18 Searing Jealousy
“Wife! You’re awake?” Anastasia found Caspian swooshing in and standing by her bedside, staring at her with a worried look on his face.
“Yes,” Anastasia smiled without even trying. She tried to push herself up on the bed but her body felt very sore.
“Careful! Let me help you,” Caspian offered to help her sit up. He held Anastasia’s hand with one of his hands and he slid the other one under her back and gently pulled her up. He arranged the pillows behind her back so that she could lean comfortably.
Anastasia was baffled by how gentle and careful he was being with her right now. It was as though the scary and intimidating side of him was non-existent.
He sat on the bed by her side. Anastasia looked down at her hands and started playing with the blanket’s cover. She didn’t know how to face him after showing her vulnerable side to him yesterday.
Caspian pinched her jaw to make her look at him. He looked into her emerald green eyes and asked in his husky voice, “How are you feeling? Are you feeling pain anywhere?”
Anastasia felt butterflies in her stomach when his beautiful eyes reflected concern for her wellbeing. The walls that she tried to build around her heart were so weak that they crumbled down that very moment.
“I’m feeling okay,” her words came out as a melodious whisper.
Caspian took her hand and looked at the bruises on her elbow. “Doesn’t it hurt?” he asked with genuine curiosity because he couldn’t tell if those bruises would be painful or not.
Anastasia gently pressed on her grazed skin and inhaled sharply. “It hurts when I touch it. But it will heal completely within a week.”
Caspian felt a prick in his heart when Anastasia winced after touching her bruise. He got up to pick an ointment that the physician had left and sat back on the bed.
“Let me put this on you. It might help ease the pain,” Caspian squeezed the ointment on his fingertip and took Anastasia’s hand. He gently rubbed the medicine on the bruises while also blowing his cool breath.
Anastasia bit the inside of her lower lip and held her breath as she watched Caspian puckering his lips. She didn’t know what was soothing, the ointment or his breath. But whatever it was, she felt a little relieved.
After Caspian applied the medicine on both of her hands, Anastasia gazed into his scarlet eyes and said, “Thank you! Both for now and for yesterday. I would have probably died if you were a little la-”
Anastasia gasped and widened her eyes because she felt a sudden pull and the next thing she knew, Caspian was tightly wrapping his arms around her waist.
His touch made her feel as if thousands of lightning bolts were running up and down her body. And she breathlessly thought, ‘I think I will melt away in his arms if he keeps on embracing me like this.’
Caspian could feel Anastasia’s heart thumping loudly over his chest. Her heartbeat was like music to his ears. His lips curved up a little upon hearing her increasing heart rate. And he could tell that it was not from fear but something else. He loved how she was not trying to pull away from the hug or push him away.
Caspian rested his chin on her shoulder and whispered, “You’re not allowed to die! Not from anyone else’s hands.”
Anastasia softly chuckled because the Caspian that she knew was back. But she was not even scared of his ‘threats’ anymore. Rather, she calmly whispered back, “I know. I’ve made a promise to you.” Her face hardened with resolve as she further added, “And I plan on keeping that promise.”
“You better do.” Caspian tightened his grip even more and calmly threatened her, “If you die or leave me before a year is complete, then I will personally massacre everyone in Orsenia.”
Though Caspian was threatening her, all that Anastasia could hear was his concern for her safety. Without her giving a shred of effort, she felt that she had somehow already left some mark in Caspian’s heart.
So she instantly used this opportunity to take a step closer to winning their bet. She rested her head on his shoulder and promised again, “I won’t leave you. I swear on my parents.” 𝒾𝗻𝓃𝐫eα𝚍. 𝒄𝐨m
She made herself believe that she was just playing pretend. However, she was as lost as Caspian. Even his cold embrace gave warmth to her. She felt as if she was being embraced by the warm morning sunlight.
Her face turned gloomy all of a sudden and she expressed her dissatisfaction over her actions, “It was very foolish of me to leave the hall. I endangered Tilla’s life as well. I don’t know what I was thinking, roaming around the garden like that when the castle was full of vampires.”
Caspian pulled away from the hug and placed his hands on her shoulders. “Don’t get too hung up on that tragedy now. Tilla is fine. She has lost some blood so she is a bit weak right now. But she should be up and about in a day or two.”
A frown line appeared on his forehead when he further said, “Besides, it was my fault that I couldn’t protect you. I should have never left your side when I already knew that some vampires could target you, regardless of your status as my wife, or more specifically because you are my wife.”
Caspian removed the hair that was covering her shoulder to check the scratch mark on her neck. He was relieved to see that the wound wasn’t that big. But he still apologized, “I’m sorry Beth did this to you. I should have known that she would try such dirty tricks to scare you. She’s always been a little... possessive of me.”
Anastasia felt a shooting pain in her heart at the mention of that woman. From his words and his expression, she felt that he was very close to her.
‘If she was not his mistress then what is she? Is she his lover?’ And for some reason, she felt her heart clenching at the thought of them happily dancing together yesterday.
‘I asked him if he had ever loved any human but I never asked if he was in love with some vampire lady... or ladies. How many other women are there in his life?’ She tried to suppress that sour and burning feelings in her chest by digging her nails in her palms. But no matter what she did, the feeling wasn’t going anywhere.
“Hey, is-is something wrong?” Caspian glanced at her downturned lips and frowned.
Anastasia couldn’t bring herself to speak. She could feel chills inside her chest and her breathing got heavier and heavier.
Now, Caspian was worried out of his mind. “Tell me what’s wrong? You’re not about to faint again, are you? Does it hurt somewhere?”
‘My chest hurts!’ she wanted to scream at him and pound his chest for no reason but she pressed her lips into a thin line and violently shook her head.
Caspian sighed and ran his fingers through his blonde hair in frustration. He didn’t know what was wrong with his wife or how he could help her, and it was killing him to be this helpless. He hastily got up, “I’ll call the physician. Please hold on until then,” and rushed towards the door.
Finally, Anastasia couldn’t take it in anymore and she shouted while glaring at Caspian’s back, “Do you love that woman? Or any other woman?”
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