CHAPTER 14 - Of a Mysterious Mark

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"Una, are you going to tell me why my garden is completely wrecked or should I just take a wild guess?"

We were sitting in Prince Nova's private study, him leaning on the intricately carved, mahogany table, clad in a white woolen tunic. Arms folded, his cool gaze bouncing off the three of us. Serena and I were seated on a small couch, left to where he stood and Una standing a distance ahead of us.

"The Sagittarian Prince got on my nerves." Una gritted her teeth.

He chuckled, "Oh, you two Realms. Always at each other's throats."

Una looked at him with indignant eyes.

"Well, alright," he said with apparent amusement, as his eyes slid over to me and Serena, "Aren't you going to introduce..." But he stopped mid-sentence, his face flickering with recognition clicking in. The golden flecks of his pupils becoming prominent.

"I suppose we have met already." His posture was relaxed as he straightened himself up a little.

"Yes. In the Lair." Serena said nervously.

"Ahh, yes. Clearly, you're much better now, miss." His smile broadening as he turned his neck to look at me. His feathery voice was like a soft breeze on my warm skin.

I managed a nod. His intense gaze was intimidating my inner workings yet again. Heaven, save me!

It had seemed thus far that Prince Nova had arrived a little later after I was done giving my dumb speech. But I needed a proof that he had not, that no one had in fact, witnessed my reckless show.

Nothing had changed in all these years; I was just as impulsive as I had been since childhood. I cursed myself, clenching my fists tight on my lap.

"How did you meet?" Una asked thinning her eyes at me.

"The Liberan Corresponders and I crossed paths, a week ago." He answered for us, his gaze still on me.

"I see."

"So, what exactly happened back there?" Prince Nova asked, in a disinteresting tone as he looked at Una.

I tilted my head involuntarily, his jawline was- indescribable. I couldn't help but marvel at his broad back, the tight muscles of his arms prominently visible through his tunic. He had removed his long grey overcoat, once inside and Serena and I had a shared a quick swoony look with each other.

"As I said," Una replied, "The Fiery Prince got me riled up and one thing led to another..." She trailed.

"Is that all?" He asked Una in a low whisper and my heart skipped a beat.

Did he or did he not know?

Serena clutched my hand lightly, her eyes darting left to right. She was going to open her mouth. Before I could stop her, she stood up. I followed suit, indignantly.

"Your Highness, if I may be so bold, I have something to tell you."

Prince Nova slowly turned his head back to where we stood, and looked at her. "By all means, go ahead."

And in that moment, I knew, what she was on about. I pursed my lips in appreciation at her quick thinking, she was going to distract him with another tale.

"There are spies in your palace." Serena drawled in a flush of dramatic undertone.

If this bit of information had any effect on him, it didn't show. His cool voice cut through the silence of the room, "Why'd you say that?"

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