Royal Estrangement: The Royals Book II

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VII

A/N: Check out “Some Say” by Nea. Very characteristic of Annie and Daniel! Thanks Nicole for pointing it out to me! <3

And before we begin shall I explain the spanking scene that got so many of you riled up in Chapter IV?

Can skip if you’re not interested but for those that are... allow me to explain my thoughts while writing that purposeful and delicate chapter!

Daniel is truly a dark, cruel, ass who doesn’t know what to do with his feelings for Annie. He clearly loves her, yet he refuses to admit that not only is he capable of it, but he has fallen in love with Annie against his wishes. When she left him, it unknown to him broke his heart and he was scared that he’d never see her again, he sees her as his partner and he was both furious and saddened to see she had left him in a time that they should be figuring things out together: Thus why he spanked her.

I know a lot of you didn’t agree with this but I feel it falls very much in line with his character. Not only did he blackmail her into this contract, but he’s a dominant character who enjoys her pain to an extent, and when she left he was so out of his comfort zone that he reacted in a way that was familiar to him. Daniel isn’t flowers and roses, he isn’t a prince charming: He’s a flawed, messed up, obsessive, and often cruel character who doesn’t know what to do with his feelings. That’s how I wrote him and that’s how I’ll continue to write him.

Daniel also isn’t going to immediately realize he feels the same and abandon all his ideals about love and romance all because Annie confessed to him. He was lost to his feelings before and he’s even more lost now, but don’t worry, I have plans for him and his character and if you stick around you’ll hopefully see some good in him.

Now we talk about Annie.

Annie is also a flawed character. She’s a woman who has been scorned in the past, a woman who has closed her heart out to the idea of love. Sadly, I bet some of you can relate. That being said, she went against everything Daniel and she said to herself and fell in love with him. She’s cautious and only confessed after she was sure he would say he felt the same. How could she think he would turn her down? All the signs were there, but Daniel’s too far in denial. Don’t worry, he’ll get there.

Now we speak about the scene from Annie’s POV. She LOVES him. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t fall out of love with him, and seeing his face makes it worse. I’m sure you’ve been in love before, and if you haven’t let me say that the phrase “love makes you do crazy things” is 100% true.

Now, that being said, many of you asked me “Well why didn’t she hit him with the pan? I would’ve!”

Of course, I have to say that I agree with you. I would’ve hit Daniel too, but I’m not in love with him. Annie loves him and above all else she TRUSTS him. She trusts he won’t hurt her (as seen in the belt scene last book), so she doesn’t perceive herself in any real danger. Along with that, she heard how upset Daniel was that she left, and she felt guilty. While Daniel should’ve confessed his true feelings, Annie shouldn’t have fled in the middle of the night without telling him so it’s a no win situation.

My mother always said that if your writing didn’t piss of your readers then you weren’t doing it right. LOL I suppose she was correct!

I hope this helped clear some things up. Please comment your thoughts below!

…. onto the chapter -->

Annie

I wake up from a dream that I forget as soon as my eyes open, to the sound of a buzzing noise, followed by a television show jingle I’m all too familiar with. The sun hits my eyes and based on the position, I’d say it’s the afternoon. I sit up in bed and lazy Baxter shifts to his back and stretches his limbs out with a big yawn, only to roll back over with a little annoyed hmph, almost as if he’s appalled that I have the audacity to disturb his slumber. I giggle and rub him on the head. “Come on boy, we have to get up.”

His Royal Highness opens one eye, looks at me, then lets a large puff of air out of his nostrils then rolls away from me and decides he’s going to continue to sleep. I roll my eyes at his spoiled antics an lean over to grab my phone off the side table only to realize it hasn’t been unpacked from my purse. Actually, I don’t remember anything from last night other than falling asleep on the plane. I get up from the bed and realize I’m still in my comfy airline clothes with a sigh of relief. At least I’m not naked, which means nothing happened between us last night that I don’t remember. I also notice that Daniel is nowhere to be found, but the other side of the bed is ruffled, so he definitely slept beside me last night. I reach into my bag and pull out my phone to see it’s ten minutes to noon. Wow, I slept a long time.

There’s a few texts from my mom, asking if I got back home alright-- I’m not a fan of that wording-- and a couple messages from Aline, wondering, and I quote, what the hell that asshole has done now and that I should call her as soon as I get this. The last text is a surprise, it’s from William.

William: Hello. I just got back into Verilia. Are you okay? I was wondering if you still wanted to have lunch?

I’m about to reply that I’m ok and not hungry when my stomach decides to rumble, not even letting me lie in text form I suppose.

Me: Hey. Yeah I could go for something to eat. I just woke up. Suppose I was jet lagged.

I put my phone down, fully intending to get ready while I wait for his reply when it comes immediately. I pick up the phone once more.

William: Haha. No worries dear. The flight can surely be a pain. How about we meet in the Palace gardens? I know a cozy little picnic spot by the koi pond away from public eye. I’m sure you want to stay away from the cameras.

I bite down on my lip. If I’m not careful, this will only fuel the insane rumors that William and I are having an affair. I have to tread lightly. I do want to stay away from cameras, but I don’t want this to look sketchy. An idea pops into my head.

Me: Sure! Meet you there at 12:30?

William: Splendid! I’ll have the palace chefs prepare us a small lunch. See you then, Annie.

I close out of that conversation and dial Aline’s number. As usual, she answers in about one and a half rings, it’s her day off after all. “Explain.” She doesn’t waste any time.

I sigh. “Nice to hear your voice too, Allie.”

“Yeah, yeah. Nice to talk to you, I missed you, love you to sun and back, now... Ex-plain.”

I laugh at her tenacity. “I will explain everything, but first I have a favor to ask.”

She’s so quiet for a few moments that I’m actually worried she hung up, but I don’t hear the dial tone. “... Fine. What do you need?”

I smile. “Thank you, Al. William wants to meet for lunch in the palace gardens.”

“No. No. Do not do that.”

“Mhm. I know. It’s shady and will only fuel the rumors so that brings me to my favor.”

“Let me guess... You want me to come with you so it’s not... what’s the word... a date?"

I nod, even though I know she can’t see me. “Exactly. So, what do you say?” I ask hopefully.

I can practically hear the eye roll in her voice. “I say it looks like I’m going to be a third wheel.”

I laugh. “Thank you so much! Meet me in the palace gardens for 12:15 so we can walk to the koi pond together?”

She sighs. “The things I do for you... Of course.”

I thank her again and hang up, saying I’ll see her soon, then I go to get ready. I brush my unruly hair and twist it into a simple bun at the base of my neck and opt for a casual blue sundress-- long enough to cover my red bottom-- and white flats. I brush on some natural looking makeup, making sure it doesn’t look like something the media would portray as “trying too hard”, and grab a simple cross body purse before checking out my final appearance in the mirror. I don’t look horrible, but I decide to take my hair out of the bun, since I impulsively decided to chop my hair off, I don’t need to put it up as right now it just barely dances on my shoulders. I brush away some stubborn fly-aways and nod to my reflection once. The girl in front of me looks different. Her eyes look brighter than they did before and my pale skin is still pale-- it always will be-- but now it has regained some more of it’s color.

Speaking of color, I turn around and lift the hem, admiring the faded red and pink marks from my mother’s wooden spoon. I run my fingers over one of the pink marks and stare at the woman before me. A lot happened then. I think back to when I was bent over the sink, and I swear I can feel Daniel’s strong palm on my back. It doesn’t make sense, none of this makes any sense truthfully, but I can’t stop thinking of that moment. Daniel’s spanked me before and I can safely admit to myself that while I hated the pain... the dominance of it all turned me on. These marks turn me on, the same as before. I keep replaying the scene in my head, but not like I did before. For some reason, that time felt different. The other punishments I received happened purely because I broke some bullshit rule like no rolling my eyes or swearing, but last night... Something was off. Daniel wasn’t doing it because he wanted my respect as usual, or cause he enjoyed it. No. He seemed... upset. Daniel seemed legitimately upset I had left him and that angers me to no end.

He has no right to be upset that I left because it was something he could’ve avoided if he stopped being such a coward. Daniel loves me, that much I know, but he’s too scared to admit it and that means he doesn’t deserve me. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over him, but that doesn’t matter because I’ll never let him into my heart again. I won’t let him take any more of it, he already owns too much.

I fix my skirt after giving the marks one last stroke and pat Baxter on the head before heading to the door. I make sure he has food and water before I open the door to the suite and jump back with an audible scream because standing before me is a wall of muscle.

“You Highness! Are you alright?” One of the biggest, muscled men I’ve ever seen looks down on me with concern and alarm in his eyes.

I nod and put my hand over my racing heart. I never expected there to be two of the largest guards right outside the door to the suite. “Y-Yes. I-I am alright. You both scared me is all.”

“Apologies, Your Highness.” The second one says, nothing short of six feet five inches of dark muscle.

I dismissively wave my hand. “No worries, I just wasn’t expecting you. And please, call me Annie.” I make a move to walk by them but they stand their ground. I raise a brow. “Um... Can I get by?”

The first one, the shorter of the two, (but not by much) shakes his head. “No can do, Your Highness. His Royal Highness Prince Windsor has instructed us not to let anyone in or out.”

He what?

Before this whole fiasco I would’ve nearly choked on my own spit at hearing that but... I’m not surprised. This is Daniel we’re talking about. He’s either paranoid that I’ll leave or that someone will hurt me-- or both-- and he’s going to take every precaution to make sure neither happen again.

I roll my eyes. I hate to do this, but I have no choice. I have to. “Well, I command you to let me by.”

The two guards look at each other nervously and I immediately know what’s about to happen next.

“Apologies, Your Highness, but Prince Windsor is higher than you in the chain of command so his orders trump yours.”

Of course they do. Once again, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me, but it isn’t a problem. I know what I’m going to do. I also know that Daniel won’t like it but too bad. Daniel’s feelings aren’t my priority since mine don’t seem to be anywhere near his.

I politely nod my head. “Alright. I suppose I’m staying here.” I close the door quickly, but I don’t miss their confused stares. I’m sure they know of my reputation. I’m not one to follow the rules, no matter how much Daniel tries he’ll never take away the rebellious, feisty, strong Annie inside me. Sadly, it seems I’ve forgotten that as of late, but that ends today because this feisty, rebellious, Annie isn’t going to take no for an answer.

Nope.

She’s going to make a rope out of the bed sheets and climb out the window because that’s what the Annie would do before she met Daniel and he turned her world upside down.

I head back into the suite and set my plan in motion. The balcony window is only on the second floor, so it isn’t too far of a drop if I do fall-- not that I will. I’m fully confident in my knot-tying abilities that I will not fall. I walk past the large mirror in the corner of the bedroom and pause. Maybe a dress isn’t the best for this exercise... Especially since my bottom still shows marks....

I decide to change into simple jean shorts and a nice grey blouse. I don’t look as dressed up as I once did, but I don’t look like a bum either so it’s fine with me. I walk over to the bed and frown down at Baxter who’s still peacefully asleep.

“Sorry buddy,” I coo as I lift him up and place him down on the plush blue dog bed that looks more expensive than my entire outfit. “Mama needs the sheets.”

He peers at me through half opened eyes and huffs before making himself just as comfortable as he was on the bed before. Baxter turns to the wall and settles back into slumber. Wow, he really isn’t a ‘morning person’. Or should I say ‘afternoon person’? Oh well, it doesn’t really matter now.

I gather up the plush sheets and tie the corners with sturdy knots. Then, I pull on them with all I’ve got to test their strength. Thankfully my time in the Scouts came in handy because the knot holds without slipping. I’m convinced it’ll work so I move over to the balcony. I’m sure to peer out first to be sure there aren’t any lingering groundworkers or staff that could rat me out and then I toss my makeshift rope over the railing after tying it securely. I know that there are windows below so I have to be speedy to be sure no one sees the rope, let alone me swinging off of it like Tarzan.

I can see the headlines now.

Future Queen or Queen Of The Jungle? Annalise Winsor’s Daring Escape!

I giggle at that as I straddle the railing and start to carefully slide down the sheets, clutching my purse close to my body. I should really write the titles for them, that one’s hilarious! It’s almost a shame it won’t be used.

I make it down my rope with ease-- so easy that I’m surprised at myself. The movies made it look so difficult. I’m a little shocked I pulled that off. I’m even more shocked that no one caught me. I’m about to walk away when I realize a fundamental mistake: I have no choice but to leave the sheets. I tied them to the railing and I can’t throw them up that high.

Fuck.

My best shot is to tuck them into the siding of the palace wall and that’s exactly what I do. It’s not as obvious as before but.... it’s definitely visible. Sadly, I have no choice so this will have to do. Someone will definitely notice, I just hope it’s after I return. The last thing I need is someone to alert Daniel so he comes searching for me like a wolf seeking out prey.

I don’t feel guilty. He thinks he’s going to lock me up all day? And not have me escape? He’s crazy, but I already knew that. I’m not going to be his prisoner. He has not right to keep me locked up all day and I’ll be damned if I let him. He may be my husband but he sure as hell isn’t my Master. Well... not anymore, and he never will be again.


“There you are. I was starting to worry.” Aline says when I meet her in the royal gardens. She may be a maid, but she can’t come into the castle as she pleases, so I assume she made up some excuse about needing to talk to the head keeper or she said she forgot something from her shift yesterday. Either way, I’m glad she’s here.

I roll my eyes and we start walking. “Yeah about that... I might’ve had to climb out the window cause Prince Paranoid ordered the guards to keep me in my room.”

Her eyes widen and blaze with anger. “He. What.”

“Yeah. He’s kind of ridiculous.” I say as we stroll through the gardens.

“Kind of? I swear Annie.. This man...” Her teeth are clenched. I can tell she’s trying her best to keep her Verilian temper at bay and I appreciate it.

I sigh. “I know, I know, but you know it’s complicated. I’m obligated to see this through, then I will never have to see him again.” I don’t mention the baby. I’m trying my best to keep it out of my mind. I’m not sure I’ll be able to abandon my kid. We’ll have to have scheduled visits or something, or maybe he or she can spend summers with me back in New York. I’m not sure what yet, but while I don’t want to see Daniel, it doesn’t mean I won’t want to see my baby. I smile, I can't help it. I've always wanted to be a mom. Some women just know, and I know that I want to have children. When I leave, and find my person, then maybe I'll have the big family I've always wanted.

Aline frowns. "You can say that again. Somehow you have got yourself into a hell of a situation." Her conversation starter brings me out of my thoughts.

"Yeah." And you don't even know the half of it, Al.

"You are in a cucumber."

I giggle. "Pickle. I'm in a pickle."

"Ah, same thing. The meaning is the same. You are in a crap situation with a crap man."

"Shh! Keep your voice down. That's my husband you're talking about." I frown at her. If what Daniel said is true, then there are eyes and ears everywhere. We have to be careful about what we say.

She rolls her eyes. "Whatever. You know how I feel and I know how you feel. I just cannot wait until this is over."

I nod. "I know. Trust me, I know, but now isn't the best time to talk."

Aline frowns. "You're just trying to ferret your way out of this." She meant weasel but I don't correct her. "You do not want to tell me what's really going on."

I shake my head. "No. I mean it. You never know who's listening. Daniel said it's dangerous."

"And you believe him." She deadpans and shoots me a look.

I think for a moment. Do I? I'm not so sure. I would've thought hw was just messing around, but Daniel doesn't do that. I also would've thought he was just saying that to keep me under his thumb but... I've only seen that look in his eyes a few times. Daniel was almost... afraid. He was surely worried. Even if Daniel doesn't love me, he cares for me, and he's worried about my safety--that much I know for certain, and he was definitely serious.

I nod. "I do."

Aline searches my face for any sign I'm lying, then seemingly satisfied, nods once. "Suit yourself. I personally think it is a load of crap. He doesn't want you to stray too far. The man is obsessed."

"I know. He doesn't want to lose me." I almost tell her what he said, but keep my mouth shut, you never know who's listening and if I believe Daniel, and I think I do, then I best keep quiet. She's right, Daniel is obsessed and she doesn't even know the half of it.

At that thought, Daniel’s words ring in my head.

We will not be getting a divorce. We will remain married until at least the baby is born and then some after that because, and for the life of me I don’t know why, I have yet to become bored of you.

I wish he would. Oh, how I wish he would tire of me, then maybe he'd let me go. For some crazy, stupid, infuriating reason, I love him. My heart has chosen Daniel, even though he doesn't nearly deserve it. It's sad really, after all this time, I finally find someone, and they don't have the guts to love me back. Not only that, but they won't let me go. I'm trapped; a fly in a web.

And Daniel's the spider.

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