The prince watched her go with a tight jaw.
How the mighty have fallen, he thought with self-disgust.
She was only supposed to be a novelty, a challenge, because of the way she found Grant Bennett so damn attractive, the same way she had seemed to be so damn oblivious to him.
Then, he hadn’t given a damn about ruining her relationship with Grant, didn’t give a damn that betraying her fiancé could destroy her for good.
And it effectively kept his hands tied.
He could never make a move on her until she broke things off on her own with Grant Bennett.
TIME PASSED, AND AN unspoken agreement came to be between the prince and his fawn. He no longer spoke to her, and she no longer looked at him. But even so, there were things that they could not deny.
Things that made him seek cold showers every night, and things that made her toss and turn in her bed—-
Things that would make him pleasure himself when the ache was impossible to ignore, and it was a brown-eyed fawn that he would imagine in his mind, riding him, her long, silky blonde hair streaming down her slender back.
And lastly, things that would make her cling even more desperately to Grant, but her silent cry for attention was ignored as the man she had first loved became increasingly distant.
I love you.
I miss you.
Are you still mad with me?
Fawn had already lost count of the number of messages she had sent him, the number of calls that had remained unanswered. But even so, Fawn didn’t allow herself to lose hope.
Things would be okay again.
This might just be karma at work, might just be the fates punishing her for being attracted to another man.
But surely one day she would be forgiven?
Surely one day she would have Grant back again?
Surely one day she could look at the prince and not have her heart beating fast?
It was on Fawn’s fourth month of working in the prince’s employ that these things changed once again. It was the weekend, and Fawn had once again taken the opportunity to work overtime, not because she needed money but mostly because it allowed her to escape reality.
Moving down the hallway, which was the last area to be swept, she took a hold of the mop and was about to push it forward when she heard it.
She had to be dreaming this. Maybe she was too tired, maybe she was too depressed, but she couldn’t possibly—-
Oh my God, this place was haunted!
When she heard it for the third time, this time Fawn knew it was coming from the wall right in front of her, which was even more proof that she was hearing a ghost. Heart thundering hard against her chest, she took a step forward.
“H-hello?” Her voice echoed in the living room.
She touched the wall.
Because instead of a ghost, she had found a hidden entrance, with the wall swinging open to reveal a flight of stairs.
I really shouldn’t go there. All the horror movies I’ve watched tell me that it’s suicidal to go there.
I’m glad you know that.
But I need to know about the sound.
Mind made up, she finished her internal conversation and closed her eyes.
God, keep me safe.
Her descent was slow and made arduous and nerve-wracking by the dark. With every second that passed, she expected her to lose her footing and tumble to God knew where. But somehow, Fawn was able to reach the end of the steps.
She felt for the ground before taking a cautious step forward.
More darkness awaited her, but the cackling also grew louder.
Curiosity killed the cat, Fawn!
But what if there was another girl hurt like the last time? What if the prince hadn’t been able to catch all the bad guys during his parties? What if this was a ghost seeking justice?
She continued walking blindly.
Oh God, that really, really made her want to flee in terror.
The lights switched open, and she found herself staring at a woman with scars crisscrossing her once-beautiful face, grinning at her from behind a cell with steel bars.
DÉJÀ VU, Fawn thought as she found herself once again huddled in the chair in front of the prince’s desk, shivering in fear, and the prince silently commanding her to drink brandy. This time, she didn’t even think of refusing.
She downed it in one shot, and because she hadn’t learned from the past, she ended up choking even more.
“Serves you right,” the prince said unsympathetically. “You were supposed to sip it, parthena mou.”
“You were nicer before,” she mumbled.
“I beg your pardon?”
“My first shock,” she told him tremulously as she handed the empty glass back to him. “You were much nicer.”
“Ah.” The prince took his usual place, too, perching himself on the edge of his desk. “That was because I gave you the benefit of the doubt.”