A Man of Your Talents Part 2 (RoE x TRR Crossover)
Here is my entry for Choices Creates 22! It’s a sequel? of sorts to the entry I had for Choices Creates 20, which was a RoE x Hero crossover. This story is meant to take place on the same day in the same universe, even though the characters are different.
I tried to write the female character here in a very feline way to go with the theme, and so I hope I succeeded! Thanks @hollyashton!
Summary: When an unexpected visitor tracks him down in the Caribbean, Leo can’t help but wonder if he should return to the cage of courtly life he’s just escaped.
Throwing his feet up in the deck chair across from him,
Leo Rys stared out at the rollicking waves of the Caribbean Sea. The water was turning purple in the sunset, then
orange and violent shades of pink as the sun slipped below the horizon. He loved sunsets, not only for their color,
but because they meant that he’d had another day to live his life, the one he’d
always dreamed of, without the restraints and responsibilities of a crown.
As he took a long
swallow of a local rum, he looked down at his tanned arms and bare chest. His skin was darker now than it had ever been
and the hairs criss-crossing his skin had become bleached white by the time he’d
spent in the sun. He grinned, realizing
with glee that he could barely remember having the pale skin of courtly
life. Even though not everything in his
life had turned out as he wanted, they had turned out a little better than he’d
expected. Yes, Katie’s decision to marry
William Sloan had hurt him, but he’d felt better when he’d realized that she’d
chosen a kind, considerate man who loved her and could give her the consistency
that she craved. The life he was living
now, flitting from city to city, wasn’t for her.
Behind him, the bartender whistled lowly. “Bin
aki mi dushi.”
Leo didn’t look over
his shoulder to look at the woman who had obviously walked in and gotten the
bartender’s attention. He kept staring
out at the ocean instead, reaching over to the table on his right for his
But when he tried to
close his hand around it, he caught only air.
Turning, his eyes widened and his jaw dropped open. Standing at his side in a perfectly ironed
linen dress, Olivia Nevrakis ripped off her oversized sunglasses and stared at
him intently, her eyes narrowing into cat-like slits. “My, how the mighty have
He straightened up,
blinking to make sure he wasn’t imagining her there. He’d never given Olivia much thought; she was
a full ten years younger than he was and she’d always been Liam’s little pet…
and one that was prone to biting at that.
In fact, he’d thought for sure that Liam would have chosen her for his
bride, but he’d shocked everyone and chosen Madeline. Leo had called him the moment he’d heard,
trying to warn him and get him to change his mind, but Liam had stopped taking
his calls and every message he left went unreturned.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he asked, shielding
his eyes from the sun.
“You’re a hard man
to track down,” she said softly, taking a long swallow of his drink, “so the
least you can do is tell me hello.”
Leo took his feet
off the chair and motioned for her to sit.
She did, primly and properly positioning herself on the edge of the
chair as she groomed herself by smoothing back the hair over her ear. Leo reached for another glass and then picked
up the bottle off the table, pouring himself a fresh drink and filling the
glass in her hand.
forgotten all my courtly manners.”
“So I see,” she
said, eyebrows raising as she took in his bare chest and feet. “But I’m not here to lecture you on
“What are you doing here
“I need you to come
back with me.”
He barked out
laughter. “I never knew you were funny.”
“Leo, I’m serious,”
she said softly. “My plane is refueling
and ready for departure in an hour.”
“I just escaped, why
the hell would I go back?”
She looked down at
her lap as worry lines marred her perfect complexion. She tapped her claw-like manicured
fingernails on the glass. “It’s Liam.”
He stilled. “What’s Liam?”
“I saw him at an
event last week. He… he didn’t look
well. I’d heard that he hadn’t been the
same since that waitress ran off with Drake,” she said, her voice turning cold. “But I didn’t realize how unwell he was until
I saw him up close. I… I tried to talk
to him but I don’t even think he recognized me.
When we talked, it was like… like talking to a robot. I’ve known him for twenty years and I felt
like I was talking to a stranger.”
She took a long
swallow of her drink. “I paid a fortune
in bribes to palace staff to find out what was going on. He’s not sleeping much. They say he wanders the halls and takes long,
midnight walks. He’s not eating well,
and he’s lost at least ten kilograms since the coronation. Madeline does nothing. They aren’t sharing a room and word has it
she’s so busy preparing for the wedding that she hasn’t seen him in weeks. The staff also told my informants that when
they are together, they practically spend more time arguing than breathing. “
Leo frowned. He
didn’t like hearing his about Liam, but he wasn’t surprised. He knew how heartbreak could hurt
someone. “Why are you so concerned?”
“Someone has to be,”
He looked up at her. Olivia, ice queen extraordinaire, trembled across
from him in her seat. For a moment,
thought it was fear, but one look in to her eyes made him realize she was
quaking with rage. “Everyone has left him, Leo. His mother left him, you left him, that
American left him, Drake left him… everyone he’s ever loved abandoned him and
now he has no one. I’m the only one
still there, but he doesn’t care. He—“
herself, her voice becoming a little more even.
“I can’t get through to him. He
needs someone he knows better, someone he looks up to. I thought a man of your talents might be able
to help him a way I can’t.”
When Leo said
nothing, she bit her lip and squeezed the glass in her hand until her
fingertips turned white. “Please.”
Leo held his
breath. He didn’t know for certain, but
he was almost positive that it was the first time Olivia had ever used that
word. If she were humbling herself,
especially to him now that he was a commoner, it would only mean one thing.
She was afraid.
And anything bad enough to scare the Duchess of Lythikos
was terrifying indeed.
“When are we
leaving?” he asked her.
She tossed her drink
back, wincing as if she’d just tasted gasoline on fire. “Now.”
Chucking lowly, Leo
tossed his own drink back and stood, following Olivia out of the bar. When they arrived at the street, he was only half
surprised to see Bastien waiting with a rented car, his dark, probing eyes
hidden behind sunglasses.
“She got her claws
in you too?” he asked, walking up and hugging his former bodyguard.
persuasive,” Bastien muttered, opening the door for Olivia to slide in the back
“You know Liam could
have you fired for this.”
Bastien nodded. “Yes.
But the way I see it, it’s worth being fired if it means saving his
shouted from inside the depths of the car.
Bastien winced and walked
around the front to the driver’s side as Leo slid into the backseat along with
her. As he shut the door and the car
sped off, Leo turned to Olivia, who was sitting back with a satisfied smile on
“So what’s the plan?”
he asked her.
She looked at him
over her sunglasses, her voice practically purring with contentment. “Love him, Leo. If we can remind him of that, the battle’s