Author-note: If you want to know more about the King's background of why he is the way he is, please read the first few chapters of volume-2 that starts from chapter 561
Madeline shivered by his words, and as he pulled away from her neck, their face was close with their masks on their face. Her eyes darted from one eye to another, staring back at him and she heard him say,
"I see you're not scared of the night creatures," Calhoun noticed how she pursed her lips at his question, wetting her lips very subtly.
Madeline knew not to fear when one met a night creature, and they were in a ball. She doubted he would do anything to her that she had to worry about, "Is there something I have to be scared about them?" she asked him, questioning the words he spoke, and the man behind the mask smirked.
"Many humans fear their existence. Stay far away from them while internally cursing and wishing death, isn't that so?" he asked her.
"I don't think I have come across anyone to fear," she replied, feeling his hold on her waist gentle yet firm.
He pushed her away again, playing with her with the music that was played in the corner of the room. When Madeline twirled around, her dress spun along with her, and she ended up back in his arms, her hand locked as her back faced the front of his body, "So brave. I can tell I am the first one you have met," he whispered the words next to her ear.
He let her go from his hold, dancing with her while the girl moved with him, "You must be working here in the castle. Have you seen the King?" she asked him.
She felt his hand move around her waist as she turned to be caught by him again, "The King?" asked the man, "I have, why do you ask?" he asked, his eyes carrying curiosity towards her.
Madeline shrugged her shoulders that had the man glance at her slender and delicate part of her body that looked soft and smooth. He wondered how it would feel to bite into that skin, and the thought had his hand grip on her tightly as he pulled her close once again.
"He invited his subjects to the Grand Ball of Hallow and isn't here. I find it…"
"Rude?" he chuckled.
"I was going for improper," Madeline said to look away from his daunting gaze as it never left her face.
She looked at the people who were dancing on the floor and also others. The men and women who were standing on the sidelines talking, appeared to be curious about who the couple was—some eyes on the mysterious man and some on the woman who was with him.
She noticed her sister Beth who was dancing with another man looking her way, curious about who Madeline was dancing with.
"The King must have his reasons for not showing up here. We all have our problems, don't we, Madeline?" Madeline came to realize how he wasn't addressing her with 'Miss' or 'Lady', but instead, he was using her name as if they were familiar with each other, "Are you interested in seeing the King? Is that why you are inquiring about his presence, I wouldn't judge if you wanted to."
Women often wanted to meet and flatter him in the hope to win his favour, but Calhoun Hawthrone was smarter than them. He complimented them back, spinning and twisting with their own words for his amusement.
"I don't," she replied to him.
"A mere interest then," he replied with a whisper for her to listen.
Madeline then said, "It would have been nice for him to spare a moment. Especially for those people who have travelled from a far distance.."
"People," said the man, "Do you believe they are here for only the reason of having to see a man who they fear? There are plenty of reasons, and most of them are getting filled. Attending a grand ball, food, people to meet and enjoy."
"It seems like you love the King to side with his actions," the words slipped out of Madeline's lips, and she bit her tongue at how the words had rolled out which she regretted now.
The man instead of looking at her with accusing look in his eyes for not kissing the ground where the King walked, he laughed, "Seems like you aren't fond of him," looking at her with intrigue.
Madeline smiled at the man, "I haven't met him to know if I am or not fond of him. I have nothing against him," she added, not wanting to get on the wrong side of the King if ever her words were to reach his ears.
"Worry not, your words are safe with me," he said and finally let go of his hand that was on her waist when the song ended. It was hard to trust with the full mask on his face, thought Madeline to herself but the man had created some sense of intrigue in her which she knew she should not have, "Thank you for the dance, Madeline," he said, and she bowed.
Taking a step back and then two, she saw the way his predator's eyes looked at her every move and action. She turned around to leave, walking a few steps before turning around to take a look to see the man who she had danced with had disappeared like an illusion.
Her brown eyes looked for a second more before she walked through the crowd of men and women. Madeline hugged herself and rubbed her arms as she had moved from the ballroom that was filled with people to a less crowded place where the cold wind of the night moved quickly.
She took a deep breath and exhaled the air through her pink lips.
Beth was busy with a man who wore rich clothes that had her wonder if her sister had caught the King's eyes by any chance. Not wanting to disturb her, Madeline decided to take a look at the castle while searching for her parents.
While she searching not too far away from the ballroom, Madeline heard someone call her.
"Lady Madeline!" and Madeline turned back to see who had called her.
She saw a man walking towards her who wore a mask on his face like her and her eyebrows slightly drew wondering who it was and her eyebrows raised in realization,
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