Chapter Twenty - Hidden Fantasies

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I pulled my finger from underneath the flower backdrop and looked at the puncture the rose's thorn had left.

"Be careful," Liu said, tucking a yellow rose into thick bushel of baby's breath.

I looked at the blood drawing to the skin.

"Too late."

I got down from the ladder and looked at the elaborate arch of flowers over the large doorway.

"I'm glad you talked me into adding in the genesta and the chinamum," I commented, seeing how all the flowers blended nicely together.

"The yellow roses were a good call too," she said, getting down from the step stool.

"You sound like a bunch of seventy-year-old women," Tyler said.

I looked over to see him staring at us.

"You're supposed to be dusting."

He narrowed his eyes at me and began to sweep the feather duster over the gold candelabra that sat on the mantel, all the while not breaking eye contact.

"Don't you have maids for this?" He asked me.

"You haven't helped do anything else," I said. "You're earning your room and board by cleaning."

He rolled his eyes.

I looked around the ballroom to see the various maids and workers scattered about the room, each of them with the sole mission of getting ready for the Centennial.

I knew downstairs that there were a handful of chefs who had come in to start meal planning and gathering together ingredients for the Gala of Arrival banquet.

I was also aware of an entire floor that was being cleared out for the guests to live in for the week and the large conference room that was being set up to accommodate the Alpha Superiors and their Betas during their week-long meetings.

"Do you think we're ready?" Liu asked me.

I sighed. "I certainly hope so."

"Your Highness."

I turned to see three women approaching Liu and I, each of them with a set of chinaware in their hands.

"We're finalizing the dinnerware for the week," one of them explained. "Which would you like to use for the banquet?"

I looked at all the options.

"I like the French Rococo set," I decided.

The woman nodded and they turned and walked back across the room.

"This is so stressful," I said, massaging my temples.

"It will all be over once everyone starts arriving tomorrow night," Liu said.

"Am I invited?" Vega asked, standing up from where she sat on the step-stool and walking over to Liu and I.

I nodded. "Of course."

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