Saturday afternoon Amelia spent with a team of people getting her ready for the cocktail party to introduce her to society. Her heart raced the longer she sat in the prep chair watching makeup artists and hairdressers work on her. Kylie arrived with her gown, hanging it up and then sliding into a chair next to her. Nick had asked the team to help Kylie get ready too. They would introduce her as Nick’s mate.
“So did Lord Watson say anything to you after you left dinner last night?” Amelia asked, shifting her eyes to look at her friend without moving her head.
“He told me I was welcome to come the same weekend you are to get to know his family. He didn’t frown at me like Lady Valerie.”
“She didn’t seem to like me much either. If I didn’t think I was being paranoid, I would think Valerie was unhappy the prince found a mate.”
“Haha. I saw the looks she kept giving you. Do you think she knows something we don’t?” Kylie mused, closing her eyes to let the makeup artist do her eyeshadow.
“I know! Maybe it just has to do with us having a unique background. I don’t consider myself nobility. I never grew up that way and I won’t say I know better than others. I start my lessons with the queen Tuesday. We are meeting with Hope Monday,” she explained, leaning back to let the hairdresser finish with her. She didn’t want her hair in a fancy updo. Even though she was the alpha prince’s mate she refused to give up her sense of style.
“You should tell Alex to monitor her,” Kylie commented, Amelia, shrugged. She didn’t want to start a fight with her stepmother.
“Ladies you two are finished!” Carla, the hairdresser announced. Amelia looked at herself, they had pulled her hair up out of her face with the back in ringlets. She needed a haircut. Her hair reached her waist. The makeup artist kept her makeup light, she didn’t need a club look.
“Thank you, this is perfect,” she told the team. They beamed at her and left. Now all she had to do was put on her dress and shoes. She’d chosen to go with heels. She and Kylie spent last night texting back and forth about her shoes. Kylie told her she had to wear heels. The dress had cap sleeves, a cinched waist under the bustline, and knee-length and was a deep sapphire color. Her shoes were a silver pump, with a two-inch heel.
“Slide the dress up over your hips. We don’t want to ruin everyone’s hard work,” Kylie instructed, holding out the dress. Amelia stripped off her robe and started to put on the dress when the door to their apartment began to open. Kylie moved faster than Amelia had ever seen and slammed the door shut.
“You cannot come in!” she ordered through the door.
“She isn’t ready?” Daniel’s muffled voice came through the door.
“She is putting on her dress now. Hair and makeup took a little longer than expected,” Kylie explained, keeping her weight pressed against the door.
“We need to make our entrance in ten minutes,” Daniel replied.
“We will be done in ten minutes. Just wait with Nick.” Amelia laughed this time watching Kylie instruct the prince. She loved her best friend, she always knew just what to do in any situation. She thanked any god listening for her being Nick’s mate. This meant she was now her sister officially.
“Hurry,” Kylie urged.
“You need to put your dress on too,” she remarked, slipping the dress up over her shoulders. Kylie came behind her and zipped it.
“I will,” she assured Amelia, walking over to her dress bag. She put on her gown, Amelia admired her hard work.
“Did you make yours too?” she asked, looking over the pale pink dress with a straight hemline reaching her knees.
“I told you I did yesterday. Although, you were preoccupied with your DNA results,” Kylie teased, doing a turn in her dress.
“You are amazing.” Amelia hugged her friend and slipped her feet into her heels. Kylie hooked her arm through her elbow and the two walked to the door. Amelia opened the door to see Daniel and Nick pacing the corridor. Amelia cleared her throat, causing both men to stop and look up. She smirked at the look of amazement on both their faces.
“Yep, you did good,” she whispered into Kylie’s ear before letting her go. She walked over to Daniel, taking in his dress clothes. He wore a black tux with a blue tie to match her dress.
“You look beautiful.” Daniel bent down to place a gentle kiss on her lips so as not to smudge her lipstick.
“Thank you. You look handsome,” she replied, dipping into a perfect curtsy. She had been practicing in secret to surprise him. He gave her a soft smile and bowed.
“Shall we?” He held out his arm. She hooked her hand in his elbow and let him lead her to the ballroom.
“Tonight will only be the members of parliament and their families. We will host another larger ball to introduce you to the rest of the nobility. Next week we will have a couple of interviews to do on T.V. to show you to the world,” Daniel explained as they walked through the halls.
“Okay. I assume Floyd has purchased the correct clothing for me to wear?” she asked. She couldn’t keep bugging Kylie to help her with her outfits. Though Kylie will always be the one she went to for her gowns.
“Yes. He knows,” Daniel assured her. They stopped at a set of double doors.
“Nick and Kylie will walk in through a side door. Once they are inside the servants will open the doors and our herald will announce us,” he continued squeezing her hand.
“I am nervous. What if everyone hates me?” she asked, leaning into his side. Daniel wrapped an arm around her and kissed her. His tongue probed her mouth. She let him in. She needed his touch.
“Not everyone will like you,” he answered once he let her go. She touched up her lipstick and smiled.
“I know that. I just don’t want everyone to hate me.”
“You have the support of all of us,” he answered, taking her arm in his. The doors opened and Amelia took a deep breath.
“His majesty Alpha Prince Daniel Hertz and his mate Lady Amelia Byrne Watson,” the herald called out. She paused at the sound of Lord Watson’s last name added to hers. All eyes were on them as they walked down the short staircase down to the dais set up. There was a microphone and the king and queen were waiting in their thrones.
“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us tonight. I would like to formally introduce my mate, Lady Amelia Byrne.” Daniel took a glass of champagne from the server, he handed it to Amelia then took another.
“We also have another announcement to make. As many of you know, twenty-six years ago Lord Watson lost his first wife and daughter in a car accident. As it turns out his daughter survived the accident. They placed her at an orphanage and grew up in foster care.” Daniel paused and everyone started looking around. Lord Watson walked over to the dais and took her hand. She smiled and leaned forward to kiss his cheek.
“Lady Amelia is Rosalind Watson. We had a DNA test done to find her background. The test results show she is Lord Watson’s missing daughter. Tonight is a night of celebration. Let us welcome her,” Daniel finished holding up his glass of champagne.
“To Lady Amelia.”
“To Lady Amelia,” the entire crowd echoed and took a sip from their glasses.
“Please enjoy your time with us tonight.” Daniel offered his arm to her. She took it and they walked over to where Nick and Kylie were waiting. Amelia caught sight of Alex standing in the back. A young woman flirted with him. She tried to hide her giggle when Alex gave an awkward shrug of his shoulders.
“What?” Daniel whispered in her ear. She nodded at Alex, and Daniel let out a chuckle.
“There is always one woman at every event who corners him and tries to convince him she is perfect wife material.”
“How old is Alex?”
“Thirty-one like me,” he answered, placing a hand on her hip when a member of parliament walked over to them.
“Hello Lady Amelia, my name is Lord Harold Cline.” Lord Cline bowed over her offered hand.
“The pleasure is all mine, Lord Cline.” She dipped into a curtsy, making sure not to wobble.
“How are you finding living in the palace? I understand you did not grow up like the rest of us with servants,” he said. She thought about his question. She didn’t want to say the wrong thing.
“I find it like living in a fairy tale, but everyone has been kind to me,” she answered and smiled at the lady next to him.
“Allow me to introduce you to my wife, Lady Yolanda Cline.” Amelia smiled at the woman.
“I too come from a background where I didn’t have servants,” Lady Cline shared and instantly Amelia relaxed around her.
“Thank you for your warm welcome.” She sipped her champagne and watched as a gargantuan man with a huge mustache walked over with two women.
“Hello Lady Amelia, I am Lord Jeffries, this is my wife Whitney and our daughter Michelle.” He bowed, and the women curtsied.
“It is my pleasure,” Amelia murmured. For some reason, the two women made her feel uncomfortable. Daniel placed a hand on her arm and gave the gentleman a smile.
“Lord Jeffries, how nice to see you here. I haven’t seen your family in a couple of years,” he remarked, Amelia felt him put a protective arm around her. To her surprise, Alex and Nick both came over to stand with them. What went on between the two? She looked over at Kylie, who had a bewildered look on her face.
“I came to meet the woman who won the heart of our stone prince,” Lord Jeffries replied, giving a sinister grin.
“As you can see, I didn’t need your daughter as my wife,” Daniel answered, his voice cold. Amelia shivered, she didn’t like the way things were headed.
“Thank you for introducing yourself, Lord Jeffries, if you would excuse us my mate promised me a dance.” She placed her glass on a passing tray and took Daniel’s hand. He followed her direction and walked her out to the small dance floor set up. He took her into his arms and focused his eyes on hers.
“Want to tell me what that was all about?” she asked once they were in the middle of their dance.
“Lord Jeffries kept calling my search for you a lost cause and wanted me to marry his daughter. He is third in line for the throne. If I married Michelle, it would elevate his status. I told him no. I didn’t want Michelle. He’d been pushing her on me since we were children. Any time there was a special event, and they allowed children, he brought Michelle. I feel bad for her, I think she may have met her mate and because her dad wanted me, he didn’t approve of their relationship.”
“That poor girl. She didn’t look happy to see me though,” she pointed out and Daniel nodded.
“You are the end of their pursuit of me. I mated you already. There is nothing they can do to pull us apart,” he promised, leaning down to place a gentle kiss on her lips. She let him, even though they were in public. She wanted the Jeffries family to know Daniel was hers and hers alone. He spun her out and back into his arms.
“Come, let me introduce you to the rest of the parliament, then I can take you back to our place to make love. I want to feel your thighs wrapped around me as I am embedded deep within you,” he whispered in her ear. She blushed and nodded.