“I no longer want you.”
Emperor Richard de Tristaine fumed as he looked upon the woman he was ready to abandon just a few weeks ago.
“You don’t mean that,” he gritted out through clenched teeth.
Empress Jovine smirked at the look on her husband’s face. For months, he had neglected her, trading empty words of affection to placate her yearning heart, then leaving to find company in the arms of another woman. But now, she was done with it all. Done with him.
“I mean every word, Your Majesty.”
“Jovine,” he warned, his face flushed in anger.
She stared at him blankly, no longer affected by his scolding tone. Before, she would cower in fear, always afraid of displeasing the man she loved.
Not anymore. She would no longer endure the injustice. She would no longer allow them to trample on her.
“Yes, Richard?” she challenged.
Jovine could see the surprise flit across his eyes. How long had it been since she called him by his name? Was it on their wedding night, when it escaped her lips during the throes of ecstasy? Or the rare moments they shared at the beginning of their marriage when he was kind and adoring?
A sharp stab of pain spasmed in her chest at the thought of their short-lived bliss. They could have been so happy together. He could have been so loved, so cherished, so preciously regarded.
But, he forsook her. He left her behind for a woman intent on shattering their marriage.
Left speechless, the Emperor had no words for his wife. Jovine internally scoffed at the sight.
Bowing her head, she said, “If there’s nothing else, I shall take my leave.”
Without another glance, she turned away from him.
A harsh grip at her elbow yanked her back into a solid chest. She could feel the heat of his body surround her and, surprisingly, the thundering rhythm of his heart pounding against her delicate back.
“Why are you doing this?” Richard breathed into her hair.
Jovine froze at the question. Why am I doing this?
She seethed in anger, fury bubbling through her veins. How dare he ask that? How dare he, after all he’d done to her?
Even now, she could see the image of him caressing that treacherous woman as a pool of her own blood seeped into the sheets of his affair. Before the darkness had claimed her, the last thing she saw was the way her husband betrayed her with the very mistress who drove a dagger through her heart.
She had died. But, now she was back. Back in time.
“Why am I doing this?” she repeated back darkly. “I thought I told you, Richard. I no longer want you. In fact, I feel nothing for you anymore.”
His sharp intake of breath at her words only fueled the rage building up in her chest.
"You're lying," he accused.
Turning her head, she met his eyes. "What's wrong, Richard? Isn't this what you wanted?"
"I never wanted this," he replied in a shaky voice.
Jovine narrowed her eyes. Without another word, she shook off his touch like it disgusted her and walked away from him, ignoring his enraged shout as he desperately called out to her.
This is only the beginning, she thought.
By some miracle, she had traveled back to the past, and this time, she was determined to stay alive and reap tragedy on her enemies.
Richard de Tristaine. Emilia Syrene. Are you ready for me?