"First how is Raina? I heard some… discomforting rumors." The Empress asked, the story could wait. Her heart still ached for it all to be a lie. However that hope was dashed by the anger in her son's expression. Clovis looked away, not wanting his mother to see his anger now that Raina wasn't here to protect from it, he found the emotion was harder to control.
"Her cheek is bruised. I put some sav on it, and gave her a couple pretty little cloth masks to hide it." he replied and then his eyes shot to hers. There was fire in them and his mother knew, in the way good mothers did, that he had realized how she got here.
"Did that woman start something this morning? Is that why you are sentenced to this Awful place? She and her son dare bully my daughter?" Clovis growled not pausing long enough for his mother to answer between questions. She waited patiently for a moment, her heart torn by his reaction. On one hand, it was warm with pride that her son was so protective of his family. On the other, slightly more relevant hand, she didn't want him acting irrationally and doing something they would both regret. She reached a hand out, and corrected a strand of hair that had fell into his eyes. His eyes met hers and she sighed softly.
"Your anger is well founded, but you must contain it. Your father is still under their thrawl, My Dear one. We must not act hastily." She reminded him soothingly. Her voice like cold silk on his aggravated temper. "Yes, It was your Aunt who resulted in my being here. However, she did me a favor. I realize now the only thing that matters is our family. You, Your sister, and our Raina are all we need to be concerned with." The Empress replied and Clovis nodded, his fire slowly dying back. Taking advantage of the cooling of his temper, Empress Evelyn explained what had happened that morning. Exactly as it happened, she left nothing out. He was her son, from him she had no secrets. The expressions played across Clovis' face as he tried to find a way to cope with what had happened. She was less than surprised when he settled with disappointment, exactly as she had herself.
"Father never gave you the chance to explain?" He asked but then shook his head slowly. "Of course not. That White Lotus is his weakness. I'm sorry I wasn't there this morning, Mother." He added with a heavy heart.
"There would have been nothing for you to do, even if you had been." The Empress replied with a soft smile, she had paced a bit while explaining the story. The Emperor's actions had ceased to hurt now, she was numb to his indifference. Clovis sighed knowing she was right.
"That being said, I made it clear I did not seek the throne. Why does he still wish to punish my Daughter?" Clovis asked, the anger in his heart turning slowly to despair. All he wanted was to protect and raise his family. He had seen the damage done to his mother at the hand of the Imperial Harem. The destruction of the children sent to marry for their titles, and he wanted nothing of it. Living in constant fear of assassination of himself or God forbid Raina… It was never what he wanted.
"I'm afraid it is no longer just the crown they seek. She, that vixin, is aiming for my happiness as well. Because of this, you and little Raina are caught in the fight." The Empress sighed shaking her head even as she spoke. There was no way of ignoring the truth now. Not with things having gone as far as they have. The emotion in her voice was a slight bit cold. Clovis pulled his mother into his embrace and sighed softly.
"Then We will ensure they receive neither Prize nor Pleasure from their schemes." Clovis vowed, releasing her and moving her to arms length. The Empress' confusion was quickly painted across her face.
Tomorrow we end at chapter 50. Saturday or Sunday, depending on how much writing I get done tomorrow, we will have our first mass release to celebrate reaching the first mile stone for this story. I hope you like where I decided to put it, I'm trying to avoid a huge cliff hanger if things go how I think it will.
Thanks for reading,
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