The walls seemed too dark. The air seemed too quiet. But I continued walking slowly down the long corridor. Using my hands as my eyes, I felt along the cold stone walls. The only slight sound was the sound of my bare feet against the marbled floor. I knew if I got caught up, roaming the palace, I would surely be sent back up to my room. This time with the lock on the door…
My night gown ruffled at my ankles as I crept past King Damien’s room. Hoping he would be fast sleep. To my luck I heard not a single noise as I passed the door. Turning to my right just a few feet past his room, I continued down the right wing corridor. Although I knew every floor and every wall of the palace, the darkness and stillness at night still frightened me…
I knew if I walked about ten feet more then turned left and continued walking. I would hit the stairs to the door of the guards and knights quarters. I was also hoping that they would be fast asleep. It was surely after two in the morning. I had not been able to sleep. Of course I was never able to sleep. My nights haunted by unanswered prayers and reoccurring nightmares.
I made my way towards the stairs. Lifting my gown up slightly as I stepped warily down the large concrete stairs that felt colder than ice against the bottoms of my bare feet. I noticed the slight glow of light creeping out from the space under the door. As I lifted my right hand to knock softly on the door, the door swung open, the light blinding me momentarily and shocking me.
After a moment my vision cleared and I sighed as the slightly shocked face of Gabriel was right in front of me.
“Oh good. Its just you.” I whispered putting a hand to my chest.
Gabriel gave me a flabbergasted look. As I opened my mouth to explain, he lifted a finger and shushed me. Grabbing my hand he pulled me into the room, slowly shutting the door behind me, then pulled me through the long room. Around me sleeping in bunks lays the other guards and knights. Snoring, cussing in their sleep. Just as a couple of them stirred I was pulled through another door and into a another room.
Gabriel shut the door locking it.
“What in the hell do you think your doing here?” Gabriel turned around his deep green eyes angry.
“I couldn‘t sleep.” I said standing there a few feet in front of him. Two or three candles dimly lit the room. Gabriel shook his head, his hands in fist’s at his side.
“Do you have any idea how much trouble you would have been in if I hadn‘t been the one to open that door Olivia? You should know better than that by now.” He said sternly his eyes still angry.
“I’m sorry. I just couldn’t sleep and I needed to get out.” I said looking at Gabriel in his dark blue pants and half unbuttoned white long sleeve shirt that was tucked into them.
“I don‘t care! You know better.” Gabriel almost yelled. I huffed plopping myself into a chair next to the table in the middle of the room, crossing my arms and looking away.
I heard Gabriel sigh, and heard his foot steps as he walked over to me. Sitting in the chair beside me.
“Look at me Olivia.” He said with frustration in his voice. I shook my head closing my eyes tightly. As he sighed again, I could picture the way he would run a hand through his shaggy light brown hair. And I opened my eyes and looked at him my arms still crossed and a frown on my face.
He scooted his chair up against mine.
“I‘m sorry. I should understand how lonely you get up there.”
I did not say anything, just continued frowning.
“Olivia…” I shook my head and he smiled slightly. Lifting a finger and pushing on my bottom lip which was pouted out.
“Come on. Come on Olive.”
He whispered with a smile on his face. Forcing myself to continue being angry even as he called me my nickname by which only he called me, I furrowed my eyebrows.
“Olive. You know you want to smile. Come on. Let me see that smile Olive.” His eyes lit up almost as bright as his smile as he moved closer to me. No longer able to hold back, I smiled.
“There we go.” Gabriel smiled back at me.
“I am sorry. I really just wanted to see you.” I said and Gabriel nodded, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“Its alright. You just need to be careful. If your father finds out about this..” I stopped him in mid sentence.
“King Damien is not my father.” I said looking at him frustrated.
He sighed and nodded.
“Yes I know. But he is the closest thing you’ve got. And incase you have forgotten. He is the reason you have to creep around here. And if he finds out. You won‘t be seeing any one for a while” He said with worry in his eyes. I looked down.
“I know. I‘ll try to be more careful.”
The room was silent for a moment. The only sound was the crackling of the fire on the candles. I felt Gabriel’s fingers brushing a black spiral of hair behind my ear then slide under my chin and tilt my head up to look at him.
“Now. Why can’t you sleep?” He asked looking into my eyes.
I sighed. Honestly, it was extremely difficult to explain why I never could sleep. Just that I never could sleep.
“I guess, the best way to explain it. Is. I‘m just scared. Scared and lonely.” I whispered looking down. I felt Gabriel pull me over to him and sit
me on his leg. He wrapped his arms around me and I laid my head on his shoulder.
“Well. We need to fix that.” He whispered. And I closed my eyes…