Chapter Twelve.

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Four days went by without incident.

A matter that Dalton was sure to throw in my face every chance he got.

We'd barely spoken since our fight in my room. He still comes to pick me up every night to take me to class, then takes me to the lunch hall, then escorts me back to my room and leaves me with Fallon until Lance comes by to take the two of us up to eat with Pedro in his suite.

Apparently Logan had put in a call that I wasn't being fed well enough, so dinner on level six is now a regular thing.

Dalton steers clear during Lance's shifts with me, usually excusing himself to plans to meet Eyan to eat or whatever else it was that they were doing. Not that I care in the slightest. I'm totally glad that he showed his true colors so I know exactly who I'm dealing with. I won't be fooled into believing that he's anything other than an ass again.

The knock on my door makes me groan as I walk to let Dalton in, but when I open the door I smile.

"Good evening, beautiful." Lance grins cheekily at me, leaning against the doorframe.

"Hey," I say, leaning out the door a little to look up and down the corridor. "No Dalton today?" I ask when I walk back into the room.

"Disappointed?" Lance asks, smoothly following me in and taking a seat at the foot of my bed, his legs outstretched in front of him.

"Hell no." I laugh. "What a great way to start the day. No Dalton." I twirl in a circle extra dramatically.

"I've got to agree with you there." Lance laughs, a deep rolling sound that makes me smile.

I hear Fallon finishing up in the bathroom and I stand in front of Lance while I wait. "Not that I care or anything," I start, twirling my hair around my finger. "But why is the buzz kill not here today?"

"Business to tend to with Pedro." He shrugs.

"Any news?" I ask hopeful, but Lance's expression tells me no. "Darn."

"I'm telling you, cold trails." He sighs, looking upset about it too. "My men have gotten the people back away from the entrances, but I know soon the word will spread. Most will believe our side of the story, that the people they are looking for simply left on their volition and we have no reason to believe they are in danger, but at the same time that's bad, isn't it?" He seems torn with himself. "How can we expect to find them if the people don't even know they are missing?"

I move to sit beside him on the bed. "I know what you mean." I admit. "I hate that we are keeping it so under wraps because I want people to know what to be on the lookout for, and that there is actually a threat here, but I also understand that we don't need to spook the people until we really know what we are dealing with." I glance over at him and find him already looking at me.

"You really do have a queen's mind." He tells me softly and I roll my eyes and knock my shoulder into him.

"Oh, hush." I tell him. "I'd have no clue what I was doing, plus, Pedro is a fantastic ruler. He's done so much improvement around here and the people adore him. He's everything they want in a ruler."

Lance tilts his head, opening his mouth, but then closing it back like he decided not to say what he wanted to. "You're right." He says finally. "About Pedro being great, not about you not having a clue." He adds. "I just..."

I narrow my eyes at him trying to keep something to himself. "What?" I ask seriously.

"I just wonder if- and note that I shouldn't be saying this- but I feel like Pedro has grown tired out it." He whispers.

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