Xavier and I exchange frantic gazes with each other as my devious assistant walks up the aisle, her hands clutched to a small purse and her hair in it's usual red bun.
She looks up and makes eye contact with each of us before a smile warms her face.
Fuck, Fuck, Fuck!
She strolls up to us and slides into a seat in front of me. "Your High-"
I make a small slash by my throat and Xavier shakes his head, his eyes darting to each head in the bus.
Jabeth, I mouth. I know I'm going to regret this later.
"... Jabeth." She says, her eyes friendly but her cheeks pink. Xavier waves to Charis whom she returns a friendly nod. "Xavier."
Then her eyes land on Josie. She leans forward and tilts her head. "Whose this?"
I open my mouth to speak, but come up blank. "Uh.."
Xavier and I look over Josie's head, with no clue whatsoever. And as usual, Xavier comes to the rescue. "Jojo."
Josie glares at my friend sideways before returning her gaze to Charis. Instead of protesting, she nods. "Yes, Jojo."
Charis leans forward and takes Josie's hand, shaking it. "Nice to meet you Jojo. I'm Charis Harlo, Jabeth's assistant." Her eyes meet mine for a brief moment, and I almost hurl. "How old are you?"
"Twenty-one." Josie answers. She's only a year younger then me, but the look of Charis's face looks as though she has nothing to worry about. As if she's some child.
I am completely forgetting that I am her superior. I am the Prince she always fawned over, and here I am panicking like an idiot.
Josie's eyes are still squinted, and I pray to whoever's listening that Charis is dumber then she looks.
My assistant turns to me. "Jabeth, why didn't you tell me you would come home so late?"
She is really loving this, I can feel it in my gut. "I was picking up my.." I trail off. I can't say fiance, and I can't say sister because that's too obvious.
Once again, Xavier the super swoops in an saves the day. "Friend. His-our friend. She's from out of town.." He looks a little blank, but other then that it's convincing enough.
"Where?" Charis asks. Either she is curious or suspicious. And I can't decide which.
Xavier doesn't have a response, so that's when I come in with a win. "Madfert."
Charis looks to me. "Madfert?"
I nod, a little to vehemently. Thanks to my classes as the Crown Prince, I know everything about the Hell's there is to know. Even small, side-of-the-world town's like Madfert.
Charis nods. "What do you do?" Her question is directed as Josie.
Me and Xavier have a moment of silence, waiting for an answer. Jobs in the Hell's are different from jobs in the Heaven's. She doesn't even know whats available in Madfert, or whats even age required.
"Beer tester." Josie pipes in.
All me and Xavier can do is blink. And now a flurry of questions evade me.
Charis gives an awkward smile. "Of course." She looks to me again, half out of my mind with a blank slate. "Where are you taking her?"
I have no outtie for this question. Most likely Charis is headed back to the mansion, same as us. "To the mansion."
Charis's smile dulls only a little, but she covers it up with a bigger smile and small giggle. "And why is that?"
"It is not really your business who stays with me." I snap.
Josie scowls at me but I ignore it. "She is my friend, and will be staying with me until next week. End of story."
Charis is unsatisfied but doesn't question it any further. With a huff she turns around in her seat and faces the front.
Xavier dozes off again, his head flops onto Josie's shoulder, and soon she dozes off to. When I feel her head rest on my shoulder, I stiffen slightly.
I look beside me. Xavier, snoring as hilariously as he does. And Josie, bundled up in clothes and curled into a ball on the seat with soft and deep breathing.
It's almost peaceful, watching her slee-
"Okay, who is she?"
Charis's voice drags my attention from Josie to her. Lines crinkle her forehead and her scowl is so deep it's ugly.
I furrow my brow. "Excuse me?"
"I know she's not 'some friend' from Madfert. That story would convince anybody, but I'm not just anybody." She narrows her eyes at me.
"Believe it or not, that's your choice."
"So she's not a friend? Then what is she, your girlfriend?" Charis sneers at Josie's sleeping face menacingly. In return I put an arm across her body, protectively, and glare at my assistant, whose way out of line. "It doesn't matter who she is. It's none of your business, and even if she was my girlfriend, because she's certainly not, I wouldn't give you the satisfaction of knowing." I almost wonder how Charis would respond if I revealed who Josie really was.
"Does she know you're the Crown Prince." She at least has enough decency to whisper.
"Yes, she does." And she practically hates it.
"Does she like you?" Charis leans forward even more.
Those words are a spark in more ways then one. They light the fire that sparks my anger, my determination, and my curiosi-No, no, no!
The bus rattles, and a hissing sound signals the opening of the bus doors. I keep my eyes locked with Charis, and Josie stirs against me, along with Xavier.
Josie blinks open her eyes and looks up to see her head on my shoulder. She then looks to Charis, who changes from her cold and hostile sneer to a warm and friendly smile.
It almost sicken me how two-faced she is. No wait, I'm sicker then a dog.
I stand up and tug Josie up with me. Xaviers head flops off of Josie shoulder and he groans. "Ow.."
"Wake up." I bark. Xavier stumbles up, wobbly with sleep. I stride past my assistant, Josie at my heels as she waves to Charis. "Bye, Charis."
My secretary nods to Josie. "Goodbye, Josie."
I try not to turn around, anger welling up in me. If she thinks she will get away with this disrespect, then she's got another thing coming.
Josie, oblivious as fuck walks behind me and boards off the bus. Xavier trips off the stairs and falls flat on his face. In front of us, is the large garden leading to the four story mansion. The Blackwell mansion looms, with the moon high above it.
I make sure to get a head start before Charis. I don't need her following us.