13 The King Has Called

Shadows and mist surrounded Emma. The next moment she found herself in her bedroom. On her bed. With Lazarus holding her by her waist, her head against his chest as dizziness made her body sway. He was on his knees, grasping her so tightly that she was pressed hard against his body, his breath labored.

"Did you fucking think that you could actually run away?" he growled so loud that the glass windows shook. "That was Maeve's magic you just experienced. It is so strong that it could have killed you!" He paused. "Besides, if it wasn't for me coming to rescue you in time, you would have run into the risk of becoming food to others—!" He stopped and dug his fingers so hard in her flesh that she whimpered.

She looked up at him with a squint. Her eyes round at the corners with a hint of fear flashing that was as quick as lightning.

Lazarus was the kind of a vampire who never needed to instill fear in order to punish or kill his victims, because others were simply… afraid of him. He didn't mind teaching harsh lessons. Many could attest that. But when he saw Emma in his arms staring at him owlishly with nothing but confusion, he could see how light from the fire in the hearth reflected in her beautiful green eyes. There was more depth in them than what he thought. It was as if they were a window to her soul. It was as if they reached his soul…

His Adam's apple, bobbed. His hands shuddered for a moment when all he could think of was how fragile she was. In his arms, she was like a dainty butterfly. And she had run to meet Maeve's magic.

From this point, he saw her delicate features. His eyes traveled to her nose that was slightly perked at the end. Her lips were full with a deep midline groove that ran from the top of her lip to the nose, giving them a bow shape.

Blood rage crawled into him and the inkling of taking her desperately and spending himself inside of her made him clench his jaw so tight that his fangs hurt. His eyes went lower to her see-through chemise and he grasped her tightly. He forgot to breathe.

"You are bleeding…" she murmured when she saw blood trickling down on his shirt.

Lazarus immediately pulled himself away from her, lest he would harm her. He stabbed his fingers in his hair. He couldn't even think of taking this fragile creature. She was just too delicate to handle him. He needed distraction. He should go hunting or go for his favorite sport—hunting rogues. Killing two or three was going to divert his attention.

As soon as he left her, Emma sat on the bed, trying to come to terms to the sudden tracing. She rubbed the back of her neck and pulled her golden hair up in a messy bun, exposing her crane-like nape.

His eyes went to her pulse point. Once again, his fangs grew painfully hard even though he resisted them. He was sure that she would be repulsed, so he turned his face away from her.

"Oh goddess!" she rasped when she saw the back of his head. "You are bleeding so heavily!"

"I will be fine," he growled and was about to get up when she grabbed his hand.

"Please sit," she ordered him.

Lazarus was not used to orders. How dare this mortal order him to sit down, but before he could protest, she warned him, "If you won't sit, I will follow you everywhere!"

He grunted. She gave him a harsh glare and went to the bathroom. She came out with a soaked towel and found him waiting for her on the bed with a glare.

"I get healed very fast," he grated in order to ward her off, but she slapped the towel at the back of his head. He winced but became quiet as the icy cool towel calmed his throbbing headache. His skin began to heal.

She was so close to him. Her scent of blood acting like a drug. He had to leave or he would become an addict in a minute. Maybe he should think about his impending trial that he had to face for killing his brothers. Besides, he reminded himself that the mortal was just too beneath him.

So, he caught the towel at the back of his head and traced from the room, leaving her alone.

Shocked, Emma took a deep breath in to wrap her mind around his antics. Lazarus was rude and obnoxious and not to mention… a louche. She closed her eyes and mulled at what happened in the last few minutes. Despite him being all that, she wanted to… heal him.

She was so tired and cold that her muscles begged for her to take a hot bath. And as if she had heard her thoughts, Ginger appeared in the doorway. "Lady Emma, would you like to take a bath?" she said after seeing Emma's state.

Emma smiled and a sigh escaped her lips. How could she know so quickly?

"I will prepare one for you quickly. I have to get you ready to be presented to the royal family. The king has called upon you to join them for dinner in an hour."

Emma was surprised. "The king?" That was a shocker. "You mean King Viktor?"

Ginger nodded with a smile and went to the bathroom.

Emma followed her and as she removed her clothes, she watched Ginger preparing the bath for her. She filled the tub with hot water, dropped a few drops of jasmine oil in it and faced her.

When Emma was in the bathtub, she sighed as the warm water hit her body. Her thoughts went to Lazarus. The way he had closed his mouth on her breast. Suddenly she felt a strange ache in her lower belly and it had nothing to do with the fear of the ritual.

Ginger chuckled. "You shouldn't have gone to the palace's periphery, m'lady," she said in a soft voice.

"You know about that?" Emma was startled.

"Yes, Prince Lazarus asked me to give you a bath." She poured water over Emma's hair. She gave a furtive look at the door as is scared of someone. Then in a very low voice, said, "Goddess Maeve has powerful magic. You should be afraid of her. She can be extremely dangerous…"

Next chapter