Home > Black Knight (Royal Elite #4)

Black Knight (Royal Elite #4)
Author: Rina Kent

Prologue - Kimberly

 

 

Age six

 

 

Sometimes, stories end the moment they start.

Nana used to tell me that when I spent summers with her in Newcastle. At least back then, I could stay away from Mummy and how she looked at me.

As if she hated me.

Now, I have no Nana. There’s no one to take me away from here or tell me stories that transport me to other worlds.

Worlds with princes and knights. Worlds filled with so much magic, I dream of them.

I trot down the house’s stairs until I’m outside. The sun is so bright today, casting a bright hue all over the garden and the fence.

The sound of Mum and Dad’s fighting follows me until I close the door behind me. No one can hear them now, not the staff, not the neighbours.

Not even me.

I flop down on the step and lick on the pistachio gelato stick Dad bought me earlier. Silver says all gelato tastes the same, but Silver is stupid sometimes. Pistachio gelato is the best. It’s green and sweet and delicious.

If I weren’t so upset, I would’ve gone to her house and played with her Barbie dolls, but I don’t want to go anywhere.

Except for…

My gaze strays ahead to the huge mansion across from ours. It has an ancient feeling, like those castles from Nana’s stories – the ones where knights and princes live. I want to go there, knock on the door, and ask him to come out.

My knight.

We agreed on that last week – that from now on, he’s my knight. I even blessed him with a bamboo stick as the queen does.

Silver doesn’t care when I’m upset, but he does. Because he’s my knight. He always tickles me and tells me jokes until I break down in giggles.

The boy with golden hair and magical blue eyes, like the stories in Nana’s books.

Still sucking on my gelato, I rise to my feet and take slow but determined steps until I’m out of our garden’s gate. It’s the afternoon, so maybe he’s with Aiden and Cole. Maybe he doesn’t want to play with me today.

I hate it when he chooses the boys over me.

Their garage door hisses open and I freeze. A red car comes out, slow at first, then it gains speed on the exit.

Aunt Samantha.

She’s the one who plays the role of the queen in Nana’s stories with her golden locks and big blue eyes that are so kind and caring.

Aunt Samantha, who invites me in whenever my parents are fighting and gives me snacks and food. She sits with me and does my hair because Mummy doesn’t have time to. She tells me Mummy has an important job and that I shouldn’t hate her for that.

She’s also my knight’s mother.

Her face is blank, without its usual warmth. She appears upset, but she’s not crying. Or maybe she’s not upset at all. She’s like Mummy when she locks herself in her art studio, not wanting to see anyone.

I’m about to wave at her when I notice who’s running after her car.

Xander.

The boy with golden hair and blue eyes that he stole from the ocean, the sky, and the magic in books.

Tears stream down his cheeks as he screams his mother’s name. His entire body shakes, but he doesn’t stop chasing her.

For a second, the whole world freezes. It’s a moment, just one moment in time. It’s so weird how all bad things happen in just a moment.

Nana left me in a moment, too. She was sitting with us one minute, and the next, her heart stopped. She was there, smiling at me, giving me gelato and telling me a story, and then my only grandmother was gone.

Now, it’s only me, Mummy, and Daddy.

I hate it when it’s only me and them. Because Daddy works a lot and I don’t get to spend much time with him. And Mummy…well, I don’t exist in front of her, not like when I existed with Nana.

She was my world. Now, I have nothing.

As I stand there watching Aunt Samantha’s car rolling away and Xan running after her with his short legs, my chest becomes painful, the same as it did when Nana left.

My heart beats loud and hard in my ears. I’m not hearing Xan’s cries and screams. I’m hearing mine when Nana dropped to the ground, closed her eyes, and never woke up.

I knew then, I just knew I’d lost something that couldn’t ever be retrieved.

My life changed forever.

Just like Xan’s is.

He hits the car’s boot, but instead of braking, the red car makes a loud sound as it revs down the street.

“Mum, don’t go!” Xan runs behind her, his flip-flops slapping against the street. “Don’t leave me, please. I’ll be a good boy. I p-promise.”

His words bleed into each other, mixed with his tears.

My feet move of their own volition, slow at first, then I’m running as fast as Xander behind the red car.

That car resembles a monster with flaring nostrils and red horns, but neither of us stop.

He’s still screaming and crying, the sound loud in the silence of the street. His shoe slips from his right foot. He kicks the other away and keeps running barefoot, uncaring about the small pebbles on the asphalt. I stop for a second to gather his flip-flops in one hand as the gelato melts in my other. It’s starting to get sticky and make a mess, but I don’t let go as I follow Xan.

He’s in pain and I don’t like it when he’s in pain. I don’t like it when anyone is in pain, but I hate it more when it’s him.

I taste salt, and I realise my cheeks are soaked with tears, too.

“Stop, M-Mum!” Xan trips, but he catches himself and continues sprinting. The sounds he makes are winded and so guttural, it’s like an animal breathing.

The car disappears around the corner. Xan doesn’t stop. He keeps running and running, even when Aunt Samantha and her monster car vanish from sight.

Even when it’s only the two of us on the long road adjacent to our neighbourhood.

His foot catches and he tumbles forward, falling to his knees, crying so loudly, I feel every sound in my bones.

“Muuuum!”

I rush to him but stop a small distance away, hugging his flip-flops to my chest. Then slowly, too slowly, I crouch and put them on each of his feet. The skin has turned dirty and one of them has a cut from which blood coats his small toe.

“G-Green?” He stares at me through the tears that glisten as they flood his eyes.

Xan calls me Green because it’s my favourite colour. Where other girls have pink bedrooms, I have a green one.

“M-Mum is g-gone.” He sniffles.

I force a smile. “She’ll come back.”

It’s a lie. I also said Nana would come back after I slept, but when I woke up, she still wasn’t there.

Adults don’t come back when they leave.

“S-she won’t! She said she doesn’t want me and Dad anymore.” His lower lip trembles, even as he tries to stop crying by turning away from me.

“Xan…” I reach a hand for him and wipe his tears with my sleeve.

For a moment, he lets me as they become fatter and never-ending.

The gelato is now dripping on the ground, and I would usually devour it all, but my entire focus is on Xan and how he can’t stop sobbing.

I also thought I’d never stop crying about Nana. That I’d cry like a princess in one of her books and the tears would kill me.

I eventually stopped, though.

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