Chapter 3

Lizzie turned and stared into the cool blue eyes she immediately recognized from the photograph from earlier. s His lips curled up into what she guessed would be his usual smile – an arrogant smirk that somehow fit his face and actually made it somewhat endearing rather than completely devious. Luckily, she would have absolutely no problem with being attracted to the man before her.

First of all, he was a prince, and from a logical standpoint, she knew there was no way anything would ever happen between them. Secondly, she could already detect from the way he carried himself that he was very full of himself. Not in a charming way, but in a cold, calculating way. Whether that was how he really was as a person or if it was some façade to keep who he was hidden, she didn't know, and, to be honest, she didn't particularly care. Some girls might find arrogance charming, but not her. If anything, it bored her.

The servant nodded his head and disappeared with Lizzie's luggage.

Her eyes glanced briefly at the attire he was wearing. The man could dress, whether he was dressing for a casual occasion or a formal one. The outfit he currently had on seemed to fall in between on the spectrum. Nikolai was wearing high-waist black slacks and a plain white t-shirt tucked in with black suspenders holding the pants up. His hair was just how it was in the picture - pushed back and held in place by gel. On his feet were polished black loafers, so shiny that Lizzie could see her silhouette reflected in them.

"So, you must be Elizabeth Grant," Nikolai said after taking the time to study her.

"Lizzie," she corrected, her eyes narrowing just slightly – enough that Nikolai would know not to call her by her full name. "Just Lizzie."

"All right, Just Lizzie," Nikolai said. "Since we've made introductions, how about I lead you to the library where we can get this show on the road."

The phrase sounded awkward coming out of his mouth, and by the way he grimaced, she knew it felt as awkward as it sounded.

She nodded but said nothing, and allowed Nikolai to lead her towards the grand library. The hallway was narrow, with the same crimson carpet and rather erotic artwork littering the walls. One painting was of a woman on top of a man – clearly having sex – holding her breasts and looking at the painter rather than her lover. When she glanced back, she saw Lewis standing there, and she could swear that the look on his face was icy, almost loathing. When Lewis saw that Lizzie was looking at him, he forced a crisp smile on his face and nodded his head in respect before tossing his cape over his shoulder and heading upstairs.

She turned her head and began to follow Nikolai down a long hallway. The floor was made up of smooth black and white tiles, much like a chessboard. Lizzie wasn't expecting to see something so modern in such a historic castle, but she was beginning to find that the truths she had of vampires seemed to be false more than truth. Her footsteps clicked against the floor, but as she studied the prince before her, she realized he seemed to move with grace and silence. If she didn't see him directly in front of her, she would think that she was entirely alone.

The library itself was grand in nature, and when Lizzie stepped through the doorway, her mouth dropped open in wonder. The only time she had actually seen so many books in one room was when she was a child, watching a scene from Beauty and the Beast. She never thought such a thing actually existed, but here it was, within reach of her fingertips.

The vampire closed the door behind her and turned so he could catch her gaze. "I take it you are a reader, then?" Nikolai asked, and he seemed confident of his deduction, a small smile on his face. He crossed his arms over his chest. She glanced over at him and realized just how bulging his biceps could be when he flexed them. She blinked and nearly shook her head in order to rid herself of the thoughts. "Feel free to use this library whenever you wish, day or night. Consider it yours throughout the duration of your stay here."

"Do you really have the power to offer me something like this?" she asked, staring up at the high ceiling. She was so consumed with her new environment that she didn't see Nikolai walk towards her, stopping only a few inches from her petite frame. He tilted his head downward so he could be eye-level with her.

"I am the next King," he told her softly, but his tone revealed that this was rather obvious. "I can offer you whatever I wish."

Thank you so much for reading this chapter! I hope you enjoyed it!