The King’s Cursed Bride Sneak Peek: Chapter 78
As Elon strode forward, her gaze remained on the floorboards, her head too heavy to lift. And then they stopped. To her left, her mother’s laced-up leather shoes were visible. To the right, her father’s thicker boots, his trousers stuffed into the tops.
The silence was deafening, so much so she was tempted to plug her ears. At least then she could pretend her stopped ears were the source of the silence and not the tension straining between her and her parents. Whatever they had to say to her, it would likely be well-earned.
Once Carissa’s breathing had slowed, she spoke, “Mother, Father, I’m so terribly—”
Thick arms nearly flattened her against a broad chest, and she clutched her father’s wool vest. He smelled like hay and dew and barn animals. She didn’t realize how much she’d missed him until now, and she pressed her forehead against his collarbone.
“You’ve returned. You’re safe.” He leaned back to study her face. A wide smile plumped his tanned cheeks. “You get prettier every time I see you, Carissa.” A question flickered in his gaze as he glanced up at Elon. “And it seems I’m not the only one who’s noticed.”
She felt the prickle of hot tears and gripped him more tightly. Whenever she’d have a nightmare as a little girl, he’d cradle her against his chest and she’d clutch fistfuls of his woolen vest, just as she was doing now. Seeing him now was a balm to her chapped soul.
Her father swiped a thumb beneath her eye. “Now, now, none of that. Go greet your mother.” His arms dropped to his sides, leaving her to the chill embrace of her mother’s gaze.
Carissa stepped closer. “Mother.”
Her mother’s chin jerked in a nod. “Carissa.”
Carissa clasped her hands. “I know I have no excuse for leaving the both of you like I did. And I’m so very sorry.”
Her mother’s lips thinned. “As you should be.” Her gaze dropped to Carissa’s stomach. “You’d best not have come running back here with a bellyful of a misbegotten child. We have no room for licentiousness in this household.”