Chapter 3A Chapter by Nicole
It took me several months to finish this novel and it's definitely one of my more lengthy pieces. I usually don't write such long chapters because then I get bored.
His arms were my reprieve, my haven, my stony refuge, and I slept in them more soundly than I ever had in all my life. He could have taken me, could have had every part of me without any resistance whatsoever. He wouldn’t have needed to ask for it; I was more than willing to offer it to him. But he didn’t. And that was when I first suspected that he, Vayden De’Monia, soon to be the Duke of the prestigious De’Monia estate, was in love with me.
We slept late into the next day, entangled together in the blankets and each other’s arms. I rested my head upon his chest, feeling the warmth and weight of his hands on my back, hearing the deep constant thrum of his heart beneath my ear where he lay on his back. He slept with his mouth open, his lips puffing with every exhale, and I watched him from early in the morning until late in the afternoon. The broad neck of my robes hung off my shoulder, the lengths of it bunched up around my knees where I lay, tucked into the crook of his arm. His brow was fierce, defined and sharply handsome. His chin rough with stubble now and his torso naked of his tunic and open to my inspection. I’d noticed it the night previous, the scars that were cut here and there into his dark skin. Tracing them with my fingers, I pondered only briefly what he could have possibly done to have received so many wounds. Certainly not fighting in a war, he was far too young for that. There hadn’t been a war in decades.
He looked so much like his mother, that beautiful exotic woman that I could never forget. His hair was black, like hers, his skin was dark, like hers. But his eyes, pale blue as moonlight, must have come from his father. I man I’d heard a lot about but never seen. The exact opposite of his son, Vayden.
The growling of my stomach woke him up in the late afternoon and he groaned, hugging me so tightly to his chest that I struggled to keep him from squeezing the breath right out of my lungs. He grumbled grumpily, squinting down at me and mumbling something I didn’t understand. His grip on me loosened enough that I was able to wriggle free, arranging my robes more appropriately and unearthing his shirt from within the blankets.
“It’s afternoon, Vayden.” I quipped, smoothing a few wrinkles from his tunic and throwing it over his head, “You need to get up.”
He sat up, his thick black hair a riot of tangled curls that stuck out in all directions, “I need to get up?” He squinted at me with sleepy lines crinkled on his forehead, reaching forward with surprising speed to grasp at one of my ankles and drag me back towards him. No amount of flailing saved me and he grabbed my shoulders, crushing his lips to mine and letting me go so suddenly that I sat back dazed. “You should look at your hair. It looks like a haystack.”
I scowled at him slightly; he was certainly one to be talking. “Yours does too.”
“Yes well, mine isn’t yellow. It can’t be hay.” He countered, pulling his tunic over his head and climbing out of the tent ahead of me.
The morning passed without much in the way of conversation. A surprising turn of situation considering the events the night before, but to even think of making some kind of comment about it made my throat tighten with nervousness. It was awkward and strange every time he brushed against me or his hands touched my skin. It lit the fires of memory and selfish desire in my heart and by the way he flinched slightly and looked pointedly away, I could only guess that he was struggling with it as well.
Still, there was a very pointed coldness to his pained and turbulent expression as the day wore on and we began again up the trails that wound through the mountains. Maybe it was concern over the strain it had upon Lhun, but the stubborn beast seemed determined and we only had to dismount a few times for him to scale a steep incline. Maybe it was worry over what would become of me once I reached his father’s house. Maybe it was frustration over having let me become so very close to him, if only for a night. Regardless, he became progressively sour and sealed himself away behind a tense jaw and distant scowls. I couldn’t reach him there and after a few weak attempts, I quit trying.
That night and the night after, he slept outside on a little pallet on the ground. The tent felt big without him in it; empty and quiet without his sleepy wheezing, intense warmth, and occasional grumbling words. I hardly slept at all, watching the night-shadows on the canvas walls of the tent. I watched the branches’ shadows sway in the wind and listening to the distant snarls of the thunderstorms that roamed the prairie land below until the small hours of the morning.
The next two days were so horribly the same and yet so progressively worse that I was certain I was going to choke on my own tongue for all the things I wanted, and needed, to say. But his mood was like a wall of immovable stone between us, sitting behind me in the saddle with his squared jaw tight and his neck and chest so tense that the veins in his skin throbbed visibly.
He said not a single word that wasn’t absolutely demanded by social etiquette and even those sparse few little grunts and growled words he spoke were so curt and fierce they made me cringe. I wasn’t afraid of him, but this side of him was something entirely new and unfamiliar. I didn’t know him well enough to call him a friend, yet the way he had explored my lips and skin a few nights prior ventured into a feeling that was something much deeper than friendship. If he regretted it so sincerely, touching me that way and telling me things that he hadn’t told anyone before…then remaining silent and keeping a healthy distance from him was best. And so I did.
The landscape around us, the densely tangled forests made soggy by the spring rains, began to change as our course led us down through the mountains and nearly to their end. The trees grew less entwined in one another and the earth was made less of rock and more of grass and rich soil. It sloped downward and Lhun walked with his neck stiff and his flanks bunched up behind him to keep his balance as he endeavored on the winding, nearly nonexistent trail that Vayden led him upon. It grew more and more treacherous, the drops becoming more steep and the vast gullies and sinkholes in the earth making the venture very dangerous. Several times my heart caught in my throat when the earth shifted beneath Lhun’s hooves and the great horse whinnied out in panic as he slid several yards down the incline before he was able to catch himself. Against my back, I could feel Vayden’s heart pounding at well.
Before I could think to move away or make some remark that would stop his advance, one of the muscled, familiar arms wrapped around my torso and held me fastly against him in the saddle. At least, it seemed, he still intended to see me to his estate in one piece. That was a small bit of comfort, but did nothing for how my heart pattered sloppily with worry that I would never see him again after that.
That thought, every time it hit my brain, sent cold chills like fingers from the crown of my head to the deepest corners of my heart. Each time, it nearly made me speak. Made me cry out something, anything, to let him know that I was suffering. But I didn’t, I hadn’t, and I didn’t know if I ever could. It wasn’t my place to ask him to talk to me and as sad as it was to admit, it was because I knew who he was now that I put myself in check. It was because he was the Duke’s son that I kept myself silent. For the first time, I understood why he had kept it from me so diligently. I understood…and it broke my heart.
“Vayden.” I said his name, more speaking aloud what I felt resonate inside me than anything else. I couldn’t bare it any longer.
He cut me off before I could even draw another breath, never looking down at me as he gripped the reins so hard it might’ve snapped the leather into. “Caerwyn,” His voice cracked like a whip in cold air, “I’m engaged.”
Of course he was. He was a man, a wealthy man with a powerful and well-renowned family. And he was handsome, to boot. Well, handsome was probably an understatement. It really was shocking that he was merely engaged and not already married, for a noble of his age. At least, that is what I told myself frantically as I felt my heart stop beating and my breathing come to a gasping, screeching halt. It wasn’t shocking, I told myself bitterly. It was something I should have guessed the moment he had told me who he was.
“Oh.” Was all I could manage to force past my lips. Surprisingly, it sounded as indifferent as I’d hoped it might. Stranger still was that I, of all people, was at a loss for words. I clung to the only one I knew I could say convincingly and spoke it again. “Oh.”
“I shouldn’t have touched you in such a way.” He spoke as though he had to physically force the words past his teeth, “It was not my place. It is…best if that never happens again. If you move on and forget it ever happened to begin with.”
It didn’t make sense. It stung me so profoundly that I felt my heart stutter and start with painful irregularity. My fingers curled up into fists, my face was afire such that my vision blurred and swerved. I couldn’t stop myself. I turned in the saddle, rearing back an angry fist to punch it straight into his nose with all the force I had. “Don’t you dare tell me what is best for me!!” I snarled at him, my fury unleashed to its fullest extent. I couldn’t remember ever feeling such full-forced heat from my own heart. “You have no idea in hell how I feel or who I am…so don’t you dare act so familiar with me!!”
Vayden’s eyes were as big as two blue moons, staring down at me with his expression eerily blank. A small trickle of blood oozed from his nose and dripped from his chin. It was that little moment of pause between my furious panting breaths and his gaping dumbstruck awe that allowed me to catch myself a little. I had just punched the Duke’s son on the nose. I’d yelled at him. Memories of Vayden’s previous display of temper snapped back into my mind and I was instantly swathed with panic and regret; but he would never know. All he would see was my angry expression I kept glaring up at him, puffing furiously such that a few wisps of my gold hair fluttered around my face.
“I-I…” He tried to start, stopping long enough to wipe his bloodied nose on his forearm and stare down at the smear of crimson on his arm with surprise, “You hit me!”
I whirled back around in the saddle, feeling my face draining of all color as he became quiet, thinking probably, and I shut my eyes tightly. Servants were killed for less than what I’d done and I cringed, wanting desperately to somehow melt away into my robes and vanish.
The sound of his laughter made me bold enough to peek over my shoulder at him, his face lit by a smile that was so glorious that I lost my stomach instantly. His pale blue-silver eyes shone as he laughed, slapping one of his thighs and touching his bruised nose tentatively to make sure I hadn’t broken it. “I’d never been struck by a woman until I met you. There are men that are too afraid to confront me in public and you…you swing at me in a moment’s notice.”
“Are you absolutely out of your mind?” My tongue lashed before I could check it, somewhat fueled by how easily I’d gotten away with the last outburst. I peered at him over my shoulder, still half-expecting him to snap and lash out at me for some kind of well-disguised vengeance.
His laughter subsided and he smiled down at me, a mild and calm expression on his intensely handsome face, “Maybe. I’ve been called worse.” He winked one of his moon silver eyes at me and nudged Lhun into a swifter gate down the trail. “I’m sure my father would agree with you in that aspect, at least.”
I felt strange in my own skin, jostling about on the saddle before him and looking down at my fist that stung a little from where I’d struck him. It was worth it. Sitting with him at my back, talking in clicking noises to his great black horse, I couldn’t imagine how I’d gotten myself into this mess. When had Vayden De’Monia began to mean so much to me? It was warped, wrong, and completely impossible. He was engaged; he’d told me that. “Is…” I croaked a little, stopping to clear my throat before I continued, “Is she pretty? Your fiancée, I mean.”
I could hear puzzlement and reluctance thickly in his voice, “I suppose.”
“You don’t know? Aren’t you in love with her?” I pressed, my lips tight on the words. It hurt to speak them, to even think about his hands and lips upon someone else. Someone I didn’t even know. Someone who was, without a doubt, many times over more beautiful and worthy than I was. I knew that I had absolutely no right to feel the way I did, even if he had been the one to touch me first. I should have known better.
He groaned a little, forced into a conversation he clearly didn’t care to have, and let out a long exasperated sigh, “It isn’t like that, Caerywn. Despite what fairy tales the scholars told you, very rarely do people in my position marry someone they know, much less love.”
That was entirely horrifying and I cranked my head around to gape at him, “You don’t even know her?! Why did you propose to someone you didn’t know?”
Vayden shook his head, reaching to rub the bridge of his nose tenderly, “I didn’t say I didn’t know her.” There was a growing bit of strain in his mood that made me careful; to keep him talking I’d have to banter with him and keep the conversation somewhat light. “Her father and mine were very close during the Grey Wars. They fought alongside each other for seven years and were given estates by the king that are adjacent to each other. They decided that, in order to keep our families permanently tied together in bonds of peace, their children would one day be wed. I was just a kid then, and Lirrah was an infant.”
“So you didn’t propose to her.” I verified out loud, trying to picture it all in my mind. Two young lords, comrades at arms who had fought and bled together for their country and king. They resolved to remain forever allies, to have their children wed so that their families would become one. As romantic as it sounded…it was obvious that Vayden didn’t feel as optimistically about it. “Is she…unfriendly? Have you ever met her?”
The more he talked, the less he seemed to enjoy the topic and so the vaguer his answers became. I could feel him synching himself up back behind that mask of flesh, his usual defense to someone probing too near his feelings. “I’ve met her many times. Our estates are not ten miles apart, so she visits often.” He scratched the back of his head, avoiding my eyes as he spoke of her, “And no, she isn’t unfriendly. She is…just what a young lady ought to be.”
I had no idea what that meant and my brows rumpled together in frustration, looking across his face for some kind of answer hidden in the dark lines of his beautiful features. “But you don’t love her.”
He met my eyes so suddenly that my heart leapt slightly, turned where I was in the saddle to look at him. His expression was unfathomable, haunted and utterly dark. It chilled my every part as it reached into my soul and consumed me; drug me down into the icy walls of his heart where I would be, forever, his prisoner. “No.”
The estate of De’Monia took my breath the moment I saw it standing against the sweeping grasslands of beautiful flowing gold, the mighty purple and gray mountains thrusting their magnificent peaks into sky all around it. In the middle of the valley below them, the massive estate boasted hundreds of acres of the beautiful, lush rolling grassland that held moving spots of color far beyond what I could count; horses. Lhun’s velveteen ears perked and his steps quickened with anticipation. The great black beast knew he was home.
The little mountain trail that had fed us through the mountains widened as it encountered the grassland, graveled with smooth little white stones that paved it all the way up to the front gates of the beautiful estate. Lhun insisted on a canter as we thundered up the road, eager with the visions of the enormous barns in his dark eyes. He kicked up the little white pebbles all the way to the front gates of the main house, two enormous iron-wrought gates leafed here and there in silver that sparkled in the evening sun. Two handservants opened them, looking up to their dashing young lord and bowing deeply at his return. I gaped at them, at the house, at the landscape, at everything with my mouth open like a fish on a riverbank.
The house was comprised of four enormous five-story buildings set in a square and connected by open air hallways covered in beautiful terraces and pergolas made of rich, dark stained wood. Thick vines of roses opened up blooms of brilliant scarlet that bobbed in the soft spring winds from where the strong arms of green grew along the pergolas overhead. They dropped their blossoms and petals onto the smooth, white marble walkways that led from one building to another, paving them in glorious colors.
Each building was made of a creamy beige colored stone, boasting gothic-cut windows and countless balconies that were all draped in flowers that burst into a hundred different vibrant hues. It made the air sweet, made the sight breathtaking at the least, and yet there was something horribly wrong with it. I couldn’t place what it was that made my stomach sour and my body wince as Vayden walked the horse up to the arched gravel drive that led up to the front courtyard. A small company of handservants waited there, dressed in formal matching attire of soft gray and forest green. But all their faces were dry, blank, and deeply oppressed by something.
I swallowed and looked down at them as Vayden willed the horse to stop, slipping from the saddle and waving away their advances to take over from there. That was when I first noticed, when I first saw Vayden’s face clearly while in this place he called home. The Vayden I knew, the one I cared for, was gone. Completely and utterly gone behind that chillingly indifferent mask that separated him from me, from this place, from the world. I wanted to scream, to flee away from whatever it was that possessed this place with such an oppressive energy. I knew I must have looked as terrified as I felt as he reached up to me, offering his help down from the saddle.
“Come now.” That cold tone he spoke in was so familiar and it made me tremble, “There is a room, a change of clothes, and a meal waiting for you.” He didn’t look me in the eye, not for longer than a second’s breath, and handled me with stern, stiff gestures as he took me from the saddle and handed me my little bag of belongings. “See that she is taken care of. Have her down to the main hall by dinner; my father will be wanting to know that his will has been done according to his specifications.”
The handservants obeyed without question, one of the men taking Lhun by the reigns and leading him away towards the five lavish barns that stood out in the grasslands, two of the women guiding me with thin, forced smiles towards the estate that would now, for lack of better terms, become my home.
I saw no more of Vayden until the sun had long since ducked beneath the mountains to the north and a thousand candles had been lit throughout the estates gardens and halls. With my awkward, thin body draped in a shapeless gown of soft silver silk that spilled low over my back and shoulders, exposing a generous view of my skin, and my corn silk hair pulled back and braided down to my waist, I descended the staircase to the main hall.
Each of the four buildings in the estate served a different purpose. One was entirely dedicated to the handservants for their housing, kitchens where they prepared all the meals, and work rooms where they mended clothing and draperies and did the laundry. A second was filled with drawing rooms, parlors, ballrooms, lavish spas filled with mineral baths, a generously stocked library, and a music hall for private performances should a passing artisan be permitted an audience there. The third was exclusively dedicated to the direct family and friends of the Duke. It was there that his enormous dining hall dominated the second floor and his private grand ballroom completely filled the third. All the other rooms were kept for guests of lesser importance and rarely used. The last was, of course, the private chambers for the Duke, his family, and now me. Its main hall was glorious and carpeted in lush red rugs over polished milky white marble. The top floor was solely the Duke’s; his private chambers that were kept tightly locked away from the public eye. The fourth floor would have been his wife’s, but was now dormant since the Duchess had died many years ago. The thought of all those empty rooms was difficult to comprehend. I could barely fathom what kind of silence and sadness there was in those dusty, closed off quarters. Apparently, the Duke did not permit anyone to go inside them anymore, even to clean.
The third floor was split into chambers among which, I learned, was Vayden’s. There were other rooms that filled the rest of the building; rooms for esteemed guests and now for me. Mine was on the second floor at the very end of the hall. It was a devastatingly beautiful room, larger than my father’s entire shop where I’d lived all my life. The floors were dark cherrywood and the bed was enormous and overflowing with feather-down pillows and silk sheets. A large balcony opened up to look over the gardens below and the mountains that painted the horizon with a breathtaking view. I couldn’t have dreamt of a more beautiful room…much less imagined it to be mine.
A wardrobe of immense size held rack upon rack of clothes all made especially for me, all neatly arranged and untouched. The out-facing wall was largely windows, thin lavender draperies blowing lightly in the breeze that flowed through the open doors of the balcony. Upon an ornately carved mahogany dressing table was a large oval mirror, wreathed in iron roses that were leafed in gold and silver. Upon the dressing table sat a box, a jewelry chest of the same beautiful wood as the desk and inlaid on the top with a rose made of mother-of-pearl. I hadn’t dared to open it. The thought of what could be in such an expensive and beautiful box was horrifying. Too much for me to even think of touching it much less open it.
With my hand sliding down the polished railing, I descended the staircase that sloped up in a majestic spiral up to all the floors. My eyes feasted upon the beautiful panes of colored glass that lined the walls with shadowed hues. It was a fairy tale, despite what Vayden had said, and I felt that at any moment I might wake up and find myself back in the dark, cold labyrinth of the Academy with my nose crammed into the spine of a book I’d fallen asleep on.
His face jarred me so violently that if I had been sleeping, I would have wakened. He stood at the base of the stares, looking up at me as I descended towards him, his arms folded behind his back in a strict and noble stance. His shoulders were squared in a dignified way, his robust body dressed in a fine doublet of black accented with a red vest. His riot of black curls had been cleaned, brushed, and arranged in a less amusing or carefree way. The silver buttons down the breast of his doublet shimmered and though he looked up at me, I didn’t see him anywhere in that distant, dejected face. His dark, defiant physique was enthralling, the gentleman demon looking up at me with a severely handsome face. A dark prince.
The lengths of my silver gown spilled down the stairway after me, the sleeveless dress leaving me feeling utterly exposed. The thin straps were scratchy, but I felt strangely elegant as I descended the staircase and met him there, on the last step. I didn’t make the connection then, of why most of my clothing inside the wardrobe were of soft, pale colors that resounded around differing shades of gray. Gray was the scholar’s color.
His lips parted slightly, for a small moment, as he appraised my clothing and arranged hair. It wasn’t much of a change, but it was all the handservants had been able to manage at such short notice. I felt my cheeks color at his inspection, though it was less than affectionate and he said nothing to praise me. Dressed as he was, in that fine layered doublet with silver buttons and cuffs and fine black pants to match…he looked no less than what a Duke’s heir should. Darkly and dangerously perfect. It was frightening to stand so close to him, alone there in the dimly lit hall.
“My father is unable to see you tonight, though he offers his apologies and wishes that you would make yourself at home here.” His voice was as monotone and lifeless as if he were reciting a chapter from one of the ancient texts I’d been forced to stomach in my youth. “He welcomes you into his home and looks forward to meeting his new scholar and keeper of the books.”
I turned away slightly as I stood before him, drifting away to put more distance between myself and the imposter that was wearing Vayden’s face. “How lucky I am…to be welcomed so warmly by someone so far superior to myself.” I shot him an icy glare that didn’t pierce the hollow, indifferent mask he wore. But I hadn’t aimed to affect him so, not yet. “What then, are my duties for the rest of the evening?”
We were like two cats circling each other in the main hall of his lavish home. Him an enormous black panther and I a slender silver lioness, both poised and tense and waiting for someone to yowl, to snarl, and therefore begin the fight. I stared up at him, stiff and strange in my sweeping beautiful gown that glittered in the light of the candles that wringed the room. He held my eyes in his, cold and silent as a shadow on the wall and nearly as dark and ominous with the ferocity of his glorious features. His eyes snapped away suddenly, jarring me a little where I stood eyeing him with unspoken challenges, and panned to where the doors of the main hall opened and she, Lirrah SinFaye, floated in.
My heart sank to the soles of my silver slippers as I saw her, dressed in a beautiful bell-skirted gown of pastel pink and ivory white. She was far more beautiful than I’d hoped she would be and, judging by her delicately gorgeous face that was as perfect as a porcelain doll, her temperament was beautiful to match. She smiled sweetly, her lovely little heart-shaped face blushing as she stepped elegantly towards Vayden. Her hair fell in a rich curtain of copper-red curls, pinned up with pink roses to match her gown, and her glittering blue eyes stared out at him with avid admiration. She was perfect beyond my ability to compare; everything a young lady ought to be…just as Vayden had said.
She smiled prettily up at him, petite and somehow shorter than I was. Perhaps she was younger than she looked. Her smile shifted to me and unnerved me thoroughly, even when she stopped and curtsied formally to me and then to her fiancée. I didn’t miss the ring on her left hand, a little circlet of flawless silver crested with a hefty diamond on top. Instantly, jealousy strangled at my throat and I felt my eyes sting slightly, fighting back tears that came so easily to me. I cursed my stupid, over-emotional tendencies.
“Vayden! You’ve returned!” Lirrah’s voice was like the peal of a bell, pure and blissful, and she rushed at him to wrap her arms about his neck.
He was instantly and obviously stiff, looking down at her and smiling in such a forced, blatantly fake way that I nearly laughed out loud at his suffering. It pleased me, in a sadistic way, that he should have a little bit of the anguish I was wallowing in. “As promised. I’m pleased to find you well, Lirrah.”
She hugged him lightly and stepped away, covering her nose with one of her little hands as she giggled, “My goodness! Didn’t you bathe before you changed? You smell positively awful!”
He dropped his eyes slightly, nodding at her comment as his forced smile fell at the corners, “There wasn’t time. I’ve…a lot to attend to.”
“Oh no you don’t!” Lirrah’s sing-song voice chided proudly and she looped an arm through his and beamed up at him with radiant, youthful beauty. “You’ll be glad to know I got everything ready for Tournament for you, you don’t have to lift a finger! Just get cleaned up and be on your way. I knew you’d be wanting to leave as soon as possible since your father sent you on this chore right before the preliminaries. Now you’ve plenty of time!”
Tournament? Preliminaries? My head spun around the words and leered at Vayden out of the corner of my eye, silently demanding some kind of explanation. He didn’t give me one and merely grumbled a half-hearted thanks to her, seeming to cringe away slightly from where she touched him.
“I’m so sorry! How terribly rude of me! I am Lirrah SinFaye!” She was upon me before I could collect my senses, grasping my hands and squeezing them as she beamed up into my face. “It must be so overwhelming to be here with so little warning! I wasn’t all happy with how ill-planned it all was. Master De’Monia ought to have been a little less abrupt. But now that you are here, is it to your liking? Do you like your room? I told them that one near the gardens would be the best, you’ll be able to smell the flowers all summer long!”
It was too much and I knew my cheeks were blushing vibrantly; it was hard not too with her chattering like a little canary and boiling over with enthusiasm. It was going to be very difficult to resent her for having such a hold over Vayden if she was so disgustingly pleasant and nice all the time. “It is all very…new to me. But the room is beautiful.” I managed to croak and forced a smile that must’ve looked as pained as Vayden’s had been. If he were capable of showing pleasure at that, I’m sure he would have.
“We are going to be such good friends, I just know it! It will be such a relief to have another woman to talk to at the Tournaments!” She giggled, grasping my arm the same way she had Vayden’s and beaming up at him with her copper curls shining in the candlelight, “She is coming isn’t she? You’ll let her, won’t you? I’m sure your father wouldn’t mind and I will help her pack! We could be ready within the hour! Oh please, Vayden, do not leave me to sit with Eran and Daevian again, please!”
The begging wasn’t necessary, I knew as soon as I looked up into Vayden’s diamond-blue eyes and saw a faint glimmer of hope and yet painful distress there. He wanted me with him…but he didn’t know how to act when I was. I wish I could have told him not to worry. That simply knowing he wanted me there at all was enough, for now. It was something I would have to learn, to be content purely with his presence and overjoyed with anything else. That realization was painful and even more so when I finally comprehended that I, like Vayden, would have to conceal most of my emotions behind a mask.
“If it is your desire that Caerwyn accompany us, it shall be so.” He said, not looking at either of us as he strolled away towards the door that led out into the courtyards. “Have her things ready and packed with the rest of us immediately.”
Lirrah clapped excitedly and squealed, jostling me as she did as if trying to encourage me to express the same excitement. I was so far beyond expressing anything that it took all my physical and emotional composure to stand there and look slightly pleased. Vayden, the coward, was slinking from the room and so seeking some kind of reprieve that I suspected wouldn’t be mine for a long time.
© 2010 Nicole
Added on October 7, 2010
Last Updated on October 7, 2010
House of Roses
Wichita Falls, TX
AboutA Numerical Overview: 1) I am physically incapable of keeping any plant alive. I have killed two bonsai trees and a cactus so far as well as the few potted plants I've bought from walmart over seve.. more..