Light from outside illuminated the room, jolting me up from bed.... My head was heavy and aching.
Squinting my eyes, it travelled round the room taking in my environment.
I was in my bedroom. . How did I end up here...? I clutched my head in my hand to contain the ache, but it wasn't giving way.
Could it be that, Troy carried.......that means I must have dozed off. Oh my God! I screamed in my head.
Last I remembered, Troy, and I were chatting about his sister — the missing one or rather, the exiled one... the one he never told me about and while he continued speaking, I broke down in tears because the story was so pathetic.
Still in my miserable state, my room door flung opened revealing Adrian followed by Ida..... he was looking so perfect and scented so good too.
“Rise and shine, sleepy head” he spread the curtains apart, permeating more light into the apartment.... and sauntered over to the bed.
“Morning, my lady” Ida greeted me setting a mug on the bedside drawer as Adrian planted a kiss on my cheek grinning.
Giggling, I asked Ida what was contained in the mug.
“Hot tea to calm your hangover” Adrian quickly responded, pecking my other cheek and tugging me out of bed to sit on the armchair in the room and handed me the mug while Ida strolled into the bathroom to prepare my bath water.
I eyed him as I sipped from the mug. “How did you know I was knocked out last night?”
“Troy told me....” he tucked a lock of hair behind my ear.
“What else did he say?” I demanded, replaying all that transpired last night between me and Troy.
“Nothing, other than how you were suckling like a baby and crying when he told you about his sister”
“Oh....that, I remember.....it was a sad story... Glad he's searching for her” I sighed.
“Yea me too....” he stroked his chin, growing silent and taking a seat on the bed.
“My lady, your shower is ready” Ida informed.
“Thanks Ida...... What?” I gave him an amused expression. “You're quiet. What's running through that mind of yours” I asked him, gulping in the last drop of the tea and setting the mug down in the tray”
“You're beautiful” he licked his lips.
I rolled my eyes at him, smirking. “I know that, you've told me countless times”
“Okay. But have I told you we're going out for a picnic today” he smiled, his disposition lightening up.
I gasped “What? Picnic.....”
Whose idea was this..... I bet it was Troy. Not bad at all.... he nevertheless wanted to spend quality time with me, even after last night.
“Yes” Adrian's voice distracted my blushing thoughts and next, I saw he was tickling me off my feet as I giggled running away from his touch.
He grasped me by my waist laughing and held me still, slouching over me he buried his face in my neck....
Cold shivers sweeping across my spine as he spoke. “Baby you need to go shower...... let's not keep Troy waiting” he whispered into my ear releasing me.
I knew it.... it was Troy's idea......
Moments later, I was standing out front with Adrian, Ida, Theon and Troy dressed to the occasion. There were some new guards too — extra security.
Ida had packed all the things we needed and arranged them inside the car when suddenly Steflos rushed out, calling the prince like there was a national emergency.
“I want to explore the green lands of Islandes and clear my head. These past weeks have been tedious and exhausting” Troy told Steflos — the royal advisor.
“But your highness there are more demanding national issues you need to consider back at the palace”
“Which are -”
“The ongoing bridal rites ceremony, its tradition that you have to be present there and -”
“Steflos, we can go back tomorrow if that's what you're concerned about.... but for now, I desire this” He bashed him loosely, his voice stern and commanding.
“How are you feeling, Princess? Did you receive the hangover tea I sent through Adrian?”
“I'm much better...... seeing you, and thank you for the tea, it worked magic.” I smiled, resting my head on his laps.
We visited a small Island village not too far from Rythfork — the capital. It had nice mini beaches and on one side a a well taken care of field for picnics.
We spread a mat across the field where I sat down with Troy while Adrian went for a swim. The guards — about twenty surrounded the place while Theon went to survey the surrounding.
“Do we require this much security?”
He breathed “Well, your father insisted..... he wants to protect the future king and queen of our kingdom” he smirked and I smoothed my hand against his face ardently.
He peered into my face keenly, still stroking my hair. “Last night spent with you was enticing… Thank you for stopping me”
I blushed as the images came flooding in. “We were intoxicated... that's what happened ”I retoreted whilst his hands travelled slowly through my hair, to my face and down my neck , each touch igniting fire within me.
“What did Steflos want?” I voiced out what was obviously occupying my mind.
“He wants me to return to the palace, but I bluffed him off…“
“Because I need to spend time with you, my love. Every second spent with you is so worth it...... So, we will return tomorrow”
Once he asserted that, my body stiffened, and a frown appeared on my face.
“Hey....don't do that, you will make it difficult for me to leave” he scolded softly with a hint of amusement in his eyes.
“But I don't want you to go and why can't you take me with you, since you said the ban has been reversed... Is it because of Gemma?”
“I will bring you back to court..... just trust me and be patient”
“You've got a plan?” He nodded confidently.
“One, which Adrian will hint you on much later”
He's got a plan... I wonder what it could be? Well, let me trust him as he implored me to do.
We continued talking randomly about issues pertaining to the kingdom.... I asked him if he knew about Echo and Adrian, he told me he did and had asked Adrian to take things slowly for now till he's coronated.
Time passed swiftly and before long, we were set to leave back to town.
Many times I was pushed to tell Troy about the Earthros murder, but something kept preventing me. Probably he wasn't meant to know just yet.
When we got back home, Steflos had to engage the prince in important matters jointly with my parents, that left me bored sort of so I resulted to reading a book before Adrian interrupted me, and we went out for a stroll just within the castle premises like we did growing up.
“So did you enjoy the visit?”
“More than anything and will do everything to spend more time with the two most important men in my life” I flushed with pink as I spoke.
He cocked his head to the side and looked at me, raising a brow. “Two important men you say”
“Yes, of course, You and Troy......”
“I see” he smirked and pulled me into a tight hug. “I'll never trade this friendship for anything” he said and kissed my temple lovingly.
A week has gone by since Troy visited me and my whole world right now, is being filled with emptiness...
The thoughts of what could be happening in the palace as regards the ongoing bridal rites ceremony kept me nervous all the time.
After the special moments spent with the prince, I couldn't bear to see another woman with him.... The reason why Steflos was in a hurry they returned was because the prince had an eighty percent role to play in the celebrations.
Though before he left, he assured me again that it was me..... I was the one. So why was I getting this anxious.... hardly concentrating... Oh, Aris breathe.... breathe, let out all the built-up tension.
I slumped to the chair in my office, absorbed in thoughts biting into my nails unconsciously.
Before these thoughts rummaged my head, I was trying to solve the Eathros murder puzzle.
Gradually I've been putting one and two together and very soon all the pieces will fall into place, then I'll get my answer.
Crinkling noises at the door, swept me back from wonderland as German, the librarian's son came into view.
"My lady, a package for you?" And he handed me a big box beautifully wrapped. I smiled when my intuition felt it was from Troy.
"Thanks German..... and please do tell Hera to see me" he nodded and walked out.
Without wasting anytime, I tore the wrap off the box, opened it to reveal a beautiful purple satin dress laced with silver studs.. It was resplendent.. and there was a note with it.
I thought of a befitting present to gift to you but found none till my eyes fell on this gorgeous outfit. I imagined a thousand times how alluring this will fit that perfect body of yours. Please accept it as a sign of my undying love for you.
I heard the Prince came visiting Rythfork recently and spent some days with you... Don't be shocked, I know everything but remember he's getting married to Gemma soon and it will only be a heartbreaker for you.
I gave you time and I'm patiently waiting for you to come around...and I know you will, soon.
However, there's the great dance, Wayfort always hosts annually coming up in two days time, hence my gift to you. I covet your presence desperately. Please do me the honours of wearing this lovely soft silky fabric as you come.
Looking forward to behold the presence of my angel.
Letting out a long hiss, I scoffed and tore the letter into pieces once I was done reading it.
The whole of me was seethed with anger, my hands clenched by my sides as I thought if all the ways I could dismiss Paris from my life.
Unknowingly to me, I was trembling, piqued, blood boiling hot, only at the thought of him.