“I found some information about Lady Valerie you will find interesting,” Nick commented, walking into Daniel’s office three days after the museum opening. He looked up from a farmer’s plea for help with flooding throughout the farmland in the south.
“What is it?”
“She is the cousin of Lord Jeffries. Turns out they were fairly close growing up.” Nick handed Daniel the file of information he and Alex had dug up.
“How did you not know?” Daniel wanted to know how this relation hadn’t come up before.
“They are second cousins to be exact and I suspect once Valerie got her claws in my dad she didn’t need Jeffries. He is not someone very popular in the political sphere after his public fight with your father,” Nick remarked, leaning back in the chair he’d settled in. Daniel looked up at his best friend, his body was relaxed, but Daniel saw the worry in his eyes.
“You have a theory?” Daniel knew his friend well enough to suspect he knew what the connection meant.
“Don’t you think it weird that Amelia was attacked after the announcement of you two being mates when you were children?” Daniel nodded encouraging Nick to share his thinking.
“That was around the time Michelle had been born, she is two years younger than Amelia.”
“Are you suggesting Lord Jeffries set about getting rid of your mom and Amelia to get his family what they wanted?” The thought made Daniel sick to his stomach.
“Michelle has been your back up if you never found your mate. She has been trained along with Savannah for taking over duties of being queen.”
“True, and Valerie married your dad a few years after your mother’s death. I see your line of thinking. How do we prove this happened? Plus we need to figure out who paid Hope money not to go back from Amelia after the threat ended. It means that person knew Amelia hadn’t died in the car crash.”
“I am looking for the orphanage owner’s next of kin to see if they have any information or things that belonged to the old woman,” Alex interjected coming out of the shadows where he’d been standing.
“How is that going?”
“I am close. I have a name, now I need to find them,” Alex explained, handing Daniel the paper with the information.
“Good work. We are getting closer to finding a reason behind the attack on Laura and Amelia.” Daniel leaned back in his chair looking at the information given to him. Tomorrow they would be going to Lord Watson’s home for the weekend. Daniel had sensed Amelia’s apprehension build all week. Lady Valerie made Amelia uncomfortable, something Daniel did not like.
“Did you notice at the museum opening Valerie, Caleb and Gwen didn’t go near you two?” Nick commented with a rueful smile on his face.
“I did. Do you think they will be cold to her this weekend?” Daniel would not take Amelia into a home where she would be snubbed.
“Caleb and Gwen will warm up to her. They grew up with Valerie as their mother and she doesn’t let them talk to anyone she thinks is beneath their status,” Nick shared picking at his fingernails.
“Good. She is nervous about this weekend.”
“Kylie is too. She still thinks my dad hates her. I know Valerie doesn’t like her, but she is Amelia’s best friend and my mate. She will gain a certain amount of status when we marry.” Daniel shook his head, it was a poor day in his kingdom if others did not accept Kylie and Amelia just because they weren’t part of the nobility. It was the twenty-first century, time to change outdated thinking.
“She and Amelia will make their way. I bet when Kylie becomes a sensation for designing Amelia’s dresses she won’t have to contend for respect. Amelia already told me all of her ballgowns will be made by Kylie. The dress she wore at the museum opening wasn’t Kylie’s and I could tell she felt bad for wearing a different designer.” Nick laughed at Daniel’s answer.
“I’ll tell you a secret. Kylie wasn’t angry, but took notes on what clothing Amelia needed so she could add it to her collection for her fall release.” This time Daniel laughed, shaking his head. They had changed from before having mates, never would they have talked about fashion other than noticing a woman’s cleavage sticking out of her dress.
“Did you see this letter from the farmers?” Daniel shifted their conversation back to work on hand. He and Nick poured over documents and reports trying to figure out what aid they could send. Soon it was time for Daniel to meet Amelia for a family dinner, Savannah and her husband Wynston would be joining them. Daniel prayed Wynston would be more polite to Amelia this time.
“Got to get to dinner. We will see you and Kylie at Plymouth Place tomorrow afternoon for our weekend with your family.” Daniel stood cracking his back, he always stiffened from sitting too long.
“What about your racing?”
“I am going to practice in the morning and then we will head to your place.”
“Tell Ratchet hi for me.” Nick walked with him out of the office, Daniel nodded and turned toward his apartments, while Nick left for his car. Daniel walked into his apartment to see Ramon standing in the kitchen with Amelia, she was showing him how to ice flower cookies. He stood in the doorway to watch, he didn’t want to interrupt.
“Start from the edge and work your way in to make the petals. This way it looks like a real flower, see?” Amelia straightened handing Ramon the icing bag. He bent next to her working on a blank cookie.
“Good.” Amelia smiled when Ramon finished. Daniel saw the pride in her eyes, she was happy with Ramon’s progress. He would make a good head chef for her business.
“How’s it coming?” he asked, gaining their attention. Amelia’s eyes softened, and she walked over to kiss him hello. He gave her a short kiss, tucking her into his side, and looked up at Ramon.
“Lady Amelia has been showing me some techniques.” Ramon bowed setting down the icing.
“I saw. You will make a good right-hand man for her.” Daniel wanted Ramon to know he approved of him helping Amelia.
“Thank you, Your Highness. I’ll take my leave now.” Ramon bowed again and left the apartment.
“We have dinner with my parents and sister,” he reminded her when she stayed snuggled against his side.
“I know. I hope Wynston is nicer this time,” she remarked wrapping her arms around his waist, burying her face into his chest.
“I am sure he will. Come on, we need to dress. Have you looked through any applicants for your business yet?” Daniel walked them into their room without making Amelia release him. He enjoyed her body pressed against his.
“I have a stack to go through. Today Ramon was helping me with a few orders. That is why he was learning how to make the flowers.” Daniel rubbed her back regretting that he’d have to let go in order to change his clothing.
“Dress for dinner?” Amelia asked letting go and heading into their closet.
“Yes.” Daniel stripped out of his work clothes and put on a fresh dress shirt of ice blue, navy blue slacks, matching socks, and his more comfortable loafers. He decided not to wear a tie. He watched Amelia pull out a loose-fitting dress of plum purple. Gone were her flour-dusted clothes and her everyday bra. He watched as she slipped on a black bra and panty set before putting on her dress.
“I don’t think I’ve ever owned this many pairs of bra and underwear that matched,” she commented, combing her fingers through her unruly hair.
“Get used to it. I am going to spoil you for the rest of our lives.” Daniel pulled her against his body unable to resist kissing her. He needed to taste her before sitting through another family dinner. Her lips opened for him without him asking, sweeping in he took his fill. Cupping her face in his hands he feasted until the alarm on his phone went off. Amelia groaned making his resolve to release her waver.
“Dinner,” he whispered, holding her by the shoulders watching her eyes blink away her sexual daze.
“Right.” Amelia nodded turning to grab a pair of flats to wear. He took her hand and they left the apartment once they were ready.