What was this feeling? This scent? It was so…so familiar. This whole situation felt so familiar that it was almost scary. Before I could understand what was happening someone grabbed me by the arm and pushed me back so hard I almost fell backward.
“Are you blind?” A woman with long braids dressed in a military attire glared at me looking furious.
Staggering backward I grabbed onto the handrail as to not fall.
“Look at what you have done.” She said turning to the man who had saved me. “Are you alright, Your Highness?” Bending down she brushed his clothes off.
Your Highness? I looked at my savior, a tall man, probably in his mid thirties dressed in the most luxurious clothes I had seen… now soaked with tea.
Oh God! What had I done?
The woman turned hastily and before I knew a hand was swinging toward my face. I flinched back and covered my face with my arms waiting for the pain to come, but nothing happened.
“Jade, this is not our home. Let’s not create a scene.”
A shiver went down my spine. That voice…
Slowly peeking from behind my arms I looked at the man who was now holding Jades arm to stop her from hitting me.
“But look Your Highness, she won’t even apologize.” Jade said.
Letting go of her arm, “you are not giving her a chance.” He smiled.
My heart tightened for a reason that was unknown to me. This man…I was sure I had never seen him before yet it felt as if I knew him.
Turning his gaze to me he looked into my eyes. My heart skipped a beat as I looked back into his. I shouldn’t but I couldn’t help myself.
Suddenly a slap landed across my face, throwing my head to one side.
“How dare you? You lower your gaze and apologize right now!” Jade spoke with harsh tones.
I grabbed my cheek, my whole face stung with pain and I felt the taste of blood in my mouth. As I turned my head back to apologize I saw a hint of concern in his eyes.
“I am sorry…Your Highness.” I apologized trying hard not to burst into tears.
I felt so angry, so wronged.
Why did I have to apologize for falling? It’s not like I did it on purpose. Actually I wasn’t angry because of that, I would have apologized even if no one had told me. What made me angry was the way I was treated.
“You should be careful.” He said and instead of it sounding like a warning it sounded as if he was worried about me. Was I imagining things? Why would he be worried about a maid?
Turning to Jade he spoke some foreign words before he walked away.
“I am not done with you!” Jade threatened before following him quickly.
Shaken by everything that just happened I stood frozen in the same place for awhile. Who was he?
Pushing the odd feeling aside I picked up everything then went back to the kitchen to make some new tea. While waiting for the water to boil I washed my face with cold water to soothe the pain. That woman was really strong, but who was that man?
I couldn’t stop thinking about him, about the way he smelled, or the way he sounded, even the way he had looked at me. There was this familiarity to him that I just couldn’t shake away.
“Yes!” I almost jumped startled.
“Stop daydreaming and make some more tea. We have guests.” Edith ordered.
“Alright. Where should I serve it?” I asked.
“In the guest room.”
“What happened to you face?”
“Oh…” I put my hand on my cheek. “Nothing.” I shook my head with a smile.
She looked at me worriedly. “If you want to survive here be careful.” She warned.
On my way to the guest room I walked as carefully as I could. I did not want get into an accident again. The guard at the door nodded for me to go inside and I continued further in. The first thing I heard was Pierres laugh. He was sitting comfortable in an armchair with legs crossed talking to someone sitting in front of him. I couldn’t see who, yet I already knew it was the man from earlier. How I knew I wasn’t sure.
As I neared where they were seated Pierre took notice of me. As his gaze settled on my face I saw anger flash through his eyes but he quickly turned away and continued speaking to his guest. I went to the table and slowly put the tray down.
Picking up the teapot I slowly began to pour some tea for Pierre, I already knew how he liked his tea then turned to my savor without looking him in the eyes. “How would you like your tea, Your highness?” I asked.
“Cold.” He said.
Cold? Confused I looked up and our eyes locked. My heart fluttered inside my chest at the intensity of his gaze and I forgot what he had just said.
“I like my tea cold.” He repeated.
Averting my gaze quickly. “Yes, of course…. Your highness.” I said fl.u.s.tered.
I began to pour the tea very slowly into his cup so that it would get a bit cold but my hands kept shaking.I could feel his gaze on me the whole time and it was very unsettling. After filling the cup I took a fan and began to cool his tea, meanwhile Pierre spoke to him in a foreign language. The man whom I still didn’t know the name of just nodded and answered shortly but everytime he spoke strange things happened to my heart.
“That’s enough.” He finally said to me.
I put the fan down and dismissed myself. Walking down the hall quickly as if I was being chased I tried to figure out why I was acting like this? Who was that man and why did he make me feel this way? I shook my head. No! I couldn’t be feeling this way, I was married. Only Lucian made maid me feel this way. Suddenly I stopped in my tracks as if realizing something but before I could figure out what it was I realized someone grabbed my arm grimly.
Oh no! Not this woman again.
“Come with me!” Jade ordered while dragging me back to where I came from. Her hold was like steel around my arm. “I shall teach you a lesson.”
I followed her without protesting because I knew if I protested it would only make things worse. As we reached the guest room she almost threw me inside and I stumbled forward but managed to not fall this time. Pierre looked up from his teacup with a questioning look on his face.
“I am sorry to disturb you Your highness but this woman…” Jade spoke pointing at me “has humiliated His Highness. She threw hot tea at him and didn’t even apologize properly.”
Pierre put his cup down and shifted his gaze to me as if looking for answers. I just kept my face straight because I knew better than to defend myself. I had been a royalty myself and I knew if a servant defended themselves the punishment got only worse.
Pierres face gradually turned red. “I apologize for her behavior. I will punish her accordingly.” He said.
“With your permission Your Highness but we would like to punish her ourselves.”
Pierre didn’t seem too happy about it but he nodded. “You have my permission.” He said.
After being dragged into another room Jade pushed me down to my knees and told me to stay like that until she said otherwise. I just obeyed as I didn’t want to make the situation worse or maybe because I didn’t care anymore.
Jade paced back and forth in the room restlessly. “Once His Highness arrives and decides your punishment I’ll be happy to teach you some manners.”
I kept my silence with only seemed to annoy her further. Maybe she was expecting me to beg and cry for forgiveness, and maybe I would if I thought she would forgive me but I knew better. People like her didn’t forgive. They only wanted people to beg so that they could feel powerful and I would not give that to her. Unfortunately.
Suddenly the door opened and someone walked inside. I could only see the lower part of a beautiful dress from where I was sitting.
“Where is Alexander?” The woman who walked inside spoke.
“His Highness is meeting with the king, Your Highness.” Jade replied.
So my savior, soon to be punishers name was Alexander. And this woman was probably his sister, since she was calling him by his name. I had heard that she was a beauty but I didn’t dare to look up and see for myself.
“Alright then, I want you to come with me.” The woman said then turned walking away without waiting for a reply.
“Of course Your Highness.” Jade called and hurried to the door. Before closing it she turned back to me. “Stay right where you are and don’t move. I’ll be back soon.”
For awhile I did as she told me but then I got tired and decided to stand up. What could happen? I was getting punished already anyway.
While stretching my now rigid limbs I looked around the room and the first thing I noticed was the large bed with the red silken sheets. Sleeping on the floor for such a long time I wanted to remember how it felt like to sleep in a bed. I let my fingers slide over the silken sheets, I had really forgotten how soft and smooth it was. Sitting down carefully I sank into the soft mattress. I really had to try this bed so I lay down and decided to rest for a little while but as tire as I was I soon fell into a deep slumber.
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