”Sister, I cannot help but feel like you are disappointed in me. Did I do something to make you feel this way? Whatever it is, you can tell me. I promise I will try to change it. ”
Natasha sighed as she looked her half-brother in the eye. Richard had grown up a lot but his desperate tone still reminded her of the time of their childhood.
He often used to ask her what he could do to make Natasha stay. She had never said anything about leaving but she could not help but think that Richard knew about her circumstances.
They had never gotten a chance to have this talk, but sometimes he looked at Natasha like he knew she was going to disappear.
It was also at those times that Natasha had felt the fear of being exposed hit her heart. But she had shaken off that fear in the end.
After all, even if Richard knew about her ultimate demise, what could he have done about it? Her condition was something Natasha had accepted on her terms after all.
”There is nothing for you to change Richard. You are perfect as you currently are and I am sure you turned out to be a decent human. I just think that staying inside is getting to me a little for now. I would like to take a walk in the gardens- ”
”You can . Sister can leave this room and me. You need to stay in here so that I can keep you safe. ”
Natasha had not even finished her sentence when she was rejected quite firmly. Richards eyes were strong and held Natashas own when she looked at him.
Her breathing was irregular and her arm hurt where Richard was gripping her. Natasha wanted to complain to him but his pale face and frightened blue eyes stopped her in her tracks.
Suddenly, all the fight left her body and Natasha could no longer find the will to go against her brothers decision.
After all, this was the child she had been ready to give her life up for. Even if it had ultimately been for her own sake, she had lived her life as this kids guardian.
”I understand. I will stay in this room for now. I hope I will be well enough to walk out of here soon. ”
Natashas tone was full of longing as she looked at the blue sky outside her window. It had been a long time since she had been able to move around freely.
The king did not like to see Natasha much so he restricted her movement before. She longed to be able to take a free walk once she was healed.
”Yeah. You can walk around once you feel better. I am sure you will recover soon enough. ”
Richards hand on her shoulder startled Natasha. His fingers moved beneath her shirt and Natasha froze for a solid second before forcing herself to relax.
She looked at her brother to see if this touch was a coincidence on his part or not but he was not currently looking at her. His eyes were looking at something outside the window and his hand refused to leave her shoulder.
”Richard, I think you should get going now. Surely you have a lot of work to catch up on. ”
Even Natasha knew that her excuse was not great. It rang hollow in her ears but she refused to show how awkward she felt right now.
Blue eyes met blue and Natasha felt her breath hitch as she looked at Richard. For the first time in her life, she felt as if she could not read what was going on in Richards mind. She was also sure she could see darkness in his eyes.
But the very next second it all vanished and Richard just blinked up at her. A small smile broke his cold facade apart and he finally took his hand back.
”I do have a lot of work to catch up on so I will go now. But I will visit you in the evening so wait for me to come to you. Don think of escaping or I will have to punish you. ”
Natashas smile froze on her face when she heard Richards ending words. They did not sound like a joke to her, nor were they words a concerned brother would say to his sister.
Don think about it. Don think what Richards words mean and what that kiss implied.
It was better for Natasha to try and forget what her brother had done to her. It was too early for her to draw any conclusions about Richards actions. Especially given her current condition.
It was still impossible for her to believe the doctors words about her condition.
According to what she had understood, she would need regular human essence to be able to live her life. But Natasha currently felt fine so she was not inclined to believe the doctor.
Then again, I had no energy in my body until I was kissed. Then, did that rush of energy I felt the life force?
Natasha wanted to get to the bottom of this puzzle but her head was beginning to hurt again. Her body was making it clear to Natasha that she had not recovered yet and it was not a good idea to make any hasty move.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the knock at the door and Natasha waved her hand to allow her entry. When the knock repeated itself she finally opened her mouth to give the person outside her door entry.
It was a maid Natasha had never seen before. But that made sense since Natasha had been asleep for the past few years.
”M-My lady, it is nice of you to wake up again. C-Can I help you with something. ”
The maid looked ready to shit herself as she looked at Natasha. The maid was not looking at Natasha but looking right in front of Natasha.
It was a complete change from the past and Natasha could not help and marvel at this change.
”Excuse me, but can I get a change of clothes and some food? I would like to eat before taking a walk outside. ”
The maid looked startled at Natashas request. The pale face combined with a wide-eyed look made it seem like the maid would faint any second.
It had not been her intention to scare the maid but Natasha could not find it in herself to reassure the maid. She had learned that if you gave the maid an inch, they would take a mile from you.
And Natasha also knew that her prejudice against the maids had nothing to do with the frightened child in front of her. But she was still not able to bring herself back down.
”I-my lady-we-I-you are not allowed to go out. Im sorry but I am under strict orders to not let you leave this room unless the crown prince comes to accompany you himself. ”
Natasha should have been surprised. She should even be shocked at what she heard the maid say to her.
But somehow, she could not find it in herself to be shocked. The current Richard seemed like a person capable of ordering to restrain Natasha. Especially with the hint of darkness, she saw in his eyes.
Natasha had learned some things about human psychology in her last life. She had not been an expert but Natasha had been made to take lessons to ensure her clients best mental condition.
And some of the books she had read talked about guilty consciousness.
It was entirely possible that Richards current condition was a result of this phenomenon but it would fade away with time and effort. Once he sees Natasha in action, he would be able to put everything in the past.
As for Sir Ashley? He will have to learn to let go as well. Natasha was not a toy they could try to acquire.
”M-My lady. If there is nothing else, then I would like to take my leave- ”
”And where do you think you are going? I don think I permitted you to leave this room. Are you ignoring your duties? ”
Natasha hated to be this harsh with the maid but she had no other choice if she wanted to get her point across.
She had never been strict with the maids before since it was the role she had to play. She had acted meek and allowed them to walk all over her. But that would no longer be the case for her.
Not only was her role over, but Natasha was also in a foul mood. She did not want to be triggered by the foolishness of the maids.
”I-my lady you cannot- ”
”I am not asking you to take me out. But just because you cannot follow half of my order, doesn mean you can ignore the other part of it as well. Now hurry up and fetch me my things. ”
The maid quickly left the room and Natasha sighed in peace. Today was turning out to be such a drag and it was only the first day after she had woken up. She dreaded to see what the future had in store for her.
But one thing was for certain – she could not stay in the palace. It was too dangerous for her.
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