Regent's Blood - Aristocracy (Book 1) COMPLETED

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Chapter 35

When Daina arrived at James‘ private quarters the next morning, having dark bags under her eyes, it was obvious that she didn’t get a lot of sleep last night.

The confirmation of Niklas Romanov’s absurd claim had the potential, to bring the whole balance of the Aristocracy to waver.

James arrived ten minutes later, than agreed, in the living room. When he saw Daina, he said sharp-tongued: “You look as exhausted, as I feel. Did you have a short night?”

Daina nodded in agreement. She had already taken a Thermos jug form the serving trolley and helped herself getting a cup of coffee. Now, she poured him some coffee, as well. While James took his seat, she followed up on the topic at hand.

“So the doctor did inform you about the combination of her blood-serum.” She stated.

“Was he able to give further information about her biological parents, as well? Not every descendant of Clan Fleur de Lys is equally important. A distant cousin should not be a threat to your claim to the throne.”

James headaches started to grow again, but this time the reason was yesterday’s excessive Whiskey consumption. In fact, he had no idea when exactly he went to bed.

He pinched the bridge of his nose with his left hand and raised his right, to silence Daina. She paused in surprise and interpreted his reaction as a bad sign.

After a few seconds, James replied: “Her mother is Camille Fleur de Lys, daughter of Viktor and Isabelle…”

Daina looked at him with big eyes, while her jaw dropped. “How is this possible? The whole family had been killed in a tragic accident. How could Camille have had a baby, without anyone noticing? How old is Margarete?”

“Twenty-six.” James replied.

Daina frowned. “This is not possible! Her mother died almost 27 years ago. What in heavens…”

He bit into a croissant and replied coldly: “It is possible! The proof for this claim is probably sitting downstairs at the breakfast table, right now.”

He handed her the bread basket. “Please, serve yourself. We have a lot to discuss, which is easier on a full stomach.”

She took a cinnamon bun and bit into it hungryly.

Then James ended the senseless banter and got straight to the point. “Now, with Margarete being above me, in the line of succession to the Aristocracy’s throne, is confirmed, we need to find a solution for this problem.”

“She, taking over the reign, is no option.” She replied and added: “She has no powerfull family backing her, because she is the last of Clan Fleur de Lys. You, unlike her, have the whole Clan Stuart at your disposal, as well as Clan Arone, of course.”

James interrupted her. “Thank you for once more explaining this to me.”

Daina was a little pricked.

“I as well don’t see her taking over my reign, at least not in the near future. You did meet her. She wouldn’t survive in this position for one week. She needs guidance and directions. So far, she isn’t even trained in her own abilities.”

Daina nodded approvingly. But she didn’t like the direction, the conversation was going.

“One thing is for sure. There are only two possibilities for Margarete. Either she is my ally, or she is against me. I have the upper hand, because her family lacks the power to support her, as you have correctly stated before. If she allies herself with me and provided I keep being the Regent, I will grant her protection and unlimited access to my resources. She needs to make a decision.”

She took the floor in horror. “James! Do you know what you are suggesting?”

She didn’t dare to bring up the possibility of an alliance between Margarete and James, directly. It was her place, to be at his side.

James was well aware of the problematic situation, this decision would cause. In fact, he knew that Clan Arone had already started the first preparations for an engagement of Daina and himself. He had to be very careful, not to anger Clan Arone.

Therefore, Daina would keep her place as his most trusted and important advisor. But the place at his side wasn’t something, he could offer her anymore.

He continued speaking: “Yes, Daina. I talk about a political alliance of Margarete and myself, that will help both of us and in it’s consequence it will also help Clan Arone.”

Her face briefly became a rigid mask. James was supposed to be her partner. It was her goal to create a mental and physical connection to him. She didn’t want to share him with anyone…

Quickly, she remembered her education and blocked her thoughts off. Nothing good ever came from letting your thoughts run free near an azure blooded Aristocrat.

To distract her from this dangerous topic, he came to the next point on his agenda.

“No matter how Margarete decides, there will be a power shift in the royal ‘house of warriors’. Now, that Clan Romanov is directly related to the oldest Clan of the ‘house of regents’, changes will be unavoidable. I expect, Niklas Romanov to be thrilled about stepping into Alexandre Rophos’ position as the head of the ‘house of warriors’.”

He concentrated on sipping his coffee and took some bites out of his bun, before challengingly looking at Daina and continuing to speak: “See, here is the point at which I have a problem with Clan Romanov’s internal structure, of which you are not completly innocent…”

Daina’s eyes grew big like saucers. It rarely happened, that James attacked her directly.

“Since yesterday’s unfortunate incident between Margarete and Adrian, here at castle ‘Green Willow’, I don’t tolerate him being Niklas Romanov’s successor. A man, that has no problem to physically impose himself on a woman, against her will on top of that, isn’t fit for a position that holds great power. Either Darius will replace Adrian as Niklas’ successor, or I will personally take care, that there will be no power switch in the royal ‘house of warriors’ at all.”

He made a meaningful pause. “And this is, where the topic at hand, leas to you, Daina. What were you thinking, letting loose this ticking bomb on Margarete? I can’t imagine the consequences, had I not been there, in time to prevent worse.”

Daina decided to take the bull by the horns and interrupted James: “James, you got it wrong!”

He looked at her as if she was completely nuts. “What exactly was there to misunderstand? Please, Daina, I am all ears.” He replied coldly.

“In my vision, there was nothing about Adrian imposing himself on Margarete, only a passionate kiss. Something, that isn’t supposed to be happening between siblings. I wanted to show you, that that little minx isn’t as innocent, as she tries to make us believe. It was my intention to let you see her true personality, which couldn’t be good, considering her deceiving all of us and making out with her brother.”

She inhaled soundly and sorted out her emotions. “I honesty had no idea, into what kind of impossible situation I would bring her. Interpreting a vision incorrectly, had never happened to me before.”

James gazed at her and mentioned: “That is not completely true. Do you remember, when Margarete’s arrival was revealed to you in a dream, that you couldn’t grasp completely? She does have a big part of azure blood in her veins, which happens to be the only restriction to your abilities.”

Daina replied ruefully “You are right! I am completely and honestly sorry and I am glad, that nothing worse happened.”

Then they changed the topic. They talked about several projects, that needed James’ approval. At the end of the meeting, James obliged her to remain silent regarding Margarete’s test results, in order to let sleeping dogs lie.

He would meet Daina again tomorrow evening, to coordinate further procedure. But before doing that, he had to talk to Maggie.

When Daina left James’ private chambers at noon, she was crestfallen. She could almost feel, how he seemed to slip from her fingers. Her last hope was, Margarete deciding against an alliance with James, but this scenario was very unlikely.

For the first time, since she started her position as the Regent’s seer and advisor, her abilities didn’t help her to see the outcome of a situation. She felt powerless, a feeling that she wasn’t used to and that frightened her.

James was glad to have some time for himself, after Daina left. Bringing up the possibility of a political alliance with Margarete in front of Daina was risky, but unavoidable.

He was well aware of Daina’s feelings towards him. When she was careless for a moment, he could read her mind and what he red, didn’t promise anything good. She wanted to be his partner for the public events as well as in his bed at night.

Jealousy could be very dangerous. Maggie’s brother Adrian was a shining example for that. He was glad that none of the women present at yesterday’s incident, was able to read thoughts – at least not yet. Otherwise they would have been shocked to their bones by the extent of Adrian’s sick jealousy and hurt vanity. This man was a ticking time bomb and behind his calm façade layed a deep abyss.

After looking at the clock, he decided to have a light meal. His next meeting would be at 2 p.m. with Elisabeth Arone, Daina’s grandmother and head of Clan Arone. She was probably concerned about Maggie’s sudden appearance.

He had to calm her down, because he needed the time to pull all the threads together.

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