I freeze, unable to stop repeating his words inside my head. Surely, he’s got it all wrong.
He’s probably mixed me up with someone else. You’d be surprised how many dark haired girls there are in the village. And besides, if my mother had something to do with this, she would’ve told me. Without a shadow of a doubt. We tell each other everything. Or so I thought.
I rush to his side and clutch on to his arm. “What do you mean my mother’s got everything to do with this!?”
He remains silent.
I try to read his expression, but it’s unreadable.
“What do you mean!?”
He ignores my question and walks past me, striding back towards the palace.
He whirls around and stares back at me coldly. “I do not need to explain myself to you! You are my servant. Remember that, Jane.”
I know that I’m crossing a line, but this is something that involves my mother. The person I love so much and would do anything for.
I take a deep breath.
“She’s my mother. I have every right to know.” I whisper.
Again, he remains silent.
“Please.” I beg.
He sighs and stares, his cold eyes on my face, watching me closely. “My family owes your family a debt.”
“This whole me-buying-you-thing was your mother’s idea.”
What he’s saying doesn’t make any sense. Why had she not told me of this?
I stare at him, trying to understand what he means.
How does he know my family? Is there something going on that I do not know about?
It takes a few minutes for me to speak. “What are you talking about?”
“Your mother came here days before the auction begging me to take you in, so I did.”
She came here? To the palace?
“Why?” I ask.
“I told you. My family owes a debt to yours. This is me fulfilling that debt.”
A debt? What kind of debt?
I did not know what to think other than the fact that I was confused.
“And what does this debt entail exactly?”
He shrugs. “To not feed from you, and to keep you safe and unharmed. That was your mother’s wish.”
That was the reason why he wasn’t feeding from me. Because of my mother?
Inside my chest, I could feel my heart bursting with love and admiration at her efforts for making me safe.
I bite my lip from crying out and look at something other than the prince, ‘But why do you owe my family a debt in the first place? How does my family even know you because I for one have never heard of you?’
He puts up his hands to stop me from speaking further. “Listen, I don’t have time to explain everything right now, but I promise you that I will tell you what you need to know. In time.”
I shake my head repeatedly. “You can’t just say something like that to me and walk away.”
“Watch me.” He starts to walk away.
He continues on walking.
I again rush to him and stop him in his tracks. “Look, I know that I can be a little bossy and demanding...”
Alexander’s eyes widen. “A little?”
I roll my eyes at him and sigh in frustration. “But I have not seen my mother in three days! That’s the longest time I’ve ever gone without seeing her. To hear you say that my mother is a part of all of this won’t just slide with me. I won’t! So, please tell me otherwise I won’t stop pestering you.”
I’ll never stop.
“What is this all about?” I urgently ask.
The prince may not care for me or about my words, but I will make it so that he understands where I’m coming from. I want him to see things from my point of view.
“Please, do not make me pester.” I whisper.
He looks away, tenses his jaw and looks back at me. “Your mother came here a few days ago urgently wanting to see me. Apparently she’d been looking for my family for thirty years. I knew one day she would come here wanting the repayment, but the last thing I expected her to ask was for me to take you in because I don’t even feed on humans. In fact, my family’s the only vampires who drink the blood of animals.”
“Yes. When your mother came here, she knew what she was doing. She had this whole plan mapped out. She knew that if I took you in that you’d be in safe hands, and you will be because I’m not going to touch you. Your mother was quite clear on that fact.” He ends that last sentence with a chuckle.
I know that you mean.
“She threatened you, didn’t she?” I smile softly because I know exactly what my mother’s like when it comes to my safety. She doesn’t mess around.
He nods once. “She threatened to burn the palace down, yes.”
“I can’t believe this.” I lower my head. “It was all a plan and I had no idea.”
God, I miss her.
“And besides I didn’t have much of choice to not take you at the auction. I owe your family a debt and that’s what I’m here to do.”
“So, I’m just supposed to stay here?”
What I’m hoping he’ll say is that I’ll only have to stay here a few days until the talk of the auction has died down a little. If not, then hopefully someday he’ll let me go and I’ll return home back to my mother and we’ll live together in peace because I for one cannot wait to return to her arms.
He nods. “Yes.”
My heart sinks.
He merely nods.
He shrugs as he turns to leave. “Forever, I guess.”
What? No way!
“No.” I say with disappointment.
Just before he walks away, he turn his head and looks at me. “I may be different from the others, but you are still to remain here. You are safe, and you will not be harmed. Like I said, I’m not going to touch you. You have the whole palace to do what you wish but you cannot leave. Ever.”
“I’m sorry. Truly, I am.” The prince mutters and enters the palace.
My whole body goes numb. I was unable to move my feet from the ground.
I did not know when it had begun to rain, but it was now pouring down. My long, dark hair whips in my face as the wind starts to pick up. With nothing more to do, I slowly make my way back into the palace, the ground crunching beneath my feet, feeling nothing other than disappointment and misery.