When your favorite author is Stephen King, your favorite movies are Japanese animation, you enjoy manga, and you decide to become a writer, what happens? In the case of Gloria Oliver, you write about them all. Gloria lives in Texas with her husband, daughter, and three cats. She is the author of the fantasy novels In the Service of Samurai, and Vassal of El. She also has stories in The Four Bubbas of the Apocalypse, Small Bites, and Fundamentally Challenged anthologies. She is a proud member of both EPIC and Broad Universe. Her most recent book is The Price of Mercy. The following story is the prequel to it.
Submitted for your approval, the story of a young woman, brought into the service of her Empress when she was 13, to live a life of service among the Royalty, until an unthinkable act changes her forever:
“If you could have anything, my dearest madam, what would you wish for?”
Sylvanna turned on her side beneath the covers to stare at her lover. A swath of early morning sunlight lay over them both, coming through the wide window of the hidden attic room in the palace. “Children. I’ve always thought it’d be wonderful to have a gaggle of children.”
A panicked look crossed Emperor Narpess’ blue eyes before they turned deadly serious. Before he could say anything, however, Sylvanna laughed. “Don’t worry. You asked me a question and I answered it, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped taking precautions.” She gently flicked his long nose. “You’ve nothing to worry about.”
She laughed again when his expression didn’t clear. “If you’re going to fret about it so, we can stop our amusements any time you like.” She sat up, her long black hair falling over her breasts like a draped robe. “Then there’ll be nothing to worry about.” A tilted smile took the sting out of the comment. “Tempting as it might be to have a royal bastard, I would prefer to be a properly married woman before creating my throng of offspring.”
Narpess’ expression turned petulant. “I’m not ready for you to leave me. And no one is fretting about anything.” His creased brows disagreed. “I only asked the question as I was thinking of getting you a gift.”
The rest of the story can be found here.