πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️ Hellbound Heart Chapter 16 - 20 Full Chapters πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️πŸ–Š️

PHYSIENTS WILL ALWAYS OFFER BEST STORIES AND LIVE STREAMING ALL TIME


HELLBOUND HEART
Chapter 16 Accidentally

Elle had put the telephone lying on top of the table, leaving it there to continue ringing.

Standing by the door, Elle clutched a porcelain vase tightly in her hands, ready to strike anyone who managed to enter. The moment she heard the sounds of the doorknob being twisted a while ago, she had immediately grabbed the only vase in the room, about the size of a one-liter wine bottle, threw out the fake flowers in it and rushed towards the door.

It seemed that her survival instincts had prompted her to move instead of just standing there frozen to the spot and behave as a helpless damsel that was paralyzed by her fear.

She stared hard at the doorknob. She had initially thought that she was not going to make it, but for some reason, the door did not fling open as she was expecting. It was almost as though the person behind the door had hesitated. Which was suspicious. Did someone interrupt them?

She gave her own head a shake, reminding herself to not let her guard down and to expect the worst and always be prepared. Her heartbeat was pounding so loud in her ears that she could hardly hear anything else that was happening behind the door.

A few breaths later, the doorknob moved again. Elle held her breath as her pupils constricted due to nervousness. Her grip on the porcelain vase tightened as she lifted it up, ready to slam it down hard onto that someone's head who dared burst in unwelcomed into her room.

She needed to give her all so she could at least wound or even better, perhaps make the person fall and keel over. If she could achieve that, she would then grab the person's gun. She knew Brandon Haze's goons have guns on them wherever they go. If she managed to swipe a weapon from them, she would at least have a fighting chance in escaping. So, she must not mess this up. This was most probably her very last chance!

Someone pushed the door open.

A crash of glass against something solid broke through the few seconds of tense silence that followed the door swinging open. The shattered glass fell to the floor, breaking into more pieces.

 

Elle's eyes stretched wide as she looked at the man she had just attacked. Blood started flowing down his forehead to the right side of his gorgeous face.

"S-seb…" her voice was barely a whisper. The absurdity of seeing him here had her unable to even complete his name.

Sebastian looked at her. His one hand holding onto the doorknob and the other was at his ear, holding a phone.

He lowered his hand slowly, ended the call before slipping the phone smoothly into his pocket. Though his expression was unreadable, Elle was terrified. Not because she was scared that he would retaliate by hurting her back, but because she knew she had accidentally done another terrible and unforgiveable thing to this man. Oh goodness… what had she done?!

"I'm… oh god… I'm so sorry…" she moved closer to him, her hands trembling as she hesitantly reached out to him. There should not be this much blood flowing from his head! "Hospital! You need to get to hospital right now –" her panicky voice issued from trembling lips.

He caught her wrist before she could touch him. "There is no need." His voice flat and curt, but Elle frantically shook her head. No matter what he would say, she knew his wound was dangerous. He could even suffer a brain hemorrhage from this! She had given all the strength she could muster when she hit him! Not to mention the amount of blood flowing from him!

"You're in danger! Please let's –"

"Go take off your clothes and jewelries. Everything. Now." He cut her off and shot out that command.

Elle blinked. "W-what?!!" Oh, no! Had she hit him too hard in the head? Why was he asking her to undress in such a situation?

"You are being tracked. There must be a bug somewhere on you."

"Okay but… you really need to be treated first, Prince Sebastian!" Elle insisted. She knew it was in her best interest to listen to him, but his situation was still more important right now. His life could be in danger! "There's too much blood flowing from you… I can't let you bleed to death!" guilt was wrecking a havoc in her heart.

He was silent for a moment but thankfully, he sighed and finally relented. "I'll get it treated. Go and change your clothes now."

Before Elle could even react, the door was shut closed before her. She could only grit her teeth and started stripping hastily as she rushed towards the closet. Sebastian was right, there must have been a tracker on her. That was the only reasonable explanation on why they were able to track her to this hotel so fast. Once she got rid of her clothes, she took off her luxurious jewelries and threw them to the floor.


Grabbing a white bathrobe from the closet, Elle wore it, and tied it securely around her before hastily headed for the door. It was not the most proper of clothes, but she knew that right now, it was better for her to have a wardrobe malfunction than to be tracked due to a bug in her clothes!

She was worried about Sebastian. She was afraid that the man might have fainted outside or perhaps blacked-out by now since it was a miracle he did not even stumble when she hit him.

But the moment she stepped out of the door, her lips parted from the sight that greeted her. Men in black were scattered on the floor, some seemed to be unconscious while others were unable to stand, making agonized sounds. Blood was even dotted the beige-colored marble floor. And Sebastian…

He was standing there. The red-haired man she had seen a couple of times in the palace with him was already almost done taping down a bandage on Sebastian's forehead.

She could not help but swallow as she counted the number of those men in black that littered the ground. How could they have beaten these men up on their own? There were only the two of them against ten men who were no doubt professionals, but it still seemed that they had done this in no time all. Is this prince and his sidekick some kind of top-notch fighter?

"I'll leave this mess to you, Lucas." Sebastian's voice pulled her attention away from the men on the floor.

"Yes, sir." The man named Lucas gave a short nod.

"Let's go." Sebastian gestured at her and Elle immediately moved towards him. He eyed her outfit and then glanced at the red-haired guy again.

To Elle's surprise, Lucas gave her his coat. "Please put this on, Miss Eves." Lucas said respectfully.

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HELLBOUND HEART
Chapter 17 Bad Grass


This bonus chapter is dedicated to @edi_o, @Monic_Ceja, @Sacogun, and @MonsterUnderTheBed. Thank you so much for the supergifts!

___

Elle did not hesitate to take the coat and when she turned back to look enquiringly at Sebastian, the man was already leaving. She had no choice but to quickly nod her thanks to Lucas and rushed after Sebastian while hastily wearing Lucas' coat over her bathrobe.

She finally caught up to him when he stood before the elevator. She could not help but glance up at his enchanting face. Though it seemed as though Lucas had successfully stopped the bleeding, the man did not bother to even wipe off the blood that had tracked down and dried on the side of his face. The blood was all over his neck. If he had not been wearing an all-black outfit, she was certain that the blood soaking his clothes would have been quite gruesome to look at.

The elevator dinged and its doors finally slid open. So Elle poked her head in, only to see a large man inside, wearing the same all black three piece suit that the beaten up men were wearing.

Her heart leapt up to her throat. Elle thought Sebastian would not enter, but he nonchalantly walked inside, turned around and look at her. His gaze was unreadable, but Elle did not feel him sending her any signal whether she should enter or not.

"Get in, Izabelle." His voice nearly jolted her. She had not expected him to say out name her right before her enemy. And in front of one that looked like wrestler at that!

Despite her jumbled-up thoughts, Elle entered. She stood right in front of Sebastian.

 

The air inside the elevator was charged, almost suffocating as it moved down.

As the seconds ticked by, the atmosphere inside the elevator became more dangerous. Elle thought that this must be what bloodlust felt like. It was nauseating. She felt as though a bomb was about to be detonated anytime soon inside this elevator. And all she could do was to just stand still and pray for the elevator's door to finally open.

Loud sounds of something solid slammed against the elevator's walls in the next few seconds. Startled, Elle scooted forward and pressed herself against the elevator's door. When she turned back to look, thinking to maybe help Sebastian against the huge guy, she was once again rendered paralyzed.

Sebastian's hand was gripping a fistful of the huge man's hair and was slamming his head against the now bloodied wall.

He suddenly stopped, finally glancing up at her. He straightened and let go of the man's hair.

The huge man's body slumped to the floor and the elevator's door slid open behind her.

Sebastian stepped over the man nonchalantly, as though stepping over a mound of dirt and walked past her. Elle swallowed, looking down at the now unconscious and bloodied man on the floor before slowly turning around and obediently following Sebastian out the elevator.

The prince was looking at her. His grey eyes expressionless. His hair was messy, and blood stains were visible all over his face and neck. Nevertheless, he still looked so perfect. But it was no longer the perfect princely image that she always saw in the TV and magazines. Right now, he looked more like that favorite handsome-as-hell villain in a certain movie.

He offered her his hand quietly. She could tell that he knew he had frightened her and now he seemed to be giving her a choice if she still wanted to go along with him or not.

Elle stared at his hand. She had not realized that he was wearing black gloves until now. She wondered why he was wearing them. Was it because he was expecting this bloody encounter and had to take precautions?

She stretched out her hand and placed it in his. She imagined his gloved hands filled with blood and she could not deny the shivers that ran through her. But even if her imagination was the truth, she would still choose this tainted hand over that monster's.

When they reached the garage, Sebastian let go of her hand and walked around a black car.

"Take off your shoes and leave it there." He ordered as he opened the car door.


Elle creased her brows, but she immediately obeyed, not even asking any questions anymore. And as soon as she entered the car and buckled on her own seatbelt, Sebastian zoomed off.

Soon, the car was speeding up in the highway. Elle was waiting for him to take a turn as she thought he was going to go to the hospital first. She noticed his wound did not seem to be bleeding anymore which was pretty impressive. But she still wanted him to go to the hospital to check it out just to be on the safe side. But he obviously was not planning to go to any hospital with the way they were moving.

"Where are we going?" she finally asked.

"To the airport."

Elle pressed her lips together tightly for a moment. "I think we need to go the hospital first."

He glanced at her and Elle did not know why her heart skittered to a stop. Anxiety immediately gripped her heart as the thought that he must be thinking she was already starting to nag at him came to her.

"Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to nag you." She reasoned out. "I just... don't want to get widowed before I could even get married. You still... need to marry me." She tried that excuse on him.

A smirk graced his face and that faint dimple showed up again for a fleeting moment, causing her heart to pick up speed.

"You don't have to worry about that." he replied, his voice gentle but sounded a little darker than usual. "Bad grass never dies, Izabelle."

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HELLBOUND HEART
Chapter 18 First Step

The next time Elle opened her eyes, she realized that it was all quiet and there were no longer that slight movements she felt earlier on the flight. The private jet had already landed.

She had slept all throughout the journey because it was already dawn when their plane took off from Dalenn. The fatigue that had piled up and non-stop stress had really beaten her down and literally knocked her out into a deep a slumber. And due to that, she now was waking up alone in the plane.

There were no one else in the plane anymore. Sebastian and even the pilots were gone. When she glanced at the clock, her jaw dropped. She checked the timing just when their flight took off and remembered that their arrival in Viscarria should be at nine in the morning. It was now already eleven!

Rushing out of the plane, Elle was welcomed by a lady at the door, dressed in a gray suit. She was tall and had long, straight and neatly tied up hair. One look and Elle thought that she must be a female bodyguard.

"Hello, Princess Eves. I am Ava." She greeted Elle with a wide polite smile. "I am assigned to escort you to the Reigns castle and attend to everything that you need."

Elle smiled back. She was about to ask about Sebastian's whereabouts, but she held her tongue and just nodded at her. She needed to keep to her end of the bargain regarding all the things she had promised in the contract.

"Give me a moment to prepare myself." Elle informed her before smiling back. But as soon as she turned, her smile turned a little bitter. 'Of course, he'd leave. What were you even expecting? That he's going to wait for you to wake up? Don't you dare be delusional, Elle. Don't forget about the deal. Never expect anything from Sebastian Reign.' She told herself firmly.

"Uhm... Miss Eves," Ava followed behind her so Elle looked at her from over her shoulder. "Prince Sebastian had brought you clothes to change into before he left."

Elle halted and Ava went to pick the paper bags marked with luxurious brands and placed them on top of the bed.


"If you need any assistance, please don't hesitate to call out, Miss Eves. I'll just be outside the door." Ava said and with Elle's nod, she quietly left her.

After staring at the row of bags lining up on the bed, Elle then slowly looked at each of them. Everything was complete and just perfectly chosen. From the right sized underwear to the perfect outfit and even matching shoes, bag and accessories! Elle stared at the understated yet elegant outfit sporting a mix of both conservative and modern style. A neutral-colored shawl paired with a white knee length coat, nude high heeled leather stilettos, a pair of tiny pink sapphire earrings and... even makeup. Everything a woman ever needed to dress up was there.

Elle immediately thought that this must have definitely been prepared by a royal stylist. She imagined Sebastian making a call to bring whatever she needed, and the stylist had gotten their job done perfectly even without being told the details. And for some reason, Elle suddenly remembered when Lucas had given her his coat last night. She had noticed when Sebastian glanced at the man before it happened. She wondered if Sebastian was the one who had gestured for him to give her his coat. But Sebastian was wearing a coat too. Should he not...

She took a deep breath and shook her head. Telling herself that she must stop overthinking everything, Elle focused on getting herself ready. She was used at dressing herself up even when there were important occasions as long the dress was not something that required too much attention. And since she also did her own make-up as she had already mastered doing it herself, she did not call for Ava until she was done fully getting ready.

"You look lovely, Miss." Ava praised her. Elle somehow felt quite at ease with this woman so far. There seemed to be no pretense in her eyes and smile.

"Thank you, Ava. Am I going to be escorted straight to the Reigns castle?" Elle asked. She was curious if there was already a formal meeting so she could prepare herself.

"Actually, Prince Sebastian said you can take your rest today. He didn't say anything about your schedule. So I guess once I escort you to the castle, you can have your rest."

"Oh, I see..." Elle nodded, hiding how relieved she was that she did not need to meet Sebastian's family right off the bat. In fact, she was not really afraid or nervous. But she thought that she needed to speak with Sebastian first. They needed to get some facts right before they meet up with the family. She was certain Sebastian's family would ask her questions, so she needed to speak with him first on what she was and was not allowed to reveal about their relationship.

But if she went straight to the Reigns residence now, there would be a high chance that she would immediately meet them as soon as she gets there. And once that happens, questions could not be avoided.

"Is Sebastian already there?" Elle asked.

"I am not sure, Miss, as I wasn't informed about Prince Sebastian's schedule for the day. But if you ask my opinion, I don't think the prince is there. Prince Sebastian rarely goes to the Reigns Castle."

Elle creased her brows. He rarely goes there but he's sending her there...?

"I can make a call to the castle right now and ask just to be sure." Ava said as she led her out of the plane's door.


As soon as Elle stepped out, a fresh cold breeze welcomed her. She stopped and inhaled it as she looked around and then up to the clear blue sky.

A faint smile curved on her lips. It was hard to believe she was now in Viscarria. A place she has never been to before. A place that was away from Dalenn. Far, far away from that monster's reach.

She could not quite explain her feelings at the moment. As she reached the last step of the stairs, she stared at the ground. This would be her very first step into this land.

Her heartbeat suddenly picked up its pace and she couldn't shake the feeling that the moment she sets foot on this land, her life would never be the same again.

___


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HELLBOUND HEART
Chapter 18 First Step Error Repeat Chapter 



The next time Elle opened her eyes, she realized that it was all quiet and there were no longer that slight movements she felt earlier on the flight. The private jet had already landed.

She had slept all throughout the journey because it was already dawn when their plane took off from Dalenn. The fatigue that had piled up and non-stop stress had really beaten her down and literally knocked her out into a deep a slumber. And due to that, she now was waking up alone in the plane.

There were no one else in the plane anymore. Sebastian and even the pilots were gone. When she glanced at the clock, her jaw dropped. She checked the timing just when their flight took off and remembered that their arrival in Viscarria should be at nine in the morning. It was now already eleven!

Rushing out of the plane, Elle was welcomed by a lady at the door, dressed in a gray suit. She was tall and had long, straight and neatly tied up hair. One look and Elle thought that she must be a female bodyguard.

"Hello, Princess Eves. I am Ava." She greeted Elle with a wide polite smile. "I am assigned to escort you to the Reigns castle and attend to everything that you need."

Elle smiled back. She was about to ask about Sebastian's whereabouts, but she held her tongue and just nodded at her. She needed to keep to her end of the bargain regarding all the things she had promised in the contract.

"Give me a moment to prepare myself." Elle informed her before smiling back. But as soon as she turned, her smile turned a little bitter. 'Of course, he'd leave. What were you even expecting? That he's going to wait for you to wake up? Don't you dare be delusional, Elle. Don't forget about the deal. Never expect anything from Sebastian Reign.' She told herself firmly.

"Uhm... Miss Eves," Ava followed behind her so Elle looked at her from over her shoulder. "Prince Sebastian had brought you clothes to change into before he left."

Elle halted and Ava went to pick the paper bags marked with luxurious brands and placed them on top of the bed.

 

"If you need any assistance, please don't hesitate to call out, Miss Eves. I'll just be outside the door." Ava said and with Elle's nod, she quietly left her.

After staring at the row of bags lining up on the bed, Elle then slowly looked at each of them. Everything was complete and just perfectly chosen. From the right sized underwear to the perfect outfit and even matching shoes, bag and accessories! Elle stared at the understated yet elegant outfit sporting a mix of both conservative and modern style. A neutral-colored shawl paired with a white knee length coat, nude high heeled leather stilettos, a pair of tiny pink sapphire earrings and... even makeup. Everything a woman ever needed to dress up was there.


Elle immediately thought that this must have definitely been prepared by a royal stylist. She imagined Sebastian making a call to bring whatever she needed, and the stylist had gotten their job done perfectly even without being told the details. And for some reason, Elle suddenly remembered when Lucas had given her his coat last night. She had noticed when Sebastian glanced at the man before it happened. She wondered if Sebastian was the one who had gestured for him to give her his coat. But Sebastian was wearing a coat too. Should he not...

She took a deep breath and shook her head. Telling herself that she must stop overthinking everything, Elle focused on getting herself ready. She was used at dressing herself up even when there were important occasions as long the dress was not something that required too much attention. And since she also did her own make-up as she had already mastered doing it herself, she did not call for Ava until she was done fully getting ready.

"You look lovely, Miss." Ava praised her. Elle somehow felt quite at ease with this woman so far. There seemed to be no pretense in her eyes and smile.

"Thank you, Ava. Am I going to be escorted straight to the Reigns castle?" Elle asked. She was curious if there was already a formal meeting so she could prepare herself.

"Actually, Prince Sebastian said you can take your rest today. He didn't say anything about your schedule. So I guess once I escort you to the castle, you can have your rest."

"Oh, I see..." Elle nodded, hiding how relieved she was that she did not need to meet Sebastian's family right off the bat. In fact, she was not really afraid or nervous. But she thought that she needed to speak with Sebastian first. They needed to get some facts right before they meet up with the family. She was certain Sebastian's family would ask her questions, so she needed to speak with him first on what she was and was not allowed to reveal about their relationship.

But if she went straight to the Reigns residence now, there would be a high chance that she would immediately meet them as soon as she gets there. And once that happens, questions could not be avoided.

"Is Sebastian already there?" Elle asked.

"I am not sure, Miss, as I wasn't informed about Prince Sebastian's schedule for the day. But if you ask my opinion, I don't think the prince is there. Prince Sebastian rarely goes to the Reigns Castle."

Elle creased her brows. He rarely goes there but he's sending her there...?

"I can make a call to the castle right now and ask just to be sure." Ava said as she led her out of the plane's door.


As soon as Elle stepped out, a fresh cold breeze welcomed her. She stopped and inhaled it as she looked around and then up to the clear blue sky.

A faint smile curved on her lips. It was hard to believe she was now in Viscarria. A place she has never been to before. A place that was away from Dalenn. Far, far away from that monster's reach.

She could not quite explain her feelings at the moment. As she reached the last step of the stairs, she stared at the ground. This would be her very first step into this land.

Her heartbeat suddenly picked up its pace and she couldn't shake the feeling that the moment she sets foot on this land, her life would never be the same again.

___


_____________

HELLBOUND HEART
Chapter 19 Wings

This bonus chapter is dedicated to @MonsterUnderTheBed, @VanillaChicolate and @Sacogun! Thank you so much for the supergifts!

___

Looking out of the window at the passing scenery as the car brought her towards her destination, Elle watched how fascinating the view of this city was. Quesa, Viscarria's capital was a complex blend of the ancient and modern world. It exhibits wide range of architecture, from ancient to modern. But the way it was incorporated was tastefully done and melded well together.

,m Elle had been aware that Viscarria was a prosperous kingdom but also known as one of the mysterious places on Earth. Now that she was here, she could not shake the feeling that the rumors she had heard all this while were true. This place was indeed very beautiful and yet it was not even numbered among the top hundred most famous cities in the world. That alone was suspicious to her because she could easily consider this city to belong to the top three most beautiful cities in the world.

It also looked really peaceful. It was not too crowded, and the air was just fresh. Back in Dalenn, every time she looked outside the car window, she would always see something that would break her heart. Here, all she could see was a perfect peaceful paradise. There were literally no signs of poverty. At all.

She could not help but wonder what kind of life she would have right now if Dalenn was not a struggling kingdom. If Dalenn was as prosperous and peaceful as this place, would she be here right now? Would her father even need to go to that monster for help?

A small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. She reminded herself that she still knew nothing about this country. It might be perfect as she looked on from the outside, but perhaps there were ugly things hidden on the inside? She was aware of many places in the world that were hiding their real situation. Many appeared to be standing strong and prosperous if you were only to skim it on the surface. But the reality is just otherwise. This place must be hiding their flaws and dark secrets too, like every other place in the world.

The car pulled off to the roadside, causing Elle to shift her gaze to the front seat. Ava had just ended a phone call and turned back to look at her.

 

"Miss, there is a change of plan." Ava said. "His Highness said that you will not go to the Reigns residence today. I will be bringing you to check in to stay in a hotel for today."

Elle did not speak and just stared back at Ava, her face carefully neutral as she processed what her bodyguard just told her. After giving her a single nod of acknowledgement, she eventually looked away again.

"Alright," was all Elle said in a soft voice as she fixed her gaze outside.

The car then made a U-turn and headed to a different direction. Ava kept glancing at Elle through the rearview mirror as though checking to see if her mistress was alright.

"Miss, would you like to go sight-seeing later tonight once you are more rested?" Ava asked politely. But Elle heard the tinge of concern in her voice. She understood why Ava was being cautious and trying to probe if she were angry or upset.

However, Elle still did not trust Ava. Well, she trusted her for her physical safety, of course. But she would not think that Ava would be loyal to her. In Elle's mind, Ava would most probably be reporting her every move to Sebastian, not leaving out even the minutest of details be it the things she does or say, just like all her previous maids and bodyguards. Elle could already imagine that someone might even report to Sebastian that she was sulking if she did not show she was not bothered with this arrangement. And she would never want that. She must never allow that to happen.

Returning her attention to Ava, Elle responded. "I've slept quite long on the plane, so I'm actually quite rested already. Why don't we go sight-seeing now? I'd like to see more of this city." She made sure to keep her tone light and easygoing.

Ava's eyes gleamed. "Of course, miss. I will be your tour guide!"

"But first, I'd like to go freshen up and get changed into some more comfortable clothes."

"Alright, Miss! Leave that to me." Ava looked so fired up and as she quickly informed the driver to drop them at a certain place.


Later in the day…

Elle was lying back on top their car, watching the sunset as she allowed her mind to wander. She had spent hours just strolling around along some of the busiest streets of Quesa just dressed in jeans and sneakers, with a wide brimmed straw hat and a pair of sunglasses to shade her head and eyes. Though simple, she still looked stunning and did not stop many pairs of eyes to follow her as they appreciated her slender and shapely figure.

It was unexpectedly an amazing experience. It must be because it had been so long since she had been allowed to wander on any street without her security guards swarming all over her and without all the watchful eyes following her every single move. But what surprised her the most during her unexpected tour was the fact that she had yet to find the flaw she was expecting to see. She had asked Ava to bring to her to outskirts and busy streets. She even went and walked to an underground subway even when Ava was discouraging her to go. But all she saw was flawlessness. Everywhere, the streets and surroundings were incredibly clean and tidy and… she was just speechless.

As she stared at the beautiful sunset, Elle could not help but wonder about how this country's monarch ruled this land to be this enviably peaceful and beautiful. She could not forget the contentment and happiness she had clearly seen in the eyes of the people that she saw walking along the streets. Back in Dalenn, all she could see was the resentment and hatred in the people's eyes whenever they, the royals, pass on the streets.

"This country is just fascinating." Elle commented and Ava smiled proudly as she nodded.

"It is all thanks to our capable rulers. They had ruled the country well and maintained the peace."

"King Rudy is such a great ruler…" Elle smiled, never taking her eyes off the colorful sky. She did not hear a response from Ava, so she stood on top of the car and spread her arms wide. The breeze blew her red hair behind her. And with the sunset, it had turned her hair into a brilliant fiery orange.

Elle felt like her wings were starting to grow behind her again. At long last.

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_______________

HELLBOUND HEART
Chapter 20 Attractions

The next morning, Elle had woken up in a great mood. She had fallen asleep quite early last night because she got tired from all her excited wanderings and explorations.

Now it was only seven in the morning, and she was already all dressed and prepared. Yesterday, Ava had informed her that Sebastian was going to come fetch her early in the morning. So she made sure that she would already be ready when he arrives.

Though Ava did not mention anything more, Elle deduced that they most probably be heading for the Reigns residence. Therefore, she made sure to be dressed as presentable as she could be. She had already met the king and Sebastian's uncle and gladly, they seemed to be really nice, most especially Alexander. But she still did not know how the rest of his family would treat her once she meets them. She was not expecting everyone to like her, so she spent her remaining free time mentally preparing herself and relaxing at the same time. There was no point getting all nervous for no reason.

After a couple of hours of patiently waiting, the knock she was waiting for finally echoed.

Elle stilled the moment she realized it was Ava who stood in front of her door instead of Sebastian.

Her expression was apologetic as she looked at Elle. One look and Elle already knew she was going to apologize again and then inform her of some not so good news. She deduced that Ava might even say that Sebastian was not coming anymore.

"Miss…" Ava paused, hesitating.

"What is it? Is Prince Sebastian not coming?" Elle asked, her voice still light and calm.

 
Ava's eyes widened before she nodded curtly.

An odd smile curved on Elle's lips momentarily. "I see… did he say anything else?"

"His assistant said, he'll probably come to fetch you tomorrow." Ava said in an apologetic tone.

"Probably…" Elle repeated. Her voice soft but neutral. "So, I am to stay here and continue waiting for him? We're not going to the Reigns residence without him, am I right?"

Ava nodded slowly. "I apologize Miss –"

"Oh, there is no need to, Ava." Elle cut her off, giving her an understanding smile. "This is not your fault. And I understand Prince Sebastian is a busy man. Something must have cropped up at the last minute."

"I'm so glad you are so understanding, Miss. Do you want to explore again today? Please don't hesitate to tell me if you want to go somewhere again."

"Hmm… I guess we should go out again. I know Quesa is large. This time, I'd like to visit some more famous landmarks, shall we?" Elle suggested to Ava with a bright smile.

A wide smile plastered on Ava's relieved face and Elle excused herself to change her clothes into more appropriate clothing for another full day of excursion.

That day, Elle made sure to familiarize herself with the city and enjoy herself at the same time. Somehow, with how busy and occupied she was in her tour and sightseeing, she had not thought of Sebastian the entire day. And they returned to her hotel when the night was still relatively young.

But the next day, Sebastian did not appear. Again.

Elle had chosen to go out with Ava again since there were still a lot of places that they did not finish exploring the last two days. Quesa was really big and full of beautiful spots worthy of being top notch tourist attractions. The most amazing part was that there were no swarm of tourists everywhere that would block the view and bring unnecessary noise along. The entire time, Elle had felt as though she owned the places as there were barely any people around in those places that were supposed to be packed.

But she credited it to Ava. She thought that Ava must have known the right time to visit the places where there were less visitors. Though that was a bit questionable, Elle did not poke her nose about it anymore and just felt thankful that she had enjoyed the attractions by herself.

By evening, when it was time for dinner, her reliable companion and bodyguard had brought her to the most luxurious restaurant in the city called, Alistair. Ava had dutifully informed her that this place was the royal's favorite restaurant.

Elle was pretty amazed by the food that had been presented before her. She could not even say anything about it but just sang pure praises for it. She was still happily praising the food even while they were already leaving the building. She even praised Ava, telling her that it was a perfect choice on her part in arranging for their dinner.

But her smile froze and slowly faded at what she saw the moment she and Ava stepped out of the entrance.

A man was escorting a beautiful woman in a shimmering evening gown out of a luxury car. It was... Sebastian.

Time seemed to slow as she watched the woman wrap her hand around Sebastian's arm. And then they marched forward together. They walked with such grace, a perfect picture of a couple walking down a red carpet.

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