A deep sigh escaped the lips of a dark-haired figure in the corner. Reaching up, he ran a shaky hand through his once neat hair, which was now messy and sticking up at all angles. Never would he have thought he would ever be in a situation like the one he was in now.
He hated him.
The needless cruelty, dripping from the smile he had worn, lifting the knife, still dripping with blood.
Why did he do it? What was the purpose?
Was it to get to him? Make him realise he was overstepping the boundaries between the meaning of friend and foe? All because they classed her an enemy to their family?
Letting out a bitter laugh, the one thought which was plaguing him the entire night came back to him. This situation... the situation of being in love with the enemy...
No! I am not in love with her! It was one night! One mistake!
One night which changed his life forever.
Closing his eyes, he let his head fall back to lean on the back of the high chair, and he remembered the feel of her. The way she kissed him just as desperately as he did her. The way she ran her fingers through his hair...
No, bad idea to be thinking of her. The entire thing escalated from an argument they were having. They always argued, it was in their nature, having done so since they were children. This time, there was something different. Something in her eyes, a fierier glare. She was screaming at him, verbal abuse and profanities dripping from her lips like saliva, but he fuelled her anger, and seeing her like this filled him with lust. A desperate need to crawl under her skin, and make her even angrier. She was beautiful when she was angry. Her hair became messy, the reddening of her cheeks, her green eyes brightening while she let loose her rage.
A beautiful sight to behold, and he couldn’t resist... he had enough and to shut her up he did the one thing he did best when shutting up a ranting female...
He kissed her.
He remembered the day so vividly, even though it was weeks ago. He was angry at his father for lecturing him for sneaking out at night. Then he got into a fight with one of her male followers...
He had become angry seeing her on his arm...
Closing his eyes, he downed his drink, ordering another from a barmaid who was walking past. He looked down at the empty glass; the bottom mocking him with the absence of the brown liquid he found himself turning to after realising he condemned himself by even thinking of touching her.
Only he did touch her, condemning him to death.
Even so, he had no regrets.
She had not even looked at him since then, and it made him even more angry that this act of ignorance was actually hurting him. She pretended he didn’t even exist, and once upon a time, it would have thrilled him to not have to converse with a lowly being such as her, but now all he felt was a malicious emptiness.
The same emptiness which mocked him from the bottom of his empty glass.
He closed his eyes tightly, opening them again quickly when his anger burst forth, and he clicked his fingers at a nearby barmaid. Gaining her attention, he ordered her to bring him another drink with a warning in his eyes which told her if she didn’t fulfil his wish, the consequences would be dire. Her eyes widened in panic, and she scuttled off, returning moments later with a bottle of whisky, and poured him another drink. He ordered her to leave the bottle, and she did so without argument before cowering away from him.
He noticed she disappeared after that... probably too scared to serve him again in case he smacked her for not being quick enough. Shrugging inwardly, he no longer cared what anyone thought of him. He was feeling cut up, even though he would never admit it out loud, but he was let down and, God forbid, heartbroken.
Running a hand through his hair once more, his lips formed into a disgusted sneer. It was a habit he picked up over the years of lecturing and stress he endured from his father. Maybe he did it to annoy him because he knew his father always wanted him to look impeccable. Messing up his hair was a sure-fire way to piss him off... but it also ended up with him being at the receiving end of his cane...
Shuddering, the bruises never healed, and they never would. Mental scarring was impossible to be rid of so easily. The beatings were a never-ending part of his life. Thankfully, his father only hit him in places which could not be seen.
Focusing his blue eyes on his filled glass once more, he swiped away the hair with was falling into his eyes. Rubbing his chin in thought, he cringed at the stubble beginning to show because he had not bothered with his daily preening like he would have normally. He hadn’t bothered to slick his hair back, and it fell forward into his eyes, unkempt and a mess. His usual crisply ironed suit was full of wrinkles, and his eyes which were usually emotionless now held a sadness in them only alcohol brought out.
He knew drowning himself in alcohol was not the answer, but ever since these new feelings surfaced and terrified him, he had not let a drink out of his sight for more than a few minutes.
Hate filled him when the cause of his unruliness came back to the forefront of his mind.
He hated her so much, yet he couldn’t let the anger surface.
He wanted to hurt her for doing this to him. He was the Heir to a great legacy, soon to be a King, and she was nothing but a lowly peasant who he used to play with as a child. Branded a traitor by the crown, and banished after her father murdered his brother. Only she recently returned, because the courts deemed it not her fault for what her father became... She was now just a servant in the castle...
She was nothing... while he was a Prince and the finest and most wanted bachelor in the Kingdom. He could have any woman he wanted... but he wanted her, and she was untouchable.
He was a player... She was a good girl and kept her nose clean.
She played him.
And, she had done it well. She made him believe she loved him when all this time she was playing him like a fiddle.
The mere thought made him want her even more... and this in itself angered him immensely.
He was hers... he could no longer deny the fact. It was there, clear for the world to see. He hungered for her.
He hated how she now had this control, this power over him. He would never admit it, but if she snapped her fingers, he would go running to her in a heartbeat. She made him feel more alive in a few hours than any person had ever done in his lifetime. As horrifying as the thought seemed to him, being with her in such an intimate embrace felt right to him. They fit together like the missing pieces to a jigsaw puzzle.
For a moment, he wondered how she felt, before erasing this thought from his mind. He shouldn’t care, and he so desperately wanted to listen to the voice in his head which was repeating things his father told him about her family. They were disgusting scum, vermin, the bane of their Kingdom, and nothing but troublemakers.
A Prince who was to be a King one day being in love with a commoner who was the daughter of a traitor to the crown was unheard of, and complete taboo.
If his father ever knew of what transpired between them, he would hang. His father would be the one to pull the lever and deliver his death, and there would be nothing to stop it. He would not fight... He did not have the strength, nor the will to fight anymore.
He lost his will to live.
It was shocking to him that it was someone such as a peasant, a commoner, who brought about this change in him. He had grown a heart, which was so desperately yearning for him to listen to its voice of reason, yet the voice in his head was drowning out the voice in his heart. He hated the feeling... yet, he welcomed it. Taking another long drink from his glass, he placed it back down on the table none-too-gently. Looking around, he blinked a few times through his blurred vision from the copious amounts of alcohol he consumed.
What he saw through the looking glass of his drunken mind shocked him, for standing in front of him was an angel.
A small frown flitted onto his brow while he squinted at the angel for she had no wings, yet she was beautiful, and he knew a creature this beautiful could only come from something far greater and more wonderful than magic itself.
Squinting again, his heart beat faster for the angel turned out to be the one who put him in this misery.
He stared at her and she stared back at him in disapproval, but he did notice there was a hint of regret in her deep, green eyes. He sneered at her, picking up his glass, and downing the rest of the contents. He slammed the glass down on the table, smashing it, and bits of glass lodged themselves deep into his skin painfully. He sobered instantly while blood trickled from his wounds, and he yelped like a puppy whose tail had been trodden on.
She moved forward, her tatted ragged dress swishing about her legs, and she took his hand, ignoring his protests. Leaning in closer to inspect his hand, she plucked out the shards with her thumb and forefinger, her nails becoming stained with his blood, and he hated the sight of it.
Blood should never stain the hands of one so pure and beautiful.
Shaking his head, he tried to rid his brain of those ideas, even though it was his heart tricking his mind into thinking those God-awful thoughts. He looked on in shock when she leaned down after removing all the shards, and kissed his hand. Pulling back, she let his hand go, only he was frozen, the hand which was bleeding still held in mid-air.
He raised his eyes from his hand to her, staring into her eyes, before looking at her nose, and her rosy lips which had specks of his blood coating them.
He couldn’t hold himself back.
He kissed her and tasted his blood on her lips.
She let him.
He hated himself. He hated her. He hated he was a Prince, and heir to the throne. He hated she was a peasant, a commoner. He hated his life. He hated he was kissing her. He hated his father.
He wished he could have hated her enough to stop kissing her.
For only that could have saved her.
The door to the tavern swung open, and in walked a tall, handsome, dark-haired man... a crown atop his head, and all the patrons bowed in respect to the King. His dark expression was not focused on the patrons, but his look of disgust plastered on his pointed features was directed at the heinous scene displayed before him. His son, the Prince, was kissing a peasant, the lowly vermin of his Kingdom. His son was in a passionate embrace with a scullery maid.
The two pulled apart, looking at him with eyes wide. They looked very much like a pair of deer caught in the glare of the headlights on a speeding car.
The Prince raised his eyes to look at the King, his eyes were defiant, but his body was trembling in fear, giving him away. Father and son stared at each other, before the King nodded to one of his Kings-men. The uniformed man stepped forward, unsheathing a gun in quick succession, and pointed it towards the Prince’s heart. Sweat beaded on the Prince’s brow, trickling down the side of his face slowly. His heart was beating so hard he was sure every patron in the tavern must have been able to hear it.
The King sneered, nodding to the soldier, and the Prince closed his eyes, awaiting the pain the bullet would cause when it ripped through his body and released him into the cold, clammy embrace death would have to offer him.
With his eyes closed, he heard the gunshot and felt a body collapse against him, and he grabbed the girl he loved while she slumped. The shot killed her instantly, having been aimed directly at her heart. The woman he was clinging to protectively lay in his arms, her eyes staring back at him... vacant and empty.
He stared back at her cold, accusing stare, and his eyes welled up. A single tear escaped and slid down his pale cheek.
It was the first time he had ever cried.
He didn’t have long to mourn before his father gave another nod to his Kings-man, and with another gunshot... he knew no more.