Chapter 16

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Even though the Spain air wasn't any short of warm, Benji wore a formal turtleneck that went quite high, just to hide Haley's mark. It wasn't as if Benji was ashamed of it, he just didn't want anyone getting any ideas.

The main thing that really sucked was that there was two women left at the palace. Either one would work, although if sickened Benji to even think about putting those girls through many years of being a 'trophy wife'. He had to do it.

As much as Benji wanted to get the entire thing over with, and send the other girls home, it was probably the only safe opritunity to spend time with Jorge. And he didn't want to put that to waste. Maybe he was a terrible person for doing that, but it's not like anyone would notice.

He slugged the shirt over his head and shifted the cotton into his slacks waistband. Benji couldn't deny the fact it was quite fashionable.

"Benji. Open this door, I wish to speak with you." A knock sounded at the wooden panel, startling the boy.

"Coming, father." He responded in a tired voice, dragging his body across the cold floor of his room. It was a bit too spacious, the amount of room made it more than a few steps to the door. He swung the door open, with enough pressure that could have broken the hinges. The King stood, tall as ever, looming over the shorter prince.

"I wanted to ask you about the... competition." He strode past Benji into his room, finding a chair at a desk to sit. The tone of his voice felt intrusive, it made Benji's blood boil.

"What about it?" Benji shut the door and walked to his newly made bed, having a seat.

"I am under the impression two women have already left infuriated, and I am worried it will affect our relations with their country. Benjamin, you know how dangerous this is. There's only three girls left, one of which you haven't been on a date with yet. I demand that you put all your time and effort into finding a wife. Actually, right now, Camilla is in the hallway and you are to go on a date." His composure was over reserved, it felt too structured. But before Benji could get another word in, the King swiftly moved out, replacing himself with a lighter Camilla.

Her look to Benji was mostly full of confusion, it looked as if the King dragged her here without any real consent.

"So, a turtleneck day?" She asked, trying to take the sudden scene change in stride. They were practically trained for it.

"Yeah... just felt a bit cold." He adjusted it, pulling the knitted wool higher on his neck. It was as if he was being swallowed. The bright orange color of it didn't help at all.

"Couldn't you have just gone with some foundation? Or a scarf? Something less... orange." Her hands gestured to Benji's body, almost cringing at the sight.

"Camilla, shut up, it's all I had."

"I'm gonna take a wild shot in the dark, was it Jorge?" She taunted, but Benji just shook his head no. "Ooh, finally got your dick wet from Fiona?" Benji squirmed in his seat. The tension in the air was thick, and he couldn't meet her eyes.

"I could have you thrown out of the palace for words like that, Camilla." Benji sighed.

"Oh no! Don't throw me out!" Sarcasm oozed from her mouth, which only got on Benji's nerves more.

"Why are you being such a bitch? Besides, it was Haley. She just started rubbing on me last night, and here I am now. Just drop it." He urged her towards the door, not wanting to continue this conversation in the slightest. Besides, he had better things to do. Like find Jorge.

"Do you want any help covering it? I've had experience." But he just shook his head no and ushered her out, happy to be swarmed by silence without her presence there. Benji let out a breath of relief, adjusting the neck on his sweater.

With Jorge still in his mind, he decided to walk around the palace, hoping to run into him. It was a quieter day, there wasn't many servants running around the halls. His footsteps echoed, stepping on the glazes of sunlight that blasts through the clean glass panes.

"Your Highness..." A voice called out to him, thick with a Spanish accent. Benji could call that voice out from a crowd any day.

"Jorge, I've actually been looking for you." He have a wide grin, looking behind the other boy's shoulder for anyone walking by.

"Oh really? I figured you'd find me quicker with that nasty sweater of yours. No offense." Jorge made a playful face, eyeing Benji up and down. A small rosy blush found its way into his face.

"J-Just felt like the sweater kind of day." Jorge could not see what was below the neck line. Benji wasn't sure how he'd react.

"Oh but you're wearing the neck all wrong. It's supposed to be lower, here I'll fix it." And with a small swift movement, Jorge's hands were up to the collar of the sweater, rolling it down. They were inches apart, with neither of them noticing. Benji could only sit there, waiting for the other boy's eyes to drift on the bruised patch.

There was a pause in Jorge's movement, before he sputtered our a sentence. "I-... is that a hickey?" Jorge questioned, stepping back. "Oh wait, that's right. You're probably having the five other girls here blowing you constantly. Well don't bother with me then." The curly haired boy put his hand to Benji's chest and gave it a shove, before waking away, a stomp in his step. He was angry.

The prince couldn't lie to himself, his face was red.

The Gardener ~ Benjey ~Where stories live. Discover now