Today I’m posting the final part of my “Introducing Charming” scene. Last week, Charming was faced with a mysterious man asking him to do a favor. This week, find out if Charming agrees to his demands or not.
You knew someone would find out one day.
My fingers curl into the silk, and I swallow hard, trying to control my breathing, rubbing the tie against my bracelet, as if trying to call energy from the room. There’s none to draw on, and I’m too worn down from the show to use my personal aura. I’m helpless.
“What’s your deal?” I say, for once thankful for my post-show sore throat. It keeps me from sounding scared.
“You ever heard of a press rat?”
That’s a stupid question, as every Elite with half a brain knows what a press rat is. They’re people who make deals with the press – trading others’ secrets to the hated reporters for money, power, fame or a combination of all three. If someone, anyone, discovered that you were a press rat, your career would be over.
“Of course I have.”
“Well, if you’ve ever wanted to be one, here’s your chance.” The man digs in his pocket and holds out a small glass chip. “You tell me what you can find out about the Skye family scandal, and I’ll leave your dirty past alone.”
I stare at the chip in his fingers, and then back at him. “If I’m caught –“
“Your career would be over. However, I’m guessing you’d prefer not to be terminated which is what your past would bring you, wouldn’t it, Sahir?”
The man’s gloved hand doesn’t even flinch as I snatch the chip from him.
He smiles, the shadows that conceal his face making it seem even more menacing. “Good. I expect those details by tomorrow, 0900.”
“How will I get it to you?” I shove the chip in my pants pocket.
“I’ll drop by for a visit. See you then, Charming.” The way he snarls my name makes me believe that he finds it more than just pretentious. “Oh. You’ve got your…talents back.” The man smiles again.
I raise my hand, but he’s gone before I can even make a dent in his thoughts. I’m left standing there in the middle of the room, trying to process what just happened. I’m being asked to commit the second most hated crime in my world. Informing on other Elites’ scandals and secrets is a crime only slightly behind traitor, which is something I don’t even want to think about.
That’s what your father said, too. And look what happened to him.
I push the thought out of my head and turn away from the mirror, not wanting to face even myself. Mechanically, I knot the tie around my neck and pull on my red suit coat.
I’ve got no choice, I argue with myself. This is all I have left.
“Give them a good show,” I tell my reflection, making sure every trace of fear is gone out of my eyes. It’s show time, and Charming Prince doesn’t get scared.
Thanks for reading! 🙂