I will come for you soon.
It was a threat wrapped in a promise. A lingering richness of chocolate on my tongue mingled with the memory of blood. When the Prince said ‘I will come for you soon’, he meant, ‘Think of me. Want me. Touch yourself at night imagining what I can do to you.’
‘And when I come for you. . .run, so I may hunt.’
I walked through Prince Renaud’s gardens unescorted, the ghosts of blue and black roses mocking the edges of my vision, an incongruous lavender fragrance invading my nostrils and destroying my attempt to calm my rattled nerves.
This entire evening had been a disaster.
Three weeks ago, the initial domino I’d accidentally knocked over five years prior had finally rippled through and destroyed the set. The Prince of Everenne was awake, and upon waking, he had moved swiftly to crush the centuries-long feud between our Houses, Faronne and Montague.
And as we reeled in shock, he’d done something else.
Staked a claim. On me. The daughter of his House’s enemy.
Tonight, I’d come to him for our first. . .date.
Date seemed too juvenile, too human a word to describe the invisible web Prince Renaud Gauthier was weaving around me.
I felt like I’d just barely escaped with my life—and my virtue. Such as it was.
Numair and Juliette met me in the white courtyard. They wore their off-duty uniforms, unmarked with any insignia to identify our House, if one ignored the fact the clothing was all in a midnight cobalt. Trousers, molded leather chest plate under loose suit jackets, and practical shoes. Of course, visibly bristling with weapons ruined the half-hearted attempt to look like civilians.
Juliette’s expression hardened as soon as she saw my face—and my neck.