He stepped forward, and my heart skipped a beat. His eyes studied mine for a moment, before he gently lifted a hand to trace my cheek. I could barely breathe. “I will never leave you,” he said simply. The look in his eyes was so certain.
He leaned closer, and I reached up to wrap my hand around his, where he held my cheek. I let my eyes fall closed as his lips brushed mine.
I melted against him.
The first kiss was soft— the next firm, and in two short steps I was backed against the wooden door to his room. I leaned into him as our mouths moved in unison— his hand lifted from my cheek to intertwine with mine, and his other hand moved to cup my waist. Without thinking, I gripped the neck of his tunic and the cord began to unravel.
When we finally stopped, I was breathing heavily, feeling dazed and light. I could see his chest partially, with the cord half undone, and felt myself flushing red.
He traced the outline of my face again with his hand. “I will do whatever it takes to get you what is rightfully yours, Adrina,” he promised. “You will never lose me— not to anyone.”
It took me a moment to break the spell that had come over us.
“About that . . .” I breathed, still staring at him. “I don’t know if this is the right thing to be doing.”
He slowly stepped back from me.
“What do you mean?” he asked, as began to retie the cord of his tunic.
“I mean . . . it is the king and queen who did wrong by me. Not Annaliese. She doesn’t deserve to die because of their actions.”
“Annaliese will become Queen,” Julian replied firmly, “Unless we take her out.”