Muttering a quick spellword to ignite the twigs, he carefully placed a larger, sturdier branch over them and watched as it caught alight. He deliberately kept his back to her as he answered. “I don’t expect you to do anything, really.” He heard her sigh of relief and grinned wickedly to himself. “But if you want to eat tonight, then you should probably start thinking about what you’re going to do in the way of food.”

She came around to stand by the small fire. The rosy glow lit up the puzzled look on her face. “I don’t understand. I saw you catch that rabbit today. Aren’t we eating that?”

“The rabbit? No, we aren’t eating that. I’m eating that.”

“That’s not fair,” she whined, pouting. “I’m hungry!”

“What’s not fair about it?” he questioned. “I caught the rabbit, I did all the work, I’m the one who is going to skin it, gut it and cook it. Why should you get any of it?”

“Because I’m a lady! We don’t do gross stuff like that! I order you to prepare that rabbit for my dinner.” She stamped her foot, obviously hoping to lend extra force to her statement.

Liam just laughed at her. “Aly, that attitude of yours is not going to get you very far out here. I’m the only one here to protect you, watch out for you, and provide for you. Perhaps you should think about keeping me on your good side.”

For the first time, realisation and a shred of fear entered her eyes. He could practically see her envisioning the outcome if he were to leave her to her own devices. Not pretty.

Subdued, she crouched by the fire. “What do you want me to do?”

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