ashes and snow

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thirty-five


His blue eyes were an abyss of endlessness, a place she hadn’t gotten to see in all her years. She tilted her head to the side, watching his expression. He was still gone, seeming too far to reach.

She needed to get ahead of what was happening. Fast.

“Arkyn,” she whispered, moving her hand to finally touch him. The skin of her fingers was as soft as silk against the roughness of his stubbled, strong jaw. She carefully tilted his head down so that she could reach him, lifting her chin and blowing a brief kiss onto his lips.

She hoped that the contact would change something in him.

But nothing happened. There was still this predator in his eyes, no recognition in any way.

“I need you to tell me what is going on,” she said slowly.

She needed to get to him somehow. If he wouldn’t return, she doubted that the guards would listen to her. She was the queen, but she didn’t know what Hedwig had told them. Where had they been, anyway?

Her gaze flew back to the door to their room. She hadn’t even noticed when Arkyn had entered, but that wasn’t what she needed to care about at this moment.

She breathed in through her nose, but there was nothing a human wouldn’t smell. She wasn’t more than them at the moment. Swallowing, she turned her gaze again. Arkyn was still staring at her. His grip around her shoulders hadn’t loosened, but she wasn’t even feeling it any longer.

If it left any bruises behind, she would have something she could hold against him... if he came back as normal.

“Arkyn,” she gritted out again, her voice harder this time. She felt his nails dig into the material of her clothing, the skin beneath it. She lifted her head higher and ground her teeth.

She breathed in deeply.

If what she had done didn’t get through to him, she would need to try something else.

“If you don’t snap out of this, they’ll take your kingdom,” she told him. They stared into each other’s eyes. “They will take everything from you, don’t you understand? I’m here, telling you that you will lose everything, and you just stand here and watch?”

She pushed her hands against his chest to shove him away from her, but he didn’t butch. He kept on staring.

But he could do that all he wanted.

She wanted him angry.

“Arkyn!” she exclaimed again. “Where is the man I’ve married? The man that hung two people that threatened his kingdom, the man that imprisoned one of his guards to keep what is his safe?”

Her voice grew louder and louder, but she didn’t care.

She didn’t know what was going on with him, but she knew one thing for sure. Anger would always bring out reactions. And right now, while her husband was just staring at her, it was all that she needed.

“You will lose everything,” she repeated, loud and clear.

She could see his pupils expand, but it was still not enough. She needed the man back.

“Do you not hear me?” she exclaimed.

Her fingers curled into the fabric of his shirt, pulling him to her. Their faces were only inches apart, and she could feel his hot breath on her lips.

“Do you simply not care?” No response.

She shook her head and licked over her lips. There was so much anger in her again.

It filled her every pore until she felt like she would explode. But no magic was left for that. She was left empty-handed.

A low growl left her lips.

All this aggression shouldn’t even be possible.

“You will be nothing if you continue this!”

He breathed out heavily through his nose, and she could feel his breathing getting heavier and heavier. There was still more. He needed to get back to her.

She breathed in deeply, ready for whatever was to come out of this. Anger had its consequences too. She knew that better than everyone else.

“You are weak.”

Seconds passed, and she started to notice his cheeks turning crimson. It was aggression that changed his face, his lines hardening. His jaw clenched.

“You are weak, and you will lose everything. I am here to tell you all of this, and you do nothing? You’ll just let it happen?”

It was like the temperature in the room rose.

She could feel his heat through her clothing, engulfing her like nothing else. It all was starting to show, the beasts that hid beneath their skin.

Her head tilted to the side as a feral grin blossomed. Two monsters were staring at each other. She just had no idea where his was coming from.

There couldn’t be anything in his bloodline... There was no one but her.

Her gaze drifted down his body. Was there anything she had missed?

Something had to be there.

It was keeping her magic from working on him.

She ground her teeth as the grip around her shoulders tightened. She was starting to feel the flickers of pain through everything, and it was starting to buck her.

She lifted her hands to her shoulders and ground her nails into the skin of his hands. Arkyn growled at her, staring into her eyes.

She didn’t care.

Her head lifted, and their lips were almost touching. “Let go of me,” she breathed out lowly.

When he didn’t move, she started to inflict more pain, her grip tightening.

“Arkyn.”

Her tone was threatening. She wouldn’t be able to do much due to her state. But damn him if she wouldn’t try.

A second passed, and then she went flying back. A shout left her lips when she landed on the ground, her bottom connecting first painfully. She wasn’t fast enough, and so her head thudded down too.

Her hands flew up as she gasped, and her world turned black for a brief second. She hissed out as pain radiated from the back of her head, her back, and her bottom. There was no blood, but the pain was throbbing.

She breathed heavily and swallowed, blinking up at the ceiling.

He hadn’t.

She ground her teeth and felt her anger rise to new highs.

She sat up quickly, halting for a second when the world started to turn. She closed her eyes.

Damn him.

She growled as their gazes connected again.

She could see the satisfaction in his eyes, something that reared her even more. He would’ve been nothing more than dust if she had her powers. She would have damaged him as no one had before, would have found all the spots that would hurt the most.

She stood up, watching his every move as she neared slowly. She could feel the aggression pulsing through her veins, tightening every muscle in her body. She licked over her lips, feeling her magic run through her in waves.

It was still trapped inside of her, and it was burning.

“Who do you think you are?”

She was in front of him in seconds, not even able to stop herself before it was too late. Her hands clenched, and then one of them connected with his jaw, throwing his face to the side.

She hissed against the pain on her knuckles, but it only added to the anger. Her muscles were burning.

Arkyn stayed there with his head to the side, his breaths heavy as she started to beat into his chest.

She felt weaker than she ever had before, and it was fulling her in every way it could.

“How dare you touch me?”

Her hands pressed flat against his chest, and she managed to push a step back. His head snapped to the front again, his hands holding hers down against him.

Their eyes met again, and finally, she was starting to see the recognition in his. But her anger had not left her yet.

Pulling her hands away from him, her right hand connected with his cheek. The sounds of their flesh connecting sounded around the room, and his head flew to the side.

He turned his head, and a low growl came from him as he stared down at her, his cheek starting to turn red.

The bruises were already noticeable, but he didn’t seem to feel any of it.

“Eira,” he growled out lowly.

She was breathing fast as she took a step back, stroking her hand through her hair. The dark strands caused pain against the bruising of her knuckles. But she could only smile as her heartbeat heavily against her chest.

“Yes?” she breathed out.

Her gaze drifted down his body to his hands that clenched at his sides. She didn’t know what she was looking for, but then she saw it.

The glowing, white stone that clung to his wedding ring. It was the last piece of her puzzle.


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