When I stood in the shower cubicle, I turned on the water, which was cold at the beginning and poured on me, from a luxurious rain shower. Under normal circumstances, I would have hopped out of the shower stall, screaming loudly, and waiting for the water to reach a comfortable temperature.
But my senses were numb. The only reaction the jet of cold water elicited from me, was me leaning slightly forward, to support myself with my right hand on the tiled wall.
I had no idea how long I stood like this without moving. After a while, I found my way out of shock and shook back into reality. Slowly I raised my head and took in my surroundings through the mist of warm water, that had formed around me. My gaze was fixed on my right hand, still leaning against the wall, or rather on my engagement ring.
There was dried blood on the lily-shaped diamond, which could not be washed off in this position, because the water jets did not reach this part of the shower cubicle.
The sight of the blood-smeared diamond made my thoughts and emotions go crazy. Thousands of questions flashed through my head simultanioiusly.
Was that a bad omen for me and Malachy’s future? Hadn’t we been through enough in the short time we’d known each other? What if this is just the beginning? How much more do we have to endure? How much more can I take?
All of my fears, combined with the shock of Soraya’s violent, tragic death, drove my senses completely crazy.
Suddenly, I could hear the individual drops of water so loudly, as if they were flying past my ears like small, hissing fireworks, triggering detonations on the floor of the shower cubicle.
My senses were so wrought out, that I seemed to feel downright painful, where the water droplets pelted down on me.
What happened to me? Was I going crazy, now?
The noises got louder with every second, that passed and the light seemed unbearably bright.
Slowly I sagged, crouched on the floor of the shower cubicle and covered my ears with my hands, to block out the excruciatingly loud noises.
What should I do?
Desperately, I called for Malachy.
I could hardly keep my eyes open, because it felt like a floodlight was shining directly into my face.
Panic slowly set in. I called Malachy again and crouched in a ball, hoping to block out everything around me.
I only noticed that I was no longer alone, when the water was turned off and a soft towel was placed around me.
At that moment, I didn’t care, that I was stark naked. I was just glad, that Malachy was with me.
With an undertone of concern, he asked what had happened and whether I was injured. When I shook my head to signal that I was physically safe, he slowly pulled me up from the floor and wrapped the towel around me.
Then he wrapped his arms protectively around me.
I slowly calmed down and with each breath, my senses seemed to function more normally again.
“Thank you for helping me.” I replied meekly.
I was a little embarrassed about the whole situation.
“Are you feeling better?” He asked worriedly.
I nodded silently and pulled away from him a little. He took the opportunity to get another towel and used it to dry my wet hair.
Then he put one arm around my back and the other arm around my legs and took me in his arms. Like a bride, he carried me out of the bathroom and carefully placed me down on the bed.
“What just happened there in the shower?” He looked at me with furrowed eyebrows and a questioning look.
I shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know. I saw blood on my engagement ring when I was in the shower and that sight, along with today’s events, started a kind of chain reaction. Suddenly it was unbearably bright and loud and my senses went completely crazy. Every single drop of water felt like a needle digging into my skin.”
As I spoke, he adjusted a few pillows and covered me with the thick, fur-like bedspread.
When he had made sure, that I was wrapped up warm and comfortable, he sat down across from me with a serious look.
“I think today’s dramatic events were the trigger for your powers to manifest themselves. It is no wonder, that the powers of the ‘House of Warriors’ come to the fore first. Most of your blood-serum belongs to the ‘House of Warriors’.”
He paused for a moment and seemed lost in his thoughts.
“It’s time you started training your skills, so that something like this doesn’t happen to you again. You could hurt yourself or others. We should contact Darius. He can help you better than I can. I have to confess, that I have never trained a newly converted Aristocrat myself. Especially not one with mixed Regent’s blood.”
I had to process this information first. The total maddening of my senses scared me. That this incident could repeat itself at any time worried me deeply. I agreed with him.
“You’re right. We should contact Darius and report this incident to him. It can’t be wrong to let him know where we are either, but let’s wait until tomorrow, please.”
I looked at him pleadingly.
He moved a little closer and stroked my cheek with the palm of his hand, while looking at me lovingly.
Then he got up, leaned over me a little, and kissed on my hairline.
I leaned back on my pillow and closed my eyes.
Malachy left the room briefly, then returned with some logs for the fireplace. I watched him with tired, half-closed eyelids.
When the fire crackled comfortably in the brick-build fireplace, he turned to me again.
“I want to freshen up too now, if that’s okay with you.”
Malachy left the bedroom again, only to return after a few minutes with the same travel bag over his shoulder, that I had noticed in the back seat of his car.
Curious, I looked at him and pointed with my index finger to the bag.
“I noticed that one on our drive here. Why did you bring a travel bag with you, when you went to Ignis? ”
I could have sworn an embarrassed smile crept on his face for a split second. Now, Malachy was grinning mischievously.
“I’ve packed a few things, to be ready to take you from Adrian’s arms for a few days.”
I knitted my eyebrows in confusion. His explanation made no sense to me.
He noticed my confusion. A little uncomfortable, he let out a loud breath before beginning his explanation.
“When I made my way to Ignis to see you, I was furious with jealousy. I literally intended to tear you out of Adrian’s arms and bring you to your senses.”
“But how do you get the idea, that I’m in Adrian’s arms. I told you that I was going to Ignis to prevent a conspiracy.”
A half-amused snort escaped his lips before continuing.
“Daina. I let her fool me. She showed me an old photo of you in Adrian’s arms on her mobile and I the idiot I am, believed her.”
His words hurt my feelings. Offended, I replied: “That you even think that I would do something like this at all.”
“I am sorry. I should know better. It’s just,” he paused, running a hand through his hair, “I see red with Adrian. As I said, I was raging with jealousy.”
He stood in front of me, looking lost. Now, a slight grin crept onto my face. How insecure this strong man could be...
“Malachy, I assure you that you don’t have to worry about me and Adrian. I’m done with him. The only thing I still feel towards him is disgust and maybe even contempt.”
I moved a little closer to the middle of the bed and patted the space next to me with my hand.
“Please take a seat.”
He followed my request. When he was seated next to me, I continued speaking, while looking deep into his golden eyes.
“Adrian can’t hold a candle to you in any way.” Then I stroked his cheek. “I want you and no one else.”
At these words, I leaned over and kissed him tenderly on the mouth.
He returned the kiss without hesitation.
Then he reluctantly pulled away from me and got up from the bed.
“We should stop at this point, otherwise I cannot guarantee for anything.”
His eyes seemed darker and shimmered like liquid gold.
“I’m going to go to the bathroom now. Make yourself comfortable and rest a little.”
“OK.” I nodded, but then dark clouds came up in my head. Daina, that stupid bitch!
Malachy started laughing heartily.
“Did I say that out loud?” I asked, embarrassed.
Still laughing, Malachy replied, “I know exactly what you mean and I can’t contradict you.”
He turned and disappeared into the bathroom.
I took the opportunity to get dressed quickly. The thought of lying under the covers next to Malachy, wearing only a towel, bothered me. Fortunately, the fresh clothes were still lying in front of the bathroom door.
When James came out of the bathroom freshly showered, I had dressed, too.
A little embarrassed, he replied: “I would like to offer you something to eat. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the house. Our stay here wasn’t planned, otherwise I would have had the refrigerator refilled.”
I shrugged my shoulders indifferently.
“I’m not hungry anyway. If I were to have my way, we would just go to bed early and completely forget about the whole day.”
He looked visibly relieved.
“Well, then tomorrow morning we’ll go to the village of Norha, eat breakfast and stock up on groceries...”
I interrupted him.
“And clothes. I don’t feel comfortable, wearing your late sister’s clothes. ”
“Anything you want, darling.”
He turned off the lights, then went to lay down on the bed and held up the sheets.
“Come here, love. We should sleep.”
He didn’t have to ask, twice. I crawled under the sheets, snuggled my back to him and enjoyed his closeness and warmth.
He kissed me on the head and put his arm over my waist. I listened to the crackling fire and watched the flames slowly dancing in the fireplace.
The sight was so comforting, that I immediately fell into a dreamless sleep.