Amie was still asleep, when I arrived at our apartment. She was completely exhausted by working the night shift at the bar ‘Raven’, which was also a hotspot for Aristocrats.
The unusual noise in the early afternoon woke her up. She stood in her room’s doorway, looking frightened.
“Maggie? What are you doing here? Did something happen?”
Her messy hair sticked out from her head in every possible direction.
“I am home. Actually, I just quit my job. Tomorrow, I will have my farewell party.”
Rooted to the spot, she yawned and replied: “Wow! Please don’t swamp me with information.”
I realised my rudeness.
“Sorry! Niklas talking style seems to have rubbed off on me: always be arrogant and never give up too much information…”
Amie who was still sleepy, sat herself on the couch.
“Okay. Now, you have lost me completely. Could you please start from the beginning and in a way that makes it possible for me to follow you?”
“What do you think of me preparing coffee first?”
That proposal made her eyes shine. “Lots!”
I brew a pot of coffee, then I sat next to her.
“Yesterday morning, I called Niklas from my office out of a whim. He was already expecting my call. As it turns out, he was staying here in Atonia for professional reasons and could meet me the following day for lunch.
We were eating at the ‘Estate Hotel’ and of course he had to make a fuss about my clothes, which were not appropriate for such an occasion.”
Amie examined my blue jeans and the plain black t-shirt and reckoned.
“Well, please don’t be mad about my honesty, but considering your choice of clothes you can be glad that they did let you into their classy joint.”
“Thanks Amie! Luckily Daddy was there. They can’t deny the owner and his daughter entry, can’t they?”
Amie looked at me in astonishment.
“Your father owns the ‘Estate Hotel’? Why on earth are you living here?”
I cleared my throat and started to get lost in thoughts.
After a short while I replied.
“Because I wanted to have a normal life and my freedom. Hold that thought – we need to talk about that later, but I will start from the beginning.”
Then, I explained the course of the conversation I had with Niklas, and him telling me that he appreciated the idea of me becoming an official clan member of the Romanovs and that he was even willing to accompany me to the ball.
Darius was supposed to handle everything, even parts of my education.
I also mentioned that he was expecting of me to quit my job and move back home to Ignis. I ended my monologue by describing Niklas’ reaction to the question about who my real mother was.
“… He emphasised that my mother did not want me and therefore had never looked for me. He simply wanted to save me from suffering.”
Amie was listening carefully the whole time, then she replied.
“I have no idea, I wonder whether he makes it easy for himself, giving you that reply about your mother. On the other hand: it sounds plausible. After all he was the one, who found you.”
She pushed her lower lip above the other, looking a little out of it, when she went on.
“Although risking to sound insensitive: Does this mean that you will move out of our apartment?”
I grinned at my best friend.
“…and move back to Ignis, into the Romanov mansion, directly next door to Adrian and Soraya? Great idea! That is on my bucket list directly after bungee jumping without a rope.
One thing is for sure: I will stay here. I might have to commute a lot between two places, but I am okay with that.
Now that I quit my job, I do have enough time for that. Who knows, maybe I can even get Niklas to buy me a MINI. I always wanted one of those.”
I added jokingly. “That reminds me of something: Niklas told me to take a look at my trust funds. According to his words he adjusted them to the needs of a real Romanov.”
I smiled in amusement and stuck out my tongue.
“I am going to call my bank advisor right away.”
After a quick search I found the number of my bank advisor. A friendly voice, that became even friendlier after the verification of my person, greeted me.
No more than ten minutes later, I let myself fall on the sofa in astonishment.
Amie looked at me curiously.
“So… are you able to pay the rent without a job?”
I turned my head in her direction.
“Yes, I can afford the rent including the whole apartment complex and a new car for each of us and new clothes from ‘Chawel’ and a vacation for both of us… I am totally loaded!”
Amie watched me, her eyes big like saucers.
“Why is Niklas that generous all of a sudden?”
I shrugged. “He finally gets to have his way with me: I am becoming his puppet and trophy, just like he always wished it to be. On top of that he expects me to wear appropriate clothes – appropriate for my status.”
I rolled my eyes.
“At least when I am attending official events.”
Then I remembered that I had to make a confession.
“Oh dear! I have to tell Adrian and Darius about my lunch date with Niklas, before he gets to them first. What do you think about getting ready for going out? While you are getting ready, I can call Darius and inform him about the latest developments. Afterwards, we can make daddy’s credit card glow…”
Amie’s eyes started to glow. “I’m on board! Give me fifteen minutes!”
She bolted out of the room and into the bathroom like the devil was on her heels.
While Amie was taking a shower, I called Darius. He was not very amused about my confession, but he also was not mad at me.
I asked him to inform Adrian as well. Then we made an appointment for tomorrow afternoon.
This gave me time to pack my things, which I would need for staying two days in our mansion so we could make an exact plan for the next two weeks.
Darius ended the call by informing me that he had a surprise waiting for me in Ignis.
For the first time in two years I was looking forward to going to our mansion in Ignis.