A loud banging on the door, as if the world was ending, woke him from his slumber, staring confused out in the darkroom. The only light sources were the full moon shining behind the thin curtains and the small trace of a yellow glow shining from under the door. A shadow of someone standing impatiently on the other side of it made the light seem to move as well. Whoever it was tried opening the locked door by twisting the doorknob, before slamming their fist at the wood again.“Give me strength,” he groaned, leaping out of his bed and rushing towards the door before the person on the other side decided to break it down and wake up the whole kingdom. His hip slammed into the corner of the table while passing it. A mumbling curse fell over the room, as he ignored the pain and grabbed the heavy key in the door. While turning it in the keyhole, the hammering on the door subsided, as the locking mechanism moved. “This better be …” His annoyed and hissing voice died as he cracked the door open, ready to scold the one that had disturbed him in the middle of the bloody night. “… Important.” His angry voice had turned confused.The candlelight inside the lantern flickered violently as the hooded person pushed themselves into the door, forcing their body past his. A gust of cold air from outside the workshop followed inside. “Close the door,” their hoarse voice muttered, barely audible.“Why?” he asked, but closed it either way, as he studied the tense posture. Something was wrong. He could see the outline of the shoulders shaking under the hooded cloak. “What are you doing here?” The question came out harsher than he had meant for it to be.The other person did not answer, just stood there in the middle of his cramped room, as if not certain what to do with themselves. The lantern swinging from the pale hand, grabbing the handle tight as if their life depended on it.“You should not be here,” he said quietly, almost apologetic. “Let me walk bahis şirketleri you ho–”“No!” A pair of green eyes met his, glittering as emeralds in the flickering light from the lantern. Streams of tears glistened on the cheeks.He took a step forward. “Cornelia … What happened?” His words were demanding, but soft.She shook her head, pressing her lips together to stop them from shaking. “Nothing happened.”“Liar,” he mumbled and gave her an attempt at a crooked smile. “You just happened to be going for a moonlight walk and decided to pay me and your old stomping grounds a friendly visit? Should you not be at home in your own bed, getting a good night’s sleep before …” He bit his own tongue to silence the words that sounded more and more bitter as he went on, as the pain on her face cut into his heart. “I am sorry.”“No, you are not,” she whispered.He sighed. “No, I guess not.” His eyes studied the worn floorboards.She sniffed. “But I am.” Cornelia took a step towards him but hesitated. “I made a mistake.” Her lowered voice sounded wounded.An eerie feeling took a hold of him, as he studied her face again. “What did he do?”Cornelia shook her head again. “It is not about what he did or did not do.”“Then what …”“He’s not you.” She looked away and bit her lower lip, clearly regretting her words. “Forget it.” Cornelia hurried past him before he could react.Caleb unfroze and grabbed her arm before she could open the door. “Wait, what?” He looked confused at her, as if not sure if he had heard her words correctly. His brown eyes searched her face for answers. “What do you mean, he’s not me?”She finally looked up at him again, her eyes watering once more. “Sometimes you can be really slow, Caleb.”He blinked. “You made it very clear that …”“I know what I said,” she hissed angrily. “But sometimes words are just words, to protect oneself from the real truth.”“Which is,” he demanded, still not sure if this meant what he thought it meant. bahis firmaları What he was hoping it meant.A trembling sigh went through her before she answered. “That I need you.”Caleb stared at her, not knowing if she again was toying with him or not – it wouldn’t be the first time tormenting him with unsaid half-truths. “For what, exactly?” Part of him regretted asking when she showed signs of giving up. Instead of turning her back to him again and walking out the door, she hung the lantern on the hook by the doorframe.“Everything,” she whispered and leaned towards him. Her cold hands brushed up against his bare chest, making him shiver.“Cornelia, this is not …”“Wise? Sane?” Her fingers traced his muscles, downwards.Caleb grabbed her wrists before she reached his briefs, where his protruding erection betrayed him. “Safe.”“I do not care.” Her gaze landed on his lips. “We cannot go on like this, pretending.”Hearing his own thoughts come out of her soft lips made his heart skip a beating. Caleb searched her face as if he still couldn’t wrap his mind around her words; if they were really what she felt.Cornelia freed her arms from his grasp and took a step backwards, as she lowered the hood and opened the cloak. Her thin nightgown beneath was revealed. The dark shadows of her nipples under the white linen caught his eyes. Instinct made him look downwards, getting a glimpse of the dark outline between her thighs. Goosebumps made his skin tingle, as he tried to look away – she could just as easily have worn nothing. As if she had heard his thoughts, she started undoing the laces in the front of the gown.“Stop,” Caleb croaked, trying to hold on to the last of his sanity.“Is that what you really want?” Cornelia’s voice was barely a whisper.He couldn’t answer. He could never tell her what he really wanted – and she knew that perfectly well. “It does not matter what I want; you are getting married. In the morning.”“It is not morning kaçak bahis siteleri yet.”A shudder of desire went through him, as she uttered the words. “Cornelia, you know that is not how this works. You are promised to another man!”Her lips trembled, as she raised her hands to touch him again. “Not willingly.”Caleb grabbed her arms, shaking her so blond strands of hair came loose from the long braid on her back. “He’s the king!” He held his breath as he calmed down. “You are going to be a queen.”“I do not want to be the queen, and I do not want a kingdom!” Her voice was low but angry.“It’s a little too late to …”“I want you.” She stared up at his face, her voice soft as a summer’s breeze.He blinked. “Do not say things like that.”“I want you,” Cornelia repeated. “I want you, and only you. I know you want me too.” Her eyes wandered down to the bulge in his briefs.Caleb shook his head, unable to speak. He swallowed, his Adam’s apple moving up and down. He tried to find the right words, to stop her from making any mistakes. “It’s not safe,” he said again, wetting his lips. “If he finds out that you …”“I do not care,” she hissed, a pinkish blush creeping up her neck.“But I do!” His sudden growling voice made her jump. “I care,” he continued with hopelessness in his words. “I have always cared.”Cornelia’s chest moved as if she held in a sob. “I know.” She closed her eyes. “And I am sorry that I did not tell you how much I love you, before all this.”There it was. The words he had been dreaming about for years – fantasizing about in the darkest hours. But it was too late now, it was … “To hell with it,” he blurted out, mostly to himself, before grabbing a hold of her and pressing her up against the door. His lips found her mouth, his tongue forcible parting her own lips. A soft moan sent vibrations through her body, making him ache even more.Her breasts heaved as he reluctantly broke the kiss. His eyes landed on her lips, now swollen from the violent kiss. Caleb bent his neck again, planting a careful kiss on her lower lip. A voice in the back of his head tried to reason with him, but all he really could hear was the pulse from his beating heart, wanting more.