She wasn't in her room.
That little angel who had him on the precipice of his sanity all the breathing time was yet again missing from her room. He had found her roaming the hallways and exploring the rooms the past two days. And it looked like she was up to it again.
Orion sighed and rubbed his eyes, he was going crazy by how much anxious she made him. He seemed obsessed by her, always desperate to know what she was up to and where she was. He felt the need to guard her, to be with her and take care of her. But Neeyah ensured that his heart was always ramming in his cage by wandering about the castle on her own.
He stepped out of the room assigned to her and made his way down the passageway to Damien's study. The chances of him actually being there were pretty thin since Elle's heat ground them both, but one can always hope.
His gait was unhurried, no harm would be caused to Neeyah so long as she was in the castle, no one would dare to lay a finger on her since he had declared she was under his care. Why he went to such great extents? He had no clue.
As he neared the office, he felt the heavenly aura that always surrounded Neeyah inside the room. Thank the Devil he wouldn't have to look for her all over the palace, but what an odd place for a child to be? Damien's office was filled with stacks upon stacks of documents, files and books lined his walls leave for a small cupboard that housed the whiskey and vodka that he liked. What held her interest in that room was beyond his comprehension, but then again, Neeyah was nothing like a small young should be.
Orion opened the door and stepped inside to find her crouched on the ground with a paper and on the ground before her and a pen in her hand. She was doodling something and in that process, she had covered herself with ink. Her cheeks and hands were stained black as was the ink.
It warmed his heart to see her like that, like how a kid should actually be, otherwise her behavior gave off the impression that her conscience was that of an adult. He hated it. She was a kid and should have a good childhood as well. At least he provide her with a better future.
"What are you doing, Neeyah?" He asked her while he approached her and crouched to her level. When he looked down at her artwork, a frown creased his forehead. What she had scribbled was in fact a very symmetrical and carefully crafted tribal artwork, and somehow Orion was sure if he went to search it's meaning, something would definitely come up.
"Is it pretty?" She asked him and then looked up at his face. Orion looked at her for a moment and then back at what she had scribbled, he felt as if he had seen it before.
"it is." he admitted and then looked at her as she squealed in joy at his approval of her work.
"My mom taught me this, it is a symbolic representation of The Moon." she beamed at him. Orion took out his napkin and wiped at the ink smudged on her cheek.
"Oh, darling, do you even know what that means?" He asked her, she was a wolf child so that made sense, but her being aware of such heavy words? She was four years old for Lord's sake!
"It means that it symbolizes the moon." she clarified as if she was educating him, with a sparkle in her eyes and her words hurrying out of her mouth as if they were set afire.
"I see." He answered her and watched as she nodded her head before he picked her up and placed her in the crook of his arm. She wrapped her arms around him in turn. That child was full of surprises, he wondered if she would come up to him the next day and ask him to read her the Genesis.
"Is he your friend?" she asked him as he turned to leave.
"Whom are you talking about, baby?" he asked her and looked where her gaze was locked on. She was staring at the Fae prince's picture that was laying on the desk.
"He is a missing prince, Neeyah, why do you ask?"
She looked at him, her eyes losing that playful hint and hardening like that of an adult. He feared what was to leave her mouth.
"Because he is dead."
Damien had her in his lap, they were sitting by the window with his arms around her waist and a blanket over their shoulders. He had a lot to tell her, a lot to even apologize for considering that he bonded with her without her consent. But he was helpless in that moment, hopeless even. She had nestled in the crook of his neck with his chin resting on her head.
"Lord Damien?" She pulled him out of his haze, he was worried sick anticipating how she would react once he would disclose about the bond.
"Yes, my sweet?" He looked down at her peaceful face. Her face was tinted with a healthy red, her skin glowing and her eyes seemed even more deep and inviting. She seemed to be an enhanced version of herself.
"Why did you come to me that day? After our argument? You'd said you wouldn't." Her voice was timid, and his heart guilty. He shouldn't have left her alone in the first place.
"Because I realized I was being daft." He kissed her forehead, letting his lips linger on her skin, it tingled all over, electrifying everything. He still couldn't believe he had taken another mate. Still couldn't believe he had bonded with her, but she was his, he knew it since they had met, she was his Ellie. He knew not if he would be able to harness a sweet relationship like that of mates, his heart was yet not ready to trust like that. But he knew he couldn't have left her alone, it was just a matter of time.
A sharp knock on the door interruped his thoughts and made him groan. He disliked the interruption like he hated cold steak. He had Elle in his arms, naked, and one had to wonder why he shouldn't behead the interrupter for the sin committed.
"Later." He called out.
"I'm afraid it can't wait." Orion's grim voice cut through his lust. He knew better than to disturb Damien when he was mating her, especially when Elle was in her heat. Things must be urgent, and this was where being a King proved to be a hindrance. He gave Elle a deep kiss and stood up with her in his arms. Leading to the bed he laid her down and pulled the duvet over her naked body.
"I'll be back as soon as I can." He promised her.
"What if it hurts like before?" Elle asked with wide eyes, fear gripping her insides like never before.
Damien touched her cheek, " then I will be able to feel it. I'll be here for you the next second that your heat hits you." With a lingering kiss to her cheek, he turned and pulled on a robe before leaving the room.