Chapter 13

Millie scrambled back to her quarters to change into her work clothes right after Grant took Lorcan out of the house. This could be a disaster. She should have been more disciplined about her activities and her lust for Grant. If her cover had been blown because of this incident, she would have wasted years or planning and preparation. Most importantly, she would disappoint her father.

“Where have you been?”

Faye’s voice startled Millie, and she dropped the candle she was carrying to the floor. She whirled around and got down to her knees. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I didn’t mean to drop it.”

“Why are you so jumpy, Millie?”

“I didn’t expect you to come in here.”

“Why not? And I asked where you’ve been.”

“I’ve been to the temple, Faye.”

“Do you think there were so many people there I wouldn’t notice who actually attended?”

“No, Faye. I was there. I don’t know what I can do to make you believe me.”

Faye helped Millie up. “Nobody bows in my house. We’re all equal, remember? We’re sisters.”

“But I’ll always be your humble servant, regardless of how much things have changed.”

Faye nodded. “Yes, things have changed. But the social classes in Nepolymbus are so ingrained in people’s minds. That will never change.” She sighed. “Did you know Lorcan left?”

“Lorcan who? Oh, the human?”

Faye nodded. “Kai hit him quite hard, and I gave him a soothing potion that should have made him sleep for a quite a while. I don’t understand how he not only came to, but also got out of the room. Unless he had help.” She narrowed her eyes at Millie.

“Oh no, Faye, why would I do such thing? And even if I wanted to, I don’t have the knowledge to make it happen.”

Faye smiled. “I don’t suspect you.” She narrowed her eyes again. “Or maybe I should?”

Millie could see Faye’s eyes had turned cold, and her shoulders stiffened for a moment. She went down to her knees again. “Faye, I would never betray you. I didn’t go to the temple today. I’m sorry. I stayed home to see Grant. It’s only once a month that I’m free enough to do so. I’m so sorry, Faye.”

Faye smiled again, but the smile didn’t reach her eyes. “It feels better telling the truth, doesn’t it? I understand how hard it is to love someone like Grant.”

“Please forgive me, Faye. Grant was born into his social class. It wasn’t his fault.”

“There’s nothing to forgive. Love makes people do stupid things, doesn’t it?”

“Yes, yes, Faye.” Millie was so frightened that tears had streamed down her face. She shrunk down, hoping in her mind to make herself as small as possible so that Faye would pay her no mind and simply walk away. “Love is stupid,” she muttered through her tears.

Faye crouched down. “How stupid?”

Millie blinked. “I don't know what you mean.”

“Do you really love him enough to do something for him?”

“What do you need me to do?”

“It's not for me. It's for your lover. I know there will be an attack at the Heating Ducts. The mercenaries were ordered to leave no living trace behind. You know what will happen to the guards, right?”

“Oh, please help us. I’ll go to the Heating Ducts to tell Grant. Can I leave for a day, Faye?”

“You won’t survive the Heating Ducts, Millie. Dating a guard there doesn’t make you any tougher. But I do have a solution for you. I have someone who can send to message to Grant. This person has access to the internal chamber, and I’m sure reaching Grant won’t be a problem.”

“What do I owe you for that, Faye?”

“Nothing.” Faye smiled then said, “I could make use of the gateway to the surface, though. You know, where the humans live.”

“Oh, I don’t know—”

“You don’t have the Pass,” Faye cut in, “but your father does.”

“I’ll talk to him.”

“There’s no time to waste. The moment the Pass is in my hand, I’ll send the messenger in for Grant.”

“I’ll leave to talk to Father right now, Faye,” Millie said then bowed and scurried out of the room.

She ran for a distance until her legs threatened to give up on her. She wasn't used to physical labor, but she told herself she had to get used to being a commoner. If Faye could do it, so could she.

That was so close, she thought. For a moment, she had thought Faye was going to kill her. Faye was capable of anything. She was fair, but when it came to the reign she believed in, she would kill without mercy.

Millie looked at the gate of the dome. What had she just promised Faye? The Pass to the surface? Her father was going to kill her just for asking. But she had no choice. Faye would kill her if she returned empty-handed. Millie exited the gate and swam home.


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