Chapter 28: A kiss of Truth
Warmth and comfort had replaced all the pain and weariness that had seemed to become a constant companion in my life, for quite some while now. Soft and silky sensations danced over my skin as I moved my limbs. Caution triggered my mind to burst out of the bubble of ecstasy it was in, and my eyes snapped open.
The blanket slipped off my front as I used my arms to propel my torso off the soft bed beneath me. Cold seeped into my dress where the blanket had fallen off me during my struggle to sit. Ignoring the stinging of cold on my skin I looked around to find myself in a completely unfamiliar room.
The roof and walls both seemed to be made up of thick wood while the floor was stone made. Dying flames flickered over the ashes in a small fireplace to my right, while to my left a candle stood burning with ferocity on an average sized table supporting the weight of many leather clad books. Other than the bed and table no furniture was part of the room. The room was small but very well kept.
The luxury of shelter from cold weather and a soft bed was very tempting, but the nagging thought ‘how did I get here’ allowed me to be anything but relaxed. The last thing I could remember was falling off my horse onto the cold, hard ground of the forest. How I ended up in a warm bed, I had no idea.
Pushing myself out of the comfort of the bed, I made my way out of the door, which led me into a small living room, that supported two doors’ one of which was open; giving a peek into an unfurnished kitchen. I opened the second door only to be hit by the strong chilling wind; unobstructed by any man made barriers.
I was just trying to suppress the shivers coursing through my body on account of harsh cold, when my ears picked up the sound of rustling of leaves and snapping of twigs in some distance. Fear and caution sprang up in my brain, driving me to search around for a sanctuary, but I was not quick enough to make a move, and was still in clear sight when a figure stepped out of the trees into the clearing. Without as much as a second thought I grabbed a stone and hurled it towards the silhouette without clearly seeing.
Just a second after the stone left the grip of my fingers, the husky and all too familiar voice called my name. Looking up I was met with the gorgeous sight of none other than Vincent. He was dressed in all black as always. His jet black hair were messy, and stubble thicker than usual lined his face. His eyes were tired but held a glint of amusement as he stood holding a stone in his one hand and a worn out cloth made bag in his other hand. A mischievous smile adorned his facial features.
Though he was visibly paler, thinner, and wearier than the last time I had set eyes on him, he was still alive and faring much better than in all the horrible scenarios I could not help but imagine in his absence. Seeing him well caused a huge wave of relief to wash over me, I involuntarily rushed to him and snaked my arms around his muscular frame. I clung to him for a while; without uttering a single word, just reveling in the feel of his hard chest pressed to my front, and his heart beating steadily with my ear pressed over it.
His voice brought me out of the trance of relief, now that worry was off the list of emotions I was experiencing in the moment, anger hit me full on. I slapped him on the cheek hard enough for my own hand to hurt, but the anger over rode any pain I felt.
“What the bloody hell were you thinking, risking your life like that?” I yelled.
“A simple thank you would have been enough.”
His other cheek received an equally hard slap from me.
“Do not sass me, Vinc.”
“Your wish is my command,” he said, before giving a light bow, all the while a cocky smile playing on his lips.
I slapped him once more.
“Ouch! you pack a mean slap, Ms. Black.”
One more slap was what he got in return for his quip.
“Did I not tell you to not call me Ms. Black, and quit with your futile attempts at being humorous, I am very mad at you to let it go that quickly.”
“Mad about what, Eleanor?”
“For you risking your life so stupidly, your highness.”
“It was not that big of a deal.”
If I was mad before, now I was a raging mass of wrath. If it were possible I would have been breathing out fire and smoke, I was that mad at Vincent. How can he act like his life being in danger was nothing but a trivial matter. I started to slap his face, with all the force I could muster, again and again, simultaneously demanding and explanation for his actions.
“I did everything because I love you, Eleanor Edmund Black.”
My brain had barely registered his words when he grabbed my wrists to prevent me from continuing my onslaught, and brought his lips crashing down on mine. He kissed me with such fervor that losing my mind was inevitable.