Regent's Blood - Aristocracy (Book 1) COMPLETED

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Chapter 34

Fifteen minutes later, there was a knock on my door. When I opened it, Andre was standing on the other side.

He started to smile friendly, when he saw me and replied: “Please follow me, Lady Romanov. Sire Stuart is in his private study.”

I left my room and followed him. We took a route through the castle, that was entirely unfamiliar to me. Andre led me through a big door, that seemed to be some kind of barrier between the public part of the castle and Malachy’s private rooms.

The atmosphere here was completely different. Although it was still pompous from it’s architecture, it’s interior was more individual and homely.

Andre stopped at the first door, knocked and waited for permission to enter.

There was a damped “Come in.”

Andre opened the door and announced my presence. Then, he stepped aside, to let me walk past him and closed the door, after I had entered the room.

Malachy was sitting at his desk, in front of a laptop. When I entered the room, he put his left elbow on the desk, resting his chin on his hand and looking directly at me.

“Maggie! To what do I owe this unexpected honour?”

He pointed towards a chair, across from his desk. “Please, have a seat.”

I nodded and took a seat. “The reason for my spontaneous visit is, that I had no opportunity so far, to thank you for your help today.”

I struggled for words. There was no nice way to call today’s unfortunate incident. “It is the second time, already, that you helped me out of a bad situation and I wanted to let you know, that I am very grateful to you.”

Malachy remained silent, looking at me without emotion. There was an uncomfortable, almost awkward silence. I felt quite stupid and out of place.

After a while, he asked: “Is that all?”

I nodded meekly, but then I remembered the SPA-pool thing. I thought it would be better to get it over with straight away, instead of interrupting him again later, for such a trivial thing.

I decided the timing wouldn’t get any better, therefore I started to speak.

“Considering the circumstances, it might sound macabre, but Amie and I have decided to postpone out wellness-day to tomorrow – of course under the condition, that your offer still stands. We will start with some SPA treatments at 3 p.m. By 4:30, we should be finished and plan to go to the pool to swim a few laps. Darius too, will join us. Amie thought, that I should ask you to join us, as well.”

I eagerly awaited his response. He didn’t move a muscle or gave anything away in his expression, hence I had no chance to read him.

“The offer still stands from my side. As long as the wrong Romanov doesn’t show up.”

His expression darkened for a moment, then he spoke further. “It is very kind of Amie to think of me. What do you say about this idea?”

There was a rapid change in his facial expression. Where there was a dark expression before, there was a hint of a smile to be seen, now.

I answered a little hesitantly: “I would be very happy for your company.”

Malachy stood up, walked around the desk, towards the door and opened it.

On the other side stood Andre, seemingly uncomfortable with the situation. Malachy had apparently told him to wait.

“I am sorry to dismiss you after such a short time, but I am expecting an important call, soon. Andre will bring you back to your accommodations.”

I rose from my chair as well and moved towards the room’s exit. When I was at Malachy’s level, he smiled wickedly.

“Regarding the unconventional gathering at the pool: Count me in. I am in a meeting until 4 p.m., but afterwards I would enjoy swimming with you.”

Somewhat surprised, I replied with an awkward “Super” and a stupid grin, that I could have slapped myself for. Malachy simply knew how to throw me off balance.

On my way back to my accommodations, Andre informed me, that James wouldn’t be able to eat dinner with me.

Afterwards he inquired politely, where I wanted to eat my dinner: at the dining room or in my private chambers. I didn’t like the thought of eating in the big dining room all by myself, hence I asked him to serve dinner in my private rooms.

Just after getting there, I took my mobile and sent Amie a message: ’Malachy will join us later for our private pool party. Wellness didn’t seem to be his preferred activity ;).

As soon as I hit the send button, Amie replied: ’Wow! Did you tell him about your Leopard-Bikini ;)?

I had to laugh out loud. She was so wonderfully impossible and unconventional. ’No, but I mentioned the nipple stickers… ;)

I roared with laughter, while hitting the ‘send’ button. Luckily, I was alone, otherwise I would be considered completely nuts.

I made myself comfortable in front of the television. After today, I needed light entertainment, which allowed me to switch off my brain completely.

Not long after I made myself cosy, a maid came in, bringing my dinner – pasta with prawns.

When I was alone again, I placed everything on the coffee table in front of me, deciding to eat on the couch.

So in the end, this day’s events took a turn for the better. Blissfully grinning, I rolled the pasta around my fork, putting it into my mouth with delight and thought about Darius. He loved to tease me for my preference for good food. He was probably even right in calling me a glutton.

The television showed a slushy love story. I ate comfortably and fell asleep on the sofa soon after, because I was exhausted.

As soon as Maggie had left his study, the landline started to ring. James looked at his wrist watch and had a satisfied expression on his face.

He went back to his desk and answered the phone.

“Stuart”

On the other line was Dr. McKinay.

“Sir Stuart! Dr. McKinay speaking. We did everything within our power, so that we could provide you with the test results of Ms Romanov’s blood serum as soon as possible. Which was quite notable, considering that we took less than 48 hours…”

James grew impatient. “Doctor, what are the results?” He interrupted the Doctor impolitely.

The Doctor cleared his throat. “It is as follows: I want to inform you in advance, that we did everything possible, including testing the results twice, to exclude an error or a mix up.”

Then he made a theatrical respite. “According to Ms Romanov’s combination of her blood serum, she is exactly who she claimes to be.”

James felt like being hit by a mallet.

The doctor continued. “Are you still there?”

“Yes, please go on.”

Then Dr. McKinay explained that Maggie’s blood serum consisted of 32% of Clan Romanov, of the royal house of warriors and of 68% of Clan Fleur de Lys, of the royal house of regents.

James interrupted him again. “Dr. McKinay, were you able to identify, in this limited time, who exactly Ms. Romanov’s biological parents are?”

The doctor answered triumphantly and almost screamed into the speaker: “In fact, I did! Her father is Niklas Romanov and we could clearly identify Camille Fleur de Lys as her mother, the youngest daughter of Victor and Isabelle Fleur de Lys, the former royal couple.”

This information gave James a headache – literally.

He started to slowly massage his hurting temples, then he replied to the doctor: “Thank you Doctor. Please take care, that the vial will arrive at castle ‘Green Willow’ no sooner than Wednesday.”

The doctor replied eagerly: “You can count on me, Sire.”

Then James ended the call and let himself sink into his armchair.

He would have expected anything, except her claim to be of substance. This changed everything. He had to completely rethink his plan.

He slowly raised himself off of his armchair and went to the little bar cabinet, that was situated in the corner of his study. He took a glass and poured himself some Whiskey, which he downed his throat in one large gulp.

What a day.

Luckily, he came to Maggie’s rescue in time. The extent of what could have happened caused an ice-cold shiver to run down his spine.

After he refilled his glass for a second time, he went back to his desk and dialled Daina’s number.

“James” She piped happily from the other side of the line. “I am so glad to hear from you! I hope calm has been restored at castle ‘Green Willow’.”

Her trivial babble got on James’ nerves, which didn’t contribute to his headache getting better.

“Daina, I want you to come here for breakfast tomorrow at eight a.m. to my private quarters. We have a lot to discuss. The test results of Margarete’s blood-serum are in.”

James could hear Diana, who inhaled loudly because of her surprise.

“That fast? What are the results saying?”

James took another large sip of his Whiskey, before he calmly replied: “She is exactly, who she claims to be.”

For a while there was dead silence at the other end of the line, then Daina mumbled: “Holy shit!”

James had to chuckle at Daina’s unladylike reaction, since she was usually very composed. “You could say it that way!”

After an amused sniff, he continued: “Daina, no word to anybody! Officially, the test results will not arrive before Wednesday morning.”

“Okay. This means that we have but one and a half days left, to make a plan…” she quick-wittedly replied.

“Exactly! Figure something out!”

Then he ended the call abruptly, without waiting for her further reply.

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