“Rett, before you drop me off in my room to get ready for dinner, can you do me a favor and walk me to the throne room?” Clarice asked Rettacus as they entered the large castle.
Rettacus narrowed his eyes in confusion before looking down at her, “um...are you sure?”
She chuckled at the look on his face before nodding, “yes, I must speak to the King about something.”
Rettacus raised a brow, wondering if she had warmed up to the King as well?
He knew that in the beginning she would rather be caught dead than voluntarily entering a room with the King in it. So it was odd for him to hear her ask that.
“Alright, as you request.” He told her with a wary nod, she smiled at him sweetly.
He so badly wondered why she wanted to talk to him, but held back his questions - he knew it was rude to ask, so he would wait until she decided to tell him.
“Rettacus, you must accompany us to the meeting room.” Aurelios voice suddenly echoed in their ears as he walked up to them with Marcello by his side from behind.
“For what?” Rettacus asked, Clarice looked up curiously.
“Avon is holding a meeting. He said it is mandatory for us to attend.” Marcello answered, neither of the men acknowledging Clarice who was quietly walking by Rettacus’ side.
Rettacus looked down at Clarice with a frown, “is it alright for you to go by yourself? Or go to your room and wait for me, then I will-”
Clarice stopped him by placing a hand on his forearm gently, all three of the men instantly snapped their gazes to Rettacus’ forearm where Clarices small hand was placed.
“It is alright, you go do what you must, and I will do what I need to do.” She told him politely.
Rettacus smiled before nodding and stopping, this made all of them follow, “well, the meeting room is located on the lowest level, so we must take a turn here.”
Clarice looked at the attached hallway to the right of her and furrowed her brows - she had just realized how much of the castle she had yet to see and it made her eyes widen in surprise.
“Alright. See you later.” She said and he nodded before turning around, she watched all three of the mens departing figures before turning forwards and continuing her walk to the throne room.
Her heartbeat was beating wildly under the thick layers of her skin but with one rough swallow and a shake of her hands - she managed to calm herself down.
When she reached the room, she was greeted by two guards. Normally, she would have hung her head and nervously approached them, but now, she looked at them head on - something inside of her did not allow her to bow her head, to anyone.
“Is the King inside?” Clarice asked them, waiting patiently for either one of them to answer.
Yet, they remained stoic and unmoving, as usual.
She eyed them down.
First the one on the left - he was a ginger - then the one on the right, a blonde. They both looked a lot older than her, but she was sure their hearing was not impaired, especially with the fact that all of their senses were heightened.
She furrowed her brows angrily before agitatedly repeating, “is the King inside?”
Once more they remained quiet and she felt something inside her churn. Her eyes darkened, and the guards noticed, yet they did not say a thing.
“When I ask a question. I expect an answer. So answer!” She meant for it to be a curt statement, however she did not expect all of this foreign authority to fly out of her making both guards hang their heads low in submission.
Her eyes widened and she started to grow confused - but she composed herself.
She had time to dwell on her sudden changes later.
“He is in his chambers.” The ginger stated, all while keeping his head bowed.
Clarice narrowed her eyes, “that means bedroom correct?” She asked; she noticed how everyone in this castle spoke a lot like the people from olden times would and it confused her.
“Do you mind telling me where it is located?” Clarice asked politely.
“The second floor, take a left once you reach the peak of the staircase, and it will be the room at the end. The wood of the door has a darker color - it will be hard to miss.” The ginger explained and she listened intensely before nodding.
She went to turn but was stopped by the sound of a throat clearing - her gaze traveled to the blonde guard curiously.
“Madam, you must know, nobody is allowed to enter that room.” He told her before going back to being stoic.
Clarice nodded warily before turning around and dismissing herself.
She inhaled shakily before calming herself down. She needed to talk to him, so she would not back down.
Clarice reached the top, or as the guard said, peak of the staircase and turned to the left. Her eyes narrowing as she took in the length of the hallway.
Out of all the halls she has seen, this one was definitely the dimmest one and it made her heart skip a beat.
She moved forwards and slowly trailed towards the room. She did not bother to look at any of the decor or the paintings that were placed strategically on the wall like she normally would have due to her pent up nerves.
She gulped, this hallway seemed a lot longer than she thought it was and it felt like she had tunnel vision as she glared at the dark door.
It looked old and rusty compared to the rest. It even seemed to have some scratches on it but Clarice did not dwell on that.
When she finally reached it she began to chew the inside of her cheek anxiously.
She could smell his scent all around this area and it made her toes curl involuntarily - the power of his scent managing to calm her nerves down the slightest bit.
She licked her lips before raising her shaky hand and knocking on the dark wood.
Once, twice, before stopping and waiting patiently. All she could hear in the quiet hallway was the sound of her soft breathing and her rapid heartbeat.
She raised her hand again and knocked once more.
She thought that maybe he was asleep, or simply could not hear her and that that was why he was not answering in his usual cold tone.
She swallowed roughly.
Something made her fingers involuntarily grip the doorknob and twist it - the sound creaking in her ears making her hold back a cringe.
She scrunched up her face as if expecting a bunch of bats to fly towards her when she pushed the door open.
Her heartbeat sped up but when the door revealed an unexpectedly beautiful bedroom her nerves instantly lessened and the tense muscles in her face relaxed.
She shut the door behind her and took in the room with wide eyes.
Everything about this room screamed his name.
He had black silk bedsheets, a huge black bed, a black round carpet on top of dark colored wood and black dressers with a huge black wardrobe in the corner.
All in all, everything inside was a pitch black raven color and she was not surprised at all.
Even though the light was dimmed she could make out every little thing inside.
She inhaled the room deeply, the scent was the strongest here.
Her gaze glued on the painting that was above his bed and could not help but allow them to linger.
She took in the horrific painting with growing intrigue.
However due to the rooms dimness she could not well make it out.
But what she could see was a the outline of a huge wolf or better yet beast - like the one she had seen in the woods that night and it made her breath get caught in her throat.
The beast had its canines bared and mouth open as if it was howling and blood coated each of its sharp white teeth, the crimson liquid dripping down its furry neck.
She could not see the rest of it, but a sudden shine made her eyes look up curiously.
Her brows furrowed in confusion as her eyes locked on a mirror?
What an odd place for something like that.
It was located directly over his bed - following the entire length of it and she could not help but analyze it with her lips slightly ajar.
Due to her intrigue she did not notice the dark figure that loomed in the corner by the large wardrobe, nor did she noticed as it slowly began to stalk towards her.
She raised a brow before trailing her eyes back to the painting, she squinted them - she could barely make out something like a dead wolf in front of the large beast but her sight was abruptly blocked by something huge appearing directly in front of her.
She gasped loudly at the suddenness and her back involuntarily slammed against the door behind her.
She raised her head nervously and her eyes widened when they came in contact with enraged icy gray eyes.
She gulped lowly. If looks could kill, she knew she would be three feet under.
She bit her bottom lip to hold back a yelp when his large hands raised and situated themselves by each side of her face - pressed firmly against the wood behind her.
She inhaled shakily.
She moved her head back as much as she could which was not far - due to how much she was already pressed against the door - while his face slowly inched closer towards hers.
Her heartbeat was going haywire and she could not do anything calm it down.
She had come here with an agenda in mind but now everything she had wanted to say and ask for had flown out of the window.
Especially now whilst he glared at her like that.