The Mystery Prince was originally a short story submission for a themed book where a compass-like device was used in the story. As this is a Cinderella retelling, I used the device in place of the shoe. Curious what it looks like?
Tristan took hold of the strange gold object. At first glance it reminded him of a compass with an intricate yet beautiful windrose drawn inside. Letters drawn in calligraphy marked the four points of the earth, their curlicues twisting into delicate flowers and hearts. A gold filigree sundial flowed upward from the center of the compass rose, more hearts and flowers twisting their way through the delicate metal lace. Two heart shaped knobs jutted from the sides. It was quite lovely and not likely one of Nor's creations. The craftsmanship seemed too complicated and feminine for one of the old man's devices.
“What's this?” Tristan asked, spinning one of the knobs.
A smile curved the old man's lips, creating creases in his cheeks. “A navigation device.”
Brows drawn together, Tristan looked from the golden object to the old man. “I'm going to be dancing in a ballroom, not traversing the seas or the plains. Why would I need this?” He spun the knob again. His lips twitched, and his eyes glittered with mirth as an idea formed. “I know. It will navigate me through the dance without injuring the princess.”
The old man shook his head, a chuckle rumbling out. “No, it won't help your dancing, but you will need it.” He grew serious, his tone low and gruff. “Listen to your heart. You'll know when to use the device.”
In case you missed it, you can read yesterday's snippet here, and a sneak peek here.
Tristan enjoys being in the shadows as Prince Rand's bodyguard. Similar in looks, the two often exchanged places in their youth, but he never expected the king to order him to impersonate the heir to the throne in order to win the hand of a princess.
Princess Zoe needs to find a husband. After a year of searching with no success, her father insists on hosting a masquerade ball for the eligible princes of the nine kingdoms. Not one prince piques her interest, until she meets the mysterious stranger who won't tell her his name.
When Tristan meets Zoe he finds the girl of his dreams. The only problem? She's a princess and he's impersonating a prince―a crime punishable by imprisonment and floggings.
Unable to tell Zoe his real name, he gives her a special navigation device. One that leads to the owner's true love. Will this magic device lead Zoe to Tristan, or will her true love forever remain a mystery prince?