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Chapter 37

14

It took almost two weeks before Leonardo was able to secure a private meeting in his office with Gianna Calliwell, Princess of Ruclington and Duchess of Otrium. She was a formidable older woman almost the same age as his own mother, but it was obvious she was also nervous about the meeting. He stood behind his desk and gave her a slight bow, which she returned in kind before approaching the seat across from him.

“Duchess,” he greeted when she stopped right before his desk.

“Your Highness.”

He nodded and gestured at the chair. “Please have a seat.”

“Thank you.”

The first minute or so, there was an awkward silence between them. Leonardo had no idea how he was supposed to begin the conversation. He smiled at the older woman, trying to alleviate the tense atmosphere. Fortunately, she did the same.

“Madam, as I informed you on the phone, Tristan has agreed to meet up with you.”