The Royal Affair
I am tapping my foot along with the beat of the music playing in my head as I distract myself from waiting too long for Amber to get dressed. The sun is already peeking its way from the clouds and I don’t want to bother myself thinking how the hell we should get out of this castle before the maids and other guards caught us red-handed. My hands are comfortably lying between my thighs as my arms rest side to side. I’ve been sitting like this for years without being discovered by the people in the castle who only cared for demeanor and etiquette.
Maybe being a princess isn’t just for me even if I lived here for 10 years.
All my thoughts are interrupted by the creaking sound of the door. I move my glance towards it and there I see a fair-skinned girl with the usual red earrings, having her blonde hair cascading until her hips and her amber-colored eyes where she got her name, wearing a long-sleeved maroon dress beneath the black vest hovering above it as well as matching black hat and boots.
Her pinkish lips curved into a smirk.
“Done checking me out, Sofia?” she asked. I cannot stop myself from wincing on her statement. Standing up, completely ignoring what she said a while ago, I motion the window in my room and glides in the direction of it.
“We don’t have all the time in this world to stay in the castle, Amber. We need to go.” I nonchalantly said and open it, taking a glimpse of the cushions I prepared beforehand in order to pull-off this plan. I gestured Amber to get close and she also peeks outside where she can have a clearer view of our win-win escape.
“I...” she mumbled. She looks at me with her worried amber eyes.
“I think I’m not ready to do this. I mean, we cannott go outside---”
Before she can finish her sentence, I quickly placed my index finger on her lips and give her my sweetest smile. I reach for her hand as I position myself in the window, composing myself ready for a stunt.
“Trust me, Amber. We can do this.." I said then intertwine our fingers.
“....together.” I added. She nods, settling beside me and heaving a sigh.
“In a count of three. One,”
A smile forms in my lips as I watch her maintaining counting even if she’s anxious about going outside the castle today.
She looks at me as if she noticed that I am looking at her for a couple of minutes. She smirks and winks, making me look in the opposite direction. Well duh, she’s obviously flirting with me and I’m not a saint to restrain myself from the feelings I have in my chest.
And because I’m drowned in my own mischievous thoughts, Amber already jumped, without letting go of my hand and dragging me in the free fall. I unconsciously wrapped my arms around her, thinking that she might hit the pavement if ever our stunt didn’t go well. I heard her gasp because of the gesture but I still maintained my impassive face. I don’t like it when she’s reading my thoughts. Especially, when they are all about her.
“W-why did you do that?” she stuttered. This time, it is my turn to smirk.
“Did what?” I asked. She blinks and tilts her head, trying to let go of the ideas roaming in her mind while her cheeks are burning red.
“N-nothing.” she said and stands up first. I also get on my feet and look around, checking if there are living souls that can see us right now. I dart her a glance and bring out my hand, inviting her to hold it.
“Shall we, Amber?” I asked. She doesn’t hesitate to place her hand over my palm as we stride our way outside the castle. Her hand feels warm and I cannot deny the fact that I like it this way. Damn, my heart is hammering in my chest. I just hope that she won’t notice it.
I inhale the morning air the moment we laid our feet outside the boundaries of the Castle. It’s acidic and as I look up into the sky, I can predict that it’s going to rain this day. I was about ask Amber what she feels about this when suddenly, I notice a group of people approaching us nearby. I simply pull my hood closer to my face as I tug Amber. She also holds her black hat and looks in the ground in order to prevent other people from recognizing us. I traipse, still holding her hand.
“I heard Princess Amber has come to age!”
Amber and I look at each other, communicating using our stares as we listen to the group of people who are talking about her.
“And I think she needs to be married soon in order to keep their prosperity prolong and preserved.”
When I heard the last sentence, I feel how Amber’s hand stiffen. Without having a second thought, I turn to the alley next to us.
“Amber, listen to me.” I said. I stop walking and I face her, only seeing how Amber is being affected by the words she heard a while ago. I hold both of her hands, and I can feel that they are shaking. She’s looking down and she cannot even look me in the eye.
“Amber,” I called her once again and gently touch her chin. I lift her face and tears are already falling from her eyes. I lean my forehead into hers, placing my hands on her waist and looks her straight into her enchanting amber orbs. We are this close, only inches apart and I can smell her cold and lemony breath.
“We took this day to make you forget things, right?” I said. She nods without moving away from the short distance I’ve created for the both of us. She throws her arms around my neck and smiles.
“Yes. After all, this our last,” she said and her smile fades quickly. “Unless we go against the Kingdom.”
“You know that we cannot do that. I cannot let your impulsive side to take over and run away with me. That will only put you in danger.” I said in a low voice and smiled bitterly. She bites her lower lip to stop herself from whimpering. Oh damn, don’t do that in front of me.
“But I don’t want to be with someone else. I want to be with you, Sofia!” she exclaimed. I cannot stop myself from smiling even if she’s about to breakdown in her state. She is this close and I can see the details of her face. From her amber eyes until to those pinkish and luscious lips.
Before I can even answer, she presses her lips against mine. I close my eyes and kiss her with the same intensity. She always makes me feel this way, like I’ve never kissed anyone before. Like every girl I met, every moment I endured and every second I’m not with her, never really mattered because she’s the living proof of all that I ever wanted.
She pulls slightly away and wipes her tears off her face. She holds my hands and gives me her infamous playful smirk.
“How’s that?” she teased. I chuckle as we start strolling again.
“Cannot say that I didn’t like it, Amber.” I said. I see her blushing from my peripheral vision while a smile is perfectly curved on her pinkish lips.
The lips I tasted a while ago.
I slapped myself mentally. Damn you Sofia and your thoughts.
When Amber stopped midway, I also did, realizing that we’re front of a jewelry shop where our reflections are vividly viewed in the glass. I see Amber smile and leans her head on my shoulder.
“We look so good together.” she commented. I look at myself in the reflection and I can see my blue eyes staring back at me. I am wearing a black magenta top and combat skirt with ruffles covered by a black cape with the hood lying over my head, although my wavy auburn hair that flows until my chest is still visible.
“I wish this day will never end.” Amber mumbled. I squeeze her hand and replied, “Me too.”
We spent the day hanging out and cherishing the last moment we will still be together. I want this day to be memorable for both of us as this will be our parting gift for each other. She will be married soon with the Prince of some kingdom and I will continue as being the Sofia the first, the first princess who loves her stepsister romantically and the first princess who was disowned by the Kingdom for being a bad sample at her subjects. I can’t help it. It’s easy to be a princess but it is hard to act like one.
I sigh as we settle at the gutter, eating the churros that we bought from a Mexican stall.
“What are you thinking?” Amber asked.
“Nothing.” I replied. I cannot tell her how sad I am for thinking about our future and responsibilities. She might take the wrong choices and she might end up like me, disowned, pathetic and a rebel. I’m the wrong choice she should not choose.
Suddenly, my purple amulet starts to glow. Tiny sparkles ooze from it and out of nowhere, a familiar pallid-white woman with a long platinum blonde hair in a French braid and icy blue eyes appears in front of us. Another astral projection coming out from the amulet, just like how Cinderella guided me to Amber’s room and mended our relationship back when we were kids or when Ariel helped me to rescue my mermaid friend.
“Queen Elsa?” Amber gasped. The Queen smiles at her then look at me. She looks a bit mature from the last Elsa I saw when I was a kid.
“Why are you here?” I asked. My purple amulet bestows power to its wearer that can be a blessing or curse, depending on either a good or bad deed. This is making me wonder why Elsa went here. Is it because I wanted to be with Amber this day? Is it because we did something...bad?
“I know what you are thinking, Sofia.” Elsa said and glances at Amber. Her smile vanishes and her face becomes serious as she speaks.
“What you two are doing is absolutely not correct.” Elsa stated. Amber stands up, an angry look is plastered on her face while glaring at Elsa.
“If being not correct is being with Sofia, I’d rather go the wrong way.” Amber hissed. I close my eyes and massage my temple. The Queen made Amber upset and I cannot blame her for it. We’re being insulted face to face because of our affair and I am already this close to be convinced that what we are doing is really wrong. I mean, I am happy with Amber. It’s true. She means the most to me but I cannot risk her safety just because of my selfish wish.
“Amber, your manners.” I told Amber and gestured her to calm down even if I, myself, is only trying hard to compose myself in front of the judgmental Snow Queen. This made her more agitated. She clasps my arms and forces me to stand up.
“Manners? We’re talking about that right now? I will break all the rules for you, Sofia. Can’t you understand that?!” she shouted as her eyes well up in tears which makes my eyes water with tears too. I tried to look away but she caught my chin first and grasp it, causing me to face her.
“Look at me!” she said and look intently straight in my eyes. Those eyes that never fail to captivate me every time I look at them, and as much as I want to glance away, I cannot. She seemed to cast me a spell, a spell that will never let me resist her irresistible orbs.
“Is this the face you can afford to lose?” she asked. I swallow an imaginary lump on my throat as she reduces the space between the two of us.
“Tell me, Sofia. Tell me that you don’t want me while looking directly in my eyes.” she ordered.
“See?” she cut me off and looks at Elsa. Smirking, she reaches for my hand and even lifts it for the Queen to see. She slowly intertwines our fingers and locks them as if nothing can tear us apart. I was about to speak when Elsa laughs. I don’t know if she’s mocking us with that laugh or she just wanted to laugh out of nowhere.
“You two,” she said and moves her icy blue eyes from Amber and then to me.
“Let me finish first, okay?” she added. She taps our shoulders and flashes a genuine smile.
“There’s nothing wrong if you love each other but hiding it from everyone and hurting yourselves in the process is.” she explained.
“I’m certain that they’ll disagree if ever they knew about us.” I said, almost a whisper. It really hurts a lot if realization and reality were combined with a mixture of doubts. I’m scared. I’m scared not for myself but for Amber’s sake. I am always ready to lose her if it’s for the best. If it will keep her safe and sound. I’m willing to let her go if it’s needed. I don’t want Amber to lose everything she has right now because of me. She has a bright future ahead and I cannot ruin it.
“You never tried.”
I stopped talking when I notice that Elsa is no longer here and what’s left is Amber who’s only looking at me.
“W-what?” I asked. She heaves a sigh and hums a song. A song that we sang when she was upset back when we were kids. However, I’m not that old Sofia that makes everything right. What did I do to deserve Amber?
“Everyday I watch
You give your all to those in need
Every place we go
You make things better with your good deeds
You’re the one who saves the day
Of that, there’s no doubt
You’re so strong, a natural hero
Inside and out”
She caresses my face and wipes the tears off my face using her thumb while singing. I touch her hand and sing the next lines of the song.
“But that’s not who I am
Though it makes my heart break
That’s not who I am
I don’t have what it takes”
I amble past her and watch the night sky. There are no stars to mesmerize at and I cannot see the Moon. I flinch when I felt something touched the bridge of my nose, down to my lips. It’s cold and wet, and eases the tension of my body. I open my mouth as I continue to sing.
“So today I caused
Nothing but trouble
Can’t you see
Every place we’ve gone
I’ve been thinking only of me
I’m the one who let harm come to you
I was wrong to think that I’m brave
It was all just for me too”
I look at Amber and smile. The rain pours down from the sky like it know how I feel right now. Maybe all along, I am the problem. Amber is willing to choose me among the rest and she’s ready to fight for me; for us, and this time, I will do the same too. I grab her hand and run amidst the rain. This time, we are not running away from the Castle, instead, we are running towards it.
“Yes, that is who I am
I’ll fix my mistakes
And I’ll come through
Do all I’m meant to do
Cause that is who I am”
Amber beamed at me when I finished the song and I swear, I can look at her face all day, for a week or even endlessly. I will never get tired of her.
“We’re here.” she said. She stoops down and lies her hands on her knees as she catches her breath. I know that she got exhausted from running but her playful smile says otherwise. We’re both wet from making our way into the rain and as soon as the maids saw us at the entrance of the Castle, they hurried to grab some towels.
“Thank you.” Amber said to the maid. The maid only smiles at her and when she finally looks at me, her eyes widened.
“Princess Sofia?” she gasped. I smirked.
“Princess no more, Gwen. After knowing how my love interest is different from theirs, I doubt that they’ll still acknowledge me as the Princess Sofia they once loved.” I retorted. This is the reason why I should not let them know that Amber is the same as me. I cannot risk her title in exchange for our relationship. It’s just too much to take. I survived the life outside the palace because I know how to live independently. But Amber? She’s not cut for being a commoner.
“Hey, you have me. We can get through this.” I snapped out of my thoughts when Amber squeezed my hand. Gwen’s green eyes look at our intertwined hands and did not say anything. She already has the idea but she doesn’t utter a single thing about it. Maybe she’s letting us handle the situation.
She winks at us before leaving.
I exhaled sharply and saunter towards the door of the Castle. Behind this door is the confession we are about to made and the consequences we are bound to face because of our decision. There’s no going back.
“I love you.” Amber said.
As the door squeaks, making us aware that it is being open for a moment, all I can see is Amber and her smile that makes my heart melts.
“I love you too.”
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