“Makes sense,” Nathan acknowledged. “Although obviously, it has its downsides.”
“It’s worse in this office,” Derek reluctantly admitted. “All the interns who applied are female.”
“Does Jaike give you hell about it?” Jason asked sympathetically.
“Occasionally,” Derek said wryly. “But since I also like seeing her jealous face from time to time…” He paused as something occurred to him, and looking at the others, the same thing appeared to have occurred to them as well.
The prince found himself the center of everyone’s attention once more, and knowing exactly what they were thinking, he said stiffly, “No. I was not jealous.”
Derek grinned. “You fucking were, Chalkias.”
Color stained the prince’s high-boned cheeks.
Pfft. Out of respect for Reid’s badly dented pride, the four men did their best to control their laughter.
The prince stared stonily at his friends. “Fuck all of you.”
This proved too much, and the office once again rang with his friends’ laughter.
Outside the office, chaos erupted anew, but this time, the prince and his friends knew better than to pay attention to the ongoing hysteria, knowing that their attention would only make it worse.
“You do know you’re worrying for nothing, don’t you?” Nathan finally asked when he managed to rein his amusement in. “The whole time I’ve known you, a girl only has to spend a few minutes in your company to want to fuck you. Or at least have a crush on you.”
Derek scowled. “Jaike’s not like that.” Right?
“Lilac isn’t either,” Nick said grimly. Right?
Jason cracked his knuckles. “Keanne sure as hell isn’t.” Right?
Nathan rolled his eyes. “Let me rephrase. Any single girl who isn’t in love with any of you three would likely fall head over heels for Reid. And you have to know that, Chalkias.” When the prince didn’t answer, Nathan’s look turned pensive. “Have I gotten you wrong about this girl? Is she extremely experienced and that’s why you’re worrying—-”
“She’s innocent,” the prince said stiffly.
The Christakos twins looked at each other. The girl was a virgin, and her cheating boyfriend an asshole who could and would never compare to their friend. There was clearly nothing to be worried about, and yet…Reid was, visibly so.
This was not like the Prince of Darkness they knew—-
And it was funny as hell.
I think I’m about to laugh again, Jason’s smirking gaze told his older brother.
Nick subtly shook his head, his lips twitching. You have to remember we’re more honorable than that. He nodded towards the prince. We don’t beat someone who’s already down.
Jason’s gaze became thoughtful. So I suppose this means we should wait for Reid to recover just a bit, and then we can laugh—-
The twins suddenly sensed being subjected to a deadly stare, and when they turned to face Reid, the prince said coldly, “I liked you two better when you were at each other’s throats.”
Jason and Nick looked at each other.
He seems recovered.
Then I guess we can—-
The twins started laughing again.
The prince’s expression became even stonier as he wondered whether this was enough reason to put an end to their friendship. It would feel extremely good to beat their too-pretty faces up right now, the prince mused.
Nathan glanced at the way Reid was eyeing his knuckles and then the twins, who were still smirking. Realizing it was time to play mediator again, he said mildly, “Don’t mind them. You know they only want to get back at you for taking the role of knight in shining armor when they were having trouble with their own women.”
The twins stopped laughing and started scowling, neither of them wanting to be reminded of the past.
The office phone rang then, and Derek stood up to take the call. When it was over, Derek had a grim look on his face. “Security’s apprehended someone who suspiciously sounds like a hired lackey by Davos.”
Nathan’s lips tightened at the news. “He’s getting desperate, isn’t he?”
“Nick and I spoke about this, Reid,” Jason said slowly. “We’d like to take Beatrice from you, so you’ll no longer be in danger.”
The prince shook his head. “Neither of you have the necessary connections to look after her, and you both know this. Besides, I’ve had her all this time, and they weren’t able to take her from me. It’s best we continue with the present arrangement. It’s only for a few weeks, anyway, and all this will be over.”
Nick shook his head. “We all appreciate what you’re doing, Chalkias, but right now – it doesn’t seem right that you’re placing yourself and even the people working for you in unnecessary anger.”
“My staff’s more than aware of what it means to work for me.”
Derek asked quietly, “And what about Fawn?”
“She’s Bennett’s girlfriend,” the prince said flatly. “As long as she belongs to someone else…she’ll be safe.”
When Fawn arrived back at the mansion and found out that the prince hadn’t yet returned, she was torn between relief and anxiety. Even now, she still didn’t know how to face the prince, much less what to say.