You will get two blog postings this week since I didn’t post one last week.
The duke didn’t live up to the villain Bella had promoted him to in her mind. Tall, handsome and self-assured the man looked like a star in a romance show. The kind Bella never watched because the characters were all one-dimensional.
“So this is the king’s chef,” he mused. His eyes sparkled when he looked at her as if he knew where all the dead bodies were buried but wasn’t going to share.
“Yep. Is there a reason you’re interrupting my day off?” Bella might regret it later but she didn’t feel obligated to be polite to a man who pulled her off the street just when the shopping was getting fun.
“I can’t get to you at the castle, the king is too protective. I only wished to meet the woman who can please the picky king. I’ve known Zarrin his entire life and never has he been happy with anyone who prepared his food. Between him and those brats of his they’ve scared everyone off.”
Bella gritted her teeth. “Those brats as you call them are delightful children.”
“Oh, looking to fill the role of mommy?” the duke taunted.
Bella could almost hear her patience snap. “If you are done mocking me and the royal family I’m ready to leave.”
“Shame then, that I’ve decided to keep you.” The duke’s expression hardened and Bella realized she’d been mistaken before when she thought he didn’t look menacing.
“What do you mean?”
The duke smiled. “Relax my little chef, I don’t mean anything close to what you are obviously thinking. I need a bargaining chip in my upcoming negotiations and you are perfect.”
Bella scowled at the duke. “And you think I’m going to let you keep me?”
“You can’t stop me.”
“You’re an idiot.” Bella spun around and with a roundhouse kick knocked out the guard. When the duke grabbed her left arm she spun into him and elbowed him in the face. She smiled at the crunching sound and subsequent howl of pain. Releasing Bella he clutched his face. Blood poured out from between his fingers. Unluckily for him he decided to meet Bella alone with only the one guard in attendance.
Snatching up her newly purchased knife from her boot, Bella brandished it at the guard.
“I’m not strong enough to stand up to kings,” the guard said stepping back. “You’ve got five minutes.”
Bella tucked the knife back into her boot and fled.