A month later after the incident had happened, the memory of it seems to bulge my peace. No, God forbid, I would not do that again. With his presence, disrupting my thoughts every single time. I hate to admit, there was a time when he’s not around, trying to breach me, I tend to look around, finding him... I cannot seem to understand why, but I just did. I never know why.
Saturday evening, we were invited by the Duke of Wrunstead for dinner. I was hoping it shall come to pass that he shall not be in attendance for this evening’s event. But alas! I spoke to soon. As I entered the parlor, he was there; chatting with other nobles.
“Good evening, my Lords.” I greeted as attempted to join in the conversation. The other gentlemen bowed, as I joined in with them.
“Ahh, Your Royal Highness, we did not see you come in. How glad we are that you could join us in tonight’s dinner and festivities.” the Duke of Wrunstead remarked as I stepped in.
“I am but glad to accept the generous invitation laid to me, Your Grace. I must give my gratitude for having me here. I am, on the other hand, cannot wait to meet to some of your distinguished guests.” I grinned, as I narrowed my eyes to Edward.
Instead of getting annoyed, he gave a wink as he pardoned himself from the circle. Now what did that man shall do now?
At the dinner table, I was sitting down across Edward’s direction. Great. Now I cannot seem to avoid his face the entire dinner.
As I was peacefully eating with the course laid out, I felt there was something bumping in between my legs. When I slowly looked down, I saw his feet bumping my thighs. I tried to ignore him, but he never stopped. I narrow my eyes on him, but instead, he gave me a smug smirk.
After dinner, I decided to get some fresh air so I went to the estate’s garden. The moon was full and bright, as it lighted my way towards the garden. As I was admiring the sky, I sensed that someone was standing behind my back...
“Edward...” I rasped
“Still thinking about me, eh, Your Highness?” he sneered.
“Your reputation of following someone to the gardens when the are all alone is unremarkable. I can see that it is a habit of yours, yes?” I condemned, as my eyes still on the sky.
“I’m glad that my reputation precedes me, and mind you, I never followed anyone especially when they’re alone in the garden. Unless if that someone is you.”
When I was about to make a word, He instantly covered his hand towards my mouth.
“Shhhhhhh!” He mumbled.
I tried to remove his hands that was covering my mouth, as I jabbed him in the side with my hand. “Look if you just wanted to assassinate me, you could’ve told me earlier.
Expecting him to be angry, he let out a huge laugh.
“HAHAHAHA!” he ridiculed.
“Well? Is it not then?” I faltered.
He continued to laugh hysterically, and moments later, he stopped.
“If I was to kill you, I shall have done it at first. My hands can do anything, except murdering someone. Take another step, and I can’t be held responsible for my actions.”
I was about to punch him in the face when he dragged me into a secluded place in the garden, and there, he instantly crashed his lips roughly onto mine, while holding me closely unto him, not letting me go. He quickly fastened my trousers as his other hand was wandering my body. I tried to get out but my body is seemed to be paralyzed.
As my trousers were on the ground his hands had cupped me through my pants, as I let out a slow moan. Finally he stopped teasing me as he pushed my shirt off my shoulders, baring my chiseled abs to his hungry gaze. He pushed me to a nearby rock, as I sat, hypnotized by the sensation.
He moved to stand right in front of me, as he slowly bent down, revealing my center to him... He slide his hand in between my thighs as he cupped it. He gently wriggle it, causing the tingles to spark in my core. He slowly put it into his mouth as I was driven away with the sensations that coming right out of my skin as it tingles. Pleasure spikes up to my spine as I gasped.
My fingers grip his hair as my hips buck up uncontrollably. His mouth moves against it with precision and purpose, hitting angles that make my toes curl.
“I’m close... I--”
I cut off as the pleasure crashed over me. Sweating and flushed, he got up and kissed me, tasting myself on his lips. He collected my clothing that was scattered on the ground and helped me dress, then left, as if nothing has happened.
(The next day)
I slumped into the settee in my room staring out of nowhere, as I did not quite notice my mother came in.
“Child, what it may seems to bother you and your thoughts?” she bawled, as she narrowed her eyes on me.
I got up, and stared into her ocean eyes filled with lifelessness, as she tried to read mine, searching for an answer. My lips shivered as wanting to tell her what happened, but no words came from my mouth. Instead, I smiled, as if nothing that appears to be bothering me.
“What can I do for you, Mother?”
She walked towards me and sat down, as she put my hands in between hers.
“I assume there is something that is bothering you, dear. I am your mother. I can notice that there is something behind that face of yours.”
I gulped. Should I tell her? Yes? No? I don’t know.
“Not at all, mother.” I replied, as I beamed to her.
“Very well.” She exclaimed. “I suppose you are prepared for today’s event?”
“What event?” I clarified.
“It’s the hunt!” She said it with excitement. “It’s a nice opportunity for you to mingle with the ladies today.” She exclaimed. “I heard that the Marquis of Tenestela will be of attendance in today’s hunt. My, he’s been making his way in the social season this year.”
I choked when I heard his name. “Edward.” I whispered.
“I believe you were acquainted, yes?”
Acquainted is an understatement. Well, after what happened I suppose there’s an another word for that.
“I suppose we have been. Given that we have an enticing conversation we have from the last week’s ball.”
“That’s surprisingly to hear that you are making friends at court, son. I must admit I’m worried that you were spending too much of your time with those books.” She said, as she pointed my study tabled that is filled with stacked books.
I was about to speak when...
Tap tap tap... The sound came from the door as we heard someone came knocking. I looked into the direction where the sound came and stared at the door.
“Come in.” I answered.
“Forgive me for intruding your conversation, Mother; Brother... the coach is waiting for us to take us to the hunt.”
It was Beatriz, dressed neatly as she was prepared for the hunt that she was talking about a few moments ago.
“You must make haste, children.” My mother gushed as she rushed us towards the door. “I expect you both must take care of yourselves, yes?” She bubbled as she left us with kisses on our cheeks.
As we have arrived in the hunt, nobles gathered in as the hunt was about to commence.
Suddenly, I felt someone tapped my shoulder. I turned around and saw...
“Edward...” I whispered to myself.
“My dear friend, how great to see that you could join us!” a genuine greeting mixed with mischievousness as he said, as we exchange glances from each other, his marked with longings with something that I don’t want to find out and mine filled with annoyance and disbelief. “I see, Your Royal Highness you look most prepared. I hardly recognize you in that... nimble outfit.”
“It’s a pleasant morning to you as well, Lord Covington.” I replied as I kept my attention in preparing my pistol for the hunt.
“Oh, come on now, are you suppose to act that nothing happened between us that one night in the garden?” He said, as he smirked.
My tips of my fingers went cold as my heart skipped a beat. I hope no one heard him.
“Apologies, my lord but I recall no event that happened between us, or whatever that you’re trying to implore.” I confided, as I stride away from his presence.
“Come on now, Archibald. Don’t be such a piffy!” he scorned. as he tried to block my way.
“It might be cut on short, but at least my mouth made a quite remarkable performance that night, isn’t it?” He whispered as I can feel his breath to my skin, tingling with the sensation as I can smell his natural, woodsy, and rich scent that seems to be wrapped all over his body. I tend to resist myself but my body had betrayed me.
“Look, Lord Covington. Whatever you are trying to implore, I ask you to speak nothing of it.” I rasped. “And mind you, I am your monarch, you are my subject. I don’t allow people beneath me to call me by my personal name.”
He snorted while I told him my statement on the matter. I was about to speak again when I heard the bell rang. “I wish you a good hunt.” I said as I stomped away from him while glaring daggers right in his eyes. He smirked.
“Cute” he whispered.
“Hear ye, Hear ye, Hear ye...” the herald recited.
Edward turned at the front of us as he was about to speak a few words.
“Welcome my dearest friends, ladies and gentlemen to the annual hunting of the social season. As this year’s sponsor of the hunt, I’m excited to introduce you to our quarry!”
The service men pulled off the cage cover to reveal a wolf!
“Grrrrrrr!” the wolf growled.
I gasped in horror as I notice that our sigil is being hunted for today!
“I relish the challenge of capturing this stalwart beast!” a noble man exclaimed.
“This hunt might have some excitement after all.” One of the nobles shrieked.
Servants roll the wagon to the edge of the forest and open the cage. Using torches, they scare the wolf into the forest.
As Edward walked towards my direction, I snarled into his face.
“Lord Covington, your intimidation skills needs work.” I hissed.
Instead of saying any word, he just laughed at me. And then, she turned back to everyone.
“Remember not to hurt the wolf. A true Master of the Hunt can capture any prey alive.” He exclaimed. “Now, let the hunt begin!” he exclaimed as he fired his pistol up in the air.
The nobles cheer, mount up, and ride up into the forest.
As I rode through the woods, Edward pulls alongside mine.
“I rather find the hunt today quite amusing. Is it not?”
I rolled my eyes. “By hunting my house’s sigil? Are you bloody mad?!” I grunted. He giggled! Like a school girl giggle if you ask me.
He... diabolical... how could he!
“I must admit. It was pretty hilarious. You should’ve seen the look on your face before” he snorted.
And then there was silence in the air.
“I will confess that I didn’t expect you to be part of today’s hunt.” He commented. I tried to ignore him.
“Look, I... if this is all about that night, I...”
“I expect nothing less from you to be quiet and keep those kinds of things to yourself. Well, I, tend to forget all about it but...”
“But... What is it?” he asked.
“It has nothing to concern you.” I scoffed as I rode pass through him.
“Look, Your Royal Highness...” he called out. “I should apologize for my actions that night. I didn’t know what’s going on me.”
I scoffed. “What do you expect me to do now? Believe you?”
“I want to start us off... as friends” he breathed.
I thought for a moment. I never had any friends since I was a child. And now, someone just asked me to become their ‘friend’.
But after what happened, I couldn’t simply just.... Arrrgh!
“Oh, Alright.” I conceded. “But please, just stay away for now. I’d like to be alone.”
Edward looks at me for one long moment, an unreadable expression on his face. Finally, he shrugged off. “Of course, Your Royal Highness” he replied.
“Over here. I have picked up the wolf’s trail.” Beatriz notified us.
Edward and I dismount and kneel over a set of prints in the ground.
“They looked like dog tracks.” Edward stuttered.
“Wolf tracks are hard to separate from a dog’s.” Beatriz exclaimed.
“But nobody uses hounds in this hunt” I blurted. “My tutors told me many facts about our House animal. I might be able to help us.” I added. “We could look for a den the wolf might commandeer, like a rocky overhang or a hollow log... or, we can follow the tracks. Wolf tracks don’t criss-cross to wander and play like a dog’s would. They move in straight, single file, and with purpose. We should look for a den. The wolf shall have to find a place for shelter, eventually.”
“Wow, brother, that’s quite impressive. I’m glad that those days of locking yourself in your room with your books can benefit us today.” Beatriz sneered. “Okay, in order to find a den we shall split ourselves in pairs. I’ll be going with George, while you can partner up with Lord Edward here.” Beatriz jeered, as she smirked and mounted her horse, following the wolf’s trail.
I looked confused as I have no idea what that look mys sister supposed to mean, so I reluctantly teamed up with Edward.
Following the trail, the wolf’s tracks suddenly deviate into a hollowed out tree concealed by some bush. This must be the den. I tried to search around, as peered inside the log tree, but it’s empty. I walked inside, looking for signs of the animal. As I stepped on a pile of leaves, I heard a metal snap between my feet!
I was about to jump away but the trap is faster than I could move. Luckily, Edward was agile to grab me out of the trap that almost cut my leg off. I was as scared as I can also see the worrying in his face.
“Are you alright? Are you hurt?” his tingling hands felt through my skin, cold as ice, like all of his his blood have drained all over his body.
“I am now. I shall say my thanks for lending a hand.” I replied
Edward smiled. “It looks like a trap from a previous hunt. You were lucky it didn’t got you.”
Agreed. I like both of my legs.
After the commotion that had happened, Beatriz hush towards our direction with worried look drawn on her face. “Brother! I came in here after hearing... Oh my!”
She said, with a smirk on her face.
I just realized that I’m still wrapped on Edward’s arms. I quickly removed myself on to him.
“You’re blushing.” She whispered, with a smug look on her face!
“Oh shush!” I exclaimed, while pushing her slowly away. She giggled. “Archibald’s fortunes aside, we have an empty den, no animal, no tracks. Let us fan out again and search the surroundings. It must be hiding somewhere nearby.”
I rode alongside with Edward into a dense thicket that soon gives way to a clearing with a pond. The atmosphere is so clear that I tend to break the silence.
“If I were an animal, this is where I’d spend all my time.”
“There are many handsome sights to behold out here. And not all involve nature.” Edward replied, as he smiles at me.
“You’re quite comfortable out here, you must hunt often.” I answered as my I never removed my sight out of the way.
“My father used to bring me here to hunt. I never got any happy chances while spending time with him, well, except for hunting. It’s like the thing that I made impressions for myself.”
Without any words to say, I just left a half smile.
“My apologies, your Royal Highness, we didn’t came here to listen my pity party.” He chuckled, but I can see the hint of hurting in his eyes.
Edward gazes into my eyes for a moment before something stole it away. He pointed to the ground behind me. “Look. More tracks.”
“These looks fresh.”
Edward and I dismounted from the horses to inspect the tracks. I study the paw print, reaching out to test the soil. As I do so, my hand bumped into Edward’s. He runs a finger along the back of my hand.
“I found another mark, about the size of a hand. From the shape of it, I can tell whoever made it is quite beautiful.” He said, as he took my hand and helped me up. We walked back to the horses together, then follow the tracks to an open field of dandelions.
“I don’t suppose you saw much of the beauty of nature inside the palace’s walls.” He said, as we both gazed the beautiful scenery in front of us.
“I didn’t see much nature, but I longed to. The palace had an impressive garden, but it is not a place where I can run freely.” I replied.
“Take a deep breath with me.” he soothed.
Together, Edward and I take a deep breath.
“Feel that? That’s the scent of flowers carried on a cool, summer breeze.” he gazed, as he breathed the fresh flower air even more.
“It’s amazing!” I exclaimed, as I enjoy the fresh breeze that comes in and out of my nostrils.
“I never felt so free like this in my entire life.” I pondered. “Growing up, I never really had the chance to get out the palace’s walls. There was that one time, I tried to sneak out from my governess with Beatriz, but then she caught me right-handed and make me read the entire chapter of the Grevorian History as a punishment!” I chuckled. “It was fun, sneaking out, but then getting caught, it feels like a reminder that I’ll forever be a prisoner.”
“A prisoner with luxury, if you ask me.” Edward chortled.
“Yeah, yeah, I can see that you’re trying to mock me, Lord Covington.” I laughed, as I continue.
I realized that Edward and I have drifted close together. Edward looks down, and sees his finger reaching for your hand. He tears himself away.
“We should get back to searching”
“Indeed, we should.”
Suddenly, I heard something in the brush. The wolf bursts and bolts past towards us.
“Edward!” I shrieked
“Don’t let it get away!”
As we both run to our horses, mounted up, Beatriz gallops on to the field.
“Where did the wolf go?” she asked.
“This way. Come on!” I wailed.
The three of us ride after the animal. We found ourselves inside the forest full of trees as we gain ground as the wolf’s pace slows, seeing it exhausted. It veers off into a small cave and hides.
“It is cornered.”
“But not captured. I will lure it out.” Edward replied.
“The snare will be my task then.” Beatriz confided.
Edward finds a nearby tree outside the cave and sets up a trap. Beatriz lead me over to the mouth of the cave, as I peered inside, I saw the wolf.
“This might be more of a problem than I first thought.” Edward conceded.
“I know just the trick.” I divulged.
I held my hand out as the wolf creeps out of the cave, following me as I slowly walked near the trap. I stepped over the rope. Suddenly the wolf growls and tried to bit me.
“Ahhhhhhh!” I screamed.
Edward pulled me back. I heard the taut pull of rope as the leaping wolf falls short of you, its hind leg caught in the rope trap. Edward stands in-between I and the wolf. Beatriz rushed over.
“Brother! Are you hurt?”
“I’m fine, thankfully.” I stuttered.
“Is the trap secure?” Edward asked
“Yes. We caught ourselves a wolf!” Beatriz exclaimed cheerfully.
“That was a difficult chase. You did great, Archie!” Edward beamed.
“Archie?” I mouthed
“What? Archie, short for Archibald.”
“Oooooh.... you’re giving yourselves nicknames now” Beatriz teased
“Er... Whatever!” I snarled
Beatriz hands me the horn and blew, causing the sound ringing throughout the trees. One by, one, the nobles arrive at our location.