Hertha was on the brink of nodding off when Alaric stepped in front of her, his protective stance
unmistakable as he spoke to Angelina with firm conviction, “Look, we’ve had a tiff, okay? I was sulking
so I hit the bars, and she came looking for me to see what kind of trouble I was stirring up. Like I said, I
was only chatting up that girl in the bar to get a rise out of her.”
Hearing Alaric’s words, Hertha was momentarily thrown off. Her eyes were wide with disbelief as she
glanced at his profile. His features were chiseled, a blend of gentle curves and masculine angles-a
certain softness that could enchant any woman and matched with a rugged charm that was all man.
The damned allure of him was intoxicating. The more Hertha looked, the more she felt head over heels.
And his words also sent her heart racing. So, he had crafted an image for his mother—a picture of
them as a love-struck couple going through a silly squabble.
Angelina, skeptical, let her gaze drift past Alaric to Hertha, who was shielded behind him. She asked
pointedly, “How did you feel while seeing him flirt with another woman?”
Hertha blinked, realizing Angelina was addressing her. She stepped out from behind Alaric and looked
straight at her with her big doe eyes, asking, “Can I be honest?”
“Of course, I expect nothing but the truth. Lies are a waste of breath,” Angelina replied.
Taking a deep breath, Hertha said boldly, “I wanted to castrate him, and see how he’d ever touch
another woman after that!”
Alaric turned sharply toward her and hissed a warning, “Hertha!”
His voice was low but laden with a heavy dissatisfaction with her choice of words.
Angelina was taken aback, her beautiful eyes wide as she stared at Hertha in utter shock, as if she had
heard the most scandalous confession.
Realizing her words had sparked an intense reaction, Hertha quickly tried to backtrack, “I just meant
that’s how angry I was. I didn’t actually want to…you know…”
Angelina burst into laughter, “You remind me of myself when I was young!”
Hertha’s anxious explanations were caught in her throat as she stood there, dumbstruck.
“Let’s head back. Your grandfather is waiting at home,” Angelina said abruptly and headed to her car
She settled inside, waiting, while Alaric stepped forward and told her, “You go on ahead. I’ll drive her
and we’ll be right behind you.”
“That’s fine, but make it quick,” Angelina said before signaling her driver to pull away.
Once Angelina’s car had left, Alaric locked eyes with Hertha. She suddenly became aware of the warm,
clammy palm still enveloping her hand. It felt like a jolt of electricity that made her heart flutter, so she
hastily withdrew her hand.
Alaric, realizing he was still holding her hand, let his grip loosen, and after she pulled away, he closed
his hand on empty air, clenching it lightly.
Freeing her hand, he quipped, “You’ve got a ruthless streak by wanting to castrate me.”
“Why don’t you ask the women you’ve wronged? Bet they’ve all had similar thoughts,” Hertha retorted novelbin
“As if you’re one of them,” Alaric raised an eyebrow. “We don’t really have that kind of history, do we?”
“Then just go home by yourself. I’m not going with you!” Hertha declared before turning to leave.
Alaric caught her hand again, teasing, “Just joking. Why so serious? Don’t want to see Dominic
Hertha just huffed and rolled her eyes, shaking off his hand and striding ahead.
“Hey, you’re going the wrong way! My car’s over here,” Alaric called out to her retreating figure.
Redirected, Hertha followed the sound of his voice as Alaric unlocked the car.
Recognizing the flickering light, she pulled the door open and climbed into the passenger seat first.