I opened up a can of worms and didn’t even know it.
What Apollo did for me has never happened before so, in another words, this is big news. A slave is nothing, especially not to the crown Prince of Garthorn. I feel eyes on me, whispers as I pass servants and prolonged stares.
I am washed and cleaned, smelling of fresh soap, not the horrors of the dungeon. But I am not naive enough to think that I could not end up back there. I am dressed in my basic slave attire once again and I am being lead to a smaller library off the west wing. They will not tell me much but all I knew is someone of importance wished to speak to me. My hands are clammy and a feeling of dead consumes me.
Mort is not permitted to come with me so the little butterfly fluttering about is her. I have to fight a smile despite my situation because I see her fly straight into the glass of a massive Grandfather Clock. Not sure how she didn’t see that but practice makes perfect I suppose. I’ll be sure to tell her that then have to immediately escape her flying fist.
This library is very masculine, not like the Grand Garthorn Library which is adorned with silver and sapphire splendor. This is decorated with rich woods and dark marble that catches the glowing light and illuminates the two-story library. I wonder if this is Apollo’s study. I am seated on a rather oversized leather couch and left by myself. I take a steadying breath and tell myself everything will be okay. Five minutes pass as I watch Mort flutter over the large desk in the corner. Maybe she sees something?
She manifests as herself and peers over a letter on his desk.
“Mort!” I hiss. “You’re going to get caught!”
She glances up. “I will only be here a second, chill.”
“I see a letter from the House of Galleon,” she continues with narrowed eyes, “It’s a thank you letter and prospects of joining the Garthorn house with Galleon.”
I stand up.
“They’re offering Laura as his potential betrothed in so many words,” Mort confirms my fears.
“Do you think he is entertaining it?”
“It’s the only thing on his desk.”
“Maybe this is not his desk.”
I take a breath. “You don’t know.”
Mort frowns at me. “You know another Apollo Augustus Garthorn?”
The sound of footsteps approach the door and Mort instantly morphs into her signature white butterfly. I sit down and swallow the lump in my throat and will my hand to stop shaking.
A woman walks in followed by guards wearing scarlet-red. This is not Garthorn colors, so I’m making a wild guess that this is Galleon. The lady is older but still quite beautiful, her golden hair piled high with a red and silver crown. Her elaborate gown flows around her like she is an Egyptian queen wearing gold and crimson. Then it dawns on me.
This is Queen Irena.
My pulse jumps to life.
“Forgive me for keeping you waiting,” she says and motions her guards to leave. I pick up on her sarcastic note for I’m not that dumb to think a Queen is sorry for anything. Especially keeping a slave waiting.
I’m immediately on guard.
I keep my head down and my mouth shut.
“I asked you here out of pure curiosity,” she laughs. “I heard of this slave who is creating quite the commotion.”
I say nothing and bite my lip, not sure where this is going.
I hear her walk towards me as she sits in the chair opposite of me. Her skirts taking up most of the couch. “You may look at me slave.”
I raise my head and stare into frigid cold eyes. The blue is the color of the polar ice caps, devoid of all warmth what-so-ever. I can see the wrinkles around her mouth and eyes, and her neck tells me she is most likely in her fifties.
“I see that your eye color is in fact shocking,” she narrows her gaze at me. “I hope you can imagine my surprise upon hearing a simple slave possessed discolored eyes.”
“Why is that a shock if you do not mind me asking?” I ask quietly, and genuinely curious.
She laughs like I said the funniest thing ever. “I forget that slaves do not know much of worldly things. Well, my husband the King of Galleon lost a daughter long ago. She was said to be the only one to possess this rare eye color, you see. The King was devastated, calling all witches and sorceress that no one shall possess that rare eye color again. Ridiculous if you ask me, but that’s what he wanted. That uniqueness was saved for his poor precious daughter.”
“What happened to his daughter?” I stare at her, wondering what the witch really did.
“That does not concern someone like you. But, if you must know, she died at a very young age. Stolen in the middle of the night never to be seen again. Later her shoes were found drifting in the Galleon Great Lake, the very lake her mother jumped to her death. It’s all very tragic and a very touchy subject.” She tilted her head at me. “In Galleon there have been many who have claimed to be the missing princess, faking the eye color and such. Some even going to great lengths to involve the dark arts to change the eye color.”
I think about that, noting this has very similar happenings to Anastasia. Weird, though, that the movie is my favorite Disney movie. I wonder if Anastasia is originally a Fairy Godmother tale. I will ask Mort when I get a chance.
“I assure you this is my natural eye color,” I narrow my gaze at her. Queen Irena arches a brow and thins her lips. “I also do not remember my past, having hit my head resulting in amnesia.” I hold her gaze, my implication obvious.
She looks as though I slapped her in the face. “Do you dare to imply you could be my stepchild? Because if you are, you are over-stepping your bounds slave. My husband’s late daughter is deceased and I will make your life a living h*ll if you do not back off.” She leans forward. “I see that you have a face that some men might find desirable, and I can also see now why you are trying to ensnare the affections of Prince Apollo, which I find laughable. If anything he is only interested in a quick toss, and I might say you are in the wrong profession then. As a prostitute, you can make a lot of money,” she laughs and smooths out her skirts, “You are very bold. If your aim is to escape slavery and con your way into my family, you have another thing coming. You do not know what you’re up against if I catch wind of anything to do with my husband’s late daughter. Do I make myself clear, slave?” Her face is flushed with rage..
I keep my anger in check, sounds like the witch needs to******** more than I do. The grumpy old ****.
Oh, wait, she is by the king’s adviser.
How could I forget that juicy little tidbit.
“Very clear,” I continue, “though I do at least want to conduct a DNA text if I can get approval from the Garthorn Royal family, seeing how I answer to them, not you. And, I know Prince Apollo is curious about my origins as well so I don’t think this will be a problem. There will be no deceit.” I smile.
“His Grace is now out with my daughter, Princess Laura of Galleon. I believe that she will soon become your queen so I would watch your ignorant mouth, you slave! I will have a word with Apollo about your request and express my displeasure. You will not want to offend the King of Galleon and start a war with the House of Garthorn? After we have been allies for so long?”
I keep my mouth shut.
She stands and before she leaves and says, “Apollo is falling in love with my daughter and if I catch wind of your boldness I will not show you mercy.” `
I take a large breath when I hear the heavy door shut.
Mort is now in human form. “Blackmail. She is nervous, that is obvious.”
I sand and glance at the seat Queen Irena just occupied. “If the king finds out her infidelity, what happens?”
“She will be beheaded.”
I thought I would be able to see Apollo again but I am wrong. Mort thinks he is keeping his distance because all of the rumors. Earlier I was questioned by Apollo’s advisers and I asked if I could get a DNA test. I never received a clear response which was disheartening. But at least I am not placed back in the dungeon. I am cleared for now to do my normal responsibilities, clean and clean some more. The Headmaster gives me the worst jobs, I swear. I really would like the fight her. Put on some boxing gloves and have at it.
I walk alone because the Headmaster wanted to borrow Mort and another slave to clean the main chimney. She had no choice but to go which makes me nervous being by myself. I have my life-lines which makes me feel little better. I keep walking down the long busy hallway, keeping my head down.
I barely glance up and I nearly gasp.
Apollo is talking to what looks like high ranking officials. He looks powerful, like he just come from riding his mighty stallion. His hair is wild and up in a man bun, but not in a metro-sexual way. Like a ninja warrior way or a samurai master. Apollo seems to be out of breath and is having a heated conversation, they must have come in from outside. He shakes his head and puts his hands on his hips right as he glances at me.
I yank my head down and turn a corner as fast as I can. My heart is pounding. I am not sure if he saw me but my hearts beats anyways. I’m also not sure why I don’t want to see him, maybe deep down he intimidates me to crazy levels. My whole body tenses when I hear footsteps behind me, they sound heavy and fast.
I turn another corner and thankfully it’s empty, without prying eyes seeing me almost run. That would look very suspicious. As I walk at a reckless pace, I hear the footsteps still behind me. I take a deep breath.
It could be anyone.
The footfalls are closer and I have no choice but to glance behind me. My eyes widen when I see Apollo with a grin on his face.
“Angel, there is no way you’re out walking me,” he says and catches me by the shoulder and spins me around.
I gaze up into his graveyard eyes and my tummy starts doing back flips. Apollo tilts his head at me as his eyes search my face. “How are you?” he says in a soft and very se*xy way.
His voice is like melted chocolate, the hottest thing I have ever heard.
“That good?” he grins.
I shake my head and glance away. “I am doing much better, thank you.”
“Good,” he says before he yanks me into a room and shuts the door. I can’t move or talk when he puts both his muscled arms on either side of me. He stares at me for a second and smiles again like he is genuinely happy to see me. “You smell nice,” he winks.
This boyish side of him is going to be my undoing.
Trust me, he smells better. I blush and look down. “Yes, I’m sure my fragrance is much better now than the last time you saw me.”
“Trying to pinpoint you in this get up is exhausting. You all look the same,” he huffs then rips off my hat making me yelp. My black hair falls down my back and our eyes clash. He has been looking for me then? My cheeks heat.
The air changes and the boyish light in his gaze turns into something primal. No one should trust a gaze that dark, I can almost feel their intensity. His eyes lowers to my lips then back up. His is chest is rising and falling, jaw flexed like he was trying to hold back.
“What are you thinking?” I whisper, almost feeling scared.
“You don’t want to know Angel,” he rasps and lowers his head to my neck. I quickly inhale from the shock as I feel his hot lips move over my skin.
My eyes close and my head falls back, unable to process what’s happening. He must take that as a green light because in the next second he picks me up and is pressing me harder into the door, hungrily kissing my neck and jaw-line. I moan and I wrap my arms around his neck, wanting more of everything. I arch into him feeling a massive surge of raw desire.
The crush of his lips over mine makes the pulse in my next jump as if electrocuted. The delicious feel of his mouth as they move over mine makes my head spin. His lips are hot and aggressive, taking every breath that I have.
“Open,” he rasps into my mouth.
I open and his tongue thrusts into mine, Apollo is taking over this kiss forcefully. He is drinking me and sucking my lips like a starved man in search of water. I barely have time to breathe as his mouth devours mine. I feel his hand in my hair pushing my head closer to his assault, his tongue plunging into my mouth over and over again.
I have never in my life been kissed like this. With so much lust and passion, heated fever.
I gasp as if I feel him yank my head back with my hair and his mouth trails hot kisses down my neck, I feel his teeth like he watch to bite me. Then I hear him curse, not wanting to rip my conservative gown. I could feel the urgency, the impatience, irritation. There was something wild in him that thrilled me beyond measure. He lifted me higher and started kissing me though my clothing.
His hand grips my breast through the material making my toes tingle and a hiss escapes my lips. This getting out of hand in a hurry, I cannot even see straight at this point. Apollo is whispering things that I can’t make out over our rushed breathing. Then his mouth closes over my ****** and I can feel the heat of his breath through the clothing.
Frustrated he starts kissing my neck again as he raises my skirts. My pulse is pounding in my lady parts and I feel like a wild animal. He groans again in my neck as he finds the skin of my thighs. He shifts me in his arms so his free hand has better access.
“Angel,” he pants.
I think I moan when his hand brushes over me there, my clothing still a nuisance.
Then the unthinkable.
I can see the pain and anger in his face as he drops me, his chest still rising fast. I hear female voices mixed with male ones. It a group. We cannot be caught.
Apollo grabs my face before he leaves, his breath fanning mine. “You’re mine Angel. All of you,” he declares not caring what I had to say about it. It is scandalous to hear something like that from Apollo and me being a slave. “I want more,” he says with a wicked wink then leaves.
I put my hand on my forehead and take steady breaths.
I want more.
I just keep digging my whole deeper and deeper.