Just like when we were younger, everyone gets the same smiles and looks in their eyes when they see Derek and me walking together. Maybe it’s because of the fact I’ve been in isolation for the past four years, or because of what just happened, but I’m more aware of the glances and whispers spoken behind ladies’ opened fans or gentlemen’s gloved hands.
“You couldn’t have picked a less populated way back to the castle?” I ask quietly as we pass by another group of women who immediately turn to each other and begin talking, their painted lips looking like brightly colored stripes on their faces.
Derek laughs. “You’re just not used to how many people live in Aquebonica now, Alyessia. Things have changed, mainly the population of your kingdom.”
I sigh and shake my head. “Is there anything else that’s changed this much that I should know about?”
Derek stops walking. “Well, there are some things that have been happening.”
He sighs. “It’s easier to show you than to tell you.”
“Derek, what are you talking about?”
His dark blue eyes seem to grow even darker. “Things have been happening in Nirvana’s room. No one’s been in there since she left, and now with what’s been going on in there, no one wants to. But very often, and today especially, there’s been someone, or something in there saying your name.”