Charles took my shoulders to stop me from pacing around. "You have to calm down," he said. I shrugged his hand off and looked annoyingly at him. "Calm down? How can I calm down if Alfred is being taken away by those blasted good for nothing bastards!"

He laughed. "How do you know they're bastards? Have you perhaps looked into their family records?"

I gave him a cold stare. "This is no time for playing Charles. They took an innocent person to jail out of an assumption."

"I was just trying to lighten the mood," he mumbled, "Besides, you are also basing your reasoning on an assumption. How do you know that he didn't lie to you?"

I faced Charles and quickly took his collar so that our faces were inches away. "You. Weren't. There," I said icily, "so don't you dare say that he's guilty when you have no idea of what happened."

A look of surprise spread over his face. When he regained himself, he took my hands and gently pulled away. "Alright," he whispered, "I believe you. Just don't look so sad, yes?"

I nodded and muttered an apology. I know that Alfred's innocent, I don't know how but he just is. I knew I was right when the guards were taking him away and he suddenly began crying. I could see all the hurt and sorrow in his eyes making me wonder what he's been through all his life. I can't explain just quite what I saw through them, but it was enough to will myself to prove him innocent. That incident almost reminded me of Alek…

I shook my head. It's no time to think about my feelings for him. Right now I need to find him and explain to him what happened. I turned towards Charles, "Where's that bumrag?"

He studied me closely before answering, "In his advisor's office. Why do you ask?" I ignored his questioned and speed walked to Volger's office. Charles followed behind me and asked why we were going there. "I'm just going to plead, and beg, and weep to his great Highness to let Alfred out of jail. He at least needs a chance to prove himself innocent." Charles laughed, "Once you set your mind to something, there's no way to stop you is there?"

Once we got there, I was surprised to see that there were no guards posted at the door to protect Alek from any attacks, which made me mad. How the hell will they keep him alive without even having protection? Before I angrily slammed the door open, Charles grabbed my shoulder, "Wait," he said, "There's people inside." He placed his ear to the wood.

I resisted the urge to roll my eyes-of course there were people inside-but decided to do the same. Leaning against the door, a rough unfamiliar voice came into my hearing.

"-ies from enemy lines. It seems he originated from Germany."

Alek's voice chimed in, "I see. But that's impossible. He can't be."

"Oh yes he can Your Highness," this time it was Volger who spoke. "He has been close to you all along. I feel foolish not realizing sooner."

"He is not that kind of person. He almost gave his life to protect my own!"

Footsteps rang from inside, "It seems that you haven't learnt your lesson with what happened with you and your pal during your time in the Leviathan. Or did you notice right away that he was not who he said he was?" Annoyance flared through me as I realized that the person who he was implying was me.

Surprisingly, Alek managed to dodge that insult fairly well. "No," he said, "I did not. But my judgment that he wasn't my enemy, but truly, my friend was correct. I may not see through people's disguises, but I do know what they're capable of. And Alfred is not capable of being some German spy. That I do know."

"I see," said the voice of what I figured was the inspector. Just thinking about him made me really irritated. "But your Highness, I don't want to go against your word, but the evidence is greatly to our favor. Really, the only thing we need to accuse him would be his origins: A filthy, lowly scum of a servant that came all this way from Germany, who just happened to be saved by Austria-Hungary's Emperor."

My mind exploded with anger as I immediately slammed the door open, intending to punch the inspector's face, but missed as Charles rapidly grabbed my arms holding them behind my back. The inspector stumbled back in surprise, falling flat on the floor. "Let me go!" I yelled.

"Der-Dylan!" Alek's startled face came into view. Volger, who had an unreadable expression, knelt beside the inspector and helped him up.

"Charles you bastard let me go!" I shouted again. He only tightened his grip. "I won't," he said, "not until you calm down."

I groaned in frustration and focused my eyes on Alek. "Are you just going to let him insult Alfred?" I asked. "Or are you just going to let him say whatever the hell he wants?"

His green eyes held mine, sending butterflies to my stomach. "I was going to say something about that," he smiled, "but it seems that you beat me to it." Seeing his smile made my body relaxed on its own accord, only frustrating me more as I realized he still had that kind of effect on me after so long. Feeling like I wasn't going to hit the inspector, Charles let me go.

Alek faced the inspector and gave him a dark look. "I would kindly appreciate it," he began, "if you do not insult my workers. Especially if I'm certain that they are no criminals."

The inspector blushed and bowed, "I'm sorry your Highness. I did not mean to offend you."

Alek sighed, "No, don't worry. I know you're just doing your job. Therefore I agree to take the necessary precautions that you explained to me."

"Wait a minute," I said, "Alfred has to at least prove himself innocent. He doesn't need to go straight to jail."

The inspector looked icily at me, "This is none of your concern. Actually, you are not even authorized to barge into this room and participate in these kinds of matters." Before I even began to prove him wrong, Charles decided that it was his turn to talk. "You, my good man, are wrong." He said, "In fact, we are in on this as much you are. Considering that we are, after all, his personal bodyguards."

The inspector sneered at us, "How come then, were you not with his Highness when I came to inform him about our little suspect? You were obviously not there since I didn't see you two guarding his door."

"Stop it!" Alek warned. "This is not the time to speak about that. Right now we need to find out what we're going to do with Alfred." He turned to the inspector, "I would like that these two gentlemen hear this as well."

He gave us an annoyed look, but obliged. "We need him locked up your Highness. He is considered a threat to you since he had worked for enemy powers." I gaped at him. "And how do you know that this is true?" I asked.

Alek spoke before the inspector had a chance to, "This is all true Dylan. Alfred told me himself when he first began working with me. Though, that was when I didn't consider him working for the enemy since I was still fighting alongside the Ottoman powers."

"And that means that he may still feel patriotic toward his home country, which is not Austria-Hungary." Volger said, startling all of us since we had forgotten he was there.

Alek walked toward the desk, and scribbled something down, "Though I do agree with Dylan. He does not need to go to prison." He tore the peace of paper and gave it to the inspector, "Contact this man and set him as Alfred's permanent lawyer. Make sure he doesn't go to prison, but to a room stationed with guards. I will take your precautions and make sure he's being watched. That is all."

Sensing his dismissal, the inspector bowed and walked to the door, roughly bumping into me as he left. Volger excused himself mumbling about having a meeting to attend to, and feeling as if he needed to go as well, Charles patted me in the shoulder and said, "Well it's your turn Mr. Sharp to keep his Highness safe. See you at dinner?" I nodded in response to his question, and he smiled walking out the door with a satisfied face.

I felt the atmosphere suddenly turn awkward as I realized that it was only Alek and I who were in the room. To distract myself, I looked about the room observing each crook and cranny it had.

I heard Alek clear his throat, "So," he said, "what did you think of the inspector?"

I mused at whether if I should waste his effort in trying to make a conversation or if I should just follow up. After a minute of pondering, I decided to follow up.

"He was a complete bumrag." I answered.

Alek laughed, "That is true, but I know he was just doing what he had to do."

I replayed what happened earlier in my head, and was startled to find that Alek had mentioned that he wasn't working with the Ottoman powers anymore right in front of the inspector. I looked at him, "Did you tell him about the peace treaty?"

He met my eyes but suddenly averted them a corner of the room. "Yes. He's worked with me from the beginning of my…career, and is trustworthy to hold this secret."

I didn't miss the careful choice of words he used, and Alek must have realized because he was quickly in front me and said, "Deryn we need to talk."

I scoffed. I knew that this day would come sooner or later but it didn't prevent my heart from thumping loudly in my chest.

"I need to explain myself," he began, "I don't want you to think I left you because I wanted to. I didn't know what to when the previous Emperor died. I was haunted by the thoughts that I had left my country alone and defenseless."

He reached out his hand and took mine. I stiffened.

"I'm so, so sorry." His voice was filled such regret that I couldn't help but believe him. But the anger and stress that I felt that day to now welled up in a big ball making me jerked away from him in anger.

Alek walked up to me again, his eyes showing determination to make me listen to him. "Deryn look at me," he said. I did the opposite. "Once Volger found out a way to make me Emperor, I became obsessed with it. I became obsessed of the idea that I would be the one to raise Austria-Hungary's people from despair. I shut everyone else out of my life, and once I realized what I had done, it was too late."

I laughed bitterly. "Too late?" I taunted. "Do you know how long I waited to hear from you? Do you how stressed I became because you didn't even bother to even say a simple good bye?"

"I know and I have no excuse for that." He said.

I walked up to him so that we were inches away. "Damn right you have no excuse!" I said angrily. "Do you know what you did because you did that?" I challenged. "I understood that you had to leave me, but you didn't have to shut me up for the rest of your life. You could at least have sent word that you were fine but did you? No! That officially broke our bond. "

Hearing this Alek tried to speak, "Dery-"

"No Alek!" I interrupted. "You were too much of a stupid, selfish, stuck up prince-oh, I'm sorry-Emperor-" I said, jabbing at his chest at every point making him back up against the wall, "too realize that no, it wasn't too late."

"Deryn I-"

"Shut up!" I yelled, exploding with the anger I felt since he left, "I'm sick of being sad and hurt when it comes to you. I'd rather-"

"Deryn," Alek interrupted, "Let me speak."

"Like hell I will!" I shouted, "You rotten, stupid, ugly, moronic bastard-"

I was interrupted when Alek took a hold of my shoulders and gently leaned in shutting me up as he covered his lips in mine. My heart immediately began to race as his hands slid down my waist pushing me against him to cover the distance between us. I tried to pull away but that only made him hold me tighter, deepening the kiss.

When he pulled away, he cradled my face. I was too stunned to do anything.

"I'm so, so, sorry," he whispered. Hurt was shown in his eyes, "Please forgive me Deryn."

Once I came to my senses, I blushed and slapped him across the face. "You have no right to kiss me like that." I hissed and grabbed my coat, slamming the door as I left. I felt tears roll down my face and cursed myself for being so weak.

I walked straight to my room and buried myself in my bed. My heart was still thumping wildly in my chest, and my mind had come to the conclusion that I was still madly in love with him.


Author's note: I AM SO SORRY! I apologize for the wait. And guys, I've realized that I hadn't thank you at all for all your reviews and I apologize for that as well. SO THANK YOU FOR ALL MY WONDERFUL FANS AND REVIEWS THAT YOU GUYS TOOK THE TIME TO POST! I LOVE YOU ALL! and I hope that you liked this chapter! :)