He had been commanded to kneel the instant he had reached the throne room. A hand at his back had forced him to comply, and he mentally berated himself. Of course the King’s Shadow had known that Frank had been skulking around the castle. There was nothing that the Shadow did not know.
“To what do I owe the pleasure?” the king drawled. “Are you a thief? An assassin? Did someone pay you to bring back my head?”
“A lousy thief, Your Majesty,” Frank answered with brutal honesty. “There is a prize out for your crown.”
“My crown?” The king raised an eyebrow. “What use would anyone else but me have for this crown? Surely it wouldn’t be much use to whomever you were going to sell it to. It has the markings of the kingdom upon the edges. No matter where you would go, it would be known that it is my crown.”
Frank sighed. “It was a dare.” The Shadow’s hand on his back shifted, and Frank had the suspicious feeling that the Shadow was laughing at him.
The king, on his part, rolled his eyes. “Away with you,” the monarch said. “A night in the dungeon may do well to keep you from taking on inane dares.”
“Wait, the dungeon?” Frank attempted to stand, but his arms were bound against his body as the Shadow wrapped the thief up. “Look, can’t we just–”
The Shadow swallowed him.