The adventure ends

A Betrayal Exposed

Olivia Davenport’s life is finally going smoothly, until it falls completely apart. First, the king breaks his promise to allow her and the prince to marry. Liam assures her he will fix the situation when he returns from his latest mission. But then, only a few days after, the unthinkable happens. Prince Stephan, the king’s nephew, returns with word that Liam has been murdered at the hands of Olivia’s own father, Jack Davenport. While her father awaits trial, Olivia is banished from the castle and sent back to her disgraced family.

Faced with the possibility of losing the two most important men in her life, Olivia will not stand by and do nothing. Refusing to believe the accusations and armed with the hope Liam may yet be alive, Olivia knows an act of treason is the only way to spare her father from execution. She sets off to find out what truly occurred. With the help of an old ally, she pieces together the treachery. While they race back home to expose the betrayal, they are hunted to be silenced before the real truth comes to light.

Excerpt from A Betrayal Exposed

The next day dawns bright and sunny.  For a brief instant, when I first wake, I do not remember the events of yesterday. In this blissful moment, my heart is light, but then the dead weight of my troubles drops back down full force on my chest. I am unusually quiet while I dress. Anne, who was filled in on the details last night, watches me, a distressed look on her face, but offers no sentiments of comfort. It is just as well; her words would feel hollow anyway.

Anne pops from her chair the moment I enter our room. Candles are lit on every surface as though their brightness could help to drive away the bad news. She hurries over to me, her wet cheeks glinting in the flickering light.

“Oh, Olivia, this just can’t be true. What are we going to do?”

I clasp her hands. “We are going to prove he is innocent, Anne.”

“But, Liam…” her voice cracks and she trails off.

Until now, I used the outrage over the unjust accusations against my father to block out Liam, certain once the truth was revealed, his absence would be explained. Yet suddenly, before I can stop it, a tidal wave of panic crushes me. I sink to my knees, my sister lowering with me.

“I want to believe he isn’t dead.” My voice is a broken whisper. “But then, where is he? He would not just disappear. He could never do that to me or his father. Especially now. And Albert…”

It is this thought of Albert, a boy I grew up with, which breaks me. Not until this moment had I taken into account his failure to return with the company. Of course, it made perfect sense; he would have protected Liam with his life. What starts as a strangulated gasp, quickly dissolves into sobs. Anne wraps her arms around my shoulders and rocks me back and forth, her weeping mirroring mine.

Focus and assess—I hear my father’s words in my head, an expression he taught when I trained with the squires. I force all the hurt and anger from my heart. Tears will not help me. Now is the time for clear, concise thinking. My father needs me. And helping him will bring answers about Liam. If he is truly lost, I must make sure to not lose my father as well.

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