Excerpt: The Glass Prince
Daniel Everwood decided to kidnap Luke Eren Berkeley as an afterthought. Well, he certainly never planned it out.
He never employed a driver, as he believed in being able to get from point A to point B without the help of someone else. As much as he enjoyed being an awe-inspiring celebrity, he didn’t enjoy being crammed into the close confines of a vehicle.
Daniel had been driving from his Tower to the florist—his florist did home visits, but even Daniel wasn’t so self-contained he could stay in his Tower forever. He needed an excuse to leave the place and breathe in some fresh air, and that’s when he saw Luke.
He stopped his car, rolled down the window and put his head out, feeling incredibly awkward. Daniel Everwood never stopped for anyone. People stopped for him.
“Hey Luke… er,” he remembered what Luke had been called at home “… Eren?” he called. The young man, who’d been engrossed in fiddling with his phone, looked up quickly. His eyes lit with recognition, but there wasn’t any joy in it. He appeared to be weary.
“Mr. Everwood,” Eren said from the pavement, a good five feet away from Daniel and refusing to move closer. Daniel found it absolutely annoying. Why wouldn’t he come closer? Daniel frowned as two more people walked over to join Eren. And what was that ghastly noise in the background?
“What’re you doing here?” Daniel asked.
“Waiting for a bus,” Eren informed him, looking at something behind Daniel. “You know, the bus is behind you.”
Ah, that explained the noise: the annoyed bus driver was honking for him to get out of the way. Daniel threw a look over his shoulder and made an impulsive decision. He unlocked the car door and drew back. “Get in.”
“No, I think… I’d rather not.” While he didn’t expect Eren to jump into the car, he was irritated that the boy hadn’t even moved a step closer.
“I can’t be here all day,” Daniel snapped. “I’ll drive you wherever you’re going.”
“No, need to bother, really,” Eren hedged. He took a step back and Daniel scowled.
“Get in the car. You’re holding back the bus.”
Eren looked at Daniel with an expression of disbelief and Daniel braced himself for some verbal comeback, but in the end, all Eren did was nod, move towards the car, pull open the door, and get in.
As they pulled out of the bus stop, the bus driver stuck his head out of his side, “Fucking asshole, you are—”
Daniel slowed the car and looked back, then snapped his fingers. The windshield of the bus erupted in a series of glass spikes that had the driver rearing back in horror. Daniel smiled as he turned around to face the road. His good deed for the day was done.
He faced his silent passenger and smirked. “Where do you want to be dropped off?”
“I don’t want to make you late for anything,” Eren replied quickly. “Just down the block.”
“You could have walked that distance, not taken the bus,” Daniel told him. He was clearly being lied to and he didn’t like it. He turned to Eren and glared. “Now, where were you going?”
“To the movies at CinemaCity, I’m meeting Annabelle there.”
Daniel gripped the steering wheel tighter. He looked at Eren and snarled. “Seriously, you can do better.” Annabelle didn’t even know just how special Eren was.
“Your girlfriend is not good enough for you,” Daniel explained tightly. “She’s rather plain and… not very—”
“Fuck you,” Eren snapped. “I’m sick of this. I think you’re stalking me: you show up at my work place, you show up at my house and now you’re… you’re insulting my girlfriend. You have no right to say anything bad about Annabelle. She’s one of the nicest people around. Just because all you have is your stupid Tower and your friends are avoiding you, it doesn’t mean…” Eren trailed off, probably realising he’d said far too much.
Daniel let go of the steering wheel as glass shards formed in his palm. They ripped through the leather glove of his left hand and emerged as a jagged mess of layers of glass. He pulled the set out and placed it carefully on the dashboard, out of reach. When he looked over at Eren, he’d retreated as far back from Daniel as possible and was looking at him with wide-eyed horror.
Daniel tried to keep his arms to his side of the car and look away from Eren, which was as close as he could get to looking harmless. Every time his temper got the better of him, his magic went wild, even though he tried to take precautions against it. He just needed to get out, off the road, so he could calm down without damaging his car. He changed lanes carefully, knowing the turnoff to CinemaCity was coming up.
“Let me out,” Eren growled.
When Daniel looked at him, Eren was crouched on the seat, his head down, hair falling over his eyes. “In a bit,” he said as calmly as possible, though his hands continued to shake. He needed to change lanes. He couldn’t stop in the middle of the road with the oncoming traffic in both directions.
He had to concentrate on the cars rushing on the next lane, and he couldn’t get worked up, though Eren had hit close to home. He hadn’t seen Lucian in over a week. It was the longest he’d gone without seeing his childhood friend since the time he’d spent at hospital.
“I said, let me out!” Eren pulled at the door handle.
“Don’t,” Daniel snapped. In the next lane, cars were zooming by. If Eren were to open the door, Daniel would lose the car door, as well as his passenger, in a matter of seconds.