“Hazel! Hazel!” Lucian called, his voice filled with pain and agony. Was he in pain? No, he couldn’t be. I couldn’t be hearing this, but I heard my name again “Hazel”. Maybe all this wasn’t in my head, maybe he was calling for me. I climbed down from the bed, put my robe on and stalked out of the room.
“Where is His Highness?” I asked two guards walking through the hall.
“I am sorry Your Highness, but we can’t tell you. He doesn’t want to be disturbed.”
Disturbed? So I would disturb him?
Of course, he was having fun with his mistress, and here I am worried about him for nothing. I decided not to worry or care anymore and went back to bed.
Opening my eyes with a yawn I scanned my surroundings. Lucian was sitting in front of the mirror and a maid was combing his hair. Her fingers caressed his cheek and neck when she tried to gather some strands of his hair. I could see that she didn’t touch him accidentally, she was doing it on purpose. Disturbed by her action I climbed down from the bed.
When she saw my reflection in the mirror she turned around. “Good morning, Your Highness,” she said, bowing deeply.
“Good morning,” I said although I had the urge to ignore her but being rude was just not my thing. “I will help His Highness; you may leave.” She glanced at Lucian, waiting for him to give her a sign that she could leave, but he didn’t move a muscle. Hesitating, she walked out of the room.
I went up to Lucian and stood behind him, staring at his reflection. He didn’t look back at me or greet me like he does every morning. He just stared down at the book he held in his hand. Why was he behaving like this?
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“Won’t you comb my hair since you dismissed the maid?” He asked, still looking at the book. I got the urge to pull his hair and mess it up. Maybe I should. He deserves it for the way he was treating me right now.
“Of course,” I said with the softest voice I could muster. I knew how to fix hair and many other things that princesses usually don’t have to know, because I was often bored, and I would tell Lydia and Ylva to teach me.
The thing is I wasn’t planning on fixing his hair but playing with it. I took the brush and started brushing his hair. It was softer and thicker than my own. How could a man have such beautiful hair? It was not the time for admiring, it was time for messing around I reminded myself. I made a few braids here and there, not caring how they looked.
“I am done,” I said eagerly waiting to see his reaction. He closed the book and looked at his reflection. He frowned as I fought the urge to laugh. There was one braid in the middle, three on one side and two on the other side. The braid in the middle is what made him look funniest. I couldn’t hold it in anymore and let loose a loud peal of laughter.
Lucian got up from his seat, a serious look on his face as he turned around. He grabbed my arm and yanked me close.
“Are you playing with me now wife? You shouldn’t play with fire; you will get burned,” he said with a low voice. He was intimidating but he chuckled when he saw the terrified look on my face.
“No need to be scared, wife. I am just joking. Do you think you are the only one who can play around?” I pushed him away.
“That wasn’t funny.”
“Then is this funny?” he asked, pointing at his head and I couldn’t help but laugh again.
“You shouldn’t be laughing at me when your hair looks like that,” he said pointing at my head. I looked myself in the mirror and gasped. I was so angry and occupied with him I didn’t even look at myself. My hair looked like a birds nest. I tried to straighten it with my hands before Lucian wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and hugged me to him.
“Still, you look beautiful,” he said near my ear, “and I like the sound of your laughter. It’s the first time I’ve heard you laugh.” I wanted to give in. I wanted him to hold me and hear all those sweet things, but no. I couldn’t just forget how coldly he had treated me last night. Breaking away from his hold, I crossed my arms, a defiant look on my face.
“Did you have fun last night?”
“Did you?” he asked, irritating me even further. “You seem so reluctant to sleep in the same bed as me, so I bet you slept comfortably last night.” Comfortably? When he was with another woman?
“You are cruel,” I said and stalked out of the room into my personal room and closed the door. This time he at least came after me.
“Hazel, open the door,” he said, knocking loudly. I ignored him and decided to dress up without help.
“Hazel? I said open the door.” Who cares what you say? I thought, slipping out of my nightgown.
Looking around for something to do other than open the door, I decided to take a bath, so I
went into my personal bathroom. A hot bath was always prepared every morning. Taking off my towel, I slid into the hot water just as I heard something break. Footsteps ensued. I quickly pressed my knees to my chest and wrapped my arms around my legs as Lucian walked in.
“What are you doing? How can you just walk in like that?”
“You don’t leave when I am talking to you,” he said flatly.
“You can do what you want, so why can’t I?” I snapped. He walked closer to the bathtub and stared down at me. I felt so vulnerable. He crouched down and grabbed a strand of my wet hair in his hand. Something about the way he moved scared me. It was different as if something about him changed.
“Because you don’t have the power to do so,” he said. Even his voice terrified me at this moment, but I wasn’t going to show it.
“What will you do? Beat me? Kill me?” I taunted, trying my best to mask my fear with arrogance.
He leaned in close to my face “How about I burn you?”
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