Maddy stared at the wall in the shower. The pieces of the note, although torn up showed up wherever she looked as a reminder of the threat.
They were destroyed, completely. All the pieces burnt in the fireplace, the only place she could think to discard them.
Yet they were burnt so badly into her memory and it drove her mad— insane. Yet another piece of trauma to haunt her. Another one out of the mountains that had grown so high to the point that she couldn't even remember where they had begun.
Still the stress she felt was overwhelming to the point where she had had an absolute mental break down.
All she ever thought about, all day and all night was the stupid note.
The woman sank down in the shower letting the water pelt her skin. She did not feel eighteen, she felt like a child again. A scared little girl waking up, suddenly alone on the streets, abandoned without even a goodbye.
She felt helpless. What had she done to deserve feeling as such? All she had done was try to survive.
Xavier walked into the bathroom. His expression covered in concern. His eyes watering at the sight of her hunched over figure being pounded by water. "Maddy you've been in here for hours. Soon there won't be any hot water left in the castle."
He sighed when he got no response from his mate. "Maddy nothing is going to happen to you. It was just an idiot who through a brick through the window. Guards are everywhere now. You have nothing to fear."
Maddy only hugged her legs tighter to her chest. It was not just a brick. It was a death threat and it was not just for her. If only he knew what she had hidden from him.
Xavier turned off the shower and picked up his mate in his arms and wrapped her up in a towel.
He placed her on the bed. "Look at you Maddy you're soaking wet and in winter. You'll get sick if you are not careful. The doctor is going to get tired of you soon."
Maddy gave a short little mumble of agreement in reply.
The king shook his head and began to gently dry the human.
Tears had began to run down his cheeks as he slid her clothes onto her. He couldn't go on as they were. "Maddy please, open up to me again. I can't help you and be there for you if you don't let me in and tell me what is wrong. You're not yourself anymore. Ever since the incident you've been closed off, barely speaking, eating or doing anything."
He smiled seeing her in a loose dress, made of comfortable material specially for her.
He could not reach out to her. There were times when the silence would break and she would be more normal. Normal entailed, saying a few words or cuddling into him, maybe even laughing, but then she would remember something. She would stare out of a window and recede back into her bubble.
She was not shut off completely. She was just off. She seemed to have some sort of at the very least mild depression, he assumed. He couldn't say for certain. All he knew was that she would become oblivious to the world. She would stare at an empty spot silently. Sometimes she would scream.
He had no idea what she had seen that day if she had seen anything. Maybe she had seen something. Something she did not want to see and had shocked her.
He did not know for sure. There was very little that could have done such a thing to her. He was certain she had seen many things on the street. Many bad or horrific things. She had been forced to fight in an arena. Surely whatever had happened during the short timespan of Lily being out of the room she could not have seen that much.
"I love you so much," he whispered over his mate who stared out like a lifeless doll.
He gently stroked her drenched brown hair. "Please I need you. You can't live like this forever. I can't— you're the most important thing to me Maddy... if I did something wrong please tell me."
The girl heard it all. It made her feel worse. It made her feel selfish. He was taking the brunt of her actions, her choices, but it was better that way. She wanted him distant. She didn't want him to be as hurt when she ran away.
She was caught up. Thinking of an escape. A way out. Any way out of the castle. Protection was maxed out completely.
How was she supposed to save him? How was she supposed to leave him?
He made it so difficult in every single aspect.
Hearing those few precious words made it harder. She would be breaking his heart. Her own heart.
He was one of the very very few people she liked being around.
She had listened to his small confessions that had come at random. They are at her. He knew there was a possibility that she could have been totally oblivious to his words yet he still said them.
It was those words that made her stay quiet and still. She was scared that getting any closer to him would kill him. If she blurted the words on the note out maybe she would put his life in worse danger.
Or maybe.... he would abandon her.
She would be unable to handle it. She was just learning to trust people... to trust him.
Maybe he would abandon her because of the danger she posed.
Maybe he would abandon her because she did not tell him sooner. She kept it a secret. No one liked secrets.
She slowly leaned her head into his hand. She needed to feel his touch to calm her down.
It was sad. The thing she needed to not have, she needed to keep her sane. His touch kept her there. It kept her with him. The way it made her feel.
But she needed to go. She needed—
He held her tight. "I miss you so much Maddy. I have said it to you almost a thousand times by now. I need you back. I need you to just snap out of this. I beg you."
She felt the tears swell in her eyes. She couldn't trust herself to speak. The moment she did she would scream it out to him. She would scream out how terrified she was. She would yell that she didn't want to burden him.
"Dinner is here," he said breaking the silence that had drifted between them again during his hugging.
His almost perfect sense of smell almost had her jealous.
The door opened and a meal was rolled in on a tray.
The aroma tempted her.
Xavier took the tray on wheels and pushed towards the bed.
He removed the silver lids and a boy had a nibble of everything, showing that nothing was poisoned before running off and closing the door.
Xavier gently shifted the human girl so she was propped up against the head board and he began to feed her.
He slipped the spoonfuls of mashed potatoes between her lips.
He only ever fed her soft foods, afraid she would not chew the food in her state. The last thing he wanted was for her to choke.
Every few spoonfuls he would allow her a sip of juice from a cup with a straw.
Once she had finished eating, he ate his food.
He then proceeded to brush out her hair and dry it.
His every action made the human feel more and more guilt ridden.
She used silence to think and ponder but she had also intended to use it to push him away. To make leaving easier but he only grew closer to her.
He was more and more careful with her. He oversaw every area of her self care that she forgot in her state. He sat beside her and talked about his day and made jokes, despite knowing she was unlikely to reply.
At first he had seemed uncomfortable picking her naked body up from the shower floor when she blocked out and went into her routine states of suffering. Her hallucinations and screaming fits.
He did it regardless and it became a routine thing. He no longer cared whether or not she was dressed. He only cared about the fact that she was okay and being there for her.
She felt the warm covers being pulled over her body and a warm arm wrapping around her waist. Her head gently rested itself on his chest.
She was struggling and wanted to let him in but she couldn't.
He would try fix it all but what if he couldn't.
She could not leave him and make him think it was his fault.
It was better to just run away in the night.
Yet she couldn't.
Just a look at his peaceful sleeping face and she lost all resolve like every other night.
She would be his downfall. The death of him.
She could not keep on going like she was.
If she did not escape soon she would go crazy and it had only been a few days, maybe three or four. She had already lost track.