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As Vivienne walked toward home, past the school and the diner, she felt as though she was seeing each other those places for the last time. In many ways, she had, all her friends who had once accompanied her to those places were dead. Perhaps, a change of scenery would be good for her. As she walked through the school parking lot, toward home, Blake appeared beside her. He had changed and was dressed in a new suit. This one was dark gray with a vest underneath. He didn’t say anything, and simply walked beside her. There was a sad understanding between them that this was their last night in Remin.
Vivienne decided to speak first. “You could have killed him if you wanted. I wouldn’t have stopped you.”
“What for?” Blake asked with his hands in his pockets. “He wasn’t the one who executed my father. He’s little more than a gnat in the big picture. Not even worth the effort. Come, my love, it’s time for us to go.”
He stretched out a hand for her to take. Vivienne wrapped hands around his arm and walked with him.
“I can’t wait to show you my city,” Blake told her as they walked under the stars. “First, I’ll have my servants bring you a new wardrobe made to your measurements. A Thorne lady never wears the same outfit twice or people may say I’m having money problems.”
Vivienne chuckled at that. “I am getting tired of wearing cardboard shoes and plastic dresses.”
“Then we’ll have a six hour meal with fifty courses, not to eat of course, to look at, reflect on and throw away,” Blake chuckled. “How else would a Coral City lady maintain her figure?”
“You really are a bit of a rich brat aren’t you?” Vivienne asked.
“None of it makes me as happy as being with you, right now, here.” Blake said as he kissed her filthy hand. They came to her house and he waited outside while she went to change. In the empty house, Vivienne took a hot shower and packed a small bag of her things. She took a picture of her parents and of Janun as she felt like she wouldn’t see them again for a while. She hoped Janun would think of some excuse for her disappearance. Maybe, Janun could tell them she ran away with Mathew. It would be hilarious because it would the last thing her family expected from her, poor boring bookish Vivienne.
When Vivienne rejoined Blake there was a black limo waiting for them. He opened a door for but as she looked into the car, she nearly had a heart attack. Already sitting in the backseat, with one leg loosely crossed over the other, was a very handsome man. He was wearing a navy suit that perfectly completed his beautiful eyes. His neck was a raw red and he wore violet sunglasses to hide how deadly pale he was.
“Hey,” Julian said, pulling down his glasses and waving a hand at her. “Lady Salome, I think we got off on the wrong foot. Would you allow me to start over?”
Vivienne narrowed her eyes at Blake who didn’t look at all surprised at the appearance of their new guest. “You two were in on this together?”
“Yes, and no,” Julian said as he rubbed his neck. “Lady Maglania sent me after you two but she didn’t say how or when I needed to bring you back. Blake and I agreed to stall until after the trials.” Julian shrugged sheepishly. “I hope you’re not upset about your sister. I was playing my part. I think she’s sweet but you know what they say about me, I never visit the same bed twice.” Julian turned his attention back to Blake. “Did you have to bite me so hard? Do you how many homeless dudes I had to eat to make it here today? Ohhhh look at me, I’m Blake Thorne, I’m bonded with the Chosen One, let me bite my friend’s head off!””
Blake coughed into his hand. “Maybe, I should went for your tongue instead.”
“I got into the moment!” Julian yelled back, throwing his purple cashmere scarf dramatically over his shoulder. “You know she’s not my type.”
Vivienne glared at Blake. “What else are you keeping from me? I’m not getting into that car until I know everything.”
Julian opened the car door and got out. He walked over to the two of them. He and Blake exchanged glances. Vivienne noticed a change in Blake’s demeanor towards Julian that she hadn’t seen with Asher. He seemed less guarded as though the two of them shared a burden and an understanding. It began to dawn on her that the two of them were friends.
“He doesn’t have the heart to tell you,” Julian said as he tapped his foot impatiently. “Eventually, you’re going to have to fight all of us, defeat all of us. Just like you did those kids in the caves of Remin. Except, we are slightly harder to take down, just slightly.” Julian chuckled at his own joke. “We ‘princes’ are all the servants of Maglania. To take her and the king down, you must first take down all those who protect them.”
“Why do you serve her if you hate her?”
“We’re all her demons,” Julian said. “Just as you were able to bond with both Blake and Calbert, she has done that many times over and has all of us under her control. When she gets tired, she has us find some nimble young girl’s life force to consume. But in the end, she holds all of our leashes. You and Blake share a ancient bond, one that even she can’t break or overcome. But in the end, her will might trump yours or at least nullify yours. That’s why you must be ready to fight all of us, even him.”