Part 2

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"I never had any intention to marry you."

He better have been speaking the truth. Cale didn't have a whole lot of patience to spare right now and she needed absolutely every bit of information she could get her hands on to ensure that she was able to succeed.

It was a shame that the amount of trust she could place in Alberu Crossman was really negligible.

He had earned some leeway with her, being one of the only voices vouching for her innocence when...

Regardless, she wouldn't be swayed by those sorts of momentary acts of decency. She knew the crown prince well enough by now to be sure of absolutely one thing for sure.

He was a glib bastard who prioritized his political growth above most everything else.

Her expression hardened as she entered the reception room, paying absolutely no mind to the literal prince who stood up to greet her and taking a seat across from him with every bit of haughty grace that she was capable of.

It was a significant amount, especially when she was so perfectly decorated from head to toe in only the best fabrics and jewels.

The Crown Prince appeared momentarily taken aback but gathered himself quickly.

She didn't give him an opportunity to speak, his glib greetings sharply cut off with her words.

"I wish to annul our engagement."

It must have been quite the sight for Alberu. The infamous Cale Henituse, known for her drunken fits and irrational episodes of cruelty, sat calmly before him with an expression that could cut diamonds and a request to end their potential marriage before it could ever happen.

It amused her just a bit that his expression was just about as unnerved as it had been the first time she'd done this meeting.

Back then, she'd felt it was just so important to stay 'in character' and force him to annul the marriage from his side. She'd done everything she possibly could within the span of three years to get him to hate her.

How strange that she'd never succeeded...

Alberu gathered himself, taking his seat and smiling at her winningly. "May I know why?"

"I don't want to marry a dishonest git with blond hair and blue eyes. Whoops, that means I can't marry you." She upturned her chin at him with a sneer. "Be honest, your highness, you have no interest in marrying me either."

There was a brief silence before he opened his mouth again. She recognized his expression instantly.

He was about to vomit out more bullshit to persuade her.

Cale raised up a hand to stop him, turning her attention to the servants attending to them. With the exception of Ron, who looked strangely pleased, the rest of them were looking uneasy over the scene they were witnessing.

"Grant me privacy with my fiance?" It was phrased like a question but there was that very particular dangerous glint in her eyes that let all parties know that bottles would go flying if her words weren't promptly obeyed.

Most looked relieved to have an excuse to escape but Ron lingered. "Young mistress Cale, is there anything this Ron can do for you?"

She hesitated.

It was comforting to have Ron at her side. Honestly, ever since returning to the past it was the only thing that had kept her truly grounded in the moment. Ron had been such a constant existence at her side growing up that it only really felt like home if he was nearby.

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