CHAPTER 23

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"I won't tolerate your behavior anymore Saya. Leaving the castle without telling me has crossed the line," Xerxes says, a frown on his face.

"Yes My Lord," she replies nonchalantly sitting on the bed.

"I'll be sleeping on the bed as well"

"Yes My Lord," she repeats, with the same expressionless face. She is doing it again, the same way she behaved after the cold room incident.

"Saya, I am sorry," he says after a sigh.

"You shouldn't apologize. You see me as a whore, and chased away my family. I have no control over that."

"My anger got the best of me...again. I am trying Saya"

"But how would you even conceive of the idea that I would sleep with another man? Do you think giving you my first meant nothing?"

Xerxes squats down in front of her so that they're on eye level.

"I know you don't trust and care about me, but a whore?" Saya fights back her tears.

"You're not a whore Saya. I wasn't thinking straight, and I do care about you, you know that. That's why I didn't touch you and didn't sleep with you." Xerxes bows his head, his forehead resting on her knee.

"I'm sorry," he says again. Saya looks down at him, a tear leaving her eye. She raises her hand to touch him but hesitates. This man has hurt her so many times and all he does is apologize every single time. She does not want to forgive him, but she already had. She cares too much for him to stay angry. She gently puts her hand on his head, running her hand through his black hair. Xerxes looks up at Saya who gives him a tight smile.

"You forgive me?"

She nods cupping his cheek pulling him in for a kiss. He responds, kissing her passionately, his chest feeling light again. He stands putting his hands on either side of her. He kisses her cheek and then her forehead. Saya smiles brightly, happy that they've made up.

"Why did you leave the castle when you know you're a target for the resistance?" his eyes still on her.

"There was nothing else for me to do, and I really wanted to see the kingdom's capital. My Lord, I met this woman whose husband died, she is raising a young boy by herself and her items aren't selling because she's a woman. I...I told her that her items together with those of the other women in similar situations will be the suppliers of the castle instead." She looks up at Xerxes but he's just staring at her.

"You're not upset?"

He shakes his head still looking at her. She smiles, putting her arms around his neck.

"Thank you, My Lord. But why were you so upset when I just wanted to thank your brother?"

Xerxes frowns and looks away. She turns his face back to her, "Answer me...please," but he doesn't say anything.

She then bursts out laughing, the king frowning in confusion.

"What amuses you?"

She calms down and looks up at him, "Don't tell me you were jealous." He groans and tries to stand straight but Saya tightens her grip around his neck. "You don't want to admit it?" she asks, amused.

He removes her arms from around his neck and straightens himself, turning around he heads towards the door. Saya gets up immediately and hugs him from behind, stopping him in his tracks.

"Whether you're jealous, or... insecure, whatever it is, I just want you to know that I'll only want you" she smiles, inhaling his scent. Xerxes turns around and captures her lips, lifting her off the floor. She wraps her legs around his waist and kisses him back. He moves towards the bed and drops her gently on it, his mouth not leaving hers. He wants her...and he wants her now.

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