Regent's Blood - Aristocracy (Book 1) COMPLETED

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Chapter 31

When we were approximately 500 meters away from the terrace, Adrian abruptly came to a halt.

I almost ran into him. Being a little out of breath, I took in my surroundings. We were standing on a man-made hill, right in front a small, brick-built building, that reminded me of an Asian temple.

Not far away from us, was a big pond inhabiting Koi fish. The pond was interrupted by many spit of lands, from whom many small waterways ran down the hill to lower parts of the garden. The waterways could be crossed by red painted, wooden bridges. Around us, dense bushes and meter-high reed grass were growing.

Although we seemingly were on a small hill, it was not possible to be seen from the outside. From here, I was able to see the roof of the ruler’s house as well as the treetop of the willow behind the house. The willow was situated in the middle of a big lawn and under it was the small, brick-build well with the red roof.

“Adrian!” I said, being a little out of breath. “What on earth is wrong with you? You behave like a lunatic!”

Adrian looked at me with concern. “Look who is talking! As soon as your parental lineage is proclaimed at the debutant-ball, you chase after James like a little dog in heat. You don’t even think it’s necessary to inform me about your staying at his castle, for several days. He is a stranger to you. That is not how I know you.” He replied angry and with a raised voice.

I felt offended by his words. “How are you talking to me?”

“The way I think is necessary, to get your attention!”

I was shocked. I had never seen Adrian act like this.

I took several steps away from him and said: “When you’re this angry, it makes no sense to talk to you. Maybe we should postpone our conversation to a later date.”

Adrian looked at me angrily, then visibly seemed to calm down. “You are right! I may have jumped the gun a little. I am sorry. Still I want to understand why you rushed to him so fast. And what was it with you two disappearing at the ball? I am not sure, if I should worry about you or be angry with you.”

He brushed a few loose strands of hair from his face.

With my hands raised high in front of me, I stepped closer to him, again.

“Adrian, I have already told you that everything is okay and it really is. You need to trust me. James asked me to come stay with him, so he can protect me. Niklas put a target on my back, with proclaiming my lineage at the ball…”

I wanted to go on, but he rose his hand and thereby interrupted me.

“And you think, that I am not able to protect you? I am your family. You belong to me! I want you to come home.”

Horrified, I looked at him with wide eyes. This way, we wouldn’t make any progress.

It was clear to me, that I would keep my word and stay here, until the result of the blood-serum test had arrived.

As naïve as I was, I wanted to give him another reason for my staying here with Malachy. Unfortunately I had no idea, that this reason would stir up a hornet’s nest and blew Adrian’s every fuse.

“Adrian, you get me wrong. Yes, you and Darius are my family, but I want to stay here with James of my own free will. I feel good near him and I am attracted to him.”

Since I was uncomfortable with admitting my feelings for Malachy to Adrian, considering our history, I looked to the floor in embarrassment.

Which was a mistake, because I didn’t see the storm coming, which was brewing right in front of me.

“I have met Malachy, a.k.a. James, long before the debutant-ball, by accident. At that time I didn’t know who he was. You and Darius will always be my family, but I want to stay with James, because his proximity feels right for me.”

Parts of that weren’t even a lie. Adrian put his hands on my shoulders and started to talk angrily at me.

In doing so, he forced me to walk backwards – until my back hit the wall of the brick-built temple.

“You belong to me! Have you completely forgotten how wonderful and unique it was between us? Now, that you being my sister has been ruled out completely, nothing is standing in the way of our love! Just your damn stubbornness!”

I wanted to push him away from me, but he was physically superior to me.

“Adrian! No!” I cried out load, but he took my arms above my head and fixed me at the wall.

Then he started to kiss me forcibly. I tried to fight back and moved my face away from him, but it didn’t help.

Tears of despair filled my eyes and I tried to get away from him.

When this attempt was futile as well, I bit his lip. That seemed to throw him off course for a short while, but wasn’t crowed by success for a long time.

Clipped and with a bloody lip, he replied: “Finally realize that you are mine!”

Then he started to kiss me again, like crazy. He still held up my arms at my wrists with one hand, while starting to tug at the neckline of the dress.

All at once, I noticed a movement from the corner of my eye and Adrian was pulled off me by great force.

Malachy looked at me completely angry and confused.

Behind him, visibly upset by the violent situation, was Daina.

After Daina and James drank their digestif, Daina rose from her chair and asked James to do the same.

“I think now is the perfect timing for a digestive stroll.”

James shook his head in amusement. Then he stood up as well, letting Daina go ahead so she could lead the way.

She decided on the same path, that Margarete and Adrian took. In order not to show her plan too clearly, she let them take a detour over the backside of the manor.

They both talked about upcoming events and duties. While they walked comfortably over the neatly trimmed lawn and passed the old willow with it’s small well below, James started to hear sounds, that seemed to implicate an argument.

When he looked at Daina, he saw a quizzical grin.

So that was it, what she wanted to show him.

When he started to concentrate on listening in to the source of noise, which they seem to came closer to, he was able to hear single scraps of words, only.

But then he could recognise Adrian’s voice clearly and distinctly.

‘I am not sure, if I should worry about you or be angry with you.’

Maggie replied: ‘Adrian, I have already told you that everything is okay and it really is. You need to trust me. James asked me to come stay with him, so he can protect me. Niklas put a target on my back, with proclaiming my lineage at the ball…’

Obviously Adrian wanted to protect Maggie.

James thought about a fraternal protection instinct as nothing unusual. He himself had been quite protective towards his sister Sophia.

Therefore he looked at Daina sceptically, while replying bored out: “Should that have been all?”

Daina replied: “Be patient”

The two continued slowly on their way.

After a short break, James overheard Maggie’s reply and what she said, made his heart beat faster.

‘Adrian, you get me wrong. Yes, you and Darius are my family, but I want to stay here with James of my own free will. I feel good near him and I am attracted to him.’

After a short pause, she continued: ‘I have met Malachy, a.k.a. James, long before the debutant-ball, by accident. At that time I didn’t know who he was. You and Darius will always be my family, but I want to stay with James, because his proximity feels right for me.’

This feeling of rising euphoria changed into horror within a blink of eye, when James heard Adrian’s next words.

‘You belong to me! Have you completely forgotten how wonderful and unique it was between us? Now, that you being my sister has been ruled out completely, nothing is standing in the way of our love! Just your damn stubbornness!’

Those unexpected words were followed by a protest coming from Maggie, that sounded an awful lot like a cry for help.

Without being aware of it, James was increasing his pace as he walked.

Now, Daina had to run so as not to lose him.

“James, what is wrong?” She asked, startled.

But he didn’t react. Instead, he started to run towards the place, where the assault was happening. The last words, that he heard before arriving, were Adrian’s: ‘Finally realize that you are mine!’

The sight, that was awaiting him, made his blood freeze.

Maggie was trapped between the brick-build wall of the Temple and Adrian and desperately tried to free herself.

Adrian pinned her on the wall, hovered over her like a wild animal and ripped at her dress.

The moment Daina arrived after him and witnessed the scene in front of her, she let out a scream of terror.

James didn’t let another second pass, before rushing to help Maggie. He pulled Adrian off Maggie, by gripping his shoulder and threw him hard to the ground.

The interruption and the impact of him being thrown harshly to the ground, made Adrian come to his senses.

Deeply shaken he murmured that he was sorry and that he had no clue, what had possessed him to act this way.

Maggie stood in tears, motionless and with blood smeared all over her mouth.

James talked to her calmly: “Maggie! Is everything okay with you?”

She started to shake and nod her head in parallel, like a string puppet, whose strings got tangled up.

Obviously she was in shock.

James slowly moved closer to her and reached out his hand to her.

She stared at him anxiously. Then she looked at him, as if she saw him for the first time and asked questioningly: “Malachy?”

He replied: “Everything is okay, now. Come here, love.”

Slowly, she pulled away from the wall and moved towards James. As soon as she took his hand, he pulled her into his arms.

Here, she was safe.

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