Maddy watched as Xavier cut the meat on his plate. She held the silver cutlery in her hands and stared between his movements and her cutlery. How was she supposed to cut the solid piece of meat before her.
Xavier, luckily for her, noticed her dilemma and took her plate and began to cut her meat for her into small pieces which she would be able to stab with her fork.
The male had no problem doing such things for his mate. If anything he relished in them. He wanted nothing more than a relationship with her. He loved that she was not perfect. That she was not a submissive perfect little doll. She was unique. The perfect mix of defiance, beauty and brokenness. Her past scars made her who she was and he wanted it no other way. Granted he might have liked her to know how to use cutlery but doing it for her was just as great. It was a way to gain her trust, a trust that was slowly being given to him.
The little comforting session he had had with her in his office and the kiss they had shared in the car seemed to have made her a little closer to opening up. He just needed to work on her and bit by bit he was sure she would learn to trust in him.
He understood that she had lived a dangerous life. A life where death and betrayal tied together. Allies could turn to enemies if they got something from it or danger arose. He needed her to understand that those days were over.
"Your highness, we were curious, when will the ball be?" A werewolf spoke up.
Maddy stared blankly at her plate, her fork that had been used for stabbing meat dropped from her hand.
A ball. No one had said anything about a ball. Weren't balls places for stuck up nobles to flaunt themselves in fancy dresses and dance to wordless music.
She glanced at Xavier and shook her head. She did not want any fancy balls. None at all. She could not dance. She did not want to be shown to all. They would mock her, belittle her, hurt her. Worst of all—
Maddy practically flew out of her chair and nearly knocked it over as she sprinted out of the room. It was too tight and big at the same time.
She heard Xavier calling for her but did not stop. She did not stop till she was in their bedroom with the door locked.
The girl immediately began running herself a bath as she had seen Lily do. She stripped off the dress and all its undergarments till she was staring at her bare body in the mirror. Her body that had scars still painted on it. Healed wounds and scars.
She never wanted anyone to know the story behind them. Never ever. They were too painful. They were locked in a vault. Getting too close was bad. There were times when she was triggered. Small little things reopened memories. Memories that needed to be locked up tight. Tight in a vault in her brain.
She put off the water without even feeling the temperature. She practically threw herself in the bath. She grabbed the soap and began scrubbing herself. Washing herself down rigorously.
She wanted the blood off. The blood and dirt. The touch of the vampire. She needed to be rid of it. Yes it had to go. It had to be removed.
Whimpers and cries left her lips as she scrubbed. She visualized another time and place. A much crueler one. One she often forgot had ever existed although the castle seemed to trigger it to come back. Things matched with then. It reminded her like a horrible alarm— a siren.
Her nails were almost digging into her skin as she desperately scrubbed, her fingers slipping and her nails scratching her a few times.
She shook her head violently as the scene replayed. They felt so real. They were long long ago but they merge in with reality. It hurt her.
She tried to breathe. She had to breathe.
She chanted in her head but her mind was a mess and those words were barely heard despite being silent and chanted by herself.
A hand fixed on her throat.
"On your knees."
The soap was being pushed hard on her. It would not bruise. She knew it. She had been bruised by far worse though.
She went under the water. She had to remove the thoughts. Maybe she would faint. She would faint and wake up not remembering a thing. Just like always.
Hands gripped her and pulled her up.
"What are you doing Maddy?"
Xavier's sweet voice met her ears and she was shaken out of her delusions. She forgot how she even got there.
Why was she naked in the bathtub? Why was her mate there? What had happened to dinner?
"Are you okay? You ran when a ball was mentioned." He asked her, running his hand through her hair.
"What ball? I can't remember anything," she said.
He frowned but decided not to question anything.
Maybe she was lying to him and wanted to keep an aspect of her past locked away. He knew it was unfair to force her to tell him everything. Humans lived hard lives, lives filled with heartache and he would instead let her open up to him when she was ready.
Maybe she really had amnesia. It was likely that she was hurt badly and coped by forgetting.
"Nothing important. Just the mention of a small little ball. Now let's get you out of the bath and into some nice warm pajamas. I can even get you a hot chocolate?"
"Sounds amazing. Why did you have to get stuck with me. I'm sure there are thousands of others who would be far more appreciative of your charming nature. You are royalty and are so kind and— I am just not cut out for this life. I have this itch to go back to the streets to be able to run around. Scale walls. Get that rush. That surge of energy in my veins—"
"Sounds like the thrill of the hunt. The way you chase after your prey, that rush of adrenaline. It feels so good. So empowering. Nothing matters but you and the prey."
"I am the prey. Sometimes we prey do like a good chase ourselves. Just I prefer the streets as my terrain and you the forest."
"You are no longer prey. You are mine. Now come on out. You are tempting me like this," he sighed.
"Tempting you. Sounds like I still am the prey," she laughed.
"Not the time for a chase. You are getting dressed and getting in that bed. I told them you were not feeling well so you should not be running around," he said.
She lifted her head and kissed his lips and he had to immediately turn away.
"Aww why don't you want my kisses?" She asked pouting.
"Because you are nude in the bathtub," he replied and the human woman cocked her head and smirked with amusement.
He was so shy around her body. It surprised her. Vampires, lycans and werewolves were known to use her kind some times for pleasure slaves. Yet she could easily assume he had never engaged in such a thing. If he had she was sure he would have been touching her, any other would just on the basis that she was a woman. It almost made her want to tease him.
"You touched me when you pulled me up. You did not have a problem then?"
"I believed you were drowning. There's a difference."
"Right and we are mates as you say. Does that not mean we are supposed to mate someday?"
"Yes. Now let's get you dressed. Here," he said taking a nightdress and underwear and putting it out for her.
He seemed to do it very quickly she even noticed that he did not take a single glance at what underwear he was taking out for her. He did carefully select the nightdress for her.
"My knight in shining armour," she said climbing out of the bath.
She pulled the fluffy white towel along her smooth skin and smugly watched her mate's back tense up. She had no idea her curve-less body and flat chest could entice any man.
He could hear her extremely well. He could hear the towel slowly sliding on bare skin sprinkled with water droplets. He could visualize it all and nearly had to grip something or chain himself down.
She decided to stop torturing him and slipped on the underwear and nightdress.
Her half uncovered legs were cold so she jumped into the bed, snuggling into the covers.
He turned to face her and smiled.
"Do you want marshmallows with your hot chocolate?" He asked and she nodded in return with a small smile of her own.