MIGHT NEED TO READ LAST THREE CHAPTERS TO UNDERSTAND
"Does the new King have anything to say for his people?"
With his eyes still focused on me, he nods, the sonance of his followers only continuing to rage on; our eyes stay connected for what felt like an eternity, an intense current passing through us and lighting up my nerves as if his fingers caressed my skin to spark up such a reaction. I felt like a hormonal teenager girl as my chest rose and fell in short waves, my panting breathing heard by my own ears.
It was the cry of my child that momentarily averted my attention. Cassius cried and squirmed in Kyri's hold, drawing unwanted attention to us, she tried shushing him— rocking and cradling him but he screamed louder; tears rolling down his cheeks.
"Let me see him," I tell her, already reaching before the words slipped past my lips.
Kyri places Cassius in my free arm and reaches for Adelia but I shake my head, smiling when she frowns.
"I got them both, don't worry."
She lingers a little, just in case I really needed the help. I show her it was no problem for me as I adjust the twins in my arms, comfortable for them both and myself. Almost immediately, Cassius ceases crying and looks up at me through his wet lashes, his cheeks flushed pink from his tears. My heart aches as I level my face with his, brushing away the tears with my lips as I whisper to him.
After a few seconds, I raise my head and notice the silence that everyone had taken. I tilt my head further up at the feel of burning flames on my skin. Delano gazes back at me when our eyes collide once again, but only for a short moment before he turns his attention to his people that all look up at him; anticipating his words.
"Fifty years ago, I left the realm like a rebellious teenager, wanting to get away from all the activities that gave me an insight of what it was to be King," he began with everyone watching, absorbed in his words.
"I told myself I wasn't ready to take on such a big responsibility, to be responsible for a thousand and more people when I could have barely taken care of the two people I have cared for," there appeared to have been an emotion that lit his eyes like the embers in a scorching fire; it was determination. "That ends today. From this day onward, I promise, as the new King, I will make the proper decisions that benefit you all and the people I most care for. I need to be the best that I can but I can't do that all on my own; I need you all to believe in me. Are you all able to do that?"
"Yes, your majesty!" everyone responds at once.
A smile graces Delano's features, something so gentle and natural that it easily shatters the hard planes of his face, the action taking hostage of the air that inhabited my lungs. My heart drums like hummingbirds fluttering their wings along the ridges and cracks of my ribcage that begin to swell and overwhelm with emotions, so intense, I felt a shift in my being.
The crowning of Delano came to an end and everyone slowly made their way to the castle where a Ball was being presented in Delano's honor of becoming King. With the crowd dispersing, I hindered back with Kyri at my side, the twins were hanging on by a thread to stay awake as if waiting for someone--- their waiting came to an end when the front doors of the tower opened and out came their father.
Those sharp blue eyes immediately lock on my figure the minute he walks outdoor. As he strolls down the small steps of the building, two guards position themselves at his side attaining alert and observe facades with sharp eyes, standing a few feet away.
"Well, if it isn't the new king," Kyri speaks, smirking at her brother. He pauses a couple of feet in front of us, the open field now free of bodied beside from a few vampires that linger to bestow upon their new ruler. HIs attention springs to her, a smile of his own playing across his lips when she mock bows.
"It is great to be in your presence, my king."
Vibrations travel from his chest and out of Delano's mouth in a soft wave, "Stop it, Kyri."
She doesn't and steps up to him, encircling her arms around his waist, "Congratulations. I think Father would have been proud," she stated with a bittersweet tone lingering at the edge of her words.
There was that small flicker of pain that flashed through his eyes like lightning shooting across the sky in a disorder of vein-like images. He didn't waste a second to fold his own arms around her shoulders, grunting his response, and as soon as the hug started; it was over, with Kyri pulling back.
She turns her face away from us and wipes under her eye while clearing her throat. Delano then slants his gaze in my direction, where again his eyes glide down the length of my form, making it aware to myself that parts of my body were on full display for him; a smile graces my lips. I take a step towards him, the pull between us working overtime as it nibbled the flesh of my body and lit up the nerves beneath in a dance that only our souls knew the steps to.
My feet brings me another step closer.
"They've been waiting for you," I say to him, gesturing towards the twins. His gaze slips down to the growing bundles in my arms, taking in the face of his children.
Cassius has long been asleep, no amount of willpower to keep him up and awake while Adelia was barely hanging on. Her eyes were little slits as she stared up at Delano with eyes they shared, he looked back and made a small motion to reach for her. He flickered his eyes to me for a moment, it took me a second to realize what it meant.
I moved closer until I was standing directly in front of him and stood a little on my tiptoes to settle Adelia in his arms, my skin hyper-aware of his close proximity that the brush of his suit made me tingle in different places as I stepped back when I knew he was holding her right. I let them soak a little in the moment, Delano's face was tender like the caress of wind at the brink of midnight.
He stared down at her as if she was a precious jewel, appearing more bigger since the last time he has seen her. His brows were slightly creased in concentration, his gaze flickering as he took in her features, the security of her father's arms finally put Adelia to sleep after the long wait. The long look in his eyes set my heart into motion, I recognized that look, it was the same expression I had gotten a few weeks alone taking care of the twins; it was the look of awareness that it was possible to create small beings that you could call your own.
A deep sense of protection was beginning to bury a home in his heart as it had did in mine, maybe long before, the slight movement of his fingers curling tighter around Adelia's arms didn't go unnoticed by me. Time seemed to freeze and stand still the moment Delano gaze finds its way back to me, I kept myself grounded with a tight but gentle grip on Cassius as my hormones reached new heights; the same tender look Delano gave Adelia transferred.
As quick as the look was there, it vanished as his attention shifted and focused on an approaching servant with skittish feet. He bowed deeply as he reached us, lifting up, he kept his eyes lowered.
"Your majesty, I'm sorry to interrupt, but the ball is about to begin," he says.
Delano stares at him for a little while and nods, the message acquired, with that, the boy stands upright and slowly backs away with his eyes still lowered to the ground as he disappears. Delano looks from me to Kyri.
The walk back to the castle was smooth and quiet, the way there, Delano held on to Adelia; enjoying the warm body of his child just for a little longer. It wasn't until we reached the back doors of the manor did he have to let her go, a couple of servants were waiting outside for the arrival of their king with bent necks, Kyri was next to him as she took Adelia from his arms, The sound of a piano playing an angelic piece flowed through the walls and let us know the ball just began.
"They're waiting for you, your majesty," one of the servants spoke.
Delano sighs and at that moment that it was my cue to depart and leave him to do his own thing, I go to walk past him and into the building when his fingers suddenly wrap around my forearm, shockwaves rushing up my nerves. I turn back towards him, breathless, the pits of his eyes sucking me in as he looks at me with a confused look.
"Where are you going?"
I look to Kyri, who stares back at me with the same look that I may have been sporting.
"Back to the room," I answer with a small frown as if that was obvious, "you seem to have a lot going on. ."
His fingers curl a bit tighter around my arm, my gaze flickers down to his hand and back to his expression, the same soften look from earlier shining through his eyes only for me to see.
"I was wondering if you would like to attend the ball with me?" he suggests.
My eyes cut over toward Kyri, her eyes fixated on my in a questioning glare, also waiting for my response. I bite the inside of my lip, still aware of the extra eyes that may not stare but are very much present, the weight of my child in my arms gives me a sense of security as I hesitate a little.
"I. . I don't—the kids. Who's going to take care of them? I have to take them back, they haven't been fed yet—"
"Please?" he adds, "I won't hold you long, I'm sure Kyri wouldn't mind watching them for a little while." Delano's gaze flickers to her then back to me, the material of his shirt brushes against my hand as he steps closer.
"Delano. . ."
He insist with his eyes, the glowing pools enticing me just like his scent that has me hostage. "Give me an hour, that's all."
I suck my bottom lip into my mouth and finally nod with an exhale, I could see the physically relief of my answer upon his body as the curve of his mouth turns upward into that beautiful smile that has my heart thumping a bit faster than its original pace; for my eyes only. After a moment, he steps back and flicks his head, the soft patter of steps move in closer and the sight of a female servant appears at his side.
Delano keeps his eyes on me. "Kyri and her will take the twins up to the room. Do you think you're able to hand Cassius over?"
I look at him like he's crazy then dart my eyes over to the servant, she keeps her eyes lowered, the shadow that resides deep in my mind, slithers to the frontier of my mind, assessing the person that wants to touch something of theirs. Her aura is soft and barely exist, I sense no hostile actions, just a bit of anxiety and fear.
I step up to her on my own accord, Cassius held tightly in my arms as I stand before her, her interlaced fingers tighten at the feel of me. I can't stop the shadow from nearly covering my mind, projecting an intense aura to the female before me.
She does so with no hesitation, following orders as she should.
"I'm trusting you with my son," I state, her grey eyes stare right through me. "No harm must come upon him or my daughter as you escort them back to the room."
"Yes, of course ma'am."
At the response the shadow resides and I'm able to give the female a small smile, relieving any of her worries. Carefully, I lean forward and place Cassius in her awaiting arms with a kiss to the forehead. He barely moves.
I turn back to Kyri, "An hour."
She grins, "Take as long as you need, I got them, I promise."
With that, she gestures the servant to her side and they walk along side each other, following in suit one of Delano's guards. Once they disappeared into the building and out of sight, I faced Delano who stood silently with a look on his face, catching my eye, his own glittered in the moonlight.
He held his hand out toward me, palm up and waiting with his head tilted. My gaze flick from his hand to his face, the relaxation in it rather than the hard planes of stress inched me closer to him, the pull that still lingered between us grew stronger with each second and eventually, my had slides into his, his fingers closing around mine; a delicious shiver running up my spine.
I grit my teeth to keep from gasping at the sensation, from the deep look in his eyes, I know I wasn't the only one that felt it; it affected us both. The presence of our souls so close to each other after a long time apart was a ticking time bomb for something inevitable. A quick clear of his throat, Delano gently pulls me to the back doors of the castle where the two other servants still stood with the remaining guard of his.
They all bowed as we stride through the threshold they held open, we split down a path opposite from where Kyri and them went, my ears twitch with the sound of music playing and the more we walked the louder the music echoed through the halls, a wave of nervousness washed over me like a tide, my hand unintentionally squeezed Delano's hand.
He looked over his shoulder at me, assessing me. "Don't worry," he said, "we aren't heading that way yet."
We round the corner of another hall, stripes of moonlight littered the ground from the curtains on the right hand side, they fluttered as we stalked pass, our footsteps heard in the quiet hall. Our steps halt a few feet away from the single door, I look towards Delano as he lets go of my hand, coldness instant taking the warmth that still presses against my palm. I drop and clench my hand at my side and watch him reach out for he knob and open the entrance to a dark room.
After staring into the dark room for a moment, I give him a look.
He chuckles, shaking his head a bit, "I swear, there's nothing in there that's going jump out on you."
I raise a brow, cocking my hip.
"Kaitlyn," his voice caresses my lips, "Trust me on this."
Chewing on my cheek, I sigh, muttering a "fine" before I stalk inside. The darkness completely swallow me whole, the sound of wooden planks beneath my feet as I walk aimlessly ahead, it wasn't long before the door shut and cut off the only source of light. Delano was felt everything, his existence mingling with the air molecules, all compressing my skin in different directions.
It took a minute for my vision to adjust, soon I was staring at myself, from across the room, all around. My brows jump in reaction as my gaze flickers about the mirrored walls, my focus shifts behind me to where Delano stood in the short distance.