About the Book
Besides the nose and engine being smashed to smithereens, the back of the plane was fine. I cracked open the back hatch and pawed through my emergency supplies. I found everything—including the medical bag Dr. Maitland gave me—to be intact. Again, I thanked whatever was up there looking out for me. Of all the outcomes that could’ve happened from the battle, crash-landing on an island with my supplies was better than most.
A burning smell reached my nose, and I stepped back, searching my plane for any sign of fire. Then I noticed the black column of smoke rising up from the treetops.
Despite everything, worry knotted in my chest. What had happened to the other pilot? I hadn’t seen another parachute. Was he even still alive? He was my enemy, but still a fellow human being. I couldn’t help but hear Dr. Maitland in my ear.
I don’t have the luxury of differentiating between Kylaen and Raven patients.
Guilt gnawed at me. I looked down at the medical bag and sighed. Dr. Maitland was right—I was a doctor first and a warrior second. Shouldering my bag, I stumbled off the sandy beach onto the firmer forest ground.
The trees were tall and thick and everything around me was green. It was late summer, but there was definitely a chill in the air since I was so far north. I was thankful for my extra layer under my jumpsuit.
I walked into a clearing, covering my nose from the smell. One of the two wings had been shorn off in the crash and was the source of the black smoke. The rest of the plane was mashed and mangled some ways away. I saw the pilot in the cockpit through the shattered glass, and his helmeted head hung motionless. I was sure that he was dead. I couldn’t see how anyone could have survived such a crash.
And then he moved.
I relaxed into my seat and prepared for the inevitable. Even if the Raven government sent a search party for me (which they wouldn’t), I doubted they’d come in time to save my life. Still, I took some solace in the fact that I killed another son of that mass murdering king.
A noise startled me and I turned my head slowly to find the source.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The stupid princeling was alive and standing in front of my ship.
Fear and anger gripped at me. How was it possible that I was badly injured and he appeared to be walking just fine? I hated that the last thing I was going to see in this world was Prince Galian standing in a clearing, his pale skin flushed and his eyes sparkling with…amusement?
I was dying and this guy was laughing at me.
“What’s so funny?” I snarled through my helmet.
“Serves you right.” He was smirking as if he had something to smirk about.
“Shooting me down. Looks like you’re in worse shape than I am, too.”
“Go to hell.”
He laughed again and hoisted himself up onto the broken nose of my plane. I was in too much pain to fight back, and my gun was nowhere to be found.
“Yep,” he observed, with a smirk on his face. Up close, he was every bit as handsome as I’d seen in pictures. “You definitely got what you deserved. Shouldn’t have shot at me.”
“You shouldn’t have invaded my country.”
His eyes widened for a moment and I thought I’d finally done something to wipe that smile off his face. To my supreme annoyance, he tilted his head back and let out a throaty laugh.
“Oh, you are witty,” he said, nodding. “And technically right. But it wasn’t my decision. I was, as they say, just following orders.”
“And I was just following orders when I blew your ass out of the sky.”
“Aren’t we at an impasse then?” He seemed to be enjoying this conversation. He looked down at the side of my ship and read the inscription. “Theo, huh? Well, you must be a pretty high ranking pilot then. I hear the Ravens only allow you to put your name on your ship after you’ve survived plenty of battles.”
I moved out of anger, but the pain in my legs came roaring up my body. “Please let me die in peace,” I asked, unable to look at him.
“Oh, you aren’t going to die today.”
About the Author