Anger was an understatement compared to what I was currently passing through. It was raw anger mixed with sadness and pains.
For the past two days after Echo's revelation, I kept beating up myself at how stupid I acted. I'd not been me, barely eaten and of course avoiding everyone including Gemma.
I hurt Aris! I fucking hurt her and her feelings and that of her parents even though they were all nice to me when I visited Rythfork.
How do I ask for her forgiveness? How do I tell her I acted so immature and not thinking? I think the right question should be, would she forgive me?
"Shit!" The letter. I screamed in my head as I reeled from one edge of the bed to the other in frustration, clenching my fists.
I had written her a letter before leaving Rythfork and hidden it hoping she wouldn't find it. Yea, I know it was a cowardly thing to do but I hadn't the courage.
But what if she did, then it will definitely complicate things because of its content.
Troy! How could you allow this level of manipulation even when your friend tried to tell you?
Before I lose it, I better pay Gemma a surprise visit and confront her with the information I just found out.
Quickly, I changed into a blue jeans trousers and a black shirt, brushed my hair a little before beckoning on Ian.
“Walk with me to Rubysite” I told him, and we started down together. This was like the second time I was visiting here since Gemma moved in. The first time was actually when she moved in.
The distance between Zirconsite and Rubysite wasn't that much and in fact, got shorter for me because of all the times, I kept escorting Aris back to her chambers whenever she stayed late with me or rightly put — whenever I kept her late.
Thinking about Aris, we really had some great memories together - memories I couldn't let go off and better still memories I wanted to recreate over and over again.
She was actually a very sweet beautiful girl. Her beauty radiated more recently with the trip I made to her hometown. It was like she became more atteactive - like she was trying to stay gorgeous that my gazes were always fixed on her.
It was quite late but I knew for sure Gemma would be awake and I guessed right because, the moment my presence was announced, she flung her doors opened by herself excitedly.
“Oh Troy..... what a surprise late night visit” she giggled and flung her hands over my neck, wanting a hug when I politely pulled her hands away from my body and walked in.
At this point, my anger was starting to brew but not yet with fury. She tried flirting again but this time around I caught onto her hands and shook it vigorously while warning her, after which I flung it to her side abruptly and sat down.
My actions left her standing and trembling with tears welling up in her eyes.
“Why Troy? Why...... Why did you come here if it was to humiliate me like this?” She cried out and I gave her a confused stare.
“Humiliate you?" I huffed. "Why would I go through that stress tonight? I've got a different agenda” I said, and she stared at me shocked probably at the word 'agenda'.
What could she be thinking? Maybe to shoot a shot at her. Embarrassingly, her expressions gave her out.
“What agenda are you talking about?" I looked at her and eyed her as she wiped her tears and folded her hand on her chest waiting for me to spill.
Without mincing words or beating around the bush, I asked her “Was it a lie? Is Aris innocent?” She immediately gasped in surprise, the sides of her lips twitching like she wanted to say something but the words were not coming out, but she sure looked shocked.
“Did you not get me? I said, Is it true that Aris was framed up?” I rephrased my sentence, and she acted mentally disoriented and started pacing for a while before she halted.
“What are you talking about? I know nothing about Aris' issue” She denied while I gave her a doubting look, playing it cool.
“You know I'm acting all cool with you because I don't want to loose it. So please do not lie to me and tell me everything you know”
“I'm sorry Troy” she apologized breaking down the thick walls she felt she was building and lowered herself to where I sat, squatting infront of me.
Typical Gemma, always acting tough but lacks the balls to remain tough till the end.
“What are you sorry about?”
“I- It's the queen.....” she stammered, exhaling deeply as she spoke. I didn't act surprised at all hearing the name of my mother but really hoped it she was innocent.
“I swear I never knew about it, I wasn't part of the plan” she continued shaking her head defensively.
Okay, this was where I lost my control as she kept dancing in circles for a couple of minutes with restraints. “What did she do to Aris?” I yelled furiously, trembling her a little and she fell backwards with her butt to the ground, making her sit comfortably.
“She set her up with Charles, so she could throw her out of court” she spoke with an umuffled cry.
I couldn't believe this was true. I really prayed Echo was lying to me in my mind as I strolled over here but Gemma just confirmed it.
“You teamed up with my mother and threw out my fiancée in my absence” My jaw clenched with tensed muscles as my angry voice filled the room.
She went on her knees pleading that I should remain calm but I shoved her away from me roughly and stood to my feet.
“I wasn't part of it Troy, please believe me” She sobbed more and more with tears and catarrh running down her face as she begged.
“Believe you, when you tried to poison Aris at my uncle's birthday banquet” Immediately I said that, her eyes widened in unbelief.
“You're surprised at how I got to know right?” I smirked at her with a smug attitude and she shook her head terrified.
“It was Cleopatra's idea not mine. I only went it" she explained.
"And what reason would Cleo have to hurt Aris if not because of you"
"No! It's not because of me. She was jealoused that Aris liked Adrian who she also likes. But has refused to give her the attention she deserved”
“What? Cleo likes Adrian?” I questioned, highly surprised and she nodded affirmatively and swiftly.
What other secrets do these ladies have hidden? I wondered but quickly snapped out of the thought and back to her.
I shook my head at her disappointed after drawing a conclusion in my head. “I thought you ladies were my friend, Yet y-you never respected my wishes, You forced me into a relationship with you having connived with the queen to throw out Aris..... "
I breathed deeply. "You disgust me Gemma, I never knew you could stoop this low. You, Cleo and Charles betrayed me and it hurts so much... I don't think I can keep being friends with you” I stated very bitterly and heartbroken when she rushed at my feet, holding onto it and crying profusely like she was going to give up on life the next second.
“I'm sorry Troy, I'm very sorry. I don't want to lose you..... I can't survive it, please” She begged, but I pulled my leg roughly away from her grip sending her falling backwards to the ground.
“Don't you fucking touch me. You should have thought of that when you were making your evil plans” I yelled, pointing at her with a stern warning.
“B-but I'm still your bride to be” She stammered.
“Bride to be” I scoffed with a soft chuckle. “You were never and will never be..... And one more thing, don't you ever show yourself to me or else you would never believe what I could do to you” I cautioned her before walking out.
She ran after me as I pushed myself through the door and into the courtyard wiping the tears that formed under my eyelids without Ian's notice.
Confirming the truth, once again made me very guilty, feeling a load of guilt on my shoulders, my chest felt heavy with pains as we strode back to my chambers. I was still hoping Aris would never get to find my letter.
By the next day, I wanted to be done confronting everyone that was involved - the queen, Charlesand probably Cleopatra because I was so impatient to get to the root of all these.
My attention was seriously needed at the palace that morning as the judgement day of lord Castor quickly drew near.
Do they really want me to be the one to send my uncle to his grave through the brutal way? I'd preferred his death is made quick and painless rather than slow and painful.
After the brief meeting, I decided to pay a visit to Charles who was staying in one of the royal rooms in court, but when I reached there, he wasnt there. I was told he was at the ranch so I quickly made my way down there.
Upon seeing me, he began beaming with smiles while my facial expressions were the opposite. I lurched at him with my hands against his chest pushing him backwards. he staggered, almost falling to the ground before he regained his balance.
"What the hell man!" he said confused asI tried to launch at him again, this time applying more pressure.
I was every shade of angry and all I felt was breaking Charles' face with my fist.
So I curled hands curled into a fist and released it into his face without missing. This time my fists collide with his nostrils, shattering the bone there but I didnt care.
He fell with his back to the ground with a loud thud, blood gushing out from his nostrils uncontrollably.
I rushed at him again on the floor. Grabbing onto his shirt, I shook him angrily, "How dare you Charles? Tell me, Why?" I screamed out my lungs full with rage but he wasn't saying anything. I let go of his collar, causing him to fall back on the ground and started releasing more punches into his face without giving him the opportunity to say a thing.
As the punches landed on him repeatedly, all he could do was use his elbows as a defense before I was separated from him by some guards who happened to be paying attention to us.
They pulled me away quickly as I overhead one of them communicate with Theon immediately while Charles' face and body was bloody. I was pretty sure I'd disfigured his beautiful face.
Two other guards helped him up to his feet as his hands covered his nostrils, he winced in serious pains. "What the hell man?" he shot at me angrily, spitting out blood from his mouth.
I just stood there glaring at him, panting as my chest rose and fell with rapid breaths.
"What did you do that for? You fucking broke my nose man" He growled while I tried to hurl at him again, but was restrained by the guard holding me.
"Shut the fuck up! You betrayal!" I spat out. He furrowed his brows, puzzled.
Then I signalled on the three guards that were present to take some steps away from us, though they were sceptical to do so but it was an order, so they obeyed and freed us from their grip.
"What are you talking about?" He questioned, the moment the guards were out of close hearing range.
"The fuck you know what I'm talking about. Aris!" I yelled and he staggered backwards, then realization dawned on him that I must have found out the truth.
"Why did you do it man? I trusted you and even kept her in your care. Why the fuck did you defile my wife to be?" I barked at him as tears stung up in my eyes - I was gradually feeling the hurt and betrayal afresh.
Then he knelt down where he stood with his face more softened and guilty "I'm so....so sorry Troy. I was compelled by the queen. Please forgive me"
"Arghhhhhh" I screamed out so loud in pains. "Why does everyone keep blaming the queen for everything?"
Even though I knew she was capable, I refused admitting it. But at that point, I was sick and tired of hearing the queen's name. Mayybe it was time to ask her why she did it. But am I sure Im ignorant if her reasons?
Ofcourse not. I know why she did it, but why use my friends?
"Charles, I swear I'm disappointed at you man.Thought you had my back but it turns out that you were never a friend, never have been and never will be"
"W-What?." he stammered. "I'm sorry I betrayed you. Please -"
"If saying sorry could turn back the hands of time. You had all the time in the world to come clean with me but you chose to remain silent. Did you ever think I would never find out?" I scoffed. "Unfortunately just as I told Gemma, I would repeat it to you. since you both chose to frustrate me, you cease to be called my friend" I declared. His jaw dropped and he gaped wide eyed at me stunned, yet couldn't utter a word.
"Your highness!" Ian and Gaius voices called from behind me as they both ran towards us, their faces dropped in shock and surprised when they saw how battered Charles' face and my hands were.
"Ian, please escort lord Charles to the infirmary immediately" Gaius spoke and Ian acted accordingly while I turned away in anger as Charles walked past me, suddenly he stopped in his track.
"I'm deeply sorry Troy, I hope someday you can forgive me" he spoke quietly and then walked away with Ian.
"My prince, are you okay?" Gaius asked panicked.
I released my breaths, with my left hands rubbing my temples "Do I look okay? I'm hurt Gauis, very hurt! My friend's betrayed me and its fucking painful" He held onto me tightly patting my shoulder.
"I know. I know! I'm so sorry. I thought confronting them will make you feel better but it-
"I feel worse Gaius. I can only feel better if I could see Aris right now and explain everything to her, and also if she will forgive me"
"Its possible my dear. Very possible because lady Aris loves you so much and you love her too" I stared at him as he spoke confidently and he nodded in confirmation.
He was right. Aris loved me and I loved her even though I kept denying it to myself because of the hurt I felt. But does this meant she would listen to me and forgive me?
The last person I needed to talk to was the queen but was it necessary? Two days had passed after my challenge with Charles. Not that I cared at all but the humane part of me just wanted to be sure he would be alright.
I heaved a sigh of relief when Gaius informed me that he was doing okay but had to return home to Locris which was a good thing since he hardly visited home.
In all of these, I still felt worse. Of recent, I'd come to notice that the atmosphere in court had started changing since rumours about my actions to Gemma and Charles began filtering into some people's ears.
I knew it would only be a matter of time before the king heard about it, so I braced myself for whatever outcome.
Nonetheless, I stll needed to find a way to get Aris' forgiveness.
Adrian! He was definitely the way.