Chapter 14

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The two men sat in a heavy silence while they stared into the flames of the fire, nursing their drinks. For a while the only sounds that filled the room was the crackling of the fire, their steady breathing and their glasses moving up and down. Adrian tipped back his glass and finished it in one swallow and then poured himself another. "I had asked her when I left if she was going to be alright, that we would talk about it later, but I should have known she was just trying to tough it out," Adrian finished with a sigh of irritation for himself. Sebastian shut his eyes at the thought of Cinder's heart-breaking crying she had gone through earlier with Sean. He could see no solution to the problem and his heart was in pain for his Bondmate.

"Is that what would be required of me, if I became a King?" Sebastian asked Adrian. Adrian looked from the fire to Sebastian whose face was partially lit up by the dancing flames. "Normally, yes," he answered him. He wasn't going to hide the truth from Sebastian. The two men had grown close over the last few months and Adrian finally felt like he had a close male friend and confidant. It was a new experience for them both having a close male friend that had so many similarities. Sebastian had had Garret but Garret had been a witch and had still struggled with the prejudices before. Adrian had had some close male friendships through the years but none had been as close to him as Sebastian or understood Adrian's perspective as well as Sebastian did. It was a deep bond of friendship that could last a lifetime, almost like brothers in comradery. "Normally, but required?" Sebastian asked again. "As a King Alpha you can make your own rules for your kingdom as you like but you must take into consideration what your people expect of you as well. I supposed if you start your Kingdom out differently, nothing different would be expected of you.

"So, did our assassin friend take your head off when you entered her room?" Adrian chuckled at the thought, taking another drink from his glass. Sebastian hadn't been in the room when Sean's past had been revealed and he was caught off guard. The thought of Cinder lying in the arms of an assassin made him ill at ease. Adrian could see Sebastian's alarm and his thoughts turn to Cinder in the man's arms, when Sebastian looked over at the hidden door. Sebastian looked back to Adrian who was waiting for an answer, "He was fully alert and by the look in his eye, when I first spotted them, I would have been dead before I knew what had happened, had he wished it." Just speaking that truth aloud made the hairs on the back of Sebastian's neck stand up on end again. It made sense why the predatory look of Sean had pulled such a response from him the first time as well, his senses telling him more than his mind even knew; the truth about just how deadly that look had been, when they had locked eyes in the beginning.

Adrian nodded, smiling at he thought. Sebastian couldn't understand Adrian's ease with Sean's past. "How are you so comfortable with knowing that Cinder is in the arms of an assassin right now?" he asked Adrian. "Because, Sebastian, there is no safer place for her to be. Sean is fully committed to keeping her safe and by the look that Cinder gave me into his mind, he would never hurt or betray her or this Kingdom. I trust the man and his dark past only serves to keep Cinder that much safer now. He would give his life for her in a heartbeat if that is what it took but his unbelievable skill level would be a hard one to top for any attacker. They have grown close which is just as well." Sebastian had been picking up on the growing intensity of Sean and Cinder's relationship as well and was glad he wasn't making it up in his own mind; if Adrian could see it as well, then he knew it wasn't just him.

"And you're also ok with that?" Sebastian asked Adrian. Sebastian no longer felt threatened by the idea of Cinder loving others in her life after their experience with Garret, but he still felt unsettled with the idea of Sean being an assassin in his previous life. Adrian chuckled, "Usually you're the one giving me speeches about being ok with Cinder's choices." Sebastian met his gaze with an ironic smile and laughed a little also. "Yes, I guess I usually am. It's just that he was an assassin, that seems to be disturbing me. I was picking up on their intensity but dismissed it before you mentioned it. So, you believe it's an alright thing?" Both men drug their eyes from the fire to look at one another, the flames dancing over their faces and reflecting eerily on their wolf eyes.

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