Chapter 1

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, Or close the wall up with our English dead! In peace there's nothing so becomes a man As modest stillness and humility; But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Then imitate the action of the tiger: Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood.

- William Shakespeare, King Henry V

117th Jullier 23435

Perhaps I truly was being immature. But I hate the man. I cannot help hating him. Its something that has festered within me since I was a child. This hate for Soren Pettry, the ruler and King of Craveria. Perhaps hate is a very strong word. It was more like a constant dislike.

I never really enjoyed the royalties I have had to grow up with. The people I have been forced to make an alliance with... There was Cecilia, the Princess of Ariello, Cardina and Cacella, her sisters. Jameson Orlando the future king of Jadedri, the duke Edan and duchess Gaenna and numerous others who we simply address by their titles.

It's terrifying.

I am one who grew up with nothing, and yet, they make me seem like the traitor. Soren was the first to taunt me. Even while I worked with him, he taunted me.

Why? Because I was 5 years younger than him and ten times the ruler he would ever be. He is a military General. A brilliant one. Honesty speaking that is all he ever was. And his conquering has brought them great glories. He's a brilliant man when it comes to his military planning. I shall be a liar if I deny that.

But he is a man without a heart

And now he has set his sights on MY kingdom. His conquering army will obliterate everything I have worked so hard for. Everything my PEOPLE have worked so hard for.

Unfortunately he doesn't know me as well as he thinks he does.

He doesn't know me as Blaze.

He only knows Queen Blaze Oriana Atlanta. Ruler of the Sirens and the Queen who has rebuilt of a nation he is set to destroy.

I am the Blaze of Glory.

I am the Blaze of Victory.

And I'll be damned if I let a man like him destroy all I have built.

"Your majesty, I do not mean to be brash about this but you need to meet the King of the Craveria at least once. I understand that he has been your rival for years perhaps but this alliance is what shall be good for the kingdom itself."

The Knight who spoke this pressed his fingers to his temples for a moment and then looked back into the eyes of his queen as they remained as defiant as ever. The husky voice spoke with the air of wisdom within it never leaving, even for a moment even though both the speaker and the one being spoken to know that she was being rather immature.

"My dear Calisto. There is a reason why the nation he rules is called the Rogue Nation of Craveria. He is a twenty one year old tyrant and his people are worse than Soren Pettry. Soren and I do not get along, not because of our childhood rivalry but it began what he believes is just pure ice cold disconcertion, I believe in moving among my people to know who they really are."

Lasher Calisto was a man of strength and beauty both. His intellect was astounding and his skills in bed even better. His mouth was sensual and his well cut face held power and mannerisms of aristocracy. Auburn hair that fell to his collar and of course his storm eyes that read into people. He was by far the most feared Knight in her court.

Murderers quivered in front of him. Women could not control themselves in front of him. It was amazing how many women wanted him. And he wanted none. Not even one of the beautiful ladies of the court. Somehow, women never interested him.

He got all he wanted for his sexual satisfaction from Blaze, the Queen herself. The most beautiful woman in the kingdom himself and by far the most coveted. She kept her liaisons in secret of course.

She, unlike other women, did not demand blind allegiance. All she wanted was what he did. Sex. Pure simple sex. She never wanted the quiet time in a lovers arms. She didn't care for whispered words of tender touches and caresses. She hated them.

Lasher Calisto had known her and enjoyed these trait about her till the age he was now, which was all of eighteen. Eighteen to her sixteen.

He was the first of her knights and the second in command of the kingdom which had grown to ten million in the four years she had been queen. Despite the fact that there were many against her as she was illegitimate, it was interesting to see how she rebuilt the entire kingdom from ashes and kept her promise to the people, hence lowering their resentment considerably.

Lasher's stormy eyes followed her as she walked towards the bookshelf, her raven hair now cascading it down to her lovely bare mid back. She had truly grown into her beauty as the curves had promised. The taint had become more obvious, there was a spark within her eyes was something that could enchant and charm the hardest of hearts. She wore nothing in front of him...and he had had her body he knew. Her nakedness and beauty surprised him every time. And each time she chose to ignore it.

This was normal for them, though. It wasn't the first time they had done this with each other. It was just a way of satisfaction because the Queen never fell in love.

She just had her own wiles and ways of getting men to sleep with her in her bed and throwing them out the next morning. But as he was her friend as well, she never threw him out. Blaze was far too much of a woman for that.

She had no shame. No shame at all. He ran a hand through his own auburn hair as he lay back on her bed. Even after such a passionate session of pure, unsaturated lust which was all they held for each other, she wanted to talk military and the benefits of the kingdom with him.

He shifted his long lean body that he had worked for in the past few years, making it the play thing she adored most in her courtroom. It was rather normal that he spent the night in her bed. She was like an voracious tigress. And he venerated that about her.

But there was one thing Lasher Calisto could never ever enjoy with Blaze Oriana Atlanta. And that was the position of her lover. Because she never took an aficionado exactly, to tell the truth. What she had with him, she probably also had with at least two others of her court.

This was a thing of normalcy in the kingdom of the Sirens. Many slept with each other...but relationships of marriage and husbands and wives were only made for the sake of offspring.

However within the courtroom they held nothing for each other but respect and an obvious sense of companionability.

"Look at these Calisto!"

He heard Blaze's voice exclaim suddenly as she walked back over to her king sized bed where he lay, her long hair trailing over an old dusty book which she placed on his chest. Lasher slowly got up, a little dazed but she snapped and a lantern near him burnt strong enough for him to read.

She sat next to him and pointed at a particular paragraph as he placed the book in his lap, her long hair trailing on his strong chest.

"It says right here that King Soren is by far the most ruthless conqueror since the Werewolf King Jermiono. Perhaps the best way to defeat the man would be a psychological victory more than a physical one because when it comes to physical strength, his army outnumbers ours at least by a ratio of seventy two to one."

Lasher sighed and rested his head back against the iron rung near him. There were times when she gave him the worst head aches in the world and he wanted to shake for not listening to him. It took her ages to discover things for herself but that was how she insisted on doing this thing.

"That's just all the more reason for you to go and meet the man!"

Blaze's eyes narrowed as she looked at her night, snapping her fingers to dim the lantern and letting the moonlight play on her nude body enough to entice his eyes anywhere but her face. At another snap, the light brightened again and embarrassed although he had just slept with this woman, he looked away...

But Blaze smirked. Game, set, match. She had proven her point and both she and Lasher knew it. Men simply just could not help themselves when faced with beauty. Especially her beauty. Her body...everything about her...

SHE set the environment and SHE played the game. There had not been a single man who had ever been able to resist her.

It was a weapon she used against men. And to think that she was only sixteen years old. Agreed it had come in handy far too many times. But according the man who was currently with her bed, he had to disagree.

"That is what I mean Lasher. Like every other man on this entire planet, Soren's eyes are distracted by everything except my mind when we meet."