The Queen in Shadows

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Bonus chapter 2

Phoenix' POV - His side of chapter 9 :)

I'm sitting in Celines studio waiting for her to come discuss my mother's wishes for her robe for the last day of her trial.

I fidget in my seat, trying to act interested in whatever Milli is talking about. I don't know how she can droll on and on with everything else that's happening.

How can she be so insensitive? My mother is on trial for her life. She’s talking about fabrics and necklines, I couldn’t possibly care less.

A sudden jolt runs through me. Luckily Milli doesn't notice, she continues talking as she makes her way into the back room.

A light knock against the door draws my attention to the silhouette standing behind the etched glass.

I jump to my feet and rush toward the door, my blood worked up into a frenzy. Everything feels like it's on fire.

When I pull the door open I have to hide the gasp that wants to escape. If my heart had a beat mine would surely stop, right now.

The girl standing on the other side of the door is, without a doubt, the most beautiful thing I've ever laid my eyes on.

My beloved.

She stares up at me, her big doe eyes are extra wide and full of... fear? She looks terrified.

"Are you looking for Milli?" I try to ask casually, holding myself back from reaching out to her.

I want to hear her voice, my whole body is on edge waiting for her to reply, but she doesn’t. She looks lost and confused, like she doesn’t understand what is happening.

I want to grab her into my arms and hug her against me. The sound of her heart pounding in her chest is the most amazing sound I’ve ever heard.

I’m trying to act normal, like my whole world hasn’t changed in an instant but it’s very difficult.

“Are you looking for Milli?” I ask her again, struggling to hold back my smile. She’s adorable, her face is covered in a pink blush that makes me want me want to kiss her cheeks.

“I…yes…this,” she holds a note toward me.

Her voice makes my smile falter. It’s as soft and sweet as her scent. It makes my skin break out in goosebumps. I can’t just take the note, I need a few more minutes to figure out how to get her to spend eternity with me.

I reach out and grab her wrist softly. Shock takes over her face as our skin comes into contact. She looks away and starts studying the floor intently, refusing to look up at me.

Her long brown hair hangs over her shoulder and I have to restrain myself from reaching out and running my fingers through it.

“Milli, Celine sent you a message, I’m placing it on your desk,” I yell back to her, hoping she doesn’t come out. I barely hear her reply.

“What’s your name?”

“N-Noelle.”

“Noelle,” I repeat, savoring her name like sugar on my tongue. It suits her perfectly.

I want to tell her my name, to hear her dulcet voice speaking it out loud, but I wait. If she asks, I’ll tell her, otherwise, I’ll get to know her some before she finds out I’m the prince.

I notice her eyes flitting around the room, looking at the papers and fabrics that are strewn everywhere. Her eyes linger on the pastries for a second longer than everything else.

“Please, help yourself to one, or several,” I tell her, pulling the glass cover off of the tray.

“Oh, thank you but, I couldn’t.” Her voice makes my knees weak.

“Of course you can’t. Please. I was just about to have one,” I wasn’t but if it will get her to enjoy one, I’ll eat fifty of them. I pull a palmier from the tray and wait for her to pick something.

She hesitates for a moment.
“I’ll have the same thing you’re having,” her voice is soft.

“Good choice, it’s called a palmier,” I tell her as I pass one to her.

She takes it but she looks… upset. Maybe she doesn’t like palmier and she’s just trying to be polite.

“If you don’t like it you can try something else,” I want to kiss the crease in her brow.

She looks at me nervously and takes a bite. Her eyes go wide and she quickly takes another bite.

The sweet innocence is almost too much for me. The small smile on her face tugs violently at my heart. I want to rub my hand over my chest to ease the ache settling there.

I reach for another pastry and hold it out to her, “this is an eclair.”

She takes it with less hesitation than the first. When she bites into it I can tell she really likes it. I eat one, though, watching her enjoy it is more satisfying than the pastry its self. I'll make sure these are available to her forever.

Her tongue swipes across her plush lips and I involuntarily grip the arm rest. There is a purity in her, a kindness in her soul that I can feel. My hands itch with the desire to reach out and touch her face, to press my lips to hers.

She suddenly stands, “thank you so much, they were delicious. I should go.”

No, no, no. I don’t want her to leave yet.

“I’ll walk you out.”

I place my hand on the small of her back, leading her toward the door. A shiver rolls down her spine and it takes all of my will power not to pull her into my arms.

I need more time. Five more minutes… one minute… I’ll take anything.

We walk silently for a few steps and I can't help but stare at her. She's so much smaller than me.

“I’ve never seen you around here before,” I try to spark some conversation.

“Um, yeah, I am just here on an errand for my boss.”

“Who do you work for?”

“The Vicioso family.”

“I know them, do you enjoy working for them?”

Does she like working for them?! Shit, Phoenix get it together, of course she doesn’t enjoy it…

"They are a good family," she hesitates slightly.

I'm such an idiot...

"Have you been going to the Queens trial?" I have to ask. I want to know what she thinks about everything.

She looks up at me, surprised by the question. She looks disappointed.

"Yes," she sighs, she's definitely unhappy that I'm asking her about this.

"What do you think?"

Her nose scrunches up, "about what?"

"The trial..."

She stops walking and stares at me, the moon reflected in her eyes.

"Well...I...honestly, I... I think she's innocent."

As soon as the words leave her lips her eyes grow wide and she brings her hand to cover her mouth.

I can't help but to smile down at her. She's perfect. I want to scoop her up and kiss her.
She's everything I hoped to find, kind and honest, beautiful and soft. I don't know how I'm going to do it but I have to see her again. Soon.









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