Llyr sighed as he watched Morena rock their son to sleep. If her visions had been at all accurate there was only one choice. Their first-born son would have to be sent away. Not just sent to foster with another family until he’d learned the ways of court, but actually sent away, with a strong likelihood that neither of them would see him again.

The little one that Morena was rocking would be his heir. He already had the mark, faint but obvious, on his brow. This would be the only way to preserve the proper bloodline. Morena set the child in his cradle and stepped lightly to his side.

“Are you sure about this? Is there nothing else we can do?” he asked.

“If we knew when it was going to happen, we could possibly prevent it but I only know that neither of them is our son,” she said. “It’s time,” she added, taking his hand.

They walked together to the older of their children. He was already asleep in his bed. Lord Eros waited for them. He would raise the boy as his own and no one would know any different. Even the courtiers rarely saw the royal children. The story that would be sent out would be taken as fact by all. Only one thing remained.

“Thank you for this,” Llyr said softly. “I am truly sorry that we’re taking advantage of your loss.”

“I understand. He can’t replace my son… but I will raise him as my own,” he said. “He’ll know no different, right?”

“Right,” Llyr said softly. “The spell will steal his memories. He’ll never know his true heritage… nor will any of those who descend from his line.”

“Some day the lines will merge and a True-born Heir will come of it,” Morena said softly. Llyr nodded and peeked into the room for what was probably his last look at his oldest son. The preparations for the spell had been lengthy but now all was ready.

The monarch began the chant and energy swirled around the room. Morena added her part and the energy focused on their son. Lord Aizen completed the spell and silvery threads seemed to flow from the sleeping boy’s forehead. Blue threads swirled from the energy they had called and settled over the child. Then the light faded and the spell was complete.

Llyr bowed and left the room, drawing Morena behind him. Lord Eros stepped up to the sleeping boy and set a hand on his shoulder. Auburn lashes fluttered and golden eyes opened. “Father?” the boy said softly.

“Yes,” he said softly. “I’m here.”

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