I was shaken awake the next morning. I groggily opened my eyes and saw Bo's face, hovering over mine.
"Get up." He said. I close my eyes and tried to go back to sleep. He shook my shoulders again. "Liv. Get up." I opened my eyes again.
"Do I have to?"
"No, but you should." Said Bo.
"Why?" I asked quietly.
"Because I said so." Bo said, stubbornly. "Also because I want to show you something."
"What?" I asked, and propped myself up on my elbows. Our faces were even closer know. Bo leaned down, kissed my barely then jumped off the bed and walked to the other side of the room. He grabbed a jacket for himself and put it on. I sighed and threw off the covers, then stood. The things that had happened last night hit me again. I instantly reached up and pulled my fingers through my hair. 'Anything,' he had said, 'Anything at all.' Bo seemed to notice my movements and he understood what they meant.
" I won't let my father do anything to you." He said. "I'll protect you."
"That's my job." I said, "not yours. "
"Everyone needs someone to help them." He said.
"That might of been the cheesiest thing you have ever said in my presence." I said, smiling a bit. I pushed the thoughts of old King Isaac to the back of my mind. I pulled on my shoes and looked up at Bo. "Where are we going?" Bo took my hand and pulled me to one of the corners. His fingers touched the wall, but then it opened. "Can you do that again?" I asked. Bo closed it, like a door. I looked at the wall. The corner was dark but I could see that were was a faint outline of a rectangle, one a human could fit through. And there was an indent in the wall that wasn't actually an indent but a knob of sorts. I touched it and stuck my fingers and pulled the door open. Then I took my hand back so Bo could go first.
He ducked his head to get in and I expected he would of had to duck his head uncomfortably where ever we were going but as soon as I stepped in there, i saw him standing upright. We were in a cramped little hallway, the walls were rock, that looked like they were chiseled from the ground. The ground was kind of slanted, and maybe this did go into the ground. I put my hands on the walls to keep myself from tripping and I followed Bo the much shorter distance that I expected to a large room. In the middle of the room there was a table and everywhere there was papers, both bound and not. There were three chairs with piled books and open papers. One free one. There were pens and pencils littered across the top of the table. Bo looked at me, slightly abashed.
"I come here to escape sometimes." he said. When I said nothing he felt a need to explain why he had brought me here. "As my guard, you might need to know where I might escape to sometimes. This was his private place.
"You didn't have to show me this." I said, "you could've just said 'I'm off to go think in a hole in the ground'." I paused for a moment, "That sounded harsh and kind of sketchy, so never mind. Thank you." I finished, meaning it. Bo smiled, then cleared away a chair, half pushing half placing the papers and books on the floor. He sat in it so I sat in the other one. He took a pen from the table and a paper.
"Let's write a poem." He said.
"About what?" Bo thought for a moment.
'That's a large area of topics."
"Fine." Bo huffed and handed me a paper and a pen. "You write your own angsty poem and I will write mine."
"But what should it be about?" I asked again.
"Lets write about each other." Bo said. I looked at him for a second then put the paper on the table and started to write.
Time was hard to tell underground. Bo was reading our two poems side by side. Then he stood up and taped them to the wall, side by side. They were the only things on the wall. He must've only put his poems on his rooms walls. Not down here.
"We should probably go." I said, " We might be late."
"Or we might not be," Bo said, "Because I most definitely didn't wake you up three hours early."
"What?" I whined, scrunching up my nose. "Three hours?"
"Oh, don't get your pants in a knot." He said, "You'll have time to sleep tomorrow. There's no training."
"Really?" I asked.
"Yeah, we have to prepare for the party." Bo said, "People have all day to get their beauty sleep and get dressed."
"What is beauty sleep?" I asked. Bo shrugged.
"Sleep that makes you beautiful?" I scoffed at that.
"I'll just sleep in and then maybe help set things up." I stood and made my way up the little hall, towards his room.
"I can help." Bo said as we reached the door. I pushed it open on a hunch. It opened.
"I like helping set things up." I said, "It makes me feel purposeful."
"It's a good feeling." Bo said, smiling. He opened his room's door and we left to go to the Dining Room.
There were only two other people in the room, Zahra, who was intently talking to Eliza, who was listening, a dull expression on her face. I turned to Bo.
"Are you ready to have seven meetings today?" He nodded. I moved to grab a chair, and then I sat. I expected Bo to sit next to me, but instead something in the kitchen caught his eye and he wandered across the room and through the doors. I looked over at Zahra and tried to pay attention to what she was saying. But it seemed to just go into one ear and then immediately exit out of the other one. So, instead I just tried to look like I was paying attention. That was what Gran told me at a young age. Just look like you are, bullshit your way through. If you don't know what to do, just seem like to do. Gran. I would be seeing her tomorrow. And I would be seeing my mother and my brothers. A smile spread across my face.
I looked down at my hands and counted. This would be my seventh day here, and it was the longest time I spent apart from them. But then a cruel thought flashed through my head. Compared to a few years, it would probably be the shortest though. The thought made me sad. A group of Kings entered the room, shortly followed by the rest of the girls. Then, Finn and Bo entered, or re-enetered from the kitchen, both had mugs of something in their hands. Finn sat next to me, leaving no space for Bo to, since the space on my other side was taken. The only chair available was next to Silas on the other side of the table. He went over there.
I looked at Finn. "What are you drinking." He held his mug close to me. I smelled it. The scent was strong. 'What is that?"
"Coffee." Finn said, "Would you like to try some." I nodded. He handed his hot mug to me. I carefully brought an area he hadn't sipped from, to my lips and took a small swallow. It burned my tongue but tasted good.
"That's good." I said. Finn grinned.
"Every morning they make some, but you can only get it if you get it yourself. I'm pretty sure Izaiah doesn't even know they make some." Finn said, "But Bo, Si, Griff and I do. Griff loves it." He said.
"Are you ready for your meetings today?" I asked Finn. He pulled a scrap of paper from his pants pocket. I took it. At different times it said a name next to each. I was before lunch, and went to after lunch. The other girls were less than 20 minutes, mine was over an hour long. "Thats not conspicuous at all." I said sarcastically.
"Well, the seventh King is a lot to care for." Finn said, obviously lying. I rolled my eyes. "Alright, If you say so. What are you going to talk to with everyone else?" I asked.
"Body guard duties. You know. 'You might need to barge in in the middle of the night and murder someone', the usual." Finn said, my eyes widened. "It rarely happens,' Finn said, "In the history of this area, it has only happened once."
"Thats good." I said, "Or else that would really suck.
"It would," Said Finn agreeing. He held out his mug to me again. I took it and had another sip, then handed it back. Food was served. Finn and I were debating the entire meal over which way potatoes were better: mashed or baked. The meal went by to quickly and then Maro came and summoned us all there. Before we left the room, Silas stood and briefly said:
"We are going to have meeting with each of you individually to talk about your duties." Several nods of comprehension and then we were in the training room. Maro taught us the average body guard stance, tall and proud, and then she told up we would be doing my fighting and work outs.
Other girls were called out of the room, and then they came in a little bit later, telling the next one to come. Four went before my name was called. At that point we were running around the room and lifting weights, but when ever Maro would yell, that would mean we would have to assume position and stand still until she told us each that our posture was good and that it was in a passing, professional state. Unbelievably, it got much harder as we were more worn out. The more we ran and lifted things, the more I wanted to curl in a ball and both sleep and cry.
I walked out of the room and into the Dining Hall where Bo was the small man from the first day- what was his name... Culus, led me to the meeting space where we usually met. I opened the door and took an empty seat next to Jasper and Bo. Bo's seat was empty though, but as soon as I sat down, the door opened and Bo came in.
"You don't have to write a letter Finn." He said. Finn groaned.
"I already wrote it! It took me all night! Its four and a half pages long! I wrote some very personal and deep things in there!" He scowled, mildly angry. "And why?"
"Because we are most likely seeing Liv's grandmother tomorrow." Bo said, "And if we just take her away in the middle of the party for a few minutes and ask her to help us murder our father, I think she will agree. From what Liv says, she hates him.
"She really really hates him." I backed Bo up. "I think she will." The room fell silent.
"How are we going to kill him?" Bo asked, breaking the silence. I looked around the room. Bo's brothers were all avoiding looking at him, at each other. They were looking anywhere but.
"Poison?" Asked Griffin. It surprised me. He seemed the most loyal to his father, he definitely was the quietest at the meetings.
"Knife?" Jasper asked from next to me.
"Throw him off a building?" asked Finn, who was rubbing one of his teeth with his shirt sleeve. Everyone looked at him, shocked. "What? I thought we were listing valuable murder ideas. If we defenestrate him then it might seem to be an accident."
"But do we want it to be an accident?" Bo asked, "Or do we want to make statement. You know 'the tyrant is gone.'"
"But that might just make you more threatening." I supplied.
"If we do it secretly, like poison- it might take to long or someone else might accidentally drink it."
"We could hire an assassin." Soren said. "They could kill father for us. And then it'd be a mysterious third party's fault."
"Do we want the blame or not?" Bo asked. The room didn't answer.
"We want half of it." Silas finally said.