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The Lanistter Chronicles Book Three
The Bored Prince
Lazarus Lanistter hates the idea of the ball his father is throwing. He doesn’t want to find a Mate yet and would prefer to not be forced to make such an important decision. When he calls Chastity back to the castle, it isn’t with the intention of making her his bride, but somehow the thought enters his mind...
The Banished Seamstress
Chastity West returns to the American Lanistter Castle for the grand event to take place there. She’s been called back by her boss, Lazarus, for an unknown mission, and must keep her intent a secret from everyone, including her best friend, Princess Marie. There are strange things afoot at the vampire castle, and Lazarus is entrusting Chastity with the task of keeping his sister safe…
Darius Hassanpour is Marie’s other best friend. He has never been liked by Lazarus or Chastity, but he never cared. He has far more important things to worry about. For example, he keeps finding things out about Chastity that make her look suspicious. Things that draw Darius in and make him want to find out more about her…
The vampire masquerade has begun, and there seem to be shadows watching the royal family’s every move. As for those close to the family, they’d better watch out: someone is after the royal crown, and will kill anyone in their way…
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Sighing, I asked Ralph for just one more drink. "Then I’ll be done for a while, I promise," I told him.
Ralph poured me another with a sigh of his own. "Sadly, I am but the hired help, so if you wish to drink yourself into a stupor, I can’t do anything to stop you. My job is just to pour the drinks." A mischievous glint entered his eyes, then. "That, and collect gossip, of course," he said with a wink.
Intrigued, I set my half empty glass down. "What kind of gossip?" I asked, leaning over the bar. "Do you by any chance have anything on that guy my sister has been dating? That Chrystopher guy?" Another idea entered my mind.
"Or maybe Darius Hassanpour?" I asked, grinning wickedly. Ralph eyeballed me like I was crazy.
And I probably was; I was, after all, asking about gossip on men, instead of trying to find out all of the juicy details regarding the women at the ball.
Hesitantly, Ralph opened his mouth. "They both seem to be clean, as far as gossip goes," he said. I sagged down in my seat, glaring down at my lap. "However, their respective behaviors this evening leave one to question how clean they really are," he went on to say. I perked up.
"What do you mean?" I asked, grabbing my glass and swirling the liquid around and around. The barkeep grinned.
"Well," he began, leaning over the bar-top so he could whisper to me. I leaned in as well. "Darius has been behaving differently toward your red-haired friend," he said. Something I already knew, of course. "I’ve been working for your family for quite some time, and have noticed their seemingly hate-hate relationship for a long while now. Tonight, however, he seemed to be more interested in her. Romantically –" I scowled "– as well as in a way that makes it seem as though it’s his job to study her."
Frowning, I took a swig of my drink. "Why would he be studying her?" I murmured to myself, glancing back at Chastity. "We are all on the same side; he works for my father to regain lost or stolen items, and Chastity is best friend to both me and my sister, who happens to be his best friend as well. I can’t for the life of me understand why he would be interested in her."
Ralph eyed me like I was a freak. "Romantically? No disrespect, sir, but she’s a beauty and anyone can see how a man, any man, could be smitten with her."
I chuckled. "Why, yes, I can understand that, as much as I happen to dislike it," I told him, shrugging. "But I meant the other way. Sorry for the confusion. Anything on Chrys?" I asked, changing the subject before I broke my promise and asked for another five drinks.
The bartender shook his head, shrugging one shoulder. "Sorry. All I can tell is that the others seem to distrust him, judging on their body language when they’re around him. Other than that, I haven’t been able to figure anything out about him. Ah, coming, miss," he said suddenly, nodding to a woman who’d just seated herself at the bar. "Sorry, sir, but duty calls."
I nodded at him and held my drink up once more. "Thank you again, Ralph," I said. "I will make sure father gives you a nice bonus this time. Be on the lookout for more things that seem out of the ordinary, if you wouldn’t mind?" He nodded, and made his way over to the new customer.
I returned my attention back to Chastity and my sister, who had just burst into a fit of giggles, leaning on one another for support. Curious, I rose from my stool and, taking my drink with me, made my way over to my best friend and my sister.
"What are you ladies finding to be so funny?" I asked, setting my arms around both of their shoulders. Marie eyed me with a smirk before raising her eyebrow and pointedly turning her gaze to my arm on Chastity's shoulder. I glared at her and she giggled more.
"Nothing at all," she said, rushing her words; she was lying. "It is a girl thing, brother," she told me. Chastity nodded enthusiastically; I couldn’t help but notice a rosy color to her cheeks, and wondered what the hell she might have been laughing so hard about. The only thing my sister really found amusing was how she played with the hearts and feelings of the men she slept with, so her laughing with Chastity about something else was odd.
Ew, bad thoughts. Time to move on.
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