Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

This is Toby Harris 

Rye looked over her shoulder to the clock on the nightstand

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Rye looked over her shoulder to the clock on the nightstand.

3:20 A.M

She couldn't sleep. Throwing the covers over, she slipped out of her room and into the quiet halls. She wanted to go to Xavier's room and crawl into his bed, but she was mad at him and her brain was telling her not to go.

As she walked the quiet halls, she noticed the light in Mardick's office was still on. She walked over and knocked gently.

The old man was at his desk hunched over a pile of paper. He looked up and began to rise.

"Please don't bow," Rye said quietly.

"Your grace?" Mardick cleared his throat, "Did you need something?"

Rye sighed as she walked into the office. The whole place was dark, lit only by the lamp at the desk, "May I sit with you for a few minutes? I couldn't sleep."

"Of course," Mardick gestured to the chair in front of him.

"What are you doing up so late?" Rye asked taking a seat.

"I have some work to look over,"

"Do you ever sleep? You're always up."

"No, your grace," Mardick smiled, "I don't sleep."

"Like never?"

"Never."

Rye watched the old man carefully for a few seconds, then looked around the dark room.

"Mardick? Are you..." She didn't know how to finish.

"A vampire?" Mardick asked.

Rye nodded.

"Yes, your grace."

Rye's eyes grew wide, "What! Shut up! Why didn't you tell me?"

Mardick chuckled, "I don't go around announcing it to the world."

"How old are you?"

"Older than the king. I've served his father and watched him grow up."

Rye smiled, "What was he like?"

"The king?" Mardick took off his glasses and leaned back in his chair, "He was a good child. Very calm and wise for his age. He didn't like playing with the other children. He would spend most of his time reading or riding horses. He liked being alone."

Rye smiled. She could imagine little Xavier wandering around alone as a broody little boy.

"May I say something, your grace?"

"Only if you stop calling me that,"

Mardick hesitated a few seconds, "Rye...there is a change in the king ever since you have come into his life. He's different...happier. I don't know what is going on with you two...and it is definitely not my place to say anything...but as someone who raised him, I request you to give him some time. You mean the world to him."

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