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Please Note: This is just a snippet of the story. It isn’t finished yet.


© 2017 A. B. PANELL

What began as mild flirting turned into something more. Lucius and I moved around the dance floor, eyeing one another while exchanging knowing smirks.

I hadn’t anticipated seeing him tonight. Jodie never told me he was an expected guest. Then again, if she had, I wouldn’t be here.

Balls and parties weren’t my thing. I preferred the cool atmospheres of the greenhouses and plants in my care. Mingling with others was foreign to me, yet here I was, offering my best friend support. Tonight was her engagement party.

“A penny for your thoughts,” a deep, masculine voice whispered in my ear.

Startled, I turned and bumped my left elbow against the pedestal behind me. I looked up to find Lucius towering over me.


The left corner of his mouth tilted upwards. “Caught you at a bad time?”

“No.” I rubbed my aching elbow. “Can I help you?”

Lucius snorted and rolled his eyes. “I’d rather help you.”

“With what?” I asked in a condescending tone. “I’ve no pressing matters right now. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re at a ball.”

“You call this a ball?”

I glanced at a group of people waltzing across the dance floor. “What else is it?”

He shrugged. “Hell if I know, but this isn’t what Jodie wants people to think it is.”

“Yes, well . . .”

Lucius’ smirk deepened. “Why are you here, Anna?”

I narrowed my eyes and pursed my lips. “Jodie’s my best friend.”


“And nothing. What do you want, Lucius?”

He grinned. A light of mischief flashed in his eyes.