The Self-Proclaimed Queen

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Chapter 11

I prepare myself to the best of my abilities. I try to look presentable, adequate at least. For Challan. For me. I still can’t quite comprehend what happened to me and Jack just an hour ago, I guess the boy finally has lost his mind or maybe he always felt that way towards me? But I don’t have time to think about that now. I already have a lot on my plate. Sleeping disorders, Challan, vampire servants, Nick, visions, or should I say nightmares, that keep occurring and won’t let my mind go, all keep my mind distracted. I’m stuck in a limbo of overthinking. Double guessing every step that I take before I take it and in the end, I don’t take any step at all. I remain numb, motionless, half dead half alive. What is happening to me?

‘Your majesty?’ I look behind me and see Minerva, standing in my doorway.

‘Yes, Minerva?’

‘I should like to inform you that Prince Challan came along with his knights and his, as he says, older sister.’ That’s weird, Challan never mentioned that he has a sister or let alone any relatives.

‘He never told me that he has one.’

‘I’m just delivering what I have been told.’

‘Of course, thanks, Minerva. I’ll be there as soon as I’m done.’

‘No worries. Oh, your majesty?’


‘Would you like me to help you with that?’ I guess my poor abilities to make a decent hairstyle are painfully obvious. Without Layla at my side, preparing is rather difficult and time-consuming.

‘Please.’ She smiles and comes to me. The way I see it, she’s master at doing this. Only a couple of hand movements, pulling and tucking, twisting and turning and there it is. My messy hair perfectly molded into a bun with a braid circling around it and two locks of my hair let loose to fall down my face.

‘So, how do you like it?’

‘It’s perfect! Thanks, Minerva. How come you never told me that you can do such things.’

‘Oh well, I don’t like to brag about myself. Besides, I am employed to serve, so I guess that comes with it. Right?’

‘It definitely does. This is amazing.’

‘I’m glad you like it but anyways, your majesty, don’t waste your time now. Challan is waiting for you downstairs.’

‘He can wait. Besides I’m doing this for him anyway.’ She eyes me suspiciously like she knows something I don’t. Perhaps she does know something. Something I am soon to discover.

As I enter the ballroom I can see dozens of knights in shiny armors all scattered around, happily drinking and chatting amongst each other. I can’t seem to find Jack anywhere. I guess he doesn’t wanna see me after what happened and I don’t blame him. If I did such a thing to him I would be too embarrassed to even be near him. Nick is in the corner, overlooking the entire ballroom and simultaneously gulping red wine from the bottle.

‘Well, how truly marvelous this place is. My brother told me so much about you, your majesty.’ I turn around, flustered. I see a woman my height. She must be Challan’s sister.

‘Why thank you. You must be Challan’s sister.’

‘I am indeed. My name is Alexandra. It is an honor to finally meet you, your majesty.’

‘Likewise.’ I smile. She looks majestic. Long, wavy honey-color hair. Pale-blue eyes, full cheeks, and soft lips. Her beautiful emerald dress which is made from, I presume, the most precious silk. Embroider with golden details.

‘I would like to talk to you if I may.’

‘Why of course. Come outside with me to the balcony. We can talk there without this noise.’

As we exit the crowded ballroom I can’t seem to ignore the fact that I completely ditched Challan for his older sister. Hopefully, he will know where I am and with who I am.

‘I would like to ask you something Gabriella.’ Hearing someone call me by my first name makes my skin crawl. It makes me remember the time when I was stuck living with my younger sister and my bitch of a mother.

‘Sure, go ahead.’ I smile.

‘My brother started behaving very weird. Weirder than I know him to be.’ I try not to flinch. I know exactly why Challan is acting the way he’s acting. He’s not human anymore. ‘I am a bit concerned about him.’

‘What are you trying to say?’

‘I never saw him being more in love than he was before.’ A relief floods my entire body. I guess this time my over thinking got the better of me.

‘Oh, really?’ I try to act surprised but she can see the joy in my eyes.

‘Yes, after that debacle that happened with Eleanor I thought he might never be able to love again.’ Eleanor. Again, I hear her name. Challan’s ex. ‘Oh, I’m sorry. Haven’t Challan told you about Eleanor?’ I snap back to reality. I guess she saw the confusion on my face.

‘No! He mentioned her once when we were in the meadow but he never told me the full story.’

‘So, you haven’t heard about what happened between him and Eleanor.’ Her name starts to irritate me but I guess this is just Alexandra probably trying to see how would I react to someone who was in Challan’s life before me. She’s testing me.

‘No, not really. And I don’t necessarily care to be honest.’

‘Oh, but you must hear the story.’

‘No, not really. I really don’t want to hear it.’

‘Trust me this is not me trying to annoy you this is me trying to warn you of a potential threat.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, you see Challan and Eleanor met when he invited the whole village to come and celebrate his birthday. Because something so big as the royal birthday party doesn’t usually happen often in my country, girls all over the village tried to get their Cinderella moment by attempting their best at charming Challan and hoping that he’ll propose to them at the end of the night. Eleanor was a bit different, she was the daughter of a widowed farmer. She didn’t care how she looked and when every girl showed up in a fancy dress, Eleanor arrived wearing jeans and suspenders, dirty shirt underneath and a straw hat. Now you may ask yourself why would she arrive looking like that. Well, the truth is she couldn’t care less about Challan’s birthday. She just wanted to have fun. Challan approached her and asked her why did she show up looking like that. She just told him that she doesn’t care about how she looks and the whole stigma behind birthdays and that she just wants to have some fun. Them two eventually ended up talking and slowly but surely dating.’

‘I’m sorry for interrupting but how is this relevant to…’

‘Their relationship, however, didn’t last for long.’ Alexandra continues, completely neglecting what I had to say. ‘Her father soon found out what she did and locked her in her room. Challan and Eleanor didn’t see each other for some time. When he got worried about Eleanor he hopped on a first horse that he could find and went down to her father’s house to check up on her.’

‘What happened then?’

‘What Challan found when he arrived made his heart stop.’

‘What did he found?’

‘Eleanor’s dad hang himself in the living room. Flies and spider already started eating him.’

‘Why did he do that?’

‘He killed his daughter and simply couldn’t forgive himself.’

‘What did he exactly do to Eleanor?’

‘He made her starve to death. She was locked up in her room for so long that she died out of hunger.’

‘That must’ve been horrifying for Challan. But you told me that you must warn me about something. What did you wanna warn me about?’

‘Well you see, when Challan did some search around the house he found something that is unspeakable in my country.’

‘And that was?’

‘Candles, threads, cards, Eleanor was a witch. But she wasn’t just any kind of witch. She was a black witch.’ Oh well, I guess that Challan and I have more in common than I thought.

‘So how is that…’

‘When Challan went outside of the house,’ here she goes again, interrupting me, ‘he felt the extreme sensation occurring in his body. He has been bewitched. A curse was put on my brother. The curse that any girl that comes in the way between Challan and Eleanor will be doomed.’

‘How can you be so sure? I mean you weren’t there to see it actually happening.’

‘He has a mark under his foot. A curse was written in ancient handwriting. He didn’t know exactly what he experienced until we found someone who can read it for us.’

‘So, what are you trying to tell me?’

‘Be careful Gabriella. If you truly love him, you must know the risk.’

‘The risk of losing him?’

‘No, the risk of you being killed.’

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