2.7K 139 31

Liliana glances up at the figure and her eyes widened in shock. He was dressed in his satin nightshirt, and while he appeared somewhat groggy his sword was withdrawn and flat against her neck. Liliana pulls back her hood and he gasps lightly in shock.

"Liliana?" Aleric asks as he lowers his sword. "We've got to stop meeting like this," Liliana notes lightly, still shivering.

"What are you doing?" he asks, slightly wary still. Liliana untenses slightly as she steps away from the horse.

"The Fourth Prince had his Royal Guard come to my house tonight," Liliana states, watching his black eyes widen."I bet they want me for treason, because there's no good reason the police visit you when it's dark out," she reasons. 

Aleric's face hardens. "How long ago was that?"

"I don't know, but I walked here from my manor, so probably around six hours," Liliana estimates as he shakes his head in shame. 

"They're probably searching the town all over for you now. Daybreak isn't too long from now..."

"Sadly," Liliana sighs as she runs her fingers through her hair. Why had she denied the Fourth Prince so many times? In all the novels she had listened to, the 'hard-to-get-girl' was always the one who won in the end; now, Liliana isn't so sure. 

"I...I don't know what to do anymore," she finally admits aloud. Everything had been falling apart around her and spiraled out of control.

I'm going to fail my mission. What will happen to me? Will I die? Will I have to do this all again? Will I-

"Come back home with me."

"What?" Liliana glances back up to see Aleric have a determined expression settle onto his face.

"Come with me," he offers again. "My men and I have no more business to do in this land, and we were planning on leaving soon, anyway. You can readily escape-"

"Is this just a ploy to marry me, then?" Liliana asks as she crosses her arms. He arches a brow. "Whatever would make you think that?"

Liliana rolls her eyes. "First of all, you've proposed to me, multiple times I must add. Then, if I was to go off with you, you'll get me secluded in your fancy estate and then you'll weasel into my thoughts and make me fall for your cheap gimmicks."

"Trust me, you would've already fallen for me by now if that was my plan," he barks out a laugh. "My proposal still stands, but this offer is more important because your life is at stake." Aleric frowns slightly. "In the small time we've gotten to know each other, I've come to... value your life." 

Liliana flushes at this comment. 

"And, I promise that you don't have to marry me at all. All you have to do is say 'yes' and we can be on our merry way." He stares intently at her arctic eyes, hoping she'll agree.

Liliana's gaze scours his features for anything telling he's lying but she saw nothing. Did she really have a choice anymore? Maybe if she meets up with some of the escaped Royals from the palace she can marry them in the countryside and still get all of the points...

"Fine, it's a deal." Liliana offers her hand forward and he quickly shakes it.

"Hide here, I'll be back in five minutes with my men," he informs as he looks her up and down. "We'll give you a spare red cloak to disguise yourself. Can you ride by yourself other than side-saddle? If you can't, then you can ride with me."

"I can ride plenty fine, I don't like doing side-saddle," Liliana responds, rubbing her arms up and down to fight the growing numbness. 

"Perfect, you can take the spare horse." Aleric nods towards a pure white horse that seems to be glaring in hatred at Liliana.

VillainessRead this story for FREE!