17 Chapter 17
When I wake up, the sun is barley peaking above the horizon. I look down at Garret and he is sleeping. I can see he is still alert, at a seconds notice, he could be up and out of bed ready to fight, yet he is still sleeping peacefully. I smile sadly. "Why did I let myself do this? I could be getting him killed." I shake my head, banishing the thought, and get out of the bed carefully. I quickly get cleaned up. When I am done, I wrap a towel around me, cursing under my breath.
"Of course, I forgot my clothes. Good going." I peak out of the bathroom and Garret is still laying down on the bed, his back is to me, as well as the drawers that hold our clothes. I hurry over and grab my clothes. When I turn around to head back to the bathroom, Garret is siting straight up in the bed, staring at me. "You know, if I didn't know any better, I would say you are sneaking around. You scared that I would wake up when you were in nothing but a towel?"
I swallow, feeling like a prisoner caught trying to escape. "I didn't want you to see me and think I was a stranger. That could have gotten me killed." The lie rolls of my tongue to easily. I have always found it hard to lie to certain people. And before today, he had been one of those people. He smiled. "Now, I know that is a lie." I smile guiltily, but it wasn't getting caught that made me feel guilty. It was how easy the lie had come to me.
I rushed into the bathroom and put on all my clothes, not that much was covered in the first place. When I walked out, Garret was dressed and ready to leave. I put a fake pout on my face. "It is not fair. You get to carry around a sword, but I have to go weaponless." He smirks. "I guess you will have to rely on my to protect you." He takes a step closer to me, and I open the door, stepping into the hall. He walked out after me but didn't say anything about me stepping away. I do notice the slight frown on his face though.
"Do you know what we are supposed to do today?" I ask. He nods and said, "Meet in the kitchen. You are taking breakfast up to your princes." I notice the venom in the word princes. I ignore it and walk into the kitchen. I have to wait about an hour for the other girls to file in, but as I wait, I watch the reds cook and get some breakfast. When the trays are done, I balance Azeel's on my arm and push through the doorway. Garret follows and I hear him say, "Kiya. Watch out." I nearly run into Xalem. He looks mad. I immediately back off, remembering that when he was mad, someone, mainly me or the Jaycie me, got in trouble.
I look at the ground out of reaction and say, "Sorry sir. I didn't see you there." I feel a hand under my chin, and I can literally feel myself shaking. I silently lecture myself. Very few people can have me shaking, just by their presence. "Remind me, what is your name." His face has calmed, which makes me shake harder. "Kiya." He nods. "Be more careful with where you are walking. I wouldn't want to have to punish you."
I force a confused look on my face because Kiya has never been put in the mirror room, therefor doesn't know about it. He smirks at me, "Trust me. You don't want to be punished." I nod and he backs up so I can walk past. I hurry down the many halls and stop one from Azeel's hall. Garret is instantly next to me. "J-Kiya, are you okay?" I nod. "I am fine. I just need a second." I take a deep breath and it comes out shaky.
I slowly walk up to Azeel's door. When I get to it, I force myself to knock. He answers almost immediately. "Yes. Oh, Kiya, how nice to see you, I was just wandering if I would have to come down for breakfast or if it would be brought." I plaster a fake smile on and say, "Don't be silly. A prince would obviously get breakfast in bed." He chuckled. "Well, I won't be in bed, but still."
He backed up to let me in, but I notice when Garret tries to follow, Azeel steps in front of him. "Avi, you are not needed. Wait in the hall, we will be out when I am done." Garret grits his teeth slightly. "Okay, but you only have two hours tops." Azeel nods. "Whatever you say." Then he slams the door in Garret's face. I set hit tray on the table and just stand there, not knowing what to de while he sits to eat. After a few munities, he says, "Sit down Kiya. Let's talk."
I nod and sit down. "So, where are you from?" He asks. I shake my head. "I would rather not talk about my past if you don't mind." His smile grows slightly thinner. "I asked, where are you from. Don't make me ask a third time." I nod and immediately come up with a lie. "I am from the eastern side of the continent. Small place called Rock Rill. He nodded. It was a real place that was controlled by a king, but it was a boring one that shouldn't bring to many questions.
"Now I know where you are from, why are you this far west. I would assume you would have gone north of south." I shake my head and he stares at me a moment longer. "Did your parents follow you up here?" Even though nothing has ever made me feel anything for my parents, this question makes a hole, a small one but one nonetheless, appear in my heart. "I don't talk about my parents." He tilts his head slightly. "I don't remember asking if you talked about them. I asked you if they followed you." I shake my head, "And I said I wasn't going to tell you, just leave it at that."
He grabs his bowl of fruit and drops it on the ground, "Pick it up." I locked my jaw, bent down, and picked it up. I put all the fruit back in the bowl, then I set the bowl back on the table. "Now, did you parents follow you up?" I keep my mouth shut to keep from saying some choice words to him. He smirks at me drops the fruit bowl off the table again. "Pick it up." I quickly pick it all up again, but I can feel his eyes on my rear end the whole time. When I put the bowl back on the table he sits back in his chair and asks, "Are you going to answer me now?"
I squeezed my eyes shut for a second stuffing everything I wanted to say to him deep down. Then I turned and bolted towards the door. I get just outside the door before he catches me. He immediately turns me using my shoulders and shoves me against the wall right outside the door. "I never said you could leave." He says with a smile on his face. I see Garret all but running towards me. When he grabs Azeel's shoulder, Azeel backhands him. "Avi, go to the end of the hall. Don't let anyone else come down here." Garret stares at me for a second. "I can't. I have to listen make sure out pinks are safe, I have to stay close.
Azeel never takes his eyes off me, but he is talking to Garret. "If you don't do as I say, I will have a small chat with Xalem. Make sure you lose your job." Garret nods to Azeel. I know Garret has to keep this job, but I feel slightly hurt. When Garret is at the end of the hall, Azeel starts talking to me. "Let me make something clear to you. I am being nice; I could have you killed for everything you have done since I picked you. Yelling at me, disobeying me, and running from me. I wouldn't push your luck. Understand?" I nod and he presses he harder against the wall. "I want to hear you use your words. Understood." "Understood." I say in a small meek voice.
He smiles at me and backs away. "Good, now go get my dishes, and let's go down to the kitchen. "Okay." I say. I walk into his room and pick up the tray. As I walk out, I close his bedroom door. When I turn back towards the hall, he is standing inches from me and says, "Thanks, you're a doll." Then he presses a kiss straight onto my life. When he back up, I say, "If you need someone to kiss, there are plenty of other pinks, reds, oranges, and greens that would gladly let you kiss them." Then I walk past him. I don't miss the pat on my bottom that I get. I nearly hiss at him, and I see by the way Garret is standing, he saw it out of the corner of his eye.
As we pass him Azeel purposely stands between me and him. I walk as fast at I can to the kitchen, but I run into someone on the way down there. The tray flips up towards me. The top edge hits me in the bottom lip, and I feel my teeth cut into my lip. I feel the food he didn't eat splatter across my bare stomach, and my uniform. I also go flying backwards. I feel my head collide with the floor. I almost break character and let the string of curses that wants to come out loose.
When I sit up, Xalem is standing there. Azeel is several feet back, and Garret it behind him. I immediately scramble to pick up the mess. "I am sorry Sir. I know you said pay better attention, but I was focused on not dropping the tray and making sure I didn't lose Azeel. I wasn't paying any attention. I will pick all this up." I see he is staring at his feet, where a couple pieces of fruit skidded over. "I am so sorry. I will make sure your boots are cleaned." His gaze lands on me. "You are covered in food and you are worrying about a couple of pieces of fruit that landed on my boots." I put them back in their dish, and the dish on the tray that they belonged on. I was also shoving the eggs and bread that was left mostly untouched back on there plate with a fork. "Yes sir." He grabs my hand and pulls me up with it. I can feel food covering me, but I force myself to not pay attention to it.
"Go change your clothes and be back here in ten minutes. I will entertain Prince Azeel until then." I nod and run off, thankfully Garret doesn't follow. When I get to his room, I wash myself off, dry off, and change. Then I run back. When I stop, Azeel and Xalem seem to be enjoying each other's company. "I am back Sir." She nods at me. "Go get an orange and bring her back to clean up this mess." I nod and hurry off. When I find one, I explain the situation briefly, she grabs her cleaning supplies and follows. When we get back to Xalem, he just stares at me.
The orange quickly finishes her work and leaves. That is when Xalem speaks. "Do you remember what I said would happen if you ran into me again?" "Yes sir." I answer. "Then why did you run into me? He asked. I stumbled for an answer. I could feel tears building up behind my eyes to almost painful levels. Then I give the crappiest answer ever. "I don't know?" He raised an eyebrow. "You don't know?" "No sir." He stares at me for a moment longer.
"Well, since I have heard nothing but the best from Azeel, I will give you a pass this time. Now, you have the rest of the day to do whatever. Next time, I will not be so forgiving." I nod and walk off with Azeel. Once we turn down the next hall, he lets his arm wrap around me, resting his cold hand on my waist. I nearly jump from shock. "Today is going to be a long, long day." I think.
Later that Night
I am sitting on a cot in the pinks room. All the girls have dropped there Princes off, and we were just talking. I am sitting with Lilith and Janel. "So, are you having fun being the guide to the crown prince?" Janel asks. My tone come put bitter. "No. The heathen is a jerk who needs to learn not every woman loves him." Janel's eyes go wide but Lilith just stares at me for a moment. Janel is the one who speaks. "How could you say such a horrible thing. You have just insulted the crown prince."
I instantly realize my mistake. "No I didn't. You asked about my guard." Janel's eyes come back to normal size. "No. I asked about the prince. I have never been happier for a miss communication in my life." I can see Lilith isn't falling for it. She knows I was not talking about my guard.
I hear a commotion outside the door. Then I hear two blades colidding. I jump up and yell to all the girls. "Everyone to the back corner of the room. Now. Hurry." They all stare at me for a second, not moving, then the door flies open. I just barley have time to grab Lilith out of the way and push her to the far side of the room, and I take a dagger slice to the arm for it. I hiss out, but push the attacker back towards the door and position myself in between the scared, screaming girl and the four attackers who are coming in, each with two daggers in their hands.
"What are you doing here?" I ask. The tallest one smirks at me. "Looks like we have a feisty one." I growl and he zips forward, only not fast enough. I grab the arm going for my hair, twist it, and use my shoulder to spin him around. I throw him into a wall. He collides with it, and I hear two more falls behind me. Two guards are lying dead in the door way. One of the other guards has a dagger ready to slice my neck open, but I dodge it, and knee him in his babymaker. He cries out and tumbles backwards. The third and fourth one both rush forward and one catches my arm. I feel a dagger skim my side and immediately turn that way to fight.
This was what they were hoping for, and I feel a dagger at my neck. My back is pulled against the attackers back and feel an arm around my waist to keep me from doing a dozen counter moves I could have done. He doesn't let the dagger fall loose for even a second. "Now, who is the most important one in here?" He asks. I laugh and say, "You are holding her." He looks down at me. "Liar." I feel a hot sting on my cheek and see the attacker I kicked standing up, his hand ready to slap me again.
Lilith steps forward and my breath catches. She is definitely try the most important one down here, and they will probaly kill her. "Let our boss go." I almost sigh in relife. The man holding me laughs. "So this really is the most important one down here. Perfect. If any of you other girls follow, she does first." They all nod and I am yanked out of the room. Down the hall, I see a brown haired man lying on the floor, about Garret's hight. My breath almost catches but I force it to stay calm.
The one that was thrown into the wall yanked the door shut, leaving one of the guys in there. Then he stares at me, "You are going to help us escape. We are trading you for freedom." I sigh. "The stupid ones always say there plans out loud." The knife at my neck falls slightly out of shock, and I grab it. Then I sink it into the belly of the one holding me. I lunge for the one I kicked before he can react and get his straight through the heart. Then I turn to the third one.
He is staring at me. "You aaern't servant. You are a trained fighter." He says. I smile widly. "Try the only female assassin." He pales and I stab him through the heart as well. It takes all my self restraint to go in after the girls and not the Garret look alike. When the door flies open, I see the one in here trying to kiss Lilith. I grab him by the hair and yank him back to where he is facing me. "You want to kiss something? Kiss this." Then I shove the dagger through his lips and down his throat until it pokes out the other side.
I let him drop. All the girls are staring at me, and I hear two more guard run into the room. I make myself start shaking and put a terrified look on my face before turning. "I...I...I just ki...ki...killed four people." I said stuttering for affect. The guard inches slowly forward, the other following close behind. "Let me have the dagger. Okay?" I look at it and pretax to be noticing for the first time and I throw it down clumpsily. I jump back and all the girls are surrounding me, hugging me and thanking me. Lilith is the only one staring at me wierdly.
Then I hear a voice that makes my relax. It is Garret's. "What is going on back here?" he looks around and his eye meet mne, but before he can do some ginger to blow the cover I made I say, "See, is a heathen jerk. He can obviously see I am shaken from having to fight off four men and he still yell." I see the slightest gint of humor in his eyes. "I my be a heathen, but at least I don't kick people when I sleep."
My jaw drops. He made that up and he knows it, but I guess one lie gets another. I turn my back to I'm and the girls go back to talking with me. While everything is cleaned up, I am eventually diced from the group by Lilith. She pulls me to he fr corner and says, "The queen of He has rejoined us I see." I freeze. "How did you know?" she smiles. "You were kidnapped, forced to serve Xalem, escaped and less than three days later, a new girl with the same scares and same toned down atiuide come to join us during our busiest time. Don't you think hat is a little strange." I nod. "Please don't rat me out. I will literally be killed." She smiles.
"Don't worry. I understand. Your secret is safe with me. I said I wasn't going to sneak away, I never said I was staging for him. I am glad he will be dying. I stay because I owe this place, my home, not him." I smile at her. "I like this side of you." She just walks off grining. I mentally check another day off the week. We all head to our own room, but as I am headed towards Garret's someone pulls me back and i'm leaning against a wall when I stop. When I see the face of the person, my face goes completely pale.