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The right of Shannon Maharaj to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
All characters in this publication are fictional and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.
The castle was in a major uproar as their beloved friend, Quinn Fletcher had just awoken from his coma about three (3) hours ago and was now accepting visitors.
Soleil wanted to go see his best friend but wanted to also bring a gift for the younger man and he knew just the right person to go ask for help, even though she jumped at the sound of his voice.
So here he was now watching the main contributor to his dreams bake and decorate her beautiful confections for his friend.
However, he soon found himself becoming quite bored sitting in solid silence and decided to ask the young woman some questions in hope of quenching his ever-growing curiosity to get to know her.
"Lia, what did you do before you became our best chef?"
Blushing at the nickname that he had insisted on giving her, she stuttered out, "I was an f-figure skater."
"Woah! That's so cool! Do you have any pictures?!"
"Ask Reece, he has a-almost, if not all s-saved."
"Okay, what's your favourite colour?"
"Yellow, which I think is the opposite colour to purple on the colour wheel!"
Nodding, she smiled slightly at his excited behaviour, even though he could not see her face at all as her back was facing him while she was decorating the brownies. She had designed then as different flowers because she thought it would be cute.
"Soleil, w-what is your favourite dish?"
"Hmm, I would have to say pork belly buns/ steamed bao buns, how about you?"
"Those are yummy! I love braised pork belly in soy sauce!"
Before he could say something, she twirled around with the container of decorated brownies and smiled brightly, while showing them off to him.
He complimented her work and praised her talent, which caused her caramel skin to flush pink.
As she tried to hand them over to the Irishman, he crossed his arms and shook his head. This left Ophelia confused and she asked him why he did that.
He explained to her that he wanted Quinn to meet her officially and also that he liked her company.
After that explanation, Soleil asked the Hispanic woman if she would accompany him to meet his friend.
For a split second, she was going to say no, but then she saw an unknown emotion swirling within the depths of the grey orbs, so she agreed.
As uncomfortable as she was around people, especially men, the brunette was intrigued by the older man and why he seemed to want to always talk to her.
Tightening her already firm grip on the handles of the glass dish, she smiled slightly and nodded for him to lead the way.
The pair made their way to the front door, thanking one of the thralls for opening the door for them and continued on their way.
Suddenly, the blonde man stopped abruptly and this caused Ophelia to look up at him questioningly.
"I just realised that I never asked you if you would like to walk or drive one of the cars to the infirmary."
"Well, how long is the w-walk?"
Scratching the back of his neck, he hummed and replied, "Probably ten (10) minutes, but that also might because I am so tall. You're quite short and it is adorable."
Pouting, the brunette woman huffed and muttered a quiet, "Nu-uh."
Chuckling at her reaction to his words, he could not help but stare at her beautiful face and for what felt like a decade, he just admired her.
Her flawless caramel skin with a beauty mark off to the side of her cheek and her gorgeous chocolate eyes that shone brightly when cooking.
The juicy lip that was currently jutting out because of her pout had the Irishman's mind filling with all kinds of thoughts, not that he'd act or voice them out.
He knew that she was not comfortable around him and would most definitely not appreciate him doing something.
Even though he pushed the filthy thoughts aside, Soleil continued to let his gaze trail across her body and he could not help but wonder how she would look in his shirts.
Ophelia had curves in just the right places and extremely toned from her years of figure skating. She was his dream.
Before he could continue to check her out and do more wishful thinking, he felt a light poke to his chest.
Grey orbs snapped up to meet dark brown ones and there was a massive spark that seemed to happen, she never looked him in the eyes before.
As fast as his eyes had met hers, she looked away and felt her face heating up quickly. Thanking quietly for her darker skin tone, her blush was less prominent and made her anxiety settle a bit more.
"You okay, Lia?"
"Y-yup, I was trying t-to tell you that I a-am okay with walking to the h-hospital."
"Oh sorry, I was just thinking about some stuff, but let's go."
Nodding, she followed closely behind him and hid behind him to keep away from the prying eyes of the thralls who had not seen her before.
The Irishman noticed that their stares were making the tiny woman behind him very uncomfortable and so he glared at them till they stopped.
Something inside of him hated how their eyes held looks of interest, lust and other things that made his blood boil.
He knew deep down that she was not his Valkryie and he did not know if she ever would be, but even so, he wanted to protect her.
By the time he had gotten out of his thoughts, the pair had reached the glass sliding doors of the club's infirmary.
Turning to face his companion, he shot her a quick smile before stepping into the sterile building.
Instantly after stepping in, all the single female eyes were on him and they were all looks filled with lust.
Normally, he would have returned the longing looks with a playful wink but now he only had eyes for one (1) woman and she was clutching a glass dish filled with brownies.
Not meeting any of their gazes, he placed a light hand on Ophelia's elbow and walked with her to the front desk.
The Irishman thanked Odin, himself that the person behind the reception was none other than Doctor Luke.
"Hey guys, are you here to see Quinn?"
"Yup, can you take us to him?"
"No problem, follow me."
The trio (3) walked down the narrow white halls toward the elevator and waited for it to be called. As they waited, Luke explained to them, their friend's condition and that he had been moved to a private room, on the request of King Elias.
He admitted that the staff had not a clue when he was going to wake up because when they estimated he would, he did not.
They suspected that he was regressing in his mind to try to create some sort of catalyst to block out the trauma and painful memories before he awoke.
By the time he was done explaining, they had reached the floor for the private rooms and he had to lead them to the last door at the end of the hallway. It had a silver plaque that read 'Quinn Fletcher.'
Knocking on the door, a muffled "Come in," was heard from the other side of the door and with that, Luke pushed open the door.
"Quinn, my boy, Soleil and someone new is here to see you."
With that, he turned back to face the duo and smiled. He let them know that it was alright to go in but reminded them quietly not to ask anything about what caused him to land up in the hospital in the first (1st) place.
Nodding, Soleil walked in and his companion followed in suit. The sight that greeted them was both a happy and sad one.
Happy, because it was good to see his friend awake and doing well for the first (1st) time in a good while.
Sad, on the other hand, because he looked so fragile and pale. He was also still hooked up to a good amount of machines that made sure nothing was going wrong. Looking at the heart rate monitor, they saw that his heart was still weak.
"Hey, big guy. How are you feeling?"
"I'm doing okay, still hurts to move. Who is this?"
"This is Ophelia, remember? Reece's little sister and-"
The blonde man nearly blurted out 'and my Valkryie,' which he knew for a fact was not true and also that the young woman in question would have not appreciated that.
"Oh yes! Sorry, my memory sometimes is still a bit foggy."
"T-that's okay. Oh! I baked you some chocolate fudge brownies, on r-request of Soleil."
After the words left her stuttering lips, the smile the gentle giant had spread across his face had lit up the entire room.
It was a beautiful sight to see his friend smiling once again as he used to before everything happened.
"Can I have one now?"
Carefully, Ophelia slowly picked up a decorated baked good and placed it on a napkin before handing it to the hospitalised man. She watched nervously as he took a large bite of the gooey confection.
"OH MY GOD! This is so delicious! Please tell me the rest of those are for me."
Giggling, the Hispanic woman nodded quickly and placed the glass tray on the bedside table, next to his jug of water. The pair watched as Quinn quickly scarfed down the treat as if he was a starving man.
In a way, he probably was, since he never properly ate for a long time due to being in a coma, even though they pumped his body with fluids.
It could not compare to the real deal of tasting delicious home-cooked food and baked goods.
"Thank you so much."
"I'm glad to see you're okay, dude. We all missed you."
"I missed you all too."