Chapter 18.1Mature

“What do you mean?” Beth asked, glancing at Lucius with a small frown.

“Jay loves her. A lot. Her being that comfortable with my dad isn’t a good thing for anyone. Especially not considering how close they used to be,” Lucius answered.

Beth looked back at Evil and Isabella. She could see the glint in Evil’s eyes. He really did love her. Did Isabella still not realise it?

“We’ll have to keep an eye on them,” Beth nodded, watching them.

“You look lovely by the way,” he said, looking over her.

She blushed slightly, feeling self-conscious. “Thank you.”

He smiled. Beth didn’t know what else to say so stood in a comfortable silence with Lucius.

“You and Da’lela...” Beth trailed eventually. Lucius raised an eyebrow expectantly. She blushed again. “Are you two, like...?”

“Mates?” he finished for her. She nodded silently. He shrugged. “Kind of. Not officially, but I suppose so.”

Beth nodded slowly, unsure of why she wanted to know.

“What about Mary and Storm?” she asked, twirling her engagement ring around her finger.

Lucius laughed. “Definitely not. Storm doesn’t do relationships like that, not anymore. He goes to her because he needs to.”

“So there’s nothing there at all?” she asked.

He shook his head. “Not on Storm’s behalf at least. He was engaged once. She was murdered.”

“When?” Beth gasped.

“Before he came here.”

Beth frowned. “Wasn’t he, like, twelve when he came here though?”

“Arranged marriage is a very old Forest tradition, particularly between the high-born. It’s arranged at a very young age. About seven or eight apparently.”

“High-born? So Storm was quite important.”

“As far as I understand, he was the prince.”

“How do you know all this? It can’t all be in that book,” she said quietly.

“He talks in his sleep sometimes. When I first came here when I was sixteen he was my mentor; he taught me how to fight, how to tell if somebody is lying. He taught me how to be fair to everyone and how to be just. When I was old enough he took me out patrolling with him for weeks on end. I learnt a lot from him. My father was always too busy, though he did his best. He still does.” Lucius smiled slightly, if somewhat wistfully.

“Where is Storm anyway?” Beth asked, looking around the hall.

Lucius nodded discreetly towards the ceiling. It was the first time that she’d noticed a balcony running all along the wall near the ceiling. Storm was perching on the rail of it precariously, his arms crossed and leaning on his legs as he crouched. His eyes scanned the room, not missing a single thing, his face neutral and blank. When his eyes fell on her, a small smirk lifted one of the corners of his mouth.

Beth blushed and smiled back. She found her eyes glued to his, and he didn’t break the eye contact. His smile slowly widened until he was almost grinning and his gaze moved on.

(N.B.: Postings will be slow - maybe a page every couple days - but I have a whole chapter completed. I will only be posting once I've finished another chapter or page maybe. Anyway, thank you so much for the support. Where would I be without you?)

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