“So, what you’re saying is…” Kasser trailed off, unable to continue his thought.
Eugene watched as a flurry of emotions washed over his face before disappearing to leave him looking a little angry and terribly sad.
He stood up and left the drawing room. Eugene didn’t move to stop him. He needed time to think about what he had just learned. Still, she felt her heart break for him.
That night, a servant brought a message telling her that the king wouldn’t be coming to dinner and that she shouldn’t wait to start eating. Eugene ate alone and, two hours later, she called a servant to check up on him.
“Where is His Majesty?” she asked.
The servant bowed. “He’s in his office, My Queen.”
“Has he eaten anything?”
“Not yet, My Queen. He said he didn’t have an appetite, so you needn’t worry.”
Eugene frowned. “Is he alone in his office?”
“No, My Queen.” The servant shook his head. “He’s been calling officers. It seems like he has work to do.”
“Really?” Eugene was surprised. Was he working because he needed to or because he was trying to avoid the truth?
She desperately wanted to go and console him, but she had to let him come to her when he was done thinking. She believed it wouldn’t take much longer.
That night, a servant came again to deliver a message saying that the king would be sleeping late and she shouldn’t wait for him to go to bed. Eugene kept calm in front of the servant, but she was starting to get troubled.
He usually went to bed after her. It was expected at this point. He didn’t need to send a servant to tell her that.
She tossed and turned in bed that night. She wondered if it was all her fault.
I was being inconsiderate, she thought. I should’ve told him about everything before I went to see his mother. I shouldn’t have decided that on my own.
Despite her thoughts of doubt, Eugene was eventually able to fall asleep. In the morning, she expected to find evidence of Kasser sleeping beside her the night before. But there was no sign that he had been there at all.
She sent for a maid who immediately told her, “His Majesty left early this morning. He told me to let you know he wouldn’t be late tonight.”
Nodding, Eugene sent the maid away.
She was relieved. He hadn’t left her completely in the dark. He still wanted to let her know where he was and when he would be back.
As the maid left, however, she couldn’t help but notice that they seemed to be treating her more carefully. Perhaps they thought we had a fight?
It made sense that they would assume that.
He had skipped dinner and didn’t come to bed the night before.
He had never done that.
It seemed like they were trying to lay low what with their employers in a fight. She wondered if they were talking about it.
I’ll wait until dinner, she decided. If he won’t come, then I’ll go to him.
It’s raining a lot, Eugene thought to herself as the small shower from the morning turned into a storm.
She hadn’t seen that much rain since she came to the world. She was sick of all the rain she had experienced on Earth. Just a little would send her house flooding.
In the place she lived now, without worrying about flooding, she could enjoy herself as she watched the rain. She leaned against a chair and listened to the water as it dripped down. She must have stayed there for hours.
She didn’t hear the door open, but she caught sight of the figure’s reflection in the window. She turned around and found her eyes meeting Kasser’s. She was surprised.
He smiled at her. “Did I interrupt?”
Eugene shook her head. “Of course not.” She got up at once and ran straight to him, falling into his embrace. His arms wrapped around her back as he held her close.
It was only then that she realized his clothes were wet. Eugene looked up at him and found his hair was damp as well.
“Were you out in the rain?” she asked.
He shrugged. “It just started pouring.”
“How long have you been soaked?” she demanded. “You’ll catch a cold if you let yourself stay damp for so long.”
“A cold?” Kasser grinned as she began to nag him. They both laughed and he leaned down to offer her a quick kiss. “You’re the only one who can talk to me that way.” He held her close then mumbled, “He looked like the last king.”
“Aiden. My brother.”
Eugene’s eyes widened. “You saw him?”
He nodded. “I knew I had to see for myself after you told me,” he explained. “My mother… I didn’t bother looking into it any further when I realized her situation.”