Chapter One---Happenstance

Alliances are usually made with crossed fingers. The agreements made are flawed. Such is the way of the ruling powers. Eventually the truth twists and turns in so many circles you are never quite sure if you are back where you started or if you have stumbled onto something new. And this is exactly what the Realms had wanted. But, as plans do, things had taken an ill-fated turn. Within their own Realms, betrayal was brewing and a piece of the past was about to be resurrected and used against them by the one person they believed they could trust most.

§†§

Yana's chest heaved with exhaustion as her children were set in her arms. The two children looked up at her with wide, wondering eyes and she smiled at them, her heart leaping with exhilaration. However, her heart plummeted when she saw the children's looks. They were unique to say the least but it was that very rareness that doomed them. To say Yana loved Konai would be truthful. To say she had been faithful, an unspeakable falsehood.

Yana's azure orbs were crestfallen as her maidservant entered the room, Raga close behind her. Yana's heart broke when he flashed her that handsome smile and leaned over her to peek at the children. The smile disappeared.

"Oh Yana…" Raga picked up the boy and held him tightly, closing his eyes as an anguished look overtook his face. Yana looked down at her daughter, a single tear sliding down her cheek, and called Romi over to her.

"Milady?" Yana kissed the bundle in her arms and placed her gently in Romi's arms, whispering to Romi softly. Raga held and inquisitive gaze in his amber orbs and when Yana turned away from him, he knew the horrible truth. Romi took the boy from him and exited the room ever so quietly, least some one see her as she disappeared into the darkness.

"Yana…I…" Raga's voice trailed off miserably as he looked at her forlorn expression.

"I thought…I hoped…no matter, it was not to be. It's best you leave now Raga, Konai will be extremely grieved." Raga took a hesistant step towards his brother's wife and started to reach for her before he withdrew his hand, shaking his head as he headed to the door.

"I would bear the extent of his fury if it meant you would accept me. I had hoped…" Yana couldn't bear the agony in his smooth tenor voice and she turned away once more, inflicting the final wound into Raga's bleeding heart.

"I see now that is not the case. I beg your leave, milady." The white haired woman didn't miss the caustic tone in his words as he slammed his way from the room. Yana laid her head on her pillow, crying softly in the darkness.

"Forgive me…"

"A present my Lord, in behalf of your newborn heir." A sheathed blade was present to Emperor Konai, its golden hilt glistening in the light, winking at the brown haired king. Konai unsheathed it almost timidly and the metallic ring that resounded filled his ears and settled into a throb behind his eyes. It made him feel almost faint. Donovan smirked to himself, pleased with how easy the fools were making it for him.

"Please give my thanks to your people and the other Realms. They have been most kind in honoring the birth of my son. Until we met again, Lord Donovan." The two men bowed to each other and Donovan disappeared into the night. Konai sheathed the blade once more, standing as a servant entered eyes downcast and cheerless.

"Your Highness…I…I bear tragic news. Your son has died." Konai was motionless for a moment before he collapsed to his chair, holding his head in his hands. He hadn't even gotten a chance to see the boy. The ringing that lingered behind his eyes intensified and a sudden swell of rage overtook the normally calm man.

"Be gone with you! Leave!" The Emperor's hands shook as the servant fled the room. The sword that lay on the table next to him seemed to call to him, begging to be used. Begging for blood. Konai sat for a long while in his room, holding his head in his hands. As ruler of one of the Six Kingdoms that made up the Realms, he was expected to produce an heir. Unlike the Dark Shaze, whose rulership was passed onto the eldest child, male or female, the Kingdom of Time passed the kingship unto the eldest male child.

Konai had looked forward to a son being born throughout the nine months of his beloved wife Yana's pregnancy. When Yana had finally told him she was to bear his child, he couldn't have been happier. He'd doted on his Jiyvathian wife, waited on her hand and foot and set up the most expensive nursery the Realms had ever seen. But it was not to be. There would be no heir this day.

§ † §

Stone stumbled out of bed, the pounding on his door jolting him from a peaceful slumber. He cursed angrily as he stepped on something sharp trying to pull his pants on in the dark, trying to reach the door.

Upon yanking the door open, fully prepared to tell whoever was there exactly what they could do with themselves, he found there was no one there, only a wicker basket on the front step. The attached note was addressed to him and only one word was inscribed on the inside.

Yana

Quickly, taking care to make sure no one was watching, the man picked up the basket and hurried inside, locking his doors. Lifting the cover aside, Stone found two small, sleeping children inside. He looked at them for a very long while before it occurred to him just why his sister would send him her only children.

"Oh Yana, what have you done?" He whispered to himself as he attempted to set up a make-shift nursery for the twins, wondering if they were indeed safe with him.

Stone wondered just what Yana had intended him to do with the children. Surely he couldn't raise them himself without arousing suspicions. Everyone in the Middle Kingdom knew what Empress Yana looked like. It had been quite the day when the Emperor had announced his betrothal to a Jiyvathian princess.

Stone couldn't remember the last time any of the ruling powers had married outside their kingdoms. Shaking his head of the pointless ponderings, Stone looked once more at the children, The more he looked at them, the more he was certain he could not raised them. It was too dangerous. Surely Yana knew they looked far too conspicuous to pass for ordinary citizens. A soft rapping sounded at his door and Stone hesitated to answer it, seeing what had happened the last time he'd opened the door.

"Greetings, your Majesty." The woman stood with her head bowed, a hood pulled over her head. Stone sighed, pulling her unceremoniously into the house. A small whine escaped the woman's lips as she stumbled in side, just barely evading the heavy door as it close behind her.

"And just who are you?" Startled amber eyes met aggravated sapphire ones. The petite woman's visage clearly stated he should know why she was there.

"I'm waiting for an explanation." Stone narrowed his eyes, in no mood to give consequence to her feelings.

"I'm your wife."

Bloody hell.


A.n: Woo so review and let me know what you think! This is my first press fic but this story has been in the making for FIVE YEARS -grumbles- It's quite upset I've been putting it off so long. SO Review!!! That way I'll write more!

Ulti!