26. Dinner with the King
I want to know too…
I raise an eyebrow as Royce glances away, his gaze flicking to Dad.
“I’m sorry. It’s been a rough evening.” Royce says to him just as a waiter places our drinks down. It irks me how she’s eyeing them both up.
I should tell Mama, it’s pretty fun to see her try to hide her jealousy when it comes to Dad. 2 “Thank you.” Kataleya says to her with a small smile.
No need to smile at the little p*rve. Yes, I’m a total hypocrite. I can p*rve at Magic Fingers all I
My gaze falls to his hands. I like the fact that he has big manly hands…
“The food will be here soon. Enjoy.” She smiles, and Royce gives her a nod as Kataleya smiles at her.
No one speaks until she leaves, and Kataleya slides her drink closer to herself.
I turn my attention back to Royce.
I wonder what happened… considering he was completely fine at training.
Dad c8cks a brow. “I hope this dinner doesn’t f8cking impose on you if you’re not in the best of fcking m*oods. I don’t want Kenneth saying I tortured his son by forcing him to come out to dinner.” He replies, picking up his glass.
A glimmer of a smile crosses Royce’s lips.
“He doesn’t need to know where I am. Besides, I’m not the type to bail on someone when I promise them I’ll be there.” 2
I frown slightly, a sting in my chest as my mind drifts to Reign… I wish he didn’t bail on me that night. This entire mess with the Ardens would have been avoided.
“Oh yeah?” Dad says.
Dad rarely misses anything.
‘Sky?’ Kataleya’s voice pulls me from my thoughts and I give her a smile as I pick up my glass. ‘Sorry I got distracted.’ I reply.
She tilts her head, observing me with concern. I know I’m quieter than normal and I need to fix that.
“So, Dad, shall we settle our debt?” I ask, looking over at him.
“You ain’t getting s*it from me.’
I frown, “You owe me. I’m counting at 250.”
“How the f*ck did you get that number? I ain’t even f8cking seen you for long today.” Dad growls.
I smirk, “Oh, by the time the evening is over, you’ll owe me that much or more.” I say
confidently, reaching for my glass. Just as Royce reaches for his, we pause and our eyes meet before he looks away first.
I hate that my heart thuds and I can feel Dad’s eyes on me.
I swiftly pick up my glass and take a gulp.
Come on, Sky, do not f*ck this up.
The food arrives, and Dad’s back to observing Royce. My mouth waters as I stare down at the incredible food porn in front of me.
Oh, it smells so good…
Kataleya takes a picture of the food and smiles politely at Royce, who moved back, almost as if he didn’t want to get caught in the picture.
“Sorry, I wasn’t taking a picture of you.” Kataleya says apologetically.
“Not at all. I just assumed that I’m ruining the aesthetic. My sister takes pictures of everything religiously and hates when we ruin her photos.”
Oh, baby, you can ruin a lot more than my photos.
I shake my head, pushing that thought away.
“Oh, it’s ok!” Kataleya blushes as she smiles at him. “I was just getting the food in.”
“You have a sister?” I ask curiously.
Royce’s gaze snaps to mine and there’s a slight shift in his eyes but it’s very subtle. Maybe I’m being paranoid…
“Yes, I have a sixteen-year-old sister who takes so many pictures that if she’s ever kidnapped, we would find her because of all the photos she leaves in her wake.” He says lightly.
Kataleya’s smile falters, and I know what’s going through her mind. The same thing that has crossed mine. Although it happened a long time ago, the trauma of being kidnapped doesn’t leave a person… 2
Royce frowns slightly at the change in her expression, but I don’t think he knows.
Kataleya was kidnapped a long time ago, and it took years for her to stop having those nightmares… that’s when I started being the strong one, trying not to bother anyone with emotions and troubles because she’s been through a lot more than I ever have. “That’s good then,” Kataleya says, still holding her gentle smile strongly. “What’s her name? Does she attend one of the academies?”
“Charlotte, and no, she does not. Our father wasn’t keen on the idea.” Royce says as he begins eating and I observe him.
Although he eats as gracefully as his brother, there’s a firmness to him, an attitude which gives him that slightly more masculine edge than Aleric.
‘Are you going to f*cking stare at him all evening?’ Dad’s cold voice comes in my head, making me freeze as my eyes flicker towards him. 4
‘He is rather handsome, actually. I’m just bored with all the typical Rossi men I’m forced to
see day in and day f*cking out. He’s a pleasant change and if you ask me, than you Rossis put together.’ I shoot back smugly.
he looks way better
I’ve never been shy to admit I find someone handsome and although I was about to deny it, doing so would only make Dad more suspicious.
‘Too f*cking pretty if you ask me.’
I smirk. ‘Oh? So, you at least admit he’s pretty. Besides, I don’t mind pretty.’
Dad frowns at me, and I’m secretly relieved when he turns back to Royce.
“You don’t talk much, unlike your old man.” He says as he cuts into his steak.
See? Dad is totally un-charming and to the d*mn point.
“I’m not really like him. That would be Aleric.”
This time I don’t think anyone misses the way his eyes flash blue, or the hint of irritation in his voice before he blinks, and they return to their usually stormy grey. He takes a bite of his steak, a stray curl falling over his eye.
Ah, d*mn him for being so tempting.
“Oh yeah? He’s at the academy too, isn’t he?” Dad asks, glancing at the three of us.
Kataleya nods. “Yes, he is.”
Royce doesn’t bother replying and I’m certain something happened between him and Aleric because the way he spoke made that pretty obvious.
Suddenly I feel uneasy.
He is angry at me too… did he somehow find out that I slept with Aleric? 2
Just the thought makes my stomach twist and any appetite that I had, vanishes.
Why do I feel like that’s a possibility?
I hope not…
Dad engages Royce in mundane questions, mostly regarding his time in the States, but I’m no longer able to focus, simply trying to force the food down my throat. The only problem is I have no appetite anymore.
I can barely taste the food, my mind spinning with doubts.
“I saw the report that your brother put in regarding the attack the other night. Finally, a breakthrough after weeks. I should have invited him too, would have been helpful to get his insight.” Dad says thoughtfully.
Royce doesn’t reply, simply giving a small nod.
“You were both there that night. Did you see anything else? There was no report submitted from your side.” Dad’s voice is low and although we are in a human restaurant, better to be safe than sorry.
Royce frowns, clenching his jaw. “Yes, I was. However, he said everything we needed to. I have nothing to add. He saw far more than I did.” 1
His anger is back, and it only cements my assumption that he knows.
“You’re not a f*cking people pleaser, are you?” Dad says, observing him.
“I don’t aim to please.” Royce says. “I do apologise if I came off rude, but I’m afraid I had nothing to add.”
Rude? Doesn’t he realise he’s in Dad’s presence? The dude is the definition of rude. s
Royce looks down at his plate and Dad nods.
“No f*cking worries, you aint rude or s*it. But it’s a lead and I don’t care who f*cking saw it. It’ll help us get some answers. Since no one has seen s*it and at least now we know its form. That can help us nail something down.” Dad frowns.
“Yeah, I personally have not once seen anything, but its eyes. It’s fast and powerful…” Royce
“Plum-coloured eyes, correct?” Dad frowns.
“So, what exactly is it?” I ask curiously. It looked like a snake to me, but it was far bigger… far far bigger. “Does anyone know what it actually is, Dad?”
Dad shakes his head. “No one’s seen the likes of the f*cker.”
We fall silent, mulling over the beast.
“I wish we knew what it was though, sounds interesting.” I murmur thoughtfully.
I feel the magical aura radiate off Kataleya beside me, and I turn to her sharply, my heart thumping.
She’s seeing something.