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PG-16 Pretty Lies


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Valentine walked into the ridiculously ornate palace, trying to tamper down his annoyance at the transfer he’d been forced into. The last person in charge of guarding the prince had quit. So now he was stuck with the newbie chick trailing after him, walking into a place he’d made a point of avoiding all his life. The snobbines of royals always got on his nerves. And punching a royal looked bad on a record file.

But now here he was, having to swallow his anger and bow down to them anyway. “Why do you look like your mother died?” The newbie chick asked as they made it through the security at the front doors. Valentine gave her a look.

"If my mother died, I would be in a fantastic mood.”
He flashed his ID card at the two men who tried to stop them from walking down the hall, ignoring the chick’s shock. “That’s not very nice,” the newbie protested as they made their way to the prince’s room. Or rather, rooms. The carpet under their feet cost more than Valentine’s rent for an entire year.

“And you’re not very professional.” Valentine retorted, knocking on the prince’s door.
Luca was lounged across the futon, elbows resting on his hips as he held the book up in front of him, his eyes lazily scanning the pages. He shifted the book into one hand and with the other, ran it through his hair once before gripping the book with both hands once more.
The prince was bored, he didn't have much on the agenda today, excluding meeting the newest addition to the security team delegated to him.

A soft frown came over his face as he tried to remember at what time they were supposed to meet and his eyes quickly looked over at the big, fancy grandfather clock lined up against one of the walls. Just as he did so, there was a knock on his door and he quickly got up, placed the book on a nearby table and straightened out his dark olive green colored shirt, before walking over to the door and opening it.

For some reason he always wanted to be at least standing up when new people entered the room and this was no exception.
"Come on in" He said, his voice cracking slightly as he hadn't talked for a while and he cleared his throat as he gave off a polite smile to the two people outside the room, stepping back to let them in.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Valentine took a deep breath as they waited for the door to open, composing himself. First impressions were important; if he was to be following the royal brat around for a year, then they might as well start of on good terms. He resisted the temptation to dip his hand in the uniform’s pocket, where he kept the set of Dnd dice the tattooist had given him.

The newbie chick beside him was literally vibrating with excitement, hoping on the balls of her feet and jogging in place. Valentine very nearly grabbed her to sill the movement. “Quit it,” he said, the calm in his voice faker than her hair extensions. She stopped instantly.
The door opened before she could give him the angry retort she was thinking up. He expected a security guard to be waiting in the doorframe. Or a butler. Or, you know, anyone other than the prince himself. But no. There he was with his light brown hair and golden skin. Holly hell. Pictures didn’t do this man justice.

Valentine winced inwardly. Not thinking about that now. No sir. The chick beside him nearly fainted. He narrowed his eyes at her, and stepped inside the prince’s room, offering a greeting. He wasn’t sure if he should bow, or something. Did people still do that?

“Hi!” the chick exclaimed from beside him, shaking the prince’s hand enthusiastically. “I’m Lieutenant Mira,” she was nearly the same shade of red as the prince’s curtains. “It’s so nice to finally meet you!”
Luca looked over at the two people that entered the room. As they got inside, he gently closed the door behind them and then turned to adress them. He managed to give them both a corteous nod before the girl out of the pair quickly stepped forward with her hand out for him to shake. Luca smiled lightly at the excitement written all over her face and gently took her hand, her giddiness showing as she enthusiastically shook it up and down.

"Welcome and thank you both for coming here" He said, knowing quite well that they didn't have much of a choice in the matter as they were already employed as his guards, of course they could always quit if they hadn't felt like coming to the meeting. Lieutenant Mira released his hand from the slightly too long handshake and the prince turned to the other guy in the room.

He glanced over his face and found his eyes lingering for just a moment longer than he had intended to. It was quite obvious that the man before him took his job very seriously and his stern expression made him look somewhat intimidating.

The prince found himself wondering what he looked like with a genuine and relaxed smile on his face and figured he'd look rather attractive flaunting one of those. Not that he wasn't attractive with the expression he was wearing right now, he thought to himself with a small smile on his lips. After a moment he stopped himself before thinking any further and he offered his hand for the guy to shake.

"It's nice to meet you both as well, of course. You can call me Luca" He said, offering them both a smile.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Lieutenant Mira gave Valentine a glance, when she noticed he hadn’t introduced himself. The disapproval emanating from her nearly made Valentine walk out. What the hell was she on? Was she bipolar? Why the intensity to everything she did?

“Officer Julian,” Valentine replied, shaking the prince’s hand. The officer had a strong, cold grip, which spoke of poor blood circulation. He glanced down at their hands, noting the contrast between the prince’s tanned skin and his own ebony black. The prince had a tamed handsomeness about him, while Valentine was all muscled and wild haired.

Valentine let go of the prince’s hand. “I think I’ll stick with Mr. Durmaine, if that’s alright with you, sir.”


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
He looked around the room, pointedly ignoring Lieutenant Mira. “If we had been anyone else, you would have been dead the moment you opened the door.”

The prince’s room had five humongous windows. Not only could someone get in if they scaled the palace walls, but the breaking glass was in itself a mortal threat. The carpeting could muffle footsteps, and Valentine didn’t even want to get started on the myriad of ornamental swords on the walls. Mira, of course, had started chatting excitedly with the prince about…cats? Was the Lieutenant seriously talking about her cat?

Valentine zoned back in the conversation just in time to catch the end of Mira’s sentence. “…. he’s so fluffy!” He’d choke her if they were alone. The Lieutenant caught his murderous glance and shut up promptly.
The firm handshake Luca received from the officer didn't surprise him in the slightest. It was clear that he wasn't the type to beat around the bush. His hand felt cold and smooth against his own, warmer hand. "Welcome Officer, Lieutenant" he gave off a slight nod to each of them as the prince's and officers hands broke contact.

"Of course, Mr. Durmaine works as well" he said and clasped his hands together before him. "I would prefer Luca, though it's up to you how to address me" He added, not wanting to pressure them into calling him something that they weren't comfortable with.

Valentine pointed out the obvious security flaw with the prince opening the door and he nodded. "I am aware of that. Though the precautions at the gate as well as the entrance to the palace surely does it. We have multiple people who are on alert in case of an emergency that passes through both the gate as well as the entrance" Luca assured him. He knew that if anyone would have wanted to get in badly enough, they wouldn't have too much of a hard time.

The prince didn't want security at every door, he didn't want to be watched at every turn he made. He wanted some sort of privacy. Even though he'd been raised in this kind of setting, he was not comfortable with it and it was one of the few things he'd insisted on since his early childhood, to not be watched like prey for a hawk in his own house, at the very least.

Lieutenant Mira clearly had no problem at all with calling him by his surname as she launched herself and the prince into a conversation about cats.
Luca politely listened, hummed and agreed as well as contributed to the conversation in all the right places, even though he wasn't paying that much attention to the blabbering girl. It was obvious she was nervous and star struck from being in his presence, barely holding herself together from swooning all over him.

However, the heir to the throne couldn't help but let his eyes wander over to Officer Julian. He sure wasn't too bad as eye candy and Luca quickly reminded himself that that was all he could ever be, something stunning to look at.

Suddenly Valentine turned towards Lieutenant Mira and prince Luca, giving the former a stern look. She seemed to come back to her senses and closed her mouth, assuming a serious expression.
The situation amused Luca, how abruptly her demeanor changed and how she straightened out, clasping her hands behind her back.
"Is there anything else about the lack of security you'd like to point out?" He raised his eyebrows ever so slightly as he looked over at the ebony black man standing in the room.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Valentine gave the prince a one over, his green-gray eyes regarding the royal with a shred of warmth. He wasn’t convinced the prince wasn’t mocking him with the question, but he seemed somewhat interested by Valentine’s reply, and that was all that mattered.

“This room is a disgrace.” The officer replied. “Not only is it hard to defend from the inside, but if someone was to get it through their head to kill you in your sleep, they’d have no problem sneaking in.” Preferably, the prince would agree to move in some other room (there was no shortage!). The chances of Luca actually agreeing to that were slim to none, though, weren’t they?

Valentine sneaked his hand into the uniform’s pocket and started playing with the golden-green dice inside as he thought. “How would you feel about staying guard at the door?” he asked Mira. “We’ll switch every three hours and I’ll make sure he’s okay when you want to go take lunch.”

The Lieutenant seemed to literally deflate under Valentine’s eyes. She didn’t seem very happy about being shooed out, but slipped away without a word of complain. “Well, that was that.” Valentine said, turning towards the prince he’d been pointedly avoiding to look at. Luca was ridiculously handsome, and the more time he spent studying him, the more uneasy he became. What if he said something and the prince took it the wrong way?

“This makes you feel kinda trapped, doesn’t it?” Valentine asked the boy, allowing a bit of sympathy to seep into his voice. He knew a thing or two about being under constant surveillance. “I can just stand in the back of the room, if you’d like. You’ll forget I’m here after a couple hours.”

Of course, Mira would probably talk the poor boy’s ears off his head, but he didn’t really control the other officer.
Luca listened intently as the officer relayed his concerns about the lack of security and with a short nod, he agreed. Lieutenant Mira seemed to agree with Officer Julian's opinion in the matter as well.

"This room might be a disgrace regarding the security aspect, but I assure you that it's no disgrace in royal decor standards, though it might be a little simple as for the furnishings" the prince retorted with a small teasing smile. He did take his concerns seriously though and let him know as much. "I appreciate your concern, though I don't sleep in here that often. The big windows is too much of a security risk, as you're very much aware" Luca said and sent the officer a smile. He knew what he was doing and the prince knew they'd hired the right person for this job.

The prince watched as Officer Julian told Lieutenant Mira to start off her shift in guarding the door. The way the guy spoke with authority and precision on how they were going to do it in shifts told Luca a lot about the other man. As he'd thought once before, this confirmed it even further, that Officer Julian did not beat around the bush and wasn't afraid of taking charge if needed. Lieutenant Mira's expression soured slightly but she didn't protest as she with a nod towards the prince slinked out the door.

As soon as she was out the room, Valentine turned to him and he could feel his eyes on him with just a glance in his direction his feeling was confirmed and a small smile tugged at his lips. Luca wondered what the other guy thought, if he was trying to find some hidden feature in his face that had never been seen before on the countless of covers on every gossip magazine that he'd ever been on or if he was just as star struck as Lieutenant Mira, though much better at hiding it? Or was the officer admiring him? He found himself not at all disliking the idea of the guard checking him out and he briefly met his eyes.

Luca could feel the awkward tension that only existed between strangers and he shot the other person a smile before moving to take a seat on the fouton once more. Valentine stated the obvious and he looked over at the man. "Of course. Wouldn't you?" He asked. "Are you saying I'm going to forget about you being in the room just about when it's time for a change in the guarding shift?" He raised his eyebrows at Valentine, a somewhat teasing smile on his lips.

Luca had a feeling he wouldn't be able to forget about the handsome man in his room, no matter how long he was there or how quiet he was. "No, come sit, if you'd like" he added as he gestured to the fancy armchair on the other side of the coffee table.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Valentine gagged internally at the words 'simple as for the furnishings'. Man, oh man, was the guy held up on a silver platter all his life. "Are those swords on the wall any good for fighting, at least?" Valentine asked matter of factedly. "Although, now that I think about it. Can you swing a sword? And what good is a sword against a gun?"

The officer sighed, pulling his hand out of the coat's pocket in favor of massaging his temples. As he did, two of the dice from his pocket slipped out, landing on the prince's fluffy carpet. The officer didn't notice, instead, focusing on Luca's words. "So where do you sleep?" he demanded. There was the possibility the prince just randomly picked a room to sleep in each night. He could afford it, and it made it less of a security risk. The palace was abso-bloody-lutley huge. He would know. The officer had no sense of direction. None. If it hadn’t been for Mira, he would have gotten lost at least ten times before he made it to the prince’s chambers. Who even says ‘chambers’ anymore?
“I would. I can’t imagine living like this.” Valentine physically shuddered. If someone wanted to break him mentally, all they had to do was put him under constant guard and expect him to live normally. He’d go insane it three days and kill himself in ten.

["Are you saying I'm going to forget about you being in the room just about when it's time for a change in the guarding shift?" ]

Valentine surprised himself with a small smile at the prince’s words. “You have a point. And I have no doubts Mira will have any problem keeping you entertained with endless stories about her dramatic life.” He didn’t want to make the woman stand in the doorway for more than three hours. He still hadn’t figured out whether the boss wanted them to drop dead from exhaustion. Two people guarding one of the heir to the royal crown wasn’t nearly enough. True, they changed shifts every twelve hours with another set of officers. But those twelve hours would be long, and undoubtedly boring. Valentine was already growing restless. He ached to be out on the field patrolling, or just generally going after the ‘bad guys’.

“I’ll stick to standing, if that’s alright with you.” Valentine said politely. “If I sit down, it takes me longer to act if something happens.” His eyes wondered over to the book Luca had been reading. “Is it any good?” he asked, nodding towards it. He loved books, although he’d never admit it out loud.
Luca didn't really think the room was simple in it's furnishings but he knew that it was, by royal standards at least.

He listened to Valentines question about the ornamental weapons along the wall. "These swords have a high historical value and it's not something you are supposed to use" He gestured to the pair of swords hanging next to the door where Valentine and Mira had walked in a while ago. "Though they are kept in shape and if needed, will do the job absolutely fine" He added, raising his eyebrows slightly as he asked if the prince even knew how to fence.

"Before you came here today, I'm sure you did some research" the prince paused and broke out in a small smile. "and not to brag, alright, it's bragging" he admitted, "but you must have missed out on the part where I came in second place during the European junior fencing championship in 2009. It was quite a while ago, yes, but I do practice fencing every once in a while when I have some time" Luca said. He agreed that a sword was no match for someone with a gun if it came to it.

"My bedroom is just outside to the left, following the corridor and making a turn to the right as you pass an indent in the wall where a statue of a lion resides, walk past two of the paintings, and the door to the right leads to my rooms" he trailed off, noticing that the officer seemed slightly confused by the long explanation of the way to his rooms. "You'll learn to find your way around here soon and if not, I'm quite capable of finding my way around and I'd be more than happy to help out if needed" Luca assured, making a point to not mention how there was multiple corridors leading to all the different rooms and he knew each of them very well.

The heir saw the small smile on the officer's lips and his thoughts immideatly went to how good looking the man was, especially with a smile on his face. Luca chuckled lightly. "I'm familiar with people trying to entertain or humor me. It's not all bad" he lied, sometimes it was pretty bad.

The good thing with new guards was their inability to find their way around and that made it easier for him to do what he pleased once he'd managed to sneak away from them. Luca's conscience took a toll each time he did so though, feeling bad for ditching the people with a job to protect him. But he enjoyed it far too much to stop doing so.

"Of course" He nodded at the still standing man. "To be honest, I just picked it up. It seems good though" Luca replied as he ran a hand through his hair. The restlessness he'd felt before the two people arrived came back with full force and he scanned the room while trying to think of something to do. Perhaps a trip to the gym would be appropriate? Something catched his eyes and he looked at the two dice laying on the carpet. Where did they come from?

"Those yours?" He asked, gesturing to the two pieces on the floor, looking over at Valentine.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
“I did not do any research.” Valentine replied, without a shred of shame. “I was informed of my duties when I came into work this morning. So about…” he took a look at his watch, “Two hours and half ago. Those past two hours I spent on the subway, trying to get here.” If the royal brat would have liked someone to shower him with compliments and fawn over a fencing competition he’d came in second, ten years ago, Mira was waiting outside, undoubtedly more than up for the job.

No, he hadn’t done any research. No, he didn’t read the gossip forums or interest himself in magazines. Most days, he’d come home and fall right asleep. Most times, he forgot to eat. He would walk in and collapse on his beaten up couch fully clothed, passing out within three minutes. And here was the princeling expecting him to know about a fencing competition from a decade back. A competition he’d almost won when he was 15. The officer pushed down his irritation. Maybe he should have let Mira take the first shift with the prince. Maybe she would have done something stupid and got herself fired.

As the prince launched into an incredibly detailed explanation of how to get to his room, Valentine’s irritation was replaced with a slight panic. The words Luca was shooting in his direction were passing him by, none sticking to him. How was he supposed to protect the man if he couldn’t find him? Thank the ten hells for Mira and her sense of direction. Maybe thinking of how to get her fired wasn’t the best idea.

“I’ll just have Mira stick with you when you need to go somewhere,” Valentine said pleasantly. “That woman can find her way through a Labyrinth, blindfolded and deafened.” There was no doubt the prince would try to sneak away from them. He knew that, at least. His boss had warned him Luca liked his alone time.

Valentine’s attention was brought to the two dice lying on the carpet. He scooped them up quickly, biting his tongue to keep from cursing. “Thanks,” he muttered to the prince, and pulled all the dice in his pocket to count, just to make sure all seven were there. Thank Tir and his hideous cat, he thought. All seven dnd dice were safe. He dropped them back in his pocket, hoping he wouldn’t get questioned about them.

Upon the mention of people trying to entertain the prince, Valentine was reminded he was not one of them. He wasn’t paid to make small talk with the prince. He’d run out of non-ironic things to say anyway.

At that exact moment, Mira decided to walk back in. “Valentine, come on, you can’t make me stay out there for three hours.” She was looking at the officer and seeming a bit more than peeved. Valentine frowned. “It’s Officer Julian, Lieutenant, and yes, I believe I can do exactly that.” What was the fool girl doing, addressing him by his first name? Did she not have any common decency whatsoever? He was her boss, for Tir’s sake! And she kept on talking, digging her grave deeper with each word. “There is literally nothing to do out there except stare at a portrait of this creepy old man. Legit, he looks like a necrophile. He freaks me out.”

“That’s the king’s portrait you are talking about Lieutenant,” Valentine said softly. Mira turned the same shade of red as the curtains hanging over the humongous windows. “Shit….um, I mean…shoot! Luca, I’m so sorry, I swear to god I didn’t kn…I mean….oh god.” She covered her eyes with her hands as if it would shield her from her own idiocy. “Yeah, I should stick to hallway.”
"Ah. I'm sorry about the assumption" Luca quickly replied, suddenly feeling a little embarrassed for thinking that he'd be read up on the prince before coming here. He reminded himself that not everyone was interested in the latest news regarding the royal family, or gossip about them. They weren't that important.

The prince watched curiously as the officer picked the dices up, but figured the man would share the story behind him having those in his pocket if he felt like it himself and Luca didn't want to come off as nosy. He disliked people that always wanted to know everything about him and so he made the assumption that his new guard felt the same way.

There was a light knock on the door before it opened and Lieutenant Mira walked inside the room. She was quick to complain to the other guard in the room and as she started explaining how there was only one portrait of a man to stare at, and that the man looked creepy. Luca knew exactly which portrait she was talking about and internally he laughed at her comment. The officer was quick to let her know that the portrait was in fact, a portrait of the current king.

The girls face reddened significantly as she stammered her apologies. Luca just shook his head softly. He quite agreed with her, but he could never say so. The artist had not quite managed to get the right proportions and shadings, it was one of the few portraits of the king that he disliked. "It's alright Lieutenant. Mistakes happen. That is not the finest portrait of my father anyway but my grandmother insists on it hanging on the wall" He said in an attempt to reassure Lieutenant Mira.

The prince cleared his throat and let his eyes glance over the grandfather clock along the wall as he stood up from the fouton. "I was thinking of going to the gym and get some exercise in before lunch. If that's alright with the two of you, of course" Luca said as he faced them both.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Valentine thanked the skies internally for the prince’s idea. No more sitting around the room doing nothing. There was more of a risk factor in the gym, but if the prince wanted to get a few reps in, who was Valentine to stop him?

Mira, meanwhile, was recovering from her screw up; her face was still red, but at least she looked composed. Plus, she’d get a front row seat at the prince getting hot and sweaty. Valentine seriously doubted she’d be embarrassed for much longer. Like you wouldn’t like to see that. The officer nearly kicked himself at the thought. The hell is wrong with you? Yeah, the prince was hot. So what? The prince was also a job, and he’d be damned if he let his screwed up head get him fired.

“I’m assuming you have a trainer and you won’t get yourself hurt?” Valentine asked, thinking back to when he’d first started working out. First week, he’d torn a tendon, ended up in the hospital. Second week, he’d gone back and did the exact same thing. He never learned. Since then, one of the trainers in the gym had noticed him making a fool of himself and helped him out, giving him a routine and spotting for him when the time came. He’d went from a skinny, spindly kid to the most muscular guy at work.

“After you,” he said to the prince, resolving to follow him around rather than lead the way. He had no idea where he was going anyway. No point in pretending he did. Mira seemed to be mapping the entire blasted place inside her head anyway. If there was ever a problem, he’d just ask her for directions.
Officer Julian seemed pleased with the idea of doing something and so did Luca. He didn't have a lot of days like this, where he was basically free all day and he planned to make the most of it. Lieutenant Mira had collected herself but her face was still quite red from the embarrassing situation that occurred just a few moments ago.

The prince could feel his mood brighten as he looked forward to exercising. "Yes, I do have a trainer. Let me just contact her and make sure she has some time for me" He said as he pulled out his phone and brought up the text conversation he had with his trainer. Luca quickly got a text sent to her and almost as quickly a reply. He was thinking of doing some warm ups by running on a treadmill for a bit and then some regular push ups, bench press and some sit-ups before he went onto fencing.

Valentine gestured for him to go first and he thanked the officer with a nod, walking out of the room and then following the corridor to his rooms. He fetched his bag with his training equipment and the three of them made their way to the garage where they loaded up in a car and then got inside to go to the gym.


Roleplaying is like air. Without it, I die.
Valentine gave Mira a small smile as they walked into the gym. It was reflexive by now for his entire body to relax when he was surrounded by weight lifting machines. All the physical requirements which came with having a job in the FBI forced one to get real familiar with the gym, real fast.

“This is fancy,” Mira whispered to Valentine as they walked through the main doors. “It’s a rich people gym,” the officer replied, grinning a bit. “I don’t know half of what these machines do.” Mira smiled back at him, half giddiness, half nervousness. It was rather ironic they would have to go back to the gym after they left the prince. FBI had to log at least three hours of gym within their work time.

“Do you want this shift?” Valentine asked the Lieutenant, cracking his knuckles. His hands were ridiculously cold to the point he pulled out the fingerless gloves from his uniform’s pocket. Not overly professional, he had to admit. But he’d rather look unprofessional than have stiff fingers and fumble with the gun.

Mira beamed and walked closer to the prince, all subtlety lost on her. Valentine almost sighed. Almost.
The prince made his way inside the gym along with the two bodyguards at his side.

The familiar scent inside the open room made Luca exhale, feeling how his mind and body made itself ready to work out. He glanced at the other two and found the other male visably more relaxed than he had ever seen him before.
It's true that he hadn't seen Officer Julian expressing many different emotions, since they only first met a couple hours prior to the visit at the gym.

The bodyguards serious and attentive demeanor shone through at all times though and yet Luca wasn't overly surprised when he saw Valentine relax somewhat as it was clear that he knew his way around the training equipment in the room.
The prince figured he spent a lot of time at the gym, the muscular figure of the man revealing that detail about him. Luca couldn't help but sneak a glance towards the male, appraising his figure once more. He made his way through the gym and as a girl in sporty clothes spotted the trio, his face lit up in a smile, matching the woman's.

"Hi Luca" The brunette greeted the prince with, giving him a quick, friendly hug.
"Hello Theresa" He replied and returned the hug. The two of them had been aquantied for quite a while and they were good friends, keeping in touch even out of the gym and work.

The blond scurried away and changed into his workout clothes before they started the working out session. He could feel Lieutenant Mira's eyes on him and he turned his focus into the training to forget about the two people there to protect him if things went to hell.

After a while the two got dressed in fencing equipment and warmed up with a sparring round. Luca was sweating and the fencing gear didn't help, but it felt good to be back in these clothes.
Theresa moved forward, breaking her guarded stance to get a hit in. Luca feigned a sidestep and narrowly avoided the tip of her foil, managing to drive the side of his blade into her flank. As neither of them scored, they both moved back into defensive stances and went ahead to spar some more.

After a few points were awarded to the two of them, they decided to take a break and Luca removed his mask, went over to where he'd placed his bag and picked up a bottle of water that he gulped down. A glance was sent towards the people there with him and a small smile appeared on his face as he spotted Valentine. He quickly reminded himself that all he could be was eye candy and ran a hand trough his now, quite messy hair before drinking some more water to keep his mind from going any further.