Chapter 6

When we finally reached home, I wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved or feel worse. Being home meant dealing with Arina, not to mention the aftermath of an unannounced road trip from the queen. I almost wished I had said yes the night before to Elias’s temptation, but even if he had told the truth about Arina, she still deserved to be told face to face that it was over.

Ramsey headed off to the library, which didn’t surprise me at all. That had pretty much become her home. Elias split off the first second he could, leaving me to myself. I headed to my room to put away my things and then to find Arina. I suppose it shouldn’t have shocked me to see Arina standing next to Valentina in the quad, given the information I’d learned, but it still kind of stung nonetheless. I paused, not sure I wanted to face the queen after absconding with her husband, but I didn’t have a choice when she broke her gaze from Arina and it landed on me.

“Where have you been?” Valentina demanded. I wasn’t sure whether to lie or not, so instead I told half-truths.

“The king summoned me to follow him to a meeting he had with the coven in the neighboring town.” I quickly replied.

“My husband has no business with the covens. Care to lie again?

“Look, I only do what is commanded and all I know is for the past few days, we have been gone. I have been standing outside of a shady building listening to the king scream and yell. What it was about I know not, but that is what happened.” She seemed to take the answer she was given because she stormed off hastily. Arina eyed me warily.

“Is that really where you were?” She questioned carefully.

“Yes, and we need to talk.

“Is this where you tell me you have fallen for the king and want to break up?

“Break up, yes, but fallen for the king? You wish.

“Then do enlighten me.” Arina’s whole character changed. “Why is it you want to break up?

“It's not like you actually want to be with me. You just want to learn everything about me and run back to the queen. Tell me, why have you set out to hate me when you didn't even know me?

“There is no use denying it. After I saw Jackson, I knew you were on to me. It was just a matter of time. As for hating you, I love my queen and would do anything for her. “ I knew the look in her eyes all too well. She was truly in love with the queen.

“Holy shit, you are in love with her...

“Bingo! And if she told me to end you right here, right now... I would.

“Don’t ever come near me again,” I screamed before running to the only place I could.

I didn’t even bother knocking when I got to the wooden doors. I threw them open and closed them with a bang, much to Elias’s surprise.

“Lennox?” He asked, concerned.

“If you have an ‘I told you so’ prepared, you might as well get it out now. I deserve that much anyway.” Elias crossed the room and pulled me into his arms as I tried and failed to hold back the tears.

“I didn’t mean for it to come out so harshly the other night, Lennox, but you had to know the truth. She would never have told you and kept up the facade until it was too late for you.” His voice was sincere and I hated myself for being so angry with him that night.

“I’m sorry,” I apologized, meeting his gaze. He wiped the tears from my cheeks with his thumbs, the gesture soft and kind. Before I could process it, Elias leaned down and softly pressed his lips to mine. Even though it was meant to be a gentle action, it was anything but. A fire erupted under my skin, and I felt like every nerve ending had come alive. He broke the kiss swiftly, pulling back just far enough to gaze into my eyes.

“Did you…?” I breathed, not able to finish.

“Yes,” he panted, an awestruck smile on his face. I tried to form coherent thoughts, but all I could think about were his lips against mine and I needed to feel them again. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled him into a kiss, trying to convey my desire. He met it with ease, passionately kissing me with fervor as he brought our bodies together. He broke our exchange to trail kisses down my jaw and neck, smiling as he listened to my ragged breaths. It only confirmed my suspicions that he enjoyed causing me to feel like this for him. My mind may have been flooded and not working right, but it could work enough to play that game with him. I pushed him away, only far enough to work at the buttons on his shirt. He gently worked the band out of my hair, letting my hair fall free of my ponytail. Once his shirt was open, I began to slowly explore his torso with my fingertips, his skin soft and heated under them.

He watched me as I admired his tanned skin, tracing his tattoos with my fingers as if they were valleys in a mountain range. His eyes were the same dark shade as the night in the hotel, full of desire and lust. I kissed a trail down his defined abs, not breaking his gaze. I kneeled in front of him, lightly nipping at the skin over his beautiful hips. He threaded his hands through my hair, his breath heavy. I went to unbutton his jeans when I heard someone in the hall quickly approaching the door. Panic filled my eyes, and I felt worse when he reflected the same feeling. He pulled me up and quickly brought me to his bathroom, mouthing a ‘sorry’ to me as he shoved me in and closed the door in my face. I would have been mad but then I heard Valentina shouting at him.

“I love how I’m the last to know everything around here, especially when it involves my fucking husband,” she spat, and I winced. I felt bad that he had to deal with this. Thank god it wouldn’t be for much longer.

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