Bella ran down the hall avoiding servants and soldiers as she tried to remember how she entered the mansion. After a few wrong turns she saw the enormous double doors and rushed to them. Before she reached them a soldier stepped forward.
She came to a sliding halt. Leaning down she started to reach for her knife.
“That won’t be necessary, my dear.” She noticed this guard appeared older than the others. “Let me get the door for you.” With a gracious bow he opened the right side of the double doors and gave her a short bow.
“Tell the king Sir Endlen says hello.”
“I will.” A careful sweep of her gaze showed no one else was stepping forward to intercept her.
With as much dignity as she could muster, Bella walked out of the duke’s home with her head held high. She kept it together until she reached the end of the drive and a hover car stopped before her.
Nerves already shot Bella’s muscles clenched at the thought of attacking someone else.
A driver exited the vehicle.
“Are you Bella?”
Sir Endlen said you need a ride to the palace.
“Yes, thank you.” She would definitely be sending that man a whole bag of chocolates.
She let the driver open the door and help her inside. Collapsing against the expensive cushions she relaxed. Next time she would take the king’s advice and let a guard come with her. She remembered laughing at the king’s insistence she should have someone protect her on her day off. At the time she’d refused his advice thinking he was being overprotective. Now she knew he had a good reason. Next time she’d take a guard but she’d be damned to the Hell planet Wylin before she admitted the duke tried to kidnap her. Starting an interplanetary squabble wasn’t something she planned to add to her resume anytime soon.