Chapter 1~

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POV: Claudia

I watched him from the shadows. My drool worthy mate stands strong in the crowded room of hungry female piranhas. The beautifully tailored clothes secure his strongly built frame. Dark green eyes pierce the soul of his female dance partners. Chiseled sturdy jaw proves to all men and woman he speaks business.

My eyes follow the female's hands down his sturdy appendages, and a boiling rage surges inside my heart. He if could scent me I'd show that female who's ass her fingers are gripping belongs too.

I shake my head at the ridiculous thought of me actually confronting another female. It'd never happen. At least not until after my 18th birthday that is. I'm hoping things change by then.

An appalling mistake nearly eight agonizing years ago, not only turned my life upside down but the whole kingdom as well.

The coldness of the brick wall cools my body down from the burning heat of jealousy. How I crave to feel his callused fingers gracing my smooth skin. At the age of seventeen, my body yearns to feel the warm touch of a males caress. This particular man is dancing and laughing away with a beautiful woman in front of my own eyes.

A single tear escapes, sliding down my cheek before a hand swipes out to catch it. "Go to him Claudia. Tell Caden who you are and how unbelievably remorseful you feel for running off." My brother Taylor whispers into my ear. He has been my rock these wretched years. "He will forgive you in time, and you have to know that." Squeezing my shoulder he gives my head a kiss before turning away, leaving me to my miserable thoughts.

Two years older than I, Taylor protects me from the harshness of our lives. Being born a servant isn't harsh nowadays, but it has its demands.  A kingdom fails if its servants disobey and disrupt the daily routine. 

My family has never felt the harshness of the Kings penalty, but I've seen it happen to others. The criminals get what's coming to them, eye for an eye sort of speaking. It's usually for the wolves who destroy property, steal, harm or disregard any and all orders given by the Royal family. 

We do not have to be servants to the royal family. It's more of a honor. My family has been under the ideal care of the royal family for centuries. Not knowing other jobs, we have no need to leave the castle and seek employment elsewhere.

For the past year, I've had the honor as everyone calls it, of cleaning the Royal wing with my mother and three other women. My mom, I are in charge of cleaning four bedrooms; Prince Caden's, and his three guest rooms. Cleaning Caden's room is the easiest out of all four. He sleeps, showers and changes clothes. No sneaking off with a woman to have a quickie in his room. No that takes place in one of his guest rooms. Breaching those doors, I force myself to become impersonal. If I don't, I break down crying.

The devastation of the rooms tells a story of the heated night two lovers spent touching, kissing and caressing in the throes of passion.

The first time I walked into a room, I broke down sobbing in my mother's arms. We sat for an ungodly amount of time as she coo'd to me. I had heard he spent his nights with women of high ranking, but to see the aftermath of that lovemaking is nothing I could have prepared myself for. My mother had to call upon my father and brother to help with the rooms. Otherwise, we would never have finished them by nightfall.

After that first encounter, I shoved all emotion out the window. A blank slate became my work life. No laughing or telling jokes with my mother. I walked in, cleaned the room, prepared it for the night ahead and left.

That is what my mornings have consisted of. Emptiness.

My afternoons are a bit livelier as I get to hang out with my best friend, Nikolai. Ten wonderful years of friendship has solidified our souls together. There isn't a reason in the world where we will lie to each other. He knows my deadly secret, and I fear for the day he has to stand in front of his Prince and explain his betrayal. I for one am not looking forward to that.

A Servant for a Mate (Book #1 of A Royal Secret Trilogy)✔Read this story for FREE!