Moist hands wrapped around my lower arm. “Excuse me, you’re that rebel girl aren’t you?” I turned to face a boy with sweeping black hair and piercing gray eyes. Unfortunately for him, he struggled to stand and his breath was repulsive.
“Who else would I be?” I bluntly responded while attempting to rip my arm from his hold. He only squeezed it tighter.
“I say you shouldn’t listen to these people who are talking poorly about you. I don’t think you’re a bad person. Not at all,” he gave me a weak smile and stumbled toward me.
I took a step back, weary of this boy. “Well, they’re probably right,” I said, trying to persuade him to back off. He continued approaching me with a sloppy grin plastered across his face. Clearly, my words did not dissuade him.
He held tighter on my arm as his face came increasingly close to mine. Before I knew what was happening, I reacted.
The moment his lips brushed against mine I pushed him away with my free arm. He went staggering to the floor. His one hand still firmly held onto my arm, dragging me down with him.
My body fell against his and my hair cascaded around his face. Before I could react, he slammed his hands against my chest, tossing my unprepared body onto the wooden floor next to him. My shoulder slammed onto the ground and I moaned in pain.
I reached for my shoulder and gripped it tightly. Before I could make another move large hands wrapped around my waist, pulling me up to a standing position. Bulky arms wrapped around me and I was pulled back into a man’s chest.
“Walk away before I hurt you,” Ariston’s warm breath tickled my ear as he spoke with a protective voice.
The boy in front of me was unrelenting, “She’s scum. Why are you protecting her?”
The pub went silent and all eyes were on the three of us. Ariston’s grip around my waist was unusually comforting, and I had a burning desire to ask him not to let go.
His deep voice echoed through the silent pub. “As your prince, and a man tortured by her kind, she is rightfully mine.”
“Rightfully no one’s,” I aggressively whispered only loud enough for him to hear and no one else.
“After spying on my family, you are mine.”