“Zarin! Don’t do that!” She scolded before she could even see him.
Her childhood friend Zarin was probably the most annoying creature to have ever existed.
Heaven grabbed her robe and covered herself quickly.
“Can’t you arrive as a normal human being?” She asked, turning to him.
He stood leaning against the wall next to her bed with his hands in his pockets. Slowly, a sly smile made its way to his lips upon seeing her irritated. That was what he liked to do, after all.
“Except I am not a normal human being.” He reminded.
Ignoring him, she continued. “We are not children anymore. You can’t come here as you please. This is a lady’s room now.”
Zarin looked around, pretending to be surprised. “A lady? Where is the Lady?”
Fuming with anger, Heaven threw a pillow on him. She missed, which made him chuckle.
“Oh. You? When did you become a Lady?” He continued to tease.
Heaven had lost count on how many times she had wanted to kill him. He lived to annoy her, but without him her childhood would have felt so lonely. But what could she do? She couldn’t love him without hating him.
“Just leave! I need to sleep.” She said lying down on her bed, facing the other side.
She could hear him sigh. “I thought… maybe wanted someone to talk too?”
“About what?” Heaven asked curiously.
“About you getting married.”
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“I am not getting married.” She muttered.
“You have to, someday soon. “
Why was he adding salt to her wounds?
Pushing herself up in a sitting position, she looked at him for a moment.
“Are you happy that I have to get married?” She asked.
“Only if you are happy with it.” He replied.
“Well, I am not.”
“You just have to find the right person.” He persuaded.
“I don’t think I ever will as long as I am locked in here, which means that I, eventually, will have to get married to someone I don’t like, share a bed with him, let him touch me, give him children and ….”
“Relax.” Zarin cut off. “Take a breath.”
She was panicking and squirming inside. She finally said what she had been keeping inside, but there was more.
“You won’t have to marry anyone you don’t like.” He assured sitting at the corner of her bed.
“You don’t know that.” Her voice almost broke. No, she would not cry. “I am a princess. I have a duty. I will put everyone in a difficult situation if I don’t fulfill my duties.”
“Hell with duties. Your parents love you. They won’t let you sacrifice yourself.” He explained.
That was the problem. They would sacrifice themselves instead, and Heaven didn’t want them to.
“You are right.” She said at the end. Zarin wouldn’t understand, anyway. “Were is Gina?” She asked, changing the topic.
Gina was Zarins little sister and her only other friend.
“Probably in some corner, reading a book.”
She was just like her mother. Who would think the famous warrior princess Klara loved to read during her free time? Heaven had once even received books as a gift from her.
She loved to read as well, but not as much as Gina. That girl could get so lost in a book she wouldn’t know whether it was morning or night.
“All right, I need to sleep now. I have early training tomorrow.”
Both Heaven and Gina received sword training from princess Klara every other day, and tomorrow was the day. Heaven needed to sleep well if she was wanted to perform well tomorrow. Princess Klara could be really tough when teaching.
Zarin stood up before turning to her. He watched her silently for a moment.
“Are you sleeping well these days?” He asked.
Did he know?
He shrugged his shoulders. “Just heard some things.” He said.
“What did you hear?” She asked curiously.
“That you wake up screaming sometimes. Is it true?”
Heaven didn’t want to tell him the truth, yet. “I just have bad dreams sometimes.”
He nodded. “All right, then. Good night.”
Just when he was about to leave, Heaven changed her mind.
Zarin stopped in his tracks.
“Can you stay here tonight?” She asked.
His eyes widened.
“I don’t mean like that.” She hurried to explain. “I just… have really bad nightmares. If you could just stay tonight?” She gave him a pleading look.
The truth was, she wanted to know whether the man in her dreams only stayed in her dreams or out of it as well.
“Well,” He scratched his head awkwardly. “All right. Just tonight.” He agreed.
“Thank you.” She smiled at him before tugging herself in to sleep.
Zarin sat on the sofa in her room before dimming the lights with a thought.
Heaven closed her eyes, feeling safer, and eventually she fell into a deep slumber.
When she woke up, it was still dark. For some odd reason the window was open and the chilly air came into the room. Heaven got out of bed to close the window when she took notice of Zarin sleeping on the sofa.
She felt bad for asking him to stay, so after shutting the window she took one of her blankets to cover him. Just as she was about the put the blanked on him he grabbed her wrist. Startled, she looked at his hand. It was cold, oddly pale and slender, despite the hard grip. Shaken, she lifted her gaze to his face.
It was him. The silver-eyes stranger. The one who caused her to have many sleepless nights.
He tugged at her arm so she fell on top of him; her face getting dangerously close to his. For the first time she could see him clearly.
“Remember me.” He whispered.
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