Regent's Blood - Aristocracy (Book 1) COMPLETED

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Chapter 23

Throughout the whole situation and surrounded by complete chaos, Maggie was glad, that Malachy handled the situation confidently.

He could have showed her off, but he didn’t.

She was infinitely grateful to him for that.

“Maggie”, I heard his questioning voice.

I raised my head and looked directly into his eyes.

“There is a little change of plan. Now, that we attend the ball together, I am joining you and your family at your table. It would be strange, If we were to spent the rest of the evening separated from each other... and I want to have a private conversation with you during the midnight interlude.”

I nodded in agreement. What else was I supposed to do?

Then, he raised his right hand unobtrusively. A servant came running immediately, bowed and asked: “Sir Stuart, how can I be of assistance?”

James replied: “We need two more chairs at Clan Romanov’s table. My consultant and I want to join them for the rest of the evening.”

I pondered. Which consultant?

Malachy offered me his arm: “Debutant Romanov, would you do me the honour to accompany me to your table? Dinner will be served shortly.”

I hooked into his arm and let myself be brought to my family’s table.

With a swift movement of his head towards Daina’s direction, he made her follow them.

She, who was able to regain her composure, obeyed her regent’s instructions. His behaviour was extremely unusual for him, but she knew from experience, that James never handled, without thinking it through beforehand – however spontaneous it might seem.

As always, she would trust his judgement, strengthening his back.

The table, which was assigned to Clan Romanov was situated at a corner of the ballroom, near the hotel’s lobby. This spot hinted towards Clan Romanov’s insignificance in the Aristocral society.

Adrian, Rebecca and Niklas were already sitting at the table. When they spotted James, they raised from their seats.

One affront towards the regent per day was to be pardoned, but they shouldn’t make another...

The servants fetched two chairs, which looked fancier than the rest of the chairs gathered around the table, put them opposite of Niklas and were just finishing to put on the belonging plates and cutlery, when James and Margarete arrived at the table.

James mentioned for Margarete to take her place at his left. When she seated herself, he pushed the chair towards the table for her. After he had taken his seat himself, Niklas, Adrian and Rebecca took their seat as well.

Right at that moment, Darius and Amie arrived. Maggie was glad, that the seat to her left was empty, so she could offer it to Amie by nodding into it’s direction.

When Darius saw James, he reacted as if his attendance at our table would be the most normal thing in the world.

He nodded at him and replied: “James, long time no see! It is an honour to have you at our table.”

James smiled. “The pleasure is mine. I see, you haven’t changed at all.”

With that, the issue was settled.

Only one last seat had to be taken.

I was looking forward to meet his advisor. But above all, I was glad to be able to sit down and rest for a little while.

My legs still felt like jelly. I had no idea, how I had been able to survive this evening so far.

Grateful, to have a glass of champagne standing in front of me, I took the glass and drank a long sip to calm down my tense nerves.

When I wanted to put the glass on my lips again, Malachy took it off my hand and said: “When we have our private conversation, later this evening, I want you to be in possession of all your senses.”

He waved to a waiter and ordered a glass of water for me. I felt like I was been treated like a child, but at the same time I knew, that it was better to smile and cooperate, instead of throwing a tantrum. So I drank my water.

While I sat at the table, pouting and bravely smiling to equally balanced parts, Malachy’s advisor joined us at the table – the most beautiful woman that I had ever seen, of course...

Even I had to force myself not to stare at her dumbfounded.

She was tall and slender, but still very advantageously feminine shaped. Long, blond hair fell open over her delicate shoulders and surrounded her beautiful, aristocratic face. Her lips were so plump, that they seemed to invite to be kissed.

Her unique beauty was emphasized and rounded off by her unusual purple-blue eyes.

Honestly, what did Malachy want from me? They were a match made in heaven...

Malachy responded to her arrival, immediately. “Nice that you are here, Daina!”

He turned to the rest of the people, sitting at the table: “I want to introduce to you my consultant and ‘right hand’: Daina Arone.”

The eyes of all people present were fixed at her attractive appearance. Polite introductions were shared.

When Daina saw Darius, a seductive smile spread across her face: “Darius! I am very pleased to meet you again. A lot of time has passed since the last time we met.”

While she was speaking to Darius, her eyes went to Amie, for which she had a cold, condescending smile, only.

It was clear, that her words meant more than just a nice encounter between friends and that she clearly wanted to hurt Amie.

I noticed Amie’s insecurity. Since I had folded my hands in my lap, I was able to place my left hand atop her leg, thereby signalling her my support.

Then the first course was served.

Glad to be able to do something else, than smiling politely combined with nodding now and then, I dealt extensively with my soup, allowing myself to let my thoughts wander.

Niklas kept looking at me suspiciously, while letting his eyes wander between Malachy and me.

I assumed, that he would die to know how exactly I had been able, to wrap Malachy around my finger. I would have loved to see his look, when I were to tell him about my night with Malachy at the Collosseum’s private room.

That imagination alone was enough to place a funny smile across my face.

“A penny for your thoughts...” I heard Malachy say next to me.

Of course he had to ask right at this moment, like he was able to read my thoughts.

I blushed and said: “It’s better if you don’t know!” My answer made him laugh out loud.

Niklas eyes narrowed curiously. He interfered in our conversation: “I can see, that you have a real mutual understanding. Astonishing in what short time period you have accomplished that connection. Margarete, maybe you let us all be part of your funny conversation.”

His words made me really mad. The hell I would! I was completely aware of the situation, including who had put me into this mess and who had helped me get through it and made it become more bearable.

So I answered coolly: “No, I don’t think so.”

Niklas was about to start a reprimand, but decided against it, because of my mad look. I wasn’t willing and able to endure anything more from him and I think this warning showed clearly on my face.

On top of that, I had this feeling of power and freedom, almost courage, again. It had been the same thing, the last time I met Malachy at the ‘Collosseum’, and look where that led me. It seemed like Malachy would enable me to do things, that I wouldn’t do otherwise, which was strange.

I gathered my thoughts, then I continued my reply addressing Niklas directly.

“Speaking of a conversation: I want to borrow the key to the rooftop’s greenhouse, again.”

I cleared my throat quickly.

“James and I have to talk about several things, in private. We wanted to use the time during the midnight interlude. That shouldn’t be a problem, should it?”

I looked at him defiantly.

Niklas looked sternly and you could see, that he didn’t like it, to be ordered around. Still he agreed. He sent his assistant a short message, asking her to bring me the requested key.

Malachy didn’t interfere with the conversation, but still watched the scene between me and my father with great interest.

Then we continued to eat in peace. The silence was interrupted only by polite table conversation, if necessary. Otherwise the act of eating was very quiet and the mood at the table was chilled.

Adrian in particular was remarkably quiet. He seemed completely speechless. He hasn’t spoken to me since the official announcement of my parental origin and with it, the introduction into the Aristocratic society.

Not even a polite phrase or any other exchange of niceties. That was a rather unusual behaviour for him.

When we finished our meal and the waiters started to clear the tables, Malachy announced, that now it would be time, for him to borrow me for a short while. While speaking these words, he raised from his chair and offered me his hand. I nodded at him.

To make it clear to dearest Daddy, who was in charge of this situation, I gave Malachy the key to the greenhouse, by putting it into his open hand. Then, I stood up from my chair as well, curtsied and said “After you, Sir Stuart”, while taking his free hand.

“My pleasure” Malachy replied flirtatiously and entwined his fingers with mine.

“If you all were to excuse us. I hope you will enjoy the artist’s show. I hear it is always outstanding.”

With this he turned around and took me with him into the direction of the lobby.

Darius hat to laugh and answered mischievously: “Maggie, please tell me if you need help, or rather not... I support you in every disgraceful act!”

Malachy had to grin at that. That was just Darius.

But it wasn’t just benevolent looks, that chased us.

Daina as well as Adrian watched us with jealous looks.

Both, Malachy and I would be dead, if looks were able kill...

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