The empty walls of her room screamed at Elle as she tried and failed to get some sleep, their noise deafening as they fought with the cold air in the closed room for dominance. The end result of her internal unease and panic was claustrophobia that was rendering her breathless and with a feeling of being caged and shackled.
Throughout her childhood, Elle had nothing. She had to beg and steal to feed her ever hungry stomach, her young heart had always been denied the love and compassion that it deserved and there was no guardian to watch over her and reach out a helping hand to wipe her tear streaked cheeks. She had been alone, with a feeling of betrayal for those who had birthed her for abandoning her and never enough resources to fulfil her basic needs. Envy for other kids had made her suffering worse as she had seen other parents treat their children with love, and for those same compassionate eyes to turn hard and filled with hatred when they turned on her.
She had only one thing as her possession, her own thoughts and conscience. It was a weird comfort in feeling blessed for having the ability to entertain herself with her own thoughts. The control that she had on her own mind had provided her with a sense of security that was undefeatable by anyone. No one could take her thoughts away from her, she reveled in the knowledge that her secrets would always remain thus so long as she decided not to give them words. A companion who would never abandon her like her parents did, but as it turned out, that security too was only a mirage.
When Damien had breached the barrier of her mind, he had done more than intruding into her personal space. He had taken more than her memories and had left her with a feeling that she was not safe anywhere. People's mind were their sanctum sanctorum, a sacred space for no one to obtrude. But Damien had entered her mind, and it felt like he had violated her individualism. He had no right to do what he did.
And yet, instead of feeling angry, she had drowned herself in self pity and misery over the invasion of privacy which her mind had connected to the melancholy of her younger years.
As breathing became more and more difficult and she started choking on air, she realized that she had to calm herself, but the realization did not help with anything. Her hands started shaking, the ringing of her ears so loud that she was developing a headache, the sound of her heart beating against her chest somehow managed to echo in the barren room and her face felt numb. In her mind, her thoughts made no meaning and yet they were buzzing with meaningless words. Her blood running thin in her veins as her eyes continued to burn and in turn set her whole face ablaze.
She could make meaning of nothing, not even the reason behind her sudden panic attack. Through her blurred vision she looked at the walls that appeared to be closing in on her and then as she mover her head her eyes fell on the closed door of the room allotted to her.
She gulped down a lump in her throat that was aiming to tear it apart and and then got up to leave the room. She tripped on her own legs, lost her balance and fell down, the side of her head hitting the corner of the bed and another wave of pain, solid and strong, went through her head.
Through the haze she pressed a hand approximately where her head hurt because she could not pinpoint where she had hit her head. Putting one step ahead of the other with a gait similar to that of a drunkard and opened the to get out which was led solely by her survival instincts.
Through his window, Damien watched as she got out and fell on her hands and knees, her hair falling all over her. His eyebrows furrowed as he heard her uneven breathing and her too fast heartbeats.
Without a conscious thought on his part, his legs started carrying him out of the huge gothic Victorian room and down the red velvet covered stairs, through the foyer and vestibule and out in the open where cold air chilled his robe covered form and winds carried to him her mesmerizing smell.
It was as he started striding in her direction, with the glass of wine that he was emptying into his otherwise perfect body still in his hand, that he smelt his Butler. He pressed his lips at how much it bothered him.
He slowed down when he neared them and then stopped where the shadows covered him to watch what transpired. Aiden rubbed her back and sat her up so she was sitting with her legs outstretched. And when she leaned into him for support as her body gave up on the task of keeping her upright, the surge of possessiveness that hit his nerves was a surprise to him.
And more than that, the lust that grounded him at the sight of her flushed face with her delectable lips parted and her bosom invitingly going up and down. He had not felt this attraction for any woman after his darling had met her end.
And as that thought gave birth to a sense of betrayal towards his mate, his shame had him crushing the glass in his hand and turning around to leave them two be. Had he really rushed all the way here just to comfort her? Why was he acting so impulsively? He as a monarch for Devil's sake, he was in charge of handling a whole species, how the fuck was he supposed to control the whole vampire population when he couldn't even control himself?
Aiden took her into his arms and held her to himself, the sight of her so rattled and unable to breath was enough to scare him. While he rubbed her back slowly and felt her catch her breath again he looked down at her beautiful face which was masked by sweat and worry.
He gave her a smile but his relief was short lasting as she was quick to back away from him. As she stood on her slightly shaky legs and apologized him for the inconvenience, he faked a smile and pshawed away her worries while internally his heart ached at her gesture.
With a curt thank you the lady went on her way into the room and away from the cold but Aiden's conscience didn't grant him that privilege. He was unsettled by her response, as if his touch had burnt her.