The King’s Cursed Bride Sneak Peek: Chapter 102
Two Weeks Later
Carissa closed the door gently, until it latched with a soft click. She held her head high, gliding to the bed. And then she collapsed face-first onto its soft surface, buried her face into a pillow, and screamed.
It was at times like these she was tempted to arrange the assassinations of a few nobles. She’d been so close, so very close, to settling a squabble between two neighboring lords, convincing one to lift an embargo he’d imposed on the other. Until one had called the other a pig, and the negotiations had descended into name-calling.
She sat back and ran her fists into a pillow, smacking it until its cover was wrinkled. The room was quiet—save for the beating of pillows—and achingly empty, but at least there wasn’t anyone to witness her lose her composure. Ever since she’d requested her own quarters, they’d become a sort of safe haven.
Although, in moments of weakness, sometimes she wished Elon were when she broke down. Just so she wasn’t alone. But of course, he never entered her room. Which was her fault.
Carissa struck out again, but her fist slid past the pillow, slamming into the headboard. Pain shot up her arm and throbbed at the base of her fingers. She bit off a curse and drew her hand back. She’d been so cautious to avoid injury, especially since that meant going to Elon and pleading for help.
She examined the back and front of her hand. Though the knuckles ached, it appeared fine. Which meant she wouldn’t have to visit Elon.
Carissa rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling. Memories choked her, sensations crawling over her skin, and she quickly rolled onto her side. She could go to Elon, stop avoiding him, start talking to him. But in the end, she couldn’t pretend everything was well when it wasn’t.
A knock thudded at the door. She sat up. Who could it be? A servant with a question for tomorrow’s celebration? A lady with some petition?
The door swung open, and a knight crossed the threshold to her room before standing at attention. “I’ve come to report on today’s search, Your Highness.”
“Any sign of Aleck?”
The knight shook his head. “As requested, we’ve searched the palace and city. No one has matched his description. Apologies, Your Highness.”
Though it was the same thing he’d said everyday, her chest still grew heavy at his words. “Thank you, Sir Knight. Your service is appreciated.”
He nodded and left.
The knights and servants were quite obedient to her. But they all thought highly of Elon, so likely they only followed her orders at his request. If he wasn’t going to help her, at least he wasn’t standing in her way.
Perhaps she should visit him, thank him for allowing her to influence the servants. But how would she even begin? True, much of her anger towards him had vanished, but how would she approach him? An apology might held mend the rift between them, but what would she apologize for?
Carissa glanced outside the window, estimating it to be two hours past noon. She was supposed to have tea with some of the noble ladies soon. She huffed. Laying down on the bed had been a mistake. She’d likely mussed her hair. Now she would have to brush it out and summon her lady-in-waiting to restyle it.
Her gaze landed on her vanity. There was a book—the book Rosalind had given her. And a note. She rose and plucked the note from the book, knowing there was only one person it would have come from.
You left this in our room.
I miss you.
‘Our room.’ He still referred to it as that, refusing to call it ‘his room.’ Her chest ached as she put the note aside and reached for the book. Her fingers brushed the leather cover, and an idea jolted her—one that she’d almost forgotten.
What if this was the book Marissa had sold?
Carissa placed her hand over the cover, pressed her thumb to the pages, and prepared to flip it open. What could have made Marissa act like she had? And what would knowing that do to Carissa?
Someone knocked sharply on her door. “Your majesty?”
She allowed her fingers to slid over the book before slipping off its edge. What now? True, she enjoyed being busy, since it kept her distracted, and being sought after, since it made her feel purposeful, but there were times… times when it felt like too much to do alone. But do it alone she would.
Carissa turned to greet her visitor. “Come in.”
The door parted, revealing a slender servant girl. She curtsied. “The ladies wanted to inform you they’ve decided to start tea early, so Lady Grage can attend before she must leave for her trip today.”
No rest for the weary, then.
Carissa nodded. “Tell them I’ll be there shortly.”