Queen Of Nothing Chapter 20

20 Chapter 20: Arabella

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My head was throbbing. Almost as if war drums were ringing in my ears. And my mouth, my mouth felt like it was full of sand. I tried blinking open my eyes but the light was assaulting, almost like a physical blow to my head and I couldn't stop the pained groan that escaped my chapped lips.

Instantly a comforting warmth wrapped around my hand and a flood of emotion came with it. "Drake..."

"I'm here, Your Highness." He said softly.

I blinked my eyes open slowly, painfully, taking in my fuzzy purple bed chamber and a blur of handsome features with bright, concerned amber eyes. "How long?"

"Three day." He said softly. "The healers... they all but gave up."


He made a sound that almost sounded like a choked sob and it absolutely broke my heart. "I'm sorry, Princess. I should have protected you. Should have stopped..."

"Drake..." I said reaching up laying my fingers gently against his cheek. "There was nothing you could do. He... his magic made me feel like my body was boiling from the inside out. I won't let him to that to my people. Or to you."

Without saying anything he leaned down pressing his lips against mine in a fast, greedy kiss that left me panting for breath and wanting more. "What can I get you?"
for visiting.

I smirked at him and he shook his head with a small chuckle. "Water."

He nodded at turned to a pitcher on my dresser poring water into a crystal glass. "I didn't know you spoke the old tongue."

I nodded though his back was too me. "My grandmother thought me. She learned from her husband. Blake was a Claireness... of Sky's Reach. Since they manage the Temple of the Seven, they all must learn. Grandmother was just.. curious, I guess?" I shrugged. "Rin and I both learned from her. We'd use it was a secret langue when we wanted to talk about the nobles. Drove mother crazy."

He smiled has he handed me the glass. "Sounds wonderful. So, they sent him to you? So that you could escape?"

"I believe so. But they thought Rin dead..."

He nodded silently and sat on the edge of my bed as I drank it down. The coolness was refreshing and welcome but did little to numb the pounding in my head. I laid back against the pillows closing my eyes hoping that the shadow of my eyelids would help to numb the ache but I found no relief and even less when when Sir Ramneal asked, "who is Isaak?" There was a hardness to his voice. Almost as if he might have been jealous.

I couldn't help the small chuckle that slipped past my lips. His eyes widened and I laughed louder all while he glared at me. "Isaak Crawford... he's my brother's lover."

Sir Ramneal nodded once. Twice. Then he looked at me like I has sprouted another head. "The young prince has a lover?" I nodded. "And yet you do not?"

I grabbed a pillow and chucked it at him but he dodged it easily. "I am not allowed to be as free with my affections as he is. Being that I will probably be sold to the highest bidder who can give Morea a brighter future." Not to mention the fact that I had yet to find any of the men my age more interesting than my books. They were all... well, not for me.

He laughed, a smile lighting up his handsome face. "Of course, Your Highness."

"I honestly expected you to be more... uncomfortable with them being together." I shrugged.

He turned his body so that he was facing me directly. "Why? Because they are both male? While I agree it is not... a public thing in Althea many nobles took men to their beds more often than their wives. And you forget, I'm half Tanberunian. Where court parties often end in couples of all makes ending the night... uh publicly."

I nodded. I knew exactly how Tanberun was. If Moreans were free with love, Tanberunians chucked it at passers by whether they wanted it or not. Everything about Tanberun was rather loose... the way they wore their hair, the style of the clothing, and more importantly, their morals. But we weren't truly debating Tanberunian debacles, we were discussing what had happened in the arena. "Someone is coming to my prayer garden on the next full moon. There we will discuss our options.... Drake, tell me honestly, did you know there was a rebellion?"

"No." He answered firmly and instantly. "It seems my king is keeping secrets from the both of us."

I brought my knees up, curling my arms around them. "We will know more soon enough."

He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me against his chest. He stroked his hand gently up and down my back, granting me warmth and comfort. Together we laid back against the pillows and his lips found mine in the sweetest kiss there ever was. "I was terrified,

Arabella. I thought I'd lost you." His arms tightened around me. "After you killed that man... I didn't recognize you. You were..."

"I know." I said laying my head on his chest. "I wasn't me. I felt the words leave my lips, felt myself move, cast... but it wasn't me. It was like my magic or something took me over."

"Well, whatever it was terrified my king. He's been holed up in his rooms since leaving the arena. And your people... well, let's just say your rebellion has most like gotten a flock of new followers."

I smiled softly to myself. While I was glad to know that the people were willing to fight back, what could a merchant really do against Althean Elite guards? But if Isaak was leading them... perhaps he's not the only knight? What of the military stationed outside of the crown city? Surely they could help... though marching them here would take months. And those on the islands... well, I didn't know how accessible ships were with an invader on the throne.

Drake's hands in my hair pulled me from my from my musing. "Where did you go?"

"Just thinking about..." I pushed up on my arms so that I could meet his beautiful amber eyes. "You know what?" He just smiled lazily. "I rather think I'm done thinking."

With a soft chuckle he pushed up so that his lips met mine. His warm flooded through me faster than any hot bath or fire spell ever could. It was dizzying, intoxicating. Nothing had ever had quite the effect on me that this man did. Nothing ever burned as hot or tasted as sweet. He was everything and that scared me. Because with rebellion at the gates it wouldn't be long before he was taken away from me.

I never understood my brother before. The way he could stare at Isaak for hours on end wearing a stupid grin. The way he laughed at nearly everything the man said or how he followed him nearly every where he went. I never understood how Isaak could be so tolerant of Byrin interrupting his work. How he could easily give up promotions in order to stay close to the city. How either of them could handle the court gossip that followed them like a shadow every where they went...

I never could.

But now I did.

Because like them, I would give up nearly anything for this man.

I'd follow him through all seven hells.

He felt the same.

This was... love.

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