Chapter 5

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*Vikiana's accent is a mix between Romanian and Latin. Think Dracula-esque.

Chapter 5

“You would know all about royals wouldn’t you?” Thea said, sitting down across from The Jade. Her remark seemed innocent enough, but she suddenly felt horrible for saying it. “I didn’t mean—“

Vikiana held a hand up to silence her. “I’ve told you many times that you may speak freely with me. We both know I’m far from a saint.” She took another swig of rum. “To clarify, royal or not, I know men, and that one, is hiding something.”

“Like what?”

“I’m not sure,” she said, tilting her head in question, “I’m surprised you haven’t sensed him yet.”

“I didn’t have a chance to.” Thea said nothing about The Jade’s aura washing over her. Instead, she changed the subject. ”I was too busy dealing with fish face.”

“Fish…face?” Her brows furrowed, and she looked to the side as if she was actually picturing someone with the face of a fish.

“One of your patrons thought I worked for the house and tried to woo me, but unfortunately what he thought was his best, was only mediocre.”

The Jade laughed so hard, she almost tipped over in the wooden chair. “Oh that Poor, poor man.” She got up after the fit of laughter and crossed to the bookcase on the left side of the room.

The decadence and sensuality of the brothel’s main room was nothing compared to the white elegance of The Jade’s private study. It was filled with gifts from patrons, and adornments protruding from the walls. A beautiful candlewick chandelier hung from the ceiling, adding extra light aside from the hearth burning beside the bookcase.

“Now, tell me,” Viki said, picking up a book and ruffling through its pages, “what is the reason for your visit?”

It wouldn’t be the first time she had come unannounced, and never once had The Jade questioned it. But Thea knew this time was different. Since their recent parting, she had kept her distance.

She chose her words carefully. “The king has me on a time sensitive errand.”

“Are you here for me?” Vikiana tensed, almost dropping the book.

“No,” she quickly shook her head, “another matter.”

Thea had almost forgotten the situation between The Jade and her uncle. King Alarric had received Vikiana as a present from the previous brothel master. It was a token of his loyalty to the kingdom and its king. But what the young Jade hadn’t realized at the time, was how obsessive and jealous the king would be of her. Days were spent indoors and in his chambers. He was not a kind lover. Marks went unnoticed, for he always steered clear of her face. It went on like this for months, until, The Jade had enough. She had a plan to escape, but was caught by one of the guards and brought before the king.

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