Gradually, order was restored to the city. Children were returned to their parents, all of Sayyid’s men surrendered and Sayyid himself was locked up in prison, guarded by some of the men from over the mountains. A few of the servants returned to the royal tower that same day to take their jobs back, including Fayez.
By that night, Izdihar was back in what was now the second tallest tower, in her father’s room.
“What did you mean, it was thanks to Tommy that you came back?” she asked.
“He came to find me. He escaped from Sayyid’s men to go all the way across the desert and over the mountains to find me in his own land. I was taking any work I could find, drinking a lot...I didn’t want to remember my kingdom. Even you, Izdihar...” His voice cracked.
“Tommy persuaded me to come back, that you needed me. He told me Sayyid was still intending to marry you. The king there sent some of his men with me. And Tommy insisted on coming back with me. That’s three times now he’s survived that journey... ”
The king shook his head. “He really is a remarkable child, that one... He found me all by himself. And he made me see that I was being a coward. I had let myself give in to self-pity. I had told myself that I was an awful king, that you were better off without me...”
“You are a great king,” said Izdihar.
“I think Faruq will be a better one,” said Basir, smiling.