Chapter 5: Part 2

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One part of my problem was that I couldn't sleep. It had been hours since Liam left and I had tossed and turned in bed since then. Every single time I tried to close my eyes and relax, I would have horrible visions that involved Robert and my dad. They had both been victims of painful murder attempts and although one of them had survived, it didn't help that my mind like to recreate the scene, to imagine vividly all that he had been through. And since I didn't particularly enjoy all the blood and gore, staying awake was the best option.

I got out of bed with a huff and shrugged on a sweatshirt whose owner will not be mentioned. I didn't know why I clung on to the thing, even though Jasper and I were history but even as I put it on and it swallowed half my frame, I was immediately enveloped in warmth and a rush of memories that I had sworn to put behind me. But on nights like these, where I desperately needed someone to hold me and to tell me that it was all going to be okay, I missed him.

There I admitted it.

Annoyed by the turn of events, I realized that I probably deserved the cake that I had actually asked our cook to make for me. Slipping out of my room, I headed in the direction of the kitchen only to find the door to Robert's room wide-open and bright light spilling outside. Worried, I walked in only to find Robert out on the balcony, looking deep in thought. I was concerned because my brother was never one to be a night owl. Whereas Liam and I always had the tendency to let our partying get out of hand, Robert had been the responsible one. Yes, he indulged a little here and there but he lived his life by a strict order and so to see him at this time, looking so completely lost that it tugged at all my heartstrings.

"You okay?"

He didn't jump which meant that he knew I was there.

"Yeah, just can't sleep."

"Me neither," I added

"Come on out here, I think the fresh air helps."

He patted the space next to him.

"So why haven't you been sleeping?" He asked but kept his gaze straight, watching the subtle movements of the guards during the night. We didn't realize it but like a machine, several cogs of this palace kept working all the time whether we knew about it or not. Someone was always there, always up making sure that we were safe.

It didn't really help me feel safe.

I shrugged. Having already gotten emotional on one brother today, I wasn't in the mood to do that to the other especially since his ordeals seemed much bigger than mine.

"I don't know, I guess it's the change. So much has happened over the last few weeks. Good change." I added quickly seeing the look on his face.

"It doesn't feel real does it? It's almost like something out of a movie, me coming back from the dead."

I placed my hand on his shoulder and squeezed, "It's the best thing that could have ever happened Robert. You don't know how happy we all are to have you back. Happy doesn't even start to cover it."

He held my gaze for a few seconds before looking away. I knew something was weighing him down, had been doing so since the he'd officially been back. Once he had succeeded in removing Cyrus and locating Dad's body the adrenaline seemed to have worn off him and he withdrew into himself. This was the first time I had stumbled upon him at night but even during the days, he seemed quiet and contemplative, lost in his own head.

I wasn't the only person who had picked up on it. I remembered a conversation with Mum that had happened earlier in the day and realized that much as I liked to imagine her as the cold, calculating Queen who didn't have the time to care about her children, she was in fact more in sync with Robert's feelings than I could ever be. 

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