Empires and Kings
By A C Bextor
I was known as the traitor's daughter. When I was five years old, my father was tortured, branded with the letter 'Z', then beaten and left for dead. The grueling punishment for his crime was a reminder to all others who dared threaten the Russian's reign. I was the young girl left behind. A living piece of the traitorous puzzle the Russian leader tried so diligently to ignore. Until I grew up. No longer could he deny how much my existence had always been intertwined with his. And in order to survive the life I was thrown into, I was forced to learn my place inside of it. Vlad Zalesky was a tyrant to the lost. I hated him. He was a terror of mass destruction. I was afraid of him. He was a tormentor of the weak. But not far beneath the venomous man's outward indifference was something else. Vlad Zalesky carried secrets of unrestrained burden. I wanted to know those secrets. And because of my decisions, someone in our family had to pay.