At first she looked confused, then disbelief, horror washed over her face and finally she looked cold, numb. She was closing herself from me, I could feel her pulling away from me and my eyes closed when she snatched her hand away as if it burned.
I turned to her and held her arms, “Ria, things have changed, it’s not what you think. Let me explain, love.”
“You had a week to explain Prince Jacob.” My heart broke.
“No no no, you don’t understand, you were still opening up to me I wanted to earn your trust first” I said in a panicked voice.
“So that you could break it” she angrily pushed me away
“NO!” My eyes widened
“You could have told me yesterday” she said unpalatably.
I knew she meant last night, and that hurt. I knew what she was thinking, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. She thought I used her when in fact I fell in love with her even more if possible.
Everything was going perfectly, she was standing up for us, and her father had to put a wedge between us.
I shouted, “GUARDS! Do not let anyone leave the hall”
I took a hold of Victoria’s hand and started walking for her chambers while she screamed at me to let her go. Her brother tried to intervene but guards wouldn’t let him.
I got us in then hallways as I walked us to her chambers,
“What are you doing Jacob, leave me” she screeched.
I pushed her against the wall while caging her with my arms, “Jake! You call me Jake!” I said forcefully
“No! You don’t get to use that tone on me! You lied to me.” she yelled back trying to push me away.
“I never lied to you. I just didn’t say anything-
“Which is omitting the truth from me. What difference does it make? When were you going to tell me that you’ll fight my brother and father in a war, and that if I choose to marry you I will be fighting against my family” she said in anger.
“Love, this decision was made before we even met, I cannot stop it even if I wanted to. Please let me explain. Let us go to our room” I pleaded in a soft voice.
She watched me for a few seconds while I held my breath waiting for her answer.
“Fine” she muttered.
“Speak.” I said keeping him at a distance.
He started walking to me, “No stop! You are not touching me again. Just tell me the truth, and don’t leave anything unsaid.”
He didn’t listen.
“Jacob” I sternly said.
He pulled me into his arms, “I will take you in my arms whenever I want to, this isn’t negotiable love”
My eyes watered, “Why?”
“Please don’t be upset, I was going to tell you but I just needed a little time, so that when I finally tell you the truth you’d believe me.” he said gently.
“I was always honest to you Jake, I never hid anything either, and I always believed you, you know that.” I reminded him.
“You’re right but you were so upset I thought-
I pushed his arms away, “Just tell me what is it? Victor and father are here, we shouldn’t leave them alone like this. It is disrespectful, they must be worried.”
He sighed but started talking,
“It began before you or I were even born. Your father was not the rightful heir to the throne. He had an elder brother and his wife.”
He looked hesitant and I held his hand, “I know what you promised me but this time I’m asking you for the truth. It’s alright.” I softly said
He wrapped his arms around me and I squeezed his shoulders.
He relaxed, “Your father, he killed his elder brother but he didn’t think anyone had witnessed his crime, but his wife she was there when it happened.”
My body tensed.
He looked at me worried but then continued, “He was in the great hall when your aunt decided to tell everyone what she saw, but she didn’t have any evidence so nobody believed her but your father… “
He stopped looking troubled
I squeezed his arm and nodded.
“Your father he decided to punish her, he said he wanted to teach a lesson to the woman, so that nobody ever dares falsely accusing such allegation on some innocent man. He.. he ordered her to be disrobed infront of everyone in the great hall.”
My breath hitched as my eyes widened.
“But your aunt came from an influential family as well, he did not succeed in his evil intentions but he created an enemy out of her. She went back to her family, uniting the kingdoms for a war agains the Kurus. Your father knows, he’s been doing his own preparations. My father gave your aunt his word, that he’d support her, because he was present when this.. event occurred. He was the one who saved your aunt, this is the reason why your father hates my father and this kingdom.”
My cheeks were wet, I could not comprehend how a man who loved me so much, who always taught me how important it is for me to protect myself, who was always respectful to women, could be so cruel. Someone I’ve always looked upto, how could he perform such despicable acts.
Jacob wiped my tears away. “Please don’t cry love, I promise I won’t go to the battle if you don’t want me to. But I can’t ask my father to not join either. He has given his word, he won’t listen to me anyway.
Say something” he looked at me concerned.