While I failed to meet my deadline of still posting this is 2014, it is at least not such a scandalously late update as with the previous chapter. The new chapter is titled "A Bad Day", though I hope you'll enjoy yours more than Seraphine is ;-)
Fun fact: this chapter places Heiress of the Nile over the 100000 word mark, so I thank you all for your support of the story!
I hope you will all forgive my tardiness with this and enjoy the insight this chapter gives in Lostris's side of the story. Remember, any constructive criticism is always appreciated :-) Happy reading!
First of all, I owe each one of you an apology. I am terribly sorry for the ridiculously long time I left you all hanging without a note of progress or even a preview. All I can say for myself is that I was busy with schoolwork and other stuff. But even then, nearly a year without an update is downright shameful, so I sincerely apologize for that.
That said, I do come with some -hopefully- good news: the tenth chapter of Heiress of the Nile, titled "Fate and Trust", has been sent to the first editor and I hope that you all will accept this preview -and the one on the news and update page- as a thank you for your hopefully continuing support of the story.
She sighed again and shook her head in an attempt to squash the lively flittering in her stomach that always came when she thought back to their time in the cabin. A part of her would love to go with them, with him, but ... it would be the first time she would be semi-alone with him after all those years. If she would go now with them, with him ... nothing had changed. It would all be the same. She would feel the same and she could not afford that. Not now, not with Naja looking over her shoulder, documenting her every move. He would use it as a sword as he had done before if they were discovered. If ... but "if" is not a certainty ... No, she could not take that change. If that were to happen, the Vizier would send them, send him, away –if they were so lucky it would only be that– and she did not want to lose him. There was a reason she had distanced herself from him and that reason had not changed, to the contrary even. She vividly remembered the recent Nile-incident and how that turned out.
Clearing her throat, she resolutely and determinedly looked up, her voice ringing strong and clear through the room. "I won't let him do that." I can't lose him. "I won't let them risk their jobs, their reputations, or even their lives, just because I want to go to the festival." She steeled her heart for her own words, as well as the disappointed looks from Kori and Taita that stung her like daggers. She averted her eyes and started to move towards her dresser. "There will be other festivals. It is just not worth the risk."
Before Lostris could get far, she was grabbed by the wrist and promptly forced to a halt. "Stop doing that."
"Excuse me?" Baffled by the ordering tones, she turned around and was surprised to look into the burning amber eyes of Sabah as opposed to the blue ones of Taita.
Sabah's eyes snapped open in realization of what she had just done and instantly released Lostris's wrist while averting her eyes. "I-I-I'm sorry, Mistress," she stammered, unsure of how to handle herself. She glanced to the side where Kori was looking open-mouthed at her, her eyes wide. However, when her gaze crossed Taita's, she felt a reassuring calm come over her, as he nearly imperceptibly nodded encouragingly at her. Sabah looked up, though swallowed and flinched, despite herself, at the sight of Lostris staring down on her, a firm and questioning eyebrow arched, radiating a nearly palpable regal attitude. Sabah swallowed again in an attempt to wash away the lump forming in her throat. When she opened her mouth, it worked soundlessly and she quickly closed it again.
"Sabah?" Lostris tilted another eyebrow at her. She was not one to treat her servants with disrespect and command them often, though that did not mean that she accepted everything from them and Sabah had just overstepped her station as a handmaid. She was not mad at the woman, she was just ... Okay, perhaps she was a bit annoyed with her. Why did they not understand that what she was doing was for their wellbeing? It was not like she did not want to go to the festival. She had been looking forward to it for weeks, but her want was just not worth the risk. Why was that so hard to understand?
So, please stay tuned for the upcoming release of the entire chapter. And sorry again for the inexcusable delay ^^".
Nearly 3,5 months after Friend and Foe, Seraphine and Sami are back to entertain you again. To make up for their absence, HotN's latest chapter is the longest of the bunch and has more action and emotional turmoil than the others combined (though rest assured, I can do better, especially with the turmoil).
Though for now, sit back, and take your time to read Chapter 9 - Betrayal to find out who will still be standing after the dust clears up over the battle raging at Sami's camp. I hope you'll enjoy this chapter, and don't forget to comment! Cheers ^^.
After another while, again, very sorry for that, I proudly present my personal favorite chapter so far: Friend and Foe. Seraphine is a tough warrior who knows how to take care of her enemies, but what will she do when she's fighting someone who's already dead?