Chapter Five - Soap and Scents

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"Would you quit staring at it like a blithering idiot and just walk inside already? It's freezing out here."

I shot Jace a glare.

We walked under the open gate and into a hallway where a man in a tux was waiting for us. He was a lanky man, tall and thin. Old enough to be my grandfather as well.

"May I take your coat, madam," he asked, approaching me.

I looked at Adam, who stood next to me, as I took off my coat and scarf and handed it to the old man.

"Thank you," he said taking them.

Jace handed him his coat as well and left us, walking down the hallway towards two huge, oak doors. As he opened one of them, I could see an illuminated stone courtyard on the other side.

"Come with me," Adam said to me as the old man took his coat.

I followed him down the dimly lit hallway. Three small chandeliers hung over our heads and reflected light off of the marble flooring beneath them. The walls were a glossy stained wood, each side decorated with wide, elaborate tapestries.

I followed Adam towards the oak doors, but he took a turn at the end of the hallway down a set of stairs that I hadn't noticed before.

"Where are we going?" I asked.

"It's almost two in the morning, are you not tired?" He asked.

As soon as he said the word, I felt it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was tired. In fact, I was exhausted.

He didn't say anything as we came to the bottom of the staircase and to a threshold for a very large corridor.

The ceilings must have been one-hundred feet high. They were painted too, but I couldn't tell what of because of the lack of light coming from the three unbelievably large chandeliers that trailed along the ceiling towards the other end of the room.

A few dozen windows lined the walls on each side, all of them stretched from the hardwood floor almost to the ceiling.

There were large paintings in between the windows. Their depictions were unclear as well.

The corridor, painted a soft blue, seemed to stretch on for days before we finally reached the dark doors on the other side.

Wordlessly, Adam opened one of the doors and held it for me as I passed through.

We entered into a circular foyer that had a large staircase crawling up one wall and multiple doorways into other rooms attached to it.

"Are you coming?"

I looked over to see Adam already on the staircase, waiting for me to follow him. I placed my hand on the wide, marble railing as we ascended the stairs and I wondered where on earth he got the kind of money needed to live in a place like this. The molding on the walls was lined in gold, for God's sake.

By the time we had reached the top of the staircase, I was trying not to seem as out of breath as I really was. Adam led me through another set of double doors and down several more hallways.

"I'll never remember my way around this place," I said as we turned another corner.

Adam spoke as he continued walking. "If you place your hand on the left side of the hallway and follow it, you'll reach a staircase that will lead you out of this floor."

"Exactly how many floors are there?" I asked.

"It depends on where you are in the castle, but here, in the main section where we stand, there are six."

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