The Queen in Shadows

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Chapter 8

I’ve been duped. This road feels like I’m walking straight up the side of a mountain. Its been almost fifteen minutes and I’m still walking, no security posts in sight.

The sun is setting and I’m wondering if I will ever get out of here. Walking up the steep hill I look out at the view. The side of the mountain I am on looks out over a tree filled valley, as far as I can see, I am looking out over the tops of thousands of trees. The vast forest makes my heart pound in my chest.

My wolf whines deep inside of me. A run in that forest would be, possibly, the best thing that could ever happen to me. Looking out at the treetops fills me with a sense of peace and calm. I belong there, my people belong there.

I see the guards, finally, and my sense of peace is destroyed. I approach the guards slowly, feeling very nervous. Aside from Celine, no one around here is very helpful. I can’t imagine that they are going to be thrilled to call a car for me or to help me in any way. If they don’t help me, I’ll be doomed to wander the grounds of the castle, searching for Millicent until I die.

I clear my throat, hoping to get the attention of the guard inside the office.

“Excuse me, I’ve been sent by Madam Celine to deliver this to her assistant, Millicent. She said that I would be driven.”

I hold the paper out to her to see. My hand shakes a little bit, Celine seemed sweet but what if this is all a sick joke. I ask to be driven and they have me whipped for having the audacity to make demands.

“One moment,” she says, stepping back into the office and making a phone call.

“You can sit on that bench.”

“Thank you,” I bow my head and sit.

After a moment a small trolley pulls up next to the security station.

“She will take you to Milli,” the guard says.

So far so good. These vamps are a lot more helpful than the ones I’m used to dealing with.

“Thank you,” I smile as I bow my head.

Sitting in the trolley I think back over the strange events of this afternoon. When I woke up this morning I definitely didn’t see my day unfolding like this.

The trolley speeds through the narrow streets, going further up, rounding a curve, we are brought to a courtyard. There are three arbor covered pathways. The driver stops and points to the center path.

“Go down that path, it will take you to Millicent,” the girl tells me, her voice is soft and kind.

“Thank you.”

The moonlight illuminates the path, slipping in between the flowers and vines on the arbors. I’m sure my aunt and uncle are worrying about me at home, I should have been home over an hour ago. Despite that, I’m actually enjoying this. It’s a beautiful place to walk. The flowers seem to glow in the light.

I come to a small clearing at the end of the path. There is a large door with an etched glass panel, light is shining through it from the inside. Unsure what else I can do, I step forward and knock. I fidget nervously. I’m supposed to be here, I was sent on an errand but I’m still afraid. One wrong move and I will find myself in a lot of trouble.

Through the etched glass I see a distorted figure walking toward the door. When the door opens my eyes grow to the size of dinner plates.

The man that opened the door leans against the frame, a relaxed smile on his face, and I feel like all the air is sucked out of my lungs. He has, without a doubt, the most handsome face I’ve ever seen.

Something I can’t place flashes through his eyes and he smiles down at me, wide and dimpled. I notice his hand flex and clench by his side. Almost as if he’s trying to keep it still… I must be imagining things.

My heart pounds and my wolf goes absolutely berserk.

I know I’m just staring at him but I can’t formulate a thought. Something about his smell is making me feel things I don’t understand. He smells like... home, like dew on grass and crisp fall air. It is suddenly my favorite scent in the world.

I feel confused and emotional. I may actually break down and cry. My body is physically reacting to the sight of him, to his smell. I don’t know what to do. I want to bury my face in his neck and breathe him in.

I try desperately to regain control of myself, to act normally but I can’t.

The pull I feel for him is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. It’s like I’ve known him forever, like I love him, instantly, like my body remembers his.

I have to bite down on the inside of my cheek to keep myself grounded in reality.

What is happening?

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