I closed my bedroom door behind me, Octavia was too impressed with the big room to notice that my hands were shaking. I crossed my arms over my chest, watching as she spun around staring at the big open space. Our house back in the village could’ve fit in this room alone. I smiled, she looked like the little girl she had once been.
She was always so full of life, so happy even with the little my father could give us. She laughed at the stupid jokes I made, she held my hand whenever I was upset. I never realized how hard it would be to go through life without her beside me. I loved her, but I never wanted her to come here. I wasn’t ready for her to see the life I had stumbled into, the life I wasn’t ready to leave just yet.
I didn't want her to know my plan, now my plan had changed. I didn’t want her to get tangled up in the web that was the curse, the castle, and the king. I didn’t know how to explain to her the feelings I suddenly had, or tell her that I wasn’t going to bring justice to Harper’s name. I knew she wouldn’t understand.
She was too loyal, too headstrong to listen when I told her that Bellamy wasn't the monster we all thought he was. He was caring and kind, he was sweet and charming. He was my husband and I was in love with him.
I crossed my arms over my chest, the idea of her dying by the hands of the guard came flashing back to me, "Octavia what the hell are you doing here? How did you get here? What were you thinking? I swear someday you’re going to get yourself killed.”
My sister narrowed her eyes at me, "I intercepted your letter to Lincoln. I thought you needed help and I wanted to see you," tears filled her eyes, "I missed you Clarke.”
I sighed and fought off my own tears. I wrapped her up in a hug, feeling my heart pull back together as we stood there together. I smiled through my tears and shook my head, pulling away to look at the woman who now stood in front of me. It felt like years had passed since I had seen her last, when in reality it had only been a month. She looked so different, she looked so much older.
"How's dad?" I asked wiping a tear off her cheek.
She sighed, "a mess without you. We thought you were dead and then people came through telling us the king finally spared a wife. We couldn't believe that you did it. You found a way to outsmart the king,” she laughed, “dad was so proud.”
I nodded, "yeah. I can't believe it either.”
She looked around my room, "so what's the plan now? I mean surely you're still planning on taking him down. I want in,” she set her chin up, “I want to help.”
I bit my lip, looking down at my hands, "the plan has changed a little," I said quietly.
Her eyes went wide, "Clarke," she drew out my name, "don't tell me you like him now. It's been a month since you married the monster. A month since he took away our cousin, your best friend!”
My eyes found hers, "it's complicated, Octavia. He's not a monster," I stepped forward and she pushed my hand away.
"You aren't my sister. He brainwashed you, convinced you to spare his life, something!" Her voice was getting louder, "Harper was your best friend. She was my second big sister. Think of Wells," her voice broke as she screamed at me.
I looked away from her, "it's not that easy Octavia. I've been here, I've learned the truth.”
"You've slept with him," she spit the words out hard.
I balled my hands into fists, "Octavia you don't know what's happened here. You don't know anything so don't go throwing around accusations. I've made up my mind I will not go after him and neither will you.”
"I won't pretend to like him. I won't pretend to be his subject because you ask me to," she was angry at me. I could see it in her eyes.
I sighed, "don't be a brat Octavia. Please.”
"You aren't my mother, you never were so don't pretend to be. You're under his spell, you aren't thinking straight. I came to help my sister, not the king’s wife.”
I shrugged, stepping forward, towards my sister. We each held our ground, both too stubborn to break. She slapped me across the face. I gasped as the door opened and Miller stepped in. I pushed down the tears that came with her anger, she always had a temper. Especially when things didn’t go her way. I closed my eyes and then let out a slow breath.
When I opened them Miller was staring at me. Octavia looked anger than before as I smiled at her, "maybe you'll find you like the king’s wife," I spoke softly as the guard took a step in front of me.
She rolled her eyes, "I see you don't even defend yourself anymore.”
Miller watched Octavia as she started to pace. I put my hand on his arm, "it's okay. I can handle her, she won't hurt me.”
“Bellamy asked me to make sure everything was okay,” he said, “we heard you two yelling. We uh, he thought maybe you two were having problems.”
I squeezed his arm gently, “it’s okay Miller, thank you. Please tell my husband we will be out in a few minutes.”
Octavia rolled her eyes at me as the guard left us alone again. "I can't believe you call him your husband," Octavia muttered as I changed into a different dress. I knew dinner was important to him, so I wanted to wear something different.
I stared at my sister, "did you really think I would go with you? Octavia you read my letter, I was begging Lincoln for help. I wouldn't be begging for his knowledge on magic if I didn't care about the kingdom or the king.”
She rolled her eyes, her shoulder set, "I thought you were speaking in code. I thought you needed my help, I didn't read what you wrote, I read between the lines. I thought maybe you wanted to come home.”
I grabbed her hand the anger I felt before was gone. I wanted her to understand now, "this is my home now, O. I like it here, believe it or not. I like the king and he seems to like me too.”
She snorted, "until someone better comes along. The he'll toss you on the balcony like he did all the others.”
I shook my head, "that's not true, Octavia. Please just put aside your grudge and get to know him at dinner. I swear you'll like him," I smiled as the knock sounded telling me the dinner was ready, "he already likes you.”
She mumbled something as I turned us towards the door. Miller was the guard waiting, Raven looked surprised as she stopped in the doorway. Octavia walked with me, I sighed, "he doesn't know about Harper. Please don't mention her.”
She looked surprised, her eyebrow raised like I had shared a secret she was interested in. Miller followed us towards the dining room. I realized we hadn't actually shared a meal here in the time I had spent with him. This was nice, using it for the first time with my sister.
Finn found his way to the table first, followed by Raven. I sat down next to the king’s chair, Octavia sat across from me. Raven was to my right, Finn was next to my sister. She looked at me, unsure why she was here. I was unsure as well, but I wasn't going to let her think she wasn't welcome.
"Raven this is my sister Octavia," she actually smiled as Raven took her hand across the table, "O this is my hand maiden and friend, Raven Reyes. She's pretty awesome.”
Raven blushed as Octavia laughed, "I've heard a lot about you Octavia. Your sister seems to think very highly of you.”
I smiled as Octavia looked amused, "yeah well I always thought highly of my sister too," she paused her eyes finding mine, "until now.”
Bellamy came stomping into the room last, before I had a chance to tell my sister to cool it. He glanced at me before throwing himself down in his chair. I couldn't help but notice the mask was back. He had closed himself off to me and the rest of the people gathered around the table. I reached towards him, my hand grazing my plate. He pulled away before my hand could find his.
"Bellamy," he didn't look at me. His jaw was stiff, his shoulders tense. He watched the cook bring in the food and Finn watched us. I could tell his cousin had something to do with his sudden anger towards me. I looked at Finn, his smile small but it was there. I could see he was trying to get in between us. I thought he had liked me, but apparently he didn’t want his cousin to be happy.
Because Bellamy was clearly upset with me. He wouldn’t even look at me as I cleared my throat.
Fine two could play that game, "so Octavia how is dad? Tell me he's doing better than when I saw him last.”
She broke her bread and ate it slowly. I could tell it pained her, she was starving. She was too thin, which meant she wasn't eating right, "he's trying to find a purpose. Him and Wells have taken to practicing their swordsmanship every morning. I usually wake up to one of them screaming.”
I laughed, "Wells was always good with a sword. Taught me everything I know.”
Bellamy's eyes went wide, his ears perked up. That hit a nerve I could tell. Good, he was going to shut down so was I, "you wanted to learn to hold a sword.”
I shrugged, "yes, I never said I didn't know how. I wanted to give you some confidence my lord.”
His eyes darkened as I used the name he hated the most. I smiled as I took a bite of the food, feeling his eyes burning a hole in my skull. Octavia looked interested as we had our silent disagreement. She was smiling, happy to have caused problems in what was our otherwise happy marriage. She didn't realize we had bigger problems than her pettiness.
Finn cleared his throat, "so Octavia do you know why your sister volunteered for this? I mean she wouldn't tell anyone.”
It had been a while since someone asked me that question. I looked at Finn, wondering why he was bringing it up now. Octavia wouldn’t tell him, I asked her not to. No matter how much we fight or how mad we were at each other we would never betray them. We were loyal to a fault. Finn was up to something, I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I knew the reason Bellamy was angry with me was because of him.
My eyes went wide as she shook her head, "no. All I know is one morning I woke up to find her gone. She left a note, all it said was please don't follow.”
Bellamy looked at me. His deep voice was harsh, "care to share your motives?”
"I didn't have any motives," I whispered taking a drink from my cup, "I told you that.”
He scuffed, his fingers drumming against the wooden table, "you know I promised I wouldn't ever lie to you. I told you the truth.”
He threw his fist down causing the table to shake. Finn’s eyes went wide as Bellamy stared at me. I wasn't frightened this was all a show. Octavia gripped her fork tightly, I knew exactly what she was thinking. For a second I thought about letting her go through with it. The man I had married reappeared. The hatred I held for him wasn't too far behind.
"Bellamy you didn't," Finn’s voice broke through the tense silence. Apparently he hadn’t told his right hand man that I knew about the curse. He thought he had been looking for a way out for no reason, "you've ruined everything.”
He nodded his head slowly. His eyes were dark as he looked at me through his lashes. My heart fell at his stoic expression, "apparently I have. Because I chose the wrong girl to save.”
I bit my lip, the anger subsiding as the hurt set in. I wouldn’t keep fighting him. Not when we had made so much progress together. I swallowed my pride and then let out a slow breath, "Bellamy I'm sorry.”
"No," he pushed my hands away. Raven gasped, from any other angle it looked like he was getting ready to strike me as he held his hand up in the air. Octavia flew out of her seat as I stared at him, daring him to hit me. She had the fork positioned at his throat, Miller was too far behind. Finn didn't move as we all watched my sister threaten him.
"Don't you dare lay a hand on her," her voice was even, slow and dangerous, "or I'll end you.”
His eyes found mine and before I could help him, he started laughing. It wasn't the laughter we had shared while getting to know each other. It was the laughter he had expressed before he got to know me. The evil kind that held no humor at all.
"You think you'll end me little girl? Your sister thought the same thing once. Then I ruined her for all other men," my mouth fell open as he looked past me, "I'm sure your mother was a whore of a woman too.”
Octavia pressed the tip of her fork hard against his skin. I screamed, trying to make her stop her attack, as Miller grabbed her hair and pulled. I stood up and looked at my husband, "I thought we finally had an understanding," my voice was soft as Octavia got away from the guard.
Bellamy's eyes were dark and hard, "I thought you would never lie to me.”
Octavia stormed out of the dining room her dinner untouched. I knew I should go after her, but I couldn't move. This wasn't Bellamy, this wasn't the man who had saved me twice, the man who held me in his arms at night. This was the monster I had feared, the monster I had tried to put an end to.
"This isn't you," I whispered as he stood up. I grabbed his face, holding him in place as he avoided my eyes, "this isn't my husband.”
He shook his head, my grip lost as he sighed and turned away from me. Before he left the room his dark eyes found mine and I could feel the coldness from his words seep into my body as he spoke, "since you can't even tell me the truth, maybe I was never meant to be your husband."