Castle Of Lilies

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Chapter 25

Soraya's PoV

I stand in front of the room where Lillia is staying for tonight deciding whether to knock or not. But I know I owe her an explanation so I knock three times. A few minutes later she opens the door dressed in a pair of blue silk shorts and a vest top that's pink with lace hemming the neckline. She moves to one side to let me in and I enter. Her room is barren and bare apart from an overnight bag on one chair and the duvet being ever so slightly crumpled from where she's been sat. We take a seat on the window bench and I start talking immediately in case I chicken out, "I kissed you because my mum told me not to let you get away."

"Let me get away?" She says a confused look on her face.

"My mum thought if I didn't act on my feelings soon then you'd be snapped up by another fish in the sea."

"Your feelings are? What exactly?" She asks with a curious tone in her voice.

"I'm not good at feelings but here goes. Basically I feel strongly for you? I like the feeling of your hug and your smile makes butterflies erupt in my stomach. If you were sad I'd do anything to cheer you up. Your laugh is the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. Your eyes intrigue me. Your brain intrigues me, your entire being intrigues me. I love kissing you even though I've only ever kissed you once, I'm already addicted. That's how I feel. And I do not want to screw it up like Genevieve did so I was planning on taking it slow with you but then my mum told me a few days before she died that I shouldn't let you get away. So I acted upon my feelings and then you left and I didn't know what you felt so..."

She takes my hand in hers and entwines our fingers before saying with a smirk "You know for someone who says they aren't very good at feelings, that was pretty good."

I laugh "Well I was stood in front of your door for about half an hour trying to decide what to say."

"Take things slow?"

I nod, "Absolutely."

"Want to play a board game?" She asks in a less serious tone.

"Absolutely." I reply.

"Monopoly or scrabble?"

"Monopoly."

"You're going down." She says as she retrieves the game from a shelf.

"I get to be the dog though." I say as she starts unpacking it, laughing at my choice.

*********

"Ha! Pay up! That will be 2000 please."

"2000?!" Lillia says in an exasperated voice.

"Yup. I have a hotel in Mayfair and that is where you landed." I reply in a smug voice.

She shrugs before throwing her money down and saying in a mocking defeated voice "Well I'm bankrupt. You win."

"Yeah! The dog is victorious as always." I exclaim throwing my hands up into the air and doing a victory dance. Lillia laughs at my childishness before saying in a humbled but totally fake voice "Well, oh Winner of Monopoly, what would you wish for your prize to be?"

Putting my hand on my chin I stand for a minute before announcing in a mocking regal tone "I shall have to think about it and come back to you oh mere peasant."

At my remark Lillia bursts into laughter, rolling around on the floor clutching her stomach.

"I...can't...breathe." She wheezes in between fits of giggles. I lay down by her side for no reason except to hear her laugh. That wonderful sound, it makes me smile. Eventually she stops, coughing every once in a while. We lay there in silence for a while until we both turn to face each other in synchronization so that our faces are mere inches away.

"Did you decide what you want your prize to be yet?" She whispers, her breath gently hitting my face.

"Not yet." I whisper back.

"How about a kiss?" She says apparently seeming bolder than usual.

"Perfect." I reply and a split second later Lillia's soft lips meet mine in a passionate kiss. Her hand takes mine, entwining our fingers. She pulls away and with both of us breathing I say "Well so much for taking things slow." She smiles at me before whispering "That was just your prize. Now we take things slow."

A knock on the door makes us jump to our feet and step away from each other. Lillia shouts "Come in." And then to my surprise Owen enters.

"Owen? What are you doing here? Did you want me?"

"Um. No actually I came to speak to Lillia. In private if you don't mind Sis." He says almost embarrassed.

"Sure." I reply, I give Lillia a hug before leaving the room and then I hear Owen laughing and chatting away before Lillia replies "Of Course. I would never."

"Thanks. I know mum wanted me to say that and I know I would say that to anyone."

I can hear the smile in Lillia's voice as she replies "I understand completely Owen. I would expect nothing less."

The door opens and Owen hugs me whispering in my ear as he does "She's great." Before walking off, his hands casually slung into his pockets. I re-enter Lillia's room to see her smiling and fiddling with her ring.

"What does it mean?" I ask her lightly, "Your ring."

She looks up startled before saying as though realising what I said "Oh, my mother gave it to me before she died. Said to wear it all the time if I could and if not wear it to every funeral I ever go to. Obviously when she died I was a maid so I wasn't allowed to wear it and then as Genevieve's lady in waiting I didn't wear it because she only allowed me to wear certain jewellery but now I can wear it all the time."

She twists it around on her finger, her eyes deep in thought.

"Whatcha thinkin 'bout Lia?"

"Huh?" She says having clearly not heard me.

"What are you thinking about?" I repeat.

"Oh nothing." She says far too quickly to be telling the truth.

"Ok. 1) If you're going to lie, don't speak so fast 2) I know a liar when I see one because I grew up with two brothers who blamed me for everything. 3) Please tell me the truth."

"Not yet. Maybe eventually."

I sigh, but don't push it, knowing Lillia won't budge.

"Wait did you call me Lia?" She says smiling.

"Yeah..." I say sheepishly, "Do you like it?"

She reaches her hand forwards and entwines it with mine, a heavenly smile gracing her face. Her smile lighting up her eyes makes a smile appear on my face,

"I love it Ray. Do you like yours?"

In response I close the gap between us and press a peaceful kiss to her temple.

"I do. Very much so."

The bell starts ringing to signal for dinner and we set off to the small dining room where my family and Lia's are dining. The rest of the people here will take dinner as a buffet in the main hall.

As I lead the way, our hands stay joined, the smiles stay on our faces. We enter the dining hall to see only my father seated, my brothers late as always and Lia's family still to arrive. As I sit to the right of Dad, Lia taking a seat next to me, he says quietly "She won't enter in a minute and sit opposite me." He says his voice rising at the end as if asking me a question.

"No." Is all I can think to say in response.

"I didn't think so."

Then the doors burst open followed by Owen, Xav, Miles and Dalia. They take their seats and start conversations amongst themselves. A few minutes later just as the food is starting to be brought out, Lola and Leon arrive, apologising for being late.

As we start to eat the table is silent before Lola clears her throat and says "Lillia, after we've finished you need to pack your things. We're leaving tonight. We don't want to intrude any longer. And anyways we have a mountain of things to plan for Miles and Dalia's wedding next month."

Lia nods, carrying on eating the roast chicken breast she has on her plate. Dinner passes by quickly after that, everyone focused on eating and not causing anyone to cry. Lia and me leave as soon as possible, heading to her room to pack. I lay on her bed as she retrieves her suitcase and starts grabbing things from her wardrobe. She packs everything neat and organised before suddenly blurting out "How are we going to deal with being in separate kingdoms? I miss you now when you're in another room, never mind a whole kingdom."

I sit up and pat the bed beside me, she sits down leaning her head on my shoulder.

"We will deal with it somehow. I know we will." I respond stroking her hair, "Now you need to finish packing. Otherwise Lola will be on your back and Dalia told me Miles is always complaining that Lola hates it when he's late for anything and you have five minutes to finish."

She sighs before going to her wardrobe once again and practically throwing her clothes in to the once neatly packed suitcase. I giggle at her childishness before saying in between giggles in a slightly sarcastic way "Your clothes really appreciate you right now."

She mock glares at me making me laugh even more, then with a slam she closes her suitcase and grabs her shoes and scarf before angrily heaving her suitcase out into the corridor. I close the door behind us and grab Lia's arm turning her around to face me. She meets me halfway for a short sweet kiss before we head to the foyer where Lola, Leon, Miles and Dalia are waiting with their suitcases, Lola as always looking at her stopwatch, no doubt timing to the second how late Lia is.

"Lia your 2 minutes, 15 seconds late. Where were you?" Lola asks, her voice serious.

"I forgot something in my room so I had to go back and get it. Sorry." Lia replies calm as ever.

Lia loads her suitcase into the car before turning back to me and giving me a hug that lasts for longer than I expected.

"We will be fine." I whisper in her ear as she hugs me.

"I know." She whispers placing a cheeky secret kiss on my cheek as she pulls away. She climbs into the car followed by Lola and Leon.

"D, your leaving too? I thought you were staying a little longer?" I say sad to see her leaving.

"Sorry Aya, I can't stay here, we have a wedding to plan and everything I see reminds me of mum. It's too painful. Sorry." She replies sombrely.

Her and Miles climb into the car, Miles arm wrapped around D's shoulders. I wave them off before turning on my heels and plodding back inside to the library.

I arrive at the doors of the library only to change my mind and head to the gardens. On the way I grab a sandwich from the kitchens and eat it slowly, attempting to switch off from the fact that Lia's gone home. As I sit in the gardens I notice some deep blue rubies that remind me of Lia and her wonderful hair that changes from deep blue to jet black to ruby midnight in split seconds. Those eyes that are ocean blue but somehow changed to blood red when she was angry and was threatening to kill. I noticed a red tinge when she got upset over us being so far apart too, which intrigued me.

Oh, I forgot to ask her about her eyes and why they were blood red when she was threatening that slave master!

Although I get the feeling it might have something to do with what she was thinking about earlier and how she agreed to tell me eventually.

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