"You will remain in this room, until my parents are gone," the King orders me in English. I don't look at him and instead burry my face in the pillow. He softly caresses my naked back, but I slap his hand away, but say nothing, knowing that saying anything would be futile anyway. He drapes the soft thin sheet over my lower half and caresses my long blond hair, which he adores so much. It has grown quite a few centimetres since I came to this country, all in accordance with this man's wish. It was just over my ears when I came here, now it can tickle the small of my back. I've done everything in accordance to his wish since I came here, solely to survive. He stripped me of my freedom, citizenship and my name, gave me another one instead. "The servant shall bring in your breakfast in a moment," the King says after which he withdraws his hand and leaves me be on the giant bed.
I slowly get up, dragging the thin blanket around me as a make-do dress. I haven't worn real clothing since I've come to this place. I put the blanket under my armpit and tie it together on my opposite shoulder, making a long dress with a huge slit on the side which pretty much still exposes my body. In my own country, I was revered as very smart, I already have a plan for the gap in my 'dress'. I take the two other side of the blanket, cover the gap with it putting it under my armpit, and tying them to my opposite shoulder. It's not the most elegant piece of clothing I've ever worn, but over the time I've been here, I've grown apathetic to things like that. Now I'm grateful for nights that he doesn't touch me and periods that I start to bleed, indicating that no evil seed has had its chance to sprout in my stomach. I slowly walk to the arch windows, pushing away the soft transparent fabric that functions as the glass, and look out onto the royal garden. It's peaceful, quiet, with in the far distance the palace wall, and behind that, the city wall. From my place up here, no one would ever expect a buzzing city, just behind that palace wall. This view gives you the feeling that you're in some sort of oasis, cut off from the entire world. But I know better, I tell myself while I stride onto the balcony, letting the soft dessert breeze go through my hair. It is quite early and I can see the sun rise, which still makes it relatively cool. Someone knocks on the door before entering. That must be my breakfast. Through the curtains, I see someone enter, she looks around for me. She must have spotted me, because she smiles, like she's relieved I didn't try escape again. She puts down the tray with food and then leaves. I walk back into the room to find a continental breakfast, with a lot of European style bread and cheese, as well as some eggs. I don't feel like eating anything heavy, but since it's a great improvement of what they first gave me, I still take a few bites. The peaches, however, I devour, like a hungry beast. Their soft and tender meat is like medication to my wounded being. Their sweetness reminds me of better times, happier times, a time when I could go out in our garden and get a peach from our own tree. It's so quiet in this room, I realize when I hear a sob come from my throat. I need to get out of this room, see people. I drop the peach I was eating and run for the door. I know there're no guards standing watch anymore, as I heard no one talk to the maid when she brought the food in. The King may think that I'm clueless of my position and of the level of surveillance I'm under, but he's wrong. As I said before, I'm far from stupid. After all, it wasn't stupidity that got me into this situation, but ill luck.
I stride through the corridors of the palace, such a beautiful palace. I see very few people, but I'm not looking for them inside the castle. As I'm probably the only blonde and Caucasian in the entire palace, everyone recognizes me. And if not for my looks, they will recognize me by the burn mark on my wrist, marking me as a royal slave or harem girl, I'm not sure which it is. But if they recognize me, they would escort me back to the royal bedroom, or at least let his majesty know where I am. For that I'm not wandering in the palace, but I'm going straight to a certain goal, evading the guards and going there as quietly as possible. I sneaked into the library, evading the scholars working here and go to the silent part, near the small window. In spite of what the King thinks, this is my favourite spot in the castle. One floor lower, and you would look at the blind palace wall, but at this floor, you can look over the wall and see the city. I sit down on the window sill and smile to myself. Who would have ever thought that my only connection to the real world would be a small window in a library. I spent as much time as possible here, though that is not always possible during the day. The King has lately made it a habit to dress me in a fur and let me lie on his lap while he attends to all kinds of royal businesses. It's a small desolate dessert country, but is has a thriving economy and the King is a busy man. The country is a special UN protectorate, meaning that the everyday human does not know about it, unless you work in the higher circles of the UN. My father is such a person, and he got me a permit to go to this protectorate. The protectorates are different very small countries who still live like they did hundreds of years ago and have not yet been touched by the world politics. The UN protects these countries as sacred and getting in is extremely difficult. The rulers of the protectorates do have ties to royal families all over the world and some of those families come to visit sometimes.
The King ends his conversation with his parents. He is uneasy today, but he doesn't know why. He has been since he left Adara in the room. She has strict orders to stay there until he returns. It might seem harsh to her, but it was to protect her. He glares at his father. He knows the man's habits, and that means that he has to keep Adara away from him. His parents now leave for their ride back to their mansion, just outside of town, when a distressed maid runs towards him. "I'm so sorry, your majesty. I went back to clear away her breakfast and I thought I saw her on the balcony. But when I brought her lunch, I noticed that she was still standing in the same spot, but when I looked closer, I saw that it was just a shadow. Now that I think about it, the door was open as well," the maid babbles. The King tries to understand what she's saying. "Looks like your prize has escaped," the wicked voice of his father says behind him. The King grows numb when he hears his father's voice. This man, cannot find Adara first. The King starts giving orders to his guards to start the search for the girl. It's the hottest point of the day, she must be inside the palace, for she is not used to the desert temperatures.
"My name is Virginia," she says sobbingly and angrily while she tries to cover herself with the thin blanket. The King takes her in his arms and lifts her up like a princess. He carries her out of the library, ignoring the pleas of his servants to help him. He growls a command to them in their own language and the servants stop following them. He carries her straight to the royal bath chambers. After quickly undoing his robes, he carries her into the hot water with him. She tries to struggle but he softly whispers to her, soothing her. "Please don't struggle. I won't do anything to you. I'll just wash that man's touch off you," the King says as he gently removes the thorn blanket from her shoulders. She still struggles, but slowly lets him undress her in the warm water, it's not like he's never seen it before. He gently washes her, not perversely, but like a man would wash his treasured lover. She notices that he behaviour is different, it's careful, tender and almost loving. After the bath, servant girls dry her off and they give her a thin night gown with spaghetti straps. It looks like it's custom made and it fits her perfectly with a tight body, but a very loose skirt that floats in the air. The King takes her in his arms again, despite her struggles and he carries her to the bed chamber. He seems to winch as he puts her down on the bed, expecting him to take her, just like his father was planning to do only a few hours earlier. He softly kisses her forehead and whispers: "I won't embrace you tonight. For as much as I wish to replace the memory of that man's touch with my own, you're too stressed. And I can't do that to you."
He climbs over her, snuggles her up against himself and covers them under the blanket. Soon after she's sound asleep and her soft rhythmic breathing makes him follow her quickly.
Hours later he awakens by soft sobbing. He opens his eyes, lets the adjust to the darkness of midnight and then looks for the sobbing sound. He finds it clutching onto his chest, trembling with fear. He puts his arms around her and hugs her closely. She looks up at him, realizing she has awakened him, her face stained with tears. "I can still feel his hands. When I close my eyes, I see his hungry eyes," she whispers. The King sighs and hugs her closer. He would like to kiss her, tell her that he would be happy to erase those memories from her and replace them with his own, but that would only deepen her trauma. Then he feels her soft lips against his own and the next moment he hears her whisper. "Please erase those memories from me."