6. Hunger

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"Yes of course, ask me anything," I smile at her it now being genuine, due to my relaxed state.

"It is true. Our King made that law to keep the people happy. The royal family always believed in the bond. Is it not the same here? Is it normal to be with someone other than a mate?" Curiosity grips me. I shortly contemplate if speaking of the enemy country so lightly could get me in trouble.

"Oh, well here it is the same belief except it is put into a different concept. Most people believe that their soulmate plays an important part in their lives, but this doesn't mean that they are bound to fall in love. They could just be very important to each other, like the missing half, but their heart could still belong to another." Mrs. Jane seems almost proud while telling me this. Her eyes travel in thoughts, while she continues to soak the sponge and squeeze the water out gently over my head, washing out the oils she previously massages into my scalp.

"But it isn't very common, it is more common to marry your bonded, but it isn't forced upon my law. Me and my soulmate have been happily married for 30 years now." She adds. I ignore the urge to argue, wanting to take my father into protection.

Once my hair is dry and me and Mrs Jane finish talking about the different oils she used, she led me back to my room. She opened the door to the dark empty space and I was missing her already. We said our goodbyes and I was once again locked in.

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The King kept his word. I was brought water regularly by servants but no food whatsoever. No word was spoken to me the entire time. My stomach went from grumbling to painfully cramping, I would have eaten a horse if I was the only thing they would give me. My insides where churning and I needed to eat something very badly.

I had no energy left and because there where no windows in my personal prison I didn't even know how many days it had been. I kept seeing dots and having nothing to do didn't help with getting my mind off of it.

I felt nauseous and judging by the regular visits from the servants it must have been the end of the third day. I laid in the uncomfortable bed for most of the time, when suddenly there was a faint knock on the door.

I wasn't sure if I misheard until there was a second light knock. It was Mrs Jane who came tiptoeing into my chambers.

„Hello, Mrs Jane," I tried to smile, unsuccessfully.

„Hello, dear," she said quietly.

I sat um in my bed with all the energy I had left, almost groaning in the process.

Taking another step towards me she spoke, "I have something for you, you must be starved."

She handed me a loaf of bread and my eyes widened. "Thank you, thank you so much, have the three days finally ended?"

"No, not yet they end tomorrow." She strokes a loose strand of her light grey hair behind her ear. Her usual tight bun is already lost a few loose hairs, probably a result of a hard day at work.

I take a big bite out of the bread as she spoke. I don't swallow before asking,"wait, so the King doesn't know?"

She shakes her head lightly throwing a look over her shoulder to the door.

"Won't you be punished?"

"Which is why this will be our little secret, dear. King Theodore would be mad, but there would be no need to worry. We get on quite well." She smiles at me.

This is surprising to me. How could anyone get along with him.

"Tomorrow the King will want to talk to you."

I nod and soon me and what is left of my loaf are alone again.

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Meeting the King came sooner than I had hoped for. That morning I was brought a tray with breakfast and a jug of juice. I savored the flavors but ate hastily.

During my 3 days of hunger I had also been brought more clothing, which I had not had the energy to look at. I now had more undergarments, a few new dresses and a night gown.

I finally had a feeling for the time seeing how I was brought breakfast.

I picked out a light long sleeved floral dress that morning and soon I was picked up by two armored soldiers and brought to the same big oak doors I had run away from just a few days ago.

I shivered at the thought of going in, but before I could gather my strength the door had already been pulled open from the inside. And there he stood staring down at me. His golden crown sitting on his head perfectly.

I looked down and bowed my head lightly.
„Good Morning, your highness," I said carefully.

"Come in," he answered coldly.

I followed him into the dinning hall. I had to speak with him, I know if I wait I'll loose my courage.

"Your highness!" He stops walking.

Shit, ok stay calm.

"I uh, I need to say something and I was hoping you'd hear me out."

He doesn't answer but turns his head over his shoulder to look at me so I go on after taking a deep breath.

„I know I have no right to reject your orders... but I wish to ask for you to wait with taking my virginity."

His eyes widen in surprise but quickly his emotionless expression flickers back into place.

I tremble, maybe this was a mistake, but it's to late now so I'm going to pull through.

„The truth,your highness is, I am scared. I really am. I know we are bonded but I- I - ."
I ball my hands into a fist and stare at the ground waiting for his reaction.

Please let there be good in this man.

He starts towards me and I think of all the possibilities of what he would do now. He could smack me again or have me locked up or he could understand and leave me be. He's very unpredictable and that's what was scaring me the most. I could feel my hands starting to sweat.

He holds my chin up forcefully and looks down at me. I'm scared and I search his blue eyes for an emotion, any emotion telling me what was to come next. He seemed to do the same with mine.

„I didn't ask for you to speak. And I've told you before, if you are my soulmate I will never accept that." His eyes turn darker. "And an order is an order and you are to follow it, I told you before."

I blink, being close to tears.

He lets my face go with a sudden push. „I wasn't trying to take anything away from you. All I wanted was to check if you're hiding another mark," he hisses at me.

Im confused. "Why would I hav-" he shoots me a look making me go silent. Right, he didn't ask for my opinion.

"It doesn't matter now that I have my reassurance," he says thoughtfully rubbing his forehead.

Reassurance? What?

That's when it hit me.

The bath.

Mrs. Jane.

I wasn't being treated I was being checked in a direkt order by the King.

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