King Dotan met his son at the dock. “Is everything in order?”

“Yes, Father.” The prince bowed, and the king smiled with pride.

“You are finally ready to take my place as king. But,” he chuckled, “the transition can wait until after the honeymoon. Farewell, son. Return with the heart of a princess.”

“I intend to bring the rest of her as well, Father.” Arcani bowed again and walked toward the ship. “General, are the final preparations complete?”

The general kneeled. “Yes, m’lord. The cargo is secure, the passengers are on board. We can set sail in five minutes.”

“Very good. See that it’s done.” He walked up the boarding ramp.

The general stood and began giving commands. 

Arcani walked to the bow of the ship and gazed at the river that extended to the horizon, thinking of the joy he would bring to Isis in roughly twelve hours’ time. 

_________________________

CHAPTER 2
Princess Isis awoke at the usual time. The sun shone through linen curtains. Isis smiled when she remembered what day it was. 

“Attendants!” She clapped her hands and six maidservants entered the room.”I want the engagement gown today. Arcani will arrive later to propose, and I must look my best.”

Four of the servants followed Isis into an adjoining room while the other two tidied the bed. 

After two hours of pampering, Isis was informed that a prince had requested an audience with her. Ten minutes later she stepped into the throne room to find a stranger waiting for her. He was indeed dressed as a prince, but one that Isis had never met. 

“Who are you?” She demanded. 

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