ashes and snow

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three


Eira woke up to the first rays of sunlight.

The day had started quietly. Birds sang their melodies as she arose from the tousled sheets of their bed, put on a dressing gown, and walked to the window.

From this room, she could overlook the whole snow-covered kingdom. The humans seemed so petite from here, no of them could look down on her small form again. This she had to admit, compared to most of them, she was short.

Eira’s gaze settled on the small market around a giant fountain. Peasants were selling their products accompanied by the cold, people rushing through the streets, collecting everything they would need for the awaiting day.

Everything seemed to have gone back to normal.

Nothing reeked of the celebration that had occurred yesterday. The streets had been cleaned, and all the decorations had been taken down.

Eira turned around swiftly.

The king was snoring loudly, lying on his back on the giant bed in the middle of the room. His naked body was hidden beneath the dark tousled sheets. With his head turned to the right, eyes closed, he seemed calm, content even.

He was stupid to think that he was safe with her at his side. Just breathing the same air as she was dangerous.

She shook her head lightly, biting her bottom lip.

Yesterday, he had taken what he’d wanted from her.

It hadn’t been as bad as she had thought it would be- she had to admit this.

His touch had ignited something in her, something she had thought was long gone.

But still, he hadn’t had the right to take anything from her.

Her body belonged to herself, and just because he was the king, he wouldn’t get to decide what she wanted to do with it. He’d been lucky that she had her plans to be careful with about.

Otherwise, she would have raised hell right in front of his dark, threatening eyes.

Maybe, a tiny bit of herself had even missed the contact of other’s skin against hers.

She wouldn’t admit it, but her body had needed it.

After all these centuries, she could’ve finally caved in for even just a second to feel something.

She sighed. It seemed like she was losing that final battle against herself.

Shaking her head, she leaned against the wall. She wouldn’t break for this poor excuse of a male. He was brutal, used to getting what he wanted whenever he wanted it. Who had given him all these rights?

Honestly, only the origin of his ancestors could have brought him up to this position. There wasn’t much about him that would have brought him up to where he was.

She watched as he groaned quietly. His head moved to the left, and he blinked up onto the ceiling lazily. He looked to the right a second later- where Eira had laid before- and a frown appeared on his face. His eyes searched the room before they found hers.

“You’re awake.”

She nodded, and for the first time, she was the one that looked down on him. There was no sense of feelings on her face, only the cold that reflected her soul.

He sat up, the sheets covering the lower half of his naked body. Sliding backward, he rested his back against the headboard. “You were staring at me.”

She turned to the window again, not bothering to look at him. She focused on the kingdom outside. The humans were still walking through the streets, most in a rush. It was so easy for them to just forget about the threats in this world, living their life without any fear.

Sheets rustled, and the timber creaked under the force of his build as he stood up. Eira stood still as she heard him put on his clothes in silence. She placed her hands on the window sill and waited.

His footsteps were heavy as he approached her, taking a stance behind her smaller form. Only a few centimeters separated them as he laid his hand on her shoulder and turned her around to him.

She stared at his chest as he began to speak.

“There is a meeting I need to attend to today,” he said roughly, his voice still full of sleep. There was a short pause.

“I want to go with you,” she said, lifting her head to meet his eyes. His blue eyes pierced into hers as she tried to make her order sound more like a plea.

He shook his head at her, “No.”

She wanted to growl but only took a step forward and placed her hand on his chest. Breathing the same air as he was, she dove into her magic. “I am going with you,” she repeated quietly, a new heaviness to her voice.

Her magic coiled around him like the threads of a spider. It couldn’t take him long to cave in.

He inhaled deeply.

Trying to distract him, she pressed her body against his. To her confusion, he tensed.

He took a step away from her, shaking his head with a confused frown on his face.

“You’re staying in here,” he stated, disappearing into the bathing room.

She took a step back, her brows furrowed.

How was he able to disobey her? Had her magic had lost some of its force?

It wasn’t until a second later that she really realized what he had said.

She wanted to tell him where she wanted him to stick to his orders but remained silent. She was angry, yes, but there were other things she could do to get what she wanted.

He emerged again, not looking at her. He went to grab his coat from the hatstand in front of the door.

She watched as he took a stand before the mirror next to the bathroom door. He looked at himself, assessing his clothes and running his hand through his dark hair before he nodded at himself, leaving for the door.

She let him leave without a word.

Letting him think he was still the one in control.

For the next hour, she paced around the room. If this had to continue, she would burn a path into the carpet within a few days.

To her luck, her maids appeared at the door, asking for entrance. She gestured for them to come inside, waiting.

They fussed over her immediately.

After she had eaten and had been put in a golden gown adorned with white roses, they wanted to leave, but she had one last request for them.

She let them bring her white coat. None of them ask for her reason, just obeyed as they would always do.

She was left alone again. The silence around her had become a friend that visited her more often than she liked.

She needed to get out of here.

She waited another few minutes to make sure that the maids were away before she finally made her way to the door. She took one step out of the room, barely passing the doorframe, and-

“You’re not allowed to leave.”

Her head snapped to the side. Her eyes met a pair of hazel brown ones.

She lifted her chin and rested her hand on the doorframe. “Why wouldn’t I be?” She asked quietly, trying to stay calm. If he thought they could just easily keep her in there, he was mistaken.

The blond guard straightened, his towering forme becoming even taller. “It was an order from-”

Her eyes flamed in anger. Who did the king think he was? He couldn’t just keep her in there like a new asset to his trophies!

He tried to step back, but she laid her hand on his chest, diving into the magic inside of her. Her eyes ignited in it, glowing only for her. “Not so fast.”

The man was lost in her gaze, mute.

How easy it was, she thought. Almost humiliating.

But, how was the king able to disobey her this easily if this man couldn’t? It was something she would need to figure out later.

She raised her hand to his neck, pulling his face closer to her. “This will stay our little secret, right?” She whispered into his ear, satisfied as he gave her a short nod. “Good,” she said quietly, looking past him to the hallway.

She ran her fingers down his throat and sighed. “You will wait for me.” Another short nod.

She slipped away from him. Her magic controlled his body and mind as he took his stance next to the doorframe again, his gaze set straight forward. He stood still, no humanity in his eyes.

“You will be my eyes,” she stated, stroking her dark hair behind her ears. There was no answer, only the promise of her own magic. There was no force but her own that could break the spell she had brought on him.

With a small smirk, she turned and left. Even though the hallways were long, it didn’t take her long to find a door that let her outside. A small outburst of her magic and the door opened by itself.

She seeped through it, her dress flowing in the wind. The garden she walked into was fully covered in white, with no trace of any growing flowers or the green of leaves. It was beautiful.

She followed the free paths, captivated by the beauty only the cold could offer her.


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