#Chapter 1 Marked
#Chapter 1 Marked
“Have you found Prince William yet?” Mr. Carson asked the servants who rushed towards him, their cheeks flushed from the cold night air. As the Head of Servants’ at the Golden Palace, they all looked to Mr. Carson for answers he didn’t currently have. He pulled at his fine collar as if he was suffocating from the pressure.
“No—no, not yet. We’ve searched—“
“No?” He interrupted one of the girls who looked as if she were about to faint. “Then what are you coming to me for? Keep searching the grounds!”
Mr. Carson ignored their responses as they rushed off in all different directions to find any trace of a Prince who was never easy to find. Sweat slowly dripped down the back of his neck, he wiped his palms on his trousers when he heard the music grow louder from the ceremony whenever a servant pushed through the grand doors.
Laughter and light conversations filled the air inside that hall. The crown prince Martin Arnold and his Lady Grace Reilly were busy enjoying their fresh engagement with the respected royal families and lords. Even Prince Daniel, the fourth in line, had traveled back from the military just to celebrate Martin. Something William couldn’t seem to bother himself with as the third in line—despite living in the castle.
Lady Grace Reilly, the distant niece of Luna Queen, was perhaps the most beautiful creature in the entire kingdom. Not a single soul came close to her beauty, werewolf or human, they simply couldn’t compare. House Reilly shared half the kingdom with House Arnold. No one had ever dared to cross the Reilly family, not even the Alpha King Charles himself. It was truly a big day for the entire kingdom to have their families merge—which made each passing second without Prince William feel as if Mr. Carson was standing in his own grave.
Mr. Carson forced himself to glance inside the ceremony to see if anyone had noticed. Prince Martin seemed happy enough, whispering in his lady’s ear as drinks were set in front of them. The rest of the party didn’t seem to notice the absence of William yet—or he’d thought so until he locked eyes with Luna Queen.
The look she gave Mr. Carson made him shiver worse than the cold outside had when he realized he would be left alone with the blame if the prince didn’t show up. The sky darkened horribly since their search began—guests would surely eat this up as their nightly gossip if he didn’t resolve this soon.
“What are you standing there for?” Mr. Carson shouted at the closest group of servants when he turned from the door. The color drained from their faces as he neared them. “Find Prince William right this instant! Foolish omegas and humans, if he is not found soon it will be on all of your heads!”
Doris knew she should’ve stayed inside to help the other servants with the party, but she allowed her mind to wander just enough that she ended up alone in the gardens. The stars shined high above the castle, distant sounds of the celebration were distracting enough to make her turn back towards her duties. For a moment, she imagined she was only a guest in the castle. Someone who came just for the party and was free to come and go as she pleased. She couldn’t imagine herself ever coming back if she had the chance to leave, but it was nice to dream on a night full of love.
Doris hurried her steps back to the path she strayed from. It wouldn’t be wise to be caught out here, she wasn’t allowed anywhere she wasn’t told to be. Especially outside—
A deep growl interrupted her own silence, Doris’s steps froze from the noise. It sounded as if it echoed all around her, for a moment—she wasn’t sure where to turn.
“My… mate…” She felt his hot breath caress against the back of her neck when he whispered behind her, she moved too slow to prevent the man from forcing her to the grass beneath them. Though, Doris didn’t think there was anything she could have done that would’ve prevented this man from getting whatever it was he wanted from her. She was afraid to find out what exactly that might be.
“My… mate!” He shouted as he straddled her against the cold ground, the darkness blinded her from his identity. His grip was strong and rough as he pinned both her wrists above her head with one hand, she could smell the alcohol on his breath when he whispered the word over and over against her ear.
“I don’t—“ Doris gasped when he ripped her maids’ uniform off with little to no effort, leaving her almost bare in her undergarments. She struggled uselessly against his hold, the cold air stung her exposed skin. Doris didn’t understand what this man meant by mate. She didn’t have a mate—he was obviously very drunk and had the wrong girl.
“Please don’t—“ Doris cried out in pain when she felt his teeth latch onto her neck. He bit down with no hesitation, as if he were claiming her in that moment to feast upon for eternity. The burst of pain slowly passed when he kissed the mark he just made upon her skin almost tenderly, her eyes fluttered open at the sensation. A wave of heat burned her entire body as he trailed his lips down her neck, only stopping to explore the tops of her breasts.
Goosebumps coated her skin beneath his touches. Her breath quickened, she saw him tilt his head towards her in the darkness as if he listened to every slight sound she made. His free hand moved to caress her breasts where his mouth wasn’t. She felt disgusted with herself—
“Oh!” Doris tried to swallow her moan and flushed red when she couldn’t hide her own reaction to a man that attacked her. She didn’t realize her body was so sensitive to touch in certain areas—even to a beastly man like him. Doris didn’t want this, she knew she didn’t. But the way her back arched towards his touches—her body just wasn’t listening to her mind. The shame she’d felt could’ve burn her alive, it only seemed to encourage him.
His rough hand ran down the side of her body, surely feeling the heat he caused beneath her skin. The man leaned up to whisper in her ear the same word he’d said dozens of times, the one that confused her more than anything. “Mate…”
“Please, I’m not—“
Approaching footsteps stilled his wandering hand once and for all. He stood, and for the first time she saw the moonlight shine on his face enough to reveal who her attacker was. She couldn’t believe—
“Prince William!” The voices shouted, William’s dark eyebrows furrowed as he grumbled his response in annoyance. Doris used her aching hands to attempt to cover herself as she took in his rogue appearance. His raven black hair was disheveled and blue eyes looked as if they glowed from where she was. She almost lost herself on the sight of his lips, the way they turned down slightly before he masked his expression to something more cold and distant. The top of his white shirt was unbuttoned enough to show his chest, she’d never seen royalty so unkept before. It wasn’t nearly as shocking as what he had just done to her despite his nasty reputation.
“Prince William!” Mr. Carson appeared, out of breath and wide eyed with sweat glistened on his brow. He spared one glance at her torn dress but said nothing as he faced Prince William. It was as if he didn’t see her at all. “My apologies, your highness. We’ve been looking everywhere—I’ve been sent to retrieve you for the Alpha King. He insists on seeing you at once.”
Prince William stared at Mr. Carson, the man seemed to shrink beneath his gaze as each second passed until he finally turned away. The prince sat in his own misery once the rest of the servants fled the area—but not too far.
Prince William took his time to gather himself, she could see the pain written across his features as he rubbed his temples. It was obvious he drank more than he should have on a night like this. Anger replaced the heat inside her, she swallowed it down like she always had to do when royalty mistreated her. Never had one gone so far, she was too afraid to speak—or move.
He spared one last glance at her ripped dress before he stood once more and followed the trail back to the castle.
He didn’t once look back at the half-naked girl he left discarded in the grass.
As if nothing happened between them at all.