✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 641 - 650 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


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Underwater- Part 2

Lucy didn't know what she was even expecting in her heart. She was not only causing harm to herself, but she would also cause harm to Theodore if someone were to see him walking near her room. 

"You have done a lot for me, by bringing me blood and keeping me company when I have been locked. But I think such things need to stop and I need to stop depending on people. The last time I depended on someone...that person…" Lucy couldn't complete her words as a lump formed in her throat by thinking what happened to Nana. If she could rewind the time, somehow, she would fix it and make sure the woman was still alive. 

A warm drop of tear slipped from her eye, and before she could move away from him by turning her back against him, Theodore caught hold of her arm and pulled her to him. 

For a moment, Lucy was startled by what just happened, and without another exchange of words, Theodore placed his lips on her cheek where the mark was. Everything stopped still around her, and all she could feel was his lips pressing against her cheek. 

The pressure wasn't too much but gentle, and even though it seemed like an innocent kiss, her heart skipped beats, and her lips trembled. Out of shock, she placed her hands on Theodore's chest, ready to push him away, but instead, he caught them in his hands. He pulled his lips away from her cheek for a second before pressing them back again to let her know this was not a dream. 

His lips brushed against her tender skin, and a gasp escaped her lips. 

"You have a bad way of coaxing a person to answer your question to only push them away," whispered Theodore against her cheek. "Is it something you developed after knowing me?" 

He had left her tongue-tied as this was more than she had bargained to hear, and her heart couldn't stay still by hearing his words. 

"W-why did you do that?" Lucy questioned with wide eyes. 

"I wonder that myself now," replied Theodore, staring deep into the young vampiress' eyes. 

He didn't mean to involve himself with the royal family members, at least not this way, because he knew it would come in between the plans of what he and Calhoun had. But his feet and his mind often drew to this place. 

It wasn't his intention to involve himself with Lucy, but something seemed to be budding between them without his knowledge. With the questions, she had been asking since this noon, and with the way she looked hurt, he wanted to comfort her. He didn't want to defile her, and therefore, he had kissed her cheek, but it had not gone as expected. 

Like a bee being beguiled by a flower, his lips followed the proximity of her pale skin. 

"You wanted answers to your question. I didn't know how to express myself, Lady Lucy," explained Theodore. 

"Why do you call me, Lady Lucy?" whispered Lucy. 

"Like I said, I am not the person you think I am. I cannot build a relationship with you, milady," said Theodore and Lucy's heart broke. 

"Is it because I am a princess?" questioned Lucy, the sweetness that she tasted a moment ago started to turn painful now. 

Theodore nodded his head, "Undeniably you are a beautiful girl, and I am attracted to you, but it is better we do not mistake and forget who we are." If Lucy was some other girl, he would have already bedded her, but she wasn't anyone. 

"Why did you kiss me then?" demanded Lucy, her words laced with hurt. Theodore had offered her a delicious fruit, and before she could even take a bite, he had snatched it away from her. 

Theodore had made an error, but seeing her so heartbroken over the maid's death and wallowing in pain, he couldn't resist himself but comfort her. Lucy bit her bottom lip, noticing Theodore looking slightly frustrated, something she had never seen before. As if to repay him, Lucy stepped towards him, placing her hand on his shirt and pulling him down while raising herself to stand on the tip of her toes. 

Lucy kissed him. Not on the cheek but on his lips, taking Theodore by surprise. 

She didn't know why she had to hold back her feelings when he was right here and trying to drift away from her. She had never done something bold like this before, but then she had never fallen in love either. 

Theodore was the one to place his hands gingerly on her shoulders to break away from the kiss that wanted him to push Lucy on the bed and kiss the very life of her. 

Theodore wasn't a guy who jumped into things. He wouldn't jump without thinking, even if they looked as enticing as Lucy did. He was more mature and rational for his age, not wanting to be influenced by emotions without considering the consequences. 

Lucy didn't need Theodore to tell her how he felt about her taking him by surprise by kissing him. It was obvious that they were both attracted to each other, and even though Theodore had pushed her away, there was a moment where she felt him surrender to his feelings, just for a moment before he regained back his composure. 

A small chuckle escaped Theodore's lips, and he said, "Where did you learn to do that?" his eyes fell on her lips for a fraction of a second before they moved back to look at her eyes. 

"I think when you fall for a person... you learn things automatically," whispered Lucy, her heart thumping in her chest and her cheeks slightly red. 

Theodore didn't know if the princess was trying to test his patience by provoking him with such words, but she was still a lamb, and he was a man. And as much as he was experienced, a man could resist only for a certain extent, and this was the first time his control had slipped. 

"I love you, Theodore with all my heart," confessed Lucy, and she softly gulped before looking away. "If it is the status that worries you, I will leave this place, everything behind me."
Underwater- Part 3

He stared at her, "Life isn't easy, amare. I cannot leave things behind because I have a purpose that needs to be fulfilled," and he placed his hand on the top of her head and gently moved it as if to pat her. 

Lucy felt the comfort return back to the way it was when Ruby was still alive. Theodore's hand stayed there for a second more before he finally dropped it to his side. 

"You should get some sleep," advised Theodore. 

Lucy didn't want Theodore to go, but after kissing him, she was overwhelmed with feelings, and Theodore seemed like he wanted to go back to his room. She nodded her head. When Theodore left the room, Lucy closed the patios' door and was quick to get on the bed while closely hugging her pillow. 

Theodore didn't go back to the room, nor did he stay around the castle. Instead, he went back to the town and pushed open a gate before sitting in front of the door. Pulling out a pack of cigars, he placed one in his mouth, and he lit it up before taking a drag from it. 

The door in front of which he sat opened, and Madame Fraunces came outside and said, "Fancy seeing you here. I thought I heard the gate creek."

"I didn't mean to wake you up," responded Theodore. 

Madame Fraunces watched Theodore, who didn't make an effort to move and instead sat there smoking the cigar that was in his hand. The air around him looked serious, and she asked, "It's been weeks since I last saw you. How have you been doing? How is Calhoun?" 

"We are doing okay. How have you been, Madame Fraunces?" Theodore asked her, watching her take a seat next to him. He passed the cigar to her, but the woman waved her hand before pulling a pack of her own from her dress' pocket. 

"You know. Still young and meeting rich people while listening to people's gossip," replied the woman. "Life in the town doesn't change much, at least not for people like me."

Theodore smiled at Madame Fraunces' words, and he took another drag from the cigar, pulling the smoke into his lungs, letting it pollute him before exhaling it out. 

"It seems like something is troubling you. You don't come and sit in front of my house just to guard it now, do you?" 

"It could be out of love that I have for you," Theodore turned to meet the woman's eyes, who raised her eyebrows. 

"Your pretty words don't work on me, boy. What is it?" questioned Madame Fraunces. Having taken Theodore in when he was small, she had watched him grow up into a fine man while also knowing when his mood changed. 

"Do you think people like us are allowed to have happiness?" he asked in a thoughtful tone. 

Madame Fraunces was taking a puff, and she said, "Why shouldn't anyone be allowed to be happy? It isn't a crime, unless you cause a crime to be happy. If you are asking about yourself, I would advise you not to grovel in self pity. It doesn't suit you."

Theodore nodded his head, "I kissed a girl."

"And why is it a problem?" she asked him and frowned, "Unless you are addressing the King's wife as the girl," and she cracked a smile to lighten the mood. 

"It is the King's daughter," replied Theodore and the woman hummed. 

Fraunces watched Theodore from the corner of her eyes, who seemed to have lost himself in his thoughts. The last time she had seen him like this was when she had first saved him from the streets. 

"Lucy Hawthrone, is it?" asked Madame Fraunces.

"You have met her," said Theodore, it was because the woman had met many people from high society. 

"Just twice. A sweet innocent thing, isn't she. Beautiful long hair, small face and petite figure," hummed the woman, "You like her."

Theodore didn't comment on Madame Fraunces' words. He had acted on his emotions, and instead of keeping a distance, he had brought himself closer tonight. He knew his action would cost him, but the feeling of her lips against his was driving him towards the edge. 

He finished his cigar before putting it down to stamp with his shoe, placing his hands behind him to support his upper body. 

"It's all good until you end up on the other side of the fence, isn't it?" asked Madame Fraunces. "What do you have on your mind, Theo?"

Theodore then said, "I don't think I will be able to see the end of what has started. One of the goals is going to be met soon. If I pick one, I won't be able to fulfil the other."

"Why not both of them?" she asked him. "It's not bad to choose both of them."

"If only it wasn't complicated," murmured Theodore. 

He knew Lucy would close her eyes and follow him if he uttered the love word to her, but that would leave Calhoun alone in the castle, and everything that had been worked so far, would go to waste. He wondered if it was possible...to have both and be selfish. 

Madame Fraunces then smacked his back to wake him up from his thoughts, "If you find it hard, go with your gut. The little problems children these days have," sighed the woman, and she stood up from where she was sitting. "I am going to sleep now. Come visit me tomorrow and I will bake something good for both of you and Calhoun."

"Have a goodnight sleep, Madame Fraunces," he stood up, bowing his head, and the woman waved her hand before getting inside her house and closing the door. 

Theodore stepped out of the house's gates, and he started to head back to the castle. Upon reaching the castle, he went back to Lucy's patio, catching her fast asleep on the bed, and he then went back to his room. 
Sparrow- Part 1

Recommended music: Remember last Winter by Adi Goldstein


When Theodore returned to his room, he was surprised to see Calhoun standing next to the bed as if he was waiting for Theodore to return to the room. 

"Everything alright?" asked Theodore, closing the doors behind him and walking inside the room. 

"Morganna has decided to kill the woman in the next three days to stop the formation of the organization," informed Calhoun. Oddly, a sparrow was sitting at the window and faintly chirping. It was strange to see a bird apart from an owl at this hour of the night. "Helena has gotten the approval from the majority of the King's of the neighbouring kingdoms. There's a soiree that's going to be held where some of the high profile people are going to attend and she is going to be there."

"Seems just like something the Queen would do," commented Theodore and then questioned, "Do you think she will be successful?" 

"Maybe. The people who are going to be there are the ones who are in favour of Morganna. She wants to silence the woman before the entire organization is formed," said Calhoun, his eyebrows drawn together in deep thought. It would take some time before the organization comes into complete form, and right now, Morganna was only trying to get rid of anything that would come between her and the control she had on Devon's people. 

"Wouldn't be best to speak to the King and make yourself present there. You can probably try to get rid of the person who is going to kill her," suggested Theodore, but Calhoun shook his head. 

"There's going to be more than one person, who is going to attack her and we don't know when they will. Just because I protect her once doesn't mean we will be able to do it every time. Having Helena with us is important for our future rule and she can be an important pivot with power," Calhoun didn't want to lose a powerful woman who could be of great use. 

Knowing how Morganna feared to have powers slip through her fingers only brought joy to Calhoun. Queen Morganna felt threatened by a mere woman's presence, but then it seemed like Morganna was easily scared. She had also felt threatened by his mother's presence in King Laurence's life. 

"I have decided to speak to the King about it. Hoping he will see how important Helena can be to Devon or to him if he plays his cards right," said Calhoun.

Theodore nodded his head. "Did the King say anything important this evening?" Though he wasn't in the garden, he had caught sight of Calhoun and King Laurence walking in the garden. 

"Nothing worth remembering about," commented Calhoun, showing no interest in going through what he had spoken to his father. While he was going to sit on the bed, his nose picked a faint scent of blood on Theodore. "You should take a bath to get rid of the smell of blood."

A smile cracked on Theodore's lips, and he said, "I thought it would have disappeared by now. I don't think anyone has as good sensory as you do to notice the subtle details."

"Let's hope they don't," replied Calhoun, not bothering to know whom Theodore killed before coming here. "How is Lucy doing?"

"Fast asleep," answered Theodore, the smile not leaving his lips. "By the way, Madame Fraunces misses you. She said we should visit her tomorrow. She offered to cook something good for us." 

Calhoun hummed for an answer and then said, "It has been a while since we visited her."

Theodore saw Calhoun lay down on the bed with his back facing him as if he was done for the day and wanted to be alone. His eyes fell on the window where the small bird that was earlier there had flown away. 

Walking to his own bed, Theodore laid down there with both his hands supporting the back of his head while he stared at the ceiling. 

"Did you kill someone important that you have been smiling?" Theodore heard Calhoun question him from the other bed. 

"I didn't notice it," murmured Theodore, and Calhoun rolled his eyes. Though he had turned his back, he hadn't fallen asleep. He doubted he would be able to sleep in peace until he would avenge his mother. 

Since Theodore had entered the room, he seemed to be in a much better mood than he was, and Calhoun had stared at the man before ignoring the mood. 

Receiving no response from Calhoun, he went back to staring at the ceiling, unable to erase the anxious red eyes and the quickening breath of the young vampiress. When he had returned to offer Lucy blood, he hadn't meant to intrude. He had given her enough time to bath and change her clothes, believing she was done with it before he had come to her patio only to catch her naked self stepping out of the bath. 

He closed his eyes as if cursing himself for seeing her in that state. Theodore wasn't foreign to a female's naked body, but he was entranced seeing Lucy, and he had hidden away from her sight for the moment. 

Lucy was beautiful and worthy, her features dainty and her movements nothing less to the water she had stepped out of. Her skin was soft under his lips, and her lips...they had caught him by surprise. 

He doubted he would be able to sleep soundly with the memories that his eyes, lips and his hands had caught hold of Lucy. 

Madame Fraunces had told he could have both of them, and he wondered if it was possible. To have both the girl as well as fulfil his purpose, to help. Since the moment he had caught Lucy in the alley with the thugs, Theodore's heart had grown a soft spot towards the vampiress, and now she was spreading like a drop of poison in his heart. 

Theodore wondered if he would be able to answer her question with something that she would like to hear, now only if the King and the Queen could go to Hell and never return, thought Theodore to himself—not knowing that his thought had been blessed for the future. 
Sparrow- Part 2

The very same night, while one person laid on the bed thinking about the girl who had kissed him, on the other side of the castle, the very same girl was dreaming what her heart craved for. There wasn't a smile on Lucy's lips as she dreamed about Theodore in there, but her heart was beating loudly in her chest. 

Lucy ran in the forest, her feet bare without the shoes that often restricted her. She placed her feet one after another on the soft grass on the ground, feeling the slight wetness from the dewdrops that had formed on the blades of the grass—how strange, thought Lucy to herself. It wasn't even morning as the sky was dark, yet she could feel the ground be wet. 

Her heart continued to beat faster, and before she could run farther away, a hand came to wrap around her waist, picking her up and making her shriek in surprise. 

"I caught you," were the words that whispered next to the shell of her ear. 

Lucy's breath was uneven, and she could feel a shock of desire deliciously run down her spine. Blood rushed up to her cheeks, and she couldn't help herself but steal a quick look at Theodore, who had his hand snugly wrapped around her waist. 

"I thought I told you to count until ten," Lucy breathed the words, her voice uneven, and she noticed the way Theodore's eyes had turned dark. Almost black without a hint of red in there. 

Theodore didn't reply to her words, and instead, he pulled her and had her back pressed against the tree's bark. 

"You didn't answer my question," whispered Lucy when Theodore came to stand in front of her, placing both his hands on either side of the tree. 

"I don't think there's any need for me to tell when the answer is as clear as day, amare," said Theodore, leaning forward, and even though nothing happened, she could already feel breathless. 

"What does that mean?" asked Lucy, her eyes sinking into the depth of Theodore's eyes. 

"Which one?" 

"Amare," said Lucy, her toes dragged behind, and she placed the sole of her foot flat on the uneven bark of the tree. 

Hearing this, a faint smile came to form on Theodore's lips, "My answer." He brought his hand towards her face, running his finger across the side of her face to have her heart hitch. He then brought his finger to place it under her chin and raised it so that he could have a better look at her. "Why did you propose to play hide and seek?"

This felt much different from what she had experienced earlier. Her tongue peeked out to wet her lips as it had turned dry, and she gulped when Theodore's hand came to settle on her waist. 

"I...I was hoping for you to catch me," she whispered, and he leaned even closer than before. 

"Mm, now that I have, I think it is time for reward," after his lips hovered above hers, it came to plant on her-

Lucy was woken up with her room's doors opening with a loud noise, and she sat up on her bed. The images of her dream were still fresh, and her cheeks turned red, remembering it. Her eyes stared at her mother, who had come with guards, scouting her room. 

She sighed. Couldn't her mother come after a few minutes? 

"What's the matter, mother?" questioned Lucy, not knowing what exactly her mother was looking for. 

The guards opened every cupboard while looking under her bed and then going to the patio. When her mother didn't respond, Lucy asked again, "Mother?" 

Her mother snapped her scrutinizing gaze at her, "Did someone enter this room, Lucy?" 

Lucy blinked her eyes, and her throat turned slightly dry. "I was sleeping. I wouldn't know," she answered her mother's burning question. 

"There's no one here, milady," informed one of the guards to Lady Samara. The woman stepped outside the patio to look at the height of the patio from the ground. 

Lucy could feel her heartbeat rising while her mother looked around the room. Did what she feared to come true? Did someone catch Theodore when he was jumping in and out of the room? She could feel a light sheen of sweat forming on her back. 

Her mother stepped back inside and asked, "Are you going to tell the truth, Lucy or do you want the person to be punished?" 

Lucy had been caught before, and right now, she hoped it would never come to this. One word from her, and it would be the end of Theodore. 

Her mother came forward and snapped her fingers in front of her face, "Stop being quiet and answer me, Lucy."

"I-I don't know what you are talking about. I was really asleep and don't know which person you are speaking about," answered Lucy. 

She wondered which person had seen Theodore come and go, and she couldn't help but internally curse. She didn't want anything bad happening to Theodore! She had lost Ruby, and she was not ready to lose another person! Her family couldn't do this to her. She refused to accept it. 

Lady Samara glared at her daughter. 

"I thought an example that was set yesterday by your grandmother would make sure the others wouldn't step out of line, but this," Lucy's mother looked frustrated. "I ordered that no one was allowed to enter your room, yet this happens. Where is she?" 

"Mother I really-She?" Lucy was confused now. 

  "Fabel told me that Amice is missing since last night. She came here, didn't she?" Lucy's mother didn't seem pleased. "She's nowhere to be seen. Did you send her to her village?" 

"Why would I do that?" Lucy's eyebrows furrowed. "What's going on?" 

"Amice is missing. Her clothes and her other belongings. Everything is missing and she left a note telling she was leaving the castle," Lady Samara's eyes flared. "Did you have run away after what happened to Ruby?" 
Sparrow- Part 3

Lucy stared at her mother as she tried to understand what her mother just said. Had amice left the castle?

"Where did she go?" Lucy questioned her mother, and her mother rolled her eyes. 

"You are telling me you don't know where she is? Yesterday one of the guards saw someone in your room. There were two people in this room at night, Lucy, so tell me," Lady Samara raised her hand, and Lucy flinched, shrinking away from her mother. But the woman didn't strike and dropped her hand to her side. 

Lucy slowly opened her eyes, and she saw her mother stare at her. 

"Your grandmother will deal with it," said her mother before stepping out of the room without exchanging another word with her. 

In the room of Queen Morganna, who was still getting ready with her jewels being worn around her neck and rings being pushed on her fingers, she held a grim expression on her face while listening to one of the men who worked for her inform her about what he saw. 

"Are you sure it was her?" questioned Queen Morganna, and she saw the man bow his head through the reflection of the mirror. 

"The maid has left the castle without any trace. The guards at the gates haven't seen her pass through the gates nor the ones who were patrolling out on the castle grounds," explained her servant. "I don't think she's left the castle yet, my Queen."

Morganna stared at her reflection, not understanding why a maid would visit her granddaughter and then plan to leave the castle. She slightly raised her head and ordered, "If the guards haven't seen her yet she should still be around. Have them search for her, and if you find her, bring her to me."

"Yes, my Queen!" the man bowed his head. 

Once he was gone, Morganna stood up from the plush chair, and she moved her head to the side to take a look at the pearls that hung in her ears. "Bring my granddaughter to meet me after breakfast. I would like to have a little chat with her in my private room."

The maids who stood behind her bowed their head. 

Lucy got ready in her room, being helped by maids before she stepped out of the room with questions on her mind. She couldn't help but worry for Theodore. One of the guards had seen his shadow in her room, and she bit her bottom lip. Fiddling with the ends of her sleeve, she continued to walk in the corridor. 

Before she could make her way towards the dining room, her eyes fell on Calhoun walking in another corridor, and she was quick to search for Theodore, who walked right behind him. Her heart fluttered, and for a moment, all her worries seemed to dissipate. 

"Lucy," came a voice from behind her, and she turned around to find her cousins heading to where she was along with her aunt, Rosamund. 

"Aunt Rosamund, cousin Markus and Sophie, it is good to see you here. Pleasant morning, isn't it?" came the polite words from Lucy while trying to get rid of the blush that had formed on her cheeks. 

"Don't you look lovely today, Lucy," greeted her aunt, opening her arms and hugging Lucy. 

Rosamund's eyes fell on Calhoun and the bodyguard who were walking in the nearby corridor. She then pulled away from Lucy, a bright smile on her lips. 

"How have you been doing, Lucy?" asked the young blonde boy. 

"Very well, Markus," Lucy nodded her head. "It has been a while since I last saw you and Sophie. How are your studies going on?" she questioned, and her eyes fell on her younger cousin sister, but the girl seemed to disregard the presence of Lucy and ran past her. 

"Don't mind her, Lucy. Sophie is still learning," there was a small smirk on Markus' face. "I heard you have been meeting suitors. Anyone who has caught your eyes?"

Lucy could feel her aunt's eyes on her, and she smiled at her cousin Markus, "No one so far." 

Markus' smile dulled down when he looked behind Lucy, noticing Calhoun walk from one corridor to another. 

Sophie had followed Calhoun like a fly that kept moving back and forth around Calhoun. Noticing him not paying attention to her, she decided to cling to his leg. 

"Seems like she likes you," commented Theodore. 

Calhoun's eyes narrowed. "Let go of my leg," he ordered the girl, but the small girl was spoilt, and she didn't listen to him. 

Calhoun stopped walking with no one around to see them, he leaned forward before bringing his hand in front of her face. He flicked her forehead in a force that she not only let go of his leg but also ended up falling away from him. The girl was stubborn enough to bite Calhoun in anger, but this was caught by Laurence, who just appeared in the corridor. 

"Sophie!" King Laurence reprimanded the girl, and she looked petrified. She ran back to her mother. 

"Mama, he hit me!" complained the girl. 

Rosamund's eyes snapped at Calhoun, who had a perplexed expression on his face. "Me?" he asked the girl, and he then offered her a warm smile. "I didn't even touch you. Are you sure about it? A lie is never good, little girl." Looking at Calhoun's smile, the small girl turned confused now. 

Before the older vampiress could tell anything, King Laurence said, "Rosamund, I thought Sophie was being taught by a governess."

"Sophie is young. It is going to take some time, my King," answered Rosamund, putting up a smile on her face.

"It is good to see Markus here, I hope it is to spend good time with his cousins?" King Laurence didn't want his mother going behind his back and trying to have his nephew on the throne. 

"Of course," Rosamund's smile stayed on her lips. "I thought Markus could spend some time with his new brother. Hopefully they can bond with each other? Like hunting?" she proposed. 

"What a wonderful idea," King Laurence approved this idea, and he placed his hand on Calhoun's back. "Hunting is always an excellent recreation for men."

When everyone started to head towards the dining room, Lucy quickly came to walk next to Calhoun, and she pulled Calhoun's sleeve. 

At her action, he raised his eyebrow, and she whispered, "Can I come along?" and he gave her a nod. 


Hunting- Part 1

Music Recommendation: Fields by Jakob Balogh


In the dining room with everyone eating, while speaking about the matters brought up in the royal court, Lucy brought the fork with the food to her mouth before taking a bite from it. She tried hard to not look around at the table because there seemed to be more than one person who was watching her actions.

Lucy didn't know why her mother thought Amice had run away from the castle, while even she was confused as to why her maid had left without sharing a single word with her. 

Her mother, grandmother, and aunt occasionally looked her way, making it difficult for Lucy to look at Theodore, who stood behind Calhoun. Last night was something sweet and memorable, and she had slept like a baby. 

"We should always be careful about whom we keep near us. You never know what poison they bring with them," commented Rosamund while cutting the steak on her plate. "What do you think, Lucy?" she asked the young vampiress.

Lucy clutched the fork in her hand, looking up to meet her aunt's eyes, "What ever grandmother did must have been done for the well being of all of us." 

Her tone was enough to make one know that she didn't agree with it, yet she forced the words out of her mouth. 

Lady Samara, who sat next to Lucy, offered her sister-in-law a smile, "Lucy is well versed with what is right and what is wrong in the castle. She has turned more responsible, thanks to Ms. Lewis' help." 

The governess bowed her head, a polite smile on her lips, "The princess is a quick learner. She has already finished most of the lessons."

"How wonderful," murmured Rosamund, putting the thin slice of steak in her mouth and chewing it. 

"Would you like to hear me play the cello sometime, Aunt Rosamund?" offered Lucy, trying to keep a calm demeanour without allowing the pain of losing someone to appear on her face. Ruby might not have been related to her by blood, but she was everything Lucy had wanted as a mother figure. 

"Maybe I will. We should perhaps fix it in the evening. Perhaps before dusk so that all of us can enjoy your talents," replied Rosamund, and she then looked at her brother. "My King, I hear the organization is in formation. They seem to have gone with the majority of votes. I heard they plan to call it the High House, what an absurd name." 

"Absurd people give absurd names," came Morganna's sarcastic words. "King Laurence, I believe we should be extremely wary of that woman. I heard that the woman who is forming the High House is planning to take the reins and is going to put the royal families under interrogations."

King Laurence, who was eating, nodded his head, "That is what reached my ears. She must be a fool to think she would be able to control all the lands and hold power in this so-called High House in existence. It is bound to fail, no King would support it."

"My apologies, my lord," interrupted Calhoun. "I heard she is taking the support of the King's from the North and some from the East lands. They are backing her up. Word has reached me that they feel it would be more just by having common rules and laws being set by the formation."

Hearing this, King Laurence started to laugh, "A woman is going to run it? It is nothing less than leaving our positions and giving it to her. We might as well end up as mere puppets." 

Calhoun's eyes subtly narrowed at Laurence's words. Morganna had instilled fear in Laurence's mind of his throne being stolen away from him, that he doubted his father would be able to see through his reasoning. He had hoped to sway Laurence, but it didn't seem like it was possible. 

"For a person who has been in the royal court for only a few weeks, you shouldn't believe that the others would do things in your favour," scoffed Morganna. Her eyes met Calhoun's eye in a challenge. "The King's grandfather was the one to bring Devon the way it is now, we aren't going to give it to someone else."

Laurence waved his hand, "Calhoun. I need you to keep an eye on this woman. Make sure to find out what she does and where she goes. I need all the information."

Calhoun bowed his head, "I will make sure to get every information about her," he complied to the King's words. 

The time continued in the dining room, and suddenly a servant appeared at the door of the room, bowing his head, he announced,

"My King, Mr. Greville's son, Samuel has arrived to meet Lady Lucy."

Hearing this was enough for Lucy's face to turn pale in complexion. She had been wrapped in her world that now it felt she was being pulled back to the reality where she didn't want to step into. 

"Mr. Greville? Seems like he's quite taken by Lucy to make such an effort of making time from his busy schedule," commented Lady Samara, pleased to hear that one of the suitors had decided to come to talk to Lucy.

Lucy wanted to go out hunting with others. Now with Samuel here, she bit her bottom lip. She wanted to spend more time with Theodore, to stay in his company and not in someone else's company with whom she was not interested. 

Queen Morganna looked at Lucy, and she then said to the servant, "Bring him in here. Tell him to join us for breakfast." 

The servant bowed his head and left the front of the room. "Is this the same Greville who is the Duke's son?" questioned Rosamund with faint interest. 

"Indeed he is," Lady Samara was the one to answer. She was more than excited to have the man join them so that he could ally with her daughter. 

When Samuel arrived in the room, he deeply bowed at everyone, a polite smile on his lips, "Long live the King! A good morning to everyone."
Hunting- Part 2

But seeing him here, Lucy's good morning turned to a pale one. 

With everyone's eyes on Samuel, who had only entered the room, Lucy's eyes fell on Theodore, who was watching her. She felt her heart skip a beat and her eyes lowered with a faint blush coating her cheeks. She didn't forget the closeness she shared with him last night as well as in her dream. 

All Lucy wanted was to stay in Theodore's company, to continue the conversation she had started last night and receive an answer from him through his words. 

"Why don't you take a seat next to Lucy?" suggested Lady Samara. The vampiress leaned forward and looked at Sophie, sitting on the other side of her daughter. "Sophie dear, why don't you shift so that the gentleman can sit next to Lucy?"

Rosamund didn't like how Samara was ordering her daughter to move, but she was only the King's sister. Therefore there were only a few things that she could oppose. 

"Sophie, why don't you come and sit next to your brother," said Rosamund, and without question, the little girl hopped and came around to sit next to Markus. 

"Thank you for having me here," Samuel had a kind smile on his lips, and he bowed his head at everyone again before making his way around the table and taking the seat next to Lucy. "How are you doing this morning, Lady Lucy? I hope you had a wonderful sleep." 

Lucy didn't have a mean bone in her, and she returned the man's smile, "I did have a good sleep. I wish I can dream it again. Did you finish all your work?" she questioned.

"I did. I have asked some of my men to handle it so that I can spend time with you. My mother said it is important to build the foundation of a relationship for a good future," Samuel insinuated his extreme interest in Lucy. 

King Laurence, Queen Morganna and Calhoun were discussing the court's affairs while Samuel tried to initiate small talks. In that time, Lucy couldn't help but look towards Theodore, who wasn't looking at her anymore. She wondered what to do because her heart was elsewhere and not with the person at the table. 

She wondered what Theodore was thinking about, and her heart tugged. 

The more time passed, the more Lucy could feel her heart and eyes wanting to follow Theodore. 

When they finished having breakfast, the elders left the place. Calhoun, who was talking to Theodore about the hunt they had planned to go on, turned around to look at Lucy, who smiled, that didn't reach her eyes. 

"Mr. Greville," Calhoun addressed the gentleman who was talking to Lucy. "I don't think we have been formally introduced."

Samuel bowed his head, "I don't think there's anyone who doesn't know who you are."

One side of Calhoun's lips pulled up, and he asked, "I wonder if it is by the knowledge of being the King's son or the whore's son." The atmosphere turned suddenly quiet, and Lucy's eyes darted from Calhoun to look at Samuel. He then chuckled, "I am joking, Samuel."

Samuel laughed along with Calhoun, "It is good to be making your acquaintance. I hope I can be of great service to the future King."

Calhoun stared at Samuel, watching the man closely before saying, "All of us have planned to go hunting, I suppose you wouldn't mind joining?"

"Hunting? I would be more than happy to join your company," obliged the man, and Calhoun gave him a nod. 

"Good. We shall see you outside then," and when Calhoun stepped out of the room with Theodore, he murmured, "What a people pleaser."

Lucy was taken aback, and she could only remind herself to later thank Calhoun for inviting Samuel to hunt as that way she would be able to join too instead of walking round and round in the garden with Samuel. 

"Do you like to hunt, Lady Lucy?" questioned Samuel and Lucy, who had been staring at the door, snapped her eyes back to look at Samuel. 

"I enjoy them. How about you, Mr. Greville?"

"Please call me Samuel," he spoke in his gentle tone. "I would like to pursue you wholeheartedly, milady. I feel we will be able to get closer to each other without making use of the honorifics to our names." 

Lucy's eyes widened while she looked at Samuel. The man was handsome, and he was kind to her compared to the other suitors who were pompous and pushy towards her. If Theodore had not caught her heart, she would not have minded this man's company, and maybe her heart would have been captured by him. 

"I...I need to tell you something, Mr. Greville-"

"Please," Samuel stopped her, and he caught hold of one of her hands. "You don't have to decide it right now, and I know things like this takes time. I am ready to wait."

Lucy had intended to be truthful to him, wanting him not to wait for her as her heart was already set on someone. She didn't want to break the polite gentleman's heart, but he said he was willing to wait. 

"I will be waiting outside with the rest of them," Samuel bowed his head and left the dining room. 

Lucy changed her clothes to much more appropriate wear, and her hairs had been braided to the sides of her head while letting it down.

Theodore, who stood with Calhoun, Samuel, Markus, caught sight of Lucy making her way outside the castle and coming to where they stood with their horses. 

"Which horse would you like to ride, princess?" asked Theodore to her. A faint smile came to settle on her lips, and Lucy felt her heart soar just by his presence. 

Samuel was already ready with the plan, and he proposed, "Lady Lucy can ride with me." 

Lucy turned to look at Samuel and said, "Thank you for the offer, Mr. Greville, but I have my own horse."
Hunting- Part 3

Calhoun, who stood watching the trio, didn't bother to comment on anything but a smile cracked upon his lips on hearing Lucy's reply to Samuel's suggestion. Like many other men who had tried to woo Lucy, Samuel was trying hard to get into Lucy's good side. But what a pity, thought Calhoun to himself. 

Lucy got on her own horse, and so did the others before they headed out of the castle. The hooves of the horses clip-clopped on the ground. She noticed her cousin Markus was talking to Samuel as he had no actual interest in Calhoun. 

On their way, Lucy paced her horse to move forward, and she came to move next to Calhoun, who asked her, "How are you doing today?"

"I am doing okay," replied Lucy. 

It had been nearly a day since Lucy had seen Ruby dead, and she clutched on the reins of the horse she was riding on. Not a single person in the castle had mentioned her death or absence, not to forget, even Amice had gone missing. 

"Did you hear about one of the maids who went missing last night?" asked Lucy to Calhoun.

"So that was what the commotion was about this morning," murmured Calhoun, and he said to her, "The queen must be under the notion that you helped her to run away so that she doesn't meet the same end as Ruby."

Lucy shook her head, "Amice didn't come to my room last night," and she turned to see her cousin, Samuel and Theodore, talking about something. Looking back at Calhoun, she whispered, "One of the guards saw someone in my room and believes that it was the maid."

Though Lucy wasn't direct with her words, Calhoun understood what Lucy worried about. "Who knows, someone must have killed the other maid so that she doesn't cause any problem to you or to them." 

By saying this, Calhoun placed doubt in Lucy's mind that it was probably her mother or her grandmother, who had done something to her dear maid. "I should go ask them."

"What do you think you will achieve by it?" came the immediate question. Calhoun paced his horse to move faster, and Lucy did the same, giving them the little space they needed to speak with each other. "The mark on your cheek that has turned faint now, asking them will result in something harsher than that."

Lucy sighed. She knew Calhoun was letting her know the outcome if she were to cross her grandmother. She was curious about Calhoun's mother, and she turned to see her brother, who looked ahead of him. 

"Thank you for yesterday, brother Calhoun," she thanked him, and his eyes moved to look at her for a brief moment before looking in front of him.

"How about you?" she returned the question to him. "How are you doing, brother Calhoun."

"Better," came his short reply. 

Lucy smiled at Calhoun. When he had arrived at the castle, he hadn't spared a look nor a word with her, ignoring her presence and yesterday, he had come to place an umbrella over her head. 

"What are you speaking about by yourselves?" questioned Markus, noticing his cousin sister speaking to the illegitimate son of the King. 

Before Lucy could reply to Markus' words, Calhoun was the one to speak, "Lucy was asking how I feel as now I have been chosen to be the future King." Hearing this was enough for the younger vampire to narrow his eyes. 

The rest of the journey to the forest was normal where Lucy chose to hear the others speak, and Samuel tried to get on her side by having his horse next to her and making little talks that she politely replied to. Catching sight of a deer, they started to chase and hunt it. 

Lucy had never actually taken part in the hunt, and this was the first time she was actively participating in it. A thrill of joy coursed through her, and along with others, she went on to chase the deer, but the deer was too quick. Samuel wanted to impress Lucy. Therefore, he decided to chase the deer faster than the others, leaving the young vampiress behind. 

Lucy's horse continued to gallop and follow, but the others had moved farther away, disappearing behind the many trees that were between them. 

Suddenly a black creature came in front of the horse that Lucy was riding on, and the horse suddenly stopped, raising its legs forward to have Lucy lose balance and fall on the ground. 

When she fell, Lucy flinched, and she quickly opened her eyes to come across a wolf that bared its teeth not too far away from her. She had never seen a pitch-black wolf before, and she could feel her heart beating loudly. The wolf looked feral, its teeth coated in saliva. Right on time, Calhoun had turned around his own horse as Lucy had fallen behind. 

"Lucy!" Calhoun called her, bringing other men's attention. 

She tried to move away from the wolf, but her movements turned the wolf angry. 

"Don't move from there. I will come there," said Calhoun seeing Lucy petrified. 

"A wolf's bite can be fatal to a vampire," commented Markus, who stood behind and away from the wolf after he came back to where Lucy was with the rest of the party. He got down from the horse, and so did the others. 

Calhoun ignored Markus' words, and he said, "Theodore, get Lucy from the other side." He moved to the left while Theodore moved to the right. Having taken care of wolves before, he could tell this was still a young one, but by size, it was big, and its fur was coated with blood. 

Lucy shook her head. This wasn't safe. But when she caught sight of Theodore, he stretched his hand for her to take. 

"Why don't we just kill the wolf," suggested Samuel, "It will keep everyone alive."

As if sensing the word kill, the wolf turned to find Calhoun approaching it, and it pounced on him, taking a bite at his hand. 
Hidden angels- Part 1

Music Recommendation: Through the trees by BPMoore


Lucy was scared because of the black wolf that looked ferocious and its fur matted with blood. When the wolf's concentration fell on Calhoun, Theodore pulled her to his side so that she wasn't in the wolf's vision anymore. 

But not everything went as expected. 

When Samuel had suggested killing the wolf instead of having to deal with the feral wolf, Markus had pulled up his bow, which had sharp blades like knives in them and without a moment of hesitation, he dislodged a single blade towards the wolf. 

Before the knife could attack the animal, Calhoun caught hold of it, but the wolf didn't take the sight of the weapon too kindly. It bit Calhoun's hand, making him wince, and he glared at Markus. 

"What do you think you are doing?" he glowered. Even though Markus was a royal family by blood, he was younger than Calhoun, who was the King's son. 

"I was trying to help! It is better to kill the wolf so that it doesn't bite any of us!" claimed Markus, his voice holding an urgency. 

"Well congratulations, you were successful in getting the wolf to bite me," glared Calhoun while feeling the fangs of the wolf dig deeper into his hand.

On the other side, Lucy had ended up standing closer to Theodore. Her hand still clutched his hand in fear. "What are we going to do?" she whispered in worry. She could see drops of blood falling on the forest ground from Calhoun's hand as the wolf was stubborn enough not to release his hand.. 

Samuel noticed the closeness between Lucy and Theodore, and instead of helping Calhoun, he went to where Lucy stood and asked her, "Are you alright, milady?"

Lucy looked slightly shaken, and she nodded her head. 

Seeing how Lucy's gaze was fixed on Calhoun, who was trying to calm down the wolf, he pulled out his own weapon, pointing it at the wolf. 

But Theodore placed his hand on Samuel's weapon, and he pushed it down, "You are only going to turn the wolf more agitated."

The Duke's son didn't like the fact that a mere bodyguard was trying to educate him on what to do and what not to do. He pulled his weapon back in position and said, "I don't take orders from a servant like you. Lady Lucy, you should come stand-"

"Put the weapon away," ordered Calhoun, who had his back facing them. 

Samuel looked slightly confused, "But the wolf has infected you with venom and it is a feral one. Look at the blood on its coat. It has killed people and is going to kill the-"

"If any of you try to hurt the wolf, I will make sure to let the King know you tried to aim your weapons at me," threatened Calhoun, and both Markus, as well as Samuel, dropped their weapons. 

Calhoun stared right into the wolf's eyes, his hand still in its mouth, and he could feel its fangs that had sunken into his flesh, but it wasn't painful. The blood that covered its coat wasn't of a human or vampire. 

The blood on its fur belonged to its own kind. 

"The wolf didn't kill any of our kind or a human, instead the hunters who were here before us must have killed its pack. Take a closer whiff of the air and you will be able to smell it too," stated Calhoun, and he brought his other hand to pat its head before going to scratch its neck. "The wolf is only in attack mode because people killed its pack."

Markus didn't care about the wolf, and instead, he preferred to have all of them dead so that the vampires would be the only ones to kill others and not the other way round. 

"You have been infected," commented Markus, and Calhoun finally felt his hand be released. With his eyes still on the wolf, Calhoun replied, 

"You must be having a terrible teacher who hasn't taught you the basic difference between a wolf and a werewolf. Let's pack it up here and go back to the castle," he ordered, and Markus, not knowing how to reply back, gingerly bowed his head in response.

Calhoun continued to scratch the wolf. He was used to being in the wolf's company, and he knew exactly what to do to calm it down. 

"You will be my favourite pet," he said to it, and Markus' eyes widened. 

"A feral wolf? The King would never approve of it!" said Markus. 

Calhoun turned around, and a broad smile settled on his lips, "Father loves me dearly. I am sure he can make an exception when it comes to me," he found it rather strange that the wolf had tried to attack him and no one else as if it was waiting to attack him. He then looked at Lucy and said, "You will ride with Theodore. I will get the wolf. We can have the guards come fetch Lucy's horse."

Samuel looked flabbergasted over this idea, and he looked back and forth between Lucy and Calhoun. 

"Wouldn't it be better if Lady Lucy rode with me?" asked Samuel. 

"You might be of a higher status in person, Samuel, but you aren't engaged to my sister yet. I cannot let a man I do not know very well or trust around her. Theodore is my right hand man and I trust him to take her back. Do you have an objection with it?" Calhoun raised one of his eyebrows at Samuel, and the man shook his head. 

"Of course not. I know you would have decided thoughtfully," Samuel bowed his head. 

Lucy walked with Theodore towards his horse, and Theodore helped her sit on the horse first before he climbed to sit behind her. Samuel and Markus climbed on their horses while Calhoun caught the wolf and arranged for it to ride with him. The wolf didn't stop growling, and Calhoun bent down to kiss its head. 

"Don't be angry, we're going to be friends," said Calhoun to the wolf. 

If it was possible, Markus' eyes would have fallen on the ground with Calhoun's actions and words. His mother had arranged for Calhoun to be attacked, but things had not turned into their favour. 
Hidden angels- Part 2

Lucy wasn't injured but only shaken by the wolf's proximity earlier that looked as if it was going to bite her, that was now riding with Calhoun. 

"Are we not going to tend to brother Calhoun's hand?" asked Lucy as they rode. 

"He's stronger than he looks, much more strong. A bite like that won't harm him," replied Theodore and Lucy bit her lip. If she hadn't fallen behind and if her horse had not run away, Calhoun wouldn't have been bit. 

Markus had already overtaken them and went ahead of them as if he was in a hurry to reach the castle, while Samuel tried to keep up with Theodore and her not too far behind them. As the horse galloped, Lucy held on to the saddle while feeling her back move against Theodore's front. His hands were around her, holding the reins of the horse. 

A mixture of worry and excitement filled Lucy's mind. She had to be mindful of what she was going to say as it seemed like Mr. Greville would be able to eavesdrop on their conversation. 

"You didn't answer my question," said Lucy. 

Theodore could hear Lucy's heart beating, and to get rid of Samuel, he increased his horse's speed so that they could get away from the suitor. "I thought my gesture was clear, milady." 

"Don't call me like that. Don't call me the way everyone does," Lucy didn't want to be any other woman in Theodore's life. Was it wrong to expect from him that she wanted to be treated special to him? "I know what it means. What you called me last night."

With Samuel who had fallen behind and Calhoun who overtook them too, one of his hands moved to place on Lucy's waist, "And what was that?" he asked her. 

Lucy felt her toes curl at his touch, and she turned a little shy. She said, "It is love. Amare." Theodore didn't agree or deny her words. "I am still not sure though. You continue to let me stay in the company of the suitors."

"Would you prefer I kill them and have them hidden away so that they never come in contact with you ever again?" asked Theodore with a calm voice as if he didn't just propose to kill people. 

Lucy couldn't help but turn around to meet Theodore's eyes, and she felt air knock out of her body. A fluttering feeling of happiness came to spread from her chest to every single part of her body. 

She didn't know what relationship she and Theodore had, except that they shared similar feelings. It put a bright smile on her face, and she basked in that moment. She knew her family would not allow it, and it only made her wonder if she should run away from the castle. The idea was tempting as well as daunting. 

When they reached the castle, Markus was the first to reach and find his mother, who was sitting with Queen Morganna. 

"That was quite a quick hunt. Did you catch anything delicious? Or did it go as we planned?" questioned Rosamund, who leisurely sat with her mother, talking about people. 

Markus's mouth had turned dry, and if he were a human, he would have been wheezing to catch some air with the speed he just walked in. 

"Calhoun has been bit by the wolf!" informed Markus and both the vampiress looked pleased by this information. 

"I knew you were my favourite grandchild for a reason, Markus. You bring good news to us," praised Queen Morganna, but Markus shook his head. "What happened?"

"The wolf's bite had no effect on him. And instead he brought it to the castle-"

"WHAT?" questioned Rosamund, her eyebrows furrowing.

"What do you mean by he brought the wolf to the castle, boy? Did he bring it to add it to his pet collection?" when Markus nodded his head, Queen Morganna's eyes narrowed.

"Get Laurence! I cannot let Calhoun do whatever he wants," Queen Morganna got up and walked out of the room. Rosamund was quick to follow her mother while Markus searched for the King, so that it could be informed on what his son did. 

The queen, with the others, went to meet Calhoun and make sure to reprimand him. 

"You cannot be serious and in your right mind to bring a wolf that bit you and can bite anyone else!" Morganna raged. "Do you think we are providing a sanctuary in here to the wolves?" 

Calhoun had finished cleaning his wound and had tied the wolf in the kennel, "You look very upset, grandmother. You should go take some rest in your room."

"Get the wolf out of here. It cannot stay in here," ordered Morganna, but Calhoun didn't budge from where he stood. "Do you think you rebelling against me is going to do good to you?"

Calhoun offered the older vampiress a polite smile, "I don't know what you mean by that, grandmother. I took a great interest in this wolf, I often take great interest in the things that hurt me. Don't worry, it won't bite you. You are my beloved grandmother, it knows you won't hurt me, don't you? Hm, I forgot to name the wolf." 

"You are a madman," came the low words from Morganna. 

"Madman...What do you think about the name Maddox?"

Morganna saw Markus walking to where he was, and he said, "King Laurence isn't here. He went to attend a meeting that is taking place three towns away from here."

"I will talk to him later," said Morganna before her eyes fell on Calhoun's hand, "You should apply something on that wound. You don't want to have an infection similar to what happened to your mother. I heard you killed her and hid her body."

The others who stood near them looked at Calhoun, not expecting this piece of information to be revealed. 

"Did you want to ask her for forgiveness for what you did to her?" asked Calhoun. 

Morganna smirked, "I don't think she's worth it. There are people who are already trying to get more information about what you did to her. To find out about your crimes, so let me give you some advice," she paused for a moment, stepping closer to him. She said lowly, only for him to hear, "Be on your guard because you never know when you will be standing behind the bars and be executed."

"Thank you for your precious advice. I will make sure to watch my back, and yours along with the rest," Calhoun smiled before bowing his head. 

As expected, during the time of the evening, when the King returned to the castle, the news reached him, and Calhoun had requested to tame the wolf for his own benefit before getting the approval for his new wolf. 

Morganna fumed at the thought of how her son didn't listen to a word that she said and was instead being manipulated by the whore's son. With her arms crossed, she stood in front of the fireplace, and her loyal servant stood not too far away behind her. 

"Get it done today. It is time to strike and we cannot afford to play anymore," stated Morganna, whose face had turned serious. "Kill the woman so that they know what they have gotten themselves into."