8. Proposition

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*Alices POV*

I sat on the cold cobble floor in a corner, hugging my legs and burying my head.

For once it felt good being stuck in my small room. For once it felt safer here. For once I enjoyed being locked away from the world, yet I still wanted to be as far away from here as possible.

I knew he was horrible. I knew he was heartless. I knew he had not a single hint of empathy in him. But those few seconds of relaxation and kindness in his gestures made me believe.

They made me believe that he was good. That even he could be good.

Never have I been so wrong.

I hugged my legs tighter.

I was wrong. I falsely saw the good in someone bad. He was mad, to the point where the word evil is suitable.

I missed my mother, and my father, and my brother. I missed home. I didnt want this to go on. I hated it. My ankle hurt. I must've twisted it, while being dragged up the stairs.

My eyes stung, from all the crying.

I hadn't been here for even a week and I would have given anything to leave this place, to run away and to never look back.

I didn't have much time to ponder about this, because just a few hours later two guards came into my prison with the orders for me to follow them to go see the King.

It had only been a few hours. If he hated me so much he should at least leave me be. Leave me to rot away here by myself.

I didn't move or even react when the knights told me. If they were going to take me to him they would have to drag me.

"Lady Alice, why must I repeat myself? We have direct orders from the King to take you to see him."

Were all the female prisoners in Walzenor titled as a lady? Why bother.

Still not moving the guard who had spoken sighed, and started taking steps towards me. I was janked up and pulled into the direction of darkness itself.

I was forcefully seated at the same long table as just a few days ago. I never dared looking around but I could feel the threatening presence sitting next to me once again.

There was a long pause, no one spoke and I kept my head bent downwards as low as I could, trying not to think of earlier.

"I have a proposal..." the Crimson King speaks.

I don't move a single muscle while he does.

I dwell on asking him what he means but then again I wasn't asked.

„ Look at me when I speak."

He can't be serious. Can't I at least choose where to look? I don't compel but not because I wanted to anger him but because I do not want to look this horrible man in the eyes.

"Alice...," he was getting impatient, there being a hint of a threat in his voice.

„Im so sick of this," I mumble without thinking.

„Speak up." I heard him leaning in closer, seemingly surprised by me speaking.

Suddenly I turned angry. Very angry. All of the frustration and loneliness was pouring out of me right here and now.

I blurt out,"I'm so sick and tired of this. Im already doing as you say. I know you don't want me as your soulmate but I don't want you either! You aren't even trying to be kind! I doubt you even ca-"

There is a loud bang, shaking me out of the beginning of my rant. The Kings fist had hit the table. I look at him in shock. His brows where narrowed down, and his jaw tightened.


I shouldn't have said anything. He's mad now. I quickly avert my eyes and stare back down on my lap, beginning to shake once again. Why the hell did I do that?!

"You fear me,"
His voice was calmer than his expression just now.

"And you should."

I let out a quiet breath reflecting the threat. "Which is why I have a proposition. I know you're hiding something. I can feel it, and our family is infamous for feeling when something is off."

He leaned back into his chair, supported his elbows on the armrests and folded his hands in front of his face letting his chin rest on them.

My eyes flicker to his. He knows something. What do I do?
My heartbeat is racing and I feel like my breathing is the only sound in the room.

I swallow hoping he didn't see it. I could feel sweat droplets forming on my forehead.

„But we bear the same tattoo, this being the only reason you still breath, Lyrian. I don't trust you. And I never will. But the tattoo means something, I used to believe in it actually."

He sighed.

"So I will give you a chance. Tell me. Here and now."

My lip started to quiver. I'm going to die if I tell him that I'm the daughter of his biggest enemy. Not only that but in the worst case he might use me to try to kill my father first.

But if he knows already, might he be testing me? I avoid looking in his direction.

"Tell me what agreement you and the King had made."

Agreement? His eyes turn even more serious than usual.

"I will not punish or hurt you, as long as you tell me what the King told you. I know that you're hiding something, and why else would the King bring you here for nothing in return unless the two of you had some sort of plan."

I open my mouth but no words come out. I shake my head. He thinks I'm plotting something? I'm his soulmate!

"I-I- The King and I haven't plotted anything." I stammer quietly and then finally meet his gaze.

"King Artus believes in the soulmate system, and so did I. Which is why he thought it was right to send me here."

The Crimson King stares at me,judging me.

"So you do know him...,"

"No, well yes we met shortly he told me it was important to travel to Walzenor to meet my soulmate, no matter who it is," I say the last part quietly.

"So you're meaning to tell me," his voice turned louder. "That you met the King personally only to have him tell you to come to Walzenor?"

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