In the corner of her eye, she saw Lou grab Grant’s wrist as he straightened and practically pulled him closer to sit beside her.
“Sorry, hon, can’t you see the other seat’s taken? You’ve got no choice but to sit here.”
Fawn continued to stare at her phone.
Why won’t you answer, prince?
“What are you doing with Fawn, Lou?” she heard Grant ask in an unusually hard voice.
“Relax,” Lou replied, unruffled. “It’s not like I’m going to kill your pretty little girlfriend.” Her lips twisted in a sweet smile. “You know I’m only bad with naughty boys like you.”
When Grant didn’t answer, she couldn’t stop herself from looking up, and that was when she saw Grant’s face flushed with the color of guilt.
“How r-rare of you to be naughty, Grant.” Fawn held on to her smile like her life depended on it, and right now it felt like it did. She had to smile. She had to. Otherwise she would scream. Cry. Run away.
Lou began talking again, forcefully demanding Grant’s attention, and Fawn reached for her phone like it was a talisman. More people were staring at them now, their curiosity palpable, and the questions in their minds blazed out louder than ever.
So she’s Grant Bennett’s girlfriend?
Why hasn’t he broken up with her yet?
Didn’t she realize she wasn’t a good match for Bennett?
“Has Grant told you about the fundraiser the council’s planning?” Lou suddenly asked her. When Fawn shook her head, Lou explained, “It’s going to keep us busy, so—-” The ruby red lips curved in a fake smile of apology. “I’m saying sorry in advance, I’ll need to borrow your boyfriend for quite a bit.”
“No hard feelings?”
“None.” Because there was no point, Fawn thought dully. Lou hadn’t just borrowed Grant. She had stolen him away, and Grant had allowed himself to be stolen.
“Your girlfriend is so sweet,” Lou gushed. “It must be hard, having to be with such an angel.”
Fawn had a feeling an insult was hidden in there somewhere, but she was momentarily distracted by the buzzing noise growing louder behind them. It was like the other students were freaking out—-
Over what, she wondered absently.
Lou and Grant appeared to have noticed the same thing, too.
“Do you think there’s a brawl?” Grant asked with a frown.
Lou wrinkled her nose. “The guards will take care of it if so. Derek Christopoulos wouldn’t stand for such—-” Her eyes widened, and her voice trailed off as if she had suddenly seen a ghost.
Grant stiffened as well.
Fawn blinked. “What—-”
Behind her, she heard a distinctly familiar, British-accented voice say silkily, “Mind if we interrupt your meeting?”
Fawn spun around so fast she almost fell off her chair.
It was the prince!
And he was not alone.
Mocking green eyes collided with bewildered blue ones.
What are you doing here, she internally shrieked at the prince. I wanted you to text me back, not show up!
The prince smirked. Haven’t you heard of the saying ‘beggars can’t be choosers?’ But when the prince spoke, his tone was perfectly polite and businesslike. “I truly apologize for interrupting your meeting, but I’m afraid I’ve an urgent need of Fawn’s assistance.”
“Umm, right. Of course.” As she clumsily rose to her feet, she wondered what the heck the prince was talking about. Grant and Lou stood up as well, the former looking wary while the other girl was all smiles, an avaricious gleam in her eyes.
So this is what a gold-digger looks like, Fawn thought.
The prince offered his hand to Grant. “I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you.”
Grant took the prince’s offered hand and tried not to wince at the excruciatingly hard pressure the prince exerted on his fingers. “A pleasure,” he managed to say while resisting the urge to yank his hand out of the prince’s crushing grip. What the hell was wrong with this idiot?
“I’m Lou, the student council’s vice president,” Lou was murmuring.
The prince gave the girl an icy smile. “Charmed.” And then he promptly dismissed her, turning his back to face Fawn again as he asked casually, “Fawn, may I introduce you to my friends?”
At Fawn’s nod, the prince gestured to a pair of black-haired and blue-eyed twins, both of them tall, dark, and handsome. One was dressed in a stylish pin-striped suit while the other was dressed in a crisp white shirt and jeans. “You probably already know Nick and Jason Christakos, who jointly head their family business.”
Family business, she thought weakly. Riiight. That was a vast understatement, considering the Christakos’ fortune amounted to billions.
“It’s nice to see you again, Fawn,” Jason said with a smile.
“Same here, although we weren’t properly introduced when we first met,” Nick said wryly.
She could only smile, tongue-tied in bemusement at their friendliness.
“This is Nathan Callis.” The prince gestured to the former supermodel. Like his friends, Nathan’s features were decidedly Mediterranean, but unlike the others, he had an air of quiet mystery about him, and when he spoke, his voice was soothingly soft and kind. “It’s an honor to meet you, Fawn.”