Going to Fall in Love

Rebecca Jones

It began with the birth of twins, two girls so alike in looks that not even their mother could tell them apart. But only a few months after they were born the girls are separated, one taken by a man who knows a secret and wishes a claim on the Kingdom. He sets her amidst his slaves and raises her as one of them, and she meets two girls. One, the sickly daughter of a scholar who knows she won't live much past maidenhood, and the other, a girl with spirit and strength who is said to be a better man than woman. While back at her real home, her twin sister is raised believing she has no twin and spends her time with the court idiot who helps her try to win the Prince's heart. But in due course the truth becomes known, and the five girls not only battle against each other but against themselves as they each find love and fight it in their own way, for their own reasons.

Chapter One

He walked in, looking around the room and frowning. He couldn't help but think that maybe he'd been misinformed. Sighing, he walked up to the nearest guard, bowing slightly, and saying, "I'm looking for Desrella." The guard shared a look with the guard next to him, then he walked forward, motioning for the man to follow.

They entered a room that was empty except for a woman at the far end, her back to them. She was tall and thin, her hair light brown, and she held herself with a careless sort of grace. The man did not need her to turn around to realize she was not the woman he was looking for, but there was a certain likeness between her and the Desrella he had come to find, so he couldn't help but let his curiosity get the better of him.

She turned, her face passive, her eyes a strange mix between green and gray, her face pale and thin, and looked at him with slight recognition, as though she knew who he was. "What is it you need?"

"You are not Desrella." It was not a question, it was a statement, but he expected and answer, and she knew it.

"No, I am Lilia, her daughter. Surely you, if you are who I think you are, know that Desrella passed some time ago."

He tilted his head. "And who do you think I am?"

"Reilla's brother, though I do not know your name."

"How would you know something like that?"

"You look like her. At least, a bit. But I am well informed, and well aware of the place my visitors come from. You can't trust people in times such as these. I cannot believe that Reilla wouldn't have told you of Desrella's death."

"Reilla herself didn't know of Desrella's death. I am here because she sent me. She wanted to tell Desrella something before she died, something she never said, but she died herself not long ago. In her last words, she bid me to tell Desrella myself, for they were words that needed to be spoken."

"Reilla is dead? How did she die?"

"She caught a sickness this winter past, and she did not make it through the dark times. She never saw the first day of Spring."

"Did she have children?"

"One, a son. But I fear he is little comfort to her husband. I don't know much of what went on back in the times she was here at court, in fact I hardly know a thing, and I get the feeling there are some things I need to know."

"Most likely many things you should know. I could tell you the whole story, but it is a very long story."

"I fear it won't be long enough."

"Long enough for what?"

"To heal the wounds it left behind. To mend the broken walls and to rebuild the fallen bridges. But by all means, tell it, for it is a story I have waited a long time to hear."

"Come then, let us sit. How long can you stay here? I doubt this will be told in one night."

"I can be gone as long as I wish. There will be people that find joy in my return, but none that wait for me."

Lilia nodded. It was a long tale, but she knew that if anyone needed to hear it, it was him. So she took a deep breath and began.