Chapter 17:

Chapter 17

Prince of the Sun


Dinners within the Phoenix palace could be large and very formal affairs. A huge dinning hall was needed, with high curling arches, trimmed in silver. Chandeliers ablaze with candles shed light onto the dinners below. There were many tables and each resident of the palace had their place.

The Fujimura pack had their own table close to the table of the royal Phoenix yet Jace for the purposes of these formal dinners could not sit anywhere near Momoka. Instead he was sat next to Nikita and Lynn. The royal phoenix table was raised above all of the other tables and was far more elaborate than the rest.

Jace had often found it a little uncomfortable, as if they were these pretty things on display for the whole palace. It was hard to think of it as anything else.

His mother began her speech to bless the food in the name of the gods. The winter solstice would soon come, meaning they would be closer to their god shining down his brilliant power upon them once again. As Isabella would say, he’s such a Tsundere during this time of year. Whatever that meant.

Jace’s eyes wandered toward where Momoka was sitting among the other werewolves. She was beaming at him. He smiled back.

Finally Pearl had finished her speech and dinner began.

“Saw that little smile at Momoka you did Jace,” Lynn teased.

Before he could respond Nikita butted in with, “I’m sure the whole palace saw it.”

Jace flushed a little. “Surely they would be looking at our Queen during her big speech.”

Thariel, who was sitting next to Lynn popped his head out, “Don’t know about that I always catch a number of eyes on me. You’re half as attractive as I, so there were sure to be some people looking at you.”

Jace shot him a glare. “Aren’t you supposed to care about our religion, our Queen was near reciting a prayer, how dare you be thinking about such things.”

Thariel beamed back at him. “You know Omthys is pretty hot, it’s part of his whole thing.”

Nikita had a smile twitching at the edges of her lips. “‘Part of his whole thing’ we are truly doomed.”

“Our generation might as well give up now,” Lynn said with a giggle.

Thariel rolled his eyes and went back to his food.

Jace noted that Nikita seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood, he would take full advantage of that rarity. He looked around and noticed Isabella’s appearance at the end of the table.

“It is nice that your sister has joined us,” he said softly to her.

Nikita looked in his general direction, he seemed to be a little startled that he was talking to her directly. “Oh yeah… She brought her game with her but she’s here so that’s something.”

Jace often remembered stints of Isabella not even leaving her quarters. He didn’t know whether to be happy for her choosing her own path or sad at the social isolation. Either way, despite tradition she was a member of his family that he wanted to be in the company of.

“I’m happy for her and I’m sure that the whole palace is glad to see her,” Jace told Nikita.

Nikita snorted. “Don’t be too happy. This is just practise for her.”

“It’s good to practice.”

“No I mean, she’s going to one of those geek conventions soon and needs to practise her ‘irl’ social skills.”

“Oh.”

He should have figured as much.

“Hey she blends in there, when the mortals are all dressed up we don’t look like such freaks,” Nikita said nihilistically.

“Freaks?” Jace raised an eyebrow at her.

She sighed, “I wanna wear black.”

“It makes you unique to be gothic while wearing white, nor can many pull it off.”

Nikita was caught a little off guard, even a small blossom of colour grew across her face. “Since when are you this nice? I mean thank you but damn Jace.”

Jace smiled to himself and had a big spoonful of buttery potato.

Nikita turned to April and started talking to her. Jace’s eyes yet again swam in the depths of black coats to seek out Momoka.

He found her sure enough, in her pink jacket and brown skirt yet unlike the last time she wasn’t looking at him but directly at Nikita. He couldn’t quite read her look. After all, he wasn't very accustomed to reading facial expressions. It seemed to be part confusion with an unlying of some kind of sinister ill intent.

Jace swallowed a flutter of panic.

“Lynn, are you seeing what I’m seeing?” he asked, his voice nearly a whisper.

Lynn followed his eyeline down to Momoka. “She looks a little confused, maybe she’s never seen you and Nikita talk before.”

Jace swallowed a lump in the back of his throat. “You don’t think it’s the curse already?”

“No,” Lynn said quickly, a little too quickly.