When morning rolled around, I felt my nerves rising again. I sighed softly when yet another minute passed on and I still hadn’t gotten out of the bed. I was officially two minutes late to making breakfast for the pack. I’d never shown up any later than ten minutes early. I could only hope that no one would notice.
I swallowed and tried to summon as much courage as I could muster before I began to move gently out of the king’s embrace. At first, he was not happy with my movements, even in his sleep. His brows pulled together and he tugged me back to his chest so abruptly that I couldn’t stop the small squeak that left my mouth. But I didn’t let that stop me, knowing that even the king—as content as he seemed to be with me in his bed now—would want his breakfast and would not be happy if it was not prepared on time because I decided to sleep in.
It took about twenty more minutes and the king tugging me back to his chest each time I tried to move away before I was finally able to get out of the bed. I would have been proud that I had done it without waking him up but I had much more pressing matters on my mind.
Without wasting a second, I quietly ran over to where my uniform from yesterday was still pooled on the floor and snatched it up, then ran to the bathroom. I was faintly aware of the fact that I hadn’t been given permission to be in his bathroom but ignored it. There was no way I was wasting any more time by going all the way down to the slaves’ quarters and getting dressed there. After using the toilet, I quickly tugged on my uniform and took a moment to inspect myself in the mirror before throwing my hair back into a tight bun.
My uniform was wrinkled, my hair was ratty after not using a brush, there were huge bags under my eyes and tear stains on my cheeks, my black eye only seemed to be more swollen, and I probably smelled horrible after not having showered for almost three days nor a toothbrush to brush my teeth. I had never looked this bad. No wonder the king didn’t want to have sex with me last night. No one would. Even when he thought I was his mate, he didn’t want me.
That’s because you’re disgusting, said the voice in my head.
My shoulders sagged with a sigh, my heart feeling tight. I couldn’t let myself think about it for long. It hurt too much and I had other things to do.
As quickly as I could, I grabbed the king’s shirt that he had let me use last night, as well as the boxers that didn’t fit, and washed them in the sink with some hand soap. I wish I could have taken them down to the wash in order to properly clean them but I didn’t know if the king would be okay with me taking them out of the room.
Once they were clean and hopefully free of my dirty scent, I draped the clothes across the top of the shower curtain rod, hoping that the king would assume I would be back for them later to properly clean them in the wash along with his other clothes. Doing his laundry was the least I could do after he was so kind to me last night and decided not to kill me after all of my disobedience.
Once all of that was done, I smoothed down my uniform and left the bathroom. I spared the king a nervous glance. He was tossing and turning in the bed, not looking nearly as happy and comfortable as when I left him. However, he was still deeply asleep and seemed to be dreaming which made me feel a little more relieved. Whatever he was dreaming about couldn’t have been good because he was frowning and mumbling something incoherent that was accompanied by loud growls.
Before I could stop myself, I found myself taking a step toward him, picturing my hand smoothing the angry wrinkles from his face.
When I was in front of him, I knelt down next to his bed so that my face was level with his. He looked so exhausted. I hoped he would sleep for several more hours. He looked like he was about to wake up and I definitely did not want that.
“Be calm,” I whispered to him in a voice quiet enough not to wake him. “And sleep. Sleep until you are rested. And thank you for your kindness last night.”
At my words, the king’s body relaxed and his face loosened. His growling and twitching stopped as well. I smiled.
Averting my eyes from the king’s sleeping form with more difficulty than expected, I forced myself to tiptoe to the door and let myself out.