I panicked. How could I have fallen asleep when Lucian was ill? I quickly placed my hand on Lucian forehead who was still sleeping. No fever. What had made him so ill last night? He seemed fine just before we kissed.
His hand on my back, around my waist, in my hair pressing body to his, the heat, the tingling sensation. I brought my hand up to my lips. His lips had been so soft yet so firm, moving against mine till I was breathless. He tasted like spices; hot burning your tongue, yet you came back for more. More… Yes, I wanted more.
I had been willing to give myself to him last night but slowly his kiss had become sloppy, his arms trembled before his whole body shook. Fear showed in his beautiful eyes, struggle on his face and sweat beads on his forehead. I had seen him like that once before, when we were in the woods, when our lips had touched. Something told me it had to do with the kiss, but why?
Someone knocked on the door. Who could it be this early in the morning? Lucian swung his legs down from the bed startling me and stalked to the door as if hadn’t been sleeping just now. Sometimes he was really strange. He opened the door and then I only heard whispering sounds before he closed it.
“I need to go” he said picking up his jacket from the bed and putting it on.
“Where?” I asked, worried.
“I will be back,” he said as he left, ignoring my question. What happened that made him so stressed? Was it the bloodthirsty King or did his father die? Unable to suppress my worry, I quickly got dressed and went looking for him.
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It was a lovely day. The sky crystal blue, the sun casting its golden rays on the beautiful garden.
Lucian’s men sat in the garden eating their breakfast at a large table. They seemed to have fun, chatting and laughing loudly.
“Good morning, Your Highness,” they greeted, standing up and bowing in unison when they took notice of me.
“Good morning.” I smiled, my eyes traveling along the table looking for Lincoln. He was not there.
“Are you looking for someone my lady?” a guard asked.
“Where is Lucian?”
“His Highness went to meet the king,” he said. So it was the bloodthirsty king. What did he want?
“May I sit with you?” I asked. They looked at each other with shock and confusion before they started moving around quickly, trying to organize a place for me to sit.
“Of course,” a guard said, pulling a chair out for me to sit on. Then, they just sat there, like disciplined children waiting for their teacher to give them a lecture. I could see that I was making them uncomfortable but I needed some information that only they could give. I decided to go easy on them first.
“Why don’t you guys tell me your names?” I suggested. I only recognized Oliver and Ky the one that imitated me slapping Lucian.
They glanced at each other, exchanging wide-eyed gazes before they began to present themselves. The soldier to my left side stood up and introduced himself first.
“My name is Callum Atkinson, My Lady.” He bowed before he sat down again and the rest went on introducing themselves: Chad, Declan, Anum, Claus, Danilo and I forgot the rest because they were too many. It didn’t matter because I wasn’t here to know their names but to know more about Lucian, to know the truth.
“My lady, why would you want to know our names? We are nothing but your servants,” one of them asked. I think it was Anum. Lydia and Ylva were my servants as well but they were the only people who truly cared about me and I about them.
“You are more than just a servant. You are a human being, a son of someone, a brother, a friend. If you are married, a husband, and if you have children, a father. Stop saying that you are just servants because I am only a princess.” A princess who had been locked inside her home by her own parents who never treated her like their child.
They never played with her, never hugged her, never asked about her opinions or feelings. They treated her like a doll who always had to look perfect and act perfect or ‘ladylike’ until they find someone they could sell her to. But even then, she was not free. She would remain the doll she was without feelings and without opinions. Her husband would do as he pleased and she wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
If Lucian decided to take Klara as his wife, what would I do? What could I do? The guards stared at me, confused by what I said.
“I mean, I am a princess now but I might be nothing tomorrow,” I explained even though that was not what I meant. Still, it was the truth. Once Lucian’s father dies, we would either get killed or live to hide forever, because the chance of Lucian becoming the next king is almost impossible. His brothers were more powerful now because they had many allies. Lucian’s only ally was this bloodthírsty king whom I didn’t entirely trust. Why would he fight in a war he would most likely loose?
My thoughts went back to what Rasmus had said about Lucian last night. I didn’t want to believe him but a part of me was suspicious. That’s why I was sitting here with his men. I tried to find ways to ask about Lucian without sounding suspicious but gave up and asked them directly instead.
“Is it true that Lucian killed hundreds of men on his own during a war?”
Everyone looked up from their plate and seemed to consider what to say before opening their mouths.
“Yes. My Lady. It’s war. You either kill or get killed,” Callum said finally. So it was true? He had participated in many wars, killed many on his own yet he had no scars on his body, not even a tiny one. Something about Lucian wasn’t right and I intended to find out what it was.
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