Chapter 3

The Library

When we arrived at the palace, the King took us straight to the stables. When we got there, he dismounted and held out his arms for me. I held onto his arms tightly as he lifted me out of the saddle and gently lowered me to the floor.

'Come, I want to show you my horse.' He took my hand and led me to a door on the far side of the stables, gesturing to one of the stable hands as he passed.

'She is only young, so she may be a bit wild, but I love her.' He took my hand, and led me through the door. Beyond the door was a large open paddock, full of green grass, trees and even a small lake. I always wondered why everyone said the Māhamǽo royal palace was the most beautiful place in the land, and now I know.

'Her name is Lilly, after my mother.' He walked towards the white mare and held out his hand to her. She nudged his arm, whinnying.

'Come over and meet my new guest, Lilly.' He walked back to where I stood, the horse following behind him. After the horse hat assured itself that I was not a threat, she lowered her head for me to pat her.

'Ah! Zero! Take Maria to my chambers and instruct the kitchens that I want breakfast for two to be brought to my room. I have a meeting with the elders now, but I will be back as soon as I can. Be good for Zero, little one, and perhaps I can reward you…' He turned and walked away from us, Lilly following closely behind him.

Zero turned to me and took my arm.

'Come. I will take you to the King's chambers. While you are there: do not touch anything, understood?' I nodded, and followed him out of the stables.

Once we got to the main doors, Zero clicked his fingers and two guards came up to us. They bowed and addressed him as "sir." Did that mean that Zero was a very high ranking person? Was he even a guard?!

'Sir, we got your message, and we have instructed the kitchen to send the two meals to the library, is that ok?' The guard that spoke was fidgeting with the sword at his hip.

'The King wanted breakfast in his chambers, but I suppose we will have to disappoint him, wont we?' he glared at the two guards standing opposite us. 'Come, child. I will take you to the library then…' He gently took my hand and walked away from the two guards. As we were walking away, I heard the guards talking to each other,

'Did you see her? Can't be any older than fifteen. The King really has stooped to a new low… for him to go for one so young.'

'We have to trust the King's intentions towards her. But maybe, we should speak to the King about it?'

As we walked through the halls, I couldn't help but notice that all the ladies that passed us were giving me death glares. Obviously the rumors about the King being the biggest playboy in the kingdom were correct.

'Don't worry, child; they are the King's rejected lovers. Many women in this castle want the King. He is the richest and most powerful man in the kingdom, yet many women have thought him an idiot, and have tried to use him for their own gain. Thus, resulting in him rejecting them.

'He really is an amazing King though. He can tell a traitor from a loyal servant. He can sense a guilty mind, among a group of innocents. And, more importantly, he can smell fear from a mile away.'

Zero's last sentence scared me because I was pretty sure it was directed entirely at me. It's true; I was afraid of the King, but did he know that? Did he want that? Zero shook me out of my thoughts.

'We have arrived at the library, my child. I,' I held up a hand to cut him off.

'Why do you keep calling me "my child?" And why does the King call me "Little One?" Is that all I am to you: a child?' He looked slightly shocked upon hearing this.

'What is so wrong with calling you a child? You are a child. The King is over eight years older than you, and I, seven. So, therefore, you are a child to us.' He nodded in the direction of the bookshelves. 'Your breakfast will be on the table behind those shelves. I need to speak at the meeting now, so I will leave you here.

'And don't worry; no one is allowed in the library other than myself and the King, so you won't be bothered. If you need anything, that door there,' He gestured to a small door, almost hidden in one of the shelves.

'That door leads to the King's chambers; it's a bit of walk, but you'll get there easily. The passages are always well lit and clean, so don't worry about anything. The King will be here shortly, so, the "A's" are over there,' I looked over to the shelves on the far left.

I turned around to thank Zero, but he had already disappeared. Well, I might as well eat something. I walked through the shelves until I found a table. On the table was a tray, and on the tray were two large plates, covered with food.

There was bacon, eggs, toast, and sausages. I sat down at the table and began eating. The food was really good! And I just realized how tired I was. I was sure that I could find a chair comfortable enough to sleep on.

I walked around the library for a while until I came across the perfect chair. It was a plush chaise lounge. And it looked very expensive.

I sat down on the chair and rested my head back on the headrest. Within moments, I was drifting to sleep…

King's P.O.V.

I walked into the library after the most boring meeting with the lords. Oh well. They were necessary to keep the kingdom safe and happy. I headed over to the desk where I knew the kitchen hands had placed out breakfast. I was walking past the "I's" and I spotted my little angel, fast asleep on my favorite chair.

Her lips looked so smooth… I couldn't resist… As I stepped up to her and leaned over her, just as I was about to kiss her, she moved slightly. I quickly seized the opportunity and kissed her…

Maria's P.O.V.

I was jolted from my dream when I felt something soft cover my mouth. I opened my eyes and saw the King! Leaning over me, kissing me! His lips were so soft. No!

I broke away from his kiss and turned away. The King growled low in his throat. I turned my face back to his and I saw a glint in his eyes. A glint that scared me.

'You do not with for me to kiss you, Little One?' He lifted my legs up, sat down next to me and placed my legs over his lap. The way he was stroking my leg like that… Stop it, Maria! This is bad! Very bad! I shook my head softly.

'It's not that I don't want you to kiss me, it's just that, Sensei says men like you are only after one thing, and once they've got it, the toss you aside, like a used rag. And I don't want that to happen to me.'

'So you don't like me then?' At that moment the King looked angry and at the same disappointed.

'No! I mean yes. No, I mean. I don't not like you. I don't know what I feel, to be perfectly honest.' The King moved to hover over me again, his face very close to my own.

'Do you feel embarrassed when I get this close?' I nodded slowly. 'Does your heart feel as if it's going to burst out of your chest?' Again, I nodded. 'Do you ever dream about me…?'

I had dreamt about him, but I wasn't about to tell him that! I shook my head. But the King saw through me. He smirked, the simple act sending shiver through my body. He slowly moved his lips closer to mine…

'OK! Alright I dreamt about you once, OK?!' I pushed him off me and moved my feet over the side of the chair, as I was about to stand up, the King pulled me down to the floor. I shrieked and started trying to push him away from me. Suddenly he moved his hands to my waist…

'I wonder… is my little princess ticklish?' Oh no… I knew what was coming… I tried desperately to push him away from me, not knowing that by doing that I was only encouraging him further.

He started to tickle me mercilessly, making me scream for him to stop. He was laughing at my current position and he kept attacking me. I started begging for him to stop and he was laughing the whole time.

'Ah-hem!' The King and I stopped what we were doing and looked up. Zero was standing in front of us with a smirk on this face. 'I came to ask you something, my Lord, but if you are busy? I can come back?' He gestured in the direction of the exit.

'Ah! Its fine! You can ask me now! Be right back, mia cara …' The King winked at me, got off the floor and walked behind the shelves with the guard.

~ FL ~

Keep Fightin'!

Evil Munchkin, Signing out!