✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 761 - 770 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Chapter 761 - Village Fair

Music Recommendation: On the Road - Jay Wadley


Lucy stared at Theodore, waiting for him to say something or anything, but he looked a little taken aback by her sudden words. Her lips pressed against each other, wondering if it was a little strange of her to be coming here at this hour in front of his room.

He looked at her with his unwavering eyes and emotions that didn't come to pass through his face. As a few more seconds passed in silence, Lucy started to doubt if Theodore had changed his mind.

"You are asking me if I am still going to the fair?" questioned Theodore with a straight face.

He watched the anxiousness in her eyes, seeing how she waited for him to speak, and he wanted to make sure they were speaking about the same thing, and he wasn't just imagining it. There was a slight awkwardness in the way she had placed her feet while standing in front of his door.

"Yes, I am asking about the same thing," replied Lucy.

A few days ago, he had seen Ethan take Lucy away from the castle, his doubts only increasing, which was why Theodore wanted to listen to what Ethan wanted to speak, but the distance had been a lot to eavesdrop on. As if that wasn't enough, Lucy had turned even friendlier with Ethan Moryett, something he didn't approve of.

"What changed your mind?" questioned Theodore because something didn't feel right here.

"Just a few things," Lucy cleared her throat as if something was stuck in there. "So, are you going?"

"I thought about it, but then I cancelled the plan," came his words.

"Oh," Lucy's shoulders drooped. She had come here thinking she would speak to him, but it seemed like he was busy…

If Lucy could see herself through Theodore's eyes right now, she would have known how precious she was to him. She looked like a cute puppy that had been scolded for something that it didn't do. Her eyes had lowered down in disappointment and a small frown formed on her forehead. She was readying herself to leave the place when she heard him say,

"I cancelled the plan because the person with whom I wanted to go with hadn't given me the answer whether she wanted to go or not. So I decided to instead go and finish some of the work so that I will be free when I travel to the town where your mansion is, milady."

Lucy's eyes immediately snapped to look at Theodore's eyes, "I said I wasn't sure. I never said anything about not being interested," she said to him. "But you chose to do your work," she murmured to herself.

"You didn't tell a yes either," pointed Theodore, and Lucy sent a small glare at him.

"Fine," she tipped her chin up and said, "I guess I then I will ask Ethan if he's willing to accompany me to the village fair."

When she started to leave, Theodore caught Lucy's arm and pulled her right into his arms, hugging her back. "Really, I should discipline you for trying to taunt and provoke me when you know exactly how I disapprove of you spending time with him."

Lucy's eyes widened by Theodore's sudden action, and at the same time, she caught sight of a maid who was walking from one side of the corridor to another. When the maid noticed them, she quickly ran away from there so that she would not be caught peeping something that she was not supposed to look at.

"You shouldn't have changed your schedule. You know how much I love the village fairs," complained Lucy while being caught in Theodore's arm, and she demanded, "Now let me go."

"Never," whispered Theodore, and blood rushed up through Lucy's neck to settle itself in her face. "If you like it so much, you should have agreed on it before."

Lucy, who had noticed the maid running, closed her eyes, not knowing what other rumours were going to spread in and outside the castle. "I was angry at you. You know that...for everything you did."

"Shall I take it that you aren't angry at me, princess?" Theodore's words fell right against the shell of her ear. A shiver ran down her back, which she had forgotten.

"I came here to speak to you. To go to the village fair. Aren't you getting too ahead of yourself?" asked Lucy, and Theodore smiled before letting her go from his arms.

Though she was the one who had demanded him to release her, she now felt sad that he had let her go that quickly. An emotion of loneliness fell back into her heart, but it disappeared when she turned to look back at him.

And though she believed she had concealed her emotions, Theodore read her well. The serious expression on his face was gone and was replaced by a smile that was a mixture of cheekiness and impenitent.

"My apologies, princess," said Theodore and Lucy could detect the lack of apology in it. The way he smiled at her now, something fluttered in her chest, its wings flapping to cause a tornado within her.

"It's fine," replied Lucy, and she cleared her throat. "So are you going to the village?"

Theodore took a deep breath before releasing it, "Who else will I go with if not you?" he smiled at her.

Lucy felt like the cupid of arrows were being shot with the words that came out from Theodore's lips, and she tried to hold her ground without being swept by it. With her face still red, she said, "Alright then. I will be waiting," and she turned around to leave the front of his room with her heart beating loudly that only broadened the  the smile on Theodore's lips.

"That idiot," muttered Theodore under his breath, his words filled with love. "Such a princess."

Theodore knew everything about Lucy because she had opened her heart so wide that he had known everything he wanted. He knew her strength and her weakness. He knew the village fair would be something she wouldn't be able to refuse, and he had taken the opportunity to take her there.

In the meantime, Lucy walked stiffly back to her room. Her feet were quick and muttering something under her breath while her cheeks were red.

"Stupid stupid girl," whispered Lucy such that only she could hear what she was saying.

Lucy's face felt warm, and she entered her room, closing it before bringing her hands to place it on her cheeks. Suddenly a smile appeared on her lips which was mixed with shyness, and her body swayed to one side. She then quickly shook her head.

"I should get myself together. We need to speak," she said to herself, but the smile unconsciously returned to her lips.

The people in the castle right now were the ones who cared about her, and Lucy was thankful that there were no people who were against each other or trying to plot someone's death. Times like these were rare, something she had not been able to experience in the past. It felt like there was finally peace.
Chapter 762 - Village Fair

Later that night, a maid came to refill the water jug in her room while asking her if she needed something before she could retire to the servant's quarters. Lucy, who hadn't questioned Theodore about it, decided to ask the maid,

"Have you heard about the village fair that is being set up? The one regarding the winter," asked Lucy.

"It is going to take place in the next five days, milady," informed the maid, and Lucy nodded her head. Now she knew when it was, and the little bubbles of excitement had started to hit the surface.

"I see. You can go now," said Lucy, and the servant bowed her head before leaving the room.

When the day of the fair arrived in the village, Lucy had been barely able to catch her sleep because of the bubbling anxiousness. There was a lot of nervousness in her heart as she got dressed.

While walking in the castle's corridors, she met Madeline and Elizabeth, who were walking in the corridors.

"Good afternoon, Lady Lucy. Are you going to some specific place?" asked Madeline, her eyes curiously looking at the vampiresses attire.

Lucy turned a little worried and asked, "Is it not right?" she looked down at her dress.

Madeline shook her head, "No, it is not that. Um, they are clothes that one would wear in the village." She had never seen the vampiress in such clothes before, which was why it was surprising.

Hearing this, Lucy turned pleased, and she beamed with a smile on her lips. She had chosen to wear this dress so that she wouldn't stand out and would be able to mingle with the crowd as a commoner. This way, she would enjoy the fair to the fullest without people being too wary about who she was.

"I got this stitched a long ago. I am just glad that it still fits," a small laugh escaped Lucy's lips.

"I think you look wonderful, Lady Lucy," complimented Beth, offering a small bow to the vampiress.

"I should get going now. I will see you both later," said Lucy before going on her way to where the carriage was waiting for her.

"I don't think I have ever seen any high lady so happy to wear clothes like that," murmured Beth.

"Lady Lucy is one of a kind," Madeline smiled and then said, "Come, I was going to show you something," and the sisters walked away from there.

Lucy continued to walk until she came to stand at the top of the stairs. She saw the carriage that had been pulled in the front entrance with the coachman, and there stood Theodore, waiting for her. His eyes were quick to look at her, taking in her presence, a faint smile appeared on his lips. Theodore's attire didn't change and was the same as the usual days in the castle, but he would still stand out even without it because of his presence.

She made sure to keep her feet firmly on each of the stairs so that she wouldn't fall down. Once she reached the last flight of the stairs, Theodore had come, stretching his hand. She placed her hand in his for him to kiss its back.

"I never knew a person could look this beautiful in clothes that the commoners wear," said Theodore to her, a gentle smile on his lips, and he looked at her through his glasses.

"I didn't want to stand out in the fair," replied Lucy to his words, her other hand tucking the piece of her hair behind her ear.

"Fair," he responded to her, barely fazed that Lucy had chosen to wear clothes that the lower people mostly wore.

Lucy stepped inside the carriage, Theodore was soon to follow her, and the coachman closed the door. Even though Lucy didn't wear fancy clothes, he couldn't help but look at her while she fiddled with the handkerchief that she held in her hand. The journey to the village was a quiet one, and when they reached the place from where Lucy could see the fair, her eyes brightened like one of a child's.

They got down, and Lucy was the one to walk forward-looking at the series of stalls that were placed in rows. Looking at it, it brought back memories.

"Have the carriage parked at the other side of the road," Theodore ordered the coachman before following the vampiress so that he wouldn't lose sight of her.

Lucy went looking at stall after stall, looking at everything one had to show and give. Even though snow covered the ground, it didn't deter the commoners from not coming to look at what the fair had to offer. Some places were crowded with either a.d.u.l.ts or children.

Theodore walked behind her, watching her expressions that changed from curious to excitement and then to fascination. With his hands in his pockets, he saw the way she stood behind the people, standing on the tip of her toes while trying to look at another stall from where the smell of roasted food drifted in the air.

Compared to the commoners, who were more aggressive, the princess stood at the side, hoping someone would move aside so that she could move to the front. But seeing her continue to stand there, she turned startled when a woman pushed her. Theodore appeared to her side.

"Are you alright?" Theodore asked her.

Lucy nodded her head. "I guess we can come back later to look at this place. Probably once it has less customers," she muttered.

"That would be a wise choice, but do you think the vendor would have all the items then? He might have sold and closed the shop," stated Theodore, and Lucy nodded her head in agreement. He placed a hand on her head, "Don't go anywhere. I will be back soon."

Lucy watched Theodore leave her side while he easily made his way through the crowd in front of the stall, speaking to the vendor before returning with two sticks that had fried meat on it.

"Is this what you were looking for?" asked Theodore, and Lucy smiled.

"You were so quick," praised Lucy as she stood there without making it through the crowd. "Thank you," she said before taking a bite from the meat that tasted delicious, mostly because they were outside and because of the waiting time.

"You know if you tell the servants in the castle's kitchen to prepare it for you, they would do it within a heartbeat," said Theodore as they walked towards the next stall.

Lucy nodded her head, "But it wouldn't be the same. How did you turn out to be so smart?"

"When I was a small boy I used to steal things from people. It must be practice of pushing through," came the casual words from Theodore, and Lucy turned to look at him and wondered if he was joking with her.

Lucy watched him walk next to her. She had to crane her head to see him properly as he was a couple of inches taller than her.

But if he was serious, it meant Theodore didn't have enough food to eat when he was small, while she had abundant food to eat on the table.
Chapter 763 - Village Fair II

Lucy wondered how hard Theodore's life was, and though she hadn't asked him anything in the past, she now wanted to know more about him.

She had given a lot of thought to what her aunt said, and she came to believe that it was her time to be happy. All this time, she had put other's feelings and wishes first, but now, she wanted to live for herself. She wanted to be happy, to be able to love the person for whom she had carried her feelings for so long.

"Did you not get caught?" she brought the meat stick near her mouth as she asked him.

Theodore replied to this, "So many times. I believe I lost count after a dozen of times."

If anyone looked at Theodore, no one would ever guess the background that was part of him before he even entered the castle.

"What happened after that?" she asked curiously, yet knowing how one would be punished for stealing things.

"Hm," Theodore hummed in response before saying, "I would be beaten until I would not be able to walk or sit or stand. People on the streets are rough but then it might be because we don't learn." His words didn't hold any emotion, and instead, they were empty.

"I see," murmured Lucy while returning to her thoughts as they continued to look at the other stalls.

"Here, take this," Theodore offered the stick that was in his hand, which he hadn't taken even a bite and had been saving it for Lucy so that she could eat it once she finished her own portion.

Lucy shook her head, "Eat it."

Theodore had been the one to get it for her, and she didn't want him walking with her without enjoying the fair. They had come here together. Theodore stared at her for two seconds before taking a bite, and he said, "Let us get some more after looking at this side. You didn't tell me what changed your mind."

"You didn't tell me what happened in the past," retorted Lucy, placing both her hands behind her back and looking around the stalls while feeling his gaze on her.

"I thought you would have forgotten about it," murmured Theodore.

Lucy didn't forget anything that was related to Theodore. She had always tried to keep him close, not caring if it was love or hate.

He then said, "Maybe later. Why don't we enjoy the fair, would you like to play mark?"

"Mark?" asked Lucy, and Theodore slipped his hand to hers, pulling her with him. "I-uh-"

"I don't want you getting lost in here," said Theodore, his hand warmer than hers, and Lucy quietly followed him.

Lucy watched Theodore's broad shoulders and his clothes that stood out from the rest of the commoners. He didn't care about the people who were watching them as if their thoughts and words didn't matter. She, who had grown up under specific constraints, couldn't help but shy from the people's gaze around them.

Theodore had always been a handsome man, and today he seemed more perfect than usual, stealing the girls and and women's hearts who were present in the fair. People around them couldn't stop looking at the couple, wondering who the lucky commoner was, who had caught the rich vampire's attention. By his clothes, it was obvious that he was someone of a very high status.

On the other hand, Lucy's feet were quick enough to close the gap, and she tried to hide their hands from people's eyes.

Theodore held her heart, but somewhere in the corner of her mind, she was scared of people judging her. After all, it had been only a few weeks since she had separated from her husband. But at the same time, she told herself that it wasn't her who had broken the marriage.

"Come here and take a shot. Five nickel coins for one round!" shouted the person who owned the stall. "Only for five coins of nickel!"

Lucy came to stand next to Theodore, watching a board placed on the back side wall of the stall, and there were stuffed toys placed at the side.

The vendor continued to shout, "Aim at the centre point and you can take the toy, but make sure it should be at the centre!"

Theodore pulled out the coins and placed it on the table, "Take this," he picked the long metal like sticks that had magnets on the ends of it.

"I am not good at this," Lucy shook her head. The last thing she needed was to throw it at someone's head.

But Theodore placed the black sticks in her hand, "You will be fine. All you need to do is focus," he advised her before giving her the way."

Lucy smiled at the vendor, who smiled back at her. The man was more than happy to get coins without losing any toys as he believed she wouldn't hit the mark. Taking a deep breath, she brought her hand up while concentrating on the board and the mark. Some of the people who were around turned curious and started to look at Lucy, waiting to see if she would fail like the rest.

As if that was not enough, Theodore placed his hand on her waist, and he whispered, "Have fun whilst you are here. You can worry about things later."

Lucy wet her lips before throwing the stick that fell on the board but not at the centre. "That wasn't bad at all," hummed Theodore.

When she used the other three, leaving her with just one more stick in her hand, Lucy turned to Theodore and gave it to him, "It's your turn now. You forgot about doing it together."

The smile on Theodore's lips widened at Lucy's words. Bringing her to the village fair had dropped her guard down, and she had fully opened her heart. "Alright then," he said, taking the stick from her, and he said, "Why don't you pick the toy from the lot?"

The vendor, on hearing the confidence in the vampire's words, rolled his eyes at the couple who were behaving like newlyweds, "Sir, please finish it quickly. There are other customers who are waiting for their turn."

"Of course," Theodore offered the man a smile, and while he was still looking at the person, he threw the stick at a speed that left a hole in the board, letting one see the other side of the stall. "There. We are done."

Lucy's eyes widened when she noticed the force Theodore had used in not only hitting the mark but also creating a hole where the vendor would be forced to pause his service.

"Isn't that a little harsh," murmured Lucy while leaning towards Theodore.

"Not much, considering the way he was smiling at you," replied Theodore and picked up the toy made out of cloth and stuffed cotton inside it before passing it to her.

Lucy and Theodore spent some more time in the village fair until evening started to approach. They had picked a place away from where the stalls had been set up and took time to rest their legs by taking a seat near some big stones that were covered in snow.
Chapter 764 - Village Fair III

Music Recommendation: Reforestation - Ilian Eshkeri


Lucy held a couple of sticks in her hands that were covered with meat, eating them one at a time while the toy was placed on her lap.

While Lucy continued to chew her treats, her eyes met Theodore's, and she asked, "You aren't going to have any of them?" She asked it because Theodore had barely eaten more than three of them, while it looked like she had been starving for the last two days.

"I am fine," replied Theodore, watching Lucy, who was busy enjoying and savouring every bite from the food she ate. "Was there something else you wanted to watch?" he asked her, and Lucy shook her head. They had gone around looking at every stall, spending time and buying some of the things.

"I had lots of fun today. Thank you for bringing me here," Lucy thanked him.

The fair had been much more exciting than she used to think and she could only hope that she would be able to come back here again next year, just like this.

"I didn't do anything. It was you who came here today," replied Theodore, picking up the toy that was on Lucy's lap to have a look at it. "But I am glad you came."

Lucy nodded her head, "Me too..."

She took another bite from the stick, chewing it slowly while not looking at the passerby, who seemed quite surprised by seeing the number of sticks they had brought to eat.

"Do you have any fond memories of when you were young?" she asked Theodore while he looked at the doll.

"It would be hard to say. I feel if I tell it to you, you might start crying out of pity," a chuckle escaped his lips.

"I would not!" a frown appeared on her face. "I will try not to," she promised, wanting to hear more about Theodore. In the past, it was always her who used to blabber things while he would only smile.

A sigh escaped Theodore's lips, and he said, "I guess the most memorable moment was when I broke into a house where a celebration was taking place. I didn't care to know what it was about because all I could smell was the warm food that wafted in the air. It was the first time I had seen so much food, food that I never imagined," he paused for a moment and then continued, "And I ate what I could get. Even cutting the cake that was kept there, but I was caught, not that I cared until I was handed to the village town's guards."

Hearing this, Lucy's eyebrows rose, and she leaned forward to ask, "What happened then?"

"I escaped from them. It isn't that hard for a scrawny boy to run away from the guards when some of the alleys and walls are thin," explained Theodore. "And then one day when I was getting beaten up, a lady came up to the alley. A black umbrella in her hand and her eyes and lips red, waving her hands so that the men would leave me alone. Actually she paid them so that they wouldn't bother me."

"Seems like you used to get into trouble a lot," commented Lucy. The highest amount of rules she had broken didn't hold a candle to Theodore's past actions.

"I did. It is what my memories are made up of," replied Theodore, staring at the people who still hovered around the stalls that would be closed soon. "The woman took me in. Gave me clothes and fed me, taught me how to be part of the higher class. Madame Fraunces was too generous."

"She taught you well," said Lucy.

Theodore had held back the information for a long time, but he decided it was time with the conversation that had come up.

"Madame Fraunces was an important person to me. It would be strange to call her mother, because we didn't share a relationship like that, but she knew me well and I learned about her. When I followed Calhoun to the castle, I never would have thought that she would end up being one of the pawns who would be used to threaten me. Morganna ordered her death."

A deep frown came to settle on Lucy's face. She remembered the time when Theodore had been sent for execution. That time, everything had been a mess and confusing to Lucy.

"She was killed in her house. Before her death, I thought I could handle everything around me, that I was in control," explained Theodore, a distant look in his eyes. "If I chose you, no one knew what the outcome would be. Your grandmother wanted to keep her power and I didn't want you to end up in the middle of it."

They could hear the distant chatter and murmur of the crowd coming from the fair. Lucy didn't need Theodore to explain more as she understood the rest of it.

Theodore had tried to protect her.

Madame Fraunces. Lucy wondered why the name sounded more familiar to her than she was supposed to feel.

"Like Aunt Monique said, it seems like grandmother deserved what she got," replied Lucy, her words cold as she didn't forget in what state she had found Nana. Even after these years, the bitterness for the previous Queen only grew more in Lucy's heart. "I wish I could have been there for you at that time," she whispered.

"It would have not been possible," stated Theodore. He had pushed her away from him so that she would never speak to him. Taking a deep breath, he exhaled before getting up from his place and said, "You shouldn't let your mind weigh things of the past when there's present and the future."

Lucy had finished eating the meat from the sticks, and she stood up, brushing the front and back of her dress for crumbs of meat and snow to dust off from her dress.

"We should head back to the castle," proposed Theodore, and they left the place where the fair had been set up.

On their way back, Lucy held the stuffed toy close to her, looking at the things outside the window as they rode the carriage.
Chapter 765 - You

Lucy held the stuffed toy close to her while she sat in the carriage next to Theodore. Some of the things that they had brought from the village fair were placed near their feet. Two decades ago, she had tried to go to the fair, asking Nana and Amice to cover up for her absence in her room and the castle.

She had spent barely ten minutes in the fair before being found out and taken back by the guards-scolded and punished by her grandmother for attending something so disgraceful as the fair. Now, after she had spent nearly half of the day in the fair of the village, Lucy couldn't help but feel how much her grandmother and her parents must have missed in their life.

The pure joy that she had felt while being around the crowd of people who were laughing and talking was something that could not be found in the castle life. This was what she had been craving for all these years, and to have it fulfilled, the feeling was inexpressible.

She turned to look at Theodore, who was looking outside the window, his features ever so calm like the water that didn't move.

When they finally reached the castle, Theodore helped Lucy to step down from the carriage.

"I will have the guards carry these things that you brought to be sent to your room," said Theodore to Lucy, who stood right in front of him now.

Lucy nodded her head, her eyes looking at him and her right hand holding the toy. "I had a lovely time today," she expressed herself. "Thank you for letting me know about the Winter fair and taking me there. I had a lot of fun."

Theodore bowed his head, "I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it. We should do it again," his words holding a ray of hope about them spending time together.

"I agree," replied Lucy. "I-I look forward to it. Thank you for the-uh-doll," she raised her hand to show the stuffed toy, which was made out of wool and cotton.

Theodore nodded his head.

"I will go to my room," said Lucy, her movements pausing for a moment, and she offered him a sweet smile before she started to walk up the stairs.

Seeing Lucy leave, Theodore smiled at her retreating figure. He wanted to hold her before seeing her to her room, but he didn't want to push his luck. After telling her what he had been hiding from her all these years, he felt the weight on his shoulders had finally been lifted, and he could finally relax.

As eager as Lucy had been to look at the fair, Theodore had been looking forward to spending his time with her. To create new memories so that she wouldn't be able to leave him or this place easily.

Though she was an a.d.u.l.t, a vampiress, she was still a child in a few matters where her innocence hadn't changed. He loved her wholeheartedly, and he wanted to give her everything that he couldn't offer years ago.

Theodore was no more a person who had come from the streets or someone who was being beaten and starved. But still, the place where he came from was important because it was what had made him into today, but that didn't define him.

He was now the King's advisor, the closest person to Calhoun. He now had the money, the status, including the looks and charms that not many people possessed. The people who once looked down at him now looked up at him, bowing their heads. Times had changed, and he had turned into a capable man, someone whom he could see next to Lucy without a doubt.

He waved at the guards who stood at the end of the stairs, beckoning them, "Have these placed in Lady Lucy's room."

"Yes, Advisor Theodore!" bowed one of the guards, carrying the bags away from from the carriage.

Before going inside the castle, he heard Calhoun's voice, "Did you finish enjoying your evening?"

Theodore looked up to find the King standing at the front viewing patio of the castle with his arms placed on the railings while he had his body bent forward.

"I guess," replied Theodore, and within less than a second, Calhoun jumped down from the patio to land smoothly on the ground before he stood up straight. "I wonder if it is from you where Lucy has learned to jump down from the balcony."

Calhoun chuckled at Theodore's words, "You don't have to be modest in giving me credit for everything," a smile was etched upon his lips.

The King was well aware of Theodore and Lucy's time in the past where he had even caught sight of them spending time with each other in the middle of the night, on Lucy's patio. Obviously, Theodore didn't make use of the normal doors.

"I thought you two were going to spend some more time outside the castle. You finished the couple outing too quickly," smiled Calhoun, putting his hands in his trouser pockets.

Theodore stared at Calhoun, "What are you doing out here, instead of being with your wife?" he questioned him.

"Madeline is helping Elizabeth to pack up the things for her journey. She is sad that her sister is leaving soon, therefore I decided to not intervene and let her have her time with Elizabeth," responded Calhoun. "Madeline is worried something bad will happen to her. But I think the more important thing to worry about here is what will happen to people who are near her. She is safer here in the castle, but the girl wants to leave."

Theodore noticed how Calhoun had changed, not too much, but just enough to accommodate and adjust with the person he was in love with. If it was in the past, Calhoun would have interrupted the sisters before pulling Madeline away from any other person who wasn't him.

The carriage in which Theodore had returned to the castle with Lucy started to ride away towards the shed so that the horses could rest for the night.

"Lady Elizabeth must be feeling lost. She isn't a human nor a complete werewolf," stated Theodore. "Did Vladimir say anything about another antidote?"

"Don't even remind me about him or anyone else now," a sigh escaped Calhoun's lips. "I have had enough with these angels and the devil, but it is also good to have some peace at last after everything that has happened. I was hoping he would have an antidote, but he said he doesn't. Even if Vlad has it, he will probably want something in return," he rolled his eyes at the thought of his grandfather.

A faint smile appeared on Theodore's lips, "There is something I had to ask from him, do you think he would be willing to meet?"

Calhoun, who was looking at the long path that led to the castle's gates, turned to look at Theodore. "I don't think he will refuse to meet you," he tilted his head to the side.

"I see," replied Theodore without giving away the question that was on his mind, and Calhoun ran his tongue over one of his sharp fangs.
Chapter 766 - One Last Hit

Music Recommendation: Limetown - Ronit Kirchman


Calhoun didn't have to ask to know what Theodore wanted to ask, and he said, "I was planning to visit him. To see if I can haggle with the existence of the antidote while also see why he tried to cause a ruckus in Devon by bringing people back to the living world who are already dead."

"Then this might be the right time," suggested Theodore, to which Calhoun nodded his head.

Calhoun didn't bother to walk to a quieter place where no one would be able to see. Instead, he raised his hand, his palm open, which created a huge black smoke. Since the last time he had been to Hell, the Devil had bestowed him the ability to be able to step in and out of Hell on his wish.

Theodore stepped into the black smoke as a tunnel, and Calhoun followed him. When the smoke reduced, he caught himself looking at the vast dark sky and in front of him stood tall buildings that looked like ruins. Screams filled the surroundings, and the large pits of fire burned brightly to light up the place where they stood now.

Walking to one of the buildings, they made their way up the deserted stairs before coming to be greeted by a familiar face.

"Master Calhoun, what a surprise to have you here!" Odin deeply bowed his head before standing straight. "Master Vladimir will be very pleased to hear that you have come to see him."

"I was hoping he would be here," came Calhoun's dull tone.

On the other hand, Odin looked at the person who stood next to Master Calhoun, and he asked, "Are you here to collect his soul to take it back to the living world, Master Calhoun?" he didn't know this man had died. When did he die?

"He's still alive, Odin. He had something to ask, which is why he is here," replied Calhoun, and he demanded, "Where is he?"

Odin wasn't sure if it was a good idea to bring a living person to the underground world, "He is sitting in the throne room, Master Calhoun. Let me lead you there, please," offered Odin, who was more than happy to serve the Devil's grandson.

It was Theodore's first time entering Hell, and he could only gather this was where he would be ending up once he would die. The place of an afterlife was fixed for a demon when they were born. The only place at the end for them was Hell. While walking, he saw other creatures stout in appearance, and they stopped walking to bow their head at Calhoun as if they knew who he was.

"Welcome, welcome, welcome to my humble home," a voice boomed before they even entered the room.

When Theodore stepped inside, he caught sight of the Devil, who sat on his plush throne. His body relaxed as he watched them enter the room.

"I was awaiting your visit, Calhoun. Our family dinner has due its time and the thought strangely has been upsetting me for some time now," stated Vladimir with a bright smile on his face. "And you brought your friend. Theodore Hosteler, isn't it?"

Theodor, who had bowed his head, raised it to look at the Devil.

"I know you, Theo. I know your actual name. It is one of the perks of being a devil," the smile on Vladimir's face didn't disappear. "Born as an orphan with no family and no name, you decided to pick a name for yourself on a whim. You have been of excellent help to my grandson. The support you have offered him by staying by his side has been wonderful."

"Thank you for acknowledging it," said Theodore. "I have come here wanting a favour."

The light in Vladimir's eyes didn't reduce.

"Haven't you heard about making deals with the Devil, Calhoun knows about it if you ask him," chuckled Vladimir to himself. "Though I am curious to know what this favour is, that has you come to me. Hm."

Vladimir rubbed his chin in wonderment.

"I want to meet one of the prisoners here. Samuel Grivelle," said Theodore.

"Such a simple favour. I thought you would ask for wings or maybe a position in Hell. There's a vacancy," the Devil tried to snare Theodore's attention, and he added, "I can guarantee that you will be able to spend more time as you want, punishing the demons."

"Thank you for the offer, but I am satisfied with the way things are," replied Theodore.

"What a pity," murmured Vladimir.

When Lucy had died, Theodore had wanted to kill Samuel with his own two hands, but the demon had been killed before he had the opportunity to leave a blow at the person. Though Lucy was back to life, the anger had not simmered down, and if it weren't for Madeline, Lucy would not have been alive.

"Alright, let us all go visit this favourite person," Vladimir clapped his hands before getting up and walking down to where they stood. "Odin, take us to where Samuel Grivelle is being held."

"Yes, Master!" Odin obliged before starting to walk, and the others followed.

"At the time I met the useless thing, I didn't know he was special to you," came the calm voice of Vladimir. "He is such a child," he laughed. "How is my grand-daughter-in-law?" he asked Calhoun.

"Upset," came the short reply from Calhoun, and Vladimir raised his eyebrows.

"What did you do?" asked the Devil.

"She wants the antidote for her sister which you aren't willing to give," deadpanned Calhoun.

"I told you that was the last antidote that I had with me. Now why would I ever lie. Do I look like the type of a person to lie? Me?" Vladimir placed his hand on his chest to emphasize his point. Calhoun's eyes narrowed, and the other people with them felt an itch in their throat. "The creatures of the living world aren't good when it comes to sharing things. If I ever come to hear about it, I will directly deliver the antidote to the girl. You know what we should do? Have dinner together here to have a family discussion," decided Vladimir.

When they finally reached the underground level, they were greeted by a foul stench in the air. Theodore caught sight of the cells aligned from the front to the other end of the corridor, possibly the longest corridor he had come across.

Inside each of the cells were demons and creatures that belonged in Hell. Theodore and Calhoun were quick to notice the familiar faces as they were the ones who had attacked the castle that night and some people before that particular day.

"Did we have too many free cells here?" questioned Vladimir while looking at the people with a sharp glare at them and a maddening smile on his face.

"Master," started Odin, trying to make sure not to walk along with his master but a step behind him. "I thought it would be right to segregate all the prisoners according to the crimes of when, where and on whom. This place holds the souls who were involved in troubling Master Calhoun since the last six months."

Odin was more than pleased with himself as he had categorized Master Calhoun's kills like trophies placed in each cell of the underground.
Chapter 767 - One Last Hit

Theodore didn't care about the others, and he started to walk towards each of the cells before Odin quickly led him to the specific cell where the person for whom he had come was in there. For twenty years, he had let the man off the hook just because Lucy had believed in her husband, and Theodore didn't want to break her thoughts.

He had lost twenty good years with Lucy, where she had deserved to be cherished, and instead of that, this demon had cheated and controlled her.

"This is the man you are looking for, Mr. Hosteler," informed Odin, rechecking the name near the wall where the name was written.

Theodore watched the man behind the iron bars who looked bloody, not because he was beaten up, but it looked like his skin had peeled out and burnt, where steam could be seen escaping from his body.

"Tony Porter?" questioned Calhoun when his eyes fell on the name next to the cell.

Odin turned around and explained, "This man stole the vampire's identity before turning himself to be the child of the Grivelle's."

Calhoun had been displeased when he had found Lucy's body on the floor, worse when he found out it was Samuel who had killed her. His eyes narrowed as he stared at the man who was inside the cell. "If only I knew you were a demon. You hid it too well, Tony."

Theodore glared at the demon, who slowly lifted his head to see who had come to meet him. The only person who came to see him every day were the hellhounds and the guards, who tortured him until he felt death hit over him, over and over again.

On seeing who it was, the demon glared at both Theodore as well as Calhoun. They stood there unscathed while he was burnt almost to his bone. But that didn't stop him from smiling, where his face had patches of skin while most parts of the skin had been peeled out, where one could see his eyes protruding out as they looked at the visitors.

"Look who is here to meet me," came the coarse voice of the demon, the smile widening on his face. "I am so important that you have taken the pain to come and see me," he clicked his tongue and shook his head. "Poor Lucy, she had to die for betraying me and trying to leave me."

"You are sicker than any person," said Theodore, his eyes turning cold and distant.

Calhoun turned to look at Odin and asked, "How come he's still in the condition to talk."

"Um, it might be because he has a high resistance of pain or maybe he finished recovering from the punishment and needs to be dragged again to the boiling pot of hot liquid iron," replied Odin.

The demon inside tried to get up, but his hand broke when he tried to put some force to stand. "How does it feel to not have the woman you love next to you?" questioned the demon with a snide.

Theodore stared at Samuel or Tony, watching how the demon tried to put up a face while it was quite evident that he was in severe pain and the cell room reeked of fear. Theodore had come here wanting to settle the score, but it wouldn't change what had happened in the past, and the man was already reaping for his sins. His hands clenched into tight fists, and then he slowly let it go.

"It must have been a blow to your ego as she could never be yours because she was in love with me," said Theodore while standing in front of the demon's cell, facing him.

Hearing this, Tony's face turned vile, and his eyes narrowed at Theodore.

Theodore didn't want to get blood on his hands, and somewhere he felt it was unneeded. So he did what he was best at, and he smiled at the man, "What a pitiful life you had. I can imagine why you went woman to woman. I know you loved Lucy, but the way you loved…" he paused before continuing to say, "Lucy could never be yours. Pathetic demon who only ended up in Hell, an unloved child by his family and then by his wife and his servants. Even though we weren't together...we are now. Lucy is very much alive, Tony."

"That's not possible," laughed the demon. "I saw her die, waited there until I heard her breathing come to a stop so that you would never be able to have her. She couldn't be mine completely, then she couldn't be anyone else's."

But the faint smile on Theodore's lips didn't disappear, "Lucy is alive, breathing and we spent our time together today. How pitiful is that for you," his voice fell low, and he saw Tony's anger rise.

"You are lying!" shouted the demon behind bars.

Vladimir, who was watching this, snapped his fingers, and Tony's face started to reconstruct back to his original form, and the gate of the cell opened. Theodore, who had previously thought not to enter the cell, now entered it. Tony tried to attack Theodore, but the latter quickly twisted and pushed Tony's hand before pushing him against the wall.

While Theodore was inside the cell, Calhoun stood outside, turning to look at Vladimir and asked, "Where are Morganna and the others? I heard you brought them to sightsee the living world?"

Hearing this, a mischievous smile appeared on the Devil's face.

Back inside the cell, Theodore thrashed Tony by punching him right into his stomach and then at his face. As much as Tony wanted to fight back, his arms were weak against the force Theodore used on him.

"She's my wife! I was the one who married her! She is-" Tony was interrupted by Theodore's fist, and the demon fell on the ground.

The anger that Theodore was inside him until now surfaced in his eyes, and he climbed on top of the demon and started to punch him over and over again and heard the bones in Tony's face crack under his fist while they turned bloody.

Theodore didn't stop until he heard the demon whimper in pain, trying to get away from his hold, which he didn't loosen. The people in the adjacent cells could hear the sound that came from the cell where Tony was assigned, and the others who had personally met Theodore and Calhoun tried to cower away from the front side of their cells so that they wouldn't fall to be the next victim.

Theodore punched Tony to the point where his face had not just disfigured, but he had squashed the demon's head to the floor of the cell.

After a while, Calhoun and Theodore left Hell, and Odin stood in front of the cell with his head slightly tilted in concentration.

"What are you doing standing there like a fool?" questioned Vladimir, who had walked a couple of steps forward.

"Master, what are we going to do with this one? He seems like he doesn't exist," replied Odin.

"Let the Hellhounds eat him up," said Vladimir nonchalantly and left the underground with his faithful servant.
Chapter 768 - To Have You

Music Recommendation- On the Road- Jay Wadley


Back in the Hawthrone castle, Lucy was in her room without her maids, folding the dress that she had worn today for the fair with Theodore that was deep maroon and had black straps. She dusted it one more time before placing it carefully in her cupboard.

It had been two hours since she had last seen Theodore, and her memories of today were still fresh as she rewinded it back to her favourite moments before living it through over and over in her head.

She plopped herself on the bed, reaching for the toy that Theodore had won for her. Lucy never thought that she would one day ever come to feel this way. The peace and happiness offered to her today felt like a dear gift that she wanted to cherish forever. She knew Theodore was a charming man, but she had seen him today in a much better light for who he was.

Minutes passed by until she heard some sound come from the other side of her room. She wondered if it was a servant who had appeared outside the room, but then she remembered it was only a few minutes ago since a maid had come to refill the jug of water.

Placing the toy back on the bed, she got up from there, walking towards the door. When she opened it, her eyes widened at the sight that greeted her. It was Theodore.

His hair was a mess, and his clothes looked like there was some black liquid on it. Her eyes finally fell on the floor, where she caught drops of blood that fell from Theodore's hand.

"What happened to you?" she whispered in worry.

Theodore didn't reply to her, but instead, he walked forward to step into the room and put his arms around her to hold her. It felt truly precious to have Lucy in his arms, thought Theodore to himself. The little action had Lucy's eyes widen in surprise.

"I missed you," said Theodore, his arms tightening around Lucy to keep her close.

He hadn't meant to show himself in this state where he had blood on him, but the need to see Lucy had been so much that he couldn't resist himself from not coming to meet her.

Lucy didn't push him away and instead was surprised by his sudden visit and the state Theodore had shown up in front of her room. She could feel her heart beating in her chest.

"We saw each other two hours ago," replied Lucy, her voice a little shy and her face red.

"Why does it feel longer than that," murmured Theodore, and he let her go when he felt his mind had calmed itself. "Were you going to sleep?" he asked her.

Lucy shook her head, "Not so soon."

She couldn't help but look at the spots on his shirt, and by the look of it, it seemed like Theodore had got himself into a fight. Whom did he get into a fight this soon? Lucy then closed the door behind Theodore and held his hand.

"Let's fix your hands," she said, looking in his eyes, and she offered him a smile.

Pulling the first aid box that seemed to be something that was being opened and closed more often these days, she cleaned Theodore's knuckles before wrapping the bandage around it.

"Whom did you get into a fight with? Did someone say something?" asked Lucy.

"I had to settle an old score with someone," responded Theodore, watching Lucy's small hands that held the bandage, and when it was time to tear, she leaned forward and tore it by the help of her teeth.

From what Lucy had tried to learn on what was going on in the castle and what had happened the night she had died and returned to life, she knew black blood usually belonged to the people who had more demon composition in their bodies.

"Do you have more people on your list with whom you need to settle your score?" asked Lucy as she placed everything back in the box once she was done with his hands as it was the only ones that had been hurt.

"For now that's all," replied Theodore, and Lucy nodded her head.

"I think I should have bandaged your hands after you took a bath," muttered Lucy while looking at his clothes. "Let me get another cloth," she said before disappearing from his side.

Theodore didn't care about his wounds as it would heal within a while, but seeing Lucy walk around her room to help him, he didn't have the heart to stop her. Instead, he watched her earnestly from where he sat.

They had spent so much time together today that Lucy didn't think twice before bringing the wet cloth to him.

"Thank you," thanked Theodore before he started to clean his face and neck.

Lucy moved to the side, her hands moving to hold each other behind her, and she stared at Theodore. When he looked at her, her eyes slowly shifted away and looked at the wooden divider. It felt like the old days had returned, but maybe better than before. Heart continued to flutter in her chest by Theodore's presence in her room.

When he was done cleaning himself, he placed the cloth on the side table. A small gulp moved down Lucy's throat when his eyes moved back to her.

"What were you doing?" asked Theodore, questioning about her time before he appeared at her door.

She was thinking about their time together…

"Just cleaning the things around the room," replied Lucy, and Theodore took a look around her room which was already clean.

"You should ask the maids to help you," suggested Theodore and then said, "I should go now," he said to her and Lucy pursed her lips before nodding her head.

"I will see you tomorrow," she released her hands, her heart fluttering in her chest which didn't reach her lips as she saw Theodore towards the door.

There was an unexplainable ache in her chest and she smiled when Theodore turned to look at her. His eyes looked darker and his features more precise, something she had memorized. A faint smile on his face, he wished her, "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," she said, looking at him leave and she closed the door shut.

She placed her forehead on the door, a sigh escaped her lips. It was easier when she was young to do or ask things, she wondered why she was hesitant now. Maybe it was because she was overthinking about everything, thought Lucy to herself, on what was right or wrong.

Unconsciously, her hands went to feel her arms as she left the door's side, remembering how it felt, so safe and tranquil. A few seconds passed before she heard another knock and she opened the door to see Theodore.

"I forgot something," his face looked serious.

He did? Lucy turned behind, wondering what he had left. The next second she had turned back to look at Theodore, he had stepped closer to her and she felt her breathing hitch.

Theodore then said, "You."
Chapter 769 - The Question

Music Recommendation: On the road- Jay Wadley


For a second, Lucy didn't grasp what Theodore meant when he uttered the word 'you' to her. There seemed to be something that lurked behind his eyes, and she stared right into it.

When a faint smile appeared on his lips, blood started to rush back into Lucy's cheeks, and her eyes slightly widened when she finally came to understand what he meant. He took two long steps towards her. His arm went around her petite waist, and he turned her around before closing the door shut with his other hand.

Her heartbeat increased, flipping now and then as he slowly leaned towards her without rushing things from his side, letting her sink in with the emotions that his actions were making her feel.

Theodore heard Lucy's heart beating loudly along with the crackling fire that came from the fireplace. He leaned his face close to her, watching her closely before their lips were just an inch away from each other.

"May I?" asked Theodore, asking for Lucy's permission as he wanted to confirm this was what Lucy wanted. That she was ready to accept him and move forward by letting go of the things that had happened in the past.

With Theodore's closeness to her and with his lips that hovered in front of her, her lips trembled. Not because she was scared or nervous, but the anticipation of what might happen thundered in her chest.

"You already have all the answers when it comes to me," replied Lucy, her neck shyly craning up. One of her hands were placed on his chest, and the other on his arm when he had caught her off guard in his arms. "You can," she whispered.

She understood the loneliness and the emptiness that she had felt a few minutes ago after Theodore had left her room. It was like a piece of her was missing, and she would never be whole again without his next to her.

Since how many years had she been waiting for him, and her eyes started to glisten as they moistened with the unshed tears. She felt Theodore bring the back of his hand near her cheek, caressing it gently before it settled below her chin.

Without wasting another second, Theodore closed the remaining distance between their lips to kiss her. Her lips were more than he had imagined it to be. They were soft like the velvety rose petals, and he couldn't help himself but relish in its softness.

Lucy felt a gasp escape from her lips when Theodore broke the kiss for a fleeting second before he captured her lips in his again. Her eyes had closed, and her hand that was on him held on to him for support so that her knees wouldn't give away. She could feel her heart bursting out with bright colours because of the feelings that were spiralling out from her.

She didn't back away from him. The need and her feelings that she had buried deep within her for so many years had been released after spending time with him in the village fair. The memories rushing like the waterfall. Theodore's lips were gentle on hers, and so was his hold. She could feel his thumb tracing her jawline as they kissed, and she doubted her heart could survive the kiss.

To Theodore, Lucy was sweet, like a fruit that he had been holding himself back from eating it. But now that he had her in his arms, he didn't want to gobble up the fruit and instead, he wanted to eat it slowly so that he could relish every bite of it.

She opened up to him like a flower that bloomed in spring, and he tasted her, nibbling her lips with his teeth playfully before letting his teeth graze her jawline, tasting everything she could offer to him. He could hear her heart tremble, her body heating up quickly, and when he had kissed her some more, he finally pulled away from her lips.

Her eyes were partly closed, and she heaved as she breathed through her lips.

Lucy's eyes fluttered to look at Theodore, who was already looking at her, "Are you going back to your room?" she asked him, her voice turning slightly anxious.

Theodore smiled looking at her, "I was thinking of going back to my room," and Lucy's face fell, her shoulders drooped. He said, "But maybe not alone."

Lucy didn't want Theodore to go away as it felt like they hadn't spent enough time together. She didn't want the day to come to an end. "To your room?" she asked in confirmation with a soft gulp.

"You don't want to?" asked Theodore, his red eyes looking at Lucy as he patiently waited for her answer.

It wasn't that Lucy didn't want to, and she finally nodded her head, "Okay."

"Okay," replied Theodore, his smile warm enough to settle her ragging emotions.

Lucy's feelings were like the dried logs of wood that had been waiting for Theodore, who had left a spark of fire for her to catch up in flames now. With just a simple touch of caress and a kiss that felt like she was going to melt right into his arms, she doubted she would be able to sleep by herself.

Theodore let go of Lucy's hand that he had been holding. He walked towards the door that he had closed earlier, glad that he had arrived at a time where the maids and the other servants of the castle had gone asleep. He doubted he would have been able to keep his cool if someone had dared to disturb them.

Earlier, when he had left Lucy's room, he had walked until the end of the corridor, and he then stopped. Realizing he didn't want to keep things waiting. He and Lucy had waited enough for this lifetime.

"My princess," Theodore said, waiting for her to start walking, and Lucy caught hold of the front of her dress as if she didn't know what to do with it.

She heard the door click, and Theodore started to walk. She was quick to follow him.

In the past, even though Theodore had spent enough time on her patio with her, Lucy had never spent more than ten minutes in his room, which was why this was a new feeling. She had never felt like this when she was with Samuel, not even once, and she realized what kind of place she had been in. Nobody could elicit feelings from her the way Theodore did.

They walked in the deserted corridor, light present because of the flames of the torches that were placed on the walls. Out of eagerness, she had agreed to spend her time in his room, but then she remembered something and said,

"Wait!" her words came out as a whisper.

Theodore turned around, wondering if Lucy had changed her mind. Though he hadn't expected her to change her mind this soon, he would let her go if she wanted to. With a faint smile still on his lips, he asked, "Is something the matter?"

"T-that," Lucy started while looking around the corridor to make sure there was no one. "I forgot to carry my blanket."

In the past, the marriage that existed between her and Samuel, they had different blankets for each other. Lucy didn't want Theodore to feel cold without his blanket if he was going to give it to her, she thought to herself.
Chapter 770 - The Question

For a moment, Theodore didn't speak as he tried to decipher why she would need to carry her blanket to his room.

"You don't have to worry about it," said Theodore realizing what she meant, "I am sure, you wouldn't mind sharing it, do you?"

Lucy blinked at his words, her lips immediately closing and the toes of her bare feet curled on the cold floor. "You wouldn't need it for yourself?" she asked him.

Theodore didn't know what Samuel had taught Lucy about the concept of marriage, but with the way she asked him, something just didn't feel right to him. "I would be more than happy to share it with you, unless you aren't comfortable."

To his words, Lucy quickly shook her head as if that was not what she meant.

"Then it should be fine," Theodore offered her a smile, and they started to walk through the corridors.

Reaching Theodore's room, he pushed the door open for Lucy to step in, and she walked inside it. She noted how the guards were not present in his room, and the corridor was rather empty. Did he not need any protection as he was the King's Advisor? Questioned Lucy to herself.

"Make yourself comfortable," she heard Theodore, and the door closed for her to hear a click sound of it.

The room was locked, and they were away from people. Though she was still in the castle, staying with Theodore at this hour of the night and spending it with him, there was something very magical about it. She felt like time had moved backwards, and if she was alone, she would have raised her hands, dancing awkwardly out of happiness.

But instead, she cleared her throat while looking around the room and seeing the fireplace where the woods burned lowly as he wasn't present in the room for quite a few hours. Lucy didn't know what to do. She did come here to spend time with him and even sleep in the same bed, but she stood at one place, watching him.

Even in her younger days, Lucy had never spent the night with any other girls in their mansions or castles as her family didn't approve of it. She had always been kept away from people, living in the bubble of the Hawthrone's.

Theodore walked to the cupboard, which was next to the fireplace, and he pulled out the log of woods before placing them in the fireplace so that the room would be warm. The time of night brought snow from the sky, dropping the temperature of the surroundings.

Lucy slowly moved towards one side of the bed, and she asked, "Which side do you sleep?"

"I don't think I have a specific side, I don't think it matters. Pick whichever side you want," he gave her the option to choose, and Lucy got on the bed from the right side.

Were they really going to sleep together? Asked Lucy to herself. With the little spark ignited in her, the flame hadn't reduced and still continued to burn brightly.

Lucy wondered if they would kiss again, but then she shook her head. She didn't want to come off to be a wanton vampiress, and she bit into her lip.

Theodore had closed the windows to stop the snowflakes from getting inside the room.

When he went to the other side of the room, Lucy couldn't help but look at him. It wasn't every day where she was given the opportunity to look at the person she had held dearly in her heart. Theodore's hand moved to his back before he grasped his shirt and pulled it from his body, standing in front of the cupboard with only his trousers and his bareback facing her.

"I got to hear something today," said Theodore and Lucy's gaze broke to look at the back of his head. "When I was still in the streets, I had picked up a different last name, Chauncey, hoping to forget my actual family and the parent who abandoned me. I had forgotten the name that belonged to me and todayVladimir reminded me of the name that I had forgotten."

It would have annoyed him if it was before, but he had grown out from the hate and pain. He had learned how to deal with it, by hunting and killing people—getting into fights. Remembering his forgotten name didn't bother him as much as it did in the past.

"What was it?" asked Lucy, who had pulled up her knees close to her, to hug them.

"Hosteler," replied Theodore.

Thinking about it, Lucy wondered if that was where he had gone after they had arrived at the castle to meet Vladimir in Hell. She tried to connect the dots with the black blood and his visit to Hell, and her eyes subtly widened in realization. He had gone to meet Samuel…

"You don't have to worry about him anymore," stated Theodore as he watched the expression on Lucy's face.

When his hands went to place at the edge of his trousers, Lucy quickly looked away, her cheeks turning redder as she heard the rustle of clothes from where Theodore stood. Sensing him leave the other side of the room, she lifted her gaze to notice he didn't wear a shirt and his chest was still bare.

"Aren't you going to feel cold?" asked Lucy, trying to keep her eyes on Theodore, and she wondered if this was what temptation felt like.

"I have the habit of sleeping without the shirt. You don't mind do you?" he questioned her back, and Lucy shook her head.

"Why would I mind," she whispered before sliding inside the blanket and pulling it until her nose so that she could still look at him.

On his way, Theodore blew out most of the candles so that the room wouldn't be completely dark, but enough to let one sleep peacefully, and he then slid into the blanket.

Getting comfortable in the bed, they faced each other, staring at each other, and Lucy lowered her eyes as she wasn't able to keep up with Theodore's eyes that looked at her intensely. Not to mention his bare shoulders and chest was enticing her to inch her eyes from his eyes. How strange that it was only a few months ago that she wanted to strangle him, but with the truth out, her feelings were back to before and maybe more profound.

"Do you think it is okay for me to move in closer?" questioned Theodore.

Lucy smiled at his question and replied, "I would like that very much."

When Theodore moved closer to her, Lucy did the same, the blanket sliding off her face and neck as she laid on the side of her body. She closed her eyes when he caressed her cheek again, a blissful sigh escaping her lips.

"I don't think I can resist from not touching you," Theodore confessed his true feelings to her. His finger moved from her cheek to her lips, grazing across the softness to hear her breathing hitch.

Saying this, Theodore moved closer than before, lifting himself, and he placed a hand on Lucy's delicate shoulder so that she laid on her back. She raised her hands, welcoming him to her as he descended his face, capturing her lips once again.