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Chapter Twenty Four.

Clarice Mont

Clarice yawned quietly upon waking up before groggily rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

She had slept like an utter baby last night and she finally felt truly awake and ready for the day.

Light shone through the windows of the large room and past the sheer white curtains they were covered with.

The sun rays kissed her cheeks giving her a slight golden glow and making her green eyes sparkle.

Even though she was happy that she had finally gotten sleep and that she had finally eaten actual food last night - she just wanted to be at home, in her own bed, with her own family.

However, she would not voice what she wanted, she would stay silent and pray her family comes searching for her.

Clarice got up from her bed and walked to the bathroom.

Last night - like Rettacus had said - a guard had brought her some basic necessities, like the small shirt and saggy pants she was wearing, and a toothbrush that she had placed on the bathroom sink.

When she entered the bathroom she quickly washed her face and brushed her teeth before drying herself.

She had no agenda for the day. After Rettacus left her alone last night, he came back once she had readied herself for bed to properly bid her goodnight - not once giving her a plan for the next day.

She walked to the wooden wardrobe before opening the door, inside she had hung a couple of shirts and pants she had also been given and a small little dress.

All these articles of clothing looked old, however she did not question it, she was thankful she was at least given something to wear. Old or not.

She pulled out a black t-shirt and a pair of tight black pants - it was the only pieces she was given that matched nicely.

She quickly changed before hanging the clothes she had previously worn, then slowly went to fix up the comfortable bed she had slept on.

An hour later Clarice was seated on the edge of the bed while twiddling with her fingers.

She was bored and lonely, but she did not dare to leave her room.

An abrupt knock on her door made her flinch before jumping off of the bed and running towards the door.

“It is me Clarice.” Rettacus stated from behind the door and Clarice smiled slightly, her hand going to twist the knob.

“Good morning.” Rettacus said once the door opened to reveal him, Clarice nodded with a thankful grin.

“Did you sleep well last night?” Rettacus asked her, his eyes trailing onto the bed before going back to hers.

Clarice nodded her head and he smiled happily.

“That is good to hear. Well, I have come to escort you to the dining room where we shall eat breakfast.” He told her making her eyes slightly widen.

He noticed her discomfort before shaking his head, “please do not get frightened over that, it is just breakfast, nobody can hurt you while we eat. Especially while I am there.”

Clarice furrowed her brows nervously, thinking if she should voice her thoughts with the pen and notepad she had stuck in her back pocket but instantly decided against it because for some odd reason she trusted Rett.

“Alright?” Rettacus asked her softly, Clarice inhaled deeply before nodding.

He smiled before motioning for her to follow him, and she did, slowly shutting the door behind her as they made way past the hall, down the stairs and to the main dining room.

There was a huge table situated in the middle of the large room, made of dark marble with gold accents all over it and thick black chairs to match.

Clarices heartbeat sped up when she noticed the familiar men that were already seated at the table.

Marcello the man she met at the hospital, then her eyes trailed to the man who pulled her hair and force fed her, then to an unfamiliar brooding man that was situated directly to the right of the King.

She gulped when her wide eyes glued onto his - neither the King nor Clarice could look away from one another and she felt a jolt of electricity trail down her spine making her shiver.

“Clarice?” Rettacus called out to her making her forcefully rip her gaze away from the King, she was brought back to reality and quickly realized that she had frozen in her place whereas Rettacus had walked even closer to the table.

Her cheeks reddened making her hang her head slightly to hide them before she speedily walked to Rettacus’ side - he smiled softly before pulling out a seat for her, and she had yet to realize that he sat her to the left of the King.

Once she felt him push her in, her nose began to deeply sniff the air involuntarily and her eyes hesitantly looked up to see why.

She noticed that the King was glaring directly at her making her breathing quicken.

“What is the pup doing here?” The man sitting across from Clarice asked making her gulp lowly before looking down - trying to hide her hurt.

Rettacus let out a warning growl that made Clarice clench her fists to remain calm.

“Shut up and eat Avon.” Rettacus told him lowly making Clarice chew the inside of her cheek nervously.

She could feel the Kings scolding hot glare burning holes into her side profile and it made her stomach churn - she was struggling to hold her body back from shivering.

“You will watch how you speak to me Rettacus. My rank is that much higher than yours and need I remind you-”

The suddenness of a large fist colliding with the marble table and some utensils making them clang loudly beside Clarice made her jump in shock before snapping her head upwards with wide frightened eyes.

Her heart was hammering in her chest and she found herself cowering deeper into the chair.

The Kings eyes were wide and feral as they glared at Avon who sat there looking shocked - in similarity to everyone else.

“You will both shut your mouths or I will personally rip your tongues out and quiet you down for a lifetime.” The King threatened darkly, his voice deeper than ever and holding a deadly promise.

Clarice swallowed roughly, her wide eyes could not tear themselves away from the Kings whose were glaring intensely at Avon.

Her eyes roamed throughout the length of his perfectly sculpted face and she found herself in a trance that she could not rip herself out of.

“My King with all due respect-”

One of the other men tried to say something but the sudden growl that emitted from the Kings throat making his chest rumble, instantly quieted him down.

“Give the girl her food Rettacus.” The King unexpectedly ordered - his voice hoarser than ever from all the growling he had done - making Clarices eyes widen in shock.

The men tried to hide their disbelief but failed horribly. They all had raised brows and curled lips.

“Alright.” Rettacus happily stated before filling up Clarices plate and placing it before her.

She inhaled shakily, her cheeks were burning under all of their judgmental gazes.

Avon went to fill up his plate but a growl from the King stopped him, “you will wait.”

Avon placed his plate back onto the table before furrowing his brows in confusion - even Rettacus had gotten confused over that.

The King did not voice what he was doing, instead he kept his dark gaze on Clarice who was timidly staring at her plate that was overfilled with delicious food.

She slowly looked up from under her lashes, instantly catching his gaze making her nervously lick her dry lips.

He just nodded his head in allowance and right away she knew what he was intending.

So, with a shaky hand she took the spoon that was neatly placed beside her plate and scooped up some rice before slowly bringing it to her lips - her eyes connected enitrely with the Kings.

The air around them was full of small sparks that lingered all throughout the room making the tension thicken and everyone noticed.

When her lips closed around the spoon and she finally swallowed her first bite, that was when the King raised his nose and turned to his men - breaking the trance he and Clarice were stuck in.

“Begin.” He ordered - looking at his men as if nothing had just happened - and Clarice felt her stomach churn.

She bit her bottom lip - trying to hold back a smile.
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