I waltz up towards my parent’s residence, which they called Madeline’s bedchamber. I stop outside the wooden door and politely knock while slaves who walk by think far too loudly.
Princess Luvenia’s back is so well arched. I wish I had good posture...if I didn’t have to sweep so much all day every day...
...what an emotionless void, does her mouth ever twitch?...
...god knows what she could be interrupting...
...Luvenia! Oh, how I’d love to just grab that ass, just once, to see if it’s as firm as it looks...
I’m already scowling as the door opens and I see Hael on the other side, looking damn annoyed he’s been interrupted.
“Are you busy?” I ask, and his eyes soften when he sees that it is just me.
“Just a little, luv,” Hael blocks my way into the bedroom and I hear Madeline hurrying around in the background. I hear a few chinks.
“Is she chained up again?” I ask, rolling my eyes.
“Don’t start this again,” Hael growls, “What’s wrong, little monkey?”
“I want Thad and Sylvan gone,” I growl at him and the door is suddenly yanked open as Madeline pulls on it. I see her blush in embarrassment as she fixes the flowing dress she has just pulled over the top of her.
“Luv, please come in,” Maddie is sweet to me, and I feel guilty for being so snappy.
It’s only for a moment, though, because I soon remember the secret she is keeping from me.
“You all know I have exceptional mind reading capabilities...” I start, already aggressively as I stalk into the room, feeling Hael’s impatient gaze upon me and Madeline’s worried eyes.
“What have you heard?” Madeline asks, and I glare at her.
“Everyone is hiding something from me. Something about the princes and I. Personally I think their departure is well overdue. I want them gone, I don’t like them, they’re really irritating –!”
"Enough,” Madeline no longer uses her nice tone on me, she points to the bed, “Sit down. If you want to know what’s happening, I’ll tell you. There is a reason I have not told you about your impending journey to the Horde of Fortune –”
"What?” I had just sit down on the bed, but I stand right back up, “Are you serious?”
“Deadly serious, Luv,” Hael growls, “You’ve been well protected growing up in these walls but you can’t stay here forever. Lochness and I both know you still have little control over your mind reading abilities. The Horde of Fortune is renown for it’s peaceful air. It’s a good place to learn how to better control your power.”
“And we all knew how you’d react to our idea, so we kept it low-key,” Madeline adds, looking worried about my reaction.
“How long?” I ask through gritted teeth.
“Not long,” Madeline shrugs, “Just a week.”
“I guess it’s not as bad as it could be,” I growl at both of them, “I thought Thaddeus and Sylvan had been promised my hand in marriage.”
Madeline’s eyes widen in shock and she just shakes her head at me, while Hael looks on, amused.
“Don’t be silly,” Madeline sighs, “The two princes have agreed to be your escorts, do you have any issues with that?”
I open my mouth to explain every issue I’ve had with the princes but one look from Hael and my mouth snaps shut once more.
I just shake my head, deciding not to argue further.
“We’re one call away, sweety,” Hael adds in, deadly serious about this promise as well, “Remember that.”
“So you’re sending me away to try and learn how to control my powers better? What about Lex –”
“We’re giving you the good deal, Luv,” Hael explains with a satisfied smirk on his lips, “You’ll be leaving tomorrow morning with the twins. As for Lex and all the other spoilt fledglings... I’m kicking them out of the Horde.”
“Wait... including Lex?” I’m gobsmacked, “What happened?”
“Young Dragons don’t do well growing up too close under the same roof,” Hael answers, “Too many fights have been arising between some of the fledglings that don’t bond well. I’m giving you all the opportunity for independence, to sort out what you want in the wilderness,” Hael seems content explaining further, “Some may wander off to be Rogues, the majority will come back under my rule. Lex voluntarily wanted to join the others.”
“Of course he did. When is this happening?” I ask.
“Tomorrow morning we’re sending them out,” Madeline explains the rest, “I don’t want you with the other fledglings in the forest once your week is up in the Horde of Fortune. After that, you’re coming back here.”
“I suppose I should feel ‘special’,” I mutter, not sure whether to feel offended or not.
“I’ve already decided that until you find your destined mate, you’re not leaving our protection for too long–” Madeline tries to explain but I cut her off.
“Sending me to another Horde with two princes will keep me safe, will it?” I snap.
“The princes’ thoughts are well intended towards you... mostly,” Hael growls, “Remember what I said, Luvenia, one call away. Do you understand?”
“Understood...” I ignore Madeline and just nod at Hael as I walk towards the door.
“Luv,” Hael growls into my ear as I make my way out into the cave corridor, “One more ounce of disrespect towards your mother and you will be tossed in with the other fledglings out into the forest until you work out who your friends are.”
"I’m a Rogue,” I say through my teeth as I spin on my heel and Hael has his hand on the door, ready to close it.
“So you’ll be pretty lonely in the forest, Luv,” Hael warns me one last time before adding in what he’d clearly determined as constructive criticism, “Stand straight, you don’t know how easy you’ve had it compared to your mother. She worked her way into my heart through all the blood, sweat and tears she’s sacrificed throughout her life just to survive everyone she’s met... including me. I worked her hard as a slave while she was in this mountain growing up. Now she’s a woman, my woman, and you’re yet to comprehend how naïve and inexperienced you are at life. Consider this opportunity tomorrow as a positive experience. You can protect yourself, and if you can’t, Lochness and I are...”
“One call away. Got it,” I look to my feet, away from Hael’s intense stare as he smiles in satisfaction and closes the door.
That’s a good girl, Hael approves of my compliance to his words.
However, as soon as that door is shut and our conversation is over, I bring up my mental wall of fire.
Thoughts protected, it’s only now that I let my tears rise to the surface.
I turn and quickly walk up towards my bedchamber, my eyes red and watery by the time I’ve put my hand on the knob and opened the door.
I slam it shut and choose to sit in the middle of my bedroom floor, my knees to my chest as my emotions run riot.
Four things made me truly nervous in this world.
My fathers and their wrath.
The princes; Thaddeus and Sylvan.
I was naïve, I was inexperienced... and I was lonely.
My life had been sheltered within these walls, occasionally finding freedom in the forest within my own mind; always free to escape to a place by myself.
Always free of responsibility.
I guess Hael was right. I had hardly lived and now they considered me old enough to explore the world more without them.
Tomorrow morning, I would have the door opened on my gilded cage.
I just didn’t expect that first leap of permission-granted freedom to be spent with Thaddeus and Sylvan.
I didn’t want to walk right out of one cage... into another one.
I wish I had never heard the girls over explain their experiences with the princes.
The princes apparently had an intense liking for submissive females. I guess I forgot to mention that the half of the females bedded by the princes were the most compliant and shy. I knew why they liked the submissive ones. Althor brought up his nephews to believe in the traditional way of thinking. Males were superior in this world.
Whether you were Dragon, half-blood, human, or royalty.
I might be a half-blooded princess... however, I was still a female.
I just didn’t want to think about what the princes would do if they tried to prod me further.
I was not submissive.
It was going to be their biggest problem if they tried to test me. I mean... who was I kidding? My single greatest fear was what they’d do to me if they experienced the full extent of my emotion.
In all honesty, I didn’t trust myself not to punch them both in their perfect faces if they irritated me beyond reason.
When I got scared, I reacted... and not necessarily within reason.
I think to myself some more when I have a sudden moment of realization; a solution hits me!
I just had to make them lose interest in me!
And I knew how to do it!
Thad and Sylvan chose girls with curves in all the right places, tanned... lighter hair tones. Ethne and the other girls often told me anytime we all went to the spring baths, that my body type was not attractive to men. The girls always explained to me that despite my pretty face, my overly large breasts on a thin body, with pale skin – was extremely unattractive. I tended to believe them and in this case, wanted to.
Yeah, everyone seemed to love my face. It was perfectly symmetrical.
But once I took off my clothes? I was nothing special, I wasn’t exactly in proportion the way it was usually desired.
My pale skin was the biggest turn off of all, according to Ethne.
Not to mention my inability to smile much.
So, my plan was sorted.
Perhaps when Thaddeus and Sylvan glanced me naked, they’d be so put off and disgusted that they’d turn back to their usual type of girl.
I also had to remember my whole life as I had avoided them, the princes also avoided me.
It wasn’t until the last two days that they’d been paying slightly more interest to me. Hence, it shouldn’t be too hard to make that interest dissipate quickly.
As I think out my plan a little more thoroughly, I become confident I can pull it off.
If I was smart, I could finish this battle with the princes before it even began.