Blood spilt on the earth, staining it a lovely shade of crimson.
It was her favourite colour.
But not in this particular moment, for the blood that spoiled and tainted the ground was hers.
He loomed over her, his tall figure casting shadows all around as cold metal propped itself under her chin, its pointed tip prevented her from even swallowing the lurch in her throat, the weapon lifted her gaze to his. A soft smile curled on his pale lips, “Do not worry, Your Majesty. This blade shall smoothly cleave your head off — you won’t feel anything.”
“Damn right I won’t feel a thing!” Delicate fingers clutched the handle of her teacup before she shattered it, its contents and even the cup itself now strewn on the glass table. “That sadistic bastard! I should have known — “
But she didn’t know that he would do such a thing. She was a fool to believe otherwise. This instance irritated her more than when she recounted to the host that her husband had sentenced her to exile. Shutting her eyes for a moment, she tried to let the memory wash away from her head. Ignoring the tightness in her chest.
She hadn’t even noticed that blood trickled down her fingers, completely unaware as her mind recounted the memories.
The cloaked man in front of her sighed, motioning with a flick of a wrist towards the spillage on their table. The liquid rose and pooled together before they returned to its cup. The cup’s fragments piecing themselves back together as if brand new. As if the young woman in front of him had never broken anything at all.
Even the very blood that stained her fingertips was gone.
“One often regrets after the ordeal has been finished.” He remarked.
She lifted her gaze, rosy red lips curling into a snarl before she picked up her teacup and resumed drinking. After a moment, she placed it down to rebut his statement. “It wasn’t an error of my judgement — it’s all because she arrived. That vixen seduced everyone with that disgusting smile.” A frown formed on her lips, she eyed him warily.
“You don’t happen to favour her as well, do you?”
She could never be too careful.
The man stayed silent for a moment, as if pondering her question. He even took the chance to sip his tea as he did, perhaps he was smiling underneath that cloak. She gritted her teeth but waited for his response.
He finally shrugged, “If I were fond of that woman, I wouldn’t have entertained you.”
“Good.” She smirked. Perhaps it was the only thing she could smirk about in satisfaction. At least this man in front of her was unbiased and non-frivolous.
The cloaked man chuckled, “What good is it? You are already dead, your time has already elapsed.”
“As you’ve been so kind to keep reminding me of that particular detail.” She narrowed her gaze at him.
The man placed his teacup down on its saucer, “What if I give you a chance?”
“A chance for what?” She no longer wanted to play games, but this person was after something. It was the only reason why she was still here with him.
“Time, dear. It cannot be reversed by anyone, but what if I can do it for you?” He asked.
She propped a hand under her chin, tilting her head to try and see beyond the shadows of the man’s cloak. Try to identify the person beneath it. But all she could see were those piercing blue eyes, and if it were not for his voice and his figure — she would have never guessed that he was male.
“Time?” She had chosen to ignore his little usage of ‘dear’ and instead ascertain what was possibly the reasoning behind such a question. What did they want from her?
“Yes, I can give you more time.” The man once again offered.
A smile curled on her lips, “Wouldn’t it be better to stay here?” Besides the round table, its contents and the posh chairs that they were seated in — everything else was a blur to her, her vision never allowing her to see past them.
But she had a feeling that if the man had wanted her to, she would be able to see whatever she wanted to.
“Ah, how death gives you a new perspective.” The man said with mirth in his eyes. “Though I had a perception that the Red Queen of Hearts would have been more vengeful even until death. Perchance you were given a chance to return to your old life — “
“I would like to eat tarts again.” She sighed a little dreamily, before looking down at her plate. She stabbed her fork on the strawberry shortcake and lifted a piece to her mouth. “These desserts you feed me look scrumptious but even you cannot replicate the taste of my desired tarts — “
Laughter began to ring in her ears, she looked up from her dessert to see the cloaked man before her was shaking his head. Even his shoulders were shaking as they tried to hold back his amusement. It was something so human that she couldn’t help but fight back the twitch on her lips. “I was completely serious.”
She tried to ignore the flashes of someone stealing the tarts, prying them from her very lips. They were a bastard — but even up until now, she could feel the prickly heat in her stomach.
“And what about Miss Alice?” He cleared his throat and prompted her further. There was an intensity in his eyes as he gazed at her. “If you were to see her once again while you still held your power and position… what would you do? What if you were able to prepare before she arrived into your kingdom?”
She was still unable to fathom the reason why he would ask such trivial questions, but it was able to make her recall how that young woman waltzed into her castle with such disrespect. How she easily gained everyone’s affections, how even her own husband had been willing to exile her away on that woman’s account.
“The very second she arrives — it would be off with her head!”
“Really? That would be a sight to see.” The man nodded to himself, completely unaware or perhaps uncaring of the emotions that swirled around her. “Well then, there’s only one thing left to do.”
“And that is — ?”
Before she could even utter the next words, her seat vanished into thin air as she dropped towards a chasm. Falling down into a hole that was only fit for a rabbit. She reached up, finding nothing escaping her throat as her eyes pinned to the man looking at her from above.
It was in this moment that the man’s cloak disappeared, she could finally see his brilliant blue eyes and the handsome features he had previously hidden. He gave her a wry smile and waved fondly, as if they had been such good friends.
“Have a good time!”
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