Chapter Nine.

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"That's weird." I laugh nervously when I glance back at Lance and he gives me a weird look. "Almost the exact same thing happened with my parents." I explain how they had been in the middle of celebrating after he proposed when Dad had to be rushed off because rebels were executing the King, my grandfather.

Lance takes my hand with a sad sigh and leads me down the stairs and back into Castrum where Dalton is waiting over by the rows of flowers with his hands shoved into his pockets.

I drop Lance's hand and pretend not to notice the hurt look on his face as I walk over to Dalton. "What's wrong?" I ask nervously. "Did something happen?"

Dalton's expression softens just a touch as he meets my eyes. "Nothing." He sighs and the weight lifts from my chest. "Pedro just wrapped up earlier and was hoping he'd caught you in time for us to all eat together, but I see you two already did." He walks towards the door. "He'll still want you both to come." He says over his shoulder and Lance and I follow close behind on the way to the elevators.

When we get on Dalton goes to push the button for level six, the royal level, but I grab his arm, making him flinch back. "Sorry," I say quickly. "I just...can I do it? I know it's stupid."

He takes a step back surprisingly and nods. "You know the code."

I type it into the key pad and the elevator begins to move.

"I know this is probably dumb, but I'm like shaking right now." I whisper. "The King's suite, and my mom's old room."

Lance puts a hand on my shoulder and Dalton looks away. "It's not dumb, it makes total sense." He assures me and I take a deep breath as the doors slide open.

The small hall, four guards posted outside of the two doors, exactly as I pictured it.

The guards dip their chins to Dalton as he exits and walks towards the room on the right.

"Wait!" I call and he looks back, raising his eyebrows. "Can I see my mom's room first?"

Dalton shrugs, pulling out a key from his pocket and he unlocks the door and I walk in.

"It's...um, a little more masculine than I had imagined." I mutter after a second and Dalton actually snorts a laugh behind me, the smile and every trace of happiness already gone before I can turn to him.

"That's because it's my room now." He explains and it makes total sense.

The room is way bigger than mine and Fallon's and it has a big steel grey king sized bed, unmade, and there is the same dark grey silk hanging down from the ceiling as when my dad lived in here, but the similarities end there. Gone are the bookshelves, the vanity, the little dinette tables. Instead there is a row of weights and other exercise equipment in one corner, a dirty towel in the floor, a big TV and gaming system set up on the wall facing the bed, a long black couch sitting on top of a maroon red rug, and on the far wall a poster is taped to the wall where the silk is pulled away.

"San Francisco Giants?" I ask, pointing over at it. "No wonder you hated me." I laugh. "You thought I was a Cubs fan, and then you found out I actually don't know anything about baseball?"

"I assure you," He steps forward, kicking some dirty clothes under his bed. "Your pathetic choice in baseball teams has nothing to do with my feelings towards you."

"Ok, jerk." I smile smugly. "Is that a new bed?" I ask, quirking a brow and he shakes his head slowly holding my gaze. I smile from ear to ear and nudge him in the ribs. "Enjoy sleeping on the bed I was likely created in." I wink and turn away until I catch sight of him actually smile in the corner of my eye. I whip back around but he's already dismissed it. I just narrow my eyes at him and purse my lips. "I saw that." I tease before walking back out of his room and joining Lance to walk into the King's suite.

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