Chapter 1

Sonea slowly lifted her head up as a shadow loomed over her in the library. She almost jumped back in surprise, but stopped herself and looked back at her book. Akkarin frowned. He had seen the expression on Sonea's face when she looked at him and he knew it wasn't the reaction he wanted to see. She found him intimidating and threatening. He smiled to himself. He didn't want that. He didn't want it at all.

"Yes?" She asked innocently. Akkarin smiled mentally. She was trying very hard to cover up her fear.

"I would like you to accompany me to dinner. I believe you have a lot to tell me." He commanded softly. Sonea's eyes widened, but Akkarin ignored her. He didn't want his favourite novice living in fear of him and he was going to do something about it. Sonea stood up and bowed her head.

"Of course, High Lord." She mumbled quietly. Akkarin winced. He loved his title and wore it proudly, however whenever she said it, the hatred and fear behind her tone made him feel cold inside.

Sonea looked up at her guardian and felt her shoulders droop. She knew he'd obviously found out about Regin and the others cornering her in the passages and attacking her. But what she feared worse was whether he knew how close Regin had tried to get to her.

She ran alongside him, ignoring the whispers from the novices that hung in the University corridors and was almost relieved to see the High Lord's residence. Almost.

The door opened at Akkarin's touch and they walked inside, swerving left up the staircase. Akkarin opened the door to the dining room and bowed his head politely at Takan, who had been doing the finishing touches to their meal and Sonea did the same. When she looked up she stared in surprise at the table. Before, it had looked big enough to seat 17 people. Now, however, it was definitely suited for only two. It looked so small compared to the rest of the room. Akkarin smiled at Sonea's reaction.

"I saw no sense in sitting at such a big table if there only happened to be two people dining." Akkarin explained, the corners of his mouth curling upwards. Sonea looked up at him and blushed as she realised her expression must have given her away. Akkarin nodded towards the table and waited for Sonea to walk towards it, before following behind her. She sat down on the luxurious chair and her mouth watered as she eyed the beautifully prepared food in front of her. She looked up at Akkarin, who pulled out his chair and sat down, his cloak brushing across her leg, causing her to shiver. With fear, she hoped.

Akkarin smiled to himself as he watched Sonea from the corner of his eye. The fear was beginning to fade away now. It had been replaced with curiosity. He picked up his fork, indicating for her to start. She picked up her fork and glanced down at her plate. She didn't know where to start. Akkarin chuckled, startling her. He raised his eyebrows at her questioningly. She smiled at him.

"I've never had such a wide variety of food before." She explained her shoulders relaxing. Akkarin smiled back at her.

"I can't let my favourite novice go hungry."

Sonea looked up at Akkarin quickly, but he was busy cutting a piece of perfectly pink lamb. He had said she was his favourite novice. She shook her head. He must have meant, because he was her guardian and all..

Akkarin looked up and Sonea blushed as she realised she was still staring at him. He smiled and looked back down at his plate. They ate in silence for a while, and then Akkarin decided to spark up a conversation.

"So, Lorlen tells me you had some trouble with Novices yesterday." He began, looking up at Sonea and raising his eyebrows. Sonea paled and looked down. Akkarin was taking it as a joke. If only he knew how far Regin had nearly gone. She nodded glumly.

Akkarin realised the change in her mood and changed his tone.

"Do you wish to talk about it?" Akkarin asked sympathetically, leaning forwards.

Sonea acknowledged his politeness, but she decided that she really didn't want to talk about it to any at this moment in time. Not even to Akka...The High Lord, she changed quickly.

Sonea looked up at him and shook her head, her eyes stupidly filling with tears.

"Not at the moment High Lord." She answered quietly, being careful that her voice did not break. Akkarin winced as he heard his title announced once again. But he filled with sadness at the new tone it was announced with. She sounded sad. He frowned in concern.

"Are you sure?" He asked, his deep voice lowered as he moved closer.

Sonea nodded silently, attempting to blink back the tears which were filling in her eyes. Stop it, she told herself, you mustn't cry in front of him. She looked at her food; blurred by her vision and realised her appetite had completely gone. She cursed Akkarin silently. If he wouldn't have said anything, she wouldn't have lost her appetite. She blinked and blinked, yet the tears decided to stay, and to her horror, they began to fall down her face. She got up from her chair.

"I'm..sorry.." She spluttered, walking quickly out of the room. She flew down the stairs, tears falling off her cheeks and she ran up the staircase opposite. She kept on running until she reached her door, which she yanked open, too upset to use magic, and shut it slowly behind her, her tears still cascading down her cheeks. She slowly slid down the door and put her head into her hands, sobbing quietly. The moon shone in from her window, but she didn't feel like gazing at its beauty. Instead she walked up to her curtains and pulled them shut quickly.

I don't want another person to see me crying, she thought, silently cursing the moon. She laughed to herself, and then wiped her tears away from her face furiously. She heard footsteps heading up the stairs and she froze. She stared at her door handle, waiting for it to turn, but it didn't. Instead, she heard a door shut in the hallway, Akkarin's she guessed.

She laughed out loud to herself. Funny, she thought. I half hoped he would come in.