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IMPORTANT: This is the end of part one of the book, so there will be a lack of updating for a little while as we write new chapters and come back to you for Part 2!

Aurelia's POV

Torture. Pure torture, sitting and listening to Asher feed lies about our relationship to my parents. The chandelier seems to shake with my fist as I listen and smile and nod. Here I was, busting twenty credit cards to pay for whatever everyone was ordering at the table while Asher was enjoying himself and his little stories.

"Ooh, and remember when I got you that super expensive watch, Aura?" Asher asks, picking at his steak. "That was nice! But it was too big for Aura, so I just threw it away. Whatever, right?"

"Seems like you have a lot of money," Axel remarked, poking at this pasta. "What's your middle name?"

Asher seems to be suppressing a sigh, but he answers. "The one below Rose."

My brother raises an eyebrow at him. "Why did you just say - "

"Wow, that was some good food!" I interrupt, holding my glass up. "Check?"

"I have some feedback," a man next to us waves our waiter over. The waiter deposits our check in a hurry and stands attentively in front of the man. "These potatoes weren't boiled properly at all. I must say, it was really bad - "

"Sir!" The waiter exclaims, scandalized. "What a negative thing to say!"

I shrink into myself, hoping no one will notice me and force me to try the man right then and there.

"Aurelia! Ms. Summers!" The waiter turns towards me imploringly. "As a tiati, you cannot let such a brash act of negativity go!"

I shift nervously, suddenly hyper aware of the eyes focused on me. "Um..."

"She's on her holiday." Surprisingly, Asher is the one who speaks up for me. "Leave her alone." He squeezes my hand comfortingly, obviously a ruse for my parents.
"Let him be," I speak up. "It's really no harm done."

"He has brought negativity upon the chef!" The waiter cries. "I understand you do not deal with such low profile cases, ma'am, but we must have justice! Take him away, siguri!"

I lower my eyes as the man is shoved around and pulled away. He'll go to a lower court, then be tried and killed.

Axel scoffs, shocking us all out of our trance. "Pity. But as I was sayin -"

"You know," I push my chair outwards from the table. "I feel like it's getting late."
"Yeah, I guess," Axel grabs his jacket. "We should get home before it's completely dark."

I notice Axel giving Asher a long, hard look before following the rest of us outside. The moon was in the shape of the dish that had cracked when the siguri took the man away. A week. I had agreed to do this for a week. Me being on a holiday had nothing to do with the guy. Yet, here I was, watching some random guy get taken away because he had an opinion. Was it better on the outside? Was that something worth contemplating?

"Aura," Axel tugs my elbow. "There's something incredibly off about this guy."

I sigh. "Ax, please, I don't have time for childish complaints." I try to walk ahead of him.

"You know I'm right," Axel walks faster to catch up to me. "So why aren't you doing anything?"

"Listen," I hiss. "This isn't true. None of this is. You can learn to shut your mouth and get past the week like I am."

"You're more perceptive than me," Axel reasons. "What's with the guy?"

"He's an escaped convict who's living at my house while he's waiting for trial."

You've reached the end of published parts.

⏰ Last updated: Sep 22, 2018 ⏰

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