Tristan inspected his reflection in the mirror. Black shirt and slacks and long trench coat matched his hair that strung down in his face. His eyes were black as soot and glaring. This attire was too dark. He was too dark. If he met this monster in an alley, he’d run for his life.
What would the party-goers think? Roy and Samuel may have warned them about his dark appearance, but that didn’t mean they’d accept him. If he were to attend any more of these functions, he should invest in blue contacts and more colorful clothes.
He glanced in the open dresser drawer. A different colored shirt might steal the attention from his aura, but all he had was a white button-up that he abhorred, and a gray and black flannel Nena had gave him when they first arrived in this town. There was also the indigo silk shirt Anna had taken from lost and found during their transition on the ship here. The color was vibrant. Shiny. He’d never worn such a color, but maybe he should tonight.
He changed his shirt and tucked the hem into the top of his slacks. He buckled the thin black belt around his waist, and then looked in the mirror again. Not too shabby. It was different from his black on black attire, but change was what he strived for. Maybe after he got paid, he and Anna would take a trip to Oslo to shop for new clothes. They needed an entire wardrobe, but he could afford a few new outfits for them.
Anna had lived on hand-me downs from Nena, and he’d worn the same damn outfits for months. If he were to be a proper husband, he’d need to provide better. Anna needed to eat other things besides fish and a few vegetables from the local market. If he were to become a father—well, their current situation wasn’t good enough. He just couldn’t afford a child on his wages.
It wouldn’t take long to sneak into his castle in England and retrieve his gold collection. Four nights tops. They could afford anything they wanted then. He could give Anna anything she desired. They could shop wherever they wanted and not worry about how much they’d spent. That’s the life Anna needed and the life she deserved.
That settled it. As soon as the party was over, he’d take off for England. Anna would be angry, but she’d understand. They needed more than what he could give.
He put on his trench coat. This was such a joke. Nervous about what he was going to wear to a party. Change or not, acting the part of a mortal man wasn’t him at all. He should forget about fitting in with the townspeople tonight and leave for his gold.
“Are you ready?” Anna stepped into the room. All thought processes went out the window. Her flower-print sundress showed off her slim figure and accented the silky skin of her neckline. Her blue eyes sparkled between long dark lashes. She smiled and her lips glistened with pink gloss. The way she’d fixed her hair, French-braided from the top of her head and down the length of her bare arm, showed off her stunning face. She’d left delicate strands that curled down her neck in front of diamond-studded earrings.
“Anna.” Tristan’s heart beat against his ribs. It was an unusual sensation. One he usually felt when Anna touched him, but she hadn’t laid a hand on him yet. “You are…stunning.”
“Thank you.” She twirled once then looked down her front. “Nena made the dress. That girl is quite handy and quick with a sewing machine.”
He palmed her neck and her light spread into his soul. “We should stay home and retire to our bed.”
“As enticing as that is…” She slid her fingers under the collar of his shirt then fastened the tiny button in place. “We have to go out. You look too dashing in this shirt to not go out. This is a great color on you.”
“Dashing?” He snickered as she buttoned the other collar. “Are we going to a ball?”
“Well, you are my dark prince.” Her lips spread into a teeth-baring grin. “I haven’t called you that in years.”
“People called me Lord in my castle.” He curled his arm. “Shall we go to a party, my Lady?”
She looped her arm through his. “Why yes, my Lord.”
He led her through the living room and out onto the front porch. She had a glow about her. Beautiful. Happy. If he told her about his plan to leave, it’d ruin her night—their night. He’d tell her after they returned home, and then he’d leave her quickly before she could argue. It was a cowardly way to go. But she’d weigh on his heart to change his mind, and he couldn’t let that happen.
She clasped her fingers with his. Her touch buried his demon so deep inside that he was powerless to extend his wings. They’d had to borrow Nena’s car on many occasions and tonight was no different. The tiny jalopy was old, like the cabin they lived in. At least it worked. Once he had his inheritance, he’d buy them a new vehicle—one that defeated the mountainous terrain, especially in the snow.