Chapter 31:

Chapter 31

Prince of the Sun

Walking back into the palace, the guards had returned to the door. Two of them stood proudly either side of the door in their black coats, completely unaware of the demon that had just passed through and was likely back inside the palace once again.

They nodded at him and stood up far straighter.

Jace wanted to be able to talk about what he had just experienced, and yet who with?

He wanted to believe he could trust Thariel and for the most part, he did trust Thariel but when it came to harboring a demon. Now that, Jace just couldn’t be sure of. He wasn’t even sure of his own sister. Lynn he told just about everything that happened in his life. This was unlike most secrets he had kept, it wasn’t destruction of an ancient vase or sneaking into their mother’s private office. This was their mortal enemy within their home.

Yet Lynn had compassion and kindness unparalleled. Even Claude couldn’t quite match her. He was friendly to just about anyone however it always felt a little distant. As if it was just his royal training and nothing more, nothing deeper. Of all of the royal Phoenix there was no one but Lynn who he could think of even telling. She of any of them could have a good reaction. Only Isabella would likely have an indifferent reaction to it. As she was indifferent to just about any royal matter yet Jace couldn’t trust her with something so serious. Her lips were just a little too loose.

Jace slowly retraced the path he had just walked. He wondered when he would see the demon next. He supposed that Zebedaios would only appear when it was safe to do so. Otherwise, he would not have survived. Perhaps in the future Jace would have some way of summoning him. It sounded so completely illicit summoning a demon within the palace. Just thinking about it got his heart racing.

There was something so thrilling about having a secret such as this.

As he wandered through the halls he saw Momoka in her brown knit hunched over in a sitting parlor. Jace frowned as walked toward her.

She looked up sharply as he approached. Her face was red and puffy but her eyes burned with anger.

“Were you with her,” She snapped at him before he could say anything.

He froze in his approach. “Was I with Nikita?”

“Well!” She barked.

“No why would I spend my free time with Nikita,” Jace said softly.

He came and sat beside her, trying to seem as calming and gentle as possible. But it was to no avail.

“Who were you with then?” suspicion rising high in her voice.

Jace’s stomach did a somersault. There was no way he could tell her the truth, she was emotionally volatile even if she didn’t have such a vendetta against the demons. There was no way she would respond positively to him kissing someone else, even if it wasn’t Nikita.

“Just Stefan Ognianov, he was showing me some housing solutions for the lower levels,” Jace mumbled his lie.

Momoka squinted at him, twisting her body to look him directly in the eye. “Why did you want to talk with me then if you didn’t actually have time? You’re lying.”

Jace bit his tongue trying to think of something else. “I was with Lynn before that.”

“Oh so it’s Lynn I have to worry about,” Momoka threw her hands up and flopped back into the couch.

“What are you talking about?” Jace frowned at her. As far as he knew she had Lynn actually had a good relationship.

“You’re incestuous preferences over me of course. You’d prefer to be with your sister than me,” Momoka’s voice dripped with venom.

Jace tried to swallow his anger, he really did but with all that had happened he was too emotionally charged to deal with anyone speaking ill of his sister. “How dare you!” He shouted.

“I’m sorry,” Momoka cowered, not expecting to get so much of a reaction from him, “It’s just you knew I was upset and you didn’t even try to seek me out.”

“I don’t care how upset you are, you don’t get to insult Lynn. We don’t get to choose any of this, in fact both Lynn and I don’t want this. It is a bold accusation to suggest that I would do anything of the sort with my sister. I care for her very deeply yes but don’t you dare lewd our situation. I have told you before, I don’t want to be with Nikita, I don’t have a good relationship with her. Most of the time, we are barely on speaking terms,” Jace’s voice flared with anger.

“Then why are you always with her,” Momoka asked, tears forming in her eyes.

“I am not always with her, in an official capacity yes I am seated next to her but if you paid any attention to me rather than just glaring at Nikita, I am usually talking to Lynn instead,” Jace’s anger bit down, “Oh wait you’re suspicious of that too.”

“I’m sorry for what I said about Lynn but you were on that balcony alone with her,” Momoka said.

Jace let out an exasperated sigh. “Momoka, you have fallen victim to the curse.”

“Oh is that your excuse for doing whatever it is you do with Nikita,” she bit back.

“Talking, we were just talking,” Jace said, frustrated.

“Sure you were, look all of this is going to go away if you just stop spending so much time with her,” Momoka said, “and stop lying too. I promise everything will go back to the way it was.”

She stroked his arm for good measure.

Jace didn’t believe her yet he wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. He wanted so much for this relationship to defy the curse that it was so clearly slipping into. He could try and avoid Nikita to the best of his abilities yet her imagining Nikita being with him at every waking moment was the real issue. If Momoka could get past her own imagination maybe it could work.

“I will do the best that I can do,” Jace said and planted a kiss on Momoka’s cheek before getting up.

Somehow things seemed so much more straightforward with Zebedaios.