The weekend came too fast for Amelia. She couldn’t help the jitters of meeting her half-brother and sister. They didn’t say hello to her at the museum opening. She and Daniel left before they talked. Secretly, she thought they didn’t want to talk to her. The news about her being Lord Watson’s long-lost daughter had finally hit the news. They smuggled Amelia into the car to get out of the palace without the press following her.
“This weekend will be fine,” Daniel assured her, squeezing her thigh. He’d insisted on driving them out with Alex in the back for safety. Thankfully, a maid who had a similar build to Amelia was used as a decoy. Apparently the palace did it often to throw off the press.
“I hope so. Caleb and Gwen didn’t talk to me at all at the museum opening,” she remarked looking out the window watching the woods fade away as they got closer to the beach. Her father’s home was several hours' drive from the capital. It surprised her he traveled into the city for weekly meetings.
“It would have been rude of them to talk to you. Their father did the duty for your family to speak with us. This way we are not monopolized by one family,” Daniel explained with Alex grunting his agreement in the back.
“Seriously? That is so odd. You royals have too many rules. I am never going to learn them all. Plus I’m in the process of interviewing and hiring people to help with my charity. How am I to do all this?” Amelia could feel her body tense with anxiety. She loved Daniel and being his mate, but this was a lot to take in and do.
“One day at a time baby.” Daniel took her hand and brought it to his lips. She huffed and closed her eyes giving herself permission to nap until they arrived.
In what felt like minutes Daniel was gently shaking her awake telling her they’d arrived. The sun was setting as she opened her eyes to see a massive beach house. The white smooth exterior reminded her of the houses she saw on television when some interview show was talking about a celebrity.
“This place is amazing,” she gushed, sitting up straighter excited to get a better look at the place. Outside she could see another car parked in front of a four-car garage.
“I remember it has a private beach to keep the press away and there are some cool tide pools we can check out tomorrow,” Daniel shared, parking his car beside the flashy Aston Martin.
“Nick got a new car,” Alex commented from behind her.
“How many does he have?”
“Last time we counted I think he had twelve different sports cars. He likes to have flashy cars.” Daniel turned off the car and started to get out. Amelia followed, grabbing her crossbody bag. Alex would bring their luggage, she didn’t like using him as a servant but he had told her earlier that was part of his job keeping them safe. No one would be able to place trackers or bugs in their things if he stayed with them.
“Amelia!” Her father’s shout made her turn to see him rushing out of the house arms open. She took a few steps watching her dad come towards her. He had her eyes, something she’d never seen on another person. His hair salt and pepper colored and thick upon his head. He looked like Nick but an older version. If she were to be honest he could be considered a silver fox.
“I wonder how old he is?” Amelia gasped and covered her mouth, she’d been thinking about his age, but didn’t realize she’d said it out loud.
“I am so sorry.” Lord Watson laughed pulling her in for a hug.
“Nothing to be sorry about. I am fifty-five,” he answered kissing the top of her head. He stood a head taller than her, as he hugged her, she felt the power beneath his skin. He may be fifty-five, but he was still in very good shape.
“How old would Mom have been?” She needed to know more about her history.
“She would have been fifty-three.”
“Do you still miss her?” He released her and took her hand to bring her inside. Daniel followed behind, she knew he was giving her a chance to get to know her father without his interference.
“Every day. She was my mate, I will never forget her. I have Valerie and I love her too, she helped me out of the darkness I went through when your mother first died and you disappeared. I love her and the children we have together.” Amelia relaxed, there would be no reason for Valerie to be jealous of her and worry her father would go into a depression again.
“Come meet your siblings now that we are not in a formal setting. They are outside with Nick and Kylie. Kylie has been a breath of fresh air, she and Gwen hit it off with talk of fashion.” Amelia looked back to see Daniel have a sly smile on his face. What? She mouthed at him and he shook his head.
“Look who finally arrived!” Lord Watson announced pushing open a set of french doors onto a beautiful tiered patio. Amelia could make out an infinity pool off to the left and to the right a large barbeque pit. Sitting in ornate patio chairs were Kylie, Nick, Valerie, Gwen, and Caleb. Caleb looked a lot like her father, Gwen was the spitting image of her mother.
“Welcome, we are about to eat. What can I get you to drink?” Lady Valerie asked all signs of her hostility towards Amelia gone. Daniel came up next to her and took her hand to walk over to the group.
“I’ll take a beer,” Daniel replied, settling in a bench seat. Amelia settled next to him, still a little nervous.
“I’ll take a wine,” she answered, leaning into Daniel’s body. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her into his side.
“This is Caleb and Gwen,” her father introduced her to her siblings.
“It is nice to meet you,” she said smiling at the two.
“Is it true you were hidden at an orphanage?” Gwen asked, giving her a sharp look, one that reminded her of Lady Valerie.
“Yes. Then I was placed in a foster home with Kylie,” she answered accepting the glass of wine from Lady Valerie.
“What was that like?” Caleb asked he held a beer bottle between two fingers, leaning back in his chair with his legs spread wide. Amelia took in her halfbrother and smiled. He was still lanky and looked like he had a few years before he grew into himself.
“Hard, but we made it through and I paid my way through culinary school. Enough about me, I want to get to know you two. What are you two doing these days?” She turned the conversation away from her horrid childhood.
“I’m in graduate school studying for my masters in business,” Caleb answered, with a smirk. She could tell he was proud of his accomplishments.
“That sounds like a lot of work. How long until you are done?”
“One more year. Then I am working for my grandfather’s business firm.”
“What do they specialize in?”
“Technology, we produce computer chips for laptops.”
“Impressive. What position will you be starting at?” This time Daniel asked the question.
“Assistant to the regional manager,” Caleb replied with a frown. Amelia sensed he did not like starting from the bottom.
“I had to do my dues when I first started at the bakery. I scrubbed pans and made basic cookies,” she shared, sipping her wine.
“How long were you at the bakery?” Gwen asked turning her body to face Amelia and setting down the phone she’d picked up when Amelia arrived.
“What did you do after that?” Lady Valerie asked her sitting gracefully in a chair.
“I started my own business Amelia’s Sweet Treats and then met Daniel,” she answered, reaching over to squeeze his hand. Daniel leaned over and kissed her cheek.
“I’ve heard of you. You are all the rage right now! I tried to put in an order on your website but it says you aren’t accepting any orders at the moment,” Gwen gushed while pulling up Amelia’s website on her phone.
“I am in the process of turning it into a charity. We’ve had to pause the orders to get the paperwork changed. I am also hiring others to help me with the cookies. I can’t keep up with orders and my royal duties will interfere a little,” she shared leaning into Daniel’s arms.
“They look amazing.”
“I brought some with us. I’m not sure where Alex took them.” Amelia looked around for their bodyguard.
“I gave them to the chef for him to plate for dessert,” Alex replied from behind her. She looked over her shoulder at him standing in the background hands clasp in front of him. He even had sunglasses on to hide where his eyes were looking.
“Yes!” Gwen pumped her fist making everyone laugh.
“Gwen, what are you doing these days?” Daniel asked, turning the conversation.
“I am in college studying everything. I’m not sure what I want to do. I was talking with Kylie about her experience in design school.” Amelia could see Gwen was still working out who she wanted to be.
“That is what college is for. I took a year in between high school and college to figure out what I wanted to do,” Amelia shared catching surprised looks for everyone except Kylie and Daniel.
“What did you do?” Gwen asked her bright blue eyes focused on Amelia.
“I worked as a waitress. Kylie worked with me,” she answered motioning to Kylie.
“Did you take a year too?” Gwen turned to Kylie giving Amelia a chance to relax.
“This is going well,” Daniel whispered into her ear kissing behind it, sending shivers down her spine.
“I hope it continues.”
“Dinner is served,” a servant announced from the french doors.
“We will be eating out here Travers,” Lord Watson announced. The man nodded and went back inside. In less than a minute several maids were bringing out platters of food to place on the table in the center of the chairs.
“I hope everyone likes crab,” Lady Valerie cheered, placing a napkin on her lap. Amelia followed along, she wasn’t a huge seafood fan, but she would eat it if it was the only thing available.
“And for those of us who don’t want to work for our meal, chicken,” her father interjected, pulling the cover off a roasted chicken. Amelia chuckled and settled back to enjoy the meal with her family.
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