✍️✍️✍️✍️The Crown's Obsession Chapter 321 - 330✍️✍️✍️✍️


Stealing you- Part 2

Her eyes fluttered open to look at Calhoun, seeing him look at her intently as he took her close to the next high, she realised he was going to pull away from her again, and her hand shot down to place it on his. 

"Don't," she whispered to him in the sweetest way possible while staring into his red eyes that looked hooded and dark. 

Calhoun gritted his teeth when he heard her plea. He wanted to steal her away from every possible thing and keep her here with him just for himself. How long had he waited for her to look at him with dewy-eyed where she was opening her heart to him. 

"If you don't want I will stop," said Calhoun, as if he had misinterpreted her words. This had Madeline turn restless by thinking that he had taken her words as wanting him to stop when it was the opposite. 

Her lack of words had been misunderstood, and Madeline felt troubled over it. Calhoun instead of moving away, leaned towards her, kissing her soft lips and at the same time, she felt him push his finger back in before the speed started to pick before tipping her off with the release that was all over his hand. 

"You were teasing me!" Madeline cried with her eyebrows furrowed and Calhoun chuckled. 

"I cannot help it," he kissed her nose. "Whenever I see you, I can't resist not being mean to you. But you should know," he said bringing his hand up to his mouth before licking it clean. "I am mean to you only because I love you." 

"You are mean to a lot of people," she pointed out, feeling her body buzz with the ecstasy she felt in Calhoun's arms. 

Calhoun's lips twisted, a glint of mischief in them, "The word for me with respect to others would be cruel." 

Madeline took in the words that he said to her, letting it sink into her just like the pleasure that had turned her body weak. Her heart had calmed down, and now that Calhoun had pulled his hand away from her, she could feel the cold air touching her bare bottom and legs. She crossed her legs shyly, her eyes wandering to search her undergarment that was on the ground. 

Calhoun, who noticed her eyes wandering towards her undergarment, pulled himself away from her to get up and get hold of her undergarment in his hand. He helped her to wear it by sliding it up her smooth milky legs, "Lift yourself," he instructed, and Madeline who had been entranced by Calhoun's presence quickly raised her bottom so that he could put the white undergarment back to its place. 

Madeline wondered how she would be stepping out of the room without a dress. She would probably need to ask the maid to get one of her dresses from her room, thought Madeline to herself. 

Remembering her earlier words, Madeline looked at Calhoun, not breaking her gaze away from him. As he continued to stare at her, Madeline pushed herself up, and she saw him pull her petticoat down which he had pushed up. How strange, that smalls things had changed. The hand that she was frightened of, which had the ability to push and tear her, the same hand was making her petticoat proper now.

Time and time, it was Calhoun who had teased and taunted her by his words, pleasing her since the time she had stepped into the castle. She didn't know how to phrase it right, but she wanted to please him too. 

"Calhoun," Madeline said, his name on her lips held a tinge of passion in it after the aftermath of Calhoun's ministrations, "I...I would like to.." it was awkward to tell such things. 

Calhoun looked at her, bringing his hand forward to caress her, "Are you sure?" he asked, his voice thick with desire. Madeline gave him a nod. If there was something she believed in, it was that a relationship was a two-way passage where two people had to be equal in sharing their feelings and thoughts for it to work. And Madeline wanted it to work. 

"B-but I don't know…" came Madeline's soft voice, and a smile rose on his lips.

"You don't have to worry about that," replied Calhoun before tapping his finger on his lips, "First you start with a kiss here," he teased her. And when he had said it, he hadn't expected Madeline to do it. 

Madeline pressed her lips on Calhoun's lips when his hand moved away, taking him by surprise. She quickly pulled away from him before looking away as if she had done nothing. 

For the first time, Calhoun looked stunned, and he asked, "What kind of kiss was that? Let me show you." 

Saying this, he pulled her by her waist to almost have her sit on his lap while he captured her lips with his. The kiss right now was more playful compared to the previous passionate ones. Calhoun bit into her lower lip before soothing it by running his tongue over it and sucking it. His tongue slid in her mouth as his hand curled into the back of her hair. His other hand ran down from her shoulder to her back, bringing her closer to him. It was hard for him to let her go from his arms, and he kissed her some more before finally releasing her. 

Calhoun looked into her eyes that tried to stay with him. Her breath was short, as if she ran down before coming to meet him. He made sure that this is what she wanted because the last thing he needed was her bolting out of this room while he was still hard. He had controlled himself for a long time, but he doubted he could do it today. 

"Okay," he said as if giving her the permission, "Stand in front of me," he instructed.

Madeline got out of his embrace, her feet touching the cold floor that felt nothing less than walking bare feet in the snow. 
Stealing you- Part 3

Calhoun's hand reached for his trousers, to unbuckle it and he said, "Sit on your knees, Maddie. In the position that you are comfortable in." He didn't want to intimidate her and scare her off. The trick was to take it slow and make her comfortable. While Madeline was taking her seat on the ground by kneeling before sitting on her heels, Calhoun had pulled out his member, and in time she saw it. 

Madeline watched Calhoun move towards the edge of the couch while parting his legs to make space for her. Her eyes turned wide by the sight of Calhoun's manhood, and her face turned beet red. 

"Hold it, sweet," Calhoun's words were gentle, not trying to daunt her. 

Like a curious cat, Madeline, who had offered to please him too, moved to settle between his legs. Her hands cautiously lifted before they went to hold his hard member, which was warm, and she heard Calhoun hum in approval. Having never seen anything like this before, she noticed the veins on them, and she could feel it pulse in her hand.

Calhoun placed his hand on top of her hand, holding it to guide her, "Move it like this, not too hard." His hand moved her hand up and down. Calhoun's unfiltered words were enough to turn Madeline to a puddle, but she was thankful that he was leading her on what to do, instead of her going in circles. 

Madeline followed Calhoun's hand movements, moving her hand up and down to hear another hum of approval from him. She had heard some things about this from some married girls in the village, who sometimes liked to gossip which reached her ears through her sister Beth, but she had never seen one. 

"Now slowly brush your thumb over the tip," hearing Calhoun's words, Madeline did just as he asked to hear his quick intake of breath. When she looked up from where she sat, she noticed how his gaze had lowered to look at her. Running her thumb again, she received the same reaction, and it urged her to continue doing what she was doing. 

It was like Calhoun had lowered his guard. To think that she could elicit a reaction like that where he hissed when she moved her hands faster, she never knew she had some power over him. 

When the movement of Madeline's hand quickened, picking up pace where Calhoun had let go of her hand, she peered up from her lashes to see him leaning back, with his hooded eyes fixed on her. The expression his handsome face held right now was of pure bliss and mixture of lust that started to cloud his eyes, which he didn't enact upon and let Madeline do it. Just when her hand moved faster, Calhoun's hand caught hold of her wrist. 

"Am I doing it wrong?" asked Madeline worried because she thought she had been doing it properly as she had heard him hiss under his breath.

"You are doing more than wonderful," he praised her, and by his praise, Madeline's eyes that had lowered turned bright which she didn't realise, but Calhoun took note of it. "Let's take one step forward," he instructed before saying, "Wrap your mouth around it." 

It took Madeline a second before what he said sunk in her mind, and she blushed. Calhoun let go of her hand again, his hands moving back to place it on either side of the top of the couch near his back. She shyly moved towards him before bending down to take him into her mouth as much as she could and she heard him gasp. 

"Move your head just like you did with your hand and slowly lick and suck it." 

She did as he asked, going little by little and when she peered up at him again, Calhoun had thrown his head back at the feeling of her mouth wrapped around his manhood. 

Though Madeline didn't know what to do, she was doing more than good so far upon Calhoun's words. Calhoun had been given a head many times but this here with Madeline between his legs, it turned him on like never before. Her sweet mouth had wrapped itself around his manhood, bobbing her head and sucking every once in a while to have him hiss as he could feel the heat of arousal rise in his very own body. 

Hearing Calhoun hiss and with his head thrown back when she increased the pace, it only encouraged her to do it more. 

When Calhoun was close to relieving himself, he said in gritted teeth, "Move away, Maddie," he placed his hand on the side of her head to have her move away from his manhood and soon he released his sexual tension. Madeline saw Calhoun's head that had thrown back as he continued to come, his body slowly turning lax. When he sat up straight, he looked at her with hooded eyes as if the passion had not dissolved but had only fueled further. 

Calhoun stretched his hand forward for her to take and Madeline bit her lip. 

Placing her hand in his, she felt him tug her to stand, and she almost crashed against him. He had moved back to give her space, and when he craned his neck up, Madeline leaned down to meet his lips. With the time they had spent together here, in the parlour room, she felt somewhere she had gotten closer to him. And it wasn't just because of what they did in here, but because both she and Calhoun had let their guard down. 

Calhoun ordered the servant to bring Madeline her clothes while he cleaned himself. Helping her to dress with his own hands when the dress arrived. Madeline felt her cheeks continue to burn even after the passion they shared on the couch. Awkwardly she walked towards the door with him like a duck and Calhoun couldn't stop the smile on seeing her, on how adorable she was. 

When they stepped out of the room, Madeline was greeted with the bright light. She could still feel her body humming in the clouds of pleasure, and she cleared her throat when they stopped outside to look at each other. 

"I-I will be going then," said Madeline with her cheeks still red.

When Calhoun hummed, Madeline believed it to be his approval, and she turned, ready to bolt from there only to hear him say,

"Aren't you forgetting something?" 
Forest floor- Part 1

She did? Asked Madeline herself and she turned back to look at Calhoun who stood there in the same place. She looked down at the dress that she wore and then at her shoes that were on her feet. She had even smoothened her hair before stepping out of the room to make sure not to receive looks from people. 

Calhoun took one step closer to her, towering her with his height and Madeline looked up, her brown eyes clear as they looked back into his red eyes. He leaned forward to press his lips on her forehead.

"You forgot the kiss," he murmured, and Madeline blinked, looking at him before her cheeks went back to turn pink. 

Madeline didn't know how to react to such a simple gesture. Somewhere in between, her lips tried to curl, "Thank you for reminding me about it," she replied to him. 

The smile on Calhoun's lips broadened at her reply. He wondered if it was alright to gobble her up right this instant. To hold her forever, it would be a joy, a joy he didn't know of until now, "No problem," he said, and the same time, they heard footsteps coming from the other side of the corridor. Madeline tilted her head to the side to see it was Theodore. 

Theodore didn't interrupt them but stood far away from where they were, and he bowed his head. 

"Don't get too close," warned Calhoun and Madeline nodded her head. Bowing her head, she made her way out of the castle before making her way through the forest, remembering the path Calhoun had used before. She finally came to stand in front of the hidden cave. She looked around to see guards who stood behind the trees, camouflaging themselves with the surrounding, making it look like they weren't standing here upon first glance. 

Entering the cave, she was greeted with the sight of both her grandmother and James, who was still stuck in his werewolf form. 

"Where is that blood-sucking leech? He's not here with you?" questioned her grandmother in a rude tone while sitting in the corner of the cage. 

Madeline didn't know anymore how to perceive her grandmother. Her grandmother was no more the woman whom she knew all these years. The woman had only worn a mask of kindness in front of her. 

"He's in the castle," answered Madeline, her gaze shifting on the werewolf who was in the other cage. The creature looked like it was in deep slumber with its eyes closed, and its body lax on the ground.

"How did he let you come here all alone? I thought he would come here with you. Or did he finally realise the kind of threat you are to the people around you and him?" asked her grandmother. Since the time Madeline had met her grandmother in the castle, the words that her grandmother used were nothing but taunting and hurtful. 

"I think Calhoun knows I am capable of protecting myself, at least that is the impression you gave him of how lethal I am," replied Madeline while keeping her emotions together and trying not to be affected by her close relative. She had to remind herself that this was a person who wanted to harm her. 

"That you are, which is why he should have you locked," retorted her grandmother with a huff, "We were trying to protect you, and you think we tried to kill you."

"I spoke to mother and father," began Madeline and her grandmother who was looking at the sleeping werewolf, raised her eyebrows. "They told me what happened and said things which you didn't. You hid things even after I asked you questions." 

Her grandmother who was sitting until now, placed one hand of hers on the ground to stand up and walk to stand in front of Madeline, who immediately took a step back from the cage. "Do you think I am a talking parrot that will reply to everything you ask, girl?" questioned her grandmother, "Your father doesn't have the angel's blood running in him. He isn't like us, and he doesn't know the value of the fallen angel's existence. We are the people who have kept others like us safe and from being hunted."

"The High House, you mean," asked Madeline.

Her grandmother's face twisted, "They are not just High House, there are demons who have tried to search and hunt us down, while we did the same." 

"Strange that you say you hunt demons, but when I killed them when I was young, you had an issue with it," said Madeline, turning her head away from her grandmother and going to walk to James' cage. 

Madeline didn't want to listen to her grandmother's reasons anymore because she was tired of it. Her grandparents had failed to see that whatever that had transpired in the past, it was to defend herself, "You think they won't come to hunt you?" asked her grandmother.

"If people don't know, no one will ever come to hunt or harm," replied Madeline to see her grandmother shake her head. 

"What a foolish girl you are. You think they haven't sniffed you? For years, the demons and angels have secretly tried to bring each other down. While most aren't aware of our existence, there are some old demons and fallen angels who have been trying to deflect each other." 

Madeline didn't reply to her grandmother and instead looked at the werewolf who continued to sleep. "He isn't going to change. A lost cause," continued her grandmother. Madeline wondered if it would be rude to ask her grandmother to stop talking. James had a dirty greenish brown looking fur, his body more massive than the time when he was a human.

"James?" Madeline called the werewolf, "James?" she repeated to find no response. And even though the werewolf didn't react to her words, she knew that the werewolf could listen quite perfectly. Wolves were smart creatures, who were always awake. To test, Madeline moved closer to the cage where James was being held. 

Placing a hand into the cage, she called again, "James?" and the very next moment, the werewolf snapped its eyes open that was a mixture of yellow and gold. The werewolf was quick to pounce towards her hand, and Madeline pulled her hand back to her side. The werewolf snapped its sharp ferocious looking teeth at her. 

Madeline had to move away from the cage as she saw the werewolf start to rattle in the cage and looked like it suddenly grew in its size and was trying to break itself free. The cave echoed with the sound of the werewolf's growls and snarls as the werewolf continued to push itself out of the cage. 

"Look at what you have done," tutted her grandmother, and Madeline furrowed her eyebrows. 

"What did you do to him?" was the question that came from Madeline, and she turned to look at her grandmother who looked hardly fazed by the werewolf in the other cage. 

Her grandmother smirked, "He was too noisy last night, so I decided to shut him up, but it didn't go well. You have either way decided to kill me, so it doesn't matter if the werewolf kills me as it will also kill you."

"Why are you so hell-bent on killing me? I am not like you or any other fallen ones. I do not want to be part of this war or fight that you have with each other. Nor do I care about redemption and you know why? Because I don't mind living as a human," shouted Madeline as the volume of the growls and snarls increased, "If the angels turned to fallen ones, it means they did something wrong, and it is not bad, to live as a human." 

"That is because you do not know what it is to be an angel. People who have seen it-" 

"Greed and thirsty for power, that is all I can see," Madeline interrupted her grandmother. 

While the werewolf was using its paws and claws on the cage, pushing the iron grills around it, Madeline's grandmother laughed, "Don't lie, dear. I know you have seen dreams about yourself and others. Haven't you?" Seeing Madeline not reply, her grandmother continued, "Some of us have the gift of sight, to know or sense something that is going to happen."

"There is a reason why they are called dreams. Because they cannot manifest themselves to reality," Madeline replied, and at the same time, the cage that James was in toppled towards Madeline and she quickly took a couple of steps behind her. 
Forest floor- Part 2

The werewolf that had been caged turned bigger and bigger until it couldn't fit itself in the closed space and finally broke itself free from it. Oh no, came the dull realization from Madeline as it continued to growl. 

Madeline heard her grandmother say, "There's a saying in the fallen angels that if we cannot kill people, put them in the coffin. And if that doesn't work, it is the creature that howls at the moon that will take care of the demons and the angels with its fatal bite." 

Madeline didn't hear the rest of it as the werewolf jumped out of its cage and landed straight in front of her. She turned sharp on her heel and started to make her way out of the cave. She didn't know what her grandmother did, that James' body had turned bigger, and he looked worse than ferocious as if he could barely wait to have his meal. Madeline started to run away as quick as she could, holding the front of her dress while she heard the growls of the werewolf coming behind her. 

Madeline doubted she would be able to reach the castle in time, considering the distance from where she was right now. Turning around she waved her hand in the air towards the werewolf, and a bunch of dried leaves that were on the ground came to hover in front of the creature like it was getting wrapped by the leaves and the growls of the werewolf only turned agitated. She quickly hid behind the tree, trying to catch her breath before taking a careful peek to see where the werewolf was. 

She wondered if Calhoun heard the howl of the werewolf and while trying to take a peek, she noticed the werewolf wasn't there anymore. Did it perhaps prowl forward and away in search of her? Madeline asked herself. 

The forest appeared quiet except for the rustling of leaves. Her brown eyes took in her surroundings when she heard branches creek above her. Hearing a snap, Madeline looked up to see the werewolf there. 

Looking at the werewolf above, Madeline felt her heart drop from her chest, and she didn't know if she should not move or run away from here. Previously she had some advantage with the leaves, but with their proximity where the werewolf got down from the tree, she doubted running away was a good idea. It was something Calhoun had taught her. Not to run away. 

She placed one foot of hers as carefully as possible behind her, trying to move away from it. 

"I know you must still be there, James," Madeline spoke to the werewolf carefully that looked unapproachable due to its height and its rage-filled expression. "Please return to your human self," she whispered, but the werewolf didn't look happy. The next second, the werewolf let out a loud growl which was enough to wake up the entire forest. When it snarled, she took it as her cue to turn and bolt from there. 

Madeline could hear the werewolf's prancing as it chased her. She couldn't go far as she tripped on one of the branches that had grown on the forest floors. The werewolf jumped right towards her and she closed her eyes while having her hand up to stop it, realizing she was going to be eaten by the ferocious-looking creature. Her heart thudded in her chest, beating loud enough that she could hear it. 

Her hand came in contact with the fur, and after two seconds passed by, she opened her eyes slowly to see the werewolf growling lowly at her. Her hand shook out of fear and nervousness, waiting for the werewolf to rip her head off her body, but that didn't happen. 

"Tear her apart!" 

It was the voice of the older woman who had escaped from her own cage. The gate of her cage had opened when the werewolf had been rattling its own cage to break free from the iron grills around it. 

Madeline didn't know whom she was supposed to concentrate on, her grandmother or James the werewolf who looked like he was ready to kill her. She could still hear the growls coming from the creature as its face was close to hers. 

"Kill her this very instant, and I will turn you back to what you want!" ordered her grandmother as if she was controlling him right now. 

In return, Madeline tried to steady both her hands that were on the werewolf's neck, and she looked straight into his eyes, "Please turn back to your human self, James," she pleaded, not knowing if James could even hear her now. The werewolf opened its mouth, snarling to show its teeth and saliva that moved between its teeth, "I am sorry," she whispered, "I never meant any harm to you. Not then, not now, and I wish you can return to yourself. To live life the way you want." 

"What are you doing, you stupid mutt!" her grandmother appeared impatient, and she raised her hands to where Madeline and the wolf was. 

The werewolf snapped its head from Madeline to look at the old woman. She shouted, "I command thee to be by serv-" The woman couldn't complete her words as the werewolf left Madeline's side and it pounced right at her grandmother's arm that was outstretched towards them, "AHHH!!!" 

The feral creature had bitten into the woman's arm and torn it away, leaving her in agony. Blood dripped down on the floor of the forest, "How dare you to disobey me!" screeched Madeline's grandmother, and she used her other good hand to run a spell against the werewolf. The werewolf howled as if in pain.

Madeline quickly stood up, "Stop hurting him! You can turn him back, isn't it?" she asked her grandmother. 

"I know where the antidote lies. The werewolf's cure," said her grandmother and Madeline's eyes widened, "But I won't tell it. I was stuck in the cage, which I couldn't get out of. The vampire seems to know more than what he led me to believe—using components to impriosn angel or demon without making use of their magic. I will kill all of you for killing my husband. And that will start with this mutt." 

"Don't do this," Madeline tried to persuade her grandmother, who seemed to have lost her mind. 

Her grandmother stared at the werewolf, twisting her hands to elicit another long howl from the creature, "Kill the girl," came the harsh order that could have broken Madeline's heart but it didn't. Madeline raised her own hand and seeing this her grandmother chuckled, "Showing your true intentions now." 

"Like it or not, you are my grandmother. I won't allow to harm him," suddenly the leaves that were around Madeline blew away from where she stood. The velocity of the wind around her started to increase, "You cannot harm people who have nothing to do with this fight of yours." When she moved her right hand, James stopped howling as if the link between her grandmother and him had broken. 

Her grandmother was intent on killing her, and she wouldn't stop until Madeline was dead or buried back in the coffin.

"I hope God can forgive your sins," Madeline whispered before commanding the werewolf, "You can tear her up now."
Forest floor- Part 3

Her grandmother turned furious, "How dare you, insolent child!" but those were the last words from the woman. 

Madeline didn't know if the werewolf heard her or if it acted upon its own instinct that it pounced straight on her grandmother before starting to rip her limb by limb. She didn't look at the gore of blood continuing to drip down on the ground, turning the leaves around them red where the werewolf and her grandmother was. But she did hear the sound of tearing and the snarls. 

When Madeline heard wings flapping up in the sky, she saw it was Calhoun who quickly swooped down. At the same time, the werewolf that was busy dismantling her grandmother dropped her body and turned to look at her for long seconds. James, thought Madeline to herself as he stared at her and she noticed his eyes had changed its colour from yellow to brown. Turning back, the werewolf pranced away from the spot. 

"Madeline!" Calhoun's wings disappeared from his back, and he looked at the blood on the ground before looking at the shadow of the werewolf disappear in the thicket of the forest.

"Don't go!" Madeline placed her hand on his arm when she noticed Calhoun was ready to hunt James down. 

Calhoun turned to see Madeline shake her head. He was displeased that something like this happened, but he was glad to see she was safe, "What happened here?" he inquired, looking at the torn flesh. 

"My grandmother," stated Madeline to hear Calhoun sigh, "She did something to James. While trying to break out, he broke her cage…" 

Madeline had no idea what ability her grandmother possessed. The woman did have some ability that she had been hiding, just like she had hidden information from them. Her grandmother had been consumed with the need to kill her, holding onto old beliefs.

"Would you like me to arrange someone to put her to her grave?" asked Calhoun, and Madeline nodded, her chest turning heavy. 

"It is okay if you want to cry," Calhoun placed his hand on her back, rubbing it soothingly. 

Madeline's eyes had turned slightly hollow as she stared at the path where the werewolf had escaped, "She said there's a cure for James." 

"We'll find it then," he offered to help her, "Let me take you back to the castle. Your sister is awake." Hearing this, Madeline's line of thoughts snapped, and she looked at Calhoun. 

Apprehensively, she asked, "How is she?" Calhoun's wings appeared from his back, spreading wide and he carried her in his arms.

"You will see," was the only thing Calhoun said before they left the forest.

Returning to the castle, Madeline had to school her expression to hide what took place back in the forest. Quietly she went to the guestroom where Beth was in and she frowned when she saw her sister packing her trunk.

"Where are you going, Beth?" asked Madeline. 

"I am going back home," whispered Beth, not meeting Madeline's eyes as she continued to walk back and forth between the trunk that was on the bed to the closet.

"Did you speak to mama and papa about it?" questioned Madeline, "There are only a few more days left for the wedding." 

Beth threw the dress into her trunk before turning around to meet Madeline's eyes. Her green eyes were filled with hate with a hint of sadness in there, "You are the one who is getting married, not I. The person I was supposed to get married, he was beheaded, and his family was thrown out of this castle never to return. I feel humiliated to stay here anymore."

Looking around, Madeline saw Raphael was not here with Beth. Her sister was behaving as if she was already married to the Wilmot's family. "Do you know what Markus and his family did? They created treason against the King, something they have been working for years." 

"Markus never killed anyone!" Beth was so consumed by anger and hate right now. She failed to see what Madeline was trying to tell her, "He was innocent, and you know that!" 

"You forget that it was he who called the High House and tried framing the King. He created treason, something that warrants an immediate execution-"

"And you did nothing even after I said how much I love him!" Beth's voice turned loud and cold.

Madeline who was trying to hold back her words finally said, "The man who was manipulating you? Or the man who destroyed the shop which was given to our father." 

"You have no proof! It is all made up lies, and the King is only feeding you with lies," Beth's voice turned low, "Did the sight of money and jewels around you finally change how you view your life? Or did he fuck you that you-"


Beth's face had turned to her left side, feeling the burn on her cheek while holding a shocked expression on her face. 

"The King knows you tried to poison him so don't call Markus or yourself to be innocent," Madeline reprimanded Beth, feeling her own palm burn because of the slap she delivered to her sister. On hearing her words, Beth's eyes widened, "You should be grateful that he isn't sending you or our parents to be executed for your mistake. You should also know that out of the two of us who gets influenced by the sight of materialistic things." 

All these years, Madeline had stayed quiet. And now she knew it wasn't entirely Beth's fault and her grandparents had a hand in the way Beth was brought up. Madeline took it upon herself to have Beth return to the way she was when they were young girls. 

"Markus was not the man he posed to be in front of you or any of us. It would be better for you to get it through your head than scheme and put yourself into trouble where I might not be able to help you," said Madeline to Beth.

"You are still my sister, Beth. And I hope you turn back to the person you once were. Unless you want to rot in prison and be beheaded." 
Confrontation- Part 1

Music Recommendation: The Thrombey Family Theme by Nathan Johnson


On the other side of the castle, Lucy sat in one of the rooms all alone by herself holding a glass in her hand. She sat on the chair, in front of the large semi-circle window that started from the room's floor. The window had thin grills on it. Since morning, the clear window had turned foggy because of the cold temperature. 

The vampiress stared at nothing in particular, her red eyes hollow like the weather which was gloomy right now. Lucy had isolated herself from her family and other people in the castle so that she could spend alone time with herself. She had also refused to spend time with her husband since a few days. Lucy couldn't look at him. Knowing the things he had done to her, she had been in shock, and it took her days to process it. 

Relationship with her husband and her family members loosely hung by a thread as she didn't know whom to believe and whom to side with. Being the former princess, and being the sister of the King, she had to abide by the words that were ordered by the King. Her cousin Markus, someone whom she knew before Calhoun had entered the castle was dead, and there was nothing that could be fixed because of the treason he caused. Even his family had been forbidden to enter the castle. 

She had lost her parents right after she got married. Decades had passed, but the pain and confusion of what took place years ago still haunted her. She wasn't able to forget the sight of her parent's body that was found in the undercrofts of the castle covered in blood. 

The door to the room she was in opened, and in came the person, walking towards her to stop behind her. 

Lucy didn't have to turn to see who it was, "Is it true what Aunt Rosamund said?" her face had turned pale because of the lack of intake of blood and her voice was nothing less to a whisper which was heard by the person. 

"Did you kill mama and papa?" she asked, and Calhoun who stood behind her had a sullen look on his face. 

Calhoun had the opportunity to spin more lies and weave innocent Lucy in his web of lies like many other times before, but for once, he didn't reply to her right away. 

Instead, he asked, "What do you think?" 

"Does it matter what I think when something has already happened, brother Calhoun," asked Lucy, her voice sad, "I am tired of being lied to by people whom I care and love. Tired that all these years, people have done nothing but hide things from me like I am a child, lied to like it is nothing big." She hadn't turned to look at Calhoun, and she continued to stare at the large glass in front of her. 

"Have you considered it might be because people wanted to protect you and didn't want you to be part of the world that doesn't go well with you," asked Calhoun, his tone calm and collected. 

Lucy shook her head, "Isn't it something people should let me decide? When I was small, it was mother and father who decided things for me. Then Theodore decided," Calhoun's eyebrows raised, wondering if Lucy was going to speak about what was between the two of them which no one knew properly as it was always kept under wraps. "He decided I should get married to Samuel, and I did. And then Samuel decided what was to be hidden from me."

"What did Samuel hide?" Calhoun asked, not knowing what Lucy wanted to get to. He was the kind of person who spoke things directly, but now that his half-sister was questioning, he let her get there. 

Lucy got up from the chair she was sitting on, and she turned around to meet Calhoun's eyes, "You knew what he was doing. I know it because Theodore is loyal to you and he saw it. He knows. Why didn't you tell me?" she furrowed her eyebrows. 

"Every time you came to visit the castle, you liked to tell people how good your husband is and how much love you both are in, but I am guessing now it was only to rub it against Theo's face. Am I right?" questioned Calhoun to have Lucy's jaw tick. It was very rare to see Lucy get angry or upset about something, and now she was genuinely upset. 

"That isn't reason enough, brother Calhoun," she shook her head once again. She closed her eyes, feeling the embarrassment of what she said and what was going on behind her back.

"Tell me, Lucy. Why haven't you confronted it with Samuel if you are upset about what he did? Why wait?" Calhoun's intelligent eyes stared into Lucy's eyes, "Yes, I have known about it for some time, but he's been smart when it comes to cleaning the traces. It just happens that he was sloppy this time and you caught him. You were happy, and it seemed like he was treating you well, I didn't want you to feel wronged." 

Lucy had always believed Calhoun. Therefore it was hard for her to hold him to be responsible when he was speaking about her happiness, "What about our parents?" her question had a lot of emotions in it as she waited for him to answer. 

"Do you want the truth that will hurt and scar you forever, or do you want a lie that will save you from the angst and let you live the way you have been living?" Calhoun wanted to give Lucy an option, one which their father and her mother didn't give her. Being brought up in the vampire household, one who belonged to the royal family, she was a sheltered princess who knew no difficulties as she had never gone through it. 

Lucy and Sophie were brought up similarly. They were given everything, and they didn't have to go through difficulties, they were both molded by their mothers to behave in a certain way. The only difference was that while Sophie wanted more than what she had, Lucy had grown up to be content with what she had.

With being lied to all this time, Lucy said, "I want the truth. Nothing but pure truth without being sugar-coated." 

Calhoun stared at Lucy for a second more before saying, "Yes, I was the one who killed them." Tears burned in Lucy's eyes, and it rolled out of her red eyes before falling on the ground. She took a deep breath. Seeing Lucy still here in the room, willing to listen more, he said, "You have heard the part where my mother was a mistress of our father, but you didn't hear what happened to her when she was here and after she was thrown out of the castle."

"You killed grandmother," Lucy whispered, her eyebrows furrowing deeply. Calhoun gave her a nod, and Lucy turned away from him. Though she didn't know what her grandmother did, somewhere, Lucy knew it was Calhoun's work, who had set the older vampiress death in the dungeon. 

"They deserved death, and if you turned back the time, I wouldn't have it any other way," confessed Calhoun. 

Lucy felt her head hurt, and she said, "Thank you for telling me the truth after all these years. I would now like to be excused."

Calhoun didn't stop her, and he gave her a nod. Lucy didn't wait and walked towards the door, pulling it open to find Theodore standing outside. When she pushed the door, her eyes fell on him, and her expression turned to one of anger before she left without another word. 

Theodore stepped inside the room, seeing Calhoun standing in front of the large-sized window. 

"She was upset and angry. Do you think she will be alright?" asked Theodore. He wasn't sure if it was a good idea, to tell the truth to Lucy.

"I don't know," Calhoun exhaled air out of his lips.

Theodore had a frown on his face. He was standing outside, listening to their conversation when Lucy stormed out of the room, giving him a look as if it was him who had killed her parents and not Calhoun. 

"Let us see what reaction it gets now," hummed Calhoun, and Theodore raised his eyebrows. Did Calhoun speak to Lucy to catalyse a reaction?
Confrontation- Part 2

Madeline had only left Beth's room. Walking in the corridor, she realised something that took place some time ago in the forest near the cave. When she got near the forest, there were guards guarding the place around the cave, but when she stepped out of the cave, it was like the guards had vanished. Had she imagined it? Madeline asked herself as she continued to walk. 

On her way, she met Lucy, who was walking in the opposite direction. The vampiress looked spaced out as she walked like she was thinking something deep and wasn't paying any attention to her surroundings. 

When they came near, Lucy offered a small smile to Madeline, bowing her head. 

"Are you alright, Lady Lucy?" Madeline asked in concern as it seemed like the vampiress was often falling sick and she stayed in her room most of the time. 

"I...I will be alright," Lucy sounded tired, and Madeline wanted to make sure that Lucy got to her room safely. 

Madeline offered, "Would you want me to accompany you until your room? I am not doing anything in particular right now." Though she did fall earlier in the forest, she hadn't received any apparent bruises on her body, "Please." 

Lucy was not in the mood to argue. Therefore she gave her a nod, "Thank you, Lady Madeline." 

Madeline was more than happy to walk the vampiress to her room. When they reached, Madeline noticed Lucy's husband Samuel was in the room as if he was waiting for his wife.

"There you are! My beautiful wife!" exclaimed Samuel, coming forward to hug Lucy as if he hadn't seen her in days. But instead of greeting him, Lucy dropped her handkerchief and in time went to bend down to pick it up, missing the need to hug her husband. 

Madeline was ready to leave the couple when Lucy held on to her arm, "Lady Madeline and I were going out. And I had to change my clothes," said Lucy. Madeline could feel the evident friction between the couple, especially the one that came from Lucy, but it seemed like Samuel was brushing it like it was nothing. 

Samuel raised his eyebrows, "Where are you both going?" he asked before bowing at Madeline as she was soon to be the King's wife, "I thought I told you before that we are going out? Not that I mind you going with the future Queen."

"I don't remember you asking me. It must have slipped out of my mind," answered Lucy because she didn't remember Samuel mentioning anything about going out. Since the time she had found out about Samuel's affairs, she had started to faze him out in her presence. 

The man she thought who was going to love and cherish only her had been going behind her back and doing other girls. And for so many years. The stung she had felt had not disappeared. 

Samuel tilted his head and smiled, "That's alright, dear. You can go with the Queen, and we can go some other day. We wouldn't want to upset the Queen or the King, considering what happened to the Wilmot's…" 

Madeline didn't know if it was supposed to be a joke as Samuel had a smile on his face, but Lucy didn't find it to be funny. Lucy let go of Madeline's hand and she walked past Samuel. Lucy opened the cupboard and said, "You are right. We shouldn't upset the King or the Queen, but I think it would still hold the same value when it comes to the King's parents or sister, isn't it?"

Lucy was already agitated with Calhoun's words to what happened in the past, and she was trying to keep her composure.

"Hm?" Samuel asked as if not understanding what his wife said, "Did someone upset you? Tell me, and I will deal with it. Is it that, Theodore?" 

Madeline's eyes widened hearing this, but she tried not to express her shock. She wondered how much Samuel knew about Theodore and Lucy's feelings. They were never in a relationship, but it could have turned to something, had it not been stopped. She was sure that Lucy was going to deny Theodore's involvement with her mood, but the vampiress said,

"He sometimes annoys me." 

What was going on?! Asked Madeline alarmed. Didn't Lucy like Theodore? 

"What did he do?" Samuel questioned his wife in authority, which he didn't have anymore. Madeline saw Lucy turn, who shook her head. 

"He did nothing," and that was the problem for Lucy. If Theodore had done something in the past, things would have been different, but he had done nothing, and that was her issue. 

Madeline didn't know why Lucy hadn't kicked this man out of the room after finding out what he was doing. Was it perhaps because she was finding it hard to do as they had spent decades together and without her parents in the picture, she had probably depended on him? As Lucy was the King's sister, Madeline doubted people would speak badly about Lucy, unlike the other women who were stuck with men who drank and abused them. 

Lucy's face had turned red, and Madeline was unsure if it was because the vampiress was going to cry or if it was because she was angry. 

"I will deal with Theodore. You don't have to worry about it. People like him are nothing less to insects. He is the servant of the castle, of the King," said Samuel, taking Lucy to sit on the bed, who hadn't spoken another word. 

Then Lucy said, "I need some time, Samuel. No, I need time away." 

Madeline felt she was intruding on the time between them but knowing how Samuel was, she decided to stay and look after Lucy, at least until the cheating husband of the vampiress was away from her. 

"Of course! I have been thinking about it myself. With Markus' death, I am sure you miss home," said Samuel, and he left Lucy's side. Bending down, he pulled out the two trunks from below the bed and placed them on the other side, "It has been quite long, and you must be missing home which is quite understandable as you never go out anywhere and stay out long." Saying this, he went to the cupboard and started to pull out his and Lucy's things from the cupboards. 

Lucy sighed softly when Samuel went on to say, "I will have the carriage ready so that we can leave-"

"Samuel," she called his name. Without turning, she said, "I meant time away from you. I want some time alone by myself."

Samuel raised his eyebrows, "What?" he then frowned, "That's ridiculous. Why? Why do you want time away from me?" he questioned her. 

Lucy stared at the bare wall in front of her, "I think I got used to spending time away from you," came the taunt about him being spending his time away from her by giving reasons of his extended work time.

"This is not about you wanting to spend time by yourself. It is about Theodore, isn't it?" Samuel huffed, "Your aunt had mentioned it to me, about you both in the dining room a few nights ago." 

Lucy stood up from the bed, going to the cupboard to pull out the remaining clothes of his and putting them in the trunk without replying to him while also taking out her things before she locked the trunk. 

"Did you remember your time of the past because of the wedding that is going to take place? Lucy, you cannot be seriously doing this," shouted Samuel, his voice turning louder but Lucy went to the stand to pick up his coat before throwing it at him, "Answer me, Lucy! I am your husband!" 

Lucy's eyes turned narrow at Samuel's words, "Husband?" she whispered as if the word had been lost, "What kind of husband? Mine?" 

"What are you speaking about, Lucy?" Samuel questioned, frustration evident in his voice, "You never behaved like this. Is it because of Markus' death that you have lost your thinking? I knew we shouldn't have come here. It was only on your insistence that I came here with you," he scoffed.

"Have you truly been the husband you should have been to me?" asked Lucy, giving him one last opportunity to come clean but Samuel instead looked at Lucy like she had lost her mind, "I know you have been sleeping with other women."
Confrontation- Part 3

On hearing Lucy's words, Samuel looked flabbergasted by her words, "Sleeping with other women? I have been a faithful man, and you are accusing me for something I have not done." Madeline took note of how his voice lowered, almost threatening, "I have loved no one but you. It is that Theodore, isn't it? Seeing him must have brought in past emotions and you want to be with him." 

Lucy stared at Samuel. She had seen him with the maid with her very own eyes, and maybe if someone had told her in the past, she wouldn't have believed it, but the truth was right in front of her eyes. 

"Please leave," said Lucy, and Samuel's eyes hardened at her words, "You can take the trunk with you." 

"Lucy," Samuel's eyes softened quickly, "You cannot leave me. We are husband and wife. We are supposed to be together. I don't know who fed lies to you, but you should stop believing them." 

"I saw you with the maid with my very own eyes, Sam. I thought you loved me, and if you did, you wouldn't have hurt me. I know the maid was not the only person. Leave." The vampiress crossed her hands against her chest.

Lucy turned to look in the other direction, not wanting to talk to him. Madeline, who stood right at the door, saw Samuel stare at his wife for the longest time. Before he could step out of the room, he turned to look at Lucy who had turned to see Samuel about to leave,

"Are you sure about this?" Samuel asked, waiting but seeing Lucy not react, he finally left the room. 

"Would you like to drink some water?" asked Madeline, and Lucy smiled at Madeline's kind gesture. 

"No, I am fine," Lucy couldn't believe how much of an idiot she was to not recognize Samuel's lies. 

All this time, people had done nothing but lie to her. Calhoun, whom she loved as her own brother was the one to kill her parents. She wanted to hold him responsible, but she didn't know what had happened in the past when his mother was still alive. She had heard bits and pieces of information about his late mother, but nothing was clear. It was hard to trust and believe people's words. She had been heartbroken when she had seen her parent's dead bodies, but somewhere she had also been relieved, but that didn't mean she was happy that they were killed. 

Right three minutes later, one of the castle maids came running to the room where Lucy and Madeline were in. The maid huffed for air as she had come as quick as she could, "M-milady! Y-you need to come near the front rooms where the courtroom is, immediately!" 

"What happened?" questioned Madeline.

"Mr. Greville and Mr. Chauncey, they are fighting," came the worried words from the maid. Madeline and Lucy quickly left the room to go to where the other two men were. On their way, Madeline asked, 

"Where is the King?" If Calhoun was there, he would have stopped it unless he was bored and wanted to see people fight for his sheer entertainment. 

"The King has gone to the forest. I don't know why, milady," the maid bowed. Madeline wondered if Calhoun had realized about the disappearance of the guards or if he had gone back to have her grandmother buried.

When Madeline and Lucy arrived at the spot, Samuel and Theodore were indeed caught up in a fistfight, and it didn't look pretty. Lucy didn't pause her feet but continued to walk before calling, "Sam! Samuel! Stop it!" 

Theodore noticed Lucy's presence and stopped, but this resulted only in him being on the receiving end of Samuel's fist. Lucy stepped in the middle of them and before Samuel could drop a punch straight at her thinking it was for Theodore, Theodore caught hold of Samuel's hand before pushing him away from Lucy. 

"What is wrong with you, Samuel?!" demanded Lucy, staring at Samuel.

"It is because of him. He is the one who tried to spoil our relationship," Samuel tried to get to Theodore, but with Lucy in between, he couldn't get past as she held her hand up to stop him. 

"Stop making a fool of yourself and me. I told you Theodore has nothing to do with it and it is your fault what has happened. I would ask you to leave right this instant!" Lucy was not happy that Samuel had come to attack Theodore. Looking at the servant who stood nearby, she ordered, "Get Mr. Greville his carriage ready so that he can leave the castle." 

"Are you trying to humiliate me, Lucy? You are my wife," threatened Samuel, his eyes narrowing. 

"I think you have done plenty enough for both of us where I don't have to do anything. I dissolve the marriage between you and me. We are no more husband and wife. If needed, I will have an official proceeding to free you from this marriage," replied Lucy.

"Of course, else you would be ashamed that you are having an affair with this servant," Samuel gritted his teeth. By now, many servants had come to gather around and witnessed the little show that took place in the middle of the corridor. 

Lucy said, "You should be happy that brother Calhoun is not here."

"You are nothing less to the King. Not listening to the innocent and framing the person who is not guilty," said Samuel, "It only shows how much you want to get rid of me." 

Lucy frowned at his words, "I have faith in the King. And I cannot unsee what I saw that night while you were with the maid." 

The servant that Lucy ordered returned back, bowing his head, "Lady Lucy, the carriage is ready." 

"Take Mr. Greville's trunks and put them in the carriage. Make sure he returns home safely," ordered Lucy while Samuel's face was flamed in anger. 

Madeline stood there, watching the three people in front of her. Samuel looked like he wanted to say something, and he stepped forward in anger. Madeline's hands turned to fist, and at the same time, Samuel stopped right in front of Lucy as if an invisible wall was stopping him. 

Samuel looked confused, as if he didn't know what happened for a moment.

Lucy, who was looking at Samuel, wondered why he was still standing here. After a few seconds, she heard Samuel say to her, "Our relationship is not over, Lucy. You cannot break it like this. I will come back for you." This time he took a careful step in front of him before walking past them with a glare directed at Theodore. 

When Samuel walked past Madeline, she noticed the bruises and cuts that had formed on his face. Madeline wondered in such a short time, how Samuel had caught hold of Theodore, and how they ended up in a brawl. Her eyes caught sight of his peeled skin before the man left the corridor. 

Before Lucy could say anything, Theodore who had received the same amount of bruises on his face, bowed at them and left from there. 
Closing wounds- Part 1

He walked through the forest, no clothes on his body as they had been torn when his body had increased in size. He looked around to see if there was someone who could help him, but the forest was deserted. The rays of sunlight continued to touch the land of Devon. 

James huffed for air, his body hurting as if his bones had been broken and rejoined again, which in truth did happen as he had turned from his werewolf form back to his human self. By the time he turned human he was far away from the castle, roaming amid the forest trying to find his way out. 

The last thing he remembered was being dragged into another cage in the forest cave, but after that he had lost consciousness, and soon it felt like something feral had taken over his body. There were scratches and bruises on his skin. His eyes took in his surroundings before he finally made his way to the road that connected the villages and towns. When a carriage appeared, that was going to pass from there, James raised his hand, and the coachman, for a moment, decided to ignore the naked man who didn't have the decency of wearing clothes, how shameful! thought the coachman.

But the person who owned the carriage caught sight of James and got his coachman to stop the carriage. 

"Kind Sir! Are you alright??" asked the gentleman who owned the carriage. 

James was utterly embarrassed standing here like this, but after spending some days in the cell room of the dungeon and then in the cave, things like these mattered less to him. Not to forget, there were some traces of his memory where he remembered seeing Madeline and the flesh in his hands and on the ground. 

"May I ask for a ride in your carriage, Sir?" asked James, "And also clothes if you can offer. I will return it to you!" James bowed his head at the gentleman. 

"Of course, um, will the coat do for now? We can stop by the village to get you something better," offered the kind man, a human, and James was grateful at the man and bowed his head. He was offered the man's coat so that he wouldn't freeze and also to cover his modesty. 

Hopping in the carriage, James noticed the disapproving look he received from the coachman, unlike his master. "I am Moses Montague," introduced the gentleman. 

"James Heathcliff," James introduced himself, and the man raised his eyebrows. 

"Are you the man who was accused for the murder of Miss Layla?" asked the gentleman, named Moses. James looked like he was ready to dive out of the carriage, and Moses said, "I heard it was a false accusation, and the murderer was executed yesterday."

James had been literally living under the rock to know what had taken place. The only company he had was the older woman, who was supposed to be Madeline's grandmother and the dull realization finally hit him. The blood on his hands was of that woman. 

"I didn't know that," James responded and his eyebrows furrowed. Was Catherine dead then? He remembered the King who had mentioned that it was her, who had killed Miss Layla, "It happened yesterday?" he asked in confirmation. 

"Well, yes. It happened in the presence of the King, public, and the other royal family. I heard it was a sight to see as it is not every day you get to see royal family members being beheaded," on hearing Moses' words, James frowned. There was more than one execution? "Here, take this," Moses offered him his handkerchief, "You look beaten up. It must have been really hard for you to be called as a murderer." 

The man had no idea, thought James to himself. He had not only been accused, but he had also turned to a werewolf. James tried to keep a distance from the man so that if he would turn back to his werewolf form, he would be able to escape from here. The King had kept him in the cage because of what he had turned to, and James didn't know how to fix it. 

He was angry, so angry like he had never been before. His blood started to boil at the fact that something like this had happened to him. He was a human! He was supposed to be a human! They stopped by a village to get a trouser and a shirt for James before he was dropped in front of his shop. James thanked the man before heading inside his shop.

His assistants were happy to see him. 

"Mr. Heathcliff! Are you alright?!" 

"We tried looking for you, but there was no news!" 

"Did you hear that your name has been cleared and you are under no charges?!" came the collective voices around him. 

James was glad to see that there were still some people here who believed in him. He was too tired right now, and he wanted to rest. At the same time, he felt restless. It was like there was something inside him that was pacing back and forth, looking for blood which scared and worried him. 

"I didn't hear about it. How has everyone been?" asked James, thankful that they hadn't closed the shop and had continued to work. 

"We are doing fine! We got the gowns and other dresses delivered to the people. We even sent Lady Madeline's wedding gown to the castle," they let him know.

"I am sure Miss Barnes will be thrilled to see that you have returned. With just the three days remaining for the wedding," stated the female assistant which brought a grim expression on his face.

He was now confused about who was executed, and he asked, "Do you know who was executed yesterday?" 

"It was Sir Markus Wilmot, the King's cousin," came the reply and James nodded his head. 

"I will be going home to have some rest. Thank you for working hard in my absence," and James collected the spare key of his home and left his shop. He pulled up the collar of the coat enough to cover the lower half of his face to avoid people's attention. 

When James opened the door of his house, he was greeted with nothing but loneliness. No one had visited the place except for the officials, and they had locked the house after their investigation. The windows were closed, and silence surrounded him. The one person, who was his family had died, and there was no one whom he could call as family. If the circumstances were different, maybe James would have agreed to marry Catherine Barnes, but he blamed her for not being able to serve his father before his death. 

Unable to control his anger, he picked up the chair from the room and threw it against the wall. His eyes turned to gold and yellow again as he gasped for air. 

Seeing his reflection in the mirror, James staggered back looking at eyes that didn't belong to him. He realized his life would no more be the same. He was a werewolf now. After spending some more time until his eyes turned normal, James left his home to knock on the door that belonged to Catherine Barnes. 

"Mr. Heathcliff!" greeted the butler, surprise on his face, "Miss Catherine has been waiting for your arrival. Please come in," he said, pulling the door so that James could step inside. 
Closing wounds- Part 2

When Catherine heard about James visiting her, her joy knew no boundaries. She was ecstatic that he had finally returned to her and all her worries had been swept away. Getting ready and making sure she looked pretty, she walked out of her room to meet James in the parlour room where he was waiting for her. 

"James!" Catherine exclaimed, dropping the honorifics, "I am so glad to see you here! I have been worried!" James stood up, something he was used to doing as a sign of respect which was when Catherine put her hands around him. But he didn't put his hands around Catherine, not making an effort to hug her. 

"I told papa to speak to the King to ask him to clear your name. I knew it wasn't you, and you couldn't have done it!" Catherine had pulled away from James, taking a step back while a hint of blush covered her cheeks, "Forgive me for my forwardness. I wasn't able to contain myself when I saw you."

The vampiress looked at James, making sure he was alright and he indeed was alright. He appeared to be in a good condition, "Where were you all this time? I thought you would come here," said Catherine, a frown appeared on her beautiful face. 

James stared at Catherine's innocent face, doubting if what the King said was true. That it was Catherine, who had killed the girl. The way she spoke right now in concern, it was hard to believe how far it was true. But then the King had nothing to gain when it came to his relationship with Catherine. Instead, it would be a loss to the King for jeopardizing their relationship. 

From the time, James had first met Catherine she had always been this sweet innocent vampiress who was shy and didn't know how to act around. Sometimes she would turn embarrassed after speaking her mind out. 

"I was running away from here," answered James, his voice almost bland and lifeless, "With the blame of the murder on my head, I thought it would be better for me to hide than be caught for something I didn't do. Also, I was mourning for my father's death." 

Catherine quickly placed her hand on his, "I am so sorry to hear about your father. I should have been there with you. I am so sorry." 

James glanced at the hand that was on his, "I wish I could have spent more time with him." 

"I wished that too," said Catherine, a sigh escaping her lips, "I was hoping he would come to live with us. It is truly unfortunate that he isn't here anymore. I already have started to miss him." 

James nodded his head, "It is unfortunate. Did you go to visit him?" he asked out of the blue and Catherine looked slightly startled by his question, "To his grave I mean." 

Catherine didn't know if she should lie or not because since James' father had passed away, she had not bothered to know where the older man was buried. She had focussed her time on trying to bug her father to find out where James was. She had been angry at the possibility of James leaving Devon and moving to another land. But now that he was here, all her worries had disappeared. 

She shook her head, "I didn't. I haven't left home since you disappeared and I have been worried about you," she answered him, "I would love to accompany you if you are going to visit him." 

"I am planning to visit him tomorrow evening. Will you be able to come with me?" asked James, and Catherine's face brightened up. Not because she was visiting the grave, but because she would be spending time with James.

"I will be there," she replied before reminding him, "I knew that you would return to me. I hoped you would, therefore, I didn't cancel our wedding." Catherine was glad that James was here, that would mean they would be getting married in three days. She saw James stare at her, and she wondered what he was thinking. "Is everything alright?" 

James gave her a nod, offering her a smile, "I was thinking about Miss Layla. It was an unfortunate incident. Her death, I mean. She was a very kind lady, someone who was very polite." 

The worry that was on Catherine's face disappeared, "Yes, she was a good person," she agreed, not forgetting the last words of the girl, of how James liked Madeline. 

"She was a dear friend of yours, wasn't she? You must have been very upset after finding her head torn. Did you not get angry at me when you heard the news?" asked James testingly.

Catherine shook her head, "I knew it couldn't be you. You are not like that James." 

James stood up, "I should get going," he said, but Catherine was not done with admiring James. She had missed him immensely, and she said, 

"Please stay a little longer!" 

James stepped closer to her, placing his hand on her cheek, "I don't think your father will appreciate my presence here for too long."

"Daddy would never say that. You don't have to w-" James placed his hand on Catherine's mouth.

He didn't say anything but dropped his hand away from her face. Catherine looked entranced by James's presence. He was the man whom she loved and wanted to have. Suddenly, he flinched, and Catherine asked, 

"What happened? Did something happen?" 

Not understanding what was happening, he felt his bones were breaking again and trying to reform. He could feel the change taking place and the pain shot up through his entire body. He had come here for something but feeling his body changing, he decided to keep it for tomorrow. 

He gasped for air, "I think I need to leave," he said, stepping away and making his way back home. The last thing he needed was turning to a werewolf in front of people which could bring him harm. 

Back in the castle as the time of supper approached and passed by in silence where people retired back to their rooms with little to no words to exchange with each other, Lucy went to her room to lay down on the cold empty bed. With Samuel gone, where she had informed him that they were no more husband and wife. She wondered if it would work, or how people would perceive her.

But she had done what she had to do. 

The first time she had met Samuel, he was not her ideal man. Not because he didn't treat her right in the beginning, but because she had someone else in her heart. Samuel had appeared to be head over heels for her, and now it made her smile in sadness. How could her mother get her married to someone like him? Would her mother have approved of her decision now if she was still alive? The answer to it was no.

'What is wrong with Samuel Greville?' she heard her mother's voice echo from her part, 'He is the perfect man for you, Lucy. He is smart, successful and will look after you well.'

'I am not a pet to be looked af-" SLAP!

'Is this the way you speak to your mother? You will do as I say.' 

Lucy turned in her bed, remembering the wounds that had formed on both Samuel and Theodore's face this noon. A few seconds later, she got up from her bed, picking up the lantern that was burning in her room and a box from her cupboard. She then stepped out of her room. 

Walking in the quiet corridors of the castle as most of the people had gone to sleep. Reaching the door, she stopped in front of it. Her hands raised itself, but she didn't know if she should knock or leave. She had come here out of spur of thought. 

When Samuel had questioned her, she had mentioned Theodore's name out of anger she felt towards the man. But here she was, standing in front of his room. Dropping her hand, she decided to go back to her room, turning away when she heard the door open. 

Lucy cursed under her breath. She had stood there too long, doing nothing. 

She slowly turned to see Theodore who was in his nightclothes, the bruises still there on his face. Theodore caught sight of the box in her hand and asked, 

"Want to come in?"