16 Chapter 16
It only takes a few minutes to find the pinks. They are all following a woman with a clipboard. She looks like she is walking a tightrope while someone is shooting at her. I hear Lilith say, "Mrs. Carith, I think you should take a breather. We know you are worried about something going wrong with the princes visit, but everything will be fine. You need to calm down just a little. Nothing good happens when you stress over every little thing.
I see the woman smile at her. "Thank you, Lilith. I needed that." I think back to how nice Lilith was to me, how genuinely nice she is to everyone. When I see Mrs. Carith start to look my way, I turn my back to them and start to walk slightly away, looking around frantically. When I hear her coming towards me, I start to mutter underneath my breath. "I had one job, to find the pinks. How can I even do my job when I can't find my people?" Mrs. Carith taps my shoulder, and I force myself to jump slightly and turn around. "Yes?" I as using my fake voice. "Why are you looking for the pinks and who are you?"
I put a confused look on my face. "I am the newest recruit." She looks at the clipboard in her hand. "Name?" "Kiya Farsaye." She looks back up at me. "You aren't on here. So why would I believe you." I plaster one of those hurt smiles on. "I...I uh...I don't know. I guess they forgot. I got this job yesterday." She looks at me with disbelief. "They don't forget." I let tears prick my eyes, then fall down my face. "I am sorry. They probably told me to go somewhere and do something to get my job finalized. I guess I forgot. I mean I was just in such a hurry to get here, finally have a job again. I am just a big mess." I keep rambling on and on.
I feel a hand land on my arm gently. "Hey, calm down. It's okay. We are all very busy right now. It's okay." Mrs. Carith says. I give her a small smile. "Thank you." She nods and calls the other girls over. "Girls, this I Kiya. Why don't you introduce yourselves and make her feel welcome? I see someone I need to go talk to." She rushes off to who I think it is the leader of either the greens or the reds. Lilith puts an arm around my shoulders and Janel grabs one of my hands with both of hers.
"Hey, Kiya. Don't worry about it. We all mess up." One of the other girls say. I feel another one wipe my tears away. "Thank you. All of you." They all take turns giving me the names I already know. When Mrs. Carith comes back, I am actually feeling more confident. I can't help but think, "And Garret says it is scary how I can fake cry so easily and be manipulative. It really helps sometimes." We all follow Mrs. Carith. "Where are we going?" I ask. "We are going to get our ball outfits made. Everyone is getting one specifically made for them. To match them. Since there are ten of them and were ten of us when the plans were made, we each get to show them around."
I nod. We keep going forward and end up in the room that has the beds and nightstands. There are some other girls in orange uniforms. They are all already drawing designs. There are only nine of them. Mrs. Carith speaks immediately. "We need another orange." One of them nods and runs off. Lilith turns to me. "Follow me. I will show me what my designer has come up with." I follow her and we walk up to her bed. There are several designs on the bed.
The one that catches my eye looks like it would be perfect for her. Great to keep the heat from, and the gold coloring on it makes her hair pop.
I smile and say, "This one would be perfect for you. Not only will the heat of this place not effect you, but you will look gorgeous." Her eyes light up. "You are so right. I love it too." She looks up at me. "You have good taste." Something catches her eyes. She is staring at my stomach. "What happened here?" She asks. She point to a small thin scar that follows the length of my side. I remembered her asking the Jaycie me that. "Oh, I am very clumsy." She looks at me quizzically but shakes her head. "Well, you don't seem clumsy." I hear someone call my name. Lilith and I both walk over.
An orange is staring at me. "I am going to make a couple of designs. Just do as I tell you, and this won't take that long. Please don't be stubborn." I nod at her. "Okay." She looks at me shocked. "You are going to listen to me?" I nod and and she smiles. "Thank you." Lilith watches her draw. Every now and then I am told to turn this way or that, hold up some fabric against me, even hold different beads in my hands. After about an hour, she places four different designs on a table. That is when I realize there are only six beds in my room, I mentally tell myself to ask why later.
"Call me when you pick which one you like." The orange says, then walks away. Lilith and I both stare at the different pictures. The one that we both agree on the one that will look best on me. Lilith says, "Your eyes will pop becuase of the color." I smile and agree.
When the orange comes over, she nod takes the one I want and goes off to do her next job. I watch the room and ask Lilith, "Why are there only six beds?" She looks over towards me. "With everything that has been going on, they needed more beds in other rooms. They have been having to put some guards and helpers together. Usually the ones that are together." I nod and she says, "Don't worry we, they always make sure you are comfortable with the guard you are with. They don't just stick you with a random one."
This sends relief through me. We only have a couple more minutes to sit there, when Mrs. Carith yells, "Girls. The Princes will be here soon. To the reception room. You will all go to the bottom of the dais and stand there, five on each side. Okay?" "Yes ma'am." We all course back. Then we all rush to the reception area. I pretend to be following. When we get in there, we all take our places, it feels weird to be standing there. Mrs. Carith goes to Xalem and says, "You new girl is here. Please tell me next time. I almost called the guards on her." Xalem looks confused. "New girl?" She nods and calls me over.
I walk up and bow my head. "Hello sir. Your guard told me you would be notified about me." He stares down at me. "When did you get here?" "Today." I answer honestly. "You must have come in with the wave of new guards." I nod, grateful for the excuse. "I am sorry if I was suppose to come here. He shook his head and said, "Don't worry. Just follow what everyone else does and you will be fine. Stay in your spot until you are called on." I smile, bow my head, and walk back to my spot.
After a few munites, guards walk into the room, then ten people, and more guards after them. I watch as they stop about ten feet from us. "Hello Prince Azeel, how are you?" Xalem asks. "I am doing fine. Though it is a bit warm up here." Xalem gives a forced laugh. "Yes, but you will get used to it." Azeel looks over the ten of us, and I see his eyes stop on me. He tilts his head to the right slightly. "And who may these beautiful girls be?" Xalem follows his eye line and then looks back at Azeel. "Well, these are out pinks. They are our most trusted helpers, so we have decided to have them show you around." Azeel nods. "Girls, would you like to split up and like to pair off?" Xalem asks. We all nod and start to make our way towards them.
I try and head to a side one, but Azeel says, "You, come here." He is pointing right at me. I look over at Lilith and she gives me a thumbs up. I walk up to him. "Hello." He smiles down at me. "I am Prince Azeel, who are you?" "Kiya." I say in a small voice. All of his brothers are starring daggers at him. The last thing I want is to be the center of attention next to him when I am trying to kill Xalem.
"Prince Azeel, shouldn't you pick one of the other pinks. They have been here longer and know the place better and-" He holds up his hand and raises an eyebrow expecting me to stop talking. I feel my fist jerk up the slightest bit, wanting to punch him, but I force my fist into a flat hand. Garret, Avi, catches my eyes and shakes his head slightly. I and so see Lilith cock her head to the left and lift and eyebrow.
I turn my attention back to Azeel and he says, "I have picked the one I want to be my guide. Everyone else will pick others." He speaks as if everyone will just bow to his every word. And I have to be one of those people. I bow my head and say, "Whatever you would like." He smiles and says, "Good. Now continue." Xalem looks pleased. "Ladies, each of you take a guard. They will show to your rooms after your give your prince a tour."
We all nod and walk towards the door. I notice Garret purposely counting the lines of people so he knows were to stand to be our guard. When we meet up with him, Azeel puts his arm around my waist and pulled me close to him. Making sure that Garret knew I was not an option. His hands were cold on my stomach, almost to cold to be alive. I instantly notice they don't heat up from my body heat.
Garret looks calm and collected, but I can see a hint of rage in his eyes. I hear someone call my name. It is Lilith. "Kiya. Kiya, wait up." I try and pull away from Azeel, but he only lets me far enough away to be holding my hand. "Prince Azeel, let me go." I say quietly. He shakes his head. "You, Kiya, will never tell me what to do." Then he turns towards Lilith. "Kiya, do you need us to show you around?" I shake my head. "No, a guard explained it all to me. I know we're everything is." She nods. "Okay. Then good bye."
She walks off, and I start to show Azeel around. I notice that Azeel is staring around me rather then what I am pointing out. I can't help but let out a comment. "I am not giving you a tour of my body, so you shouldn't be looking at it." He looks taken aback, and I hear Garret give a small grunt, almost nonexistent. That is how I know he was trying so hard to hold in a laugh.
Azeel however doesn't find the comment very funny and yanks back on my arm. The force of the pull, pulls me right into his chest. He wraps an arm around my waist to keep me from backing up, and looks down into my eyes. "You know, you have quiet the mouth. To talk to me this way, as if you are better than me." I can see anger in amusement in his eyes.
"I am no better than you, than you are over me." I say. He looks taken aback. "I am the crown prince of Navolin. You are a mere servant." "Job title doesn't define greatness. Actions run loops around status, and neither of us have ever done good for this world." The amusement fades and he shoves me backwards. "Don't you dare say I have never done anything good. I have trained all my life to take over Navolin. I have given my whole life to make sure they have a leader." I nearly fall over, but thanks to my trained balance, I manage to stay up. I can't stop my words from flowing.
"And what have you actually done other than sit on some throne while your father orders people? How many of your people live on the streets? How many of them go to bed hungry each night because they can't afford a meal? How many woman have to be servants or courtesan's because they are trying to support there families?" He takes two steps and is towering over me. I try and take a step back, but he grabs my arm. "It is not my fault that some of you choose to be whores and servants. It is not my fault that some of them are to lazy to get jobs. It is not my fault that some of them can't learn to save their money and buy their next meal." I scoff. "Life is harder than sitting on a throne."
Azeel squeezes my arm harder. "I have done everything I can. It doesn't matter what you say, a prince will always be better than a servant." I wince slightly at the pressure on my arm. "You have never done anything to make you greater than me." He shoves me backwards, and I feel a wall against my back. "And what have you done other than prance around in this little outfit that makes you think you can talk to me like this. I sneer at him. "At least in my job, I actually help people." He moves to do something, but I am automatically pulled away. I look up and see Garret holding me away from Azeel. "Prince Azeel, Kiya, I think we should get going." Azeel stares at Garret. "And what is your name?" Garret doesn't even flinch. "I am Avi." "Well Avi, back out of this." Garret gives me a warning look and backs up. Azeel stares at me again.
"And you, don't you ever talk to me like that again. Understood." I open my mouth to say something that would have probably gotten me hurt, but instead I bow my head, then drop into a curtsy. "I am sorry Prince Azeel. I don't know where that came from. In my old kingdom, the leaders did nothing to help us. I shouldn't have blown up on you. That wasn't fair. I am truly sorry." I feel a bitter taste in the back of my throat at the load of lies flowing from me. I hear him take a few steps forward. Then I feel a finger under my chin. I look up and his eyes have soften. "We both have done things in the past few minutes that we regret. Let's keep going."
I nod and keep walking while telling him everything he needs to know. When we are done with the tour I turn to Garret. "Avi, please take us to the princes room." He nods and leads us towards the guest rooms. When we get to the princes room, he walks in and I stop at the door. "Avi, you may go." Azeel says. I turn to Garret and give him a pleading look to stay. I feel a hand on my chin and it is pulled to face Azeel. "Thank you for the tour. I will see you tomorrow. Okay?" I nod my head and he leans towards me and plants a soft kiss on my lips. "Goodnight." He steps back and closes the door. I immediately wipe the back of my hand across my lips trying to get rid of the feeling of just having them there. I see Garret take a step towards me. "I was told to tell you to meet in the kitchen. You ready?" He asks. I nod. "Please, just get me away from this door."
We hurry of to the kitchen and I am the last one there. Lilith comes and stands next to me. "Someone took a little long on their trip. Couldn't let him go?" I shook my head. "He spent the first half of the trip staring at me so I had to...go back over it all." She laughed. "Well you get to go back up there." I feel disappoint well inside me. "Why?" "We are taking them dinner." She answered. I fake a smile. "Okay." It only takes a few munitets to get his tray and Garret follows me back to his door. When I get outside I say, "Avi, do you mind knocking?" He smiled at me. "Sure thing." He knocks and Azeel takes forever to answer. "Yes?" He sees me and smiles.
"I brought you your dinner." He took it out of my arms and stares at me. "Would you like to come in? Talk for a bit." By the look in his eyes, I know it is not a question, but more of an order. I shake my head. "I should really head back to the others. Get ready for bed." He perks at that last part. "I heard there are no more beds in the pinks room. You can stay here if you would like." I shake my head. "Avi has already offered and had all my stuff moved to my room." Garret steps forward and nods. "Yes, and if you want to be at your best tomorrow, we must leave now." I turn and walk away with Garret, glad to get away.
I quickly head into the dining room, eat, and head back to Garret's room. "Avi, your bunk mate is here." Garret walks into the room with only a pair of loose pants on. I turn away and ask, "Did you have them bring my stuff in here?" He laughs and answers. "Yes. Right drawers." I nod over my shoulder's and walk over to my drawers. As I pull the pajamas out, I turn. "To the other room." He give a stubborn pout. "Why don't you go to the other room?" I raise an eye brow. "Because I have had to deal with Azeel all day, and right now, all I want to do it get changed and go to bed. I promise, if you get in my way, you are sleeping in the hall." He laughs, gets on the bed and turns his back to me. "There."
I make a face to make sure he can't see me then quickly change. When I climb up next to him, I gently shove him over and take the side of the bed I want. "Are you comfortable in my bed?" He asks. I nod, my eyes already closing. I feel his hand pull me sitting up. "What?" I ask, well more of growl. "What is the plan. We have seen the layout and now we need a plan." I pout. "I don't want to talk." He smiles, "I could think of a few other things I rather be doing." I hit him in the shoulder. "Never mind, talking it is." I can feel some part of me cringe at his words. The same place that tells me things are different between us. We are no longer the kissing, caring pair we were before. I shake the thought from me.
"Okay, since the carriage isn't coming until the night of the ball, I say we make the kills that night. We just have to survive the week. That is all." He nods. "Okay. What about Azeel?" "What about him?" I ask. Garret stares at me. "What if he goes all mad on you again." I laugh. "I won't make him mad anymore." He stares in disbelief. "We both know that is a lie. But I am going to step in when needed. Okay?" I nod. "Now I am going to sleep. If you try and wake me, you just might lose a hand." He nods. "Okay. Good night." "Night."
I turn my back to him and lay down while Garret get's ready for bed. When the light go out, my vision goes black, then quickly comes back to me. As I drift off, I smile to myself. It was not good to draw attention to myself by fighting with the crown prince but today during that fight, I felt my old self. I had almost kept going, but I have to stay low, so I had forced those lie's out. I feel Garret's side of the bed dip and him pull some cover over him. When I close my eyes, I fall into a peaceful sleep.