The Crown that Was Never Meant to Be

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Chapter Ten

Halfway to the hotel, Angelica ran into Evelynn.

Nyx, proved by her wild bounding toward her sister, did not listen to Angelica when she'd asked her to stay in the room.

Chuckling, Angelica opened her arms to her little sister, who threw herself into her embrace. Staggering back a step as the girl slammed into her, Angelica greeted, "Hello, my little Nyx."

"Hey, sis!" Nyx exclaimed, beaming up at her sister.

"Was the room too boring for you?" Angelica asked.

"Well, Evelynn showed up and asked where you were, so I figured I'd show her where you were," Nyx replied, blinking, "Should I not have?"

She shook her head. Pressing a kiss to her sister's forehead, she said, "No, you did a good thing, little Nyx. Thank you."

Again, her sister, beamed, exclaiming, "You're welcome!"

After again pressing a kiss to her forehead, she looked to Evelynn.

"So, what did you need me for?" Angelica asked.

"Well, they picked rooms," Evelynn said, "Wrote them down so you could have a record."

Handing Angelica with a paper and some names, she said, "I know you can't read, so I figured Damon could read it for you."

"Thanks," Angelica said with a smile, accepting the paper.

Evelynn dipped her head. When she lifted it, she added, "The room number without the name is that big room you asked for. For the meetings."

"Thanks, Eve," Angelica said, "For getting them rooms. And for taking care of Nyx these past few minutes."

"You're very welcome," Evelynn again dipped her head, "Oh, and the others are in that big room. It's at the end of the hall."

Angelica nodded. "Again. Thank you."

"Don't worry about it," Evelynn said, "So... about taking Nyx out tomorrow."

Nyx perked up, looking back at Evelynn.

"Yes?" Angelica asked.

"Should I pick her up at dawn or after breakfast or what?" Evelynn asked.

Angelica looked to her little sister, who's eyes shown with excitement.

"After breakfast. I don't think Nyx could survive very long without it," Angelica replied.

Nyx snorted, thumping her head on her sister's chest.

"Then I'll see you tomorrow after breakfast," Evelynn said.

"Tomorrow after breakfast," Angelica confirmed.

The two parted ways, Evelynn leaving with a wave. Nyx waved back, and Angelica carried the girl away.

"You had better not have trashed the room," Angelica said.

Nyx gave her sister a mischievous smile.

Midway to the hotel, Angelica spotted Mable, who waved widely at the sisters. Angelica replied with a small wave, Nyx with a sweep of her arm. Mable's parents gave Angelica a smile before ushering their daughter into their home.

"You've met her?" Angelica asked.

Nyx nodded. "When you were with Damon, Maroon let me talk to the other kids. Mable is really nice. So is Pearl. And so is all of them."

For only a moment did Angelica debate correcting her sister's grammar.

"I'm glad you made some friends, little Nyx," Angelica said.

Nyx's grin widened. "Evelynn says I get to see them tomorrow, at school."

Angelica chuckled, and she kissed her sister's forehead. "You behave yourself while you're there, okay? Don't give your teacher any trouble."

She nodded, but the mischief in her eyes said otherwise. Angelica again laughed, and she handed the paper to Nyx.

"Mind reading that to me, little Nyx?"

The girl nodded, and read off the list. Angelica nodded, making a mental note of each name and room. She snorted when she heard that Amber was keeping Lilac in her room. Then concern sparked in her chest, until Nyx read the line that said that Diamond's room was connected by a door.

When Nyx quieted, Angelica expected that to be the end of it. Then Nyx turned the paper over and added, "Oh, and room 200 is an extra room, incase you need somewhere to be alone. Or just want an office. The others are in the big room."

"Fun," Angelica said.

Nyx blinked. "That's fun?"

Angelica snorted. "It's an expression."

"For what?" the little girl asked.

"For someone acknowledging something, I guess," Angelica replied.

"Huh," Nyx said, storing the information away.

Arriving at the hotel, Angelica pushed the door open, striding inside. Nyx hopped out of her arms, shooting up the stairs and to the second floor. Rolling her eyes, Angelica shot off after the girl.

They broke into room 210 at the same time, Angelica tackling her sister. The girl let out a squeal, scrambling away from her sister, a wide smile on her lips as she launched herself into Maroon's arms.

Maroon let out an 'oof' as the girl slammed into her, stumbling back and into Amber, who replied by shoving her away. Maroon stumbled a set, but managed to keep from dropping or crushing Nyx.

"Amber!" Maroon snapped.

Amber snarled back. Maroon flinched, and she snorted.

"Rude."

Amber's lip twitched back from her fangs, and Lilac sighed.

"My goodness. Can you go ten minutes without snarling at someone?" Lilac asked.

Slowly, she turned to the boy. He held her gaze as she drew the knife from the holster on her hip. Diamond pushed the knife back into its sheath.

"No, Amber," Diamond said.

"Yes, Amber," Amber replied, going for the other knife.

"Amber," Angelica said, narrowing her eyes, "Absolutely not."

Letting out a huff, Amber let go of the knife. Crossing her arms, she promised, "I'm going to kick your ass tomorrow."

Lilac snorted. "Good luck."

Amber stiffened. "I'm sorry. What was that?"

"Listen," Lilac said, still holding Amber's gaze, "I was trained by Valorie. I'm better trained than the king's guards, I'm fully capable of taking Damon down, and I know for a fact I could easily destroy you."

Amber's claws slid out. "Wanna test that little theory?"

"Amber," Angelica warned.

They both ignored her.

"I'd prefer not to hit a princess," Lilac replied.

Amber lunged. Lilac met her halfway, and in a few swift movement, had Amber pinned.

The room went silent. Amber froze, almost shocked.

"What?"

"As I said," Lilac answered, "I was trained by Valorie for a decade. I can handle you."

He slowly unfolded Amber from his grip, and he got back to his feet. Amber pushed herself into a sitting position, looked to Angelica, and said, "If he betrays us, we're screwed."

"He is not going to betray us," Diamond said, rolling her eyes.

"And if he does?" Amber questioned, "What if he really can take Damon down? What then?"

Her angry eyes shifted to Angelica, and she calmly replied, "He won't get far."

"And how-,"

Angelica lit her hands on fire. Lilac yelped, flinching away from the girl. Amber cut off, blinked, then grinned.

"I will not kill anyone," Angelica said, "But I sure as hell will mutilate someone if it means protecting those I care about."

Lilac visibly swallowed. Amber grinned back at the man, and Maroon snorted.

"Well. That's just a little harsh," Maroon said.

"And what would you do?" Amber questioned.

Maroon shrugged. "Dunno. My magic is completely useless, so I couldn't really do anything."

Nyx frowned. "It's not useless. You can make sand castles."

"Sandcastles, and that's it," Maroon let out a sad sigh, "Alas, when it comes to what matters, I am truly useless."

"You could suffocate someone," Amber offered.

Maroon paused, as if it hadn't occurred to her. A smile spread across her lips, and she said. "Interesting."

Nyx frowned. "Don't be mean."

Again, Maroon sighed. "Oh, alright."

She then set the girl down, and she waved toward Amber and Lilac. "Go play peacemaker."

The girl happily skipped over to the two. The both of them relaxed, and Diamond and Nyx began working their magic on the two.

Maroon chuckled. "That little girl could probably end this war."

"Wouldn't that be wonderful," Angelica replied.

With a nod of agreement, Maroon added. "Watch. By the end of this, Nyx will somehow have convinced Amber to fall in love with Lilac."

Rolling her eyes, Angelica chuckled.

"Speaking of love," Maroon went on, "How's the mate?"

"Talkative," Angelica replied, "In a little bit of pain. But, he's otherwise fine."

"Still grumpy?" Maroon asked.

"No, actually," Angelica said. "He was happy to see me. Ember yelled at Damon for kissing me."

Maroon smirked, lifting a brow. Angelica snorted, lightly punching the girl's shoulder. "Oh, don't look at me like that. He kissed me. That's it."

Maroon was not convinced. Angelica again rolled her eyes. "I'm going to go check on the others."

"I wouldn't check on Serafina and Diego," Maroon said, "They might be... you know."

She made quite the inappropriate gesture.

"Then you can check on them," Angelica said, "Tell them we're having a meeting. Get Domino and Jackal while you're at it."

Maroon snorted. "What am I, the gopher?"

"For now," Angelica replied.

Maroon sighed, and stalked off. Nyx waved at Maroon as the girl left.

A few minutes later, she returned, Serafina and Diego in tow. Domino waddled in a few minutes later, Jackal at her tail.

"The kids in bed, I assume?" Angelica asked.

Domino nodded. "For now. Nora refuses to sleep."

Angelica snorted, sending Nyx a pointed look. "Sounds like a certain someone I know."

Nyx grinned widely.

"So," Diego asked, "How's the wounded soldier?"

"He's alright," Angelica replied, "A little talky and a little happier than normal."

"Delirious from blood loss, then," Diego said.

She nodded. "More than likely."

"And he'll be in your room, then, when he's better?" Serafina assumed.

She nodded. "I'm hoping Nyx behaves when he does."

Again, her sister grinned at her.

"What is this meeting about?" Jackal questioned, tired and slightly annoyed.

Domino snorted, and Jackal just gave her an exhausted look.

"Well," Angelica replied, "I figured we'd finally pick a leader."

The others perked up.
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