I give the plants a slightly wider girth. “I hadn’t planned on it.”
And finally, we find the end of this hall, which, no surprise, ends at a red door.
“Someone likes that color,” I comment.
“We’re in the scarlet wing.” Brahm produces a key and then enters the room. “All the doors are red in this part of the castle, just as they are black in the ebony wing and blue in the sapphire wing. It’s easy to get turned around. Sometimes, the doors are your only clue as to where you’re at.”
When I follow Brahm into the room, I find it’s actually a suite.
We walk into a marble entry with a tall ceiling and a chandelier flickering with orbs of firelight. There’s a small private sitting area to the right and a study to the left.
I follow Brahm into a large entertaining space, where a fire already burns in the massive stone hearth.
“I have two guest rooms,” he says, tossing his crown on a side table, obviously eager to be free of it. “But Drake began to use one for plant storage, and it’s so overrun with rose canes, you can’t even find the bed.”
“Out of the entire castle, he decided to turn one of your rooms into a conservatory?” I ask.
Brahm turns back. “Out of the entire castle, my room was the only place he could turn into a conservatory.”
“Oh,” I say softly, wondering at the bite in his tone. It didn’t seem to be intended for me.
We enter a large bedchamber. Along with several heavy chairs, chests, and armoires, there is a massive bed encased in dark, glossy wood, with a thick, tall headboard.
“I don’t know how I’ll climb in,” I say nervously.
Brahm gives me a sideways look. “You won’t—that’s my bed.”
A nervous laugh flutters in my chest, but I hold it back.
He walks across the room and opens a door. “This will be yours.”
I stand at the threshold, surveying the room. Everything inside is petite and feminine—the bed, the chairs, even the little table and the tea set that rests upon it.
I give Brahm a questioning glance.
“In Faerie, it’s traditional for the royal suites to have two marital rooms. This is what’s known as a queen’s room. That’s why it’s off the main bedchamber.”
Suddenly, it feels as if the space has shrunk. “Do married Fae often sleep in separate chambers?”
“No,” Brahm says from very close, drumming his fingers on the doorframe.
Slowly, I drag my eyes to his. “Then why…?”
“It began as a place for a woman to retreat to—her own space. If she wanted to rest during the day, she could close herself inside and not have to worry about the maids and staff bustling around in the main area.”
“For many, it’s a room used for young children—a nursery of sorts. For others, it’s a convenient spot to lodge a mistress.”
I open my mouth to tell him how reproachable that is, but he cuts me off.
“I didn’t say I approve,” he says with a laugh that I seldom hear.
It catches my attention and makes my heart miss a beat.
“So, what you’re telling me is that you’re giving me the mistress room,” I say coolly.
Brahm raises his brows. “If you’ll remember, this illanté business was your idea, not mine. Would you rather sleep with Drake’s roses?”