A Game of Hearts

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Chapter 5- My favorite shade of blue

"Learn how to trust again or you'll never find love again."

-Sonya Parker

Birds sang happily outside and the sun poured into my room through the windows of my suite. Georgiana must have had the staff raise the curtains. The glow covered every and any surface it could reach. I groggily examined my room through heavy eyes and a throbbing headache.

Viktorya and Georgiana sat at the nearby table speaking in hushed tones. Upon seeing me awake, they quickly cut off the conversation they were having.

"Uh, what are you guys doing here so early in the morning?" I groaned as I collapsed back into my bed, tossing the covers over my face again.

Faint steps approached my bed. "It's nearly noon, Penelope. You need to get up. The Terran dignitaries have arrived and will be present for the meeting that you arranged for in two hours."

Georgiana knew my schedule too well. If only I could cancel and waste the day away beneath my covers.

"Tobias brought over some medicine to help with your headache this morning. He said he thought you might need it," she said politely.

Viktorya was not Georgiana. She pulled the covers away from my body and tossed the glass of cold water Georgiana had brought me over my face. I gasped and jumped out of bed. I shoved my matted hair away from my face.

"What is your problem?" I demanded.

"I have no problem, but you don't have time to nurse your hangover, your majesty," she said grinning.

"You're lucky I sort of like you," I growled.

"What's not to like?" she laughed.

Georgiana was sitting down again as she began listing off the meeting and things that needed to get done today. Viktorya stood by my bed until I was off it and sure not to jump back in. I left them to take a quick shower and put on jeans and a red off the shoulder blouse. It was way too informal for what I had going on today, but I honestly didn't care.

Upon seeing me, Georgiana opened her mouth to object to my wardrobe choice for the day, but I held my hand up not wanting to be dissuaded.

I quickly took the pills Tobias had left me and set about doing my hair. I pulled it back into a tight ponytail and added a bit of mascara and lipstick to my face before turning to face Georgiana and Viktorya.

Viktorya shrugged at my appearance. She didn't care what I wore as long as I showed up where I was needed.

"Now that you're awake and responsive, I've been meaning to ask..." Georgiana nervously played with her clipboard trying to finish off her sentence.

"Yeah?" I asked, rubbing temples in a slow manner.

"I've been meaning to ask how it went last night?"

I wondered how long it would take her to get to my dinner with Tobias. It wasn't long at all.

"It was nice." I offered.

She rolled her eyes. "You're giving nothing away."

I looked at Viktorya for help, but she shrugged her shoulders uselessly. She now laid in my bed, feet crossed and back leaning against the headboard.

"We had a good night. That's all I have to say about it," I complained.

She pouted her small pink lips in my directions. I groaned and gave in. "We're okay. I've moved past it."

She fist pumped the air and grinned victoriously.

"It doesn't mean anything, Georgiana."

"Maybe, but it's a step in the right direction," she gloated.

If only she knew how close I'd come to assaulting him last night with my lips.

"Enough of that," Viktorya interrupted. "I was thinking you could squeeze in a meeting before you meet with the Terran dignitaries."

"With who?" I asked.

"Iron Forge's new Trinity."

"Yeah, okay," I said quickly.

Every time I tried to meet with them something always came up or they were too busy with their training schedules to meet with me. If the opportunity was presenting itself today I would take it.

Georgiana went her way and Viktorya and I went ours. We walked out to the little cottage on the palace grounds. What once belonged to Ivy and Willow now belonged to the three seventeen-year-old guys who were now the new Trinity of Iron Forge.

Before knocking, Viktorya straightened her leather vest and pants. She quickly checked herself in the reflection of the metal hanging planter at their door. I raised my brow at her.

"What? They're young, but they're hot," she said, unashamed.

I smirked.

She finally knocked and a severely attractive male answered the door.

Woah.

I couldn't say I blamed Viktorya for wanting to look her best before seeing these guys. Why did everyone have to be so good looking. What happened to all the normal people? The male in front of us was anything but normal. He was ridiculously good looking. His dark olive skin, charcoal colored eyes, and dark hair made him one of the most gorgeous beings I'd ever seen and there were supposed to be three of them.

He obviously knew who we were. He dipped his head in respect before allowing us to enter. Unlike Ivy and Willow, who kept this place light and feminine with their lilac couches and accent trees, they were all masculine with their choice of decorations. Dark leather couches, heavy wooden tables, and vintage wine bottles decorated the room.

Two other guys sat talking as we entered. They were all identical except for their eyes. They quickly stood and dipped their heads in respect.

They quickly began introductions. Lake had eyes the color of a winter storm. Cypress had eyes the color of emeralds and lastly, Colt, who'd greeted us at the door, had eyes the color of charcoal. I wondered if these were their original names or if they were their trinity names, but I wouldn't pry. I knew Rowan and his sisters found the matter private and personal.

"How may we serve you, your highness," Colt asked.

It seemed he was the designated speaker of the Trio.

"I thought it time I meet the new Trinity of my territory. You all have been here for months as it is."

None of the three responded. I could see they were young and impressionable and maybe that would turn out to be a hindrance. I didn't know who to trust from the Terran territory and here I had the Terran Trinity molding Iron Forge's next trio.

Viktorya in the meantime was busy batting her eyelashes and smiling at Cypress and Lake, who seemed oblivious to her obvious flirting.

"Tell me, how has your training gone?" I asked.

"It has been a whirlwind, but we are keeping up. We only wish to serve Iron Forge as best as we can."

"What do you think of the Terran Trinity thus far?"

"They have made every effort for us to learn as efficiently and quickly as possible," Colt answered. His dark eyes burned with silent questions. Maybe he'd find the nerve to ask them eventually.

"Anything out of the ordinary?" I dared to ask.

"Not that we've noticed, your majesty."

"Very well. It's been a pleasure meeting you and I look forward to working with you all," I said staring at each of them for a moment before moving on. I had to cut the meeting short if I wanted to meet the Terran dignitaries on time.

Colt escorted Viktorya and me to the door.

As soon as the door shut, Viktorya fanned herself. "So much testosterone in one room," she swooned.

I rolled my eyes. "You hardly said a word in there."

"I spoke with my eyes," she insisted.

I chuckled. "Is that what you were doing in there?"

Her cheeks turned a pale pink. "Oh shut up," she muttered.

***

"Oh sweet Mother of the Hidden Realm," I said aloud. "Do you think that meeting was as disastrous as I think it was?" I asked Viktorya.

I sat on the white marble throne massaging my temples. The meeting with the Terran dignitaries had gone terribly or so it seemed to me. So much yelling and name calling. It was a shock to see from older and more experienced political figures, but it happened. I hadn't flat out asked if there were plans for a potential takeover or if they were responsible for my missing parents, but it seemed they heard what they wanted. It was only logical that they'd heard of my missing parents and had their own intelligence to run off of, but they easily lost control in that meeting.

"No, you're right. That was a hot mess," Viktorya agreed. "All we can do is see how everything plays out until we hear more from Trixie and Lucas."

I groaned. She was right. As much as I wanted to kick them all out, I had to play nice. Keep your enemies close and all that.

"And this is the throne room," a voice announced just outside the ornate doors.

There was no mistaking the smooth tenor of that voice. It was Tobias. I quickly sat up and lowered the sleeves of my blouse.

Viktorya grinned knowingly.

It was my turn to tell her to shut up. She quietly cackled at my expense.

Tobias walked in with Olivia on his arm. The smile on my face nearly fell, but I held it firm. Tobias 's eyes widened, obviously not expecting us to be here.

His arm fell to his side, dropping Olivia's arm in the process. "Hi," he smiled.

Olivia's disappointment was evident across her perfectly drawn face. Her Jet black hair was parted into two french braids accentuating her high cheekbones. High waisted black jeans highlighted her small waist and curvy figure The white top she wore complimented her ivory skin tone. Everything about her was beautiful. She was stunning, but I couldn't say I was surprised. She was Killian's sister after all and Killian was drop dead gorgeous.

"Hi," I smiled at him.

"Hi," he repeated.

Viktorya chuckled and thankfully interrupted our stimulating conversation. I was sure I would have said 'hi' again.

"And who is this?" she asked, gesturing towards Olivia. We both knew who she was, but we were holding that tidbit of information close.

Tobias, remembering his manners, turned back towards Olivia, breaking our eye contact. "This is Olivia, Killian's sister."

I stood and walked towards them. Olivia's eyes ran up and down my body, assessing me. Her calculating eyes focused on every detail. I held out a hand for Olivia to shake, which she eyed with contempt. Instead, she politely gave a small curtsy.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, your majesty," she said dryly.

I would not lower myself to her level. I was trying to be a better person and would not hold her past with Tobias against her. I knew she wanted him back, thanks to the conversation between herself and Killian that I'd happen to overhear.

I definitely wasn't eavesdropping.

"I'm glad that you kept your relationship with Killian. It says a lot about who you are as a person. I'm grateful he has family here for him and Georgiana," I replied, meaning every word.

She nodded and looked back towards Tobias. It was clear she was ready to continue her tour in another room.

"Tobias, make sure to show her the grounds. I'm sure she'd love a stroll through the gardens or the orchard," I supplied.

I honestly hated the idea of them spending anymore time together, but she was Killian's sister.

His eyebrows pinched together. "Yes, your majesty, but If I may have a word before I leave?" he asked even though he was already pulling me away from Viktorya and Olivia.

"About last night," he began.

I quickly interrupted before he went on. "Thank you for taking care of me. I had way too much to drink last night and others might have taken advantage of that, but not you."

His blue eyes swelled with an emotion I wasn't ready to acknowledge with him again. At least not yet.

I peeked over at Olivia and Viktorya for a moment. Olivia looked as if she'd swallowed something sour and Viktorya appeared to be on the verge of punching her in the face.

I was tempted to let it escalate, no doubt Viktorya would win, but no such fun for me. I'd need to intervene and soon.

I turned to face Tobias again. "Want to go for a stroll with me later?" I quickly asked.

He grinned and nodded. His eyes gleamed my favorite shade of blue.

A quick goodbye and Olivia and Tobias were off continuing their tour. I tried not to let their retreating forms and linked arms turn me into a green-eyed monster.

Trust was a concept I'd have to learn again if I ever wanted to truly be happy again.

"Is it safe to say we don't like her?" Viktorya asked.

I chuckled. "You don't like anyone," I teased.

"Maybe, but you don't like her either."

I didn't try to convince her otherwise. What was the point when my thoughts on the person were so clear, at least to my hand they were.


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