Nerezza's Point of View
I woke up with a warm hand around mine. The light was dim, almost non-existent. My memory was hazy at best. Slithers of what had happened pumped through me. Startling upright, I winced at the sheer pain in my abdomen. There were other machines beside me. Red liquid floating in the tube leading to my arm.
Outside in the hall, policemen spoke to some staff. To some patients. Everything came flooding back. My heartbeat picked up. I felt my lungs tighten. Needed fresh air or to wake up from this nightmare.
Priamos' black hair came into view beside my bed. Then his brown eyes, watching me dutifully. Deep lines creased his brow. Every once in a while, his eyes would dart towards the police. From the look he gave them, I knew he had conflicting feelings about their presence.
I tried to sit up more. Tried to speak but my throat was dry. Sandpaper scratching against the sides of my flesh. Noticing my distress
Nerezza's Point of ViewThe house was empty when I walked in. His scent was faint. Almost non-existent. It was clear he hadn’t been here in a while. Fresh pain clouded my heart at the sight. Our couches stood pristine. The kitchen was empty. No sounds came from the rest of the house. As if no one had lived here in months. A ghost town filled with tons of memories that I had no urge to remember.Everything inside of me screamed to run. To getaway. Leave this life behind and never look back. Priamos was gone and clearly not coming back. Had left me in that hospital when he had promised to come back for me. Conan had vanished into thin air. Taken by malicious people for some unknown reason. More pain ripped at my heart and I clutched my chest. Felt the edges of my soul fracture and break.My baby had been taken. Stolen away from me as if he was nothing more than an object. There was a hole in my stomach where he had been only a few d
Nerezza's Point of ViewTwo Years LaterThe room was crowded with people. Chatting. Dancing. But most importantly, drinking champagne and gossiping about one another. Their eyes took in everything. Noticed every detail around them. Nothing could escape their scrutiny. Not even the new woman Duke Delaronte had brought along escaped their attention. Or escaped their gossip.I was a fish in an ocean filled with sharks but this wasn't my first rodeo. I had danced with high society ever since Priamos' monthly deposits stopped. When Farren had complained that her school uniform no longer fit and our money had dried up. About five months after he had gone missing and two after my eighteenth birthday.Getting a normal job wouldn't have kept Farren in her school. Or kept the mortgage on the apartment going. Besides, I had no other talents besides my wit and beauty. Sometimes I still played the piano but not nearl
Nerezza's Point of ViewThe moon was high by the time I got home. A few lights were still burning. Food sat on the stovetop, covered and waiting. Farren hummed from the upstairs loft we shared, lost in her own world.Reaching down, I tugged the heels off of my feet. They cramped and protested. I had stood too long and would most likely feel the consequences tomorrow. Hopefully, the king would stay true to his word and call for me in the morning. Share lunch with me at the royal palace. Get to know me, as he had stated."Farren, I am home!" I called upstairs. The humming stopped. Papers rustled and light footsteps padded to the top of the stairs. White blonde hair peeked out behind the rails as Farren smiled down at me."How did it go?" She asked brightly. I sighed and dumped my shoes on the floor. Strolled on in just my dress as I undid my hair for the evening."I never expected the Duke to be a kind man but he is wo
Nerezza's Point of ViewGrand halls and portraits of every kind stunned me to silence. The man from before led me dutifully through it all. Remarked on various pieces that had caught my eye. Oftentimes, he would stop and explain the origins of the pieces. Tell me more about the artist and why the piece was commissioned. I loved seeing the world through the lens of someone else. Loved seeing pieces come to life with added details that I would never have thought about.Our tour stopped once we reached the middle garden. According to the man, it was the garden especially commandeered by the king. I was still very unaware of what his name was. But I followed him silently, taking in every aspect of what might just one day be my home."This is where our journey together ends, Miss Nerezza. I hope that you have a peaceful afternoon with his Majesty. If you have any questions regarding the encounter, you may ask me afterward." The man sta
Nerezza's Point of ViewOne Year Later"How long will you be gone for?" I could hear the distress in Farren's voice as she asked me this from the door. I didn't look up, instead, I continued packing up the clothes I would need in South Africa. Unlike our more timid climates, the country was hot and unrelenting. Short clothes were a must for this trip.According to Reginald (my king), there was a pack taking shape in the heart of the country. Guided by a rogue Alpha who had clawed his way to the top. Surrounded himself with only the strongest of men to help him build his empire. The king had a vested interest in seeing this pack succeed. No other information was given."I will be gone for about a week to two weeks. I promise to be back by the time you have your seventeenth birthday party. The king is hosting a rather grand ball in your name, at my behest." I told Farren, tucking away my underwear in a sma
Nerezza's Point of ViewSouth Africa was truly a wonderous place to see from the air. Thick bushlands accompanied by sparkling oceans. Wildlife of all kinds walking around in the more patchy areas. I couldn't keep my eyes off of the ground. Every once in a while, we would pass over towns booming with life. Cars that zoomed in and out of traffic.From this high above, it all looked so small. Insignificant. Until we descended. Beautiful beyond compare but my mind couldn't grasp why the king would want to sponsor a pack in such a remote location. That was until we had landed.The city they had chosen for their pack was even more filled with life than all the other places I had viewed before. It was a masterpiece of skyscrapers and busy streets. Trees growing in every nook and cranny. Life was flourishing here, even if there were mostly humans. Which was to be expected, seeing as the pack was just starting. Blooming into something mor
Nerezza's Point of ViewTwo Weeks LaterSouth Africa had been a breath of fresh air after all. Considering how rocky my relationship had started with Alpha Ciaran, it ended on a pleasant note. We had adjusted to each other rather splendidly. Made a long-lasting friendship after the entire business aspect was done and dusted. I couldn't say that about the rest of them.Ozias was all work and no play. Somehow, he reminded me a lot of myself. Maverick was all work and no play. Dargan was neither. He kept mostly to himself. Stuck to the shadows and hallways. We rarely spoke and when we did it was about his sector of their empire.Several projects were started. A lot of donations were made to several charities. I invested more money than I had first thought I would but the mines held a lot of promise. With chrome prices climbing steadily and platinum a valuable metal, the odds of seeing a return w
Nerezza's Point of ViewReginald was in his office as always. His glasses rested on the tip of his nose. Brows scrunched in concentration. I had opened the door silently and watched him from the shadows. Bags lined the bottom of his eyes. Cast him ten years older than he was. The sight was heartbreaking.I may have grown up hating anything authority but Reginald had changed my mind about it all. About him. I saw a side to the ferocious king that no one else did. Saw his more tame side. The heart that beat beneath that hard exterior. I knew the conflict with Reggie had taken a bite out of him. Left him feeling bare. Any father would feel that way after fighting with their son but this was a particularly sore spot.Reggie had never kept it a secret that he wanted the throne more than he wanted his father around. Power-hungry and simple-minded, Reggie would do anything to gain his father's crown. Which hurt Reginald beyond comparison. The