34.

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"Something's going on, Hoseok," Jennie said lowly, sitting on the edge of her bed, deep in thought. "And I don't like it."

"Mm?" her brother replied distractedly, his mind far too occupied with the accumulated stack of letters he had to get through. "What do you mean?"

"I mean with Jungkook and Taehyung," she said snappishly, glancing back at the elder with a look of annoyance. "Can you listen to me?"

"I'm listening, Jennie," Hoseok stated, paying full attention at the sound of Taehyung's name. "Explain, then."

"The way Jungkook acts around him is strange," she revealed, unable to push aside the intense feeling of jealousy at the thought of how much the Prince evidently cared for her own servant. "Remember how mad he became once Father struck Taehyung across the cheek? It doesn't befit his usual personality. Jungkook's known to be selfish and ignorant."

Hoseok remained silent at these words, pondering over his sister's observations. There was most definitely some truth into what she was saying. He remembered the day he found Taehyung crying, and the Prince came in looking as if he'd just murdered someone. There had to be something strange about that, hadn't there?

"And the time I went out on a ride with him, he looked so nervous when I brought up Taehyung. It wasn't normal, Hobi. There's something going on," she said, now convinced she wasn't becoming mad over her own suspicion. "Don't you ever wonder what Taehyung does around the palace? I've noticed the way he's become lazy at his work, and not to mention Jungkook. I've seen him only three times in the period of two and a half weeks, Hoseok."

"Don't make any hasty decisions, Jennie," the boy responded, his brows raised in warning. "You'll regret it the second you do something rash. Okay?"

"I know. But I'm going to find out what's going on. It's dodgy, and ironically it concerns me greatly. Jungkook's my future husband as it stands."

-

Taehyung continued cleaning his mistresses's room, just like he'd been doing for the past hour. He had almost wrapped up, after folding each and every one of Jennie's dresses, before the door swung open, revealing the Princess herself.

"Taehyung!" she exclaimed, a sickly sweet smile plastered over her pretty facial features. "I haven't seen you in quite a long time."

The servant boy felt his heart hammering at her entrance, although he mustered up an acceptable response, lifting his hand as a sign of greeting. It was true; he hadn't seen her in a long period due to the fact he simply couldn't face her after knowing he was kissing her potentially future husband every chance he got. Taehyung hated the position he was in, as he hated what he was doing to Jennie. He knew that in no way was this her fault, hence why he couldn't push away the intense surge of guilt washing his entire body.

"I know, I'm sorry about that, Miss. I've been caught up in the new palace as of late. It's difficult to find my way around," he excused, internally cursing himself at his lame reply.

He sounded foolish.

And Jennie wasn't oblivious to the nervous look cascading over her servant's face. In fact, it was rather laughable at how Taehyung appeared in that current second. His cheeks were flushed with pure anxiety and it was clear to see why. He was hiding something.

"What have you been doing to pass your free time, then?" she inquired, busying herself with playing on the ends of her silken dresses which lay folded up neatly on her mattress. She kept her tone to one of a friendly demeanour, wanting to keep her curiosity on the down low, however Taehyung wasn't an idiot, and he knew she was evidently suspecting something.

"I've been with Jimin and Seokjin. You know, the cook and Prince Yoongi's personal servant. They're quite nice, actually.'

His short reply caused a tense silence to linger around the two of them, as Jennie only nodded in response, lifting up the corners of her mouth once again. "Well, doesn't that sound nice? I'm sure you've been around Jungkook a lot, then. Seeing as how you seem to know the inhabitants of my future home more than I do."

She let out a tinkling laugh, causing Taehyung's insides to coil up with uncomfortableness. The atmosphere was thick, and the servant felt sick to his stomach. The fake aura practically radiating off the Princess was enough to prove one thing: Jungkook and Taehyung hadn't been as discrete as they first assumed.

"I don't see him a lot," Taehyung lied through his teeth, attempting to mask his sweaty palms behind his lean frame. "He seems to keep himself to himself most of the times. As does Prince Yoongi, too. I'm only friends with the.. um," he said, trailing off towards the end of his sentence.

"With the people of the lower classes? Yes, I thought as much."

Taehyung found himself nodding, although internally he felt enraged. He felt angry at how he was expected to remain silent at a well-fortunate person mocking every little action he did. It was disgusting, and Taehyung loathed it.

"I better be off, Miss. I have quite a lot of laundry to do. Is there anything else you need?" he asked politely, only to witness a curt nod appearing from Jennie.

Taehyung wasted no time in departing from his mistress's room, with his heart beating raucously in his chest at how obvious him and the Prince had been. He hadn't imagined that Jennie may have found out, however now that it was particularly obvious she'd caught on, the blue-haired boy was overcome with panic.

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