Drych watches her shadow undress and then politely looks away as she steps out from behind the changing screen. A piece of furniture he rarely used. Unlike before Alina perches on the end of his bed, waiting. Dark steel eyes glance over her, taking in how the white slip hugged certain places and then billowed away from her, leaving him to imagine the rest. Blinking once he banishes those thoughts from his mind. Reaching out and sitting up he offers her his hand. Tenderly he pulls her to his bare chest. He waits for her to adjust and get comfortable before settling back into the soft pillows and blankets. Wordlessly he lifts the comforter and drapes a little of it over her legs, waiting to see if she would kick it off before moving it higher on her body. He didn’t want her to get cold.
He laid awake for hours, staring at the ceiling far away in his own thoughts. The day had been wonderful. They talked. Laughed. Shared. He could see himself spending the rest of his life like that. Endless days meandering the garden, watching the bees float from one massive blossom to the next. A fat fluffy squirrel darting across the path in front of them. He could clearly see it, the memories that he hadn’t experienced yet. A feel of dread settled in his chest and stomach. Memories he would never be allowed to experience. Before his death, King Brazensycthe summoned his son to his deathbed. As tightly as an old sick dying man could, he shook his son and whispered in his ear: “You’ll never be able to love.”
His father’s last breath was spent telling his son that he was a heartless monster. A tyrant.
"I'll miss you more than you know" His words made her already beating heart beat even wilder. Finally, she heard from him something deep and meaningful. He spoke of her with meaning like one of his beloved blossoms. Then his figure walked up to her which still sat upon his plush bed. His cool, firm hand wrapped around hers. Smooth skin from his thumb ran over her knuckles with ease. His touch felt natural, and assuring. Again, she glanced up at him. His long hair falling past his shoulders, long whisps of onix hair floated towards her. The dim light of the candle lit flames made the shine of his hair glow a warm orange. She sat there a few moments with him, just like this. He was beautiful, she couldn't believe that someone as beautiful as he, with rank like his and a name would ever lay eyes in her like he did that very moment. When his hand fell from hers, her eyes followed. His movement to the other side of the bed brought her back to reality. She would be leaving soon. Most likely in the next few days, if not even in the morn. Feeling the pressure of the cotton filled mattress shift, she turned her body to view his. She couldn't leave him, not when they had so little time left with each other. Finally, Alina stood, looking to the changing screen. [b I'll stay....]
Her foot steps were light on the time floor beneath her. The small clicks of her heals stopped just behind the screen. With straining grace, she reached behind her to untie the laces of her binding corset. As it fell, the jewels chimed. Finally she could breath. Under her dress was a white slip, one she always wore under all her dresses. Stepping out from the paper thin screen, her figure again emerged to his sights. Slowly she walked her way back to the bed and sat at its edge peering at her Prince. She care not bring forth the words he let slip out for fear he might angrily recant. His face was not like as he relaxed, no longer stern and pointed, his brow finally un-tight, his frown now raised to normality. She was afraid to get into bed with him. She was afraid she would want to touch him, to hold him like the time before. So she sat, waiting for his invite.
“Stay.” Carefully he kept his back to her. Not wanting to see the pain in her eyes and not wanting to have to lie to her. He knew that eventually he would have to. The air between them grew thicker, heavier. The candles dimmed adding another layer of tension that neither one of them had ever expected. Unable to hide from her any longer, he turns to face her. The jewels decorating her dress twinkled in the flickering flames.
“I…” He hesitates, moving closer to her. The rise and fall of her chest threatens to distract him, though true to his raising he refuses to glance down. He swallows thickly, a rare moment of weakness threatening to crack his voice. His perfect white teeth find the flesh of the inside of his mouth, biting down on the pink flesh.
“I’ll miss you than you’ll ever know.” Boldly he takes her hand in his own. Tenderly his thumb runs over the back of her knuckles like silk. Her figure creates a shadow on his bare chest. His steel grey eyes turn a fire red before dimming once more and turning a flashing orange. His thick lashes rest on his cheeks as he looks down at her. Reflexively his hand twitches, her plump cheeks mocking him with their perfection.
“So beautiful…” The words slide over his tongue and over his full lower lip without his permission. His mouth opens for a slight moment, as though his next words choke him and catch on the back of his teeth. With a small audible click his jaw shuts. His eyes flashing brightly. Softly he lets her hand fall to her lap again before he moves around the edge to the bed. He climbs into his side of the bed, leaving the freed blankets off his legs.
Alina quickly turned away when she saw him begin to change into his nightly attire. Looking down at her hands her face blushed red, cheeks tingling, chest tight. Just who was this man to her? Really, was he just her protector? Her friend? Or was she wanting something more for them. The feeling in her chest was one of which she did not understand. In his eyes was a look of confusion, a look of pain, a look of distress. He, like her, held back. There was nothing more she wanted to do than to take his hand in hers. To wrap her arms around his shoulders from behind in a loving embrace. However, she knew such an action was forbidden.
Eyes lifted when he stood just mere inches from her. Their eyes locked as he pulled the crisp sleeves of his dress shirt from his wrists and arms. He moved closer to her before turning to walk away to change further. Turning around again the woman nodded. She wondered just how much their relationship had changed. He had washed himself without her assistance, a job she had done for year. Was he afraid to let her touch the paleness of his skin in worry something greater my find them.
[b It may be wise if I don’t stay later than I should] Her hand gently traced the bed sheets remembering the night they had already shared. Though it was innocent enough, and nothing remotely mature happened between them, she could not help but want to keep him safe from the rumors that already filled his life and his name.
Turning again, she sat on the edge of the bed and waited for him to speak once more. Biting her inner lip her lungs compressed as she had forgotten to breathe in her already rib tight corset. Quickly she stood, her breast raised high finally filling with air. She was about to burst with speech before catching herself. She could’t say what she wanted too. She couldn’t tell him what she truly was feeling. Except maybe for one: [b I’ll miss you….while I am away ]
“Please don’t forget me.” Her words stilled his heart. How could he ever forget her? Everything about her had wormed its way into his life. Until now he had never noticed how he looked forward to the spring breeze carrying her smell to him. Before now he had never noticed how he needed her companionship. Stirring his tea slowly, making a tiny whirlpool in the center. He needs her like his tea needs sugar, like his roses need water, like everything needs gravity to stay on the planet. Picking up his cup of tea, he brings it to his lips, sipping carefully as to not burn himself.
“I won’t.” His words came out more final than he intended. A grave cold silence fell, saturating the walls and air. Thickly he swallowed, he could see her from the corner of his steel eye. The fire flicked across her face lighting her eyes and flaming her emotions. Her hand rested on her chest, the fingers appeared to be trembling there. Clearly there was so much she wanted to say to him, he could see that. He could see every word she hid from him. Soundlessly he replaces the cup on the table and turns toward her. Endlessly his fingers twitch with the need to reach out and touch her. To caress her cheek and trace her jaw line, to line her lips with his lips. Thick corded muscles tighten with the urge to wrap an arm around her waist and pull her to his chest. A heat begins in his belly right between his hipbones.
Licking his lower lip to wet it and stimulate saliva in his dry mouth he turns his attention away from her and toward the process of getting ready for bed. The wash basin sitting on a stand sparkles in the candlelight. The water is cool as he dips the wash rag into it. The task is mundane though he finds peace in it. Peace in doing small things for himself that normally he would allow her to do. With their relationship twisting and complicating he refrains from asking her. Carefully he runs the cloth over his face and neck, unbuttoning his shirt as he moved the cloth lower on his chest. After a few swipes of the cloth he dips it back into the cool water. Once finished with cleaning himself from the day’s dirt and sweat, he turns toward her once again. He moves toward her, dapping at his face with a dry soft towel. Limply like a skinned snake, the towel drapes over his shoulders.
“Make yourself comfortable. My chambers are open to you always.” His deft fingers pull his shirt from the waistband of his pants and then free the buttons from their loops. Inches barely separate the two as he pulls the sleeves over his hands and wrists, slipping the shirt from himself. Swiftly he tosses his shirt over the back of a chair and then moves around her, going to his dresser to change into a pair of sleeping pants.
Alina listened, as she stepped into his room once more. Her small, rounded ears perked as the sound of a locking door echoed through the room. The light bounced of the chestnut colored waves of her hair, darkening the curls in shadow. Following him to a small seating area, she sat. Her bold black dress flowed from her knees to the floor like a blooming flower. The silver trim bounced the light of the candles, giving her skin a white glow. Her usually black eyes were not slightly translucent.Yet in her eyes showed concern. She would have to leave her companion, the person in her life that she spent her days pleasing. There was not a true moment in her life that she could clearly remember not being at his side. Watching him pour the tea, she could not help but notice just how graceful he was in everything he does. From the way he sat, to the way his ebony colored hair fell around his shoulders. He was certainly a prince of high order. Yet...he chose to spend his time with her. Shaking her head of the thought, the young woman counted the amount of sugar cubes he placed in his small silver tea cup. Out of habit she watched, to make sure he would be happy when the drink met his thin yet firm lips. Holding her cup in her gentle hands, she peered into its smooth brown steeped liquid. Her heart softly broke within her chest. She wondered if he would lose interest with her being so far. She could lose the only home she ever had, the only family she ever known, and the only man whom had ever shown her kindness.
[b My lord...I will go where ever you need me, whenever you need me. I just...have one request] Biting the inside of her lip her eyes lowered. What was she doing, how could she request something from the man whom had already given her everything? Just what was their relationship. Tensions had risen within a few days time. Lines were crossed the moment she got into bed with a prince. Placing her hand to her breast, over her heart she sighed. [b Please don't forget me]
“You already know my answer don’t you my lord?” Alina’s voice breaks into his silence. Chewing the inside of his lip, he deliberates on telling her or not. Whether he already knew her answer or not did not matter. What mattered is if she would continue to be loyal to him during her stay with the other king. Pushing that thought from his mind and the others that followed he refocuses on her. Solemnly he nods. He doesn’t have the strength to answer her vocally. In the short two days, they have taken their relationship beyond companion and friend. The new bond between them has dripped under his cold armor like water seeping into a paper bag.
Her questions continue to flow from her even as he opens the silent chamber doors. The massive engraved gates glide over the gleaming tile. The room’s dim candles filter out into the hallway before he motions for her to step inside. As the day had progressed he felt their time closing to an end. He allowed her to talk freely of herself, only giving her, a few prompts here and there then answering for himself. Unlike other conversations they have had he refrained from making it solely about him. For the first time, he found himself taking a great interest in what she favored and what she frowned at. The longer they talked the more he discovered about her. The longer they talked the more he discovered about himself and how much he needed her.
“I don’t know.” He answered honestly, shutting the doors behind them. Slowly he turns to face her after listening to the guards lock them in for the night. Sighing heavily, he slips his jacket from his shoulders. Now sober and in the candlelight, he looked different. Older once again, but he appeared harder, colder, stronger. The shadows splaying across his face and flickering slightly made his nose sharper and his lips thinner. His pale skin only affected a little by the glow from the fire, though no enough to tan him. Quite the opposite happened. His dark eyes swallowed all light.
“At first I thought I would wait.” He mused crossing the room for his evening tea. “I would wait until the first big battle. I could let them have that one, then employ my most savage soldiers. That would give us a story, a reason why you would feel the need to cross enemy lines. Though the more I think about it, the more I believe the sooner the better.” He continues pouring two cups of tea. He takes his usual spoons of sugar and then slumps down in the evening chair. His dark buttoned up shirt coming undone at the throat. His dark hair is quickly shaken free of its leather tie and left to fall around his face.
Hours had passed since they started their day together. Night quickly fell upon the two as they talked about everything and nothing. Topics ranging from favorite foods and books read filled the silence that otherwise would have dominated their time. Alina's curious eyes flickered to the pale white moon above. It's light shining down as if God himself had kissed the two with his grace, though she knew there was nothing about the man who stood before her that God would approve of. The Prince was well known to be the most ruthless of all past royals. Since the death of his parents, his tantrums had cost the lives of many poor souls who once worked within the castle. Many thought him a tyrant, a soul that could not be helped or saved. Many just stood by and watched, secretly hoping that he may one day choke on the very food he criticized so much. Then why was it that Alina felt such a strong pull? Why did she have the need to protect him, to defend his character, and to be at his right had side through all his tormented actions?
Glancing back from the egg white light of the moon. She bowed her head and walked with her prince to his chambers once more. As they walked the grand white marbled halls, the servants moved quickly aside. By now the rumors had filled the entire castle. It was as though you could hear the buzz of silently spoken words through the walls. Even so, ALina chose to stand beside her Prince, even knowing her image would be tainted with misunderstanding. Reaching the heavily engraved double doors of his chambers, the roasted chestnut haired girl looked up with a sorrowed expression. [b You already know my answer don't you my lord?] Her small hands gripping the sides of her well adorned dress. Quickly she looked away taking a few deep breaths, her bust gently rising over the top her corset in a rhythm kept pace. [b How long will you need me gone for? And when should I leave?]She could'nt help but think of all who she would be leaving behind. It wasn't just the Prince she would be missing, but her mother, the cook, and even some of the guards. However, it was mostly Marybell whom she would miss the most. She felt awful about how she had left the situation earlier in the day. Her mother was only looking out for her well being, and she blatantly no heed to her mothers words of wisdom. She wondered how Marybell was doing, if she was still hurt, if she was crying? Alina would speak to her mother later in the morning, but right now she had a more pressing issue. [b Can I come in?]
Deep under the castle, Marybell sits among the stored food. Dark red strands of thinning hair fall between her fingers as she weeps. Self-loathing fills her heart as she wallows in her tears. Ceaselessly her mind berates itself, conjuring every insult to hurl at herself. Quietly creeping down the narrow stairs, Emma seeks out the older woman. The young girl’s childlike curiosity and need for chaos brings her to the side of Marybell. Tenderly the young girl drapes an arm over Marybell’s shoulders, gently cooing to her and trying to dry her tears with the stained sleeve of her dress.
“What’s wrong?” Emma questions nearly kneeling in front of Marybell. Under her weight the burlap bag shifts, the grain within it conforming to her shape. At first Marybell continues to sob, not wanting to reveal anything to Emma. Something about the young girl’s tiny mouth and full lips made her weary of her. Emma’s large doe eyes looked too innocent to Marybell.
“Nothing, just exhausted.” Marybell chokes out, uselessly trying to dry her own tears. The storage room under the castle teems with rats and roaches. Despite the infestations, servants still crept down the cobblestone stairs to get away from work or to take a break. Often the cook stole a break here, pulling out a bag of forbidden tobacco and rolling a cigarette. Marybell hated the smell and because of that fact convinced Alina to advise the prince to ban it in the castle. Of course, the servants did not listen, some even risking getting caught with it.
“No something is wrong.” Emma insisted and stood. Raising a single hand, she gestures for Marybell to wait for her she then trots up the stairs, leaving Marybell behind with the squeaking rats. Emma floats into the kitchen, nearly bumping into the cook. She begs his pardon before moving over to the ice box. Grumpily the cook questions her as she ruffles through the ice box looking for any chilled left over pastries. Deftly she grabs one before turning on her heels and disappearing into the walls once again and down the narrow stairs to the storage room. Marybell had stayed as she had been asked, her tears had stopped flowing and her puffy eyes were still red. Gently Marybell daps at the coal streaking her cheeks.
“What have you brought?” She inquires, looking at the chilled pastry wrapped in brown paper. Emma’s eyes held a serpent’s glimmer, putting Marybell on her guard. Looking shyly down at the present, she smiles only slightly.
“I was saving this for my birthday, I stole it from a dinner plate a night ago, I put it in the ice box to keep it.” A brief pause. “But I want you to have it, Marybell. You’ve done so much for this castle and everyone in it, I don’t think you get enough credit. Everyone is always fawning over Alina, how she helps the prince and keeps him together, but you’re the real gem.” She murmurs softly to the older woman before stepping forward and putting the wrapped pastry on her lap. Sniffling, Marybell could not help being taken by the young girl’s words and feeling a soft feather stroke her pride. Carefully pulling apart the edges of the paper, Marybell reveals a delicately, slightly soggy, blueberry pastry, the sweet sugar drizzle having gone hard and cracking.
“Oh sweetheart!” Marybell covers her mouth with one hand, touched. Emma smiles gracefully, bowing humbly, and then turns to leave. Marybell watches her go, unable to from the words that would explain how her heart throbbed for the girl. Maybe what she had thought about her was wrong, maybe she wasn’t a senseless child only out to cause havoc.
Soft clicks echoed from beneath her small kitten heals. The cobblestone path leading their way to a stretch of intimate space between the heavy stone wall of the castle and evergreen bushes which climbed their way up like vines. Her right hand tucked under his arm and gently rested her hand in the nape of his elbow. As they walked a sense of serenity came to her mind. In her view, a lovely scenery filled with the worlds most exquisite and rare floral gems. The air around them filled with an aromatic perfume. The sent tingled her nostrils and calmed her heart of any lingering heartache.
[b No, much of my time was spent in mannerism classes.] She smiled looking back at the thought. Simple things like how to hold a spoon and when to use your napkin may have come natural to some. But to a child who had never used spoon before, learning how to be a proper lady took much time and dedication on the part of her teacher, Marybell. [b I never fit in well with the other children of the castle. My mind was a bit more mature. What they found funny, silly games and immature jokes never intrigued me.]
Looking around them as the sun in the sky passed the fourth hour, Alina stopped in her tracks, glancing up at the stoic male beside her. Her full lips turning to a gentle smile. [b I prefer to draw. On the table beside my bed is a sketch book. Within its pages are just random drawings, mainly the many flowers that hide within the castle walls.]
Drych rose to her side, offering her his elbow. He takes the first step away from their little tea table. Stretching out ahead of them and curving to the right the multicolored cobblestone walkway tempts them forward. Drych naturally takes the lead, letting her sweeping sparkling dress dazzle him as the sun kisses her. A pleased smile pulls at his lips, he could remember having the dress made for her during the holiday season, she was to wear it to an evening ball. He and Marybell had agreed that she looked better in a powder blue dress with diamonds rather than the ebony black one festooned with glass beads and jewels. Drych vividly remembers watching her turn in a slow circle before them, the black dress she now wore billowing out around her feet and then gracefully swaying back to its rightful place. Marybell had tailored both to fit her beautifully. Quietly they had agreed on the blue one. Now seeing her beside him in the black one made him realize that either choice would have flattered her, would have made her the bell of the ball. Slowly he could see the slimy green jealously rising in him, colored by the ginger red pride that filled his heart. There was a monster deep in him that wanted others to see them together, a beast that could not be sated until others burned with jealously to have what he has.
Stretching petals soak up every ounce the sun has to offer. His prized roses claw their way over each other, pulling and pushing at one another like children begging for a treat from their mother. Drych loved the wildness of them and yet loved how they so neatly clung to the path he designated for them. As the cobblestone pathway swerved to meet the castle wall the roses followed, keeping a respectful distance though their massive petals drooping to all who walked the path. Each bush tangled together wildly stood taller than a man and created the perfect barrier of privacy. As they meandered, Drych finally managed to pull himself away from the distracting roses and blue sky.
“When you were a girl, did you play an games with the other children in the castle?”
The woman nodded then looked forward feeling him take his hands and fully wrapping them around her own. She gently squeezed back and shook her head. Soft whisps of hair fluttered down her face, laying softly against her small elf like nose. Soon, her lashes fluttered up, her eyes much brighter than they once were. [b I know, we probably should figure out our next move. I know you didn't want to hear my answer. You wanted me to take a few days to think. When you're ready, we can begin planning our next course of action.]
Breaking eye contact she looked down at their hands. His words flowing from his mouth mater of factly. Of course he wouldn't be surprised by the flowing rumors the castle staff had already begun to spread. He usually was the subject of such rumors, his skin thick now from their painful sting. Alina however had never been the main subject of such gossip, her heart easily fragile. Yet she had to stay strong, she couldn't let this one weak moment break the faith her prince had in her. Shaking the thought from her head, the young woman finally brought her eyes back to his, no longer pained. [b A walk sounds lovely] standing from her seated position, Alina moved the silver tray to the side, taking the gold rimmed porcelain tea cups and placing them atop the tray.
Alina contemplated the decision she would soon have to make. Not only would getting close to the enemy King help her own people, possibly getting away from her price would help the situation she helped create. She knew that a man of his stature should be with someone of higher stance, something she did not have, and never would. Deep inside her tightly bound chest her heart ached. Being close to him filled her ever beating heart with meaning. She had a reason to live, a reason to walk the earth with purpose and strength. She knew she would have to leave his side, for how long she was unsure. Alina would have to male the most of their short time together, and not let him know that having to leave would bring her heart sorrow.
The issue of her past was always a sore subject. She wondered what about her made her special. Why the prince seemed to favor her compared to the other staff. Standing, the full view of her dress was visible. Her corset tightly bound, a black lace overlay followed the curves of her waist and hips. Silver trim glimmered in the suns rays. The black contrasting against her powder white skin. Drops of rose extract were placed behind her ear, neck, collarbone and wrists. Deep down she wished to impress the man who stood in front of her. A flashy dress and seductive sent where tall tale signs of a woman's way to impress a man. [b I wish to spend this day as joyfully as possible....with you.]
The entire situation sounded like normal castle drama to him. Even though he could not help but look down on the lesser staff for spreading the word so quickly, a part of him found it just as amusing as they did. One single night could change a woman’s future here, society was more forgiving of men, but that did not necessarily mean that the memories faded quickly. Drych had been held to high standards, higher standards than any other prince, he easily assumed that Alina had wormed her way into same high standards that Marybell now laid on her shoulders. Cold steel eyes soften as he watches her flush and hide her face timidly.
“I’m pleased that you don’t regret it. I don’t regret it either. Though I will be the first to admit it wasn’t the best decision given the soldiers baring down on us any moment. It pains me that they let their lips flap so loosely, though I see there isn’t much else to do in the castle.” Sighing deeply, he studies her. There was not anything else he could say to ease her, he knew that. Silently he reaches across the table and pulls her soft hands into his. He holds her like that for a long time. It was clear that Alina did not condemn Marybell for being her mother, but the older red head’s words had cut deep; deeper than she had expected them to. The only way Drych could see to purge the castle of this mess would be to slaughter all involved, that would cause the loss of many loyal servants, an expense he could not afford.
“Would you like to walk through the garden?” He questions suddenly, wanting to distract her for her sorrow.
It was not like Alina was caught off guard. She knew she had not answered his question. She didnt want to get her mother into trouble, even though deep down, she was still greatly upset with Marybell. She should have known Marybell would have been the one to bring the tea. It was only expected for Drych to have caught on to her apparent anger. Grasping the tea cup, she warmed her timidly cold hands. [b Mother found out that I had stayed in your bed. Someone must have let the word out because it's all the staff will speak of]
Part of her wished not to speak of this matter. She didnt want him to feel as if his action had burdened her. It takes two, and she had made her decision to stay with him through teh night. Even so, it felt nice to vent her feelings to someone. Something she had never had before. [b Marybell means well...I know she does. However she spoke some words, said something that reminded me of my place in this world. It was rather harsh. And In return I spoke just as cruelly]
Alina closed her eyes biting her lip as hard as she could to keep in the tears that wanted to flea from her beautify brown eyes. [b She's protecting my good name. Becuase she knows I have nothing else. No title...just an orphan girl, who just so happened to find herway in to the castle] Shaking her head she looked away from him not wanting to lose her emotions in his presence.
The young woman tightly held her smooth silk like hands together. The tendons of her knuckles showing white. Her heart ached with the words her mother spewed from her ageing lips. Alina had always done everything her mother asked of her. Never once did she disobey, never did she go against her teachings. Yet, the moment Alina made a choice fully of her own decision, Marybell turned against her. [b Even so my lord, I regret nothing of my decision.] Her cheeks grew red with the very thought of the night before. Flashes of his beautiful figure, long soft hair, and strong embrace flooded her mind. Quickly she closed her eyes, turning the memory away. She knew better than to think of such things, however, she found it hard not too.
“You never answered me?” Drych suddenly enquires. “You appeared to be upset when you came to me.” His eyes drop to the tea cup she held in her hands, silently counting how much sugar she added. It was the perfect amount for him and he knew she generally didn’t like her tea that sweet. Selfishly he supposed the cup was for him, but waiting he didn’t want to be rude. Licking his lips once again and turning his gaze elsewhere, he eagerly waits for her answer, her explanation. Marybell had been upset when she brought out the pastries and tea as well, perhaps something had happened between them. Dread fills Drych’s chest as he tries to distract himself from the true question that needed answers. Desperately he clawed at the inside of him mind for any kind of subject change, though he didn’t want to appear to be intrusive by asking her hundreds of questions in a row. In spite of his aversion to asking her questions about herself, he didn’t want them to fall into silence.
Whatever had happened between them made Drych unable to stand the silence. The content sound had rose to deafening thrumming and he hated it. The pounding in his temples and right behind his eyes made the silence worse. Leaving his mind to fill the void with imaginary sounds such as his own heartbeat. Vowing silently to himself, Drych decided that he would listen to anything she had to say as long as he didn’t have to listen to his own blood pumping in his veins, his own heart.
“I would like to know, the two of you were acting strangely when I first saw you.” He pressed, his delicate pale fingers twisting around the handle of his teacup to bring it to his lips. Tenderly he tastes the last of his tea before setting the empty cup aside.
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