✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 241 - 250 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Escape- Part 1

When Madeline and Calhoun returned to the castle, without anyone's notice where Calhoun hid his black wings again, they made their way back inside. It was good to see her grandparents after many months, yet it was unsettling with the thought that her grandmother strongly opposed her marriage to the King. It made Madeline question if her grandparents were living with them here in East Carswell right now, would they agree to send her to the castle like the way her parents did. With the way her grandfather had stood up against Calhoun, the answer would be no. They would not have let her to stay here, and a fight would have started to end with heads rolling on the floor. 

Madeline saw her mother talking to her sister Beth in the corridor with a frown on her face until her mother noticed her and Calhoun's presence. 

"How was your visit?" asked her mother, "Are they doing well?" 

Madeline nodded her head, "Yes, they are doing well. I met both of them. We informed them about the wedding."

"It seems they didn't receive the wedding invitation, mother," said Calhoun to Madeline's mother, "Did the invitation fall short?" he inquired with his head tilting to his side. 

After visiting her grandparent's place, it didn't take too much time to understand that her parents had not sent the invitation to her paternal grandparents, knowing they would be disgusted with the idea of their granddaughter marrying a blood-sucking creature. 

Mrs. Harris stared at Calhoun, who had asked her a question. If they had visited, the King must already know that she and her husband didn't invite Madeline's grandparents.

"We thought it would be best not to send...Considering they might oppose the marriage with you, my King," Mrs. Harris bowed her head, putting it in a way as if she was making sure that the King would marry Madeline. 

Calhoun said, "You don't have to worry about such trivial matters, mother," he stressed on the word 'mother' which Mrs. Harris was still not used to. Every time when the King addressed her as a mother, it made Mrs. Harris think that the man was being sarcastic and was taunting about something that she should be careful about. "You weren't ready to accept our marriage at first, but you have come around now," he smiled at the older woman, who didn't return the smile. 

Mrs. Harris had agreed only because Madeline told her that she was trying to accept her fate the way it was. It was possible that her daughter had either tried to fight or maybe she had given up because of the way the King was. 

Madeline noticing her mother and Calhoun staring at each other decided to interrupt, "Grandpa said that they would be visiting the castle before the time of the wedding."

Her mother then frowned, "Usually the journey takes up long hours. You returned quickly."

"We have horses that gallop faster than the wind," answered Calhoun and then he turned to Madeline, "I will be going back to the court." The three ladies bowed at the King and Calhoun left the corridor. 

Madeline saw Calhoun's retreating figure and at the same time she heard her mother question, "What did they say?" With the King who left, Mrs. Harris didn't see the point to hide her questions from her daughter.

"They are not happy about it. Grandmother said I should break the marriage off before it takes place," replied Madeline in a whisper so that her words would not be heard by someone else, "Grandpa asked Calhoun if he will break it off."

"Do they know who you are marrying to?" asked Beth with a huff, "They should be grateful that the King chose our family. You. People really don't know to appreciate things these days," she shook her head. 

Mrs. Harris ignored Beth's words and asked, "Are they alright?" 

"Yes, they are fine. The King didn't harm them," replied Madeline to her mother. Madeline doubted Calhoun would harm her family when he knew how much she treasured them. Her mother nodded her head understandingly.

"Let me go and see your father," and with that her mother took her leave, leaving only Madeline and Beth standing now. 

Before Beth could leave, Madeline said to her sister, "They shifted Jennine's casket to another cemetery. Did you know that?" 

On hearing the deceased girl's name Beth shook her head with a frown, "I didn't hear about it. People get shifted all the time, especially coffins that are old," pausing for a moment, Beth looked at Madeline's face before asking, "Do you have any nightmares?" 

Madeline's eyebrows furrowed, "Nightmares?" 

"You used to have many when you were young, and some four or five years ago," answered Beth, "You used to see this vampire in your dream, the vampire who tore and killed Jennine. You must have forgotten because of the amount of time that has passed since it happened."

"There was a vampire?" questioned Madeline to her sister. Every time when she tried to remember, Madeline couldn't recollect anything. All she saw was her friend's body, and she had blamed it on her young mind that couldn't grasp fully on what had happened. 

Beth frowned, looking at her younger sister, "Who did you think killed Jennine? It was a vampire who killed her. I was there when it happened."

Madeline wondered why she didn't remember it. Speaking about the dead person had almost turned to be a forbidden thing, which was why the matter had never come to light. 

"You fell unconscious after seeing the gore. What a delicate thing you were then. Let's not discuss the sad things. Did grandpa stand against the King?" Beth asked in interest. 

"He did, and the King said he would still go ahead with the marriage," Madeline answered that made Beth laugh.

"I would have loved to witness the scene," Beth said in between her laugh, "But seriously I don't get why they would oppose your marriage to the King. Did you tell them about me?"

Madeline replied, "No, I didn't."

"That's good," Beth was happy that Madeline had not mentioned about her being wooed by Markus Wilmot, who was a vampire and the King's cousin. "Anyways, Markus said he is taking me to hunt today. Have a good time in the castle."

"Wait, sister!" Madeline called Beth, following her quickly, "Beth!"

Beth, who had walked only a few steps, turned around to find her sister walking towards her in a hurry, "What happened?" 

Madeline halted her footsteps when she came to stand in front of Beth, "There is something I wanted to ask you." Her sister's eyes narrowed in suspicion, and then her eyebrows raised in question. Madeline looked around to make sure they were alone. When a maid came to pass by, she only stared at the maid, waiting for her to leave the corridor. 

"Are you going to tell me?" asked Beth. With Madeline coming to ask Beth for something, Beth's chin rose along with her nose. 

Madeline pressed her lips together, her cheeks turning pink as she tried to conjure the right words. This was something she believed she could only ask her sister as she was the closest person to her. Someone who knew of her secrets, maybe not big ones, but Beth knew Madeline and vice versa, sharing the sisterly bond; even with the underlying rivalry the older daughter of Harris felt. 

"I have been w-wondering, how a person tries to feel," Madeline blurted the words that made no sense to Beth. 

"What?" asked Beth in a deep frown, "Do you like the King?" Beth wondered if Madeline, who had been opposing the King earlier, was falling in love which looked like an inevitable thing considering how the man looked and who he was. 

"N-no, that's not what I meant," Madeline shook her head. She could feel goosebumps forming on her skin at the thought of what she wanted to convey, that was not coming right, "I mean when you feel something in your body. How do you like-do it?"

Beth looked utterly lost. She wasn't even sure if what Madeline was telling was what her sister wanted her to know,

"How about after I come back from hunting, you can tell me about it?" asked Beth when she noticed Markus who appeared on the opposite side of the corridor. Madeline, who caught the vampire's presence, gave her sister a nod. 

"Okay. Be careful during the hunt," said Madeline to Beth who waved at her. Beth appeared to be in a joyful mood. It wasn't hard to understand why, because Beth always wanted to have a life like this. 

Madeline wondered if she should stop being worried for her sister's life and where her interest laid. Her sister was a stubborn person, and the more she would try to stop her, the worse it would affect the sisterly affection they held between each other. 

Madeline let out a sigh. She hadn't moved from the spot where she had been standing. It wasn't that it was urgent, but Madeline would have loved to have some knowledge which she had claimed in front of Calhoun that she knew about. 

Turning around, she started to walk, searching for her parents in the castle. When she was about to cross paths with Lady Lucy,

"Lady Madeline," Lady Lucy greeted her with a bow and Madeline returned it, "I thought you were going to come back during midnight or night. Brother Calhoun's wings must be quick."

Madeline smiled at Lady Lucy's words, "Yes, it's faster than the carriage. Has your day been going well, Lady Lucy?"

The vampiress gave a thoughtful look before giving her a nod, "I think I have. I was accompanying my cousin Lady Sophie and aunt before showing your mother the garden of the castle. I thought she could use some fresh air and enjoy the flowers," said Lady Lucy. 

Madeline offered the vampiress another bow, "Thank you for keeping my family company." 

"You don't have to thank me. We are going to be family, remember, and you are going to be my sister," upon hearing Lady Lucy's kind words, Madeline couldn't believe that there could be someone so nice as her in the society of vampires. Lucy had a kind heart, and it made Madeline question if it was because she had been sheltered by the previous King and Queen. Such a kind person had ended up with a man who didn't spend much time with her, but outside and away from her, "Let's take a walk, shall we?" proposed Lady Lucy and Madeline readily agreed to it. 

"I hope your visit to your grandparent's house was peaceful?" asked Lady Lucy. 

"Yes, it was," Madeline responded before remembering the time of breakfast, "You didn't come to have breakfast in the morning. Were you unwell?" She noticed the smile on Lucy's lips falter for two seconds before the vampiress fixed it. 

"I was feeling slightly unwell. I didn't sleep much, it must be because of that," lied Lady Lucy and Madeline didn't question her further on it. 

Calhoun had said that vampires and vampiress didn't need much sleep. They were born with a trait where their body could function with little sleep, but if what Lady Lucy was saying was true, then it might be something that was bothering her. 

But Madeline decided to let Lucy know, "If you ever need someone to talk to, I will be here to listen."

"You're kind, Lady Madeline. I will keep that in mind," Lady Lucy offered her a bright smile again, "I am delighted that brother Calhoun chose you. Contrasting characteristics always settle in well together." 

If Madeline was the light, Calhoun was the darkness. They were two different people. She wanted to save people, to keep them safe and happy while Calhoun enjoyed killing people. 

Madeline wondered if Lady Lucy had any feelings towards Theodore. It was hard to question because she had noticed how she avoided him like he was an oncoming plague every time when he was near her. Her husband, Samuel Greville, on the other hand, didn't stay too long near her. She wondered why the previous King and Queen got her married to someone who barely stood by her side. 

Did Lady Lucy's parents know about her interest in Theodore? Though Madeline wanted to learn more about it, it was rude to intrude into someone's life. 

Both the girls stepped out of the castle and headed towards the garden. With the time of the evening approaching, the sunlight wasn't as harsh, and it made the atmosphere much more pleasant. Madeline and Lucy went to take a seat on one of the benches in the garden. 

"I am so glad that you have accepted to marry the King, Lady Madeline," came the sudden words from Lady Lucy. This had Madeline turn towards her who was looking at the sky that was turning multicoloured, "I know how hard it gets when you are pushed into something you do not expect. The King can be a brute at times, but he isn't all bad."

Madeline wondered if Lucy would continue to support Calhoun if the vampiress were to know, he was the cause of her parent's death. 

"I am also excited to have a kind sister like you," Lucy placed a hand on Madeline's hand that was resting on her lap. She stopped looking at the sky and turned to smile at Madeline before retreating her hand away from Madeline, "When you are part of the royal family, it is very hard to have someone, to be called as close," she then looked away, her eyes looking distant, "Sometimes the people you believe you can count on turn their back against you."

Unable to resist, Madeline asked, "Are you speaking about Theodore?" 

Lucy glanced at Madeline before turning back to look at the bushes in front of her. The vampiress nodded, "I guess I am."

Lucy then continued, "I was too young back then. Inexperienced than what I am now," a small laugh escaped from her lips, but it wasn't out of joy, "I hate thinking about the past. I was married away too quickly, and soon then I lost my parents. Everything happened so fast." The vampiress spoke to Madeline, opening her mind and heart because somewhere, she felt Madeline was like her.

Madeline didn't interrupt what Lucy wanted to say, and she continued to listen to her,

"I hate him for dangling me, making me feel things where he had no intention to persure until the end. To stay," Lucy's voice appeared empty and hollow with no emotions in them. 

"Does your...husband know about it?" asked Madeline and Lucy nodded her head. 

"Secrets that come from the royal family at times don't stay hidden. Most do but some spill out. Samuel was not happy about it," Lucy replied. The vampiress then placed both her hands behind her to lean back, "I don't think any of us can forgive each other. Me with Theo, Samuel with me. We are just bound to do things now."

"The King never spoke anything on it?" asked Madeline out of curiosity. 

Lucy's smile widened before turning small,

"Brother Calhoun doesn't get involved in things that don't concern him. It was something between Theodore and me. And Theodore never felt that way. I had hoped or believed that he did, but he didn't. When you are the daughter of the King and the Queen, you only turn to a pawn of trade." Her eyes looked more distant before returning her gaze back the way they were before. 
Escape- Part 2

"I hope you find your happiness, milady," Madeline prayed for Lucy. 

If Samuel was indeed cheating on Lady Lucy where he was not giving any love or care to her, wasn't it better for her to return to the castle where her family was? Madeline asked herself. But then, they lived in a society where people would look unkindly at the woman and not at the man. 

"Hm," Lady Lucy hummed in response. 

"Anyways, when are your grandparents visiting the castle? They must be very excited to see their granddaughter marrying."

"Very excited," Madeline replied, and Lucy laughed. 

"I heard from your mother earlier that she was worried because your grandparents are not accepting when it comes to us vampires," said Lucy, "Once they meet me, I am sure they will have a different opinion about the night creatures. It is what everyone says."

Madeline smiled, "I could agree on that." 

She didn't know if things will go smoothly with her grandparents in the castle. She wondered if that is why she had come to be wary of the vampires, from her grandparents, but Beth wasn't like that. Her older sister was much more accepting when the matter involved a higher status. 

Madeline and Lucy spent some more time together, out in the garden. It was not as quiet as the insides of the castle that was covered with walls and pillars. Madeline heard the chirping of birds that flew in the sky, who were going back to their nests as the time of night wasn't too far. 

When the time to head back inside the castle came, Lady Lucy said, "If cousin Markus and your sister Elizabeth have had a successful hunt, it will be a feast tonight. Your first hunting must have been scary for you," remembered Lady Lucy. 

"The King was there to catch the arrow, so it felt less daunting," admitted Madeline. 

"Brother Calhoun's reflexes are amazing and on point," agreed Lucy, "I still remembered the time when there was some sort of demonstration going on when brother Calhoun was new in the castle. Our grandmother had tested his skills by having dozens of arrows shot at him. Grandmother was angry with father, for accepting Calhoun as the possible heir who wasn't from two royal families."

Madeline doubted their grandmother only wanted to test Calhoun's skills. She wondered what their grandmother had done to receive such death apart from mistreating Calhoun's mother. 

It only shed that much light on what Calhoun might have been through, not just when he was living with his mother or out on the streets but also when he was in the castle. People were less accepting when it was someone who wasn't from the royal family, especially when it was an illegitimate son who was born from a mistress. 

"This only made father proud when brother Calhoun demonstrated his skills," said Lady Lucy, bringing Madeline back from her thoughts to the present. 

"How was your grandmother," asked Madeline, wanting to know Lady Lucy's view on the late woman. 

"She was too strict. Don't do this, don't do that. She wasn't happy with her life," came the thoughtful answer from the vampiress, "I mean, I think even mother had a hard time pleasing her. She might be the least favourite and then grandfather. Only because I never got to meet him," Lady Lucy laughed. 

"I think we share similar grandparents when it comes to strictness," Madeline replied, and Lady Lucy beamed that she had someone similar to talk about. Though there was Calhoun and Sophie along with the others, it never felt right to share things like this. Maybe because bad-mouthing one's own family was considered to be disgraceful, but it was only Lucy who thought so while the rest continued to play tricks. 

Before they could step inside the castle, Madeline's footsteps halted, "Lady Lucy, if I were to ask of you something, will you keep it to yourself?" Madeline doubted that she would be able to get to speak to Beth freely, especially when she was mostly with either Markus or Lady Rosamund. 

Lucy readily nodded her head, "Anything." 

Madeline's eyes darted left and right, making sure no one was there. She then finally whispered to Lucy, "I wanted to know how…" Lady Lucy patiently heard it before a smile broadened on her lips, and she answered back to Madeline's questions. Madeline was thankful that Lady Lucy had not looked at her as if she had grown another head. Lucy had picked on what she was saying quickly before offering her advice. 

When they stepped inside, Calhoun appeared from the other side, walking in their direction, "You don't mind me stealing Madeline from your side, do you, Lucy?" 

Lucy bowed her head, a faint smile on her lips, "I will go and see what Sophie is up to."

"Please," said Calhoun to see his half-sister walk away in search of their cousin. 

Madeline saw Lucy leave, and her eyes shifted at Calhoun to meet his blood-red eyes, "Was there something you needed from me?" she asked him. 

"If I were to ask you, would you give it to me? Your grandparents were too nice to offer water. Will you repay the kindness on behalf of them?" asked Calhoun. He took one step closer to her and Madeline gulped. 

"I can bring you a glass of blood from the kitchen," Madeline offered him. Technically, Calhoun had missed a glass of blood from her grandparents.

"I want you," came his reply and Madeline took a quick look to notice two maids who had entered the corridor to immediately turn around and leave on seeing her and the King. 

Madeline cleared her throat, "I don't think my grandparents were offering me as cookies to you." She didn't want Calhoun to think that he could get his way every time by cornering her by his words and actions. 

Calhoun's lips twitched, "You are a tasty cookie," Madeline noticed Calhoun run his tongue over his teeth, "Soft, and sweet, tantalizing. Let's blame it on your grandparents for not giving me blood." She gulped. 

"You had enough time to drink blood in here. In the court," said Madeline. The way Calhoun was looking at her right now, it felt like he was barely able to hold his thirst, "I can ask someone to bring you a glass of blood," she offered, ready to walk to the kitchen but Calhoun placed one of his hands on the wall of the pillar to stop her. 

Madeline hoped Calhoun was only teasing her and not being serious about it. She wanted him to control his thirst, and it wasn't like there was no blood in the castle. Calhoun was stubborn in wanting to drink blood from her. He was smart, but Madeline didn't want him thinking he could trick her into giving herself whenever he wanted. 

She turned to her left side and then said, "Mother."

This caught Calhoun's attention, and he turned in the direction she looked at, but there was no one. Madeline took this opportunity to step away from him and escape from the corridor before he would sink his fangs into her skin.

Hearing the sound of a pair of shoes running, Calhoun's eyes narrowed, and he looked at her back. The nerve of the girl, thought Calhoun to himself.

His eyes turned dark, and his fang bit the inside of his skin to taste blood. He didn't like being denied. If Madeline was looking for a chase, Calhoun would give her one that was sinfully pleasing yet punishing.
Escape- Part 3

She turned around to make sure Calhoun was not following her right now. As Madeline walked, every now and then, she looked behind her. Her heart was beating too loud that could catch any vampire's attention. Taking a deep breath as she made her way through the halls and the corridors of the castle, she hoped not to be caught by Calhoun now. 

Madeline wanted to save her remaining innocense that was there before the King would get his way with her. The problem here was that Calhoun always found some way to bargain and twist her words, leaving her speechless as she didn't know how to deal with him. She wished she was smarter than him, and this was hopefully her being intelligent. 

She had tricked him by making him believe her mother was right there, diverting his concentration from her before she bolted out and away from Calhoun's side. 

Her footsteps were fast, and Madeline tried to ease herself by thinking that Calhoun was nowhere around. 

Just when she thought she had got rid of Calhoun's presence around her, Madeline saw him standing on the other side of the corridor. He was fixing one of his buttons on his sleeve. Calhoun was not looking at her and Madeline wondered if he didn't notice her. But she was wrong. 

When Madeline sneakily tried to leave the corridor by taking two steps behind, Calhoun's eyes were quick to look at her. 

He caught her. Calhoun's eyes looked dark yet alive. There was no smile on his lips as he let go of the sleeve to take a step forward. Madeline knew that she wouldn't be able to stall him forever, but at the same time, she didn't want him to take her granted where he could do anything he wanted. True that he was the King, but if she was indeed going to take up the position next to him, she would have to fight back with similar tricks. 

"You forget this is my castle, Madeline," Calhoun said as he took a few more steps forward and Madeline took some behind, "Tricking the King," he tched, "Did you think you could get away with it?" 

"I was hoping to," answered Madeline. Her brown eyes were fixed on Calhoun, watching him saunter towards her. Madeline's eyes were quick to look around, finding the next passage, but the question was, how far would she be able to make it before Calhoun would catch her. 

"What a naive little thing you are. Amusing too," said Calhoun. 

Madeline felt nervousness creep into her body as every second passed, "If I have amused you, give me permission to take my leave, milord," replied Madeline. 

Calhoun chuckled, "We could have done it quickly yet you decided to make me run after you. Do you think you are allowed to run away from me, sweet girl? I will find you, and once you are in my arms, let's hope that you will still be conscious."

She gulped hearing this.

Did she make a mistake by running away from him? Was there no place to hide in this castle? The castle did belong to Calhoun, every servant who worked in the castle and the things that resided in here belonged to the King. 

"You are only going to make it worse by delaying my meal," Calhoun's footsteps were relaxed, unlike Madeline, whose legs were shaking beneath her dress. 

"I offered you to get a glass of blood for you from the kitchen," Madeline retorted back, and Calhoun ran his tongue over his teeth. 

"Why would I take blood from a glass where the blood has turned cold when I can get something so warm and sweet that is right in front of me?" Calhoun turned his head to the side, his words more of a statement than a question. 

"Because sometimes it's alright to drink blood from glass?" Madeline asked before she said, "You had my blood two days ago." Calhoun didn't go to respond to her question, and he continued to walk towards her. 

Seeing this, Madeline did the best she could do as she was worried to stand next to Calhoun. She quickly ran to the next corridor. In time, she met her sister Beth who was walking with Markus Wilmot next to her side. 

Markus bowed his head, and Madeline did the same. Beth noticed how her younger sister appeared to be out of breath, "Are you going somewhere?" asked Beth, raising her eyebrows. 

"I was coming to greet you," Madeline smiled while trying not to turn so that she would find Calhoun right on her tail. Beth returned Madeline's smile. After going to hunt with Markus, Beth was in a much better mood, and it seemed like her younger sister wanted her again. It made the elder girl happy, "How was your first hunt?" asked Madeline. 

"It was amazing!" exclaimed Beth, "Mr. Wilmot was kind enough to teach me how to use the crossbows. We even hunted a deer, so expect some delicious meat for supper."

"Oh, that's nice," Madeline nodded her head, and then she heard the sharp footsteps on the floor, making her head turn to see Calhoun, who made his way towards them. Madeline quickly moved to stand next to Beth. 

Beth and Markus bowed at the King, and Markus said, "I heard from my sister Sophie that your first hunt didn't go well. I hope your next time will be more enjoyable."

Beth, hearing this said, "Madeline is a deer herself, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't touch the arrow. Not everyone takes interest when it comes to hunting."

"You are right, Lady Elizabeth. Madeline is too kind to hurt anything," said Calhoun looking at Madeline. His eyes then shifting to look at Beth, "Not everyone has the ability and heart to kill."

Though the words were casually said, it did set a distinction between the two sisters who stood next to each other. Beth brushed it away and asked the King, "Milord, what is your favourite animal to hunt?" 

"My favourite?" asked Calhoun, "Something too pure and innocent. Having soft skin which I can grab."

Madeline's face instantly turned red, and she tried to regulate her breathing, hearing Calhoun's words. She didn't know if she should be glad that he didn't go in detail in front of her sister and his cousin.

"There are so many animals like that," stated Markus.

"Yes," replied Calhoun before asking his cousin, "Did you go to the village of East Carswell today?"

Hearing this, the two girls turned to pay more attention to the King's words as they were from East Carswell. Markus on the other hand, his hand turned slightly cold. "To the village?" asked Markus, "You asked me to check and find who might have tried to destroy the shop that belongs to Mr. Harris."

"It is what I was inquiring about," said Calhoun before cocking his head to the side, "Was there something else in the village?" His red eyes stared at Markus Wilmot as if he was dissecting his cousin merely through his eyes. 

Madeline silently heard the conversation take place between Calhoun and Markus. According to her and Calhoun's suspicion, Markus' family was behind the sabotage that took place, but Madeline didn't understand why Calhoun had put Markus in charge of it. It was like asking the thief to get answers on why the things were stolen. 

"No, my King. Apart from it, I would have gone to the village to meet Lady Elizabeth, but she's not there. I went looking for the culprit, but I haven't found anything so far," answered Markus with a solemn look.

"What a shame. Even the minister would find the answers to it sooner," commented Calhoun. Markus grit his teeth over his cousin's words, "It looks like you are getting a little out of shape when it comes to it. I will have people reassigned to positions of work so you can regain the experience."

The words weren't lost between the girls who stood there next to them. 

Beth's green eyes moved to look between the King and Mr. Wilmot right now. It seemed like Markus wasn't as capable as Beth had thought him to be. Maybe it was because he was standing in front of the King, which was why anything in comparison to this powerful man turned pale in appearance. 

The elder daughter of Harris had been satisfied after being showered with attention from Markus. Beth was someone who aimed for things that was the best. And right now, the King was the best compared to Markus. Calhoun Hawthrone was not a King for no reason. The man was smart, and he was handsome to look at.

Between the time of entering this castle and now, she had decided to go along with Markus as the King seemed to be disinterested by her presence. It wasn't that she hadn't tried to entice the man, but it had only ended up with her pride being hurt. 

Beth, therefore, decided to stick with Markus, not to forget those beautiful jewels she had received from his mother, Lady Rosamund. The only problem here was his sister.

"Of course, my King," Markus bowed his head, "I would be more than happy to serve you and the kingdom of Devon."

"What good subjects I have," Calhoun praised, "I must have done something good in the past." And Calhoun was right. The good things he had done in the past was getting rid of people who he didn't want living in the castle or anywhere who could come to be a threat to him. 

When everyone fell silent, Calhoun's gaze shifted to look at Madeline, she was quick to catch on to. Before Calhoun could utter a word, Madeline said,

"Beth and I will be excusing ourselves," she didn't miss the way Calhoun's eyes narrowed at her right now, but she tried to ignore it. She wanted some time to think than being attacked by him out in the corridor where anyone could come to step in and see what was happening.

Markus nodded his head, "I will see you at the time of supper, miladies." Calhoun didn't speak but continued to glare at Madeline who refused to meet his eyes. Madeline pulled Beth's arm and walked away from there. For now, she was safe. 

When the sisters walked far away from the corridor where the King and Mr. Wilmot stood, Beth asked, "Where are we hurrying to?" It was because Madeline had been pulling her as they walked. It reminded Beth of the time when Madeline was small, clung around her, "Didn't you say you wanted to ask me something earlier today?" 

Madeline stopped, turning around to look at the end of the corridor where they had walked through a few seconds ago. She then looked back at her sister Beth, "It was nothing important," She shook her head with a smile, and then held Beth's arm, "I wanted you to know that I want you to stay happy. I apologize for last night."

Beth stared at Madeline, "Is this you telling you don't have a problem with my decision?" Madeline quickly nodded her head. The elder sister finally smiled, "Okay. I take your apology. You jump into conclusion so fast," her sister rolled her eyes. 

Madeline didn't want Beth to think, she was against her and Markus. She was against it, but it was better to keep a closer watch by staying close to her sister and making her think she was accepting Beth's possible marriage with Markus. She didn't know what was going on in Wilmot's mind and therefore she wanted to make amends. There was a particular approach on how to go around things, and Madeline was working on it. 

"I will try to be more mindful with my words," Madeline promised Beth. 

"Now let me tell you how the hunting went. Markus is charming," Beth started to speak about the time she had spent with Markus in the forest. 

While Beth was telling the events that took place, Madeline couldn't help but let her eyes dart to the corners of the corridors, to see if Calhoun appeared. Seeing him not there, she wondered if he had finally dropped chasing her, or was he waiting for the right time?
Wolf in the bed- Part 1

During the time of supper, Madeline chose to sit next to her sister Beth and away from Calhoun as a precautionary measure. Having experience with Calhoun's hand sneaking up on her leg, on her thigh, she doubted she would be able to sit still without turning red with embarrassment. Not to mention, her family and his relatives were seated at the table. 

And even though Calhoun had not touched her, Madeline couldn't stop her thoughts that were running in her mind. 

"Lady Madeline, you changed your seat," said Lady Lucy loud enough for everyone to hear it, who were at the table. Madeline was holding the cutlery in her hand when Lady Lucy spoke. She wished the kind vampiress wouldn't have mentioned it loud because everyone could see her sitting not next to the King but between her mother and her sister Beth. 

All the vampires, including Calhoun's eyes, fell on Madeline. 

"I wanted to spend some time with Beth. It feels too long since we last sat next to each other at the table," replied Madeline with a polite smile on her face.

"It must be nice to have a sister, isn't it," chimed Lady Lucy, who was the only child for her parents until Calhoun came to live in the castle. 

Beth replied to this, "Indeed it is. Madeline is a dear sister," the elder daughter of Harris wanted to show everyone at the table that she was the best sister. "Madeline and I share so many things. From clothes to shoes, even we have almost the same shoe size." Hearing this, Lady Lucy nodded her head. 

"I am glad I don't have a sister," came the statement from Sophie. Since this week, where she had visited the castle with her mother, her days had turned dull, and she had turned bitter, "I don't think I could live with one, especially with all the jealousy."

Sophie had been trying to think of a plan to put herself back in getting the crown and position. Her mother was paying more attention to this human girl who was planning to marry her brother Markus, and on the other side, the King was going to get married to Madeline.

"Madeline and I are never jealous about each other," said Beth, her eyes narrowing at Sophie, "I am guessing you would feel like that, the jealousy," she muttered the last words. 

Unfortunately, there were no crabs on Sophie's plate that she could throw it at both the Harris' sisters.

Sophie didn't understand how things changed in a matter of a few days. One day she was close to the King, someone who was always around Calhoun and the next thing she knew, she was sitting on the other side of the table, away from the King as if she was some stranger. 

If she knew she would have done something quick on the day she had met Madeline in here. But Calhoun had other women in the past who accompanied him. How would she have known, that the person who she was meeting was going to turn her life upside down? Even her mother was busy entertaining Madeline's sister, whom she despised. Sophie couldn't help, but think to poison the two girls. But killing two would be obvious, thought the vampiress to herself.

Sophie's red eyes coyly fell on the blonde girl whose eyes were on the plate. Clutching the knife in her hand, Sophie wondered if it was right to target Madeline. It needn't be poison as there were other ways to break a fragile human, thought Sophie to herself.

It wasn't her who had shot the arrow at Madeline, but Calhoun had gone as far as to humiliate her in front of everyone. She didn't see the reason why she should stop herself from turning the table around. 

On the other side, Beth, who sat diagonal to Sophie, could feel the glare coming from the opposite side of the table before it was dropped. While playing with a lone pea, she wondered what would happen if she directed it to Sophie's face. Beth still held a grudge against Sophie for the flying crab. 

Madeline who sat next to Beth could feel someone staring at her. She didn't have to turn and look, to see that it was from Calhoun. She had taken a seat far away from him, and she was somewhere thankful that he hadn't made her change and return to the chair she had been using all these days. Opening her mouth to eat now felt like the most difficult task to do, especially with Calhoun's eyes that was watching every movement of hers. 

The people at the table spoke to each other, and when the meal was done, Madeline knew she couldn't stall anymore. She had followed Beth to Beth's room in the name of providing company.

"You have been acting strange today, Maddie," noted Beth who had changed herself to her nightgown.

Madeline, who had been staring at the wall, turned to ask, "Why do you say that?"

"The last time you stayed beside me at almost every opportunity, it was when you broke the vase that was at Aunt Mary's house," laughed Beth, "Is there something you want to talk about?" Beth looked at her sister. Madeline shook her head. 

"Not at all. Everything is fine," smiled Madeline, and asked playfully, "Am I not allowed to spend time with my sister?"

Beth rolled her eyes, "I never said not to."

The time they shared right now, it felt like they were back in time where both the sisters were close without any apparent appearance of envy or insecurity. Madeline missed her sister Beth, but at the same time, the words that Calhoun had shared with her resonated in her mind. Would her sister do something to hurt her? It was an answer Madeline didn't want to venture in. 

"I have an extra pair of night dresses. You can wear it if you want to sleep in here?" Beth offered, making her way from the dressing table to come to sit on the bed. 

"No, that's okay. I thought it would be nice to spend some time with you," said Madeline. She doubted it would be wise to hide in her sister's room because she couldn't hide here forever. After spending almost two hours, Madeline finally wished Beth goodnight and started to head back to the quarters where her room was. The corridors were empty, and flames flickered from the torches that were on the walls as she made her way. 

Reaching her room, Madeline couldn't help but turn to look towards Calhoun's room and she noticed the light coming through the window. It seemed like she had been worried for no reason, thought Madeline to herself before turning back and stepping inside her room. 

Some candles were already burning in the room and Madeline closed the door. Her hands locking it when she heard, 

"Make sure to lock the door properly."

Hearing Calhoun's voice, Madeline jumped out of her skin, and she snapped around to see him standing on the left side of where the candles were burning. He stood there with his hand playing with the flame. Calhoun finally dropped his hand, and he looked at her,

"Did you think you could escape from the paws of a wolf?"
Wolf in the bed- Part 2

Music Recommendation: La Fille Aux Pouvoirs Magiques by Stephan Moccio


Somewhere in the back of her mind, Madeline knew this was going to happen. Calhoun was going to catch her, and she would have to bear the consequences for running away from him for the last few hours, where she had been stalling him with every opportunity she got. 

Madeline could feel the tension rise in the room as she looked at Calhoun, who was watching her with his unwavering gaze. A small gulp escaped moving down her throat. Calhoun claimed that he was denied from being offered blood, but he had plenty of opportunities to do that here in the castle. One word from him and the servants would willingly offer their blood to him. But like him, Madeline was stubborn. 

"I thought you were in your room," said Madeline, taking a step back and she tried to reach for the lock so that she could open the door. While she was trying to open the door, Calhoun left the side of the candles and started to make his way towards her. His footsteps were nothing less to a predator that had caught his prey. 

"Because of the burning lights in the room?" questioned Calhoun to her, his voice calm yet there was something underneath that felt as if he was controlling the tone of his voice. When Madeline successfully opened the lock, a sense of joy filled in her chest, which was short-lived. 

The lock that were opened moved back to its place again, and another lock that was above the door which was not locked before locked itself, securing the door further. 

"It seems like you enjoy the chase as much as I do, sweet Madeline," said Calhoun when he came to stand right in front of her, "You not only denied me but you went as far as to trick and delay what is rightfully mine. Taunting the wolf is never a good idea." He placed both his hands on either side of the door where she stood, keeping her in place. 

Madeline felt a shiver run down her spine when Calhoun leaned forward and blew warm air at the side of her neck. 

"I would have let it go, but I heard something today." On Calhoun's words, Madeline turned her head so that she could look at Calhoun, who stared back into her eyes. 

"What?" she asked, unsure of what he heard. 

Calhoun didn't answer her question. He instead continued to stare into her eyes that looked dark because of the lack of light as he blocked the light coming from the candles. "Now tell me, what shall I do so that you are well aware of what happens when you deny me."

"You cannot always do things as you want," whispered Madeline quickly, "You told me before that you would drink my blood only once in a month. What about respecting my wishes?" she asked him. 

Calhoun replied to her, "Hm, I did say that, didn't I." Hearing this Madeline wondered if Calhoun would step back, but he didn't. He said, "I tasted your blood, and it's hard not to think about not to have it. And coming to respecting your wishes, I am very respectful about it." This had Madeline frown on what he was speaking about, "It was very rude of me to leave you hanging, but I would have never guessed that you would ask someone else on how to relieve yourself."

Madeline's eyes turned wide, and she felt her heart drop in her chest. No way he was listening to her and Lady Lucy! Her cheeks turned bright red, which was hidden because of the darkness in the room. 

"I-I was just asking for knowledge," Madeline stuttered. Was Calhoun always listening to what she was speaking? This was far worse embarrassing than any other time she had felt, "And it's rude to be eavesdropping when two ladies are speaking alone."

She saw Calhoun's lips twitch at her words before the broad smile appeared on his face, "I was walking past the corridor when I heard the whispering. It is hard not to listen closely when people are whispering."

Madeline couldn't keep her gaze on Calhoun for too long as it only made her more embarrassed, "You tricked me," she said to him. 

"I thought it was you who did it to me. I must say, I was surprised that you pulled something so silly with me," Calhoun's nose touched the side of her earlobe before his teeth caught the upper lobe of her ear. He nibbled on it, enticing Madeline as she closed her eyes, flinching when he bit into it. "Don't deny what you feel. I can see the need and arousal in your eyes. Don't fight it, sweet thing, it might make the anticipation much higher but it will burn you out. I am just respectful of what you need. Why is it so bad?" he asked her in a whisper. 

If it were possible, Madeline would have turned one with the door as her back was pressed against it, "You are turning it to your favour," she replied.

"How is it in my favour when I am asking nothing but only want to give you?" Calhoun questioned her. 

"You want my blood."

Calhoun chuckled, "You innocent little thing. There are other things than blood. Asking for advice from my sister, when I can tell and help you in a much better way, why do you want to go roundabout with it? Do you not trust me?" he asked her. 

Madeline's lips pressed against each other. It was not about trust, Madeline said to herself. 

Calhoun was enticing her with different feelings. Feelings she didn't believe she was capable to feel and the ones which she didn't know it existed within her. 

"Are you scared I will hurt you?" he asked her, his words gentle on her ears. 

"You know it's not that," Madeline could feel her mind and her heart turning fuzzy with him being this close to her. When she had asked Lady Lucy's advice, she had made sure to look around, to see that no one was listening to them but who knew that Calhoun was around the corner. 

"Then what is it?" Calhoun's voice continued to stay calm, but his eyes told otherwise. Even with the minimal lighting in the room, she could see something lurking behind those eyes. It was the big bad wolf who was in there, "You are going to be my wife. I am not my father to leave or throw you away. I know I said I will hold myself back, but it's hard, Madeline when you are in front of me."

"How about if we stay in different places? I with my family, back home until the wedding," that was one way to keep things the way usual marriage took place. But it seemed like Calhoun disliked the idea as Madeline heard a bang against the door next to her. 

"Don't stretch it," there was something unnerving the way Calhoun said it.

And though she was supposed to be entirely scared with the way he said those words, it only stirred something inside her. Madeline lowered her gaze. She could feel her thoughts corrupting in the company of the bad wolf. This was so unlike her, thought Madeline to herself. 

"To the question that you asked Lucy, there are variations. People like different things," stated Calhoun, "It is always best to explore it with the partner on what you like." His words were sensual, and Madeline could feel her eyes rolling back, wanting to close it as her breath turned short. 

"I-I didn't know that," replied Madeline, not meeting his gaze yet. Every word that left his lips felt like they were sinful and inviting. She could only be thankful that she had not spoken on whys and hows with Lady Lucy. 

Oh, dear lord! Madeline cried in her mind. 

"Of course, you wouldn't. This will be your punishment," Calhoun said. Madeline's eyes instantly snapped up to look at him. Her eyes grew even wider than before. "For teasing me, by running away from me, making me to wait. Not to forget, I haven't missed the point where you went as far as to switch seats in the dining room. You sure have grown to be courageous."

Gulping down the ball of nervousness, Madeline answered, "I thought that was how a queen should be. To stand her ground."

"How convenient," came the sarcastic remark from Calhoun's mouth. 

Madeline was trying to learn from Calhoun. If he could play with words, she would need to know them too, but it wasn't affecting him the way it affected her. She was weaker compared to Calhoun. By words, strength and his ability to seduce was nothing less than a poison spreading in the body, leaving a person unable to think anything. 

"I was worried that you would do something in the dining room," she confessed. 

"Do what?" Calhoun was interested in what Madeline had on her mind. He would be more than pleased to demonstrate it to her. His hand left the surface of the door, and it went to settle on the side of her waist.

Her toes involuntarily curled when his hand touched her waist. Her legs squeezed and Madeline prayed for herself that she would survive today, but with the way Calhoun was looking at her, survival didn't look like it existed anywhere close. 

"T-that, you would place your hand on my leg," she whispered. She had taken precautionary measures to sit at the table before Calhoun would show up. If he were to make her father stand and switch the seats, somewhere, it would be rude to treat his in-laws in such manner. 

Calhoun stared at her intensely, "You are right. I would have done something more than just place my hand on your thigh."

The thought itself had Madeline blink her eyes quickly. Her lips trembled as she thought of the possibilities. 

"Why would you do something like that when my family is around?" she asked, her eyes looking back at him. 

"I like to see you embarrassed and squirm. I wouldn't do it with the knowledge of anyone, it would be just something between us," one side of his lips pulled up. He ran his tongue slightly towards his lips, and Madeline noticed his full lips. 

"I am feeling dizzy," Madeline said, her breathing was shallow and her eyes were closing in on her. 

Calhoun couldn't be more pleased to hear this, "That's what the peak of arousal feels like. Imagine being pushed further and further towards the edge," his words were nothing less to a devil who was drawing her to him; here it was more like the den of the wolf with promising words, "It seems like you are quite the masochist to torture yourself."

"I wouldn't be feeling it this way, if it weren't for you," she blurted through gritted teeth before realizing what she did. 

"What a beautiful confession," Calhoun stated, his own eyes turning alive, "I haven't delivered the punishment yet for what you did earlier this evening."
Wolf in the bed- Part 3

Madeline stared back at Calhoun, his words knocking the remaining air out of her body to breath right. The punishment he was speaking about, Madeline knew it was not the same as what he bestowed on others. The punishment for her was completely different from others who were punished directly by receiving immediate death. 

It seemed like it was not just her blood anymore that Calhoun wanted to take from her. 

"Come with me, sweet," said Calhoun to her, coaxing her by walking towards the bed. She had dug her grave too deep today that it didn't look like she would be able to get away from it. At the same time, Madeline felt her skin turning alive. Even the smallest wind that passed through the window made her stomach turn. 

"W-what are you going to do?" asked Madeline, her feet moving slow and steady so that she wouldn't fall as she felt her knees turn weak.

"To answer the question that you asked Lucy, in a much more practical and demonstrative way," came Calhoun's direct words. 

Madeline's mouth turned dry, and for a moment, she stopped walking. The feelings that she was feeling in her body had only turned worse. Calhoun had a way with his words, and he knew the effect it had on her, which was why he made use of it. 

Calhoun's very presence in the room was daunting yet alluring. She saw him stretch his hand for her to take. Gulping, she slowly placed her hand in his that was lightly shaking. The little contact gave out a small relief but the thought of Calhoun 'helping' her, she couldn't break her eyes away from him. 

Calhoun tugged her hand for her to quickly walk towards him, "How shall we go with it, my Queen?" he asked her, "Would you like to try what your new friend Lucy has said or would you want me to help you with it?"

"This is embarrassing!" Madeline turned anxious.

"And who do we have here to blame today?" he turned his head to the side in question, staring at her intensely. Madeline was lucky right now that he hadn't dragged her to the bed and pinned her down for the stunts she had pulled this evening. "You have nothing to be self-conscious about. Instead of waiting, we are going to do it bit by bit so that you don't faint during the night of our wedding. I do not look forward to you fainting in my arms," he said, his eyes narrowing at her. 

Madeline could agree on that. The chances of her fainting would be high. But she was still nervous! What was she supposed to do?! What Lady Lucy had said was embarrassing enough. Madeline was only thankful that the vampiress had been kind enough to advise her and not laugh at her question on how to relieve the tension that she had been feeling that was tormenting her sexually. 

Seeing him wait for an answer, Madeline opened her lips only to close them. "Neither?" she tried her luck for him to roll his eyes at her.

"On the bed," he demanded, and all it took was one push of his index finger on her shoulder for her to fall back on the bed. 

Her heart started to beat loudly again, and she saw Calhoun bend down to unbuckle both her shoes. There was something about the scene in front her that was more endearing than anything she had seen from Calhoun before. Like he was taking care of her. 

Once both her shoes dropped on the ground, she saw Calhoun take off his boots before putting his hands on the surface of the bed to climb with her. Madeline sat there with bated breath. She was too nervous to move even an inch from where she was seated. His face was right in front of her, looking at her as if he was staring into her soul. 

Calhoun then pulled away from her, taking the side to seat himself, and he said, "Don't forget I offered to help, and it was you who didn't pick the options." Well, she had tried to refuse both the things but Calhoun was not pleased with her answer, thought Madeline to herself, "Let me see you put the advice in action that was given to you." 

Madeline's face instantly heated up. 

Calhoun took a comfortable position to sit so that he could watch her. Madeline wondered if she would faint today instead of the wedding night, "The King doesn't like to wait."

Then he could leave and go to his room! Madeline bit her tongue. Calhoun was a stubborn man, and she knew he wasn't going to leave the room until he got what he wanted. 

"I-I don't know what to do," said Madeline to see him twist his lips. 

"Go with the flow," Calhoun shrugged his shoulders, "Don't mind my presence." Madeline could tell Calhoun was enjoying her current predicament. 

Calhoun tried to keep his hands still and to himself, anticipating what and how Madeline would try to relieve herself. She had asked Lucy in such a earnest tone, Calhoun was not willing to let go of this chance. His red eyes barely left Madeline. 

"Lean against the headboard and the pillows," Calhoun directed her as she appeared lost. He was more than happy to show her the way. Madeline did as he suggested. She took herself to lean against the pillow where both of them could see each other. 

Seconds felt like hours under the gaze of Calhoun. Madeline had to remind herself that it was alright because they were going to get married. And there were only a few days left for it. It was an inevitable thing, them sharing a bed. Right now, Calhoun was giving her the time to get comfortable around him, taking one step at a time. 

With her face and neck flushed red, she moved her hands from the sides to move between her legs. For some odd reason, the flames in the room that were earlier dim turned bigger, brightening the room. Calhoun didn't react as his face looked composed, but his eyes had darkened. Madeline had never tried to please herself before because she never had the need to do it in the past. But Calhoun had been playing the game of cat and mouse, pawing her with his claws and heightening the feelings in her with every opportunity he got.

At first, she didn't feel anything, but she remembered the time outside the chapel, of how Calhoun's knee had moved to press between her legs. She pressed her hands between her legs, moving it back and forth. Instead of feeling relieved, Madeline only felt far more aroused with Calhoun who was watching her. Her cheeks had turned warm because of the heat, and her breath shallow. The more she pressed her hand over her clothes, her legs slightly raised from the bed, her delicate toes supporting the weight and emotions. 

Even though it was awkward, it felt good. Like a skin that needed to be scratched to feel the relief, but this was much better than that. 

Seeing Madeline trying to please herself, Calhoun's eyes darkened even more. He could feel his slacks tighten as his manhood harden at the sight of Madeline shedding her shyness in front of him. 

Calhoun had been with many women in the past, but no one had enticed and enraptured him the way Madeline did. Her eyes that were wide had turned small, her lips parted, and her back arched as she continued to rub her hand between her legs. He could hear her little heart beating loud in her chest. 

He gritted his teeth. Calhoun saw the beautiful girl in front of him trying to reach her peak of pleasure. But before she could, his hand moved to encircle around her ankle. He said, 


"What?" Madeline who had been apprehensive earlier looked confused now on why he was stopping her. She had felt the desire build in her body, as if it was elevating until Calhoun stopped her. 

Calhoun wanted to tease her. As much as pleasing it was to see her like this, it appeared as if he was punishing himself through her. He noticed the turmoil on Madeline's face. Her eyes were anxious. 

"You have done well, but it will feel better underneath the clothes," came Calhoun's deep voice as his thumb ran across her skin near her ankle, "Let me take care of that." 

Wolf in the bed- Part 4

Music Recommendation: La Fille Aux Pouvoirs Magiques by Stephan Moccio


Madeline, who was in an aroused state, stared at Calhoun over the words he just said. She quickly shook her head, "W-what?" She had heard his words clearly, but with her body which was on its own high, Calhoun had stopped her midway, she felt lost. Her cheeks burned more because of the blood rushing up to her face,

"Y-you don't have to do t-that."

His hand was still around her ankle, the little touch had turned her thoughts go in a different direction, somewhere making her ache in need. 

Calhoun stared into Madeline's eyes, "Is that what you truly desire?" he asked her, "What does your body say?"

Madeline's lips had turned dry. Her body wanted to finish what Calhoun had started, by making her do awkward things in front of him, but he had also stopped her. Why did he make her do something if he was not letting her finish it?! Asked Madeline to herself. Worse, Calhoun offered to help her.

"Are you not going to answer, Madeline?" asked Calhoun, his fingers tracing up her ankle and then underneath the dress. Madeline wanted to pull away from him, but she knew she would have to bear far worse consequences than what was happening right now. 

"We shouldn't be doing this," her words came out in a whisper. A shiver ran down her spine by feeling Calhoun caress her, which was nothing less to a whisper on her skin that was promising to offer sinful pleasure.

"What are we doing?" asked Calhoun, his words coy and when Madeline was about to use her hand to stop his hand, it was caught in his other hand. "Always so quick. It seems like you forgot what you did this evening. What were you thinking by running and making me chase you?" Though Calhoun had caught hold of her hand, he also let it go once the spike in her heart was trying to get back to its normal state. 

Madeline was asking the same question Calhoun asked her. What was she thinking running away from him?

"Things like these…" Madeline's voice trailed when Calhoun's hand made its way towards her knees. 

Madeline had stopped talking because Calhoun's touch on her skin was not repulsing, but it was sensual and sweet, making her want to squeeze her thighs together. She tried not to stretch her ankles and toes, as she saw him look at her with an expressionless look on his face. 

His fingers had moved to touch the garter, and she felt him play with it, "Calhoun," she whispered his name that came out breathy.

"Yes?" he asked, being attentive to her, "Which one are you wearing?" asked the shameless King. 

Madeline couldn't keep her gaze on him anymore, and she looked to her side at the surface of the bed, "The new one," she replied to him. 

"Let me see how it fits," came the smooth lie and Calhoun hitched her dress up. Her hands that were on either side of her, pressed against the bed. She saw how his hand ran across the lacy and frilly garment, feeling it, "I was thinking of having the tailor make some more of these. Who knew something so small could look so..sexy," Madeline wet her lips, her eyes back at Calhoun while his eyes were on the garter that was around her thigh. 

As if to test its elasticity, Calhoun slipped one of his fingers beneath the garter, and pulled it upward before running it from left to right. With Madeline's dress that had been moved up her thighs for Calhoun's viewing, she quietly sat as he let her get comfortable with her legs being naked in front of him. But that wasn't what he wanted today. 

Since he had Madeline staying in the castle, he had been holding himself back from pouncing on her. If it were someone else, he would have torn the clothes by now. But this was Madeline, and Calhoun was taking his time for her to give her heart to him willingly. But Calhoun had a limit, and he couldn't go on without having something from her. 

Madeline noticed how Calhoun appeared to be playing with the garter, his eyes on it before he let go of the garter for it to snap on her skin, making her flinch. 

"The idea might appear to be frightening, but it is far from it," said Calhoun. 

"It sounds like the devil's words," Madeline responded to see him grin. 

"Maybe," he replied to her, "Why to have water in drops, when you can take a whole gulp of it? You have done well so far, Madeline." Calhoun had pegged that she would need a lot of coaxing before she would submit to his words on showing him one of Lucy's suggestions. But it looked like he had teased her enough to make her want to have a release. 

Madeline trying to be smart said, "Then it should be enough for the night. No?" 

"No," answered Calhoun, "What you did was only stir and arouse yourself more. I would feel terrible if you went to sleep in such a state."

Madeline gave him a look. Calhoun was speaking as if he was doing a favour to her when in truth, he was only continuing to tease her more. When Calhoun went to push her dress further, Madeline's hands were quick to place on her lap so that they wouldn't move up. 

"Why are you pushing it so high?!" she asked with her eyes wide. 

Calhoun stared back at the shy girl, "It will be uncomfortable for you to have the dress pushed and crumpled around your waist. Raise your hands. I guess just pushing them up won't be helpful."

Madeline's lips pursed and her hands had formed to loose fists, as she felt she was drowning in his eyes. It wasn't the first time she had removed her dress. Instead of prolonging the time, Madeline nervously raised her hand to let Calhoun help her out of the dress that she was wearing, leaving her in petticoat. 

"How do you feel?" asked Calhoun, wanting to make sure she was alright. 

"Cold," answered Madeline. 

Calhoun turned his head to look at the fireplace, and when he snapped his fingers, the fire suddenly burned brighter than ever before, and he turned his gaze back at her, "It should be warm in some time."

Madeline didn't know what to say. So far, Calhoun had appeared to be one of the strongest vampires she could ever imagine was alive. His abilities were far beyond anything that she had ever heard. 

"Pull the pillow down and place your head on it," he advised, and Madeline turned around to push the pillow that was resting against the headboard down on the bed.

She could feel her heartbeat getting louder and faster with every second that passed. The room did turn warm, but Madeline didn't know if it was because of the fireplace or because her body was heating up at Calhoun's gaze on her. She did as he told. 

When Lady Lucy had spoken about doing it underneath her dress, Madeline was too scared to do it and doing things over her clothes felt much easier under Calhoun's intense eyes. He watched every single movement of hers, his eyes not leaving her even for a moment. 

Madeline then felt Calhoun trace his fingers up, bunching the petticoat she had been wearing to push it up towards her waist. The petticoat was thin in texture compared to the many layers of dress that was removed two minutes ago. She turned her head to the side, her eyes staring at the walls. 

"Look at me, Madeline," came Calhoun's demanding words. 

As shy as she was at this moment, it took a lot of courage for her to turn and make eye contact with Calhoun who was already looking at her, "You are beautiful, there's nothing to be embarrassed about. Not when you are going to be my wife."

Even though Calhoun hadn't done anything yet to her, Madeline could feel her breath turning shallow. There were mixed emotions swirling in her mind, but her body felt like it wanted to be touched, fire blazing not just in the fireplace but also on her skin that felt hot and bothered. It didn't help that Calhoun looked at her as if she was something exquisite and wanted to steal her away. She could feel his desire from where he sat next to her legs. 

Maybe somewhere it was good, thought Madeline to herself, doing things little by little because she was already ready to faint. 

"Raise your hips, sweet," Calhoun's words were sweet as if he would not hurt her. Doing as he asked, she felt him fold the petticoat so that it wouldn't hurt her skin because of the unevenness. 

Madeline brought both her hands to place it below her chest, her fingers holding each other, "Have you done this with others too?" came her small voice. 

"You mean other women and girls?" asked Calhoun, wondering if she was feeling insecure or jealous about the women he had slept with. Madeline gave a small nod. 

"I have touched them but not the way I am touching you now. Are you jealous?" he asked her directly, and Madeline shook her head. "Good. You shouldn't be. What you should worry is the present and the future. Not the things that have happened in the past," saying this, he pushed her legs apart. Calhoun noticed how petite Madeline's body was. He wanted to run his hands over her pale smooth legs, but at the same time, he didn't want to scare her. 

When his eyes fell on the white garment, Calhoun wondered how long he would be able to hold back from not tearing it. His teeth gritted against each other, and his eyes turned only darker in wanting to have her. Calhoun had waited for so long. He believed he deserved to get a part of the reward from her. 

Madeline's breath hitched when Calhoun brushed the back of his hand between her thighs and on her sex which was covered with one lone piece of garment. When his hand brushed in between her legs again, Madeline could feel the arousal raise ten times higher than what she had felt when she was running her hand over her clothes and between her legs. 

"With the amount of layers in the dress, you will feel it less," she heard Calhoun say as he continued to let her get accustomed to his touch. Still, at the same time, it was nothing less to torture, "If you are doing it with someone you have an affinity with, the emotions you feel will only turn that much better and pleasing. Satisfying," he said, brushing his hand ever so slowly so that Madeline could feel his touch in every single nerve of her body. 

"It was the first time for me," Madeline said between her intake of breath. 

Calhoun hummed in satisfaction when he pressed his hand more to see her back arch. Madeline was a virgin who was new to these sensations. Her body was readily responding not only to his touch, but her heart skipped a beat every time he said anything to her. 

He then used his two fingers in the middle, running it from the top to the bottom to feel her sex that was covered behind the undergarment that she wore making her toes curl and her head turn to look at the ceiling of the bed. 

Madeline moved her hands to place it on either side of the bed. 

She would have never known that a feeling like this existed in the world if it wasn't for Calhoun who was doing nothing but brush his hand and press his fingers on her sex. 

It was hard for Madeline not to react with the way his fingers were teasing her. Moving up and down, putting enough pressure that was leaving her panting for air and shamefully for more which she would not tell openly but Calhoun was good at reading her body, and he gave her more. 
Wolf in the bed- Part 5

Madeline could feel his finger continue to press and tease her. But this only made her body wanton. Every time Calhoun's hand left her body, her body started to tense in need. 

Calhoun's eyes picked on the small wet patch that had formed on her white garment. He moved his hand away from her, to only play at the ends of the garment before slipping his hand inside to let his fingers come directly in contact with her wet core. 

Madeline gasped at the feeling of Calhoun touching her. Her hands twisted into the sheets of the bed, and her eyes flew open. Her eyes moved up to see Calhoun who was already watching her expressions and moans escaping her lips. 

Her lips parted further when he testingly ran his finger over the wet folds before moving his finger in circles. Another moan left her delicate lips, her toes pressing and pushing back with emotions that were erupting through her body. 

Calhoun saw Madeline's legs quake as he continued to take it slow and steady, stopping when she felt her senses heightening to only to bring her back by denying her what she wanted. He flicked the nub to hear a soft cry erupt through her lips. It resulted in Madeline arching her back along with her neck stretched and her head thrown back. 

"You are wet," said Calhoun when his finger swirled around her entrance.

Madeline, who was lost in the sensation, returned to the room, her cheeks burning and her eyes slightly dilated, "More?" she heard him ask her. 

One part of her wanted him to stop while the other wanted him to continue. It was a guilty pleasure that she was feeling right now; that was what Calhoun was to Madeline, a guilty pleasure. Things like these were supposed to be kept for the wedding night. But nothing had gone as she had expected. The desire in Calhoun's eyes, the way he looked at her, ready to eat her up, Madeline found it hard to refuse. Doing something so sinful yet when it was pleasurable, it was hard to say no to, but Madeline didn't say yes either. 

Seeing Madeline not answer his question, he started to pull his hand away from her undergarment when a small sound of protest came from her. Her eyes anxiously looked up at him as he stared into her brown eyes that were hooded in want. 

Calhoun ran his finger over the band, "I won't know if you don't tell me. I will stretch my hands to you," but if she didn't take it, Calhoun would carry her without a thought, "What is it going to be?" he asked, stopping the movement of his hand so that she would decide. This way, he was letting her think that she had a choice, but Calhoun knew better, that she didn't. He was a manipulative man, but it wasn't out of bad intention here. Madeline was shy, and he was giving her the push she would need. 

"Why do you ask if you know it?!" Madeline questioned him, her voice weak from the pleasure she had felt. 

"Because it's much better to hear you utter those words. That you feel aroused. That I affect you," replied Calhoun. 

He was really torturing her like this. When her legs moved close to each other, Calhoun placed his hand on her legs to stop her from pressing her legs,

"Please," Madeline pleaded.

"Please what?" came the calm words from Calhoun, "Imagine you making me feel like this," he said, pulling the the top of the garment he had been playing with to let it go and it snapped on her skin, "The slow torture where I have to hold myself back."

"I didn't ask you to hold back," Madeline blurted to see Calhoun narrow his eyes. 

"Careful, with what you speak, darling. If I wasn't holding back now, both of us would be naked, and you would be screaming my name," warned Calhoun and Madeline felt her mouth go dry. 

Noticing how Madeline had not moved and was willing to take his help to get the relief, Calhoun slipped his hand back inside the garment. Madeline blushed profusely as both of them stared at each other. The whole time, he didn't remove the intimate garment and let it stay as his fingers continued to work on her. 

Having Calhoun look at her, it only turned Madeline wetter.

"It might be a little uncomfortable at the start," said Calhoun to her before pushing one finger into her core.

"Ah!" Madeline cried, her eyebrows slightly furrowing. It did feel uncomfortable, and she tried to breathe. 

She felt Calhoun give her a few seconds before pushing his finger inch by inch. When her breathing felt better, Calhoun finally pulled his finger out to push it back in. The room had filled with Madeline's cry and moans that was accompanied by the soft crackling sound from the fireplace. 

The feeling of uncomfortableness was replaced with arousal every time when Calhoun pulled his finger almost out to only to push it back in rhythm. Watching Madeline's face warp in desire and passion, her eyes rolling behind her head, it was a sight that aroused Calhoun, and his eyes only turned more intense. The next time he pushed his finger, a louder moan came to pass through Madeline's lips. 

Madeline had pulled her feet close to her, her body arching and her hips unconsciously lifting as she felt something starting to build in between her legs. Her body felt out of control, and her mind had drifted to another space as Calhoun continued fingering her.

Her body had started to convulse. Like a piano that hit high notes, Madeline could feel the heat that had pooled between her legs rise. As if trying to search for an anchor, Madeline's eyes went to meet Calhoun. 

"Let go, sweet girl," his words were firm, and one flick was enough to have Madeline's body shudder as she came apart in his hand. 

Madeline felt as if she had walked up many stairs as she tried to catch some breath. What she felt right now...it felt nothing less than jumping from the cliff because of the rush of feelings but at the same time the overwhelming pleasure she felt, she could not deny it. 

The entire time, Calhoun's gaze had not left her.

She saw him pull his hand out to bring it up towards his mouth before he sucked on the finger which he had made use of to please her. 
Meddler- Part 1

Madeline blushed when she saw Calhoun bring his hand to put the whole finger in his mouth to suck on it while his red eyes stared at her heatedly. As if one wave of emotion was not enough, she felt something stir in her body, seeing the way his tongue had peeked out to use it on his finger. She doubted she had ever seen anything so erotic like this before. 

The man in front of her reeked of sexual power, every touch and word of his able to elicit moans out of her mouth. Madeline was embarrassed with the way her cries of sigh and moans had escaped her mouth. Her body had quaked under his touch, unable to control what she was feeling until she felt the release she had been itching for before but had been shy to do anything about it properly or ask him. 

Her toes curled, trying to hide them even though her lower part was yet to be covered with her dress as Calhoun had earlier bunched them up for easy access. 

"How was it?" asked Calhoun, his voice thick in desire. Calhoun had not moved away from sitting between her legs and instead of letting her legs close, he placed his hand on either side of her, moving like a feline until he was on top of her. 

Her heart had madly started to beat, and her eyes were barely able to focus on him. It had been only a few seconds since he had fingered her, touching her in the most private part of her body without making her feel awkward or strange about it. With his body so close to her, his face in front of her, Madeline couldn't think straight. The sexual tension only increased, and she could feel the heat starting to pool back in between her legs. 

Madeline was embarrassed with the fact that her body was behaving needy, wanting attention, and she tried to distract herself by looking at Calhoun's dishevelled hair that looked soft. What she felt today was something intimate, but she didn't want to be a wanton girl. 

Supporting himself with one hand as he left another to hold Madeline's chin, he asked, "Speak, Maddie." 

Calhoun knew how to please a woman, and he knew he had aroused Madeline to push her off the cliff, sending her flying in her mind, but he wanted to hear it from her. To know that she enjoyed it, even though her expression had already said it all. 

His teeth gritted against each other when he remembered her crying out when his finger moved in her and her back arched beautifully like she was unable to hold it in any longer. His manhood hardened and Calhoun needed a release. 

Madeline pressed her lips before opening it, "It was nice," came her small, shy voice. 

"Only nice?" asked Calhoun, his eyes tracing her face, "It seems like I didn't do a good job if it's just nice," saying this, Calhoun placed his full hand between her legs, making her gasp as her body was still riding the high he had given her. His large hand covered her private part over the garment, "I should probably try it again, so that it's much better than nice," and his hand moved subtly up and down. 

Madeline's lips quivered, "I-I say anything you will take it to your advantage," a shudder passed through her lips.

"A man often wants to hear and know that he has pleased his woman more than the expected expectations," said Calhoun, his own eyes darkening again, seeing Madeline's head trying to move back at his touch. 

"Why?" she asked him. 

She couldn't believe they were doing something so sinful before their marriage. If something like this were to happen in the village, the female was often shamed and tied in the middle of the market where people would throw rotten fruits and vegetables at the person, for the shame they brought after indulging themselves in adultery. 

And here, Calhoun had seen and touched her, not just felt her intimate part but had fingered her. Thinking that her cheeks burned brightly. Madeline doubted she would be able to sleep tonight. 

Calhoun said, "It boosts a man's ego." Seeing Madeline's expression, he chuckled, "It makes us feel good. Powerful even, that we can do something to send you beyond and into heaven. To give a taste, which we are capable of. Doesn't hold just for men though." 

He let go of her chin to push the strands of her hair that had come to stick on her face, "Women feel that way too. When they are praised for being able to push their man to an edge. To be able to please."

Really? Questioned Madeline's innocent mind. Madeline knew the male and female had different anatomy, but she had never heard of women holding the same power as the men. It was because the society they lived in, it was the man who was considered to be in charge, to be able to provide the woman with everything while the woman fell on the lower side. 

Did Calhoun mean, she was able to make him feel in a similar way as she felt now? 

"I didn't know it was possible," she expressed her thoughts more openly than before. With Calhoun seeing some parts of Madeline's embarrassing moments, that were embarrassing for her, somewhere it made it easier for her to open her thoughts to him. 

"Of course, you didn't. Normally people don't agree to it, the men I mean because they feel less and like to be in charge," answered Calhoun. 

Madeline gave it a second before she asked, "But you agree to it."

Calhoun's lips twitched before they broadened, "Just because you accept that you enjoy and are pleased by it, it doesn't mean it makes a person less. It is just some men who have a bigger ego."

Madeline's thoughts went back to a few hours ago when she and Lady Lucy had left the garden and were heading to step inside the castle. The vampiress had spoken about men feeling aroused, but most of it had bounced over Madeline's head. She wondered if Calhoun was aroused. With Calhoun who appeared to be an expert, maybe he was treating himself. After all, she had not seen any women or girls entertaining him recently. 

Would it be rude not to ask him if he was okay? Asked Madeline to herself but then it was Calhoun who had pounced on her in the bed. Right now, he was only pawing and playing with her with his claws. 

Her head slightly turned to her left side, which was the side where the light fell from the fireplace that was burning. 

This left her neck bare for Calhoun's view. Unable to resist by the sight of the soft skin, Calhoun leaned forward and ran his wet tongue from the base of her neck to the spot behind her ear, making her shiver. 

"I thought the punishment was over," Madeline whispered, her hands moving to place on his chest. 

"How is it your punishment when it is you who enjoyed the release while I am here holding myself back? It's the longest I have ever held myself back," Calhoun's words fell on her neck, "I think I deserve some good treats and my dessert now for being patient."

Catching hold of her hands, he pushed it back against the surface of the bed. Madeline had turned her head to meet Calhoun's eyes. He didn't wait for her as he dived to capture her lips with his. Using his teeth to catch hold of her lower lip before letting it go with a tinge of pain, making her flinch. 

There was no word of protest that came from Madeline's lips. His eyes still on hers; he went back to kiss her lips that were supple. Slipping his tongue into her warm mouth was nothing less to a bee going to take the nectar from the sweetest flower. 

Madeline didn't know if it was because of the earlier intimacy they had shared, but the kiss felt more passionate than the last time Calhoun had kissed her. Or maybe it was the bed, she thought to herself. His tongue rubbed against her tongue, pushing and taunting her. Noticing how her mind was drifting somewhere, Calhoun bit into her lip bringing a soft cry from her mouth which he very much enjoyed listening to. 

"Why are you biting me!" asked Madeline as her lip felt sore. 

"Because you are delicious. What do you expect?" asked Calhoun as if it were her fault, "Come here, let me heal it," he said, noticing a drop of blood come to settle on that soft lip of hers. 

Madeline doubted she would survive with Calhoun. His tongue peeked out before licking her to send a jolt through her body again. 

She felt Calhoun's coarse tongue brushing against her lips. She wondered how Calhoun would like it if she was bit like that and her teeth almost went to bite his lips but Calhoun pulled away and stared at her, 

"Who knew you would be a feisty thing in bed," murmured Calhoun with a grin on his face. 

He didn't let go of her hands which made it difficult for Madeline to move. When he pushed his hands along with hers to move it above her head, Calhoun leaned forward to kiss her lips again. Moving it against her lips, and he noticed the subtle movements of her lips, listening to her heart beating in her chest and the scent of her blood turning rich only to make his fangs ache. 

Not waiting for another second, Calhoun went for her neck to sink his teeth and drank blood from Madeline. Somewhere in between him drinking from her and retracting his fangs back, he had let go of her hands to settle his hands on her waist. When he was done, Calhoun's lips went next to her ear,

"Madeline," he whispered her name and Madeline who had closed her eyes, opened them, "I haven't tasted something so sweet ever before. Every drop is heaven. But it's not because of that, that I enjoy...It's because it's you, your company and your presence." Madeline could not see Calhoun's expression right now, and she concentrated on his voice. "There are days the wolf wants to snatch out of its aggressive nature. Something similar to how one feels when you see cute things. You want to hold them close, sometimes too close until they remain with just you, to not see anything else."

"Ah!" Madeline cried when Calhoun bit her ear, which he enjoyed doing the most. 

Calhoun pulled away from her ear to stare into Madeline's brown eyes, "I try not to let those emotions out," he said, bringing his hand towards her face and running his index finger over her cheek and then down her neck, which went further down between the valley of her breasts before it settled on her stomach. 
Meddler- Part 2

Madeline doubted the words Calhoun just said. Did he mean it literally or did it mean something else? Her lips felt too alive like her body. Without any warning, Calhoun put his hand around her waist and pulled her up as he sat on the bed on his heels. Her hands clutched onto his shoulders. As Calhoun had pulled her up with the dress still bunched up, her legs had ended up on either side of him while her core pressed on something hard. It had her gasp when he pulled her body close to him on his lap. 

"Cal-" Madeline started only to be hushed by him.

"Ssh," he looked at her, "This is what you do to me," one of his hands that was placed on her bottom, pulling her closer so that she could feel him. Madeline looked like she was out of breath. Her lips had parted in a silent plea which she wasn't sure what it was asking for. 

His lower body moved, and at the same time, his lips hovered over her lips, but when she came closer, he only pulled away, turning her anxious. Madeline had felt Calhoun's finger that had been gentle and patient. But what she felt right now, the desire shot through from the core between her legs, spreading across every part of her body. 

Her hands turned weak along with her body. As much as Madeline knew it was bad, so bad to be doing something like this, she couldn't help but give in to it. 

Calhoun could see his effect on Madeline, who was in his arms. He couldn't go on teasing and torturing because he needed more of her. He had thought to take little of her, to eat her one bite at a time, but it was hard not to eat when the dessert was this delectable. Silent sighs came from her lips and Calhoun continued to make her feel his manhood that pressed against her.

He didn't let her feel the satisfaction though. Just enough for him this time, Calhoun finally helped her sit back on the bed before he pulled himself to stand on the ground.

Calhoun doubted it was a good idea to spend more time here. If he didn't leave, things would escalate until the point where he would have her with the bed creaking if he took more minutes to stay around her. His eyes subtly narrowed hearing the sound that came from out of the room, while his eyes were still on her. 

Madeline pushed her petticoat down to cover her legs, her heart beating loud enough for both of them to hear it. 

"Get to sleep, Madeline. Unless your body still wants release which I will gladly assist you with," said Calhoun, running his tongue over his lips. 

"Goodnight," she said, pulling the blanket as if she could barely wait to fall asleep when in truth it was because she was embarrassed. 

"Goodnight," Calhoun wished her, to turn around and leave the room before closing it. 

When Calhoun stepped out of the room, he closed the doors, making sure it was locked from inside whilst his hands were on the surface of the door. As he started to walk down the corridor, he heard a rustle that came from behind him. Instead of going to his room, Calhoun continued to walk in the quiet and empty corridor. 

A smile appeared on Calhoun's lips when he heard the light footsteps that came from behind him. It seemed like someone was interested in playing hide and seek with him. 

Calhoun loved hide and seek. Because every time people tried to creep up on him, they always ended up dead by his hands. It seemed like today was a lucky day. It reminded him of the time when he had received the cloverleaf from the little girl. He wondered if the little girl still existed because, after that one time in the back of the alley, he had never met her again. 

The person who was following Calhoun kept a considerable distance between them. The torches were running on low flame, and both the people continued to walk until the King suddenly disappeared when he took a right turn. 

As the person reached the end of the corridor, the intruder's eyes moved left and right, searching, wondering where the King disappeared. 

"Looking for something?" asked Calhoun, who stood behind the person, who suddenly turned around.

Before another word could be exchanged, Calhoun raised his hand to punch the intruder who had stepped inside his quarters. Because of the force Calhoun used in his hand, the intruder didn't fall straight but banged the head on the nearest wall before falling flat on the ground. 

Calhoun stared at the person, and in time one of the guards appeared in the corridor with his eyes wide, "I didn't know I keep guards to make the castle look pretty," he said, "Take this one to the dungeon."

He turned to look in the direction where Madeline's room was before making his way to the dungeon to see the intruder to be tied. It had been quite some time since he had intruders in the castle and they were always amusing, thinking they could sneak upon him. Stupid little things, thought Calhoun to himself. 

Looking at the guards shackling the unconscious person, Calhoun stared for a second more before going to visit his relative who was in the opposite room. 

Opening the door with the key he carried, he saw the skeleton that was standing only because of the rod that went through its mouth where one of its ends was stuck to the wall. 

"How are you doing, grandma?" asked Calhoun, "I did tell that I would take good care of you. I thought you would love some company, and I have added a special guest. If it makes you feel better, some of your grandchildren will be making use of the next rooms soon. It seems like they got the genes from you for being arrogant and stupid," Calhoun clicked his tongue. 

"You were right," said Calhoun as he leaned against the side of the door, "We are different. Mother now rests peacefully, while here you are carrying dust on those old bones of yours."

Hearing the sound of the shackles stop, Calhoun pulled the door close before turning back to walk towards the room of his new guest. 

"Leave," ordered Calhoun to the guards when he noticed the person's appearance change slightly. 

"I will kill you!" The man growled at Calhoun, his eyes turning golden yellow, trying to escape from the iron chains that were now tied around his legs and hands.

Calhoun quietly stood there, staring at the human who was none other than James. James had stubble around his jaws, his eyes looking tired. But from his usual appearance, his eyes had changed to a different colour.

He had met foolish people before, but James raised the bar too high. 

"What a pity, I am in no mood to die, though," he replied to James, "I should have known something is up with you, especially with you trying to be courageous. If you told, you wanted to meet me, all you had to do was ask. You didn't have to be shy about it."

James glared at Calhoun, "I know you were the one who pushed Mr. Barnes to get his daughter married to me! If it weren't for you, he wouldn't have threatened me to marry Catherine and I wouldn't have lost my father by not staying next to him!" 

"Sorry for your loss. But it must be truly convenient to blame a person just because things don't go your way or happen, isn't it," stated Calhoun calmly, his red eyes staring down at James who looked furious.

Calhoun then asked, "Tea?"