I tried sitting up and found that it was a very bad idea. It left me dizzy as I fell back onto the pillows behind me. I wasn't getting out of this bed anytime soon. I was a little too afraid. I was also nervous about Teom and Elliot's new attitude, but I what could I do? I was kind of stuck in the bed. Oh sure, I could try to get up and walk around, but if even sitting up was going to make me want to pass out, I wasn't so hot about trying to stand. That left me a prisoner...a very well cared for prisoner, but a prisoner nonetheless. Would they let me leave when I got better?

I sighed and just lay there in the bed twiddling my thumbs instead. It seemed like an eternity since Teom and Elliot had left. I was getting kind of lonely actually. Sure they were my jailers, but at least they were company. I thought I was on the brink of talking to the silence when I heard to door opened. I sat up to talk, but sat propped up on my elbows staring opened mouth at my new visitor. She was tall and willowy. All of her looks screamed beauty, elegance, grace, and high born haughtiness. Her hair was pale red (not orange red) and piled in braids and curls on top of her hair. Her skin was so pale it was almost translucent and it looked like it could easily glow. Here eyes were dark though. They were wells of blackness. They were kind of creepy.

"What are you doing in here?" She demanded annoyed.

"Resting," I suggested. "Who are you?"

"Why should I answer one such as you. I know all nobles and you are not amongst them. Thus I can only conclude that you are a peasant. For such defiance you shall be punished."

"What defiance?" I asked furrowing my brow. That only lasted a few seconds because it started giving me a headache.

"Playing ignorance shall not help you little wench," the woman snarled. "I leave for no more than a month and I come back to find my room being debased by a servant...or are you a slave. If I find out that that is so then you shall truly know my wrath."

"Huh?" I asked as I pushed myself back against the pillows. "You make no sense and your shrill voice is giving me a headache."

"You dare!" She demanded angrily stalking over to the bed. She raised her hand as if she was going to backhand me. I closed my eyes and flinched. I really didn't want this hit to come but there wasn't really any way for me to stop it. About five seconds later when the hit didn't come, I learned that I didn't have to. I tentatively opened an eye to see Teom had grabbed the woman's wrist. He was glaring daggers at her. She, on the other hand, was looking at him adoringly. It made me kind of sick actually.

"What do you think you are doing Lady Jezriel?" Teom demanded. His face looked like a mask of stone and his voice said say the wrong thing and you will die.

"Punishing a peasant who has dared to defied your good wishes. She mocks me and my family. We must punish her beloved. Such a thing cannot be allowed. What will the servants and slaves do if they hear that one of their own was allowed to thus insult the betrothed of the king's high guardian and brother."

"You are not my betrothed Lady Jezriel, nor have you ever been. I will not have you making such presumptions."

Lady Jezriel stared at Teom in shock. "How could you say such a thing Teom? All know that we are destined for each other. We are to be Ecria Mefilios. The fates decreed it! Who would be better for you than I? What woman could ever dare surpass me?"

"I have found my Ecria Mefilios," Teom said softly, his voice no less dangerous. "These rooms were never meant for you Lady Jezriel. They were always meant for my mate, you dared to confiscate them. If you will not listen to my orders, you will listen to King Elliott. He has returned and he will agree with me that you must leave these rooms. Their rightful owner has come. And you shall never address me in the familiar manner again."

"Y-you have Ecria Mefilios," Lady Jezriel stammered staring at Teom in horror. "And the king has returned? B-but all believed he was dead."

"Wrong, all wished he was dead. My brother is alive and very well Lady Jezriel. And will you show respect to my Ecria Mefilios. If you dare to raise a hand to her again, you shall find my wrath a thing to scare even the demons of the underworld."

I hadn't thought that Lady Jezriel's skin could lose anymore color. I was wrong. All remaining color she had possessed drained from her face at Teom's low dangerous looks. Her wide eyes flickered quickly from me and then back to Teom. "Forgive me my lord," she whispered as she pulled her wrist out of Teom's and fled the room.

"I should not have left you alone. I did not think that Lady Jezriel would return to these rooms immediately. This was my error. Please forgive me Faith," Teom's voice was just as soft as it had been when he has spoken with Lady Jezriel, but it was gentle now.

"Th-there's nothing to forgive...I think."

Teom's smile warmed me. "I do not deserve you Faith. I made a mistake, and I shall not ever do such a thing again."

"As long as I can get some of that stew you promised, I think we'll be even," I assured him.

"Of course," Teom said moving to sit in the chair he had been sleeping in. "The cooks are making some for you right now. Someone will be bringing it up shortly."

"Mm, stew...you make the prisoner happy."

Teom frowned. "Who said you're a prisoner?"

"Well aren't I? Would you honestly let me go home when I'm able to walk around again?" I asked feeling certain of the answer.

"I don't know," he said looking at me. His eyes were gentle, kind, and full of love. "I cannot lose you, yet I do not want to see you unhappy."

"That definitely wasn't what I was expecting to hear," I said softly unable to look into Teom's eyes.

"Please do not fear me Faith," Teom whispered leaning forward and cupping the back of my head. "That would destroy me."