“Soo…General.” James seemed annoyed by the flirting, so he decided to engage them in the conversation. He mustered a fake smile as Andrew’s eyes met with his. “How’s demon hunting going on the mountain?” His words were bold, a trait he and his sister had inherited from his father.
Andrew’s brow lowered, and he sent James an icy glare, one that even the pretty girl on his arm couldn’t soften.
“James.” Beth tapped James’ arm and tried to save the conversation before it got out of hand.
“Demon hunting?” Looking confused, Aleesia squeezed Andrew’s arm. “What’s he talking about?”
“That Ghant’s Mountain deal.” James answered her question. “I hear a lot of demons are getting slaughtered there, and King Suman is sending a bunch of troops to stop it. The soldiers here seem to turn the other cheek to demon hunters.”
“Really?” Aleesia’s eyes were open wide as she glanced at James then Andrew. “Is that true? Are your men letting people kill demons?”
“No, Esa.” Andrew turned to her as he spoke. “We’re doing everything we can to prevent stuff like that. I can’t help it if there are more demon hunters in the area now.” He picked up his glass. “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it.”
“I think Prince Auron will take care of it first.” Beth suddenly got into the conversation, something she normally avoided. “If he’s there, no hunters would set foot on that mountain.”
“If he’s there, that would mean war.” Andrew spoke into his glass, his blue eyes sparkling as they caught the light hanging above the table.
“The prince wouldn’t start a war.” Aleesia briefly glanced at Beth, who had gotten up from the table to get dessert. “He’s smart. He’ll work out a law or something with Sargon.”
“It’s called a treaty.” Andrew’s voice was low.
“Treaty—that’s what I meant.” She began speaking with her hands, talking loudly. “No one’s stupid enough to go into a war with him…no offense, sweetie…” She smiled at Andrew briefly then turned to James. “But he’s a skilled fighter. Like, a million times stronger than a human. I’d be terrified to be cornered by him.”
“Says the girl who has a poster of him hanging on her wall.” James laughed when Aleesia glared at him.
Andrew was looking at her strangely. There wasn’t anger in his eyes, but a slight smile on his lips that was artfully hidden.
“Shut up, James.” She took the piece of cake from Beth. Instead of focusing on it, she tossed it to the table and continued to argue with James. The plate bounced off her glass, hitting it loud enough to make a noticeable sound. “I do not. That was Jenna.”
“It was you. It was that life-size poster from the bar. The one that said…” James skipped over that part after remembering who’s company he was in. “Something about a campaign.”
“I was like twelve, James.” Aleesia stabbed her cake with her fork, spearing a small piece. “Girls have crushes on celebrities at that age.”
James made kissy faces at Aleesia as he tried not to laugh. He then spoke in Delvin. “Marry me, and make me your princess. Oh…Auron. What a big, powerful kitty you are.” James could tell Andrew was getting mad, but he didn’t seem to care.
“Shut up!” Aleesia rose from her chair. “Stop embarrassing me in front of Andrew!”
She quickly covered her mouth, jumping back a little because she hadn’t meant to speak in Delvin. Unlike James, she wasn’t a liberal demon. She hated humans, joined the rallies for the war, and refused to speak anything but Delvin outside her fake identity.
“Wow, this is a surprise.” Andrew laughed. “I didn’t know you could speak Delvin.”
“Well…” She slowly sat, a small huff escaping her lips as her bottom hit the chair cushion. She tried to calm herself down. Andrew rubbed her leg and sent her a small frown when she turned from him. “Now, you do.”
“Speaking of the great prince…” Beth’s voice was soft as she tried to remedy the conversation. “I heard he’s getting married.”
“Married?” Aleesia had calmed down now, her hand cupped around her glass. “To who?”
Beth smiled as she set her fork neatly on the napkin next to her. “I’m not sure. It’s still just a rumor after all.”
The gossip had begun. Andrew sat back in his chair lazily, but he didn’t leave the table. His eyes settled on James, who was sending him a dirty look. Andrew knew James didn’t like him, and James knew Andrew hated him. But they both loved Aleesia, something that made them civil in their actions toward each other.
“I don’t care if Auron’s a demon.” Aleesia’s face filled with a small smile. “He’s hot…but not as hot as my Andrew.”
Andrew tried to send her a smile, but it looked pained and annoyed.
“Oh yes.” Beth blushed as she took another careful bite of her cake. “Auron is a very attractive man. Rugged, yet so stylish.” She glanced at James, a shy smile on her face. “I had a crush on him when I was younger as well. There’s something exciting about a man who can toss one over his shoulder and take her for a midnight ride. He’s strong, brave, and so very handsome.”
James rolled his eyes, and Andrew covered his mouth discretely, trying not to laugh as Beth continued, “It makes me blush just thinking about him.” Beth giggled as she looked downward, her cheeks slightly red.
Aleesia chimed in, “Cat demons are supposed to be awesome lovers. Well, the alpha ones at least.” She sent a cocky grin toward her brother. “I heard Auron has a twelve inch—”
“Sex isn’t a talent worthy of noting.” Beth put her hand up, halting the words that were ready to pour from Aleesia’s lips. “It has nothing to do with a successful relationship.”
Aleesia laughed as she buried her face in Andrew’s chest, whispering in his ear, “Yours is talent worthy.”
“James must suck in bed.” Andrew’s arms were wrapped loosely around her, his lips almost kissing the skin of her cheek.
“Since we’re not Cat demons,” James glared at Aleesia then turned to Andrew. “I guess this makes us the Lizard Lords of Caprice, huh, General?”
“Eww…” Aleesia pulled away from Andrew, instead wrapping her arm around his waist as she ate her cake one handed. “Lizard Lords are gross. Andrew’s not one of those.” Speaking with her mouth full, she pointed her fork at James. “And you’re the Lizard Lord. A swamp vermin just like that stinky Lord Caprice. Daddy says we should start hunting them because they’re reproducing like cockroaches and wreaking the best vacation spots.”
“Aleesia.” Beth set her fork down and glared at Aleesia angrily. “A few minutes ago we spoke of equality for demons, and now you make a hateful, racist comment.”
“I don’t like Lizard Lords. That’s not racist.”
“Says one of the most racist girls I know.” James laughed as he turned to Aleesia.
“Oh, shut up, Caprice.” Sticking her nose up in the air, Aleesia finished the last bite of her cake.