Beverly Hills Academy : The Royal Affair

Chapter 123 : Manipulating Her Senses...


( C-mega Mall, California. Natalia warmly gave Tommy a hug but her eyes were stuck on his older brother, Arian De' Argent. He was the only person she could see. Arian's beautiful eyes were glued to hers also, boring holes into them. But she forcefully tore her eyes away and stared at Tommy who was bubbling with excitement. "Natalia, you came back! I missed you so much. " He pouted and hugged her again. "I've missed you too, Tom. " She whispered and held him closer. "Why didn't you call?" He demanded. She simply smiled, stalling for an excuse but thankfully, Arian came to her rescue. "It's enough, Tom. Let's go home. " Gosh! That voice. Natalia thought, feeling his enchanting accent pulling at her heartstrings all over again. Tommy stubbornly wrapped his arms around her neck, refusing to let go. "Esmond, meet Arian. Arian, Esmond. " Was the only thing she could mutter to end the awkward silence. They took a while staring at each other before Arian slowly took Esmond's hand. The dead weight who'd been smiling creepily, uninvitedly introduced herself. "I'm Selena Lorenzo. Arian's fiancée. " Who cares? Natalia mentally snorted against her will and cut her short. "And this little guy is Thomas De' Argent, his adorable little brother. " Tommy poked his head from the crook of Natalia's neck and timidly waved hello. Despite the formal look Esmond had returned to, he too wasn't immune to Tommy's cuteness. He smiled and waved back. "It's nice to meet everyone. "The pleasure is ours, Emperor. "Please, in light of the season, call me Esmond. " Selena gave her annoying chuckle and turned to Natalia, making sure her engagement ring was obvious. "Now here's the tricky part. Is it Natalia or Empress Alexis?" She smiled. "Depend on who's calling. " Natalia smiled back. And a light glare flashed across Selena's twinkling eyes. "But as he said, in light of the season, it's Natalia. For now. " She emphasized, casually touching Esmond. Arian silently zeroed his eyes on their connection and Natalia was forced to untangle their fingers. She was getting over him. Why couldn't she say something and mean it?!. "Shall we?" He turned to Tommy again but was totally ignored. "Since he's not ready to let go, why don't we grab some coffee till he's tired. We can catch up or something, that is if you still have time?". "Coffee sounds nice. But only if Alexis agrees to it. " Esmond said, noticing her silent uneasiness. Arian's gaze shifted up to hers, holding too much. But yet, showing so little. Natalia bridled her fluctuating emotions and flashed them all a sweet smile. She'd thought about the invitation. She'd weighed the pros and cons. And concluded that she had to make him. and herself, believe she was really over him. "If it'ld be quick. Coffee does sound great. Tommy looked up at Arian pleadingly. The gorgeous French breathed out and nodded. "YAY!" He excitedly squealed. "To the. wait!. Is it caffeine or cafe?" He scratched his hair like a lost puppy and Natalia giggled. "It's Cafe, Tom. ~~~

( Some Minutes Later. Alexis had known it was a terrible idea!. At the coffee shop, Selena couldn't stop blabbering about everything and Esmond flowed with each conversation. out of courtesy. She guessed. But Arian?. Arian De' Argent had plently of time to sit and stare at her shamelessly!. Wasn't it improper to stare at other women when your fiancée was sitting right next to you?? It made Natalia freakishly uncomfortable and hypertensive at the same time!!. The Royal was indifferent on the outside but a bowl of jelly on the inside. His penetrating eyes pricked her like needles, letting her anxiety show. Tommy sat on the shorter side of the table between them while Esmond was by her right and Selena, across him, beside Arian. So the douche had plenty of opportunity to stare!. Natalia's distraction was Tommy, who kept messing up his napkin because his mug was on the same level as his nose! Anytime he tried to scoop his warm chocolate, he literally had to stretch and peek into his cup. Natalia would've giggled freely but his twirp of a brother ruined everything!. Unable to hide it anymore, she scowled at him when the assigned waitress refilled their mugs, thinking he'ld stop. But instead, Arian relaxed into his chair and continued!. They were in a private room at the cafe which was a shade darker than the general facility on the outside. Else, the rest of the table would've noticed the silent connection. Natalia bit her lip and tried to concentrate on the current conversation. She crossed her legs and in the process, it deliciously brushed with Arian's under the table. The familiar hot tingle shot up her body and she flinched away from him suddenly. The movement caught Esmond's attention. He looked at her worriedly. Natalia forced the approaching heat down her cheeks and covered up with a smile. He returned it and gently held her hand. "So, Natalia. How've you been? I'm so sorry about your grandmother's passing. I heard she was the only family you had left. " Thanks for the reminder. Natalia faked a smile. "Thank you. I've been perfectly fine. You know what they say. Some go, others come. '' She met Esmond's eyes and he softly squeezed her hand. Arian made some kind of undetectable soul-piercing wincing noise and picked up his coffee, finally tearing his eyes away. "I was totally shocked to know you were the ex princess Alexis. The famous mystery girl. " So someone kept tabs!. Natalia smiled again. "Mystery?" She played along. Selena scoffed, flipping her hair and gesticulated with the ringed hand. "Yeah! Everyone was dying to know you and your fans were crazy to meet you!". Natalia tucked a stray hair behind her ears. The bunny ears were sitting pretty on Tommy's hair while Esmond's were chilling on the table. "Fans?" She continued to play dumb. "Un-hun. Especially the both of you together. DOZENS of fan pages! They say you two look good as an item. And seeing you guys up close, I can't really disagree. '' She cooed. Natalia felt like a bug flew into her nose!. "We're not. " Esmond started but Selena beat him to it. "They even hastag you as the buzzing royal couples!". "But. " She cut Natalia short too. "Isn't that wonderful?!" Oh shut up! Natalia internally screamed. Hold on!. When was the last time she used the internet??. "Let's talk about you. " She blurted without thinking, trying to hide her flushed face. But regretted it almost immediately because the tramp used it as an excuse to rub her crappy wedding to her face!. Selena grinned triumphantly and intimately leaned on Arian. Something that really got to Natalia. "Nothing much

You know, but our wedding. " Natalia almost rolled her eyes. Esmond politely congratulated them. "Yes, congrats indeed. " She beamed. Witch!. Selena's smile couldn't have been wider while Arian forced a cold nod. Dressed in black except for the white hoodie he wore inside his designer coat and white sneakers, Arian looked breathtaking. His hair was much longer than it was before and he looked more like the French man he was. Natalia unconsciously fisted her dress when his enchanting green eyes caught her staring and that delicious tremor began. She'd zoned off taking a closer look at him. Arian felt so different with his unreadable looks but Natalia knew a lot of similar emotions were brewing within them. She was so lost staring that she didn't hear Tommy calling out to her until a hot liquid burned her fingers on top the table!. Before Natalia could react, Esmond was already cradling her hand, blowing on the slightly reddening fingers. "Are you okay? What am I saying?. Waiter!" He demanded. Immediately, one waiter appeared in a flash. "I need some ice, quickly!" He disappeared. Natalia looked at him in amusement wanting to say; 'Yo! Chill I'm not dying, okay?'. "Um. Esmond? I'm fine. It barely touched me. " She tucked her hair away. But Esmond wasn't listening. "I'm so sorry. " Arian apologized, seeming upset with himself than with Tommy. "I'm sorry. " Tommy pouted and she smiled at him. "It's okay, Tom. It wasn't your fault. " The ice came and Esmond applied it. After a while;. "Excuse me, I'll be in the restroom. " She muttered and stood up but Esmond looked more than ready to walk her over. "Are you gonna be okay?" He softly asked when she refused. "It's nothing. I'll be fine. "Natalia, I'm sorry. " Tommy pouted again, tearily. She bent over and kissed his cute fringes. "It's okay, Tom. I'm really fine. " Her eyes met with Arian's worried ones before leaving the room. The VIP restroom down the hallway was empty else they'ld have heard the elegant Empress screaming out the 'Ouch!' she'd been holding in!. Natalia hastily placed her hand under the tap and the cool water gushed out automatically. The pain reduced but resumed when she pulled it out. She twiched her lips and repeated the action, giggling because it was funny. Until someone gently pulled her hand away and tenderly framed it. The shiver that followed wasn't from the water or humidifiers in the room, but from the warm fingers that held hers. "Does it still hurt? I knew coffee was a bad idea. " Arian whispered, tenderly touching it. Soon, the red spot turned pinkish. Natalia was subtly enjoying the massage until it his words clicked. "Why was it a bad idea?" She raised her eyes, unable to stop herself from sounding hurt. Arian paused and held her eyes. Her heart accelerated its crazy beats again when his other hand slid up to her cheek and rested there. Natalia unconsciously leaned into it. "Seeing you again wasn't a bad idea. It'll never be. " His soft words travelled all the way to her heart and registered there. She blushed as his fingers drew circles on her cheek and badly heated up when his thumb slowly slid down her lips, resting there. Natalia blinked rapidly in realisation as he inched closer slowly, his billion dollar cologne performing its expert duty at manipulating her senses. A loud warning bell went off in her head. She opened her lips to say something but nothing came out. Her body was on fire! Natalia tried again but her breath sensuously hitched when their lips brushed…