Chapter Forty Five: The Parting

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As Sebastian and I ran through the shadowed and ominous passageways toward the castle's back entrance, I revisited every single memory I had within those ice walls

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As Sebastian and I ran through the shadowed and ominous passageways toward the castle's back entrance, I revisited every single memory I had within those ice walls.

I remembered the first time I sat my eyes on the Cold Prince and saw those icy blue orbs staring back at me. I remembered how Sebastian had pushed me against the wall to intimidate me in front of Mandy. I remembered the practices in which he'd tortured me to get me to crack so that I'd leave and not be subject to his father's evil plans. I thought it was because he hated me, but it was because he loved me, even then.

I think Prince Sebastian fell in love with me when I didn't even know he was watching...back in the southern tribe when I was still innocent and unbroken. Now, I had so many memories that lead to me becoming this shattered vessel, containing white fire.

The hurt I felt from lying to Luca had impacted me. I wanted to hate myself for even trying to accuse Cora of being a traitor when in the end, she was my saving grace. I had a sour taste in my mouth every time I thought about the King's sick interest in me and how I fought for him in the end. My heart hurt for leaving the Queen behind, when she'd always been so kind to me.

My journey had been full of stupid choices and thoughts, and yet, those very things shaped me into the warrior I had become. Even though I had a lot to regret, I wouldn't regret a thing. In the end, everything happened exactly how it was supposed to. Instead of focusing on the past, I needed to set my sights on what lay ahead.

The back entrance.

We came to a stop and opened the door. The Prince stepped outside and looked in either direction. He then returned with a frown.

"Anyone out there?" I asked and he shook his head. I began to panic. "Where is Luca and Cora? They left before us. They should be here. What if they were attacked?"

I couldn't stand there and not find out. I turned to leave, but the Prince grabbed a hold of me and pulled me against his chest.

"No, Anya," he told me. "You can't go looking for them. It's too dangerous!"

"I won't leave them!" I fought against Sebastian's grip to no avail. "Please!"

"Anya-"

I heard scuffling down the hallway, and I immediately stopped struggling in the Prince's arms. My eyes squinted as I tried to make out the shadowed figure limping toward us. This person then stopped and leaned against the wall, panting.

"Anya..." a voice called into the darkness. I knew that voice.

I pulled away from the Prince and ran to Luca's side, examining his condition. He had a hand pressed against a burnt hole in his shirt and I gently pried his hand away, revealing charred skin. He winced in pain and repositioned himself against the wall.

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