The next few hours passed in a flash. I was in a very strange mood. Although this contract was really important and would bind me to the Aristocracy forever, I felt free.
Maybe it was just because of the certainty in regards to my origin. Additionally, I was looking forward to get out of these surroundings, which were no different to a prison.
I stood in excitement in Malachy’s official study and meeting room at 4 p.m. sharp, to finally get it over with.
Afterwards, I would drive to my apartment and get all dressed up for today’s visit at bar ‘Raven’. A little more normalcy would do me good.
Malachy entered the room, seeming to be in an excellent mood, too. He held a black leather folder in his hands, which presumably contained the contract.
“Have a seat, love!” He pointed with his hand towards a seating arrangement, to the left of his desk.
I followed his request.
I had barely sat in the comfortable chair, when he handed me the folder. Then, he sat himself opposite me.
“I took the liberty to sign the document already. Please take your time to read the contract carefully. If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them. I don’t want to keep anything from you. Some additional requests from me have been added last minute, but see for yourself.”
I looked at him speechless.
He nodded towards the document. “Please read it!” He leant back in his chair, eyeing me.
I pressed my lips together angrily and started to read. The first page was sprinkled with information about Malachy’s and my lineage.
It seemed like I had already been granted a title – what a rapid climb.
Then I went on reading. It was noted:
1.That I would abdicate from the throne for the benefit of Malachy and his direct descendants and that I acknowledge his regency unconditionally and irrevocably.
2.In contrast, he grants me unlimited access to his resources – military and monetary. The exact explanation regarding this point is to be found in this document’s appendix under point A in combination with point D.
3.Additionally, there is going to be a shift of power in the royal ‘houses of warriors’. Clan Romanov is going to supersede Clan Rophos as the most powerful clan of the ‘house of warriors’, if special requirements are met. More detailed explanations will be in the appendix under point B.
4.I personally got a partial veto-right. How this exactly worked, was explained in the appendix under point C.
5.The last paragraph confused me. It handled the continuation of Clan Fleur de Lys and it’s connection to Clan Stuart. Further explanations were in the appendix under point D.
Below these paragraphs, Malachy’s signature could already be seen.
The line, reserved for my signature was still empty. I flipped through the pages until the appendix was in front of me.
I started reading the explanations to the main paragraphs of the contract:
A.The first condition to get access to Clan-Stuarts resources was a power shift within Clan Romanov. Specifics were to be found in point B. The second condition was point D, which was below.
B.The latest Clan successor Adrian Romanov had to be replaced by Darius Romanov. Without this change, Clan Romanov was not to climb the top of the royal ‘house of warrior’.
C.The partial veto-right, granted to me, worked as follows: My voice combined with three of the four most powerful head of Clans of the royal houses could block James’ decision.
D.Descendants of the head of Clan Fleur de Lys and Clan Stuart, will belong to Clan Stuart. Therefore they are directly behind James M. Stuart in the line of succession.
With public proclamation of the political alliance between both heads of Clan Fleur de Lys and Clan Stuart and the fulfilment of point A and B, Lady Margarete Fleur de Lys will receive unlimited access to Clan Stuart’s resources, as well as James M. Stuart’s private resources.
Following the public engagement, Lady Margarete Fleur de Lys will be given access to the earlier mentioned resources, even though point A and B have not been fulfilled.
After reading point D, I frowned and blinked a few times.
I wasn’t sure wheatear I got that right. So I read again and found out, that I hadn’t made a mistake.
Our alliance, to use Malachy’s innocuous choice of words, was an arranged marriage with all it’s rights and privileges.
Malachy’s signature was under the contract’s appendix, too.
I put the contract together with the folder on my lap and gazed accusingly at him.
He watched me closely the whole time I was reading the contract and didn’t avoided my eyes, as I was gazing back at him.
“It didn’t cross your mind to explain the fact, that our so called “alliance” is nothing more than a marriage contract, any earlier?” I emphasized the word alliance by making a sweeping gesture.
If I was expecting remorse or embarrassment of him, I was taught better.
Without any emotion, he replied: “Maggie, both of us are the last living heads of Clan of the royal ‘house of regents’. It is our duty to strengthen and to keep the Aristocracy alive and it is my duty, especially as regent, to provide successors…It was your wish, only for me and my descendants to have a legitimate claim to the throne. If I were not to provide successors, the whole Clan Stuart will lose it’s claim to the throne and if you were not to conceive, there will be no more ruling Clan from the ‘house of regents’, having a rightful claim to the throne.
This arrangement suits both of us. And it meets the Aristocracy’s desire for powerful successors. A child with mixed bloodlines from Clan Fleur de Lys and Clan Stuart would probably be the most powerful Aristocrat, that ever existed.”
He got up from his chair and stood in front of me. Then he took the leather folder, containing the contract, off my lap , put it on the coffee table and kneeled down.
While putting his hands on my thighs, he continued speaking:
“Let’s be honest. There have been worse, arranged ‘alliances’. We are drawn to each other and we got a first idea, what it could be like between us.”
He leaned towards me and kissed me tenderly. Even though I didn’t want to react to his proximity, my body seemed to feel differently and kissed him back.
Smiling triumphantly, he separated himself from me. “Moreover, after the debutant-ball and you staying at castle ‘Green Willow’ for several days, the whole Aristocracy is already speculating, that we share more with each other, than azure blood.”
I moaned while shaking my head: “You have planned this all trough, right from the start, haven’t you?”
He gently stroked my cheek.
“Not to the nitty gritty. Let’s just say that our first encounter let me to come to this conclusion.”
I smiled grimly and turned my head to the side. “Niklas will do somersaults of joy. His daughter married to the Regent…”
He touched my chin with his right hand and turned my face back towards him. “Look at it this way: He will never know, that you didn’t trust him in the first place, so his treat towards Darius will be without consequence. Regarding Adrian, I don’t give a damn.”
Then he kissed me again, but this time more passionately.
As if remote controlled, my hands wandered around his body. I embraced him and started to play with his hair.
This time, when he moved away from me, he didn’t seem to be unaffected by our closeness anymore. His eyes seemed darker and he had problems to keep his hands off of me, which still touched and stroked my body.
“Sign, beautiful. Then you will be untouchable for anyone within the Aristocratic Society.”
He started to place small, hot kisses on my neck and slowly wandered towards my collarbone.
The atmosphere in the room grew heavier within seconds and was loaded with sizzling, joyous anticipation and the wish for more.
We were interrupted by a knock on the door, once more. Malachy tried to ignore it, which lead to a more powerful knock on the door to his study.
“Sire, may I have your att…”
Then the voice stopped for a moment. It was without a doubt Andre, Malachy’s butler. “May I interrupt you for a little while, Sire?”
Malachy let go off me, obviously being annoyed and rolled his eyes.
“Andre, what is it?” He replied without trying to hide his annoyance and without granting permission to enter the room.
“Mrs. Arone is here…”
Malachy grinned knowingly, then answered: “I’m going to receive her in the small saloon in ten minutes. Please start to serve coffee there.”
Then everything went quite again.
Malachy turned his complete attention on me, again. “If we’re interrupted one more time, I’ll go insane.”
He shook his head, as to clear his mind. “You make me go insane with lust!”
This confession of his, made me look at him and I started to blush.
To distract him from me, I asked: “Where do I have to sign?”
I used my hand to point towards the contract, that was lying next to me on the coffee table.
Malachy seemed to concentrate on his task at hand, raised himself from his position in front of me and fetched a pen from his desk.
I provided all necessary signatures, put the pen aside and said: “Now, that this is cleared, you can inform Daina. I am going to drive to my apartment in central Atonia to prepare myself for a meeting with Amie at the ‘Raven’. She is a bar keeper at this establishment and I promised her to inform her about all the contract’s details. Afterwards we will go to our apartment and stay there for the night.”
He seemed, as if he wanted to object, but I shook my head and spoke further.
“You got, what you wanted from me, now give me some space.”
He nodded. “Okay. But I want to have you back at castle ‘Green Willow’ by lunch, tomorrow. We have a lot to plan and discuss and Niklas announced his arrival and the arrival of several other important members of Clan Romanov for tomorrow afternoon. He seemingly can’t wait to come here.”
“Fine. Then I’ll be back tomorrow at noon.”
I stood up, moved towards him and kissed him.
“Till tomorrow!” With this, I let go of him and left the room.
I was almost able to feel his longing stare physically, which was following me.
One thing was for sure, we really didn’t lack attraction…