True Leadership

He had a duty, to his country, his king, his family, and he felt all of that begin to crumble in the depths of a pair of large green eyes.

The King’s new concubine, a gift from the royal family of her own land, trained in the killing arts since she could walk, bathed in sorceries that changed her subtly, eyes a little bigger, teeth a little sharper, and trained in the erotic arts since attaining womanhood.  A highly desirable bodyguard for any leader.

“They sent me to judge your people in the soul of their King,” she told him, dropping from her balcony to the garden path in front of him, landing silently.  “But your King is not the heart of your people. You are.”

“What were you to do if you found him wanting?” he asked, knowing the answer, his hand upon his sword hilt.

“Kill him, my people would sweep in to ‘stabilize’ your land,” she told him.

“Wait.”  He steered her toward the large fountain at the center of the garden. The splashing of the water made being overheard unlikely.

“There must be a coup or revolution,” she told him.  “Or kill me. I cannot leave him in power.”

He drew his sword.  She knelt and lifted her hair from her neck, bowing her head.  He dropped the sword and fell to his knees in front of her.

“Why tell me?” he demanded.

“Because you I do not find wanting.” She lifted her eyes to his and smiled.  “You are the stuff of which legendary rulers are made.”

“Thank you.” He said the words, as the dagger in her throat caught her by surprise. Perhaps she’d expected a kiss. “But I like my puppet right where I put him,” he breathed, watching the light go out of those magnificent eyes.

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