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My brother Grayson’s voice snapped me away from my short nap.

His elbow dug into my side at the same time and I had the itching urge to pinch his arm. I ran my hand through my hair and cleared my throat, reaching for my water to take a gulp.

“Hi, welcome to Gray’s. How can I help you?” I straightened my skirt as I looked at the customers.

They slid their ID across the counter to show us, and I saw their names before they pocketed their IDs.

My eyebrows ricocheted to the roof as I surveyed the two customers. They were Nero and Blaise King, from the most prestigious King family. The King mansion being one of the most exclusive, elite places only VIPs were invited to.

I’d heard stories about Nero and Blaise even when they were going to Rose Academy near Rose High. People said that Nero and Blaise lived in their own big house. The twins had quite a reputation for being party hosts. One of them was apparently a heartbreaker on the regular. Then again, I’d also heard that the twins hid drugs in the girls’ bathroom and that they looked like baboons.

They were not what I expected. Having never met them in person, I had expected them to be handsome, but not this handsome. They were the anomaly of the human species. The closest celebrities I could think of that resembled them were Cole and Dylan Sprouse, only with dark Riverdale hair. Blaise and Nero were like two swans, if swans could be menacing and graceful at the same time. Nero was taller than Blaise, and had a scar across his jaw up to the side of his temple. His lips were drawn into a scowl, and his broad shoulders tensed while Blaise looked more calm.

Blaise smiled, tilting his head to meet my eyes. I realized I was staring, but my cheeks didn’t turn red. As an artist, studying your subject was a given, and these two mysterious boys were giving me major ‘draw me like one of your French girls’ vibes. I wanted to draw them almost immediately.

Grayson led Nero to the back inventory to whatever he was purchasing but Blaise stayed behind. As soon as Grayson and Nero were out of earshot, Blaise asked me a question.

“Do you happen to be Le Mazou?”

My heart skipped a beat upon hearing my artist alias. Hoping my facial expression did not give anything away, I tilted my head like he did in the beginning.

I responded, “is that supposed to be some sort of pickup line?”

Blaise’s lip curled upwards and he said, “Hmm, you must think yourself to be quite the vixen if you assume a mere question is a pick up line.”

“A shot in the dark, like your question, I suppose.” I said.

I knew I was attractive in a way, and the way Blaise appraised me made me feel confident. One thing I was not good at was lying. I didn’t have to lie until now about my secret because nobody had ever asked me in person. My eyes darted to where Grayson and Nero were. They seemed to be almost finished. I began to continue my attempt at hiding my title when Blaise interrupted me.

“It’s a bit of a giveaway when you chew on your lip like that, albeit sexy but telling. I admire your work, and in fact I’ve been trying to find you. I have a request. Here’s my number. Call me if you can find the time.” Blaise handed me a small white card, and I took it, turning it over between my fingers.

Nero and Grayson’s return saved me from having to reply. The brothers left, with Blaise sending a quirky grin my way before they closed the door behind them.

“What did you guys talk about? You getting any tonight?” Grayson asked me, smiling like a mischievous elf.

“Ugh, Gray. Just because he talked to me doesn’t mean I’m going to get together with him.” I said.

“Oh you say that now,” Grayson said.

“But you never refuse a King,” he went on and his voice dropped a notch, surprising me as I looked at him, perplexed.

4:30 pm: We observe Nero and Blaise walking into a liquor store called Gray’s. Contact with target.

4:45 pm: Nero and Blaise leave the store.

6:40 pm: Target walks out of the store.

8:00 pm: Sunflower Keynes arrives home.

I was in his study. The pristine condition of his study was such a sterile environment that it was almost like a doctor’s lab. There was no sign of dust anywhere, with trophies and plaques all glinting in the light’s reflection. There was a large painting behind the main desk. It was one of the French Revolution.

I looked at my watch and the clock hands ticked into midnight.

The door opened and he entered, coming to his desk where I stood. He kissed my hand in greeting and I kissed his cheek. His black suit had traces of blood on the collar of his shirt. He took the gun out of his coat pocket and opened the drawer to put the gun back inside his desk.

I placed the tablet containing the tracking information into his hands.

He stroked my hands and he said, “Well done.”

I traced his lips with my finger, his strong jaw and the slight stubble. I stepped back, leaning into the seat.

I replied, “what do I get for all of my hard work?”

He laughed, a deep guttural sound.

“Ah, you know what you get,” he assured me.

“What’s our next move?” I asked.

“The wheels have been set into motion. Now, all we need is a push,” he mused.

“I think I know how we can do that,” I said.

“Yes, we will begin phase one tomorrow, but no more talk of business tonight,” he said.

He advanced toward me, and he pulled me against him.

I snaked my arms around him, welcoming his touch on my body.

“And what if I do want to keep talking?” I whispered.

“There’s a thing called body talk. And you never refuse a King,” he uttered and I grinned as he silenced my mouth with his.

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