“I need a favor.” I looked at Viktor with pleading eyes, “I can’t trust just anyone with this.”
Viktor paused, his dark eyes searching my own. “What is your favor?”
I tried not to smile as his thick accent filled the room.
“I need a replica of this necklace.” I pointed to the one on my neck, “As soon as possible.”
Viktor paused, curiosity filling his dark eyes. “Why would you need something like that?“, he asked.
“My Uncle wants me to give him this necklace. He says I’m not ready for it.” I shrugged, “Nothing is certain, but I’d like to make sure his intentions are..pure.”
Viktor came forward, lifting his gloved hand to my necklace. I inwardly cringed, hoping it wouldn’t hurt him the way it hurt the men who had crept into my room. The necklace was cold against my skin, not a single sensation ran through it as Viktor’s gloved finger ran along the intricate golden branches. Perhaps the necklace knew Viktor wasn’t a threat, perhaps it knew he wasn’t interested in stealing it.
“I can do this.” Viktor nodded, “But I will need a picture.”
Viktor took out his phone and snapped a photo of the necklace, “I will make a call. He responded and walked back into his room.
I waited around for what felt like hours, but it was truly only a few minutes. I couldn’t delay my Uncle forever. I needed that necklace, and I needed it soon.
Viktor came back into my room and I practically jumped up from my bed.
“Tomorrow.” Viktor nodded, “He will have it ready tomorrow.”
“How much money does he want?” I frowned. Something this intricate would cost a ton, especially if it was ready by tomorrow.
“No money.” Viktor shook his head, “Secrets.”
“Secrets?” I scoffed, “He wants secrets?”
“Secrets more powerful than money.” Viktor shrugged, as if he had dealt with this many times before.
“Before my Gala, I would’ve disagreed with you.” I gave a humorless chuckle, “Now I’m thinking you’re right.”
“I am often right.” Viktor shrugged, but I could see his lips twitch under his mask.
“When I give my Uncle the fake, I’m going to need someone to follow it.” I frowned, “I want to know where it ends up.”
“And what if he simply keeps it?” Viktor posed the question I had been wondering, “What if he is true to his word?”
“Then he will never know the necklace was a fake.” I nodded, “He doesn’t need to know about our plans.”
“I will have someone follow.” Viktor nodded, “Someone I trust.”
“You trust people?” I smirked, amusement twinkling in my eyes. “How strange.”
“Very funny, little Princess.” Viktor’s rough and guttural voice sounded amused for once. I knew if his cursed mask wasn’t on his face, there might actually be a smile on his lips.
“How will the necklace get here?” I frowned, my mind was a cacophony of ‘what if’s’. “I can’t see anyone getting through all of the guards.”
“I will go.” Viktor nodded, as if he had already thought this part through. “You will wait in room. I will meet and pick up the necklace.”
“This wont be.. dangerous, will it?” I frowned, the last thing I wanted was to put him in danger.
Viktor shrugged, “Everything is dangerous.”
I rolled my eyes at my towering bodyguard, “Showering isn’t dangerous. There are a lot of things that aren’t dangerous, Viktor.”
“You slip, you fall, you hit head, you die.” Viktor shrugged, as if he were saying something completely obvious.
“Y’know, you’re a lot more fun when you’re not all silent and brooding.” I teased, a smirk forming on my face.
“I do not brood.” Viktor cocked his eyebrow at me, and I marveled at how incredibly handsome he looked in that moment.
(Present Day - Viktor)
Shannon’s words sent red hot fury coursing through me. I knew who was responsible for this, for the attack and accusation.
It was clear they were not happy. Their plan had gone horribly wrong. While their orchestrated attack may have failed, they did gain one valuable piece of information. They now knew about the golden piece of jewelry on the Princess’s neck, the one that held unspeakable power. They had not expected Arabella to kill ten of their men. It made me smug to know Kressler was one of the ten men killed.
Arabella had avenged her Mother’s murder without ever knowing. She would never have to look into the poisonous eyes of Kressler, understanding it was him who killed her Mother.
Hades was ecstatic yet miserable, as was I.
The little Princess knew the truth now, knew what we truly were to her. Yet the look on her face was anything but rejection or disgust. Her emotions and thoughts swarmed through me, an angry hurricane in my gut. Fear for my life was evident, but there was much more to the little Princess. So much longing, and much anger at herself. She knew from the beginning, felt the connection between us. Yet she never had taken the chance to touch my skin. Perhaps things could’ve been simpler had she not been the first Queen Alpha in history, and I not come with a haunted past.
She did not want me to leave, yet she knew I must. I could feel her emotions clear as day. She would not rest until my name was cleared, until I could come back for her. Only one thing was on my mind, and it sent raw fear gnawing at my gut. Who would protect the little Princess with me gone?
I fell from the window with ease, sparing just a single second to commit Arabella Adair’s emerald eyes to memory. Without hesitation, I bounded into the forest.
I hadn’t made it far when I heard a familiar chuckle. I spun on my heel, my claws lengthening to tear the person’s throat out.
“Zdravstvuyte, Viktor.” (Hello, Viktor) Nikolai Aslanov stood in all his supposed glory, a taunting smile on his face.
“Nikolai.” I grunted, refusing to let the surprise flicker on my face.
Nikolai Aslanov begged for a reaction, for any emotion I failed to conceal. He enjoyed toying with people, truly enjoyed the game like the sociopath he is.
“Chto ty sdelal seychas, Viktor?” (What have you done now, Viktor?) Nikolai Aslanov taunted, his lips turning up in a cruel smirk.
“You have been the busy one, it seems.” I commented, reigning my anger in as best I could. Hades was practically foaming at the mouth for a chance at Nikolai Aslanov. It had been years coming, but Hades wouldn’t rest until his flesh was under our teeth, his blood filling our mouth.
“Kakaya zhalost, chto malen’kaya printsessa okazalas v opsnosti. Yeye ottsu sledovalo uznat vashu nastoyaschuyu lichnost, prezhide chem nanyat vas. Mozhno bylo spasti mnogo zhizney.” (Such a shame the little Princess was in danger. Her father should’ve known your true identity prior to hiring you. Many lives could’ve been saved) Nikolai Aslanov taunted, and Hades roared to life before I could try to hold him back.
“You underestimate her.” I snarled, Hades voice was meshing with my own. “She will be your downfall Nikolai, and I will watch every moment.”
"If you say so." Nikolai replied, his voice smug with victory. "Goodbye big brother."