After their picnic by the meadow, Stefano walked Adeline back to the castle, occasionally stopped along the way to admire the wildlife they passed by. He could have just teleported her back but he wanted her to enjoy the serenity of the forest because once they arrived home, Adeline wouldn’t able to enjoy this unless he came along. With so much going on lately, Stefano didn’t want her to wander around unguarded. He would command his entire army to guard her if he had to.
About halfway of their journey, his walk came to a halt. Stefano reached for his wife’s hand and pulled her close to his body. They were being watched and he hated that.
“Stefano, what’s wrong?” Adeline asked, following the look of his eyes. “What is it?”
“We are being watched, my love.” He answered while his eyes remained cautious with their surroundings.
“Lord Stefano,” a deep rough voice greeted them.
A few yards from them stood a silver-haired man with a dark blue suit and a black tie. His deep violet eyes were looking into Stefano’s green orbs. Adeline recognized the tension between the two men as Stefano’s arm tightened around her waist.
“Mistress de Lucca,” the man greeted her with a smile.
Adeline felt her skin crawled at the sight of his smile. There was something about his smile that was making her emotions stirred in a very chaotic way. Stefano looked down at her and frowned.
“Lucien, I believe you are not welcome here,” he said through a clenched jaw.
With his large frame, Stefano stepped in front of her, shielding her from the eyes of another daemon. He knew what Lucien was capable of and the latter wasn’t the kind of a daemon that would shy away from doing something risky.
“I heard that Mistress de Lucca has returned from her journey.” Lucien’s eyes fixed on her as she peeked to see him. “Welcome back, Mistress. It had been a while since I last saw you.”
“Leave.” Stefano snarled.
The birds flew off to the sky. Adeline could hear the wind was blowing indicated Stefano’s emotion could impact their surroundings.
“That is not how you should greet your old friend, Stefano.”
Stefano barely registered Lucien’s words when he reappeared in front of him with his arm pressed against Lucien’s throat while his back connected to the tree. Adeline startled by Stefano’s action. Would he kill the other daemon in front of her? She didn’t think she could witness this confrontation. It made her felt sick.
“Now, now, do not be violent in front of the Mistress,” Lucien smirked, knowing he was playing with Stefano’s temper. “Did your mother not teaching you some manners?”
The High Lord hurled him to another direction like he weighed nothing. Lucien skidded on the ground before his back hit the tree.
“You dared to question my manner!” Stefano growled. He reappeared in front of Lucien and hurled him again. “While you entered my land without my permission!”
Adeline jumped in surprise when a lightning struck a perfectly clear sky. Holding onto a tree, she witnessed as Stefano continued to assault Lucien. She didn’t know whether it was wise of her to interrupt but the thought of witnessing him ending up killing someone was making her stomach churned.
“Ste—Stefano,” she stuttered.
Her head felt dizzy. She looked around and saw her surrounding was spinning around her. What was happening to her? Her body felt weak out of sudden and soon her legs would give up on her. She started to have cold sweats.
“You should check on your mistress, Stefano,” Lucien muttered. “She does not look well.”
Stefano’s head whipped to her direction. His heart raced when he saw she was as paled as him. Hurling Lucien for the last time, Stefano rushed to his wife and picked her up into his arms.
“Forgive me, my love.” He kissed her forehead. “Close your eyes.”
After he was sure that she had closed her eyes, he teleported both of them to the castle. Stefano commanded Josef to call Clavier to check on Adeline while he rushed her into their bedroom. He kicked the bedroom’s door opened and placed her on the bed before he inspected her for something, searching for any injuries inflicted on her.
“Stefano, stop,” Adeline stopped his frantic hands. “I feel better now.”
Ignoring her statement, he turned her face left to the right. He checked her hands. “Tell me where did you feel he hurt you?”
“What? No, I’m not hurt. He didn’t do anything to me.”
That caught Stefano off guard. He swore he felt Lucien was using his power on her earlier. Wasn't that the reason why she felt sick? Lucien was known for such power — controlling mind and emotions.
“Are you sure?” he looked at his wife. “Why did you feel sick? Are you allergic to the foods I made?”
Adeline shook her head, “No, it was just the thought of seeing you hurt someone made me sick.”
Stefano let out a shaky breath as he knelt in front of her, taking her hands into his and gave her palms a kiss each. For the first time, Adeline saw his vulnerable side. These past few days, she never saw this side of him.
“I’m so sorry, my love.” Stefano apologized. “I did not mean for you to witness that.”
He didn’t want her to get involved in this conflict. He knew Lucien recognized the difference on this Adeline. Stefano didn’t want that daemon to reveal things out to her. Not when he was close to making her thinking she was the real Adeline. Without much choices, Stefano had to deal with Lucien. He couldn’t do that when she was here to witness it.
“My Lord, Lucien de Vicenzo is requesting to meet you,” Josef announced from the other side of the door.
Stefano’s hands clenched. Now, that daemon dared to step into his home. Adeline’s small and warm hand covered his, shaking her head that she didn’t want him to hurt anyone no matter what.
“I’m about to disappoint you, my love.” He mumbled sadly as he got up from the bed and headed to the door, “Make sure she doesn’t leave the room until I say otherwise.”
“Yes, My Lord,” Josef replied.
Taking a brief look at Adeline, Stefano’s heart clenched when he saw the sadness lingered on her face. He hated being the reason for her sadness. He closed the door and prayed that there would be no blood spill in his home.