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Constance hadn’t been as ready as she would’ve liked to be for such an exchange, and in retrospect, she couldn’t help wondering to what level her response to his affection had pleased him. Yet, his heart had been in his voice, particularly right after he’d cupped her face with one hand, and, with more ardor than the prince of Rêeh had been capable of mustering in a day, Staid had impeccably pressed his warm lips to either of Constance’s cheeks for as long as he dared to stop time, resisting the allure of her trembling mouth as he’d eased her away from him at last. “Leave me, please, my lady. Now.”
Constance hadn’t taken a second to think but had left Staid at once, her whole being ablaze with a mixture of desire, rapture, and dejection. Why on earth did she have to care so for this military man, of all the men in the country, at such an inopportune, trying national time?
Still, looking out at the assembly before her, Constance knew this was not the time to bemoan inopportunity. Critical judgments about life and death were waiting to be made. A force stood menacingly without their land, taunting their nation, and this woman, this royal junior, had something to say about it.
Constance rose from her seat in the audience stall, waiting to be recognized.
A full minute or two passed before her father glanced over at her, but she knew that he’d noticed the moment she’d risen. The king then held up a hand to pause the standing Greenly, along with the other chieftains, elders, and the handful of soldiers whose voices were colliding in the middle of the Mundayne deliberations. Matthias sat there with his hand up as the assembly hall grew silent, and while he looked steadily at Constance in a way she could not interpret, she imagined that he was going to shake his head at her, and order her to sit back down.
He did not order her to do that, however, instead acknowledging her as she’d never thought she would be acknowledged by him in her life.
Spreading hope to her readers and listening audiences, author, editor, and speaker Nadine C. Keels of Seattle, Washington is well-known for The Song of Nadine, the powerful lyrical poetry seen in four of her several books and found on her spoken word album, Hope. Lyricized. Drawing from her lifelong passion for highly enjoyable and transformational fiction, Nadine has written a number of novels and novellas, including Love Unfeigned and The Movement of Crowns Series. In response to inquiries from other aspiring authors, Nadine put together a simple reference entitled Write Your Genius, Genius!: A Rather Quick Guide to Book Writing. Being the founder of Prismatic Prospects, a communication company based in Seattle, Nadine has served as editor and co-editor for a number of titles, and it is her aim to be a proven wellspring of inspiration for creativity and innovation in the marketplace.