The next morning it rained heavily.
I could probably forget my morning procedure, which consisted of going out on the terrace in pajamas and greeting the day, because the terrace was not covered.
I made a mental note, to remember this small structural measure, for the new shared space with Malachy in Castle ‘Green Willow’.
After I left, Darius had sent me a message, asking me to meet him at nine for breakfast.
How could I deny my brother’s wish? So I got ready for the day in my bathroom and headed for the dining room.
I had a very pleasant and funny breakfast with Darius. He sat at the table’s front like a top dog and teased Daddy Niklas, who for the first time in hundreds of years, had to sit sullenly at the side of the large table.
So much for our plan, that Daddy Niklas only learns of my presence shortly before lunch.
After breakfast, I retired to my rooms to rest a little. The night had again been short. I wish I had spent it in Malachy’s arms...
At the same time, Daina got into her car and drove to James at Castle ‘Green Willow Grove’. It was now up to her to convince James, that he had to go to Ignis so her and Adrian’s plan would work.
She was highly motivated.
Around eleven o’clock in the morning she parked in the parking lot in front of the castle, left her car and walked quickly towards the main entrance.
A maid recognized her immediately and opened the door for her.
As soon as Daina was within earshot, she said: “Let me know where Sir Stuart is, right now. I come with important, urgent news.”
The maid rushed to the phone and called the servants’ area to inquire about the regent’s current whereabouts. After a short time she came back to Daina.
“Lady Arone, Sir Stuart is currently in his official study.”
“Good” Daina replied briefly, while already disappearing through the large foyer.
Arriving in front of James‘ study, she did not spend time knocking on the door, but tore it briskly and entered the room. Considering the last encounter with James, when he had deeply offended her, she didn’t care about etiquette at the moment. She also had a job to do.
“James!” She whistled as she stormed into his study.
She stopped shortly before his desk, where he was working.
“Daina! Glad to see you.” His words sounded a little stilted. You could tell that he was uncomfortable.
“I have already been told that you have important, time-consuming news!”
Daina rolled her eyes in annoyance.
“Of course this has already been announced to you by your oh so busy staff.”
As she spoke, she noticed a pencil lying carelessly on the carpet in front of the desk. She picked it up, put it on the desk and couldn’t help making a snippy comment.
“Your staff can anticipate everything, but obviously they cannot clean up properly...”
James smiled at the pencil and thought of the passionate encounter with Maggie, here on his desk. After he had carelessly thrown down everything, that was on it with his arm, someone had to clean up the mess.
In order to be able to linger a little longer in the room and the moment after she had left, he simply tidied up himself. He must have overlooked the pencil. Lost in pleasant memories, he smiled thoughtfully.
Daina was upset by his strange reaction, triggered by a pencil.
“What is there to smile about when your staff is incapable?”
Torn from his thoughts, James snapped back to reality.
“Daina, what did you want to tell me that it is so important, for you storm in here as if your life depends on it?”
She adjusted the chair in front of the desk and sat down. Then, she leaned forward and gave him a dead serious look.
“Your fiancée is bringing me here... on my day off! Do you know where she is?”
James was just about to reply when she raised her hand and wiped it through the air to silence him.
“She is in Ignis, where she forges a plot against you, together with Clan Romanov and your lovely uncle Thorben Ian Stuart!”
At the mention of his power-hungry uncle, James pricked up his ears.
Maggie had mentioned a plot to him last night, which Niklas was forging. She hadn’t given him any further details. She had just told him, that her goal was to smash this conspiracy and that he should trust her. She is on his side.
When James didn’t respond immediately, Daina grew impatient.
“Didn’t you get it, James?”
“Yes, I have. I’m just relaxed, because I know Margarete is in Ignis. She is there to smash this plot.”
Now, Daina laughed maliciously to cover up her nervousness.
James wasn’t someone, who could be manipulated that easily. She seemed to have to bring out bigger guns.
“How do you mean that she wants to prevent the plot? How is she supposed to do that from Adrian’s arms?”
Now James glared at her. Good – finally she had his attention.
She went on quickly.
“Save me with words about her, never being able to do that! May I remind you of her behavior over the past few days, again?
First, she humiliates you in public by taking her ex-lovers/step-brother side, or whatever you want to call him. Then, she doesn’t really care, when she catches us red-handed and now she runs back to her Adrian at the first opportunity.
I have eyes and ears everywhere, including Clan Romanov’s estate in Ignis. Do you need proof to believe me?”
She took her cell phone out of her pocket and opened a photo in her gallery, which she showed to him and explained him, that it was allegedly leaked to her by a maid, who worked for Clan Romanov.
Maggie was clearly recognizable in the photo, in Adrian’s arms and in his bed.
“This photo was taken last night. That should probably be enough evidence.”
When James looked at the photo, his face turned into a petrified mask. After a short while, James pressed his lips together angrily. He closed his laptop, got up and asked Daina to follow him.
“I’ll get a few things from my room, then we’ll go to Ignis together. Please wait in the foyer. I’ll be with you in ten minutes. ”
Daina grinned confidently.
“Of course, Sire”
James left the room in a bad mood, taking long, quick strides.
It was obvious, that Daina had him exactly where she wanted him.
What he didn’t know was, that although the photo showed Maggie and Adrian, it had been taken almost three years ago.
It was very convenient for Adrian, to cling so doggedly to this pathological love and obviously not being able to part with old memories...
Who would have thought, that one day a woman of all people would be the weak point of the regent, who never wanted his heart to be taken.
After waiting for him in the foyer for a short time, James appeared with a small travel bag slung over his shoulder.
“Are you ready, Daina?” He was already walking past her when he asked her this question.
“Are you planning to spend the night there, or what’s in your bag?”
James stopped and turned to her.
“Do you want to keep asking stupid questions or do we want to go, now? We have a two hour drive ahead of us. I want to get this over with as soon as possible.”
Wow, he was really in a bad mood. Daina’s provocation had worked better, than she’d thought.
“I’m coming!” She immediately attached herself to his heels.
When she was seated in the passenger seat of his Audi and buckled up, she grinned to herself, delighted.
In fact, it all came together - her plan would work!
While James maneuvered the car out of the parking space, she fished her cell phone out of her purse and sent Adrian a message.
“We are in the car now and are just leaving Castle ‘Green Willow’. Get started with your little human girlfriend!”
Satisfied, she put her cell phone away again and sank deeper into the seat to take a more comfortable sitting position.
They had a long drive ahead of them.