The cat had to come out of the bag eventually. By cat, Genevieve meant informing Albert of her true reason to be by Victoria's side. Well, Victoria told her husband, Genevieve studied her hands like always from the chair in the study.
Albert was shocked. He was sitting next to Genevieve, staring at the floor with lost eyes. "I cannot believe you didn't tell me."
"I thought it was safer for you to not know," Victoria reassured him. "I didn't want to put you in any danger."
Albert looked up at his wife, opening his mouth to speak when the doors slammed opened.
"I heard what happened," Lucian stormed in, panic on his face. "Are you alright Vicky?"
Victoria rolled her eyes. "I'm fine Lucian," she answered and Lucian gave her a disapproving look.
"A queen should never roll her eyes," he scolded her and Victoria glared at him.
"Do not give me a lecture on how a queen should act!" Victoria snapped and Albert raised a hand.
"For once, it is not me you fight with Lucian," Albert stated and Lucian grinned wickedly.
Genevieve stood up straight away and bowed slightly to Lucian. "Master."
"You've done well." Lucian approved and Genevieve smiled slightly. "Did you get a glimpse of the assassin?"
Genevieve shook her. "It was a male but that is all I can say."
Lucian's face hardened and he nodded, glancing at Victoria who was watching him carefully. A moment later, Lucian tilted his head sideways.
"What's Faulkner doing here?" Lucian asked and Genevieve watched Victoria frown.
"James is here?" She asked, clearly surprised by the news.
Lucian shook his head. "Theodore."
Now Victoria was surprised, even Albert who frowned deeply with suspicion.
"Does it strike anyone else odd?" Albert asked. "The moment Victoria's assassin goes public, they show up?"
Genevieve didn't understand a thing but the other two did. Lucian glanced at Victoria whose eyes were on the floor. There was a soft knock on the door and Lenora curtseyed before addressing Victoria.
"Your Majesty, Duke Theodore Faulkner of Devonshire has arrived."
Genevieve liked the name. For some reason, it stood out to her and gave a warm feeling in her chest.
"He sounds nice," Genevieve commented and Lucian looked at her before grabbing her arm and started dragging her out.
"A malfunction. I'll repair her before giving her back!" Lucian called and Genevieve struggled against his hold just as someone shoved Lucian, grabbing Genevieve and she collided with the wall slightly.
"Get your hands off the lady!"
Genevieve blinked and took in the man standing in front of her, his back to her in a protective manner.
Light blonde hair that was long enough to have a small ponytail at the back. Nicely built body, a dark blue jacket coat over it with black trousers on. One thing that caught Genevieve's eye was the golden ring with a sapphire in the middle with flames carved around it.
Lucian pretended to wipe some dirt away on his shoulder. "Vicky! Falcon Face touched me!" He called and Genevieve could imagine the queen rolling her eyes.
"Running to the queen now are we? You Archers have no shame," the man in front of her sneered in disgust.
Lucian smiled charmingly. "And your family? The Faulkner's are like hawks, ready to swoop in and take what isn't theirs."
"Master stop." Genevieve said quietly and Lucian looked at her. Genevieve was pleading with her eyes for the exchange to stop, before someone got hurt and he sighed.
Lucian glanced at the man, annoyed. "You don't have to shove me away from my own cousin."
The man spun around and Genevieve saw his face. Bright blue eyes sparkle brightly with intelligence, a strong jaw with full lips that looked like they set fire to a girl with one touch.
"I never knew you had a cousin," he said, voice thick with disapproval but something else.
Disbelief a voice corrected Genevieve.
He does not believe the story Victoria came up with Genevieve observed and she glanced at Lucian. He nodded at her and she looked back at the man.
"On his father's side," Genevieve informed him. "I grew up in the country side and Mas-Lucian thought it would benefit me to learn the ways of the English court."
He glanced back at Lucian before leaving them and entering the drawing room where he greeted Victoria.
Genevieve went straight to Lucian and looked at him, any sign of injury. "Are you okay?"
"Yes," Lucian answered. "It takes more than a simple shove to hurt me."
Genevieve glanced back at the drawing room, hearing the man's voice along with Victoria's and Albert's.
"Who was that?" Genevieve asked and Lucian gave the drawing room a disgusted look.
"Theodore Faulkner," he answered. "The one you thought was nice."
Genevieve flushed in embarrassment at her earlier comment. Lucian had an obvious disdain for Theodore but Genevieve couldn't help but smile at his protection of her. Even though it was not something she needed to be protected from, the thought still counted.
"He seems young to be a duke," Genevieve murmured and Lucian nodded.
"He is, James fell ill with lung cancer a few years back, so his son had to step up and become duke earlier than anticipated." Lucian explained to her and she looked back into the drawing room.
At some point, Lenora had joined them and gazed at Theodore dreamily. Genevieve could picture drool coming out of her maid's mouth.
"Handsome and delicious," Lenora sighed happily. "I could gaze at him all day if I could."
Genevieve frowned at Lenora's comment. "He does not look edible to me."
Lucian and Lenora froze, before throwing their heads back and laughing out loud. Genevieve frowned at their amusement as Victoria appeared at the doorway, her eyes pleading to Lucian. Lucian stopped his laughing at once and went in, gesturing for Genevieve to follow.
"You have a lot to learn," Lenora sighed to Genevieve before walking off and Genevieve watched her go.
"Genevieve!" Lucian's voice called sharply, snapping Genevieve out of her daze and forcing her to quickly walk in.
Theodore barely glanced at her when she came in, more involved in his conversation with Albert to notice her. Victoria waved her over, as she discussed something with Lucian.
"It seems temporary," Victoria said in a hush tone.
Lucian sighed. "I cannot believe what I am about to say but Albert is right. It seems way too easy and suspicious."
Victoria nodded and turned to Genevieve. "I know how heavy this is to ask but could you keep an eye on Theodore during his stay?"
Genevieve glanced at Theodore and their eyes met for a split second before she nodded at Victoria. "If it helps to keep you safe, then I will."
Lucian glared at Theodore once more before kissing Victoria's hand. He turned to Genevieve and gave a firm nod before leaving as swift as he came. Genevieve was too busy staring after him to notice Albert had appeared next to Victoria.
"Come my love," Albert said to Victoria, holding her hand to his lips. "Let us take a stroll around the garden."
Victoria smiled and left the drawing room with her husband. Genevieve watched Theodore leave and waited before following after the queen. She kept her distance from them as they walked together, enjoying each other's company.
Genevieve kept gazing at their linked hands. She looked down at her own and it seemed lonely.
"Gazing at one's hand is how a lady should be?"
Genevieve looked up and saw Theodore had appeared beside her, his eyes watching her with amusement.
Quickly, she dropped her hand back to her side and flushed with embarrassment. "I..."
Theodore chuckled. "I was kidding."
Now Genevieve looked away, afraid of more embarrassment. "I do not understand the concept of jokes," she admitted, glancing up at Theodore through her eyelashes and saw he was studying the young couple ahead.
He looked back at Genevieve. "You are a lot different than I expected you to be."
A small smile crept onto his face, his eyes filled with warmth that had Genevieve captured in their gaze.
"You have the innocence of an angel. Something the Archer family does not possess," he answered.