--donation bonus (day #18, post 5/5)--
Helen had been at the back of William’s mind every minute of every day. He tried his best not to worry about her too much, but he wasn’t particularly successful. Strangely, despite how sudden her disappearance had been, it wasn’t exactly difficult to figure out why she’d fled. The red-haired foreigner sitting in front of him was obviously the cause.
“How old is this niece?” said Desmond. “Is she hot?” The fresh tea stain on his suit was quite obvious, but he didn’t seem to care anymore. He still took the appearance of a butler, but by now, everyone in the castle knew he wasn’t one.
“I’m not sure we would be the best judges of that,” said David. “She is family, after all.”
“Mm.” Desmond chewed loudly as he thought. “But I thought you royal types fucked each other all the time.”
William couldn’t tell if David’s laugh was genuine. If it wasn’t, then the man should’ve been an actor.
“You’re thinking of ancient royalty,” said David.
“Nah, I’m pretty sure there are some modern royals who fuck each other, too.”
“Heh. Well, I assure you, we’re not among them.”
“If you say so.”
David eyed his golden watch. “Ah. Gentlemen, I must go.” He stood.
“Aww, already? You’re gonna leave me here with this sad sack?”
“Alas, I have a meeting to attend. Important princely business.”
After he was gone, it was just Desmond and the King again. An interval of silence passed as they continued eating.
“Seriously, though, is she hot?”
David was the last to arrive. He took his designated seat at a long table in a closed room.
The seven brothers of House Lumenbel were all here. In order of age, they were Gabriel IV, Nathaniel II, Charles III, David III, Martin V, Luther, and Meriwether.
David remembered asking his mother why the two youngest had such different names.
“Because mercifully, your grandmother was dead by then, and I no longer had to listen to her.”
That was perhaps when he began to understand what kind of family he had been born into.