• Meg Sechrest

The Legends of Alexander - Preview


PROLOGUE


In the Balands 5,000 years ago, a land where queens and kings ruled, ancients and legends were what survived on the lips and in the hearts of many for as far back as history would tell, there was one story that had yet to be told and his would be the greatest adventure yet to be written.

The people of the Empire of Hoagan had all but given up hope when the King abandoned his post after he had been waiting for nearly a decade for the arrival of his promised child as his birth had been predicted by the most trusted and honored wizard, Cosmo, when the beloved King and Queen were told by the physician, they would not conceive a child. Cosmo, however, brought them the news that they would conceive, if they were patient enough.

Patience was never something King Vahvuus knew or practiced well, however, and he decided to take matters into his own hands and he tried conceiving a child without his beloved queen, causing strife in the kingdom and misery amongst his servants.

When one servant girl conceived a child, the Queen’s jealousy ordered her away and the king never saw his child. The King grew angry and became even more impatient. Yet, Cosmo believed the King and Queen would be granted their wish for a child.

Alas, in spite of their impatience, many years later, their beloved Alexander was born and the people of Hoagan were brought hope once again, if only for a brief time.

“Look at his beauty, my dear,” Queen Priscilla said to King Vahvuus as she held her newborn baby in her arms and tears fell from her eyes as she admired his blond hair that reminded her of amber and blue eyes that sparkled like the sea. “All these years we have waited and he is finally here and is more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.”

King Vahvuus felt pride in the son who would take up the throne in his place and he was even prouder of his wife for bringing this young life into the world and wanted to let the whole kingdom know of them. He gave orders to have the kingdom notified at once of Alexander’s birth.

It wasn’t only a glorious day when Alexander came into the world, however, as Cosmo delivered more news to their Majesties.

“Sire,” Cosmo said with a bow as he entered the King’s chambers.

“Why have you called upon me at such a time?” the king responded.

“My apologies, Majesty, for my intrusion, I mean no harm. I bring you word of the most important matter.”

The King looked to his wife where she laid on their bed holding their son. “Is it my son and wife?”

“Your wife will be fine.”

“Tell me of my son if you mean no harm!” he yelled and grabbed the wizard by his gray cloak.

“Majesty, I am merely the messenger.”

“You are right. For this, I apologize.”

King Vahvuus calmed himself to listen to what the land’s most trusted wizard had to say about the future of his only child and son.

“He will grow to be a great man, greater than you. However…”

“Greater than me?!”

“That is what I said, Sire.”

“Continue,” the king said, his temperament much changed, eyes fixed on the Queen and his newborn Prince.

“Send him away. His safety depends upon it.”

“What on earth?” her Majesty chimed in. “I’m not sending away the child I have waited more than a decade for! You must be mad!” She turned her back to Cosmo and clutched Alexander tighter in her arms.

Cosmo knew his words would be rejected and he would need to employ other means as a way to convince the King and Queen of how necessary it would be to ensure Alexander’s safety.

“It is late. I will return to you another day,” Cosmo said and exited the large double doors to the king’s chambers.

“The audacity!” Queen Priscilla huffed as she prepared to ready herself for bed.

“Do not worry of his words, my love. I will see that it all gets straightened out,” King Vahvuus said as he slipped into his own nightwear as he thought on Cosmo’s words… his safety depends on it … and King Vahvuus fell asleep with that thought on his mind.

Much later in the darkest hours of the night as he slept, he sprang up, shaking the Queen from her sleep. “I’ve had the most disturbing vision.”

“What is it, my dear?” Priscilla asked, sitting up in bed as she rubbed her eyes.

“We must send Alexander away until he is 25 years of age. Do not ask me why for I will not tell you. Your heart will not bear it.”

ONE

Twenty-four years later

“Alexander!” his friend, Stephanos, called to him from across the field where he stood playing his favorite sport.

“Don’t break my concentration, Stephan, or this arrow will end up somewhere it shouldn’t!”

“I have news!” Stephanos said, running up to him.

Alexander looked back over his shoulder to his friend but said nothing as he aimed and shot one more arrow across the long field of grass. Once he was finished, he put down his bow and said, “Is it so important you came all the way out here to inform me?”

“Imperative.”

Alexander stood with his arms crossed, waiting for the information, yet his friend still said nothing.

“What is it, my man?”

“It’s your father.”

“My father? You mean the father who never speaks to me and sent me away from his castle before I could even walk?”

Stephanos nodded. “Yes.”

Alexander went back to his archery, not being very interested in the father who practically deserted him. “Well then, what about him? What is this big news?”

“He is ill.”

Alexander lowered his bow and turned his face to his friend. “Gravely?”

“Yes.”

Alexander nodded but was unsure how to feel about the possible impending death of a man who he should love, but the reality was that Alexander hardly even knew him.

“Let us head back into the village,” Alexander said as he gathered his bow and arrows and his mind drifted to only one thought—Elia—the woman who’d brought him great comfort and solace over the past many years.

“What are you thinking?” Stephanos asked as they began the walk through the lush and thick forest back to the small and secluded village where Alexander had spent his years growing and becoming a man.

A wide grin appeared on his face and he said, “You don’t want to know what I’m thinking.”

“Elia?”

Alexander raised his eyebrows. “Life is unfair, isn’t it? I’m a prince yet I don’t live the life of one.”

Stephanos sighed and slapped his friend on the back. “You are living a good life. No, you might not be able to marry any woman you want, and your attraction to Elia has your bitterness at its peak right now, but you have many advantages in your life that most of these villagers have not,” he said and pointed around at the small village as they stepped out of the other side of the woods and looked out on the village. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

Alexander stepped down the hill behind his friend and considering his words but also that there was a great deal Alexander actually did have to feel sorry about, the first being that his father was going to die without having ever truly known him, the second being that he was deeply in love with a woman that he could never marry for more reasons than one and it was all because of the workings of his father.

“Stephan, I need to do some thinking. I will see you later.”

“Does your thinking include the fair and very beautiful Elia Berslurie?”

Alexander opened the door to his house and tossed his bow and arrows onto the floor just inside the door and turned around as he closed the door and answered, “My thinking always considers her.”

“I do believe that is true. Meanwhile, it’s getting late and I’m going home. My wife is a great cook and I’m famished.”

“Go home to your family.”

“You can come for supper if you want.”

“Thanks anyway. I’m perfectly content with more Emilash bread and dried meat.”

“Elia has brought you more?”

Alexander nodded. “She brings me more every time she is away.”

“Suit yourself. I’m sure Colette would be happy to have you.”

“Let her know I said hello.”

Stephanos nodded and waved as he walked away from alexander.

“To the river tomorrow?” Alexander yelled after him as he left to his own stone cottage.

“Some of us have work, you know!” he hollered back.

Alexander smiled, shaking his head as he stood in his doorway and watched his stocky, happy-mannered best friend walk away. Alexander looked around the village of Gartha, remembering his earliest memories there when he was just a young boy and he lived with a family whose own children were grown, and he remembered meeting Stephanos when he was just old enough to leave the house on his own and from that moment on, they’d been inseparable. Alexander had always been drawn to Stefanos’s light temperament and a care-free attitude. It also benefitted him that Stephanos didn’t care that Alexander was the King’s son as many others did and tried to use it to their benefit, which is why Alexander didn’t end up in Gartha until he was nearly five years of age.

Alexander turned to step inside his house and heard a voice from his kitchen room.

“How many days do you believe I would let you go on eating dried meat and Elvish bread before I intervened?”

Happiness became him when he heard her voice. “Elia,” he said and approached where she stood at the stove hearth, making soup.

“I got back earlier today, but you were out.”

She turned around and wiped her messy hands on the apron she was wearing before reaching her hands up to hold his face.

“You have no idea how much I missed you the weeks you were away,” Alexander said, leaning in to kiss her.

Elia, savored the taste of him for many moments, pulling him close to her as she reached her arms up around his head and entangled her fingers into his very dark blond hair that was almost brown when the light hit it just right, and she allowed his hands to untie the apron and pull it off her as his hands needed to refamiliarize themselves too.

When Alexander’s passion was too much for him, he pulled back and ran his finger through his hair as he let out a long breath.

“I missed you too,” Elia said when he slumped into the chair directly behind him. She held his strong chin in her hand and moved his hair back from his face so she could look his blue eyes directly into her dark browns.

“How was your journey?”

“Just the same as always. What has you so down?”

He patted his lap for her to sit and he wrapped his arms around her waist. As she sat and began stroking her fingers in his hair, he rested his head on her shoulder and admired everything there was about her beauty from her dark hair to her acorn colored eyes to her wide, plump lips, he adored her.

“I received word that my father is ill.”

Elia frowned and kissed his cheek. “I’m so very sorry.”

“You do know what this means?”

She shook her head.

“I’m the only heir to the throne in Hoagan if… or I should say when he dies.”

Elia gasped and stood, placing her hand on her forehead, becoming very distressed.

“You will leave.”

“I must.”

Her sadness became tears and she said, “You will forget me.”

Alexander held his finger to her lips and brought her close to his chest.

“No. You are too much a part of me. You would never allow it.”

Elia nodded, agreeing to his statement. In reality, she knew when he left Gartha, she would have to return to her homelands for good, separating them even more, creating a distance too far to be traveled regularly. In turn, causing him to seek his love elsewhere.

“Eat,” she said and served him the food she had made and poured him wine.

Alexander sat with his elbows on the table and his forehead rested in his hand, concentrating on his thoughts as she tried her best to coax him to take food.

“Are you not hungry this evening? What have you eaten today?”

He glanced up to her from under his hands. “I had some of the bread you left me.”

Wiping the hair back from his brow, she said, “Lex, you need nourishment if you are to be King.”

Alexander took her hand and brought it to his lips. “We don’t know when that day will come. When it does, my first order is to unite nations so that the race of men can marry Althilinians.” His blue eyes looked up to her. “I want that more than anything.”

Sadness dispensed her body and she leaned in to kiss his cheek.

“The Elves have never taken issue with men. Somehow, men take up war with every person they can.”

“Not when I am King.”

He continued kissing her cheek and lips for a few moments.

“And what will you do of the problems in the Boroughs where the Bantam people live?”

“You mean the invasions of the mire tribes into the upper territories?”

She nuzzled her head into the crook of his neck and began kissing the soft of his skin there and she breathed in his scent. “Mmm.”

Rubbing his hands up and down her back, he said, “I already have word that my father had made an alliance with the Fenmire lands near the sea where the dragons have been raised and bred.”

Alexander lifted her up and carried her into the next room as he kissed her, wrapping her legs around his waist to sit on his bed and strip off his shirt.

“I’ve heard the people of wetlands aren’t very friendly,” she said as he leaned her into him and peeked over her shoulder to untie her dress.

“Well,” he said, laying her back onto his bed with a kiss. “I’ve been known to be just as unpleasant. Fortunately for you, you’ve never experienced that side of me.”

“Is that so?”

He raised his eyebrows and lifted the covers over them, disappearing underneath.

***

“Your Majesty,” Cosmo said upon his entrance into the throne room.

“What news have you brought me today? Is it about my son?”

“It is, sire.”

“He is almost 25. Are we to bring him home?”

Cosmo shook his head. “No, my Lord. I must go to him.”

The King stood out of his throne, demanding answers. No one had gone to see the Prince but only a few times in order to keep his location a secret from invading armies and enemies who would seek his demise.

“What is this?! You seek our destruction?!”

“Of course not, sire. It is of the utmost importance that I see him regarding his return home within the year.”

King Vahvuus urged Cosmo to continue.

“The enemies are planning to invade your lands and he must be protected.”

“We will shelter him here!” King Vahvuus shouted, pounding his fists onto his throne. “It is time to bring him home!”

“No, my Lord. I’m afraid it isn’t.”

“I’m dying.”

“Which is precisely why he needs protecting.”

“Why? We have nearly passed the 25-year mark that you showed me all those years ago in my dream. His birthday is just next week.”

Cosmo held his staff up which held a crystal sphere on the top. Through the globe, he brought forth another vision for the king to see: Alexander’s death.

“Show me no more!” he said, closing his eyes and pushing the staff away.

“As you wish,” Cosmo said and ran his hand over the sphere, causing the images to disappear. “Now you have seen.”

Vahvuus thought about what he had been shown for only a moment before he said, “Go to him. Take my guards…”

“None of that will be necessary. Once I have seen him and know his condition, I will return to you.”

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© 2020 Meg Sechrest All Rights Reserved.

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 © Meg Sechrest 2020

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