Chapter 15: Fatal Attraction
With a click the doors were closed behind me, as I stood gaping at the grandeur of my surrounding. The softest carpet I had ever come across met my every step; swallowing my feet into luxury every time they hit the ground. An enormous wooden bed covered a considerable area of the chambers; black silk sheets covered the thick mattress laid on bed, while thin granular black clothing covered with gold colored patterns formed a canopy over the bed supported by the four intricately carved roof reaching bed posts, and fell around the bedsides as curtains. Facing the bed were huge doors that led to the balcony, with the most stunning view of sea and dock that could possibly be found in the entire city of Beygul. Next to the doors, at almost the junction of two walls a small wooden table stocked with numerous books, documents and a few burning candles was laid, alongside a plush cushion. The wall towards the left side of the bed supported a big gold framed painting of a beautiful dark haired woman with exotic features. Other than the area hidden by the painting, rest of the wall was painted with the tiny symbols of the Estercrest Empire; a bat, at regular intervals, in black on grey background. In addition to the painting the wall also supported small wooden slabs all over it at some distance to each other. On each slab was a candle burning in all its glory. About a hundred candles were lit, casting faint light all around the gigantic bed chambers that befit the status of its owner perfectly.
Leaving the casual marveling over the beauty of the chambers for some other occasion, I proceeded on to do what I had come into this castle for. I headed to the small table with all the books and documents, and started looking through the documents hurriedly, yet thoroughly. If the prince had any information on Andre’s murder it would be in one of the documents because nothing else in his chambers looked like they contained any kind of information.
With the end of the song, ended our dance too. The prince had to go meet people I don’t know of and talk about politics I am guessing, so he left me with Lord Frankie, and walked to some men standing at the other end of the garden. I was whisked out of the buzzing activity of the masquerade, and led by Lord Frankie to the silent passageways of the castle leading to the prohibited to most areas of the castle. All through our walk to the chambers of the prince Lord Frankie kept going on and on about how lucky I was and how my days were about to turn. To me he was not making any sense and neither was I trying to make sense of his words, for I was still reeling from the touch and the scent of the prince.
“Charm him well.”
With those words and a wink lord Frankie left me alone, and here I was swiftly going through the documents of the prince in his very own chambers.
I was not even halfway through the documents when I heard footsteps on the other side of the doors I had entered the chambers through. My heart picked up its pace, my palms started sweating as I quickly tried to place every document back in the place it was before I touched it. Only a fraction of a second before the door opened and the prince walked in did I step away from the table towards the wall with the painting and pretended to be looking at it. As the prince entered his bed chambers I hurriedly turned around and bowed in front of him.
Came his silky voice, caressing my ear drums as I stood straight and dared to look at him. He along himself brought an aura of power, charge and dominance.
He stood near the bed eyeing me. He ran slowly his gaze from my feet up my body till his eyes met mine. I felt my body heat up under his dark gaze. With his gaze still locked on mine he spoke.
“Did Lord Frankie send you?”
I nodded in response, breaking our eye contact.
“I will certainly reward him.” He whispered more to himself than for my benefit.
“What is your name?”
“Eleanor, your majesty.”
“It is beautiful as are you. It suits you.”
He whispered so close to my lips that his breath tickled my skin. I did not even realise how close he had come to me. I was too fixated on starring at his drowning deep eyes, which were still surrounded by the mask.
Looking at me with a burning intensity, he slowly traced my cheek and jaw line with a finger of his. His touch sent a delicious shiver down my spine. I wanted more. Like he knew what I wanted, he took my face into his hands and bent down a bit to caress my lips with his own. His proximity felt nothing less than divine. My eyes fluttered shut and my lips moved in synchronization to his as he kissed me slow and soft. He gently bit down and sucked on my lower lip, making me gasp at the sensation of it. He took the chance to slip his tongue in my mouth and caress my tongue with his. I could not stop the moan from escaping my lips as my fingers found his soft hair. What started off as slow was now a desire filled, needy kiss; like he was eating on my mouth. I kissed him back with equal fervor, fisting my fingers, grabbing his hair harder only to have my ears blessed with his groan. I was grabbed by the waist by his strong hands and pushed against the wall, as his body pressed against mine and his lips found my neck. He placed delicate, wet kisses on my chin, jaw line and ear while his fingers reached my back, pulling on to the corset threads; expertly loosening them. His touch set my nerves on fire, making soft moans escape my lips.
With his lips roaming down the length of my arm, I could not think of anything other than him in the beginning, but then intense and sharp tremors of pain began to rise from my right leg. Unknowingly, a scream erupted from my lips. Tearing through his heavenly scent, smoke entered my nostrils.
With his hand on the small of my back, he made us fall on to ground; I on top of him, and made us roll on the floor. My back met the cold floor as he pushed himself off me, and hastily removed his jacket to use it in order to put out the fire my dress had caught from one of the candles toppled to the floor as we hit the wall, too immersed into each other.
Extinguishing the fire, he yelled something which I could not decipher. The pain was not growing anymore, but, it was not fading either. My leg felt like the skin was being peeled off it, the pain was excruciating. I wanted to yell but my brain was too scattered to do anything, darkness began to cloud my vision. I distantly felt my dress being ripped off my skin and hands touching my leg. I picked out a string of curses, before a pair strong arms lifted me carefully and laid me on the bed with great gentleness and care. The pain was making it very hard for me to gauge any sort of activity going on in my vicinity. Sounds of feet shuffling and people conversing met my ears. Hands touched my skin; something wet and cold came in contact with my hurting leg bringing some relief alongside. My eyes were getting very heavy pushing them open was turning out to be very hard, or rather impossible as I was swallowed by darkness, oblivious to everything.
For how long I was swimming in the endless sea of darkness before I found the faint rays of light, I do not know. With great effort my eyes fluttered open for me to find myself in the most comfortable bed ever. My eyes still felt heavy and my mind hazy, but the pain was gone completely. Strangely, I felt happy and at ease.
Since I was devoid of any piece of clothing, I pulled the sheets around my naked frame before swinging my legs over the edge and getting off the bed. For a few seconds my legs were wobbly and the world around me swirled, but I managed to stay on my feet and concentrate enough to bring the swirling world to a halt and in focus. As I looked around the dimly lit, spacious room I stood in, I realised two things. One, it was the personal chambers of the prince of the Estercrest Empire. Two, I was not alone in the room, I had company. Perched on a cushion facing the small table, was none other than Vincent. My Vincent. Yes, I wanted him all to myself.
Burning, a candle was placed at the top edge of the table while Vincent was engrossed in reading a paper. The faint glow from the tiny flame dancing on the wick of the candle illuminated Vincent such that he looked eerily beautiful. The shadows from the surrounding only adding more depth to the effect of his beauty.
Standing was fine with my legs, but walking came out as a wobbly process. Apprehending the movements around him, Vincent placed the paper down on the table and looked up. The moment his eyes landed on me his lips broke into a charismatic smile. God, he was so beautiful. Smiling back, I stumbled his way. A couple of steps away from him I lost my footing and went crashing right on to the floor, only that I never hit the floor. His strong arms caught me before I fell, and pulled me on to his lap. Concern showed in his oh so beautiful eyes, as he pushed away the hair from my face using his fingers and caressed my cheek with his thumb.
“Are you alright, Eleanor?”
Putting my arms around his neck, I smiled, and whispered.
“Yes very much am.”
Guilt flashed in his eyes as they wandered towards my leg before settling back on my face.
“Does your leg hurt you?”
“No. Why would it?”
I looked at him with confusion, but my mind did not linger on the confusion for long as I ran my lips on his neck. Dear god, his scent was so intoxicating; I could drown in it and do nothing to stop. I felt his index finger trace idle patterns on my shoulder eliciting sparks on our contact.
“The dress you were wearing the former evening was made of cloth that turned out to be comparatively more flammable. Accidentally, we knocked down a candle and your dress caught fire. Due to high flammability of the material the fire grew stronger quickly, and a patch of your leg got burnt a little too badly. You were in too much pain so the royal healers gave you a dosage of opium to dull your nerves. I am sorry you got hurt.”
The guilt laced in his words pulled on to the strings of my heart. Placing my hand on his cheek I made him look at me. The stubble was prickly on my palm, but I did not mind, it made him look so much more handsome. I liked it on him.
“It was not your fault. Besides I feel great.”
Seeing the uncertainty in his eyes, I pulled him closer and kissed him slowly. He did not hesitate even a moment before kissing me back. His kiss was drowning me into seas of pleasure. I smiled with my lips still against his. Pulling back a bit, he rested his forehead against mine.
“Why did you come here, Eleanor? I thought I told you to let go of revenge convincingly enough for you to listen. It is not safe for you.”
With my arms still around his neck, I caress the back of his head with my fingers. Sighing he leaned into my touch.
“Because Vincent, I need something to push me through every day. I do not want to be useless.”
“You are not useless.” He whispered on my ear.
He peppered soft kisses on my ear, cheeks, nose, eyes, forehead and lips while he carried me in his arms towards the bed. As he gently placed me onto the bed and pulled his head back from the crook off my neck, I grabbed his hand and pulled him on the bed too.
“You need sleep, Eleanor.”
“Then sleep with me.”
He looked at me with eyes darkened by evident desire.
“I have work to do, love.”
I pouted like a child about to cry, that got him to cave in. Smiling triumphantly I watched him lie next to me. Taking off his shirt, he scooted closer to me placing an arm around me. Warmth radiated from his muscular chest warming my back.
“Good night beautiful.” He murmured on my ear.
It took me a while but I finally drifted off into the most peaceful sleep I had in days.