19 Chapter 19
The past three days have all passed relatively the same. I woke up and left the room before Garret woke up, I brought breakfast to Azeel's room, figured a way to get away from him, worked on cleaning, worked in the reception room for the other important guests. I basically did everything from a pinks job to an oranges job including the greens job.
Usually really late at night I got dinner, went back to the bedroom, and changed then fell asleep. Garret usually got back in the room hours after me, long after I am asleep. He wrote down his schedule for the next day and put it on the desk for me to see, to make sure I knew where to find him if I needed to. Neither of us saw much of the other and we hadn't talked since I had walked out.
Colton had come up to me several times, either to hiss a threat try or try and get information, but someone always passed by just in time. The night before the day of the ball, I all but crawled up to the bedroom. Today had been long. Azeel had done everything in his power to make my day go hard, I was given about a hundred different tasks, and I had just barley missed a dagger that came flying at my head by one of the guards who missed the target he was throwing at.
I was literally asleep before my head even touched the pillow. When I woke up, I heard the door click shut. I heard footsteps come towards the bed and then the bed dipped. A hand pushed some hair out of my face and tucked it behind my ear. Garret's hand. "You look like you had a long day." He said more to the walls than anything else. I pretended to still be asleep. He was quiet for a second before I felt the bed move, next thing I knew, the back of my shirt was lifted and inch. "What the hell happened here?"
I silently cursed. I had forgotten about that bruise I had acquired. Azeel had gotten mad at one of his brothers and hadn't realized I was behind him, so when he turned to storm off, he plowed into me and I was shoved back into a table. It took all my effort to keep from jumping up and trying to hide it. I felt a thumb brush over the bruise, a feather light touch, but it still sent a small wave of pain through my lower back. The pain was instantly replaced with healing. Inside almost felt a smile appear in my face at how caring he was.
"Who gave you that?" He asked. "Xalem, a guard, Azeel? I swear if it was Azeel I will kill him." I listened as he continued to vent all his anger out. Then I heard as he walked to the desk and started writing. Finally, he grabbed his clothes out of the dresser and went into the bathroom. That was all I knew before I fell back asleep.
When I woke up, the bottom of the sun was still touching the horizon. I blinked a couple of times, and looked around. The same room, the same place, and the same jobs I had to attend to. I let out a small yawn, then quickly covered my mouth, looking down at Garret. He looked absolutely exhausted. I shook me head and thought, "He needs all the rest he can get, especially with Colton on the loose." He rolled over and I tensed up, thinking he was going to wake up. Instead, he just seemed to fall into a deeper sleep. I truly felt bad for him. He seemed to have to work harder than me, and I was always exhausted at the end of the day.
I got changed, stuck Garret's schedule into the waist band of my bottoms. Then I practically ran to the kitchen. When I got there, a red was already giving off orders. I happened to get dish duty, and by the time I was through with the dishes, I had to face Azeel. I carried his tray up to his room with some random guard following me with about a hundred feet between us. "Because a hundred feet is totally not to far away if I need him to get to my side quick." I think bitterly.
When I get to Azeel's door, I balance the tray on one arm as I knock. It takes a few minutes for me to get an answer, but when I do Azeel is standing in the doorway in nothing but a towel. "What do you want?" He asks looking straight out, then he looks down and sees me. "Oh, it's you." I nod, "Umm...I will wait out here while you get changed." He shook his head, "No just go set the tray down." I nod a scoot past him. I hear the door close behind me as I set the tray down. I turn to say something to Azeel, but just barley have enough time to turn away as he lets his towel drop and starts putting on his clothes.
"You know, a little warning next time wouldn't kill you." I immediately bite my tongue. "Jaycie, don't mess this up. You just have to last a few more hours." He walks up behind me. "Why would I do that. It is so funny to see you blush." I quickly step away. "Just hurry up and eat. I am very busy, and I have a lot of preparations for tonight." He smirked at me. "Okay." He sat down and started eating while I looked at the clock. I had two hours until I was due back in the kitchen.
When I looked back at Azeel he was staring at me. "So, back to yesterdays question." I sighed. Everyday he had been asking a question, just like he had that first morning. If I didn't answer, something got spilled that I had to clean up. I sunk into a chair across from him. "Prince, I had a late-night last night and I woke up really early this morning. Please lay off the games for today." His smirk just widened as he stared at me. "What was the question? Oh yes. Why are you so secretive about your personal life and your past?"
I just leaned back in my chair. "I just am." He looked at his tray and picked up a dish that had chopped fruit with a red syrup like sauce on top. He held it above the white rug that had been put up here yesterday when I couldn't get the huge brown stain out of the old one. He leaned against the arm of the chair and pooped one of the pieces of fruit in his mouth. "So, I will ask you again? Why are your so secretive?" I immediately jumped out of the chair, standing right at the edge of the rug.
"Prince Azeel, please don't. It will take so long to get the red out. I don't have the time nor the energy to clean it." He tilts the dish slightly, letting the sauce pool on the edge of the dish. "All you have to do is answer me." I clamped my teeth together. "I have just always been this way." He tsked. "I tried to be fair." The he tilted it and dropped the whole dish. I gave a small howl of outrage before running to the bathroom and getting a wet cloth.
When I got back to the rug, I shoved the fruit into the dish, scraping as much of the suace off the rug as I could. When I set the dish on the table, I noticed he was just eating, totally ignoring me. I scrubbed furiously. I could see the red turning into a dark pink, then a lighter on. The pink kept getting lighter and lighter until it was only a faint mark. I stood up and he had his tea in his hands, with his hands resting casually over the rug. "Are you going to answer me?" He asked. he swirled his tea in as a silent threat. I had half a mind to kill him right here and now,
I let my hands ball up the flatten back out. "Fine, I was always taught to keep my emotions to myself. To not let any other one other than anger out because bottling anger is the worst idea. I am so use to doing it, that I still do it." Mostly the truth, I just didn't mention the fact that my assassin master was the one that taught me. He nodded. "That wasn't that hard was it?" I spun around quickly, most likely about to do something I was about to regret, but I felt myself knock into the cup.
I felt anger simmering inside. It was rising, like steam in a tea kettle. Only question was how long until the steam started coming out. I just bent back down and started scrubbing again. He was quiet for a long time before I felt a hand on my chin, pulling it up. I was forced to stand, then look up to his face. "Don't worry about the tea, okay?" I was scowling at him. "Don't worry about it? I am sorry mister High and Mighty, but us lowly servants have to worry about it. It is out jobs. I have to clean it." I shoved him away, then started to scrub the floors again. I felt him lift me up again. "You lowly servants must listen to me." He said. "I am flat out telling you, don't clean that up." I wanted to hit him. I wanted to kick him, I wanted to yell at him. Sad thing was, all of the above would get me in trouble. I felt my arms lock into place, so that they didn't throw a punch. He moved behind me and set his hands on my shoulder causing me to tense further than I already was. He started rubbing my shoulders, I was so confused I tried to pull away.
His hands held onto my shoulders, to keep me from leaving. "Hey, just relax okay?" I could feel myself slightly shaking in fear at the fact that he was being so nice. After a couple of seconds I let myself relax. I had to admit, after how much stress I had been in over the past few days, it felt really good. He kept rubbing for a few minutes before he started speaking. "You are so tense. You need to calm down." I nodded subconsciously. I wasn't really paying attention. He spun me around, still massaging my shoulders. I completely forgot everything around me. I felt my head leaning against his chest. He waited a few more minutes before speaking again. "So, Kiya. There is something I need to ask you?" "What?" I asked. I could feel myself getting more tired by the second. "Well, I have been thinking." My head immediately went up. "About what?"
He looked at me for a second before answering. "Well, you don't seem to like it here, at all. Am I wrong." I shake my head. "Good, because I am bringing you to Navolin with me. I want a servant as good as you. And what better way to have that then have you, right?" I shake my head. "No." "What? He asked. "No. I don't want to go. Just no." He looked confused. "Why no?" I shake my head. "No no no. I can't, I mean won't be your servant." He looked angry at my response.
I immediately jump back up." He took several steps towards me, his smile is predatory. I dogged him going to the tray. I put everything on it and pick it up walking towards the door. Before I get there, he pulls me back towards him. "Oh, come one Kiya. Where are you off to? I am sure you can stay a while longer." Out of reaction I kick up hitting him between his legs. He cried out backing up. "I am sorry, but I have to go." I leave the room and almost run to the kitchen. As soon as I set the tray down, I am given a chore. I have to bring the boxes of fruit into the kitchen from the cellar. I silently thank the person for giving me this chore. "Anything you get out of having to be with Azeel."
I slip out of my heels and start to bring the boxes up. After about fifteen of them, I am sweating and tired. The red nods to me, signaling I was done. "Go out to the gardens. They need more help." I nod and put my heels back on and head to the gardens. This is how the whole day goes. Every time I finish one task, I get another. By the time five comes around, it is finally time for the pinks to go to the room where we had out dresses drawn out. When I got there, I quickly jump into the shower that is down there. When I get out, I wrap up in a robe and walk into the main part of the room. Lilith and Janel are the only ones there. Both are in robes and seem to be freshly showered. "Where are the rest of the pinks?" I ask.
Lilith smiles at me. "They are all showering. You were the only one to remember about the shower down here." I give her a small smile back. She is the only knew who knows who I am. All three of us sit on a bed. "This week has been so stressful." Janel complains. I nod. "I was hoping my first week here would go smoother." Lilith raised an eyebrow then looked over at Janel. I shake my head slightly while Janel inspected her nails. Lilith nodded and I gave her pleading eyes. She pursed her lips but looked away. Janel jumped into a random thought. "Did you know that new guard, Ace I think, wait no, Ivy, uhh no." She thinks for a second, "Avi, that's the one, did you know he has his eyes on me?"
I looked over at her, "You think?" I ask, genuinely curious. She shakes her head, "No, but he does have his eye on someone in this room." I silently curse. I walked into that one. "Which one of us?" I ask sarcastically. She sits straighter, "You. He totally likes you." My heart aches at that statement. "I guess." I say. She scoots closer to me, as if to say something, but I jump up as the doors open. The rest of the pinks walk in with a flock of oranges following them. The oranges are holding dresses. The orange the drew my dress walked up to me. "Darling, I am so glad to see you. I have made your dress."
I nodded gratefully. "It looks amazing." All the girls are squealing about there dresses. One of the oranges gets to the front of the room and says, "Girls, we need some of you to go to different rooms so you can all change. I am instantly grateful for this room being so small. "I will go up to the room I have been staying at." The orange nods, so I grab my dress and run to the shared room. When I get to the door, I don't even knock, I just run in. As I head to the bathroom, I am caught with a dagger at my neck. I instantly freeze.
"What are you doing in this room?" I hear Garret ask. I turn my head as much as I can. "Garret, it is me. Let me go." He looks at my face, then steps away guilty. "I am sorry. Didn't realize it was you." I step back as well and hold up my dress. "Well, here is the dress that was made for me." He doesn't even look up, "I will see when you walk out." I nod and then walk into the bathroom. As I get changed, I come up with something to say to Garret. When I am changed, I look in the mirror and smile at the image I see.
For the first time in a long while I see the assassin who is confident, strong, unbreakable. Everything that I was before only changed. I am not one hundred percent, but I am better. I put my hair up and wash my face, then I walk out. Garret is in a suite. On the bed is two bags. The bags we brought. I start putting the under tones of makeup on. The ones that where infused with the antidote, so I didn't poison myself. Then I put the poisoned makeup on. When I peeked over my shoulder at Garret, I noticed he was still looking into his bag. When I was done with the makeup, I painted my nails.
The tricky part was putting on the clear coat. On my right hand, the clear coat was infused with a falaziac, the left on with Calveis. This way if I back handed someone, or scratched them, the poison would take them down. When I was completely finished getting ready, I looked into my bag again, then let out a small sigh. I had left my daggers at home. "Well, todays mission just got a lot harder." I said. "Why Garret asked finally looking at me. I saw his eyes quickly scan over me.
"Because," I started, but I noticed his eyes wouldn't leave my dress. He was frowning at it. "What is wrong with my dress?" I ask. His eyes swung up to mine and he shook his head. "Nothing. It is beautiful."
I shook my head, not trying to pry the true opinion from him. "Well, I forgot my blades at home." He smiled, reached into his bag, and pulled out two blades. "Luckily, I didn't. He handed them to me along with two sheathes. I smiled at them; they were beautiful blades. Simple yet pretty. After inspecting the sheathes, I figured out how they worked. They went around my thighs and where held in by a simple band that would release when I pulled on the hilt of the dagger.
Garret turned away so I could strap them on. When he looked back at me, he frowned again. "What?" I asked. He tried to shake his head, but I snapped at him. "Don't you dare try and blow the question off." He tilted his head to one side and sighed. "Fine, I hate the idea of Azeel having his hands on you. I couldn't help but laugh. "You think this is bad? I have had about half a much as what is covered now, uncovered all week. That didn't bother you." "Oh, trust me, it did. But at least then you were working. Tonight, you a basically his, having to be at his side."
I took a step closer to him and put my hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry Garret. I can take care of myself. Plus, I have enough poison on me, that is he tries to do anything I can kill him ten times over." Garret laughs slightly. "Well, are you ready to finally finish this mission?" I nod and he walks out the door with me. When I split off, going down a sepreat hall, I don't miss the fact that he stares after me for a few seconds before walking down his hall.
When I get to the pinks room, almost everyone is back. The first person I notice is Lilith. She looks like some sort of sun goddess in her outfit. "Lilith, you look amazing." I say as I walk over. She looks me over and says, "You're the one everyone is going to be looking at." I sigh because that is the last thing I want. "It will be hard to kill Xalem if every eye is on me." I think. "Well, I guess I am going to be bringing more attention to Azeel then." She nods, noticing how I switched from talking about me to Azeel.
Janel walks up behind my, and hear her say, "Five minutes until we head to the reception room." My nose scrunches up at the mention of that room. "Thank goodness we get to stay standing." I say. She nods. "Yes, my back is practically cheering to that." I smile at her as she starts talking about how boring being a pink is. I blank out her conversation and start forming the plan to kill Xalem without getting Garret or myself killed. I am pulled out of my thoughts by the head pink saying, "Girls, to the middle of the room. Now please."
We all went to the middle of the room, and she started speaking. "So, tonight we are here to make sure the Princes have a good time. Each of you will be with your respective prince. If he needs anything, and you don't know where it is, find me or one of the other heads and we will help. We need to be the best. This could be big for us. We could be gaining another ally." I tilted my head slightly. "So, no one knows that Xalem is helping to kill them." I thought.
She puts a wide smile on. "Let's go ladies. Remember, tonight isn't working. Just have fun. Relax. You have all worked so hard this week. You deserve the night off." I scoff slightly. "Yet we still have to answer to the princes. My perfect day off." I think. We all walk into the reception room, and it is decorated. The first thing I notice is the guards are in suits, but they all have at least four blades on. There are also extra blades stashed in the huge plant vases.
I put that information into the back of my mind. All the pinks around me are walking up to the princes. I look around but Azeel is missing. The one who catches my eye is Garret. He is on the far side of the room and watching everything. He mouths one word to me. "Plan?" I nod slightly. I have a basic plan on who to get this mission done, but I need information from him. I am about to walk over to him when two hands cover my eyes. I almost throw my elbow into the persons gut, then I remember I am supposed to be Kiya.
"Guess who?" Azeel says. I try and turn to him, but his hands prohibit that. "We both know it's you Azeel." I say. He uncovers my hands and spins me around, wrapping his arms around my waist. I nearly push him away, but I restrain myself. "Where have you been?" I ask. He smiled at me. "I have been talking with Xalem. Today is no longer your last day with me." My straight face let a small twinge of horror into my eyes. "What do you mean?" He pulled my slightly closer. "Well, you are coming back to my homeland." I pulled away. "What do you mean?" He laughed slightly. "Xalem has let me bring you home with me." I could tell he wasn't telling me the full truth. "What do you mean?"
Azeel shook his head. "Are those the only four words in your vocabulary?" I realize the only thing I had been saying was what do you mean. I quickly say something else. "Why would Xalem give me away." Azeel's smile died a little. "He didn't exactly give you away. He left the deal with a mighty hefty pile of money." I growled slightly. "He sold me to you?" Azeel pulled me to him again. "Don't think of it like that, think of it like having an all paid trip." I swallowed a retort. "I don't want to go. I don't want to be with you. I want to stay here." Azeel looked surprise. "Most girls would be fainting in happiness at the opportunity to come to my homeland."
I can't keep my next words in. "Do any of those girls have any dignity or self-respect. I can assure you they all just want your money." He pushes me back to arm length away. "What did you just say?" His voice is angry. I immediately bow my head and look at the ground. "I...I...I...nothing." "Tell me what you said?" He said. I opened my mouth say something, but then closed it again.
I felt a tight grip on my chin that forced me to look into his eyes. "That wasn't a request. Say it again. Now." His grip on my chin was tightening to almost painful levels. "I didn't me to let it out." I said quickly. His eyes were pure anger. "But you still would have thought it." He said. I could see he was about to burst when a hand efficiently removed his hand from my face. I was pushed behind Garret. "Avi." I said, grateful that he was here.
"Get out of here." Azeel said taking a step towards me. Garret pushed me further back, stepping in front of Azeel again. "I need to talk to her about some security related details real quick." Azeel scowled. "She is a servant. She doesn't need to know anything about the security." Azeel tried to get closer to me, but Garret wouldn't let him. "This important Azeel. I am taking her now." Azeel stared at me for a second. "You have ten minutes. And it is Prince Azeel to you." Azeel tried to catch my eye, but I just stared at the ground. When I felt Garret leading me to the far side of the room I quietly whispered, "Thank you."
When we got to a quiet corner he asks, "What is your plan?" My fear of Azeel immediately vanished. All my concentration went into making this plan and making sure it would work. I was ready to kill Xalem and get rid of him. And if Azeel wasn't careful he would be next on the list.