In one of Lianne's wanderings around the mansion, she discovered the royal library at the north wing of the second floor. It immediately became her personal favorite place of solace among all of the areas being that she loved to read books. Never was a day that she wasn't holding a book in her hand. However, with such an enormous collection of these inside the library, it was no wonder that her time would be spent with it.
Prince Ruen was sitting at an intricately carved bergère near the library's fireplace when he heard the twisting sound of the doorknob. He didn't mind it though thinking that it was Lord Jared, the majordomo of the mansion, informing him of his rest.
Even though it was a quarter before one in the midnight, sleep was the last thing on his mind as he was engrossed on finalizing a plan for a large vessel to be built upon his father's approval. Blueprints and crumpled papers spread throughout the round glass table. Only the table lamp and the fireplace provided him the needed light, the rest of the library was covered in darkness.
Briefly glancing at the entrance door when it slowly opened, his eyes quickly widened. Lianne stepped inside the room wearing only a night robe to warm her body. He nearly wasn't breathing upon seeing her close the door.
He admitted to himself that he had a glass of wine or two, but this apparition in his front looked more tangible than just a hallucination created by alcohol.
Lianne gasped in surprise the moment she turned around and saw the prince looking at her. " Oh, I thought nobody is inside the library, " she stated in a clipped tone. Her soft voice resounded inside Ruen's head that it hinted him reality. R. e. a. l. i. t. y.
He was as much stunned as she was. Not only that this was their first time meeting inside the library;with such a late an hour, he never expected anyone to come in, all the more her!
Their gaze collided and there was instantly a smoldering flame of anxiety inside Lianne. Those vaguely ethereal brown-green eyes of his made her instantly shiver.
She had been pretty much successful with her plans on avoiding two of her most hated captors for years. Due to this reason, she hadn't exactly detailed Ruen's manly physical features.
On impulse, her eyes scanned him from head to foot, giving him a good appraisal of his looks. He too had grown into a fine man, just like Cain. His brownish black hair was half kept, edgy on the sides. He was wearing a long-sleeved black shirt, the buttons half open in the chest giving off a sexy, dark and brooding aura.
He had the most handsomely attributes of all men she had seen;a symmetrical face with strong pleasing features-a chiseled jaw, a well-defined nose and lips that gravitated towards kissable. He also had a broad back, lean and muscled for a man who was just only twenty-five years old. He was five inches taller than her being that he was six feet in height.
He was an eye-candy to behold, true, but what didn't complement his features was how indifferent he looked. His face nearly showed little to no expression as if he was a mannequin. His dark handsome face made her remember the same man inside her dreams, or rather, her nightmares and it piqued her of the thought.
Lianne blinked thrice. She hadn't realized that her musings of him made her vulnerable momentarily. She gathered her composure back and quickly began to exit the room but was quickly stopped when he commented crisply, " I'd return that book before I leave if I were you. "
He stood up and cruised the room, stopping a few meters away from the princess then leaned onto a shelf, crossing his arms to his chest.
She turned around and stared at him with confusion and doubt. Would it brought any good if she were to listen to him?
" My name is written in that book. See for yourself in the last part of the page, there it is embossed the initials'RWS'. You should have first asked permission before you used it. "
The prince knew that by irritating her he would catch her most precious attention to him. He was aware that she was trying so hard to avoid him even though they were living in the same mansion. Doing the very thing that will irk her would be the only option, and certainly, he was right.
Insulted, Lianne started walking, her feet heavily striding the carpeted floor towards him. She was so angry that she had forgotten how to behave in a courtly way in front of a man.
She even didn't notice that her own robe opened revealing the light yellow nightgown for Ruen to see.
He was grinning arrogantly when she reached an arms-length from him. She immediately slammed the book she was holding heavily onto his chest. He grimaced for a second upon feeling the sore, but it couldn't match how amused he was knowing she was so oblivious of her own inviting exposure.
" I'm sorry for that!I wouldn't have read the book in the first place if I knew you own it!" Lianne irately spoke giving the prince that familiar scornful look. She quickly turned to exit the library but then Ruen imperiously rebuked, " Stop. I did not tell you to leave. "
She hissed disregarding his order, but he speedily grabbed her arm to stop her. The contact of their skin immediately felt like acid to her.
" Unhand me!YO-UR HIGH-NESS!" She spat the designation out of her mouth as if it was poison. She had never addressed him of his title, much more his own name, and Ruen knew it. He knew that this time she was jesting.
" You're too proud to even give me orders. Look at yourself first before doing so. " Ruen gave her a sharp look. " A man such as myself would be more inclined to abide by your order if it would mean to undress you, " he chided, following which his eyes perused admiringly down to where her bosom perched.
Lianne, perplexed, followed his gaze and saw, to her embarrassment, her nightgown exposed and immediately knew what he meant.
" HOW DARE YOU!" the princess shouted in a harsh tone. She quickly pulled her arms out from his grip and firmly plastered the robe into her body to cover her nightgown.
Her distress was very evident. Her face flushed with self-consciousness and embarrassment, but she was still giving him a pointed, incensed look. How could she have been so careless, especially in front of him!
" Why are you looking at me like that?" Ruen arched his brow. " It's not my fault you are wandering around the palace halls wearing only your nightgown!"
His words stabbed her pride perfectly. He was right. What on earth was she even thinking of even going out of her room without any proper clothes on?But, she didn't expect someone like HIM to actually be awake at this time of hour!
" How should I know that such a-" Lianne paused and perused his full length with frankness and continued, " CREATURE would still be up during this time!"
" Ahhh, " Ruen blatantly expressed. " Do not be so quick to presume, Princess. I would personally want to endlessly stroll the hallways at night just to avoid ogling eyes judging me!"
Lianne mockingly smiled in response. " Huh!No wonder you're ogling me now!"
" Which is all the more reason that you should at least comport yourself like a princess would!Dressing up like that and going out of your room is too improper!" he remarked, anger surprisingly prominent on his face. He couldn't just control his emotions whenever it was her.
" You tell me that like I don't know!" Lianne acidly rebuked. " However. Actually, I don't even give a damn!It's not like I'm a princess!"
" Damn that Lianne, " Ruen dismissed so quickly, but he was alarmed when he saw a threatening tear exposing itself in her eyes. He knew fully well that she wasn't as tough as she acts to be. This made him free her hands.
" Do you even realize how much that day kept coming and coming back inside my head?!" Lianne questioned acidly. " Up to this day, it still tortures me!My question as to why you didn't even do anything to stop that man from capturing me. I could have been free!" Lianne scoffed derisively. " Yes, of course, with all these maladies in my life, you are the reason!"
Covering her nightgown, the princess proceeded to turn to face the hearth, her knees started to shake nervously. Ruen was on her back listening intently with her caustic words.
" Princess or naught, I only wanted my freedom. But you have taken it all away from me. " She quickly wiped the first stream of tears that traced her cheeks.
Remembering that time made Ruen cringe. He felt undoubtedly guilty about it. However, he had a rightful reason above it all, so there was nothing more that he could say.
Her words were like daggers hitting him in the heart. All the while he thought that it was invincible but the ache buried deeply inside.
Her lips were trembling as she confronted him face to face. For all these years, this was the first time she had ever asked him why. She knew she'd have to gather up some courage to square with him and now was the right time for it. Now was the only time for it for every time they had the chance to talk, it would end up with arguing. It would end up with his taunting, ice cold gaze.
" Your freedom is what I desire the most, Lianne. But, it is your safety that I have to put a great deal first. I-"
" Safety?!" Lianne abruptly cut in. " How can I be safe when I am being held by the most hated man in all kingdoms?Had it not dawned on you that I am kept here all these years to sate his whims?Or should I say you and your fathers whims?You act as if you care!Don't you make me a fool. You are no better than him!" she furiously stated while pointing out a painting of his father that was hung on the wall. " On the contrary, " she added once again, " you are just like him!Like father, like son. "
Lianne suddenly felt a shiver as Ruen's gaze coldly rested on her. This time was different. She felt gravely intimated by the way his silence affected her.
" You don't even know a thing you're saying, " Ruen morosely answered, his eyes turning dark.
" Huh!" She waved her hands in the air. " I'm done here. "
She quickly walked towards the main door, but he rapidly caught her arm again to stop her from leaving. " Like I said, I did not tell you to leave. " Ruen's voice was too stern and domineering it brooked no argument.
" You have no inch of right to command me!" she spat, eyes barely holding another stream of tears from flowing.
" Nor you have the right to turn your back to me!" he countered in return.
" Let me go!"
" No. "
" Unhand me!If you won't, I will scream!" she proclaimed, but Ruen only moved closer to capture her waist. Lianne immediately panicked. This was the first time they have ever been this close.
" Your Highness!Let me go!" Her voice started to break, pleading to be released. She could feel his grip tightening as their eyes collided. " Ah. . . you're hurting me!"
" Why are you so averse to my touch when you don't seem to mind when Cain does this to you?" Ruen inquired harshly.
" Just let me go!" she demanded again, ultimately disregarding his question. If she were attentive enough, she would have evidently seen the jealousy in his words.
" No, " he once again sternly answered.
Lianne struggled hard to free herself from Ruen's firm hold, thoroughly dismayed by his touch, but to her great astonishment, he easily pulled her closer to him and without warning, he sealed his lips onto hers.
She reacted quite aversely, turning her head from side to side just to avoid his lips, but she found no refuge from his endearing onslaught.
His kiss was rough and demanding, something she didn't want. She felt repulsed from every slide of his tongue inside her mouth. She tried to push him away but he secured her well with a tight embrace and managed to steady her face to accept all of his kisses. Heaven forbid, this was her first kiss and she was appalled by it!
Her tears rapidly streamed down her cheeks as he parted his lips from hers seemingly satisfied by his invasion. Wonderful was the taste of her lips. It made him crave for more.
Lianne's face was so flushed she couldn't hide that it awakened her senses. She pulled herself away from him striking him a sharp look of disgust in the process. " My God!How could you!" she bitterly stated, covering her sore lips with her hand, then exited as fast as she could out of the library.
" Dammit!" Ruen swore to himself.
Though pleased by what took place, he had wished he could have been more gentler with her;something he was finding difficulty with. On impulse, he followed her trail towards the maids quarters at the west wing, ground floor of the mansion, intent on apologizing.
He ended up standing in front of her room, rudely cut off, when he was greeted with the door slamming shut.
There was no helping it then. If she didn't want his apology, then to hell be it. It was not like he wanted to apologize for it in the first place.
Their hasty footsteps were all heard across the hallway and into the chamber of Lady Faye and the Head Butler, Lord Jared, who were unaware of what had transpired that evening;so, when early in the morning the next day, they were greatly surprised upon hearing the rumors flying off the whole mansion that Prince Ruen actually chased the princess to her room with yet again another quarrel.
The whole day went by routinely with no sight of the prince in the hallways nor in the stables. The princess did manage to dodge the scrutiny of the maids in the kitchen, but for the prince, it created a consequence he could only do but submit.
" Your softening, " King Garlow spoke in a monotone voice. The prince only gave him silence as he stood at the side of the hearth. His eyes giving a blank stare on the dancing flames.
Garlow was sitting comfortably at a regal couch in his own chamber at the receiving room. His glass of sparkling diamond wine was half empty. They were the only ones in the room. Lord Jared was not in attendance. Ruen knew very well his father was dead serious now.
" You'll be leaving tonight for Veirsalles. You'll come back here when I say so, " Garlow domineeringly said as he emptied the glass flute of its contents.
Dejected by his father's command, Ruen knew his words were final. Though how much he was against the idea of leaving the mansion, it was something he had no power to control. Sooner or later he would come back here, but time will tell if the princess'hatred for him would wane or it would grow more stronger.
It was worth it though, the kiss that they had shared last night. It was maybe forced, but it would be the only memory he can hold onto while he would be away.
What his father had commanded him next made his blood boil to its core, " See no more of her. She serves no purpose for you. " It was a powerful dictate, but like hell he would do it.