Chapter 34 - A Confession...Of Sort
Gideon doesn’t look surprised. “Well, the Prince is a very intelligent man. I never imagine something like that would go unnoticed,” he says. “I am attracted to you.”
I open my mouth to say something but then I close it again. I don’t know what to say to that.
He leans forward to look me in the eye.
“When I first saw you in that cell, the pure hunger in your eyes was beautiful to see. You were so mesmerizing I can’t keep my eyes off of you. The more I see of you, the more captivated I am. You’re beautiful, intelligent, fearless, and powerful - all qualities that attract any males, especially lycans,” he explains.
Okay, I totally don’t know what to say to that, nor do I know what to do with that information.
“Don’t worry, I’m not trying to seduce Prince Caspian’s erasthai and my future queen. My loyalty is with the Prince and the Palace. Taking you away from the prince could bring the whole monarchy down and I thrive on the monarchy. I don’t know if you understand how much power you have, Quincy.” He sits back again, putting a bit of distance between us. “I’m sorry if I was too forward, talking about my feelings like that and scare you but I’m just stating it the way it is.”
Talking about his feelings for me doesn’t scare me, talking about my power and about bringing the monarchy down, does. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that kind of responsibility.
“There’s one thing I don’t understand,” I tell him. “How could you be attracted to me when you have Helen as your mate?” He has that sexy, stunningly beautiful bombshell, Helen. Why would he be interested in me? Despite what he said, I’m really nothing special. In fact, I’m still trying to understand why Caspian is interested in me at all.
“How could I not?” He raises an eyebrow. “Helen is not my mate. She’s my companion. Lycans can travel alone but we prefer to have at least a companion...sort of a pack of two. At least until I meet someone that I’m interested in for more...someone special enough for me to want to mark as my mate.”
“An erasthai,” I state.
He tilts his head and smiles wryly as if he finds the word funny. “Maybe, but I’ve been traveling for hundreds of years. I haven’t met her yet.
“Not all of us are lucky to meet our erasthai. I might be one of many who is destined not to meet mine. So, I’ll settle for someone I’m very attracted to. Somebody, in time, I see myself falling in love with.” His eyes trail my features. “Provided that she’s not spoken for, especially by a lycan prince, of course.”
“Of course,” I agree as if we’re talking about the weather. I think this is one of the weirdest conversations I’ve ever had with anyone.
If Caspian wasn’t in the picture, I think I could be attracted to him too but now that I’ve met Caspian, I know how deep and intense this feeling goes, nothing could compare. Mere attraction is too weak a feeling.
“How long have you been traveling with Helen?”
“For about five years now,” he answers candidly.
“Is she aware that you’re never going to make her your mate?”
He sits back and his eyes travel to a big bouquet of fresh flowers on the front desk. He absently slides an index finger over his bottom lip. That little gesture reminds me so much of Caspian when he’s mulling over something.
“We had a mutual understanding on the subject when we agreed to be companions. We agreed that this is not a permanent arrangement.”
For his sake, I hope Helen still remembers the agreement.
The glass door of the hotel slides open and Caspian walks in. His golden hair is windblown, less than perfect. It makes him seem very young but a little wild and dangerous. The air seems to crackle in his presence. Behind him, steps in Helen Whatsit. Her jeans are so snug, they look painted on. The smug smile on her red painted lips makes me angry all over again.
Caspian’s eyes are locked in on me. His steely expression is saying that I’m in deep trouble. My heartbeat rises and my stomach clenches. I feel like a stalked prey as he comes straight for me. Barely controlled aggression in his every step.
He slides an arm under my knees and another arm behind my back. Effortlessly, he lifts me up and carries me into an empty conference room. He kicks the door closed with his foot and sets me on my feet where I’m trapped between his hard muscular body and the solid oak door.
“Tell me what are you doing alone with Lord Archer when I specifically asked you not to encourage him?”
“Tell me what you’re doing with Helen Rabbit first,” I growl at him.
“I ask you first.”
“I ask you second!” Yeah, okay...so, that doesn’t make much sense.
“Goddess please grant me endless patience,” I hear him growls before he grips the back of my neck and tugs me to him. He buries his nose in my neck and takes a deep breath like he’s in dire need of it to calm himself down. “Tell me, baby,” he says, his teeth nip the skin of my throat warningly. His breath warming my neck. “Who is Oliver?”
What? How did he know about Oliver? “Nobody,” I answer him without thinking. His fingers dig into the nape of my neck. Not hard as to hurt but enough to serve as another warning.
“Don’t lie to me.”
I contemplate on how to tell him about Oliver without embarrassing myself but he probably thinks that I wasn’t going to answer him because the next thing I know, he pushes me back, pulls opens the door, and storms out, slamming the door behind him. His footsteps are leaving me.
I think he broke the hinges.
I stand there gaping at the closed door for a few seconds before I hear footsteps coming back. The door swings open with a loud creaking sound. He walks right back in and hoists me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, then strides out again. I’m stunned speechless. I feel like a retrieved possession.
He carries me out to the front lobby where he sets me down in front of the chair I was on earlier. I’m relieved to see that Gideon and Helen Bunny Rabbit aren’t there anymore.
Caspian picks up the grey coat that I left on the chair earlier and drapes it over my shoulders.
Jonah and Jorden choose this time to show up at the lobby with their bags. Both of them raise almost identical eyebrows up when they see Caspian pulling my arm through the sleeve of the coat but wisely decided to keep their mouths shut.
They still manage to keep their mouth shut and expression blank when Caspian picks me up again and carries me out to one of the SUVs where everyone else is waiting. Everybody is watching us with open amusement.
He deposits me right beside Genesis and Constantine before climbing in himself. As soon as he gets in, he pulls me up into his lap and wraps his arms around me.
He keeps his steel hold on me the whole ride to the airport. His beautiful face remains cold, aloof, and sullen and nobody dares to say anything.
I can sense Genesis’s struggle to keep her mouth shut the whole way to the airport. I feel her pain. Halfway through the journey, I hear her humming softly under her breath. After a while, I realized that it’s the Jeopardy theme song. She is a weird cookie. Sweet but weird.
We arrive at a small airport in 45 minutes. The driver, who’s been driving fast like a maniac, brings us straight onto the tarmac where a small plane is waiting.
The other two SUVs stop next to ours and everybody clambers out. Caspian’s arm stays around my waist, keeping me firmly by his side when we’re out of the car.
“Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, it’s not the Royal Private jet...had to charter the jet last minute. I hope it’s to your satisfaction,” announces Darius. He’s holding a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in one hand while his other arm is wrapped around Penny’s shoulders.
“If it’s not, then tough!” adds Penny giggling as the bunch of us make a short walk to the plane. “You,” She points to Caspian. “Your Royal Highness, deal with it!” Oh boy, I hope they’re not sloshed.
I think the people in other SUVs were having a better time than we did during the drive here. Everyone else seems to be in a good mood.
Helen sashays past us with the swing of her hips. She flashes Caspian her irritating smile like they’re sharing a secret and I want to kick her teeth in.
I scowl up at him but he seems to be immune to my death glares. He ushers me up the plane with his hand firmly gripping my side.
I’m so mad right now, I could scream. But I don’t want to create a scene, especially if that Helen Rabbit Whatsit is watching.
Caspian steers me into a seat by the window, facing the front, away from everybody else. He buckles me up before he settles in the seat next to me.
Not long after we take off, he undoes his seatbelt and promptly disappears into the cockpit, probably to talk to the Captain and the co-pilot who had introduced themselves to us before we took off.
I undo my own seatbelt and venture to the back where everyone is sitting in the lounge area.
There’s a bar at the back of the plane, complete with a bartender mixing the drinks.
I think the men, including Gideon Archer, are starting a game of poker not too far from the bar. Serena is sitting on Lazarus’s lap. I’m not sure if she’s acting as his good luck charm or she’s actually playing.
“Hey, Quincy! Come, sit with us,” says Genesis, patting a space on a sofa between her and Penny.
As soon as I sit down, I regret it because I’m facing Helen who’s sitting on the sofa opposite ours. She’s sipping her drinks quietly by herself, looking bored but the moment she sees me, she perks up. A slow calculating smile is forming on her bright red lips.
“Where’s Prince Caspian?” she asks. “Isn’t he going to join us?” She doesn’t wait for the answer. She puts he glass down and struts to the front of the plane like she owns it and immediately disappears inside the cockpit.
Both Genesis and Penny are staring after her with narrowed eyes. Then both of them turn to look at me when I sprint up from my seat. After a second, I sit back down and fold my arms over my chest defensively. My jaw feels stiff from grinding my molars together.
My first instinct was to go after her and beat her *ss for trying to go after my man. But then my pride holds me back.
If he wants Helen, then he can have her. If he really wants me, he’s going to have to prove himself. I shouldn’t have to fight other women for him.
Personally, I always believe that no woman should have to guard her man from other women 24/7. That would be too exhausting. If he loved her, respected her, and valued what they have, then he would not hurt her and break her by messing with other people.
Both of them look at each other and Penny stiffly picks up her drinks from the table beside her. She looks pissed off. I think she’d rather do some nut kicking.
“What’s your poison?” Genesis asks me, trying to sound cheerful. “Carlos is marvelous. He can mix anything.” She tilts her head towards the bartender who winks at us.
I study the drink she has in her hand and Penny chimes in, “Genesis is having a Redheaded Slut, totally cliché if you asked me.”
“Well, nobody asked you,” sasses Genesis. “What’s so cliché about a redhead drinking a Redheaded Slut? We’re meant to be and it’s delicious!”
Penny rolls her eyes but she’s smiling mischievously. “I’m having Sex with the Captain.”
“You’d better not be,” warns a deep voice from the back. Darius.
Penny giggles into her glass. “Order up, Buttercup!” she says to me. “Let’s see, there’s Bushwacker, Legspreader, Pop my cherry, Hoochie mama, Dirty monkey, Fuzzy balls, Death by sex, Slippery nipple, Tie me to the bedpost, Sex on the---”
“She’s not having any of those,” growls Caspian. He slips his hands under my elbows and pulls me to my feet.
Instead of being annoyed by his interruption, both Penny and Genesis look pleased.
“See you later, little devil.” Constantine raises his drink and winks at me as I’m being pulled away by Caspian. Lazarus also raises his glass. The rest of them look at us with amusement while Penny and Genesis laugh. Little devil?
“I’m tired of you manhandling me,” I tell him. He just ignores me as he drags me back to our seats. He lowers his tall frame into the seat by the window where I was sitting before and pulls me into his lap.
I know he’s still very pissed off over something. I feel the heat of his anger in waves and I try not to let it intimidate me. He won’t hurt me. Would he?
I try to free myself but his arms cage me in, so I sit stiffly with my arm folded over my chest. After a while, I start to get tired of sitting like that, my arms and my neck feel stiff. Eventually, I let myself fall into his embrace. He lowers our seat into a reclining position and adjusts my body so that I’m lying more comfortably on top of him.
“I’m not yours,” I mutter against his chest.
“You keep telling yourself that, Princess,” he says through gritted teeth as he pulls me closer into his body. He brings his hand up underneath my knitted sweater to spread over my back as if to prove a point. The tip of his finger slipped just underneath the lacy edge of my bra. The feel of his warm hand on my bare skin sends chills all over my body and I shiver in response. I can’t stop my reaction to him. I hate how I have no control over my own body. He owns me. Completely. We both know it.
Wordlessly, he lies his head back on the headrest and closes his eyes.
After a while, his breathing becomes deep and even. His chest rising and falling steadily underneath my cheek.
The noise inside the cabin has died down. Everybody has stopped talking a while ago. Everything is quiet except for the steady drone of the engine.
I lie still, listening to the beat of his heart. I peek up to look at him. He looks so young and harmless in his sleep. His hair is the color of spun gold. It’s messy now. A few locks fall across his prominent eyebrows and my fingers itch to touch it, to sweep it off his forehead, to run it through my fingers. His thick golden eyelashes are resting against the top of his high cheekbones. There’s a light dusting of hair now over his sharp jawline. My eyes trace his pink lips. The lower part fuller than the top. They are sharply carved but I know how soft they can be. How good they feel against mine.
He’s so beautiful. So much prettier than I am. I sigh and settle my head gently on his chest.
I bring my hand up and trace across his chest with my finger. QUINCY. I write my name over where his heart is beating. I write it so that his heart feels it and beats it. I write it over and over again so he won’t ever forget me. I LOVE YOU.
His fingers dig sharply into my hip and I stop moving. I stop breathing. But then he relaxes again so I let my breath out and close my eyes. Soon I let my finger move across his chest again, slowly. I let it write things that I don’t dare tell him when he’s awake.
*Another update this week. It's not too short because I don't know when to stop when I have the time to write. I hope you like it.
I hope to update on Tuesday, but if it's not here by then, know that I'm safe but I've been kidnapped by some meddling people to spend some time in the wilderness. If that happens, I'll try my best to claw my way back to civilization by Thursday and update!
Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the outdoors before it gets too cold, everybody!