Luca let go of me once the door shut, and I nearly fell as I stumbled into the middle of his room, putting distance between us. I didn't want to be anywhere near him, and if my powers could've seriously harmed him, I would have blasted him to his grave.
Luca looked almost to the point of hysteria. His hands were covered in dry blood, his hair was a disheveled mess, and his shoulders tensed up in a way I had never seen. He stood between me and the door, making sure I didn't make a run for it. Although Luca may not have wanted to hurt me, he wasn't doing a great job of making me feel safe.
"Start talking," I demanded. "Or I'll scream and have you captured."
"There isn't much to say, other than I'm not a traitor," he replied with a weak voice, but something told me not to trust him.
"Maybe you're a good liar."
"What motive would I have?" he asked me. "Why are we blaming ourselves for the king's madness? All of the secrets and betrayal, it existed far before we even got here."
"That may be true, but you still aren't proving your innocence."
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Okay...I'll tell you everything so that you'll understand how I'm not a traitor."
My heart froze, but I continued to listen.
"I'm a royal," he told me. "It's why I have the gift. It's probably why we all have the gift. When I was a boy, my father used to be close to the King until the King turned on him. I've been trying to figure out why since the day I stepped foot in the castle. You see, the King sent his men to kill my father and when my father learned of this, he changed our identities and we left the Northern Tribe.
"My father went to the Eastern tribe, where continued to raise me in peace, but he had also raised me to be alert, just in case the King discovered our hiding place. When the Prince came to spy on us, I knew immediately. He wasn't hard to notice standing off in the distance by himself in dark, expensive attire. I know royalty when I see one, especially the Prince. When I told my father, he fled the tribe, but this time, he left me behind. My own father..." Luca lowered his head in sadness and I felt myself pitying him. "My mother had died when I was very young and when my father fled, I had no one left.
"That next day, I approached the Prince and we had an interesting confrontation. That's when I'd learned that he hadn't come to kill my father and I but to use me in the king's army.
"At that point, the Prince had connected the dots and discovered who I really was. He had agreed to keep my identity a secret if I trained at the castle. I had nothing left; no family or friends, and so I agreed to my new life. But...the King must've known who I was! He must've caught on to me spying on him and pinned this attack on me!"
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She was told to fear him... She was told that his evil would devour her... She was told to stay far away... But what if they were all wrong? What if the Cold Prince could love? What if he loved her? Anya is born with a gift that only the royal famil...