“What do you like most about him?” Lysander sounded only mildly curious.
She turned to him with a frown, but before she could answer Lysander asked, “His c**k perhaps?”
Lysander never had a chance after that.
It was like the most embarrassing sense of déjà vu to feel herself choking in surprise at what Lysander had said before spewing the half-chewed Romaine lettuce and mango strips on his dress shirt, which was yet another fascinating silky creation that only he could pull off.
“Shick. Shick. I’m so sorry!” Even as she wished she could die on the spot, Misty was already dusting away with her napkin the mess she had created.
Lysander was still in a relative state of shock. He had never had someone practically throw up on him. And the fact that Misty was not even drunk – he didn’t know if he wanted to wince or laugh.
“I suppose this is how you made your prince fall in love?” He gingerly brushed away one last nibbled strip of cucumber away from his shirt.
Misty couldn’t help snickering at that, but the sound of amusement died when a hurtfully familiar voice called her name.
“Misty.” Domenico was devastating in his all-black attire, and intense heat in his gaze as he looked at her made Misty want to swallow again.
But then she noticed he was not alone, and her heart cracked at the sight of the younger woman with her arm curled around Domenico’s. The girl was beautiful. She curtsied so deeply Misty knew every man’s gaze would be drawn to her décolletage.
Domenico was about to speak, but someone approached him then, taking his attention away, leaving Misty and Lysander to gaze at Ivory.
“My lady,” Ivory said, curtsying again.
Misty tried to keep herself from pulling the younger girl back up so that men wouldn’t be seeing 99% of her chest. She bit her lip, tempted to scold her because the younger girl reminded her somewhat of Kelly.
“My name is Ivory---”
This time Misty had the silliest urge to…cry. Ivory. Even the girl’s name was so very feminine! How could something misty – something practically invisible – compare to ivory? The world was so not fair!
A snide voice told her that she wasn’t supposed to care since she and Domenico were no longer together, but Misty stubbornly ignored it.
“---and I was assigned by the Lady Magenta to be of assistance to Prince Domenico.” Ivory twisted her head around to look at Domenico with shining eyes. She looked back at them with a sigh and curtsied for the third time.
Misty’s jaw dropped. Oh, for the love of---
“Lord Lysander,” Ivory murmured in a respectful tone.
Lysander acknowledged the greeting with a nod, momentarily surprising Misty with his coldness. He was usually a lot friendlier than that.
“Ivory. It is a pleasure.” He returned his attention to Misty right after, idly playing with the tips of her silky soft hair as he said, “You probably do not know this, but Ivory is also a part of the High Circle. She may not look like it, but she is actually two years older than you are and four to mine.”
Misty missed the way Ivory’s gaze turned cold, her lips tightening at the mention of her age.
When Misty saw that Lysander didn’t appear as if he was joking, she turned to Ivory again, exclaiming, “You don’t look a day over eighteen.”
“You flatter me, Your High---” Ivory gasped, covering her mouth. “Oh, but I apologize. I have forgotten that the two of you have already cut ties.” She curtsied in apology.
It was so very wrong, but Misty wanted Ivory to trip this time.
Lysander debated with himself whether or not to tell Misty about his suspicions of the Faerie woman accompanying Domenico to dinner. His spies had taken note of her unusually frequent departures from the realm, disappearing for hours without any explanation. Post-war Faeries were leery of the real world, having lived within the safety of the realm throughout their lives. That Ivory would actually leave their realm often and alone at that immediately made her suspect in his eyes.
Misty’s fingers curled into a painful ball under the table at the thought of Domenico spending a lot of time in the girl’s company. She really was beautiful, not sensual like Lyccan women but more…well, fairy-like, a beautiful damsel who was not in distress.
Deciding to keep his thoughts to himself for now, Lysander threaded his fingers through Misty’s hair, this time making her glance at him in surprise.
“It’s so smooth, my pretty. What shampoo are you using?”
He looked so serious as he asked the question Misty couldn’t help giggling, and it was the exact reaction Lysander had hoped for.
It was also the exact moment Domenico came back to Ivory’s side. The sound of Misty’s giggle was the sweetest poison, and the sight of another man’s fingers threading through her hair was a knife in his heart.
He pulled out a seat for his companion, took a seat himself, and looked at the other man with a polite smile. And he said very pleasantly, “I will give you three f**king seconds to stop touching her hair before I challenge you to a fight, alliance or no alliance.”
Lysander didn’t move, didn’t even blink, but then he didn’t have to. Misty jerked away so fast from Lysander she almost knocked the person on her other side off her seat. “Sorry,” she mumbled, red-faced as she helped the older woman back to her chair.
The older woman smiled stiffly.
“It was my fault, I apologize,” Domenico said smoothly, giving the other woman his most charming smile. He was able to breathe easily now even though he knew he would never forget seeing another man touch Misty in the same manner he did.
Across him, the woman’s entire face had lit up at having his attention for so long. “Can I say I’m absolutely thrilled to be seated in the same table with you, Your Highness?”
“I believe I should be the one honored, Lady Carlton, as I know you are one of the greatest historians of our races.”
Misty didn’t even know that, but then this was Domenico. His knowledge was limitless, but he also rarely shared anything he knew if it didn’t suit him.
When Domenico continued smiling at the woman next to Misty, a dazed expression entered Lady Carlton’s eyes, as if unable to handle being looked at by Domenico for so long. The so-called great historian then mumbled something incoherent and looked away, still appearing bemused – so much so that she absently tried to take a sip of her soup with her fork.
Misty resolutely kept her gaze away the moment the other woman let out a gasp of embarrassment, having realized her mistake. Doing so caused her to accidentally meet Domenico’s gaze. There was a twinkle in his lovely green eyes that made him appear so irresistibly boyish she couldn’t keep her lips from twitching.