My alarm clock goes off, ripping me from my sleep. I open my eyes slowly and turn off the alarm, laying in bed for a few more minutes. Last night was terrible, I kept tossing and turning and couldn’t get to sleep until earlier this morning. Now my eyes burn with exhaustion and my limbs feel weak and achy. 6 am, such an ungodly hour. I groan and drag myself out of bed and onto my landing so that I can get to my bathroom. Oh how I wish I had the luxury of an ensuite bathroom. It’s cold out here.
I rub my arms and quickly turn my shower on, turning the dial up to a warm temperature. I sit on my tiled bathroom floor, waiting for the water to heat up. A small smile forms on my lips as I remember my date yesterday with Rolan. It was fun which came as a surprise to me. I really thought that it would have ended with us bickering again but it didn’t. However, yesterday did end in sort of a weird way. He’s a prince. Rolan’s a prince, I don’t really know how I feel about that. Should I have an opinion on that? I mean him being a prince doesn’t really change much for me, I’m still a commoner. Well, it would only change if Rolan were to marry me and I became a princess but that’s...unlikely. We’ve been on one date.
I get into my shower, finding peace as the current from the shower head beats the taut muscles in my back. Rolan and I are going to talk about it later, figure out whatever we need to figure out. I get out of the shower and put some plain black leggings on with a blue cropped jumper.
I tip toe down the stairs so as not to wake up my mum who snores lightly in her room. I enter my kitchen and open the fridge to see what to have for breakfast. My eyes scan the shelves, cheese, nah, fruit, nah, ooh chocolate cake. I nod to myself, taking a slice of the chocolate heaven out of the fridge. As I walk over to my dining table I can’t help but admire the cake. The beautiful layer of hard milk chocolate, decorated with white chocolate sprinkles on the outside. Topped with a ring of whipped cream and drizzled in a caramel sauce. My eyes bulge and I eagerly get a fork, sitting down at my dining table and as I’m about to put the fork in I hear a beep from a car outside then a text message pings on my phone.
I’m outside. Hurry up.
One sec, just eating breakfast.
I’ve got you breakfast . Come outside.
I go to put my fork in again but I hear another ping indicating another text. I groan, just let me eat my cake!
Stop salivating over the bloody cake and get outside!
My shoulders tense and I hold my cake to my chest protectively. How did he see me?
I get up slowly from the table-cake and fork in hand- aware of everything in my kitchen. The blue microwave in the corner of the grey counter top, the black oven, the white fridge. Everything looks normal.
I exit the kitchen still very wary of my surroundings and grab my backpack as well as slip on my black and white Converses. I see Tony waiting in his car, looking smug as ever. I scowl at him and rush over to his car, yanking the door open.
“How did you see me?” I demand. Tony just taps his nose twice before saying,
I sit down inside his car with my cake and happily dig in. Tony reverses and then jolts forward, making my face collide with the cake. I blink back my anger and glare at Tony.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Mae. I didn’t mean to do that.” Tony says, feigning innocence. I smile sweetly, dipping two fingers into the remainder of the cake, smearing it onto Tony’s face.
“Oh, I’m so sorry, Tony. I didn’t mean to do that.” I say, taking out a tissue from my backpack. “I would lend you a tissue but I don’t have a spare, so sorry.” I wipe my face in an exaggerated way. A muscle in Tony’s jaw ticks and I have to bite my tongue to stop myself laughing. “I think we should get to school now, don’t you? Wouldn’t want to be late.” I say. Tony doesn’t say anything else, instead he pulls out of my driveway and onto the road.
We arrive at school twenty minutes. “Goodbye,Tony. Have a great day!” I say to him. He grunts,still wearing the smear of chocolate cake on his face, and then closes his door and drives off. Someone’s grumpy.
I walk through the school gates and go to my form room, finding Carma, Becka and Kaiko all inside. I grin at them and run over to their table, grabbing them all into a big group hug. Carma and Kaiko happily return it whilst Becka starts yelling, ” You know the rules. No touching!” She says.
“Ahh, I love you too.” I say, pinching her cheeks. Kaiko giggles and Carma just shakes her head at me with a small smile. Becka scowls at me, though I don’t fail to see the ghost of a smile on her lips.
“Where have you guys been? I didn’t see you in school the other day.” I ask, pulling out a crumpled piece of paper full of maths sums from my backpack.
“I was at my drama club.” Kaiko replies.
“Well, you know where I was.” Becka says, brushing the one blue strip of hair she has on her head out of her face only for it to fall back. She leans back in her chair and crosses her legs and arms across her chest.
“Bunking.” I say in a matter-of-factly tone. Becka just shrugs and closes her eyes. I laugh at her response, “Never change, Becka.” I say. “Anyways, I’d like to call a group meeting.” I see Becka roll her eyes beneath her eyelids.
“Not this stupid thing again.” She mutters under her breath.
“Excuse me.” I say, “You started this tradition when you accidentally dyed your hair lime green instead of blue and called all of us round to yours for help.”
“Ok mother, I’m sorry.” she says sarcastically.
“You should be. I didn’t raise you like this.” I reply in a posh tone. Becka opens her eyes and stares at me, I return her intense gaze. A couple moments pass before we both laugh.
“Ok, you were saying?” Carma prompts, whilst she skilfully sketches on a piece of paper.
“I want to propose a hypothetical question.” I say.
“Ooh. I love these questions.” Says Kaiko excitedly.
“Me too!” Adds Carma, putting her drawings away to give us her full attention.
“Ok, well I might as well hear what you have to say.” Becka says, sitting up from her reclined position.
“So what is it?” Carma asks.
“Ok, so what if I, me, one random day, found out that I’d had gone out with a Prince and then in the future got married to him. Hypothetically, of course. What if, what if I became a princess...or queen? Do you think I’d be able to do the job?”
“Truthfully,” Becka says, “ I don’t think being a queen is for you. And I’m not saying that to be rude but you and pressure do not mix.”
“That was one time.”
“Three.” Becka corrects.
“Alright, three times.” I admit, “But I just felt a little under pressure, that’s all.”
“That’s all. You had a major meltdown because you couldn’t cope with doing a solo on stage by yourself. I had to babysit you until you were ready to finally play. Pressure and you. A definite no, no.” Becka says.
“Oh but think of how romantic that would be.” Kaiko chimes in. “You’d live in a palace, you could buy as many pretty dresses as you’d like. Your life would be a fairytale.”
“I know,” I squeal, “That would be so cool. I could buy as much chocolate as I want.” I sigh dreamily, “ And you know, be in love with a prince.” I add. We fan girl over the idea for a bit longer, thinking of all the things I could do as a queen.
“Oh and imagine all the cake I could eat.” I say.
“Oh and all the balls you’d attend.” Kaiko adds. We both giggle with each other happily.
“You guys are so childish.” Becka says. I stick my tongue out at her and turn to Carma.
“What do you think?”I ask her.
“This is all hypothetical, right?” Carma questions, though I can tell from the look in her eyes that she knows it’s not.
“Yeah, so what’d think?”
“I think that although you may need some work on the pressure thing, you have the makings of a great queen. You’re kind and sometimes when under pressure you are very decisive.” Carma says, “But I also think it would be a learn on the job type thing.”
“If you ask me, it’s too much responsibility.” Becka says. I sigh, getting a sinking feeling in my gut. Becka’s right, pressure, responsibility and I do not mix at all.
The bell rings, indicating that registration will be starting soon. I put my head on my desk and close my eyes, shuttling out the noise around me. Why do I even care? It’s not like he asked me to marry him. I’m just overthinking things, I always do.
“Good morning class. I’m your new form tutor, Mr Harper.” I groan and look up to see Tony- now free of his chocolate cake dilemma- standing at the front of the class, I forgot about him.
Registration is over in a few short minutes and soon I’m slinging my backpack over my shoulder ready to leave.
“Ok class, you’re dismissed, except you Mae. I would like a word.” Tony says. I slide back down into my chair, waiting for everyone to leave.
“Bye Mae.” Says Carma.
“Bye M.” Says Kaiko
“See you later.” Becka says, slapping my back.
“Thanks for that.” I say but she’s already gone.
“Alan will be taking you to Rolan’s after school, so wait for him by the gates ok.”
“Yeah, sure, whatever.” I reply.
“You can leave now.” Tony says.
“I am.” I say, hurrying out of my form room and running down the corridor. I’m already late for my first class.
As soon as I leave the school building I spot Alan sitting in a black car on the other side of the road. I wave and jog over to him. He smiles at me.
“Hello Alan.” I greet.
“Hello, Miss Mae. How have you been?”
“Alright. How are you?”
“Very well.” He answers, “ Prince Rolan has instructed me to take you to his and then afterwards I shall bring you home.” I open the car door and get in.
“Ok.” I answer. We sit in a comfortable quiet as the radio plays softly in the background, I hum along quietly.
“Sorry to disturb you, Miss Mae but Rolan asks whether you are hungry.”
“Rolan asks?How? He didn’t even call you.” I say to Alan, looking at him quizzically
Alan chuckles at my reaction. “It’s called a mind-link.”
“What’s that? Sounds Cool” I ask excitedly.
“It enables me to talk telepathically to Prince Rolan or any other person in my pack whenever I please.” Alan explains.
“How long have you been able to do that?” I ask in shock.
“It’s something you’re taught as a young pup or young half-ling. A pup being a young werewolf and half-ling being a young vampire. You have to fully believe in the connection you have to your pack and alpha. If you don’t feel and believe in the connection then mind-linking is impossible.”
“I want a mind-link.” I say, “Oh and I’m not hungry, thanks though. Is that how you found me in, in that field.” I ask.
“Yes.” Alan answers.
“I thought it was quite abrupt how Rolan left and you just appeared.” I say, “But I didn’t really question it.”
“You’re very observant.” Alan comments.
“Thanks.” I say. Soon we are pulling up outside of the mansion I had stayed in a couple days ago. It’s beauty still sending me into an awe-filled daze. Rolan stands outside, shoulders clad in his famous leather jacket and long legs covered in ripped skinny jeans.
I step out of the car and thank Alan for driving me here before walking up to where Rolan stands.
“Hi,” I say quietly, twiddling my thumbs together. Rolan pulls me into a hug, startling me. He buries his head into my neck and kisses the base near to where my collarbone is. I hug him back and enjoy standing in his arms for a few minutes.
“Sorry,” Rolan says, pulling away, “I just, just needed that.” He scratches the back of his neck nervously. I fight to keep the smile off my face at how adorable he’s acting. Did I really just think that?
“No, it’s fine. It was...nice. Anyways, you wanted to talk.” I say, changing the subject.
“Uh, yeah. This way.” He opens the front door for me and I walk through. He then guides me to the room I stayed in last time. It looks exactly the same. Bare beige walls, two chest of draws, a wardrobe and a bed. Rolan sits on the bed and gestures for me to join him.
“I missed you.” He says, brushing the back of his knuckles against my cheek. I smile in return,
“I missed you too.” I admit to Rolan. “So, you wanted to say something?” I ask.
“Uh yeah. I just wanted to, I don’t know how to say this.” Rolan says.
“Maybe, I should go first,” I say. “ I think that we would be better off as friends.” Rolan’s features seem to darken a bit but he says nothing. However, mine probably show the opposite. I feel relieved, I’ve been waiting to say that all day.
“It’s just that, well, you’re the son of a billionaire, as well as a prince-however that works-and I just don’t think I could handle being your girlfriend. Uh, not that I think you want to be my boyfriend. It’s just that your in public eye all the time and I like privacy and I don’t think I could handle the pressure of always having cameras in my face and..”
“Mae,” Rolan interrupts, “I understand. I was thinking that we would be better off as friends too.”
I breathe a sigh of relief at his answer, “ Cool, I’m glad we’re on the same page.” I say. “Anyways, I have to go. I didn’t tell my mum I was coming over and she’s probably going mental.”
“Sure, I’ll show you out.” Rolan says, getting up. He walks me to the door where Alan waits.
“I’ll see you soon then.” I say to Rolan.
“Yeah, see you soon.” Rolan replies before closing the door.
I walk to the car where Alan waits and get in, relaxing into the black leather chair.
“Can you take me home now, Alan.”
“Of-course, Miss Mae.”
I lean against the door frame and blow air out of my mouth. That was not how I wanted that conversation to go but it’s probably for the best. If she were with me I wouldn’t be able keep her safe, even if I wanted to.
I shove my hands into my pockets and walk back to my room. As soon as I get there, I flop onto my bed, face planting into the soft sheets.
I can’t believe that Mae thinks she’s not good enough. I’m not good enough. I would be honoured for her to rule by my side when I become king but that’s not going to happen, considering I’ve been friend-zoned. I’ve never been friend-zoned before as arrogant as that sounds. It’s fucking annoying if you ask me.
I grab one of my pillows and scream into the fabric, the fibres keeping my frustration locked tightly away from other peoples’ ears. I rip the pillow open and throw the broken pillow across the room.
Just as I’m about to pick up the other pillow that lay on my bed, I see an envelope with my name written on it. It reads:
I know a secret. One you’ll definitely be interested in. It’s a secret about your twin brother.
Come to The Cave and tell no one where you have gone.