The Prince's Mute Mate

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Serendipity woke up with a frown on her face as the terrifying nightmares that plagued her mind throughout the night consumed her thoughts. A sticky layer of sweat coated her body and her breathing came in short pants of air. Every time she closed her eyes a new flash of bad memories assaulted her mind. Finally, she surrendered into the reality that she would be getting no more sleep.

She blinked away the thick blanket of darkness that covered the room as her eyes adjusted. Her legs untangled themselves from each other and the thin sheets. A small cramp made her neck ache and her slender fingers reached out to rub the tense area. Sliding over the side of the mattress, her feet hit the cool tile. A shiver traveled up her spine as she stood. She walked across the room to the door that led outside to the balcony attached to her apartment. Unlatching the lock, cool air rushed inside and wrapped around her in a chilly embrace.

Serendipity sat down in a chair and looked out into the early morning sky. She watched two birds fly from their perch on a power line and her gaze shifted into the city. For as far as her eyes could see, cluttered streets littered with trash and old abandoned cars that didn’t crank made up her view. Some cars and machinery had been completely disassembled. In the past, the empty husks had been scavenged for anything usable to sell illegally. Now, this is what Serendipity lived in.

On cue, she heard the familiar sharp ring of a bell. The streets blinked, once, twice, then three times to eventually wake just like it did every day at six in the morning. All of the street lights in a blinding flash of white lit up the sky. Graffiti graced the crumbling walls with the colors of red, blue, and green. The sidewalks that were once part of a beautiful city had just crumbled into a rough form of gravel and stayed that way. No one bothered to fix them and mother earth had begun to reclaim what was rightfully hers, green sprouting up in the cracks and crevices.

Serendipity mashed her teeth together as she heard the spokeswoman for ‘New Nation’ begin to talk on the huge televisions that were plastered all over the streets in perfect sync with one another. The high pitch sound of the newswoman’s voice made it impossible to confuse the newscasting with anything other than the propaganda Serendipity heard over and over again each morning.

The blonde host began with a large smile on her face. “Good morning! I hope you have a grand day! Make sure you check in with border patrol when you leave your assigned district. A quick blood sample and picture will be required from you before you leave. Please remember that if you require work, all you have to do is make your way-”

Serendipity stood and slammed her balcony door closed before pulling the thick curtains in place, not wanting to see the young woman’s face as she went over the rules that all humans were forced to abide by. It was the same every morning and Serendipity could recite the monologue by heart if she wanted to.

The lights inside her apartment automatically turned on with those outside. Now that she could see, she grabbed her clothes from her wooden dresser. A fat tear glided down her cheek and Serendipity wiped it away. She hated everything about the way she now lived. She couldn’t remember a time since the War that she had not felt alone and scared.

In her bathroom, she turned on the faucet of the tub. Standing, she looked in the mirror and grimaced at the tiny girl she saw there. She was skinny, almost unhealthily so, and short for her age at 5′1. She would have killed for a haircut, her long blonde locks flirting with her hips. Serendipity stripped out of her pajamas and stepped into the warm water. She could have moaned in pleasure at the way the water lapped at her sore body if she would have been able too.

For Serendipity, hell had decided to inhabit the Earth long before the monsters had. When she was fourteen years old, Serendipity lost her parents to an unfortunate car accident. Their old Volkswagen had driven off of a cliff, killing her parents instantly on a trip to visit her brother at college. She had been sitting in the back and woke up to a broken femur, a broken arm, several broken ribs, and a punctured lung. Her throat had been slashed so savagely that she had lost the ability to speak.

After the accident, her older brother was forced to quit school and become her full-time guardian. Though he never complained about having to work a nine to five job, she knew that he had longed to be a doctor and she had ruined that for him. The years they lived together had been hell, most of it that she had raised. Serendipity had been the typical rebellious teenager who made everything harder.

It wasn’t long after when all hell broke loose, not just in her life, but in the lives of every single human alive. When she was sixteen werewolves and vampires came out from under the bed and made their selves known by declaring war. The battle against the creatures dragged her brother away from her and for the first time in her life, she had truly been alone.

It was only six months later that the war was lost. There wasn’t one single survivor, the supernatural creatures proving just how inhumane they were by annihilating every single prisoner of war, including her brother. They televised some of the executions to instill fear into the humans who were left alive, including her. Only a short five days later she was rudely woken up to the sound men breaking into her family’s house only to relocate her. It was the most terrified she had ever been in her life as she was dragged away from everything that she had ever known.

Humans were arranged into camps for months, many dying of sickness and disease while boarders and suitable human ‘areas’ were being built to keep her and others like her caged in. From what she was able to gather, most human ‘districts’ surrounded major cities for housing purposes. Then the day came when the camps were finally disbanded and everyone was sorted out by age and sex and then placed into living areas. It was the first time she was grateful for death. Her family was six feet under and they would never have to see what had become of the world. It was the silver lining that kept her going.

When Serendipity was taken out of her camp and placed in the Oregon area she quickly learned that the move was temporary and the worst was yet to come. On a female and male’s twenty-seventh birthday, humans were placed in a different area and everyone was forced to breed. The vampires’ demand for blood could only be met with new humans and since so many healthy humans had already died, keeping the population up became paramount. Serendipity hated thinking about the fact that she could live long enough to be placed in a breeding district.

She finished cleaning herself as quickly as she could before dressing and braiding her hair back. She would probably end up getting sick by the end of the week by going out into the cold with wet hair, but there wasn’t time for it to air dry. She pulled open a curtain and found the old yellow bus she bordered every morning for work wasn’t at the bus stop across the street yet. She didn’t have to rush down! Serendipity worked for a cleaning company that was employed to work for local werewolf estates a relatively short distance outside of her area. The employment allowed humans to leave their areas to earn money that could be used to buy food and clothing that they needed.

She exited the chilly apartment building after grabbing her jacket. It was quiet as she traveled down the rusted metal staircase. Outside of the shelter of her building, she could finally see the other girls heading down for work. She walked a bit faster, taking a left turn into the only store that was open so early in the Oregon District.

“Good morning,” came the faint murmur of the store owner. Serendipity waved in her direction before looking at the new aisle that had just been added a couple of days ago. She had overheard a couple of other girls talking about fresh vegetables being in stock and Serendipity wanted to see if they had sold out.

“If you are looking for any of the new items, we won’t have anything else in for about a month. I’m sorry dear,” the shopkeeper informer her.

Serendipity sighed heavily but shrugged as she gazed at the empty shelves. She didn’t have the money anyway. She had saved up all of her extra money last month to buy the jacket she was wearing. It just would have been nice to look at something new.

She gave the nice woman running the shop a quick smile before exiting the sanctuary of the store. A few blocks over and she was where she was supposed to be. The faded number three and two barely stood out against the mustard yellow color of the bus anymore, but the familiar faces of the women who rode with her every morning filled her with a sense of comfort. A long line of girls loading onto the vehicle had formed and she joined in. Almost immediately, she couldn’t help but overhear two girls muttering back and forth in front of her.

“I’ve heard Anna’s gone missing,” one told the other.

“I wonder who’s going to take her place. I would kill for her position. Do you realize who-”

Serendipity jumped as she felt a finger poke her in the back to walk forward. She signed a quick apology and the two girls quieted down too as they walked forward in line.

Eventually, Lindsey’s face came into view and Serendipity waved. Lindsey was twenty-six with two months left until she would be forced to leave the area. She would no longer be a familiar face for Serendipity to look at, not to mention talk to. Lindsey was the only person she had met in her district that knew any ASL.

Lindsey had a strong sense of faith, which Serendipity found was a rare and valuable trait. With a finger-sized cross that hung from her neck, Lindsey loudly and proudly believed that someone was still looking out for her, even if it was a giant man in the sky. Though Serendipity didn’t particularly believe in any deity, she liked to hear the passion and hope that filtered through Lindsey’s words when she told the story of the Hebrew slaves and their escape from Egypt.

Since Lindsey was the oldest, she also had the job of writing down the names and hours of all of the girls who worked for a cleaning company in exchange for extra pay. As Serendipity climbed into the vehicle, Lindsey checked off her name before calling out another girl’s name. Serendipity sat down in a worn seat on the back of the bus and rested her head against the cool glass of the window. Once everyone filed on, the bus started moving with a loud groan and everyone was quiet to see if there would be any announcements. Lindsey began to speak and Serendipity filtered much of it out until her name was mentioned.

“-one more announcement. Serendipity, you will be getting off on our last stop.” Serendipity perked up and surprise flowed through her. The last stop was the royal manor and usually, only older girls were able to help clean it because they were more trustworthy.

“Lucky bitch,” a blonde in front of her muttered. Serendipity’s face flushed.

Then things clicked together in her mind. She had just taken Anna’s place, which meant that the unlucky girl had been confirmed gone. Serendipity’s stomach dropped.

It wasn’t uncommon for women to mysteriously go missing. One day they showed up for work and were on the schedules given out by ‘New Nation’, and the next day they were gone and someone else took their place. No one knew what happened to the missing girls and no one asked. Questions could and would get you killed.

Serendipity listened to the hum of the girl’s voices as they made their way down the road. She fidgeted with her hands as she grew closer to her new position in the royal manor. The bus was always loud and she almost always got headaches from the chatter. Today was no different and she could feel the pain licking at her temples.

She gazed at the landscape as it passed by in an attempt to block the other women out. Her eyes passively took in the features of building after building in the overpopulated area. Other buses were loading up women as they climbed in to head to work. Clouds began to gather the farther away they got from the city and Serendipity knew that it was going to be a rainy day. Everything seemed peaceful and lazy. Clouds didn’t shine as harshly on the truth as the sun did.

Serendipity’s nervousness slowly grew into anxiety that ate away at her fragile state of mind. What if she did something wrong at the manor? Was that what had happened to Anna? Had she magically disappeared by the will of an angry wolf? Serendipity felt sick and tried to focus on the present. She noticed familiar signs with smiling werewolves mingling with humans. They were promoting the rules of the area, including the early curfew of eleven o’clock for all humans.

Traveling over the horizon, the familiar sight of a small draw bridge came into focus in front of her. The bus rolled up to the bridge and she watched as the door to the tiny outpost opened and a wolf strolled out. She shuddered at the sight, the tiniest bit of fear entering her body. She had done this hundreds of times before, but it never got any easier. Everyone quieted to silence. The tension became so thick inside of the tight space that you could cut it with a knife. The door to the vehicle opened with a loud hiss and finally, the monster stepped inside.

Serendipity supposed that if she was just setting her eyes on the being for the first time, she would never be able to tell the difference between him and a human. When she first caught sight of the mythical beings, it was like looking into a magazine filled with models. After a while though, she started to notice that they all had very similar features. Most were tall, standing at least six foot, and had darker hair and eyes. Strong sharp facial features were very common as well.

The wolf sighed as if he was bored and his gaze swept up and down the aisle. “You all know the drill and if you don’t then listen closely. You will line up to get off of the vehicle and the wolves outside will take your blood and snap a quick photo. You will then line up to get back on the bus and when everyone is finished you will be led back to your seats. If you try to run, you will be caught and dealt with. You are to be back before eleven tonight, or a bounty will be placed on your head and you will be killed. There are no second chances or excuses.”

Serendipity couldn’t blame the man for not speaking with excitement. It was either him or someone else who gave a very similar speech every single morning. It was nothing new and Serendipity knew how serious they were about their rules. When she had first been put into her district, many girls tried to escape into werewolf territory. They had all been killed by wolves or starvation. Either way, Serendipity had learned by example.

She stood with the rest of the girls and waited as they went one by one to the door of the bus. In front of her, pictures were snapped and blood samples were taken before the girls stepped off. She hugged her jacket tighter to her as the air slowly grew colder.

When it was her turn Serendipity stepped up as the camera flashed, stunning her for a moment. A wolf pricked her finger roughly before forcing her finger onto a piece of paper. She was then quickly pushed out towards the back of the line. Serendipity blinked her eyes, trying to adjust them from the brightness of the camera. They were all led back onto the vehicle and when everyone was seated, the guards at the post let the bridge down. They quickly crossed and she grew more relaxed each second they fled away from the wolves.

The further they traveled down the road, the more Serendipity could tell this was a completely different area. There were no ruined buildings or paved roads. It had been turned into a perfect little nature retreat. It was a beautiful piece of paradise for the wolves. The knowledge was bittersweet knowing she would never get to do more than work on the land, but it was her favorite part of the day to get to see the backcountry. It almost made all the hard work she was about to have to do worth it. Eventually, the trees stood taller and straighter, making the dirt road almost resemble a tunnel of green. It was beautiful, serene somehow, and a smile snuck its way onto her face.

They didn’t have to travel long before they made their first stop. The large house was where Serendipity would usually be getting off. She knew firsthand that the werewolves weren’t very nice to humans at the resident, not that she had met a wolf who had ever shown her an ounce of kindness. It was home to the Alpha king’s cousin and his daughter, Saphire, who once had Serendipity whipped for spilling a drink on her carpet in nervousness. The scars still graced her back, but she had never made a mistake since that day. Serendipity crouched down in her seat for a moment, praying that Lindsey wouldn’t tell her she had made a mistake and had to get off.

The relief experienced was overwhelming when she felt the rumble of the bus continue on its way. Then, all of her worries were back. The only thing scarier than Saphire was the unknown. She felt her stomach cramp up in fear as the bus turned down a road she had never been on before. She couldn’t help but bite her nails as she squirmed around in her seat. Eventually, the road gave way to a clearing and in the middle of that clearing sat the biggest house she had seen since the War.

Serendipity gaped at the massive estate as the bus drove ever closer. It was beautiful. The outside of it looked to be made of white marble. Columns spanned up both sides of it and a huge paved driveway led into a massive garden filled with mostly white and red roses. It was like a scene had been taken straight from Alice in Wonderland and she was walking straight into the Red Queen’s grasp.

She was surprised when they glided past the driveway and made a hard-right turn. The vehicle puttered to the side of the manor and it was then she understood that humans most likely weren’t allowed to use the front door. She looked up at the side of the manor as they drove past it. Tall, billowing windows graced the walls and green ivy wrapped around the white sides of the massive residence, curling around the columns. Serendipity’s attention was pulled away from the residence as she saw Lindsey stand and make her way to the back of the bus. The older girl sat down in the empty seat beside Serendipity. She fumbled around in her bag and pulled out a piece of paper before handing it to Serendipity.

Lindsey smiled, “I know this list may seem a little intimidating, but in reality, you only have one room to clean.”

She took the list from Lindsey, trying to read through some of the points on the sheet. Everything seemed to be simple enough.

This is all I have to do? she signed confused. There didn’t seem to be enough on the list to keep her busy for even half of the day.

“Yes, that is all. The room you’re cleaning is very special so you have to do everything the exact way the list tells you.” Lindsey stressed.

Serendipity looked down at the list, studying it again. Everything seemed to have been planned out to the littlest thing, including how to make the bed up correctly. Serendipity folded the paper and put it in her jacket pocket. She could do this. Lindsey patted her back in encouragement before she stood and walked to the front of the bus.

“As most of you know, this is Serendipity’s first day at the royal manor. I expect you to lend a hand if she needs one. Please remember to be back fifteen minutes early for roll call. The bus will not wait for you if you are late.”

With that, Lindsey opened the doors of the bus and everyone stood. Serendipity followed suit and eventually made it off behind everyone. Stepping onto solid ground, she felt the cool whip of the wind, reminding her of the promise of rain. She pulled her jacket closer to her and tried her best to follow the girls into the building.

Then she heard the roar. It was quiet and the crashing had almost successfully hidden from her. She paused and looked for the source of the soothing sound. Behind the manor, she could just make out the edge of a rocky formation. The ocean laid just beyond her eyes reach. Disappointment bubbled up within her. She tore her gaze away from it and picked up her pace. She didn’t want to get lost on her first day here. Lindsey was waiting on her outside of a set of double doors that everyone had piled into. She signed a quick apology.

Sending Serendipity a frustrated glace, Lindsey scolded the girl, “You can’t daydream here, Serendipity! You must keep up. It’s going to take you a couple of days to learn your way around and I can’t be there to hold your hand the entire time.”

Lindsey looped her arm through Serendipity’s as they walked into the busy servant’s area. Serendipity could hear the clanging of pots and pans beating together and the voices of people calling out food orders from inside the closed doors across from the hallway they had walked into. The walkway was full of humans gathering up cleaning supplies and Serendipity went to grab her list and start gathering the things she would need.

Lindsey stopped her. “No, Serendipity. This way.”

Lindsey pulled on the handle of the big oak door and the smell of eggs and bacon made her stomach growl. Serendipity followed her into the massive kitchen, ducking behind someone who rushed past her with a tray of cinnamon buns. She froze for half a second, tempted to follow the busy worker for the sweet treat before clearing her thoughts. There were penalties for stealing food. She had seen too many hands be cut off to be stupid enough to grab anything.

Serendipity exited the kitchen and her eyes landed on Lindsey who was waiting patiently at the foot of the staircase. She quickened her pace, her face flush with embarrassment. As they climbed the banister, Serendipity couldn’t help but appreciate the modern look of the residence. The art that hung on the walls were a beautiful contrast to the neutral colors used in the design. It was so eloquent she didn’t know how she was going to be able to bring herself to touch anything, not to mention clean it.

Reaching the top, Lindsey and Serendipity took a left and walked up another flight of stairs before finally coming to stand outside of an elevator. They boarded and Serendipity watched as Lindsey pressed the star.

“After I show you where everything is, I have to go downstairs and help others. If you have any trouble though, there should be a couple of girls you can ask for help,” Lindsey explained just as the elevator dinged and the doors swooshed open. Serendipity walked out after Lindsey and was surprised to see... no one.

In comparison to where she had been moments before, everything was quiet and calm. The butterflies in her stomach fluttered away and she took a deep breath of relief. A sharp ring of laughter alerted her to the presence of others and Lindsey stopped her fast pace outside of a door and knocked. The door swung open and Serendipity was greeted by the sight of a custodial room. Standing in the doorway, a tall redhead smiled at the sight of Lindsey. Two other identical girls stood behind the first and Serendipity was surprised to see triplets! Most families had been separated.

“Hello, Lindsey,” one of the girls greeted kindly.

“Where’s Anna?” another asked.

Serendipity looked towards the ground awkwardly and she didn’t hear Lindsey answer either. How did you tell someone that their friend was most likely dead?

“This is Serendipity. She’s going to be working here now,” she heard Lindsey tell them.

I looked back at the girls and they gave me small, sad smiles.

“She has her list, but it would be helpful if you could show her to his room. I’m running late,” Lindsey muttered looking down at her watch before taking off towards the elevator.

The triplets all looked at Serendipity, not saying anything. There was an awkward silence and she forgot that Lindsey hadn’t told them she was mute. Serendipity signed a hello at them and hoped they would understand.

“Oh, look! I don’t think she can talk. Can you hear?”

Serendipity nodded her head.

“Well, we don’t know any sign language. I guess you can write down questions if you have them.”

Serendipity nodded again in agreement.

“My name is Heather, that’s Emily,” Heather introduced pointing to the girl standing behind her,” and that’s Paisley.”

Serendipity studied them, trying her best to memorize them. She didn’t want to offend them by mixing them up.

“May I see your list? Then I’ll show you to the room you’ll be cleaning. Anna loves this job. Well, she did love it,” Paisley murmured sadly.

Sis fumbled around in her jacket pocket, grabbing the list before giving it to Paisley. The girl filled up a bucket with different cleaning items as the other two sisters left to do their chores. Serendipity grabbed the bucket when Paisley finished filling it and Paisley filled one of her own.

Paisley then led Serendipity back down the hallway, past the elevator, to the very last door. She opened it to reveal a stairway for them to climb. It led to another wooden door which Paisley had to unlock with a key she pulled from her pocket and they finally entered the room. Serendipity lost her breath for a moment.

The sheer size of the room was what caught her off guard. It was ten times the size of her little apartment. A California king bed sat on the far wall overlooking the rest of the huge space. Opposite from it, a glass wall overlooked the estate and her eyes grew wide at the sight of the ocean. The soft light from the overcast gave the room a hue of safety and comfort.

“So, this is it. I’m sorry it’s such a mess. The Prince is on vacation so my guess is Anna didn’t bother with cleaning it earlier since he isn’t due to arrive until later today.”

Serendipity’s eyes grew wide. Did she just say that this was the Prince’s room? She felt faint and the blood rushed out of her face. If Serendipity messed anything up, she would be screwed. They would be able to track her back to the cleaning company and punish her if they choose to. It was no wonder Lindsey had told her to do everything the way the list said.

“You have your list; just do everything it says and you’ll be fine. I’m going back down to help my sisters.” Paisley told Serendipity. Before Serendipity could protest with her hands, Paisley was already out of the room.

Alone for the first time since arriving, Serendipity took a deep breath. In reality, it wasn’t that bad of a mess. She was used to cleaning up after Sapphire and that she-wolf could turn a room into tornado alley with very little effort. There were clothes littered on the floor, the room needed a good dusting, and she was sure the bed linens needed to be changed.

Referencing the list, Serendipity began picking up books that were scattered around before putting them back on the correct shelves. It surprised her that it was all alphabetical order, but she appreciated the Prince’s organizational skills. She threw all of his clothes in a ramp that read ‘laundry’ in his closet. She found new sheets and an extra comforter in his closet so she grabbed it and remade the bed. Serendipity found it extremely difficult to make up his huge bed with her short body and she was forced to waddle all over it to get the sheets tucked under the mattress like the list had told her to make sure she did.

She finished by lightly dusting the room making sure not to use too much cleaner as the list specifically stated. Werewolves had very sensitive noses. Though humans hadn’t been told anything about werewolves, she suspected that all of their senses were heightened. Rumors about werewolf abilities had spread like wildfire after the War in her camp she had been placed in before the Seattle district.

Serendipity glanced down at the paper one last time. She sat all of the cleaning supplies down and laid the bucket back by the door. Everything was done. She paced towards the transparent wall, unsure of what to do for the remainder of her time there. She watched the ocean as rain drizzled down, making outside look even more miserable than before. Serendipity supposed she should go offer to help the triplets with their work. She paced towards the door but paused halfway at a bookshelf she had previously dusted off.

Her fingers lightly traced over the spines of a few novels before she plucked one off of a shelf. She almost dropped it when she saw that it was a first edition Jane Eyre novel. She set the book back down, startled. After a moment of deliberation, she hesitantly gripped the book again.

She walked towards the grey couch that sat along the glass wall. It was the perfect little reading spot. Serendipity looked around, paranoid for a moment. There would be consequences if someone walked in and caught her reading his property, but she found she couldn’t just let this opportunity slide through her fingers. It was a first edition! Without thinking any more about it, she slipped off her shoes and pulled her feet up onto the couch getting comfy before turning to a random page in the book.

"Do you think I am an automaton? - a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal - as we are!”

Serendipity could have laughed. Of course, the first page she would turn to would be this one. She used to think she had understood those words. Now, being no better than a mindless slave for the ‘New Nation’ to puppeteer around, she felt the words bittersweet taste on her tongue.

She slammed the book back together, not feeling in the mood to read anymore. She stroked the cover of the old binding before standing and going to put it in its place. Again, she wandered towards the view of the horizon. Her soul felt like the sea; rough and uneasy. She watched as the angry water beat down at the sand and rocks laying on the shore, punishing it without mercy.

Serendipity began her pacing again. She was nervous to leave the room. Getting lost in the huge manor terrified her. She walked towards the Prince’s bed and used the step stool to climb onto it. She massaged her sore feet for a few minutes just grateful to be off of them. She fell back into the blankets, sighing as the cloud-like comforter wrapped itself around her. She could make the bed up again later. It would be hours before she left anyway. She snuggled her head into the pillow. The scent of pine tickled her nostrils and it calmed her on an irrational level.

Logically, she knew she shouldn’t be doing this. She should politely find the twins and offer her assistance, but she couldn’t make herself get up. She closed her eyes for a moment. She only meant to rest them. Peaceful darkness took her away from the harshness of the world around her.

“Serendipity! Wake up now! The prince is on his way and we must leave for Seattle! We are already late.”

The words were muddled as if they were coming from a distant place that didn’t concern Serendipity. She tried to mumble something under her breath to no avail.

“Serendipity!” Lindsey yelled.

Serendipity jumped, her heartbeat accelerating to a hummingbird’s speed as blood rushed into her head. Dazed, she looked towards the blonde, crawling off the bed. Standing quickly, she smoothed out the comforter. She looked at Lindsey with apologetic eyes as she grabbed the cleaning bucket. Lindsey followed her, rushing Serendipity out the door as swiftly as they could move.

Serendipity didn’t have the luxury of Lindsey’s patience and in less than five minutes they were out of the manor and moving to where the bus was parked. Serendipity felt so horrible that she had fallen asleep in the room she was supposed to be cleaning! It was the Prince’s room for god’s sake! She was grateful that Lindsey had remembered her because it seemed as if the triplets had completely erased the new girl from their memory.

She got onto the bus and took her seat, catching her breath from the mini-marathon she had just run. Serendipity felt sadness engulf her as the vehicle took off, leaving the beautiful manor behind them. She turned forward in her seat and the bus trekked forward.

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