I jolt awake. I don't know how long I have been out but we were no longer in a forest. I felt the softness of the mattress beneath me and the delicate state of the silk blanket laid atop me. It was hard but I keep my eyes closed as I heard two hushed voices.
"Why have you brought a human here, Rhys?" the first voice questioned with clear confusion and curiosity. "You never do anything without a solid reason."
"She's half-human, half-fae." Rhys. "I will explain everything to you and the rest as soon as you fix her."
"Fix her?" voice number one asked in a dull tone.
"I trust you, Elias. Do whatever you must do to keep her alive and breathing."
"Yea, yea," Elias mumbled. I hear the shuffling of footsteps and steady my breathing. The sound of the door closing sets me on edge.
"I know you're awake," Elias says.
Shit, I think.
"Really, what gave it away?" a feminine voice says in a pouty tone. I fight the urge to open my eyes. Curiosity always got the worst of me.
"You were practically drooling over him, Aera," Elias muttered with an edge to his voice. I then realized that he hadn't been talking to me originally, but her. There was definitely tension between Elias and the girl.
"I was not!" the girl—whom I now what to be Aera—says sheepishly. "Besides, what's it to you?" she continues with a huff.
"Nothing," he shrugs nonchalantly.
One of my eyes peaked open and I see Aera for the first time. She had the same pointed ears with short, shoulder-length raven black hair. She wore black long sleeve turtle neck with black jeans along with black combat boots. Her eyes were distant but I didn't miss the hurt that sparked in them when he said that. Her face cleared and her eyes shot straight to me. I shut my eye in hope she hadn't seen but the slow, quite chuckle alerted me she had.
Why, curiosity, why?
"Looks like the human is awake as well," she said in amusement.
"Half-human," Elias quipped.
"Big difference," she responded with a cold look towards him.
"It is, actually," he shot back. "You see, an average humans' body cannot withstand—"
"Oh save me your science talk, Elias," she cut him off with a yawn.
"I'm right here, you know?" I call out. They were too busy staring—more precisely, glaring—to even notice I had gotten up in a sitting position on the bed.
I wanted to know more about this 'half-human, half-fae' thing but I stiffened when Aera's cold glare cut to me. She had an unhealthy amount of anger in her eyes and I prayed it wasn't directed at me.
"How long have you been awake, human?" she asked in a deathly calm tone.
"I didn't hear anything, if that's what you're inquiring about."
She narrowed her eyes to slits. "You lie."
"Maybe, maybe not," I shrug.
"Do you know why you're here?" Elias cuts in with a raised brow.
Now that I look at him for real, I can see how attractive he is. Unlike Aera and Rhys, he had matching blonde hair with Verona, as well as the same brown eyes. He wore a white shirt along with black trousers, bringing out the tanned tone of his skin.
"No," I claim.
"Rhys does not just go and randomly pick up humans," Aera seethed, not believing me.
"Thats exactly right, though. Which means she's here for a reason," Elias looks down at me in curiosity.
"Where's Verona?" I ask. Although I didn't exactly trust her, I'd prefer her over these two any day.
The door opened and in walked yet another attractive male. He had brown hair, a long thin nose that complemented his blue eyes, and a five o'clock shadow that really brought out the severity of his jaw.
His lips parted to say something but upon looking at me they spread into a lascivious smirk. "And this is our half-breed guest, I presume?"
Despite his words, the playful gleam in his eyes told me he was only joking.
"Slow down, Casanova," I cautiously grin.
He returns the grin and his canines are on full show. My smile starts to melt away and I outwardly gawk at them.
"You have them too, you know,"
"What?" I ask, dumbfounded.
"Yea, it is not as difficult as you would think," he says in merriment. "I'll teach you later," he offers with a gleeful wink.
"Maximus, I told you to stay with the advisor," a voice interrupts. I glance towards the doors to see Rhys leaning against the frame with his arms crossed.
"But I had to see the half-breed," he whines.
I smirk when I notice Rhys send him an annoyed look. I can already tell Maximus and I are gonna get along.
Rhys turns towards me for the first time and looks at Elias in confusion. "You figured out what was wrong with her?" he questions.
Elias cuts a glimpse at me. "Um. . . no?" He states it more like a question rather than the answer Rhys was asking for.
The funny one—Maximus, I believe—seemed to be the only one left out. "Why, is she dying?" he asks in an overly worried tone. He cuts me a saddened look and mimics wiping away a tear. "It was nice knowing you, half-breed." He even sniffles!
I struggle not to laugh as he gets pulled by his arm and pushed out of the door by Rhys. "Noo, don't leave me with these people!" I cry out, barely containing my laughter.
I hear his chuckle from out of the hallway, receding as he walks further away.
Rhys sighs in exhaustion and it's then I notice how tired he looked. "She looks fine now, I assumed you found something."
A pissed off Rhys was one thing, but I didn't know how to deal with a drowsy one.
"No, we haven’t even run her blood or anything yet," Aera inputs.
"So," Elias starts, "are you going to share where you found your pet?" he asks expectantly.
"Hey!" I exclaim. "I'm sitting right here, you know."
Aera's shoulders shake with mirth whereas Rhys has his usual resting bitch face on.
"I've been away for months at a time, as you know," he makes a notion with his hand and both Elias and Aera nod. "During that time, I had been looking into some old files. Files on the first royals."
"Yea. . ." Aera prods.
"I wasn't even looking for it, honestly, but I found something that just didn't sit right with me," he continued. "Every letter, every report, everything led to a dead end. It made no sense how someone could just disappear."
If it hadn't been for what happened back in the forest, I would've already made up my mind that they're all deranged. But no, I thought, there's something pulling me towards the fact that it's all true. He wasn't crazy, I just wish he was.
"Unless they were still alive," Elias finishes in a low tone.
"So you're saying. . . she has royal blood?" Aera sputtered in astonishment. "That's not—"
"Oh it is," Rhys cut her off.
"Um. . . what?" I finally voice my thoughts. Their conversation stops and their eyes flicker to me in surprise. “Last time I checked I wasn’t royalty, but I’ll humor you just this once.”
As your king, I demand you stand by my order.
"Does that make us long lost cousins or something?" I blurt in distaste. Something about the thought set me off.
"No, you do not have any relations to the new royals. Only the first ones," Rhys shifts uncomfortably.
"Okay, and what does that mean for me?"
His gaze locks with mine. "It means you are the sole heir to the entire Fae realm, Remi," he breathes out. "If anyone knows you're alive, you will find quite a large target on your back."