Editor’s note: This post was submitted by an anonymous contributor. It was based on the following prompt.

“Soulmates exist. No harm may come to one by the others hand. One cannot live without the other.”

The Queen lounged on her throne, her giant warcat’s head resting on her thighs. The stench from the band of trackers in the center of the room that wafted to her nose made her think of her father. An unwanted pang curled in her gut, but she’d long ago schooled herself to push down what would undoubtedly be seen as weakness from the band of cutthroats she now called her royal guard. Instead, she focused on the bruised and battered man forced to the ground in front of her.

The time for pleasantries was long gone as the Queen of Calmorta rose, black silk cloak falling in waves around her. The beast at her side rose as well, choosing that moment to prowl around the room. Her warcat could smell the violence brewing in the room even before the Queen’s decree slipped from her lips, “For your crimes against the kingdom I sentence you to death. Fitting the Beggar’s King should die on his knees, don’t you think?”

The man, to his credit, held no fear in his eyes as the Queen descended from her dais towards him nor even when she removed her famous jeweled dagger from her belt. Anticipation thrummed in the Queen’s veins until finally she reached him and lunged for the killing blow.

A force beyond her control halted her hand just before the tip of her dagger could pierce the man’s skin. Centuries seemed to pass between them as the queen met the man’s eyes but it was the man’s eventual smile that brought the queen back to the present. The warcats yowl echoed off the walls as two facts became very clear to her.

She could not kill this man because he was her soulmate. Even worse, she’d just exposed her greatest weakness, that the death of his man would also mean her own. The queen shook with anger as her soulmate’s cool steady voice cut through the room, “Long live the King.”  

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