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31 - In Which Vivian is Told A Prophecy of Wolves and Stars
Vivian leaned against the marble walls, clutching tight to a piece of paper. She took a deep breath of cold winter air. It was the first day of the new moon and a new year, and the halls were bustling with activity.
Having finished the Academy’s celebrations, today was the start of the week-long recess. Sky shuttles and balloons dotted the meadow, all bound for the land below. Most students spent time with their family, while some fourth years took excursion to places that may aid their studies. All departures had to be approved by your Head of House.
Vivian glanced down at her own request form. Had it really been three moons since her feet at touched the earth?
The door swung open and out funneled Setviren’s delighted chatter and another voice. A voice that made her heart stop and blood sing.
His words cut off as he stepped out of the office. “Vivian,” he stammered, offering a half-smile.
He wore the blue and gold colors of House Störmberg, a golden wolf and three stars emblazed over his chest. He stood tall and stoic. But underneath it all, his heart raced.
“Are you heading down to Wolfhelm for the recess?” she asked.
He ran a hand through his hair. “Ah, yes. It is a good chance to catch up on my royal duties. What about you?” Darius gestured to the paper in her hands.
“Oh. Yes. Well, possibly. That’s why I’m here.” She looked weakly to Setviren, who just stood flitting his green eyes between them like a wary bird. “I’m thinking of heading to Kirrintsova with Carmilla. I’ve never been there before.”
“Oh.” If he was surprised, he didn’t show it. “Kirrintsova is beautiful. The people love to skate on the frozen lakes this time of year. You’ll have to get yourself a pair.”
Vivian gave him a polite smile. “Right. I’ll do that.”
But when she thought of ice, all she thought of was him. He really doesn’t remember. He didn’t remember kissing her in the ice, how he’d touched every inch of her naked body, how they’d whispered ‘I love you’ to each other, and how it’d felt like a declaration to the gods that could never be taken back. He forgot it all…
He forgot I sank my teeth into his neck and drank his blood.
She felt his blood inside her now, pumped around her body by her wicked heart. Blood that had brought back her taste, her clarity of thought, her strength to stand—and withstand him.
Even though it was days later, the blood still helped subside her cravings. Except for now, when she stepped close to him and smelled his skin: pine, snow, and expensive fabric. She could feel his hard and soft kisses as they moved together—and she wanted it. Wanted it again.
But he didn’t even remember it had been so.
And she realized none of them had said anything, but she’d stepped closer to him, or he to her, and she could almost imagine Setviren had faded away entirely, if not for his nasally breaths.
Then Darius said, his voice low and breathy, “It feels I have not seen you in forever. Perhaps since the Yule—”
Stomping of boots sounded, and Marion positioned herself between Darius and Vivian, their disheveled brother in tow. “Loremaster Setviren, I believe we have an appointment for you to look over my sister's leave request form.” She turned to Darius. “Are you finished here?”
END OF PREVIEW
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