Julian stood smugly before a full length mirror admiring his latest costume as he awaited her arrival. He tugged at his cuffs and collar making sure that he looked the part. He certainly thought so, but it was only her opinion that mattered to him now.
The white tunic and breeches fit his body so well they almost looked as if they had been painted on. Their stark whiteness gave his skin an almost blue hue, making his crystal blue eyes pop. He looked breath taking, and he knew it. With a lazy sweep of his hand, Julian swept back his white-blond hair, allowing a few rebel strands to fall back over his forehead.
In the tunnels beyond his throne room, Julian could hear the dulcet tones of Audrey and Dee. They bickered like children, and it was starting to grate on his last nerve. He had sworn that at least one of the seven wouldn't make it out of the game, and he sincerely hoped it would be one of the two.
Smirking at his reflection, Julian stalked away from the mirror and into the chamber. He felt a jolt of pleasure as he locked eyes on Jenny. She had come. He had known that she would. Known it as surely as he knew she would not escape him. They exchanged words and Jenny, as always, made his stomach flip with her tenacity. They were the perfect pair. Fire and ice. Light and dark. Good and Evil. She completed him in ways that she couldn't even begin to fathom.
He felt his desire for her radiate through his body, warming him to his core. A shadow man warmed by love's candle. If the others like him found out about this, he wasn't sure what would happen. But he didn't want to think about that now. He pushed away the thought.
Jenny stood before him proud and defiant, but Julian could see the way she watched him. She was as aware of his presence as he was of hers. He could feel himself at the forefront of her mind, and a smug feeling enveloped him. She had never looked at little Tommy this way, and she probably never would. Not now that she had met her true partner.
Tom, he thought coldly, was a problem. As were the rest of Jenny's friends. She was loyal to the core, and would probably do anything to protect them. If Julian were to so much as pluck a hair from tiny Summer's head, he would surely lose any chance he had of ever gaining her willingly. Mentally, he wanted to tear his hair out. How could he have let a human girl entrance him so? Was he losing his touch?
In an instant Julian's mood turned. Like a switch turning off a light, Julian decided to try his hand at trickery. Conjuring a gilded silver rose, he offered it to Jenny. With this gift he would be able to bend the rules a little and touch her. She might catch on to what he was up to, but it was a chance he was willing to take. He had already ran his fingers through her hair, and he savoured the memory as if it were his most treasured possession. As she delicately plucked the rose from his fingers, Julian remembered how gloriously soft her golden hair had been. Like nothing he had ever felt before. In that moment, Julian wished that he could just sweep her away and make her his.
It was time to let the girls leave; there were other nightmares to be getting on with in the game. Numerous plots and tricks ran in tirades through Julian's mind as he explored ways that he could make Jenny his own.
As they walked away, the moonlight gave Jenny's hair an odd sheen. Almost as if she had a golden halo. Maybe that would work. Julian reached into his breech pocket and pulled out a gold band. Words formed on the inner band of the ring as the idea formed in his mind.
All I refuse & thee I chuse, it read.