*** EIRIKRINN’S POV ***
- Stop! Stop it!
My eyes widen. She doesn’t stop and darts dagger deepier time by time into our tree. I catch her wrist and hold stopping her madness. What happened? What did I say? She screams Richard’s name. How does she know him?! I try to calm her. I hug her. She is scared and angry. Very angry. Her body trembles. It’s nothing like her nightmares.
- Sunshine, I am here.
She screams of all her lungs and tries to break out of my hold. I don’t recognize her beautiful voice. It has changed. Sounds like she loses her heart. I am scared. For the second time in my life I am scared. For her. Both times for her.
She drags herself out of my embrace and runs.
I follow her through the halls. After one more corner I find her. She lays on the light marble stone floor. She looks like an angel kicked out from the tower. Her dress is red around her body. She is pale again. Her skin is glowing. She has lots of tattoos all over her body. Most of them I’ve never seen before.
- Sunshine, are you all right?!
I kneel and lean over to check on her, but have been burned. She is hot as a fire. I can’t touch her.
- Speak to me. Sunshine, please.
She doesn’t respond. Actually she doesn’t react at all. What? Why? How? Lots of questions spins in my head. She doesn’t answer them. She lays here on the floor and I am helpless on my knees beside her.
- Hell! Talk to me. Talk to me..
I plead with her. Finally she stops glowing. I try to reach her again. Has she a fever?! How is THAT possible? We are vampires and that’s the human body’s reaction. Is she?.. Who is she? Drops of water appear on her skin and forehead. She is faded. I check for any damage, but she hasn’t any. That’s good. She will recover soon. I exhale the breath I was holding. I guess it’s a relief.
- Let’s make you comfortable.
I take her unconscious body into my hands and carry her into my bedchambers. She is light, weights almost nothing. Even like this she is gorgeous. I smile.
I put her onto bed. Kiss her temple. Servants help me with everything I need. I want to look after her. No one will touch her. No one will harm her.
- Sunshine, who made this kind of life for you?!
I agree with her. Only some kind of beasts could have created life like this for her. She doesn’t feel safe at night neither in her dreams. If she ever shares her secrets with me, I will personally hunt them down. I will protect her with my life.
- Eirikrinn, seems you were right. Our men brought news from Gharnatah. Black princess is here.
Porir approaches me. I let out a long breath.
- Where exactly does she hide?
- Exact place remains unknown.
F*ck that slippery hideous woman! I grit my teeth. My fist hits the wall. At least I was right. She came to our polis. Sunshine mentioned it to me as well.
- Send our native men to the polis. They have connections, can work more delicately. We don’t want to scare her away.
He nods and leaves us alone. I look at my Sunshine, still unconscious. Why are you not her? I want YOU next to me as equal. But you are no princess. Your blood can’t make my weak and dying bloodline stronger. Without her we won’t survive.
I kiss Sunshine’s temple. You are no princess, but still so perfect. Unfortunately I can’t take you as my bride and, worst, you will never agree to be anything less.
I flew on the roofs and make a long run jumping and leaving lots of roofs behind. I need to release my anger and disappointment. If this doesn’t help, I am off for hunting. I am stronger than any of my men. I have power only rares have. I am the true son of the king. And still I am trapped by fate.
*** MILLENNIA’S POV ***
I open my eyes and look around. I am in bedchambers. Eirikrinn sleeps next to me. His not very comfortable pose exposes that he felt asleep without planning to do so. He is so handsome though it is visible he is tired. With a light touch I stroke his hair, carefully, trying not to wake him. He smiles and flicks his gorgeous eyes open.
- You awake!
He kisses my temple and lips. I feel like the water in a desert. He drinks me.
- I am. What has happened?
- I found you in a hall on the floor. You fadet.
- Did I?
I burrow my eyebrows. He looks at me confused. Memories flow back to me. We were in the bonding hall. He is a prince. Other bloodline. Then this vision. And tree. Falling blooms. Enchanted dagger. My dagger in the tree.. And nothing more, till this moment I opened my eyes.
- How do you know Richard?
He blows me with this question.
- Do you know him?!
- Stop forwarding questions, Sunshine.
I am not ready to share this part of my life with him. It’s still an open wound.
- Are you.. I know it will sound strange. Are you some kind of witch?
I can’t hold my laugh. I shake my head.
- But you have those rings. One of them belongs to Richard. Did he give you?
I look at them and exhale shaky.
- It’s my sorrow.
To my surprise he mirrors my emotion.
- And tattoos? Your whole body is in them!
- You saw them?
- I noticed them earlier and enjoyed their lines, but I have never seen so many on your body.
- I was born this way. I suppose my skin is a book and tattoos tell a story. They appear and disappear by themselves. I don’t control them.
I feel vulnerable sharing such a personal thing, but I don’t want more secrets between us. Somehow I trust him. More and more. It’s dangerous. He is not one of my people. My heart pounds harder under this thought.
- My eagle.. You have it too!
- It appeared when I fed you my blood..
- ..and saved my life.
I nod and shyly smile. My gilt is back. He is a prince. Prince of the other bloodline and I have shared my blood with him. What will happen now?
- How do you know Richard? You live far away from each other.
- I met him only once. When I was young. He was visiting my mother. They were good friends and relatives.
Relatives.. How many stones of gilt I can carry? Eagle on my skin starts to glow and burns my skin wider.
I hiss in sudden pain.
Eagle grows bigger wings. And there is lilly. Richard, what do you try to say? I have a feeling he has me forgiven after saving Eirikrinn’s life. Now he guides me. I am just not able yet fully to understand.
Continue reading chapter 26