Chapter 2: Farewells✔️

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My previous cover made by the lovely @paigevigneault3

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My previous cover made by the lovely @paigevigneault3

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A bow,

not deep and sweeping, but short and stiff. It says he is an important person, but all I see is his eyes, his eyes that seem to undress me as I perform a graceful curtesy.

I am not altogether an elegant lady, but I still have these basic techniques mastered.

His hand stretches out, a practiced gesture, something for the eyes of my family, for the people, but I've heard the whispers. I know how he really treats women.

Turning my head to avoid his glaring gaze, to avoid his waiting hand. I look to Torin. His jaw is clenched tight. He wants to beat this prince to a pulp.

I want to let him, if not for myself then for our lands and the people who live in them.

My father's eyes meet mine in the next moment, urging me to take his hand.

I concede.

Fingers latch onto mine, cold and calculating. Lips press to my knuckles and I want to crawl out of my skin at the feeling it brings me.

I let myself be lead away. I let him open the carriage door for me, still putting on a show. I feel like an exhibit the way eyes are burning my flesh.

His seat is across from my own. We don't touch. We don't talk.

But as the carriage reaches its destination I hear his voice for the first time this night. "Behave."

As if I were an uncultured vagrant.

My eyes look to his, golden crystalline ice meeting obsidian. "I won't have you speak to me like that." I can feel the points of my ears heat at my bravado. I can feel the magyk in my system unfurling its wings, waiting for my direction to fly.

I push it back as his face closes in on me. His eyes angry, his power much more than mine. "Do not presume to back-talk me, imp."

The first insult of the night. A direct hit to my height; I may be lithe, but my short stature and slightly curvaceous figure is non characteristic of the elven people, especially high born. 

I keep my mouth shut this time, even though it pains me, because I know he has power behind him now. A power that, even tucked away as mine is, could implode and break me at the slightest drop.

Our carriage comes to a stop. He is the gentleman now. Holding out his cold hand, curling his fingers around my bare waist as we are announced.

He's letting everyone know I'm his. He's letting them know not to touch me. I suck in my cheeks and bite back my words of protest for a good portion of the night.

He doesn't ask me to dance and I'm alone now, sequestered away from everyone, abandoned. The enjoyment I usually partake in is now off limits. I won't be dancing with other men if I am bound to this lecherous fiend, but he will have his fun. He will have his haram of women to entertain himself with, if the rumors are true.

My brothers are here, but they don't attempt to approach me. They are all turncoats, every one of them, to abandon their own flesh and blood in my time of need.

Even Torin is unable to keep my gaze. He's looking at everyone but me. Betrayal burns through my throat and waters my eyes.

My eldest brother has never turned his back on me before. This is what the prince has brought us to. This is what I will be signing up for, a life of solitude at the beck and call of a high fae male, nothing more than a common harlot.

I try my best to ignore the voices, the whispers, all speaking of me, of my not so distant future with the prince of all these lands, but it is hard to block them out and so I have slowly made myself accustomed to a small corner of the large banquet hall, almost out of view, but not quite, when a voice startles me.

"Enjoying yourself?" My body becomes taut with anxiety before I realize exactly whose voice is now in my ear, caressing and smooth.

"You shouldn't be here." Soft whispers tossed into the rapidly closing space between us.

A glass of wine appears in my hand.
Red.
This male knows me.

I smile his way. "Are you not afraid?"

"Not for myself, only for you, my love."

My heart smiles at his endearment.

I sip my wine and try to avoid the keen eyes of Cyran. I can feel his gaze dissecting me, dissecting the situation.

Gentle fingers tuck loose tendrils of hair behind sensitive ears, caressing the tips. Shivers run the length of my body.

"You shouldn't do that." He may be unafraid, but I am scared for him now. He is too familiar with me, too familiar with the prince's new possession.

"Is it only should nots and do nots this evening?" Soft touches to my waist. I have to gulp my wine in an attempt to numb myself of the feelings that threaten to consume me.

"Lorys, you know what would happen to you. The unspeakable things they would do to you if they even had an inkling..." My words dissipate into nothing when he pulls me behind the pillar I have been so casually leaning against.

Lush lips meet mine in a crazed moment of unhinged passion. I shouldn't.. But I let him have this last moment. I let myself enjoy the last kiss we will ever have.

He doesn't forget to indulge my ears. He doesn't forget to caress them lovingly, to rub me into a frenzy with the pleasure it gives me.

Lips pull away to press to the tips. "I will miss our time together, love."  A farewell to a lover, a friend.

"And I."

And then he's gone, my wine glass now empty. I can only hope that no eyes bared witness to us.

⚜️⚜️⚜️

I'm slightly drunk when Cyron decides to grace me with his presence again.

"Gilryn." Displeasure is evident in his sharp voice.

"Cyron." Equal disdain laces mine.

"Have you enjoyed yourself?" Knowing eyes are beading into me. Cold digits clamp onto my forearm.

I make no response to this tyrant and he continues to pull me to the side, behind the very pillar I was behind just moments before. 

My back is pressed to it. His lips are closing in on mine, his power holding me in place for the decent of his mouth.

Even his lips are cold. They press to mine in a harsh semblance of a kiss.  I can't even shake him off. I don't have the power to match his.

It ends almost as soon as it began and I can only be thankful that my ears remain untouched by those cruel and freezing fingers of his.

"Do not dare to mock me again, Gilryn." I can only nod my acceptance and then we are off to the dance floor.

He hooks his body close to mine before twirling me about in my agonized and nervous state.

All eyes are on us, my brothers' included and I am only just beginning to realize everything and everyone I will be forced to part with when this night is over.

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