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Chapter 8 Determined

  • Daniel
  • Daniel
  • "That girl was perfect, and I can't believe you're too dang stubborn to admit your feelings." She huffs and adds another cube of imported sugar.
  • I raise a brow. "My feelings?"
  • My mother nods. "Of course. You love that girl. Anyone with a pair of working eyes can see it. I just can't believe you let her walk away." She turns her nose up at me, clearly disappointed, and takes a sip of her tea.
  • I roll my eyes and lean back in my chair, crossing one leg over another. "Love? You're mistaken, Mother. I do not love Annie. Enjoy her company, sure, but it's not love." In fact, I'm not even sure I know what that is, and I would think it doesn't exist if I didn't see how much my parents clearly love each other. I find myself smiling small. That's the kind of relationship Annie deserves. One where someone cares about her as much as my father cares for my mother. I start thinking about someone else holding her, kissing her, fucking her, and start to feel my smile slip.
  • My mother walks back over to the chair across from me and sets her teacup and saucer on the table separating us with a smug grin on her face.
  • I frown. "What? What's that look about?"
  • "Oh, nothing." She muses to herself. "It's just that you've get quite the puss on your face and I know why. I've seen it before."
  • I lean forward and uncross my legs. "Alright, I'll humor you. Where have you seen this look before?"
  • My mother grins widely like the cat that ate the canary. "I've only seen that look on your face a few times. The first time I saw it was when Annie was speaking to Lord William Morburn at the wedding reception. You're thinking of Annie with another person." She pics up her tea and takes a long slow sip, keeping me hooked to what she's about to say next. "I've also seen that look on your father's face when I speak to other men, or when Michael sees his wife laughing a little too loud with a fellow noble. You're jealous. Only people in love are jealous when they see the object of their affection conversing with another."
  • I roll my eyes again. "Nonsense. That's just because William is a royal ass."
  • The Queen shrugs. "You're not wrong, but that's not the reason why you react this way. It's because thinking of her with another man makes you angry. Thinking of Annie looking up at another man the same way she used to look at you doesn't feel good. This is because you're in love with her." She shakes her head. "I just hope for your sake you realize before it's too late-- maybe it already is."
  • Her cryptic last sentence causes me to stand up straight. "What do you mean?"
  • She sighs. "Lord William Morburn left for New York City early this morning."
  • My world basically stops. "New York City?" That's where Annie's parents live. "Why would he be going there?" I don't mean to say it out loud, but I do.
  • My mother rolls her eyes. "I think you know why. He's going to comfort your wife. He's picking up the pieces you broke and he's going to take advantage of her."
  • I'm standing before my brain even sends the signal to the rest of my body. "No. He isn't. I'm leaving. I'm going on a trip to New York. I'll be back by the end of the week."
  • My mother nods and takes a calm sip of her tea, ever undisturbed by my outburst. "It's about time. You should've been on the first plane out of Verilia after you discovered she fled. Go get your wife back and grovel if you have to."
  • I don't have anything else to say to that so I just nod. I'm barking orders down the halls, instructing everyone I see to get ready to my journey to the states. I pack a bag and I'm on a plane to New York in record time. I'll be damned if I let Lord William come out of nowhere and steal my wife right out from under my nose. I don't trust the guy, I never have, and I never will, and now he's after my wife? No way. I might not love her, but that doesn't make our contract null and void, and it sure as hell doesn't mean anyone else gets to. It's completely selfish, but she's mine. She still belongs to me, or she does until she gives me what I want. Until then, Annie is mine, and by this time next week she'll be safe and sound away from seedy men, in my bed, with a red, sore ass.