Beverly Hills Academy : The Royal Affair
Chapter 118: Privately Hired.
( Beverly Hills, California. ( Some days later. "To those we've loved and lost. " Esmond daintily raised his champagne glass and Natalia raised hers too. "Cheers. " She smiled. They gently clinked their glasses for the, probably, fortieth time that evening. Natalia laughed and sipped hers. Her tongue was already feeling numb and heavy. "How many more times shall we make a toast?" She teased and leaned back on the extremely soft white couch. "I don't know. You tell me. " He breathed and fell on his back, closing his eyes. Natalia giggled and looked away from him towards the vast ocean. Her alcohol tolerance was getting better but she was still drunk!. No, slightly drunk. Slightly. They were at Esmond's private beach house which had an awe inspiring view of the ocean. Christmas was in a week and the city was buzzing with Christmas lights and carol songs. Esmond had thoughtfully invited her over so she wouldn't feel lonely during the celebration but Natalia had no plan to anyway. After the strange email, the investigation had gotten more intense. But she couldn't say no to his goodwill and so she graced his invitation with her presence. A greater part of the house was constructed in a way that it floated on the ocean. At the courtyard where they were, a little fireplace was at work, giving the evening a cozy and golden glow. The city sat at the other side of the bay, illuminating the water and creating the perfect scenery. "Why do you prefer staying in an isolated place?" She asked. A light ocean breeze blew and fluttered the burning flames, including his hair around his head. As Esmond used a ringed finger, which symbolised his control over La Croft, to lazily push them away, he still didn't open his eyes. "This is my escape place. from a lot of things. " He sighed out. "So no one knows about its existence?" Natalia cocked a brow. Esmond chuckled and inched his head to look at her in a funny way. "I'm pretty sure my father knows EVERYWHERE I go. " He turned his head back. "I used to find it annoying when I was a teenager. "Well that makes the two of us. I could never leave my room unless an entourage of royal maids and guards went along with me. It was so frustrating!". Esmond chuckled and they lapsed into a short silence. "Can I ask something?'' He picked up his glass again and Natalia almost choked. Not the sexy glass thing again! She bit her lips and took her gaze away. "Why did you keep your identity a secret? I completely understand the security aspect of it. But I still want to know why. even after you turned eighteen. Natalia automatically stood up and moved towards the railing. The wind heavily whipped her dress and hair but she let it. She leaned on the rails, backing the ocean and turned back to stare at Esmond. She saw him staring at her with those eyes that could melt barriers and read into people's soul. Like they were presently doing to hers. If Natalia was a regular girl, his attractive eyes would've turned her insides to jelly. But it didn't. The only eyes that could ever leave her spellbound were hundreds of mile away, on the other side of the state. Fate played a trick again. Esmond and Natalia matched the same color clothes
His pristine white beach shirt and slacks went well with his white house slippers while her simple white dress waltzed with the wind. "I'm not so sure myself. I could've revealed my status but I guess it was the slight hope of having the feel of a regular life that stopped me. You can't really criticize because being locked up your whole life could make one think crazy!. "And when you want the crazy, society do what they do best. Judge and condemn. You understand the rules we royals are forced to obey. Stay out of the. wagging tongues of the press?" He finished. "Yeah!". "I stayed hidden because I wasn't totally ready to face the world until I had a first time experience with it. I wanted to feel the world as a regular person. Fortunately, Grandma understood and came up with the whole undercover adventure. It was a test to her but secretly to me, it was an escape. At least temporarily. Natalia smiled remembering moments from their happy adventure and countries they had visited in a single month. Elva Thompson, the royal assistant, almost resigned the day they'd travelled two countries in a day!. "Despite the fancy clothes I had on, I could've been a street girl meeting Justin Bieber for the first time with the way I acted. " She confessed and flushed in embarrassment at a particular memory. Esmond choked on his drink and looked at her. "Laugh and you die!" She forced a scowl. The sides of his lips reduced slowly but after a while, it morphed into a full blown explosion. "I once asked an autograph of a weird man that resembled him. And with the way he looked at me? Gosh, I can commit suicide!" She screeched and pushed her flushed face backwards. Esmond hastily pulled her away and she slammed into him. Natalia's eyes flew open at once to meet his worried ones. "You weren't really gonna let yourself fall, were you?" He rushed in a single breath. Natalia blinked repeatedly, hurridly letting her hands fall from his chest. "I. I wasn't gonna. " She stuttered and stepped away. But this time, she actually almost fell over!. A frightened gasp escaped her lips but Esmond caught her again in the nick of time. Her hydrophobia kicked in and her heartbeat accelerated out of control. And without realising it, Natalia clutched him tighter as he pulled her closer into a soothing hug. ***. Hit me again!" A drunken Bianca Wells yelled at the barman. Loud rock music and cheerful screams blasted through the underground clubhouse. Merry dancers from different walks of life filled up every corner of the room because holidays had a way of bringing people together, both sane and insane!. The sexy barman nodded with a smile and refilled her shot with vodka. Bianca gulped down the entire drink and slammed the tiny glass on the counter. The harsh liquid burned her throat and added to the headache she was starting to get. Since the redhead sashayed into the club an hour ago, her ass had been glued to the bar facing her privately hired barman? He looked like a college student working himself out even on a holiday. Probably to save up cash. After refilling her glass again, he turned to help his team serve other drun. customers. Bianca's phone vibrated next to her fingers. She stared at it without touching it. The happy picture of her and her dad, smiling their lips out popped up on the screen but she let it ring itself insane until it stopped. But on second thoughts, she picked it up and blocked the number. Next, a couple of texts from the infamous backstabbing whore flooded her phone and added to the hundreds already present. Without hesitating, Bianca blocked her number also, wondering why she had delayed it for so long. She downed the vodka and signalled to the barman. After another drink, her tipsy vision graduated into a higher level. "Hey gorgeous
" A flirtatious voice slipped into the chair next to hers. "Would you like. "Not interested. " She shut him up. or so she thought. "A feisty one, eh? Exactly my type. " He purred and lewdly pushed her locks over her shoulders, revealing her smooth, sexy collarbone. "Is it a trend now? Going for girls half your age?" She snickered and glared at him. His fingers quivered and he looked thrown off for a while but. "As long as we both get what we. "If you're searching for those pathetic whores you fool around with, make a trip back to the floor and have a pick because I'm running out of patience. " She snapped and returned to her drink. His hand froze behind her neck but it continued downwards the next second. "Do you wanna die?!" She yelled and slammed her glass on the counter. Her reaction burst his persistence because he vanished in a heartbeat. The few eyes which turned to stare redirected their gaze. Bianca shoved her locks away from her face and sat back down as the crazy music changed and became more aggressive. She brought out her phone to call her driver. She might've been drunk but not wasted enough to attempt driving a car in her condition! Bianca dialed his number again but it went straight to voicemail. "Damn. " She cussed under her breath as she'd forgotten he was on his Christmas leave. "Bee? Bianca?" A faint voice whispered behind. Bianca recognized the voice she'ld have pinpointed in a million voices but she played dumb and focused her sight on finding the app for hiring drivers. Tiffany McCall moved closer and unsteadily stood beside her. "Bianca, I've been worried sick about you. Everyone is. The girls a. and your dad. We don't know where you're now staying or how you've been living. We miss you Bee. Please come back home. " She pleaded. "Where's the freaking. Oh, there it is. " She murmured distractedly and poked the app. Tiffany could've been a passing idiot for all the attention she was given. "I'm sorry, Bee. I'm really sorry for not telling you. " She whimpered, taking an uncertain step forward. "I really wanted to. " Bianca finished with her quest and paid the barman, tipping him a generous extra before turning to leave. Tiffany side stepped her. "Bianca, I'm apologizing. Please hear me out. " She held her. And the slap that followed was louder than the music at the corner where they stood. The half drunks gasped and turned again to look. Tiffany's weary eyes blended with her simple clothes. So used to seeing her as the popular daughter of a wealthy socialite, she looked no different from a street rat. Her hand slipped from her cheek and turned back to face Bianca's hard glare. "I know I deserve this and. " Between the first and second slap which followed suit, the raging redhead left it for the receiver to weigh. The crowd gasped more loudly seeing blood appear at the corner of her bruised lips…