Rise of a Queen

By: Rina Kent


Soon enough, I’ll make all her nightmares vanish, even if it’s the last thing I do.

“Call Harris,” I tell Moses. “We need to arrange an underground meeting.”

If the fucker who attacked her today — which I assume is the same person who stabbed her eleven years ago — thinks he can escape me, he has no idea who he’s up against.

He can fool fate itself, but he can never fool me.

I’ll find the scum who did this to her, and I’ll enjoy ending his life in the slowest way possible.

Aurora is mine, and I’ll bring chaos to the world to protect what’s fucking mine.





6





Aurora





Meaty fingers wrap around my waist and drag me across the dirt. The black, merciless dirt.

It’s my turn now.

I’m going to die today.

But…why? What have I done?

I try to struggle, to squirm, to scream, but not one muscle in my body moves. I’m trapped in my own skin where no sound comes out.

As the dragging continues, my head bumps against the hard ground.

He’s here.

It doesn’t matter that I can’t see him. I know without a doubt that he’s returned for me, and this time, he won’t let me go. This time, I’m absolutely done for.

“Aurora…”

That voice.

My muscles relax into the dirt as it filters through my ears. It’s not Dad’s. It’s…someone else’s.

Someone I shouldn’t be thinking about, but the remainder of my energy is rushing to the surface so that I can recognise him.

There’s something about that voice. His presence and his entire aura.

Is he an illusion?

My shoulders shake. “Aurora!”

I startle into the clutches of wakefulness. My eyes snap open, and for a moment, I’m frozen in place. I’m in that grave, and now, I’ll be buried alive. I’ll be…

My eyes meet the steel-like gaze that I’ve grown used to in the last couple of months. Its grey is harsher and non-negotiable right now, only it doesn’t seem to be directed at me.

Jonathan runs his fingers through my hair, stroking it back, and I almost want to purr like a kitten.

I’m not in that grave. I’m not anywhere near it. There’s no black shadow after my life.

It’s…over.

The sense of relief hits me like a soothing wave and I fight the urge to close my eyes and sink into the feel of Jonathan’s touch.

It’s comforting and gentle, and I know for a fact that tenderness isn’t his thing at all, so I should soak in this moment as much as I can.

As I relax into the familiar mattress of my bed, I take in the rest of my room — the soft curtains and the large lamp on the side table. I try not to think much about the fact that he brought me to my room, not his. After all, he needs a punishment to let me step in there.

“Are you okay?” he asks in that no-nonsense tone of his. It takes everything in me not to scoff. Only Jonathan would ask if you’re okay while being authoritative.

Still not finding my voice, I nod.

“You don’t look okay.” The stroking stops, and I groan before I can catch myself.

Jonathan is sitting on my bed, his large body looming over my small one, both like a comfort and a threat. The mixed signals give me whiplash, but I don’t get to think about it as he retrieves a small first aid kit from the bedside table.

He touches his finger to my mouth and I wince as his skin connects with my cut. “I covered the scrapes on your knee and palms. I was going to apply ointment on your lip when you woke up.”

Sure enough, my palms have small bandages on them. Since the covers are pulled up to my neck, I take a peek under them. The first thing I notice, along with the bandage on my knee, is that I’m dressed in a nightgown.

“Did you…did you dress me?” My voice is a bit hoarse, a bit weak, but it’s nothing I wouldn’t have expected.

“Who else would have?” His expression is unchangeable as he applies the ointment on a cotton bud. “It’s not anything I haven’t seen before.”

I clamp my lips shut before I start arguing that I was unconscious, and I hate that I wasn’t awake to watch how he stripped me.

Damn it. There’s definitely something wrong with me.

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