"He is here."
Nikolas nodded and instructed Milo to continue with the plan. The manservant disappeared into the crowd and as ordered, began to escort the attendees from the party. It took some doing, but Milo was subtle, as Nikolas knew he would be. The prince doubted if any of the guests knew that they were being removed and truly believed that leaving was their own decision.
"Even with all the stuffed shirts," Lucky commented, as he and Emily approached, "this party hasn't been so bad. Too bad Mom and Lu couldn't make it."
Nikolas shrugged. Any verbal response made would have been too harsh. For the most important occasions in his life, Laura was absent. At first he was disappointed, but after awhile he anticipated it.
"Did you enjoy yourselves?" he asked, looking pointedly at Emily. Since her brother began his sordid affair with Nikolas' wife, their friendship became strained. When Lucky said that she would accompany him to Greece, Nikolas couldn't have been more surprised. If Emily had any idea what was in store for her brother later that night…
A sudden frown marked her brow as she looked at him. "Is something wrong?"
"Why?" Nikolas asked quickly. "What could be wrong on my birthday?"
"I don't know. Your face became flushed." She gave him a brief, tight smile. "Forget I said anything. It looks like the party is over," she said, referring to the almost empty ballroom. "If you don't mind, I'm gonna get some air on the beach and then head to bed. Happy birthday again, Nikolas."
He waited until she was out of earshot before he said, "She's still upset with me."
Lucky's gaze followed his girlfriend as she moved onto the terrace. "She's loyal to Jason."
"He's her brother," Nikolas commented.
Lucky nodded. "You are mine." He turned to face Nikolas. "Are you really okay? The party was great, but it had to be strange to have one without Dawn."
"It is," Nikolas replied with a quick glance to the staircase. "Life is strange without Dawn."
Lucky frowned. "Maybe you could move on if you granted her a divorce. You know, give yourself closure."
"Divorce is too permanent."
"You don't think she and Jason are permanent?" Lucky asked.
The opening Nikolas had been waiting for… "No, I don't. I believe that sooner or later, she will realize her mistake and come back to me."
"And would you take her back?" Lucky questioned.
"Of course," the prince said. "In matters such as this, allowances must be made."