Next night I wake up alone in a lavish bed-chamber. We spent the day together sleeping. His body spooned me and I felt safe. We needed rest. After spending time together we needed to regain our powers. I still feel his smell in those sheets. Would Sorgedon share me with him? My brother has a lot of women, but all are random. I want Eirikrinn permanent. It’s different. And what Eirik will think? Will he want me under such conditions? Will he want me at all after knowing who I am? Hhr.. I growl quietly. 

  • That has to wait.

I say to myself and get up to ready myself. 

  • Let’s check this Eden. Enough distraction. After all, there is a good reason why I am here.

I exhale heavily from that though and check my dagger. I don’t know what awaits me, but I have to check this place and find that Beast I am here for. In one of the corners stands a wooden chest which looks more like a coffin. It’s lid is thoroughly decorated. Inside I find lots of clothes. Dresses as well. Since I am in the palace I may want to adapt, not to stand out from the crowd.

Choice is not easy to make. All of them are beautiful, made from expensive materials, and richly decorated. My fingertips slide along gentle surfaces. 

  • Mmm, feels like warm blood in my mouth. 

Some of them are by hand decorated. Lace, ruffles, ribbons, embroidery, leather, zips, rough buckles. My pick is the long red one, almost plane, almost sheer. I don’t want to draw unnecessary attention and this one looks most suitable for tonight. 

  • I just need to find out more about that Beast and this place.

Just like the night before there are lots of creatures in the yard. Castle grounds are really busy. Some of them work, it’s easy to say. Some just have friendly conversations. Lots of them go the same direction. I decide to follow them. After some time and a few turns I enter a big crowded space. Lots of people sell or buy various stuff. It’s a market. I check what they sell. On the counters rest unseen goods.

  • What an interesting shape! What do they use it for?

I ask myself. Thankfully, no one pays attention and doesn’t bother to answer. I check a few counters in a row with a big interest.

My ear catches chit chats between natives. I guess, they are updating themselves on daily news. Some jokes. I giggle. Oh, they are funny! I let a small laugh again remembering the last one. Rumors and gossip. About the prince. Some call him lord or master. They speak with great enthusiasm and joy. Long time they haven’t seen him here, yet he has arrived. So as his bride. They all were waiting in clear anticipation. And finally she showed up. 

  • Hm, he and bride? 

Must be local celebrities. Or.. Do they talk about Eirikrinn’s friend? He told me that a friend of his lives in this palace. My heart pierces. A doubt places shadow. Or.. is Eirikrinn their lord?! He also has a bride! No, no, no! I try to get rid of this though. It can’t be true. If he is, we will never be together. Old bloodlines never unite! We can take someone as wife or a husband, but it will never be anyone with royal blood of another line. Royal blood flows through our veins. It allows us a lot more compared to others, including having kids and so prolonging our line. Other vampires are just turned, but we are born that way. If we mix, kingdoms will be assimilated and just disappear. We will be like others. Did they really talk about him? Eirik? He is special. I felt him from the moment we met, but.. I’ve never expected him to be forbidden. Coldness washes my back and I feel my skin become paler.  

Someone just bumped into me. 

  • Excuse me.

She wanted to say something more, bet her lips didn’t let out any sound when she saw me. She just looked at me and quickly lowered her eyes and dipped. Her lips spread into a wide smile. She joined the group of young girls, told them something, some of them peeked to me, some giggled. I feel myself entertaining them. Hopefully not in a bad way. Public attention is not new to me. I shrug it off and continue my walk, loosening myself into thoughts. Bride. They told the bride. She has already arrived.. Damn! Eirikrinn had to meet his bride! Is she here?! He said nothing about it, but tonight I woke up alone. He was gone and I haven’t seen him yet. Storm rises in my cold chest. Am I jealous? My heart squeezes and some unknown waves circulate. Calm down, Milly. This is just a consequence.

Some creature offers me to try to drink. I politely refuse. After a while another creature gives me a pomegranate. I have never seen or eaten it before, so accept it politely. 

  • Blessings to you.

I thank the man. He looks more pleased than any vendor in my life. My ears reach the music and I take that direction. At the center of this market two men play with guitars. Between them six women dance. Dance looks very sensual. Even their eyes dance. Their hips move gentle and then turn in sharp hooks, they swing to the sides and make some circles with the whole torso. Awe! Hands and fingers move very light, but sometimes also hitches in the air as frozen. They shake hips and the whole body unites.

  • I would like to try.

It wasn’t meant to tell aloud, but I did and they heard. They lead me in front. Oh hell… and what’s now?! I don’t know this kind of dance. Both men play and I try to repeat what I saw, but I am sure I look clumsy. Girls, I saw before, approach and encircle me. They help me with the moves. I am so thankful and relieved they decided to let a hand for me. I follow their moves and finally catch the main steps, even learn a few tricks. Melody changes and we enjoy our time swinging hips.

  • You are my Eden. I’ve never seen nothing more wonderful!

I jump off a sudden appearance of Eirikrinns voice and face him. He stands under the tree and leanst his back against its trunk. Lots of loud happy cheers appear greeting him or maybe in agreement with his words. Lots of creatures make slight nods. Hm, he is famous. It alarms me and makes me want to observe. But probably not a lord. Greeting is a bit too casual. My heart starts to calm, but in some deeper corner of my heart doubt still lingers.

  • You were stunning, Sunshine. Will you dance tonight for me?

His eyes shine and husky voice doesn’t hide his arousal.

  • You already saw me dancing. How about dance here and now WITH me?

I ask him, turning my head a bit to the side and playing with my hair. His eyes stalk my every move. I bite my lower lip and hope he will accept my public proposal. Crowd erupts in cheers once more. They support my offer. I smile and stretch out my hand to him. Guitars start to play. Eirikrinn laughs and shakes his head. Hey?! 

  • This is a woman dance. 

He says gently. I blush. I am not from this land and seams like some things are a bit different.

  • How about another dance?
  • Why do I feel I will have to keep up with you, Sunshine?

Now we both laugh, lightening mood. I flatten some energetic rhythm with my palms. Mens with guitars quickly catch it and improvise. They are GOOD! I straighten my spine and start to dance with quick feet moves my side forward. First of all almost in place. A bit later, at a slower pace toward Eirikrinn. Eirik catches my wrist when I pass by him in dancing steps and pulls me closer to him. I enjoy his embrace and hot dark eyes laid on me and only me. We don’t see the crowd. I try to leave his hold, but each time he catches me firmly in a more passionate way. We make lots of sharp unexpected quick moves. Gathered bigger crowd cheers louder and louder. But our eyes are laid on each other. His masculinity, this his new demanding posture turns me one. He spins me several times on my axis and lets me fell. To my surprise he catches me with one hand under my neck and head inch from the ground. Energetic rhythm raised our breaths, but now it quickens even more. So as a heat from our cold bodies. His one hand holds almost my whole weight. I feel lust in his deep darkened gaze. Music stops and he kisses me. Kiss is not tender. It’s a pure demanding passion. I’m stunned. 

  • Sunshine?..

He whispers, brushing his lips into mine.

  • Mmm?
  • What is there?

He speaks into my lips. I chuckle and take out pomegranate.

  • Of all things here you chose to buy it?!
  • No. They gave it to me and I accepted. This fruit just looked too perfect to refuse.

He chuckles hugging my waist.

  • You have definitely got their blessing, Sunshine. It’s a symbol of peace, love and fertility. It’s the best gift a woman can give to her chosen one.

Continue reading chapter 24