Cross To Bear (Book 1)

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|10| Memory

Maximus POV

Knowing that Amari had an accident while with Devika worried me. She was too weak and sensible. Amari would react and cry so quickly that it is bothersome. I could see Devika was flustered, especially when she mentioned that Amari might have had a traumatic encounter with a witch.

Now that the days passed and Amari didn’t wake up had me angry. She needed to come with me. I needed her so my plan could work. But she wasn’t waking up. According to Devika, she was fine; it was her mind that didn’t want to wake up.

As I prepare to leave, Devika walks into my bedroom.

“She’s awake; she will go,” Devika said.

“She is?” I asked as I turned around. Some of my servants thought I had left, but I still gave her some time to wake up.

“Yes, she’s getting ready. Be sure to wait,” Devika said, turning around and leaving.

I scoffed with a smile; this was getting better now.

Standing on the stairs, I patiently wait for her. If I was right, Devika was undoing herself with her. She needed a lot of work, especially if she was going to be my queen. Hearing footsteps and Jonathan’s voice, I turn my head around and look up.

I felt my breath catch up in my throat as I looked at her. She looked stunning. Never did I expect to see her this beautiful. As my eyes roamed her body, I asked everyone to leave. Amari started toying with her hands and lowered her head. I kept my eyes on her petite body. Her hair was up in a bun, and the black dress accentuated her small body nicely. I also noticed her scars were gone, which made her skin look better.

I shake the feeling away as I tell her how late we were. Amari looked nervous. Deciding it was time to leave, we got on the carriage. I brief her on what we will be doing. I’ve been checking on the time as we head towards the other palace. I have my plan already prepared. Nothing could go wrong.

Arriving at the palace, we get down. Amari looked at the building in awe. I rolled my eyes, annoyed by her behavior.

I decided it was time to heading in. Hurrying her, we arrived at the entrance of the hall. Four guards greeted us as they opened the doors. The place was bustling with music and voices. I could even distinguish some of them.

Taking a step, I plastered my smile. It was showtime. Getting the play quickly, Amari smiles and starts following me. As we descend the stairs, I hear several whispers. I hated people who whispered like that. Feeling Amari tense up. I start getting pissed. I needed her to relax, so I squeeze her hand. She seems to understand as I pulled her towards the dance floor. Giving our stuff to the butler, I walk with her back to the middle of the floor. We both stare at each other as we wait for the music to start; I look at Amari. Her blue eyes are full of worry. Was she telling the truth about not knowing how to dance?

Hearing the music started, I pull her to my arms. I lean over and circle her waist. My fingers slightly touched her bareback. I wasn’t aware of the dress she was wearing was so revealing. What was Devika even thinking about making her wear these?

Following my steps, we exchange some words. We needed to look like an actual couple, mainly because we had other royals looking our way. From afar, I saw Amari’s father, King Azar. I nodded his way as he gives me a firm nod. I needed to keep my eyes on him.

“Smile Amari,” I tell her. I could see her struggling in that dress as we moved.

My nose picks up a peculiar smell. What was that?

I frown as I look down at her.

“What is that?” I ask her.

“What?” Amari asks, frowning, confused.

“That smell…” I whispered.

She did smell intoxicating. It was making me want to hug her.

“Perfume?” I hear Amari say sarcastically. I tell her how I feel about it. For a second, I almost told her she smelled divine; it was making me horny.

She looked offended by my answer. Angrily Amari lifts her leg and stumps on me. Eyes wide, I look at her. Did she need to do that?

I was warning her not to, but Amari snapped back at me. I stare at her, challenging her to do it. At first, I didn’t think she would be capable of accepting, but she did. And this time, her heel hit my toe. I curse under my breath. As I keep smiling at her, Amari was smiling innocently back at me. I swear I was going to make her pay for that.

Thankful the music ended. I excuse myself and leave. I needed a minute away from Amari before I slapped her in the face. The audacity she had in doing that was making me angry.

“Maximus?” I heard a voice say as I walk towards the small drinking area.

“Lorcan?” I said, stopping and smiling.

“It’s been a while, mate!” Lorcan said, patting my back.

Lorcan was the king of the Galatia Empire. He was supernatural like me.

Lorcan was what we call a Vampire Seeker. His family was one of the strongest empires, next to mine. And we both became good friends when we were young. So having him tonight lifted my mood.

“So that’s your honey queen?” Lorcan said, smirking. His white fangs shone brightly.

“Yes… Sadly,” I utter, looking back at the dance floor. Frowning, I notice Amari is gone. Where did she go?

“Nice, nice. So when are you introducing her?” Lorcan asked.

“Tomorrow,” I said as I looked around, “Excuse me, I have to look for something,” I said leave him alone.

I started looking around the place. Where did Amari go?

I walked around as several other royals started to greet me. Stopping briefly, I welcome them and exchange pleasantries quickly after looking for a while. I was getting mad. Where the hell did she go? Was she kidnapped?

I was feeling restless as I walked around. Calling over the same butler that had our things, I ask him if he has seen her. He briefed me where he guided her, and I went running that way.

It seems Amari was in the garden. Walking around the place, I hear voices. Lorcan? Why was he here?

Noticing a figure, I rush up. Getting right in front of her, I stop Lorcan as he reached for her arm.

“I think she said to let her go, Lorcan,” I said, standing in front of her. Amari looked at me, surprised. Calling my name, I glance at her.

“Why are you here? You are supposed to be inside and next to me!” I retorted. Amari flinched, but then she answered me back. I stare at her. She was getting more daring every day.

“Do you have to be an asshole,” Lorcan said, dusting his clothes.

“Respect!” I snap at him. Giving him a warning, Lorcan just smirks. I knew why he was here.

Giving his farewells, Lorcan passes by me.

“She’s quite delicious,” Lorcan whispers as I watch him go.

I growl as I look at Amari, who is leaning on my body.

As she argues back at me, I look at her from head to toe. Frowning, I stare at her feet. Why was she barefoot?

Shaking my head, I drag her back in. According to my plan, we spent the night here and decided to take her ahead of time. I bring her to the bedroom.

I wasn’t happy with her. So grabbing her, I throw her in bed. Amari yelps as she falls on the mattress.

“Clothes Off,” I ordered her. Amari snapped back at me, scared.

Doing so, she slowly let her dress slide down.

I watched as I felt my breath get caught again in my throat. Amari’s pale skin, like porcelain, was making me have dark desires.

Amari waited for my next order. Her head was down, and she covered her breast with her arms.

I let her hair down. She looked better with it like that, a complete mess.

Asking her to stand up, I watch as the black dress slides down her legs. I gulped as I felt tempted. Why was I even feeling like that?

She wasn’t my type. She looks like a kid.

Sighing, I look at her feet. They had slight cuts. Angrily, I ruffle my hair and reach for her. She squeals as I carry her. Her small hands gripped my shoulders. I like how it felt when she touched me. Walking with her, I see her from under my lashes. Amari was quite small and relatively light.

“You need to eat more,” I whispered at her. She just looked at me.

I was taking her to the bath.

I set her down near the faucet and undress. I didn’t want blood or dirt on my clothes. Feeling her eyes on me. I lift her chin and make her look at me. A lovely shade of red spread across her freckled face. She looked cute. Maybe I didn’t notice it before, but her face was quite beautiful. The tiny freckles make her look like a doll. Delicate, yet easy to break.

Turning away from her, I grab some medicine and start tending her cuts. I scolded her for what she did. But I need her to be perfect.

Once she was ready, I stood up. Amari tried to get down, but I stopped her. Didn’t she think before doing stuff?

I just applied medicine to her, and she was going to go barefoot again?

Annoyed, I caged her. She smelled like mint, just like before. As I stare at her, I see her blush. She looked cute, all flustered by my presence. As my eyes move down her body, I stop. This strange feeling was pulling on my chest, just like when we were in the library. Licking my lips, I keep my eyes on her. What was she doing to me?

Deciding to touch her, I pick her up again. Amari held herself from my shoulders.

Her thin hand was squeezing me.

I stare at her. Her blue eyes looked at my red ones. Finding the moment comfortable, I look at her, lost in her beauty.

Our eyes interlock, and I felt this tug on my chest. My heart started beating like crazy as I yearned for a taste of her.

Shaking the feeling away, I walk back to the bedroom. Laying Amari down in bed.

She was making my mind confused. Why couldn’t I stop myself?

Feeling too tempted, I lose control of myself and kiss her. I felt like I couldn’t breathe as I kissed her soft, plump lips. I suck and bite them as she moaned in my mouth. I was getting fucking hard just by kissing her. My mouth wanted to taste her completely as I moved my hand and reached for her waist. She had such a tiny waist that I only wanted to cover and lick her entirely.

Kissing her with a need, I open my eyes slightly. Amari didn’t resist me, and I felt more out of control. Giving her lip one last bite, I hover over her body. Her chest heaved up and down as her red and moist lips parted slightly.

I gulp, feeling my dick uncomfortable in my pants. I wanted to fuck her so badly. Watching her, Amari slowly opens her eyes. Slowly, she drifts her eyes down. Eyes wide, she looks at my bulge.

‘Yes, dear, that’s going to fuck you,’ I thought to myself.

I felt my control finally slip from my hands. The way she looked at me, with lust, had my dick twitching.

Opening my mouth to let her know how I felt. Someone knocks. I stopped and looked over my shoulders. Who the fuck was interrupting me?

Hearing the knock again, I get up. Amari was embarrassed, so she covered herself quickly. Opening the doors, I find two of my men with a stern look.

“Your majesty, they started moving,” one of my men said. I look over my shoulder. Amari was covering her face with her hands.

“How many?” I asked, turning back.

“At least eight. They are looking for you,” my men said.

“What about Lorcan?” I asked, “Is he doing his work?”

“Yes, King Lorcan already captured five assassins,” my men said as the other pulled out a paper.

Frowning, I take it and read it. Smiling, I scoff. It seems the bastards were aiming for me and not Amari.

I brought Amari over not only to introduce her as my queen but to put her as my shield. I know most of the royals will be opposed to our marriage. Especially hers. So I planned to make them follow her instead of me. But it seems they still aim for me.

Letting them know I would be back. I turn and let Amari realize I would come back later. Grabbing my shirt. I head out, locking the door.

For the last two hours, we’ve been capturing men. It seems they had ordered them all to kill me. Those bastards had balls in trying so.

“So nothing else?” Lorcan asks as he slits the throat of an assassin.

“No,” I said, frowning. So far, they have been easy targets, but why?

“Are you sure they’re not aiming for something else?” Lorcan asks, “This is way too easy. Just twenty men and nothing more.”

“Yes,” I assure him. Grabbing an assassin’s arms, I look for his tattoo. Each killer had a tattoo. Representing the empire they work for. “I think we’re missing something. Sasha, is there anything else? Especially from King Azar?”

“King Azar left a while ago,” Sasha, my butler, said.

“He left?” I asked, confused, “How long has it been?”

“Maybe four hours?” Sasha replied as he frowned, “Only his daughter was left behind.”

Frowning, I suddenly stand up. My heart started beating as a bad feeling crept up my chest. What was that?

“Maximus?” Lorcan calls as he grabs my shoulder, “What’s the matter?”

Cursing, I ran back inside.

“Damn it!” I said as I called three of my men over.

Running down the hall, I make a turn. Hearing a scream and my name, I hurried.

Making another turn, I stop, shocked to see the scene before me. All the men that guarded the hallway were dead. Each of them beheaded. Roaring in anger, I feel my claws pierce my skin as I hear a scream down the hall.

Running, I reach the room and break the doors with a kick. Amari was nowhere around.

Some arguing and noise had me walk up to the bath. I could smell blood. As my eyes land on the bleeding figure of Amari on the floor, I snap. All I saw was red. How dare they? Grabbing the man, I throw him against the bath mirror. He smirked as blood dripped from his head. Getting up, he pulls a long dagger. I could feel tiny amounts of magic as he swings the blade from side to side. Kicking him, I grab him by the throat. The man struggled under my grip. Punching him, I throw him again and start striking him. Blood splattered everywhere as I stabbed my hand in his chest and pulled his heart. The man screamed, and then his eyes rolled back.

Dropping the heart to the side, I turn around. Amari was bleeding. I scanned her body and called her name.

She was barely awake. Noticing she was naked, I curse. Did he rape her?

Calling for help, I bring her back to the bedroom.

“Amari, can you hear me?” I said, but all she mumbled was my name and then passed out.

Seeing her barely alive was making me feel desperate. Lorcan rushed in with a shocked face.

“Damn it! I thought it wasn’t her Maximus!” Lorcan yelled.

“Get someone,” I mumble as I hold Amari, “I said to get someone!”

Lorcan gave some orders and walked back into the bathroom.

“Are you not going to see her?” Lorcan asked as I drank some wine.

It’s been three days since the incident. I let everyone know what happened.

All the guests were in utter shock. Some were pretending, but I just ignored them for now. We had all the palace searched, and we found the culprit. Unexpectedly, it was someone we didn’t know would make a move.

“Maximus…” Lorcan said.

“Enough!” I snap, “Just stop insisting.”

“You haven’t checked on her at all, and I know you want to!” Lorcan said, rubbing his temple, “Go see the woman and stop being stubborn it’s annoying.”

I throw him a glare.

Honestly, I wanted to see her. But I wouldn’t for a mere fact. It meant I was getting attached to her, and I don’t want that. I don’t need it. She’s just a pawn I’m using. After all, she was the one they were supposed to kill from the beginning.

“You are stubborn. If it didn’t bother you, you wouldn’t be acting like this,” Lorcan said, cursing.

“Like what?” I snap, slamming my hand, “Tell me, Lorcan, am acting like what?”

“Like a desperate husband dying to see his wife!” Lorcan hissed, his fangs elongated.

Scoffing, I laugh at his remark. How wrong he was.

“What I least am is worried about her. I don’t care what happens to her. She is the one who is going to die for me,” I said, standing up.

Lorcan just furrowed his eyebrows.

“I don’t get this plan of yours. I know you enjoy using people as pawns, but seriously her? You know what, why don’t you just kill her? Better you should have done that since the beginning.” Lorcan snap. Scoffing, I stay quiet.

Jonathan suddenly opened the door as he pants tiredly.

“Your majesty, the queen is awake,” Jonathan said breathlessly.

I nodded and retook a seat. I heard Lorcan hissed as he walked out.

“Let’s go, Jonathan,” Lorcan ordered. I watch his back. Why was he so flustered and angry?

Deciding to drink more, I close my eyes and relax. It seems this was going to be a long but good game.

Feeling a sudden tug, I open my eyes and angrily push the person away.

“Get the fuck up!” Lorcan yells.

“What’s wrong with you?” I snap as I fix my cloak.

Lorcan was panting angrily. A small vein was pulsing on his forehead.

“You are coming with me,” Lorcan said, pulling my shirt and dragging me. We walked up towards the hallway that took us to Amari’s bedroom.

There were a lot of servants in the hallway. Bowing, they quietly watch the scene unfold.

“Can you let go!” I snapped at Lorcan.

Lorcan was the only person who could do as he pleased with me. We were close enough to treat ourselves as brothers. Even though I never knew what a family was.

Opening the bedroom door, Lorcan stops and let’s go. I fix my clothes, and I glare at him.

“See it!” Lorcan whispered as he leaned on my face, “See what you cause!”

Confused, I frowned and moved my eye towards where he was pointing. Devika was looking at me with worry in her eyes. What was happening?

Walking towards her, I stop and ask her what’s wrong. Devika just sighed and shook her head.

“Just look,” Devika mumbled. Looking around the room, I stop when I see a small figure standing near the balcony.

“She’s awake,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“You’re not getting it, go,” Devika said, pushing me.

Looking back, I see everyone staring at me. Why were they so uncomfortable and worried?

Standing at the balcony door, I stare at Amari. Her dark chocolate hair moved as the breeze grace her body. She had a black nightgown on as she stood facing towards the forest.

“Amari?” I called but then cringed as she looked over her shoulder. What was wrong with her?

Her eyes looked empty, and her face had bruises all over it.

“Are you ok?” I asked, confused by her behavior.

“Don’t ask her,” Devika suddenly said, standing next to me. She had her arms crossed.

“Why?” I asked, confused, as my eyes stayed on Amari. She was no longer looking at me but the forest.

“Amari lost her memories, Maximus,” Devika whispered. Snapping my head towards her, I frown.

“What did you just say?” I asked as my hands trembled.

Looking at me with a stern face, Devika mumbles, “Amari lost her memories. She doesn’t know who we are. She won’t recognize you.”

Memory loss? Was Devika playing some kind of joke? Not believing her, I walk up and turn Amari around. Lifeless eyes look at me. She showed no emotion. Letting go of her arm, I back away.

“Amari?” I called again. She just crooked her head to the side.

“Who are you?” she said with a raspy voice.

“Amari?” I stutter, not believing my ears, “You…”

“Who are you?” Amari repeated like a doll.

Did she lose her memories?

Stumbling backward. I feel a strong arm holding me.

“This is what you cause,” Lorcan said, gripping my neck with his nails, “Hope you are glad.”

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