He raised an eyebrow at you, daring you to continue that sentence but you refused to speak as you stared him down.
“Remove your covering,” he said again, but in a slightly softer tone.
“Would a ‘please’ kill you?” you asked him, doing your best to keep the sass in check.
“Please,” he grunted out. It sounded like even saying the word was hurting his throat to say it.
Slowly, you removed the covering and turned your head to the right a little to hide the two scratches on your cheek but his keen eyes had seen them already and he grabbed for your face to turn it so he could see better in the light.
“Who did this?” he growled.
“It doesn’t matter,” you replied gently.
“Who did this?!” His anger was palpable.
“It is but a scratch,” you replied again.
“No one touched my concubine like this and gets away with it. Now ANSWER ME.”
“My King,” you said calmly, although his thumb was digging into your jawline something terrible, “are you not known to be a tyrant?”
Your question threw him and he had to abate his anger a little to answer in an appropriate tone.
“Is that what is said of me?” he asked. It almost sounded like he was unaware of this fact.
“There are a number of things said about you, that are not pleasant,” you admitted, looking him in the eye as he let go of your jawline, “are you not aware of this?”
“I care not what people say of me,” he replied gruffly, scowling as he looked away.
“Would you not like for your subjects to adore you?” you asked, seeking his eye contact again.
“I care not,” he replied again, but you knew you had struck a chord.
“They would be expecting you to fly into a rage right now,” you said knowingly, “seeing as I am fine, would it not be more appropriate to allow me to make my own decisions based on the events that led to my injuries?”
“You?!” he scoffed in surprise, his intimidating eyes meeting yours.
You held your ground.
“Yes,” you nodded, “I am of sound mind. I can make my own decision.” Again you had to keep the sass in check as best you could.
He pursed his lips, not quite knowing how to handle this challenge.
“Will you tell me what led to this?” he then asked, gesturing to your cheek.
“I will, if I have your word that you will not get angry,” you replied.
He conceded and nodded, gesturing to his daybed.
“Come, allow me to recline to save the stress on my heart,” he said, the volume of his voice dropping as he neared his daybed and lay down.
“Ok, but that was cute,” you thought, placing a hand on your own heart when you heard him say the words.
He lay down and you stood beside the bed, until he moved over and gestured for you to lay down beside him.
This was indeed a very honoured invite! To lay beside the King on his own daybed?! You wanted to pull an adoring face but refrained, lest it make him embarrassed.
Gingerly you lay down. One, because you were trying to lie down politely, and Two, because you had a sore hip and you didn’t want to bump it.
“Speak,” King Kageyama said lowly and you nodded as his hand reached for yours and grabbed it so that he may fiddle with your fingers while you spoke.
“As you are probably aware…” you started, “I was bought to your palace from Nekoma…” Kageyama’s fingers twitched as he played with your index finger. You noticed but didn’t understand why he jumped a little, but then he nodded and you continued, “I was bought in with many other women, some of whom I grew up with, and they have been in the maid’s chambers ever since their arrival. Some of these women wish to be in my position…”
The King nodded as he turned your hand slightly and ran his thumbs over your knuckles.
This innocent touch was really getting getting you going. He was showing a much softer side now, unprompted too, as you hadn’t asked him to hold your hand this way.
His thumb brushed a graze on your knuckle, where you had punched one of the women to get her off you, and his finger paused on it.
“I fought back,” you said, to answer his unasked questions, “a fight broke out…”
“Why?” he asked pointedly.
“As I can understand, there has been a degree of jealousy… regarding my position,” you said to him, turning to look into his face.
Your eyes met and your face warmed up a little. He also felt flustered at being so close to you and quickly looked away with a blush across his cheeks.
“And so… what happened?” King Kageyama asked, trying to sound gruff.
“Well… they laid hands on me but I also fought back,” you said, “it’s not a big thing. It was my fault for trusting them.”
“No.” Kageyama looked at you again, sternly, “none of this was your fault. I forbid you to feel this way.”
“You can’t forbid someone else’s feeling,” you said, confused, but then chuckling a little on the end.
King Kageyama looked angry at first but then pouted a little and looked away.
“I am the King. I can do as I please and my word is final,” he said, sounding a little sulky at the fact that you had told him that he couldn’t do something.
“Yes, King,” you said in a sultry voice, lifting your other hand to place it atop of his as he still had your hand in his hand.
He turned his head back towards you and looked deeply into your eyes, a little moment being shared between the two of you.
“Where else did you get injured?” King Kageyama asked, looking at your hand and cheek again.
“Well… I ended up on the ground and I may have been, uh… stepped on… a few times,” you admitted, “but it is fine. It is but a superficial injury.”
The King’s brows scrunched with anger but you patted his hand reassuringly.
“I will be fine,” you said calmly with a smile.
“I will be the judge of that,” King Kageyama said, sitting up and turning his body towards you.
“What? What are you going to do?” you asked as he reached for the hem of your garment and started to lift it up.
“I am going to observe your injuries,” he said, exposing your lower half to his eyes.
He saw a bruise midway up your thigh and reached for it, gently brushing his fingertips across it.