“Good evening, Prince Detren.”
Oh no. How had he missed that Anaya was sitting almost directly across from him? “Good evening, Miss Morwen.”
“Please, just call me Anaya.”
Detren smiled, hoping she couldn’t see the sourness behind it. There was no way he would be calling her by her first name any time soon. He preferred to make it obvious in every way possible that he was very much not interested. Sure, she was drop-dead gorgeous, but she was also spoiled, stuck-up, scary cunning, and the way she looked at him… It made his skin crawl.
“How do you like the peach tarts?” Anaya asked. “They’re my favorite.”
“They’re nice,” he said. He tried to look inconspicuously down the table for any escape from Anaya. Thorin was sitting next to him. “Help me,” Detren muttered out the side of his mouth.
Thorian gave the tiniest smile as he looked at Anaya before turning to Detren. “So, what do you think of the weather today? Is it nice enough you think we could convince His Majesty to have the whole gala out on the lawn?”
“I prefer the ballroom,” Detren said, thankful for the reprieve, no matter how stupid it was, “but it’s nice enough you might be able to convince him.”
“What do you think, Lucienne?” Thorian turned to Lucienne on his other side and she looked up.
“What?” she asked, dark eyes shining in the light of the chandelier.
“Do you think it’s nice enough out that we could have the rest of the dancing on the lawn?”
“Oh. Certainly, but I’m not sure what most of the people would think of that.”
The three of them continued the conversation, flitting from one useless topic to another until the meal was finished. When everyone left the dining hall, Detren clapped Thorian on the back. “Thank you, Thorian. I don’t know what I would have done without you.”
“Probably strangled Anaya, eventually.” Thorian grinned.