Chapter 1: Part 3

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Later that day I found myself looking for Jasper. I told myself that it was because I had been told specifically to stay away from him and I did not deal well with my agency being challenged. I was also convinced that I was acting this way because of the recent, er circumstances. That was a good story, if one had to get creative.

I knew I would find him with Liam. Their new bromance was annoying if nothing else. It seemed like everyone loved Jasper Frost and I kicked myself for repeatedly letting myself be susceptible to his charms. The intensity of his gaze, the way he looked at me as if I was the only person in the room, his desperate need to protect me, to make sure I was okay, well sometimes it had the tendency to go to my head. But he had broken my trust one too many times for me to still have any kinds of feelings for him, maybe hate would suffice.

But it wasn't hate that had me pacing the palace corridors looking for him. I was on edge, my skin uncomfortably sensitive; I was jumpy and burned with a yearning to see him. And when I found him walking the halls behind Liam, I didn't even flinch before grabbing his hand and dragging him away with me. I heard Liam call out my name and registered Jasper's questions but I didn't stop until I had him back in my room, the door locked.

"Len..." He started, looking like an adorable mixture of confused and hopeful.

Of course I had to squash that hope before it gets the two of us in trouble.

"I hope you don't think I dragged you down here to have a heart to heart Jasper."

"I wouldn't dream of it." But his eyes said otherwise because he was looking at me like that again, like I mattered the most to him.

"Good because, this," I gestured between the two of us, "is not about us."

"I thought you didn't think there was ever an 'us'."

"There isn't, there wasn't. I just wanted to make sure you understood."

"I do. So what are we doing in the tunnels again?"

I grabbed my phone from the back pocket of my jeans and pulled up the string of text messages I had received over the past couple of days. Now that I had made the decision to share them with Jasper, there wasn't any time for second thoughts. I knew I trusted him for some unfathomable reason, despite the entire debacle with 'Mandy'. Deep down, in my bones I knew I could count on him.

"What's this?" He asked as he took the phone from me.

"It's someone claiming to tell me that my brother's death isn't what we all believe for it to be."

Jasper was as shell-shocked as I had been when I first started getting the texts. My first instinct had been to ignore them, because someone was clearly having fun exploiting my grief. But the more regular the messages became, the more pressing their tone, with greater hints towards it all not being what it seemed, I finally surrendered. My first thought had been to share the news with Liam but having lost my father and Robert, I could not risk putting Liam in danger. Given that he was poised to be the next King of England, he was a very likely target. And as much as I like James, I knew without a doubt that the person I would turn towards was Jasper. He had joined us after Robert's death but he knew what my brother meant to me, realized that my bond with him was greater than the one I had with any other member of my family. I had fallen apart after Robert's death and had found some sense of closure after discovering the roles of Brandon Boone and Ted Pryce in his murder. But now, the wound had been scratched open and I was desperate.

"Do you think this person's telling the truth? That they might actually know something?"

"It's worth a shot. What if Ted didn't order Robert's plane crash? What if the real killer is still out there?"

"Len," Jasper's face had softened but not with affection, this time there was sympathy and pity in his eyes, "we have solid evidences that Ted was involved in both the deaths. I can't let you put yourself in danger to chase something that might very well be a trap."

"I feel it in my gut Jasper! I know there's something here. Help me, track down this person, I need to know, please."

It was the please that broke him, I watched it happen as his mind gave way to his heart. He read through the text messages, ones that I had read religiously over the last couple of days. I knew he could sense something there. There were details in them that a normal person wouldn't know, things about the plane crash that even Boone couldn't describe.

"If we're going to do this, then you have to listen to me Len. We will need to do this my way, discretely and with the knowledge that your security is my priority. If I sense even for a second that your life is in danger, I won't hesitate to put an end to this."

I nodded, I would agree to anything if it meant that Jasper would help me.

He took a deep breath and rolled back his shoulders. "Then I guess we're doing this huh Princess?"

I allowed a rare smile to break free.

"We are." 

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