The door leading to the throne room was opened and Evelyn welcomed the sound of music as a distraction from her thoughts.
Her parents’ titles and names were announced, and the King and Queen strutted through the door and took their designated seats on their thrones.
Evelyn followed promptly, stepping through the door. The air hit her first, the sweet aroma crawling up her nose as her eyes scanned the room. The room was full, with gentlemen wearing suits with their dates on their arms, all dressed in contrasting colours. The colours were vibrant and seemed to bounce off every wall. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling, carrying countless lit candles.
Evelyn’s eyes recognised faces, among them, was Anton who shot her a reassuring smile. Next, she locked eyes with Everest.
Everest’s mouth was ajar, his eyes twinkling with what seemed like admiration. He stood next to a man and a woman. The man shared the same jet black hair as Everest, but his posture was entirely different.
Evelyn pulled her eyes away from Everest’s, focusing on the stairs she was descending. One foot after the other, she finally reached the bottom and the majority of eyes switched to the King and Queen.
They stood from their seats, the song the musicians were playing changing into a soft melody as the rulers of the Kingdom of Adaline started swaying in the centre of the room.
The room watched astonishingly as the couple glided gracefully. The stolen attention sent Evelyn back into her terrifying thoughts. She didn’t understand why she kept divining back into her thought more than usual and she was frankly too weakened by fatigue to attempt at pushing them away.
She knew someone was going to die, and she feared it wasn’t Everest. The thought sent a dagger through her heart, the pain of such thinking slowly digesting her. The thought of never holding his hand, or kissing and hugging him left her hopeless. The thought of never hearing his voice or never feeling his gentle touch caused her eyes to mist with unshed tears. At that indefinite moment, she craved him similar to how a dehydrated person craved water.
The more she mulled over the idea, the more it made sense. Everest’s death would only strengthen the Kingdom of Adaline by eliminating an heir and it would only give Evelyn an advantage, the advantage of weakening the Orb, giving a chance for its downfall.
Although, who would desperately want Everest dead? Everest out of the scenario would certainly benefit Braxton, but not as much as Eleazar.
Evelyn’s heartbeat rocketed through the ceiling at the speculation that her father was going to kill her lover. Instantaneously, Evelyn’s clouded vision fell on her father. He held a rather emotionless expression as he danced with his wife, his lips quirked up in a slight smirk.
Evelyn couldn’t help but think, He looks like a murderer to me. She quickly regretted the thought. That was her father, despite everything, and she had immediately jumped to conclusions. She couldn’t believe herself. She had the audacity to call her father a murderer, but at the back of her mind, she couldn’t help but think she was right.
“What’s wrong with me?” Evelyn murmured to herself, eyes falling down to the marble floor in shame. She shut her eyes, breathing in air to calm down her nerves.
“Can I have this dance?” A familiar velvety voice sounded.
Evelyn lifted her eyes up to meet cold icy orbs. She smiled slightly, softly blinking away any wetness in her eyes and she slowly intertwined her hand with Everest’s.
He led her to the dance floor next to her parents, where he gripped her waist possessively and held her hand with the other. Evelyn’s body lit on fire from his touch, a shiver trailing down her spine from his thumb delicately drawing soothing circles on her stomach as she settled her petite hand on his shoulder.
Their bodies were flushed together, fingers interlocked perfectly like a puzzle finally complete. Body heat radiating from the both of them, the warmth clashing together in excellent synchronisation.
She leaned into his precious embrace, holding him like he’d disappear forever if she did not hold on hard enough, and it seemed he would truly disappear if someone was planning on eliminating Everest. Their faces fitted together as their glacier and ocean-grass eyes anchored collectively.
They swayed romantically for what seemed like an eternity, both having conversations through their eyes.
Everest cherished their proximity, being close enough to spot the tiny freckles that dotted her cheeks rosy. Her soft skin making him feel euphoric, her scent making him never want to let go.
Evelyn remembered the dance they shared that one night in the cabin. She recalled how perfect the moment was and how she wanted it to last for all time.
Evelyn made a wish at the moment, she wished there were no obstacles between the two. She wished they were two simple people who loved one another and had the entire future ahead of them. She wished they could be a couple who’d marry, raise beautiful children and die as one among the trees. She wished they were dancing at their wedding. Unfortunately, those fantasies were just that, fantasies.
As they danced gracefully, more couples joined in but the two maintained their positions. Hands still clasped and eyes still locked on one another. The more Evelyn peered into Everest’s icy blue eyes, she couldn’t help but think of how much she loves him. He was her rock, he was there that day when she ran away from the kingdom for a breath of fresh air. He picked her up repeatedly and loved her when she felt unloved.
She’d miss him when he’d leave after the ball ended. She would miss everything about him. His touch, his aroma, his lips, his eyes. They were too many to count.
Evelyn swallowed, “Everest,”
“Evelyn,” Everest replied.
Evelyn battled herself with suggesting the idea of them continuing meeting in the cabin but one side lost. “I am sorry.” Evelyn licked her lips, “I am sorry for causing you so much pain.”
Everest cracked a small smile.
Perhaps it should’ve been Everest apologising.