He was about leaving the dining hall when the door burst wide open, and a palish faced Cassie strolled into the room with her eyes on the ground. He noticed she wasn’t bright this morning. She seemed sad, broken and lost. And this made him wonder why.

Yemi was moved by her gloomy expression, but he couldn’t say a word to her now. He wanted to draw her out. He was playing a mind game on her, and he would watch her reaction closely.

‘See you later sis!’ He barked in a loud voice, which alerted Cassie of his presence.

At the sound of his voice, all the sadness and pain she felt fled. She couldn’t believe one man would have such a great power over her. Cassie was shocked to see the King in the dining hall. She quickly felt embarrassed as she realized she had slept in his bed.

‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ Tayo’s eyes widened, and the fork she held, fell to the ground.

‘Where on earth did you get such an ugly dress?’ Tayo scoffed. How could Cassie whom the maids praised for her designing skills wear something so hideous?

Blood rose up in Cassie’s cheeks as her eyes met with Yemi. She felt ashamed of the large dress she’d worn. She couldn’t blame the princess for screaming like that. She had wanted to annoy the king, but her plans had failed.

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‘G…ood morning,’ Cassie tried to cover her shame by greeting Yemi and Tayo.

Yemi quickly gulped some water and swiftly marched out of the dining hall, without one glance at her. Cassie felt horrible as his cologne danced after him. The King wasn’t pleased with her, he was angry that she had refused to wear the clothes he’d bought.

Tayo began to laugh at the ugly dress again.

‘Girl, let us imagine you were going to the Grammys. Joan Rivers if she still were alive, would have ripped you apart for wearing that piece of depression.’

Cassie ignored the princess and pulled a chair. Yemi had never ignored her. He couldn’t even smile at her or answer her greeting. Fear gripped her as she wondered if she had made a show of herself while drunk.

What if she had staggered into his chambers? The thought of it killed the strong appetite she had, and she quickly pushed the chair back to its place. She had to run away from the palace before she got insane.

‘Are you leaving because of what I said?’ Tayo rose to her feet.

She had just learned that the man she liked was related to Cassie. In her world, food wasn’t a way into a man’s belly. It was his relatives. From the beginning, she had preferred Cassie to Eno. And now she learned of her prowess in fashion design, which could bring them closer.

‘And you care? Wow!’ Cassie gaped  at the arrogant princess. She wasn’t in the mood for her insults.

Tayo sighed, ‘Look, I am sorry for laughing at you Cassie. But truth be told, your dress is ugly. And why is my brother not talking to you, are you guys fighting?’

Cassie was surprised at the princess’ sudden behavior. Tayo had never apologized to her before, and she never asked her personal questions. At first, Cassie was about to warn the princess to keep away from her. But on a second thought, being close to Tayo could make her know why Yemi was angry.

‘Why are you talking to me princess high and mighty?’ Cassie folded her arms and crossed it over her chest.

Tayo laughed and shook her head. She wasn’t surprised that Cassie addressed her that way. Princess Tayo knew how rude she was. She had been trained form childhood to be impatient, intolerant and arrogant. She was trained not to subject herself to ridicule by mixing with her subordinates or commoners.

‘Look, I admit that I am not a good person. I don’t even want to be. Good people don’t live long. I am sorry I treated you badly in the past. But when you walked into this hall, you had a sad look on your face. I want to know why my brother isn’t talking to you.’

Cassie could see an atom of concern in the princess’ eyes. However, her abusive relationships in the past had made her realize that not everyone had good intentions. Princess Tayo couldn’t just have started talking to her out of the blue. She wanted something, and Cassie was willing to offer it for a price.

‘Try harder,’ Cassie replied.

Tayo couldn’t believe Cassie could see through her acting. Apparently, she was as smart as her brother Elvis.

‘Okay, let’s do this. I actually prefer you to Eno. You fit my brother, but you’ll need a little grooming on the palace way of life to be perfect. I like you Cassie, and it is obvious that you like my brother. Don’t even try to hide it now…you’re blushing.’

Truly, Cassie was reddening on the cheeks and neck. Was it that obvious what she felt for the king? Did Yemi know this?

‘Can you go straight to the point?’ Cassie snorted.

‘Fine, let’s eat breakfast.’ Tayo gestured towards the tray clustered table.

‘Okay,’ Cassie settled in a chair, and pulled a bottle of water close to her.

Tayo nibbled on her fish for a few minutes, before she began to talk.

‘I heard about your designs, but the way you dressed this morning made me wonder if you’re truly that good. You should wear your profession. Carry it proudly like an artwork.’ Tayo advised, still skeptical about what the maids had said about the designs.

Cassie remained quiet. The princess was in the dark about her large dress. She guessed Yemi hadn’t told his sister that he had purchased some designer clothes for her.

‘I need a new dress for a charity ball I’ll attend in two weeks at Abuja. I’ll be presenting the King.’

Cassie almost choked on her food, ‘Why do you want me to design for you? You have people that are better than me.’ Cassie thought the princess was joking at first, but when she looked into Tayo’s eyes, she realized Tayo was serious.

Her heart began to race.

‘Who told you I design clothes?’ Cassie immediately asked.

‘Your little friends in the kitchen. Look, I haven’t seen the designs but from the way they praised your work, you’re good. I’d love to see them too.’ Tayo forked a chip of plantain.

Cassie was still not comfortable around the princess. Why was she being so nice?

‘I’ve told you one of the things I need from you. It’s your turn, tell me yours.’ Tayo nibbled on the plantain.

The only thing Cassie wanted from the princess was information about Yemi. Knowing more about the King, would make her feel better.

‘I got drunk last night. I woke up in your brother’s bed. We didn’t have sex.’ Cassie quickly added as she noted a mischievous gleam in Tayo’s eyes.

Tayo chuckled and pulled a glass of water closer to her. How on earth had Yemi kept that away from her?

‘That’s hot. What if you did and you totally forgot? Maybe the sex was so bad and it got my brother in a foul mood. Your entrance probably reminded him of you.’ Tayo teased and giggled.

Cassie ignored her. She had just learned something about the Princess. She wasn’t as cruel or arrogant like she made people to believe. She had a good sense of humor, and she loved to laugh. Tayo was a happy person. ‘Does your brother like me?’ Cassie blurted out.

To be continued…

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