Trapped at his father’s court, Coby always believed that he would live and die by his father’s tyrannical rules. But Coby’s lover Rodolf had no intention of allowing that to happen. Stolen away in the dead of night, Coby woke to a new home full of warriors, frigid weather and the age-old battle to establish his place among the people surrounding him.
Stolen Away is a fantasy tale of political maneuvering, love and taking risks to achieve your goals.
By Meyari McFarland
1. Stone Walls
“There’s my beautiful boy.”
Coby sighed in his sleep as a smile curled his lips at the sound of his lover Rodolf’s voice. The old raider’s honey-gravel drawl inspired dreams of their last secret visit. Coby had slipped out of the palace, sneaking through the hallways and hiding from servants, guards and family alike, until he made it out into the garden. Tall thorn hedges had hidden them from prying eyes as Rodolf kissed, caressed and loved Coby.
Their precious stolen moments were all that made Coby’s life worth living. The crowded court of Kaer was not a kind place. The constant battles against the troll-like Raiven made men cruel enough without his father King Frits playing his games with everyone’s hearts and minds. He sighed and shifted in bed ever so slightly, just barely waking when cool callous-rough fingers touched his forehead.
“Sleep deeply and do not wake, little one. I have you.”
Magic swept over Coby, dulling his dreams while sending him deeper into darkness than he’d been in ages. He’d learned to sleep lightly during small childhood. His father King Frits had never seen any reason to play mediator among his many legitimate and illegitimate sons so Coby had frequently been bullied for being small, apparently fragile and heartbreakingly beautiful. Even Eduart’s protection as the Heir to the throne hadn’t meant a thing when they all went to their beds. One smallish boy being attacked amongst the army of other sons was simply not noticed in Kaer’s royal court.
His dreams became choppy things full of cold and fear, riding horseback with bare toes, and tangled long white-blond hair. Rodolf’s voice murmured comfortingly to him as he slept. His words were like sunlit brandy poured into a timeworn voice, matching the gentle touch of his heavily calloused hands.
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