In Titan National Stadium, which host Olympics and where the yearly interschool sports festival was held, all the Universities’ in the country of Burberry were competing in sports to garner honor and prestige for their school.
The thousand kilometer radius colosseum was pack with people both high and low in status. The harmless sports event turned into something like a gambling fest. It was a whole week affair that was anticipated by many, and even the monarch and government declared the interschool sport festival as a one-week holiday national event.
In the basketball court, Daniel collected his nerves. He did this a year ago, but even so, he was still nervous every time. All the pressure from his peers, his teammates, his family, added to his already anxious self.
Who wouldn’t be nervous?
Daniel was one of the players who was expected by many not to make a single mistake. A young man with royal blood running in his veins. Thus, a whole country was watching his every move. Success and failure significantly impact the status of the Richardson Royal Family and the country of Everland. It could be said that Daniel was Everland itself.
Hence, failure was never an option for him.
Daniel glanced at the line of men in front of him. There were more than twenty schools that would compete in total, but he was not interested in those low-ranking Universities. His only main focus was that tall, tan, well-built man, two years older than him, waving and grinning, sending flying kisses to the crowds.
The basketball ace of Fate Academy.
Unmei Academy won the championship in the basketball game last year, all because of him, and this Asher didn’t play for unknown reasons.
But now that the man was here, Daniel swept him with his eyes. Asher was more muscular and a little taller than him while he was all lean muscles.
Many believed that Daniel and Asher were on equal footing when it came to playing basketball. Daniel admitted that he didn’t like it that someone was equal to him in something he was very good at.
Daniel took a sharp intake of air, eyes blazing with determination.
I’ll show you who is better in this court.
The introduction event ended, and the players went back to their respective bench to warm up.
Daniel’s lips formed a smile when his gaze landed on a girl with fluffy pink hair raised in a ponytail, looking all cute in her white polo shirt and light blue skirt, holding a banner with his name imprinted on it and a microphone probably for cheering later. She was standing at the Academy’s side, behind the perimeter wall where elevated seats reserved for the students and audience siding for Unmei Academy lined the space.
These past few days, various students already took notice on how Daniel and Sisley had gotten closer to one another. Of course, the girls were jealous at Sisley for grabbing Daniel’s attention. However, no one dared gossip nor bully her for the reason, one; Sisley was a gentle, kind, and cheerful person. She didn’t have a lot of enemies and most didn’t want to become enemies with her. Second, Jen and Max were her best friends. And third, she now had Daniel protecting her.
Daniel greeted in all smiles and Sisley blushed, earning a chuckle from him. It was one of the reasons why he like her. She easily gets embarrassed when it came to him.
“H-hi . . . how are you feeling?” Sisley tucked a hair behind her ear, dimples appearing in each cheek when she smiled.
“Nervous,” Daniel said honestly.
“Will you be alright?” she asked, her voice anxious as her face contort with worry.
“Yeah. Don’t worry, I got this.”
Biting her lip, Sisley ran her eyes left and right as she brought out a fabric elastic band. Leaning down, she extended her hand to Daniel.
Stunned, Daniel didn’t react at first before his lips stretched into a grin, drawing dimple on his left cheek. He grabbed the band and put it on his right arm.
“Thank you. Let’s talk after the game,” he said, tone and face serious. He thought it was about time that he made his feelings clear to her.
These past few days, he was being unfair to her. She was always behind his back, supporting him every time. She cooked for him every day, and always adjusting her schedule to accommodate him in every turn.
And what did he do?
He led her on.
Daniel made up his mind. After the game, he would confess to her and make their relationship official.
Heat pumped Sisley’s cheeks as she nodded shyly. “Un . . . I’ll wait for you.”
At the side, Max bitterly smiled at himself. He watched at the moving scene where a handsome young man and a charming young woman stared at each other like there was no one present beside them. Their eyes shining with unspoken feelings for one another.
It’s only a matter of time. He thought before he shook his head and continue stretching his limbs.
Daniel said his goodbyes and sauntered to his team when he was caught off guard at seeing Asher Cole, walking to their side of the court with no concept of time in his movement as the grin on his face widened with each step.
He frowned. What does he want?
He didn’t back away from the man’s approach and continued his walk. As they meet half way, to his astonishment, Asher didn’t even glance at him as he sauntered passed him like he was invincible.
Asher stopped near the perimeter wall and looked over the elevated seat and smiled, softening the hard contours of his face.
Heavy silence descended in the court. While everyone quieted in shock, Daniel’s breath got stuck in his throat as his eyes widened in disbelief.
In front of Asher, on the other side of the two-meter wall, there sat a dangerous beauty. She was wearing a body-hugging turtleneck shirt and fitted jeans with her long wavy lavender hair tied in a high ponytail.
Evangeline was sitting in the center of the front row cushioned seat reserved for Unmei Academy’s students. She alone occupied all the ten chairs on the front row. No one wanted to sit beside nor behind her. She was like a drop of water that the ants avoided.
On the other side of the front row separated by an aisle, Sisley was sitting on the cushioned seat surrounded by her friends and classmates. Like everyone else, she was staring at Evangeline as a tall, handsome, alluring man approached the beauty.
“Yes?” Evangeline asked.
Even with all the antagonistic looks and gossiping noises, Evangeline’s face remained stoic as she stared down at Asher without any hint of warmth in her smile.
“You here to cheer for me?”
Asher’s grin grew even wider when Evangeline gave him a timid smirk. She was acting like a high Queen talking to a lowly commoner.
And that’s the way I like it. Asher mused.
“I’m not here to cheer for anyone. I’m here to write a reaction paper,” Evangeline simply answered, her posture straight with her hands on top of her crossing legs.
“I never peg you to be so studios, my Queen.” Asher stifled a laugh.
“Well, it is my mother’s wish for me to graduate with a degree. I’m just honoring it as I am a filial noble daughter.”
Asher’s laughter bounced along the court, and the crowd watched them in astonishment with jaws open.
“Well then, my Queen. The games about to start, aren’t you going to give me a word of encouragement?”
Evangeline bent her body a little, holding her chin on one hand, her red lips curved in a sweet smile.
“Don’t disappoint me.”
“Your wish is my command.”
Asher bowed like a Prince and walked to Fate Academy’s side, oozing with confidence and an intense aura to do battle.
Rooted on his spot, Daniel wanted to know how Evangeline got acquainted with the notorious biker gang leader. The ace of Fate Academy’s basketball team.
How? Since when? When did it start?
Daniel knew the rumors circulating about Evangeline. He also knew about the picture of her hanging out with gangsters. But he didn’t expect it was Nightmare, the number one notorious biker gang in Blue River City.
So those pictures are authentic? It’s not Photoshop? Does that mean the picture of her receiving money from older men is also true?
Since when did it start?
Evangeline, how can you fall this low?
Daniel didn’t have time to ponder the questions in his head as the game was starting. He put his game face on and joined his team.
On the audience seat, Jen Combrelle couldn’t retract her eyes at Asher Cole. It was only when the starting game sounds bang her ear that she was jolted back in the present. She shot a piercing glare at Evangeline’s direction.
How did they know each other? She asked herself.
Jen has feelings for Asher from the moment she saw him two years ago.
It was by chance that she glimpsed at his direction. It was the end of spring, and she was on her way to Unmei Academy to arranged her admission papers. When she got out from her car in front of the Academy’s towering gates, she noticed the handsome man, leaning beside his motorcycle, arms crossed, looking around the Academy like he was studying it.
Then and there, she fell for him at first sight.
She investigated him and found that he was enrolled in Fate Academy. Second son of a CEO of a famous food enterprise in BlackPine Country.
Since then, after school, she went to Fate Academy to time him for a sweet encounter. And yet, she would always go home with slumped shoulders. It was like, he was hiding from her. Months passed and her endeavor was fruitless as ever, until her feelings for him died.
But after almost two years, who knew she would saw him once more, and all those feelings came rushing back like a ravaging truck, hitting her straight on the heart.
Jen was the only daughter of the prime minister and the youngest of the two siblings. Though she grew with a silver spoon and was pampered to the max, she always obeyed every word of her father. She would be this prim and proper lady in front of everyone to please him. But secretly, when she had enough, she lashed out inside her room, which often happened ever since she hit puberty.
She had her fair share of boys, but all of them were like her –– a puppet to their family.
It was no wonder she developed a thing for bad boys.
She wanted something new, exciting, and thrilling in her boring colorless life.
Not even Sisley knew of her feelings towards Asher.
Hmp! Now that I found you, don’t think that I’ll let you slip from my grasp the second time around.
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