“Prince!” And just like that, she went from wanting to cry to wanting to laugh out loud. “Be serious.”

“Two dozen more then?” But this time, the prince’s smile was evident in his tone, and she relaxed even more at the sound of it, her tight grip on the steering wheel easing.

“They were more than enough,” she managed to say once she was sure she wasn’t going to cry. “They definitely…helped.”

“I see.” The prince paused. “But they weren’t enough to keep you from hurting.”

Oh.

“Did Bennett or his slut do something to you?” the prince pressed.

“Grant s-seemed different,” she whispered painfully. “The other girl…she was shouting at him in front of everyone, humiliating him, and he didn’t do a thing. Today’s presentation should have been simple for him, and he m-messed it up. He wasn’t himself, and I just…”

She swallowed. “Do you think G-Grant knows?”

“If he does,” the prince countered calmly, “don’t you think he should be the one feeling guilty instead? He cheated on you first.”

“But he doesn’t know that I saw him—-”

“But he knows you,” the prince pointed out silkily. “If he suspects you of doing the same thing, he would know that you wouldn’t have become my lover without a valid reason.”

Even knowing that the prince’s words made perfect sense, she still couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was incredibly wrong with Grant—-

She remembered how weak he sounded, how lost—-

“Should I start feeling jealous, parthena mou?”

The unexpected question completely threw her off, and it was a good thing she had just driven past the automated gates of the prince’s compound or she might have ended up in an accident. “W-what are you talking about?”

“It almost seems like you miss Bennett’s attention,” the prince drawled.

She turned red. “I d-do not.”

“Then let’s stop talking about Bennett.”

She bit her lip, telling herself not to push it, but in the end she couldn’t help herself. “Are you jealous?”

“Extremely.”

Fawn made a face at the prince’s dead serious tone. “Yeah right.”

She shook her head at herself.

You’re so full of it, Fawn Cornwall, thinking that the prince could get so jealous over you.

“Ye of little faith,” the prince sighed out in mock hurt. “If only I had the time to go over there to show you just how possessive I am about you, I would have.”

The too-sweet words had Fawn sucking in a breath, and she desperately warned herself, Don’t do it, don’t do it—-

But her heart proved too stubborn, and it still ended up skipping a beat.

And another.

And another.

And another, again and again, until she had no choice but to temporarily pull over.

Fawn bowed her head, her temple bumping against the steering wheel.

He made her so, so happy.

If only she had the right to make him just as happy.

Out loud, she asked in a still-gruff voice, “What time are you coming back tonight?”

Ah. The prince’s face became expressionless, and so did his voice as he answered, “I don’t think I’ll be able to come back tonight.”

Fawn shot up straight. “O-oh?”

“After the kidnap attempt on Keanne, the others and I have decided that it’s even more important now to make Davos think everything’s still normal. So I’m going to throw an impromptu party at the Aehrenthal Hotel tonight.”

The prince’s coldly dulcet tones played inside the car like a beautiful melody that she couldn’t escape, and his words like invisible knives that she couldn’t stop from stabbing her.

He was throwing a party.

A party.

And she had been working for the prince long enough to know how that would go down.

Do you know what you’re saying, prince?

Do you know what you’re doing?

Do you know?

But the words remained trapped in her throat, and she heard herself ask, “W-why won’t you throw it here?”

Safe, Fawn chanted to herself desperately. She had to play it safe until she could figure things out.

“It would be too risky,” the prince answered briefly, “if we do it there since Beatrice Crichton’s still with us.”

“I see.” And she did see.

The prince stared at his phone.

Fawn had hung up on him.

He threw his phone against the wall.

This was the right thing to do.

The best thing to do.

The only thing to do when one was the Prince of Darkness.

****

It was midnight by the time Fawn made it to Aehrenthal Hotel, accompanied by Nathan Callis, Nick Christakos, and his lovely, soft-spoken fiancée Lilac York. As the limousine slowed down, Lilac put a pair of dark glasses on, making Fawn’s brows furrow.

“Do you have an eye condition?” she asked in concern.

Her question made Nathan smirk while Lilac blushed. Only Nick seemed unaffected.

“Not e-exactly,” Lilac stammered. She started to take her sunglasses off—-

Fawn saw Nick look at Lilac, blue eyes glinting.

With a sigh, Lilac pushed her shades back into place.

Fawn blinked. That didn’t make sense at all.

Seeing Fawn’s confusion, Nick explained easily, “Her eyes are too dazzling for mortals to see.”


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