Hraken’s chamber is at the end of the hall and as he opens the door I’m surprised to see how simply laid out the room is. It doesn’t even look medieval like the rest of the palace, it looks modern. Plain walls, a large bed opposite a bookcase and a large leather love seat to recline on.
There was a fluffy white mat on the floor, and the only old feature seemed to be the fire place near the bed.
“I remember pictures of your room advertised in the news from a thousand years ago,” I mutter under my breath as I stand just inside his room, and he shuts the door behind me.
“What about it?” he asks, nonchalant. Completely relaxed and seemingly uninterested as he waltzes around me and heads for his leather love seat.
I watch him sit down and clasp his hands, elbows on his knees as he watches me stand near the closed and presumably locked, door.
“You had a bedroom that was far more lavish and full of prizes and gold things. Your bed looked like it was inside a golden cage – I always thought it looked ridiculous,” I admit, suddenly smiling.
Hraken manages to smirk.
“That was a part of the show for the Scouting Stadium’s TV show. I had it specially designed for my toughest components, the ones I defeated,” he explains, “How hungry are you?”
The question throws me off guard and I shift from foot to foot.
“Very but I’m getting used to the feeling of constant starvation,” I answer as truthfully as possible, “So... I guess... whatever?” I shrug my shoulders and he rolls his eyes and tries not to smile back.
“I saw you and Celeste sneak into the kitchens again today, I know you’ve been snacking,” his accusation catches me off guard a second time.
“Oh, um – not at all. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I walk forward, eyes trained on the bed, “But I am tired so goodnight, I need some shut-eye.”
Hraken goes silent as he watches me prance my way over to his bed. I pull back the covers and rip off the leaves and vines covering me so I’m comfortably free of clothes. I jump into the blankets and snuggle up.
I’m hoping desperately this means Hraken will not punish me in the way that Sabir had probably wanted him too. I mean I honestly had no idea why Sabir had just given me away so easy. I knew it was only temporary... but to Hraken?
I close my eyes, pulling the blankets to my chin and resting back into one big fat pillow.
I hear Hraken stand and start pacing his way to the bed.
“Night night,” I feign a yawn and roll to my side when I hear him approach my side of the bed I’ve hopped into.
I hope turning my back to him is enough to get him to leave me alone.
However, I get a shock when the blankets are ripped back off me and I open my eyes to nervously glance back over my shoulder to see what he is up to.
Hraken simply slides in behind me, grabs the blankets back and pulls them back over the both of us. He wraps a strong, tight arm around my waist and pulls me close. His chin rests on the top of my head.
“Ah...Ahem,” I pretend to cough and he just ignores me, “So, Hraken, you just want to sleep right?”
“Sure do,” he answers back, leaving me completely confused once again.
“Why are you always so dry in your responses?” I blurt out the question before thinking about the consequences.
He is silent and does not answer.
“Did I offend you or something?” I ask, more cheekily.
“Dark Gems like me need constant self discipline,” he growls out, in a warning, “The only girls I punish, the only girls I sleep with – are the ones I defeat in the stadium. I forbid myself from teaching someone like you a lesson –”
“Now I’m oddly offended. What do you mean, someone like me?” I snap back, I find that my elbow instinctively punches back into his rib cage, annoyed by his comment. I’m proud to admit I successfully hear a gasp of air from him.
I must have hit the right spot. Score!
“You’re asking for it, little Gem,” Hraken growls out, sounding a little shocked that I had attacked him. He continues to hold me close while he rolls around until I am now at the edge of the bed. With one firm push, I fall out onto the mat below, landing on hands and knees, “You’re sleeping on the floor, no more questions. Night night, sweetheart.”
Hraken rolls over – and ignores me.
“Is this how you treated Seraphine when you took her to bed?” I snarl as I get to my feet and I see his whole body tense, “I seriously am curious to know.”
“Go to bed, Sapphire, oh sorry, I mean I hope you’re comfortable on the floor,” Hraken replies dryly once more.
“Goodnight, Hraken,” I turn and head off in an angry huff. I try to open his large wooden door, but it won’t budge.
Eventually I turn, give up, and storm my way to the leather couch. I lie down, still naked, with no blanket but a small pillow. I try to sleep.
I end up lying on the cool leather, longing for Celeste’s company and Sabir’s attention. After our plan had failed, and they knew we were exactly the girls they had been searching for... I guess now everything had changed. I wondered what Traegr and Sabir were both doing to her? How far would they take her punishment?
I drift in and out of an uncomfortable sleep and eventually I feel warm, strong arms pick me up while I’m half awake.
All I know is Hraken sighs, as if he feels guilty, and he carries me back to his bed.
I don’t say anything, nor do I awaken completely.
He simply places me back on his bed and holds me to him once more as he pulls the blankets over us once again.
I finally, while nice and warm, fall into a more peaceful sleep.
The deep sleep would come in handy for reenergising my exhausted, over worked body.
It would certainly help for the surprise I’d be faced with in the morning.
All too soon, Celeste and I would be the least of the Dark Gem’s worries.
Someone else would be...
...just like they were a thousand years ago.