One True Queen

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Chapter 16

I walk out of the palace, into the gardens. As I wander around the area, I spot a boy coming towards me, from the other exit. He’s ruffling his strawberry blonde hair a little, but not so much as to ruin the hairstyle he had been given. Elliot looks a little stressed, but his face lights up when he sees me. I turn away from him, after all, I turned him down only five minutes ago and I need to clear my head. I have a few minutes until the broadcast. The interview. These Silvers are changing too many plans. Because it’s easier for Warrick to come to the introduction if we used the traditional way, they’re doing an interview in the palace gardens. An interview that the entire Tork population will see. I came out here for some fresh air before the interview, but what good would it do if the only fresh air I got was Elliot’s? I continue to make my way through the gardens, knowing Elliot cannot see me now. No doubt he’s searching though. As I make my way through a cluster of tall ruby coloured flowers, the point of a gun meets my forehead. I glance slowly at the man holding the weapon. He can’t be more than 25. His dark hair has been cleaned recently, because a waft of tea tree and mint shampoo hits me as the breeze blows ever so gently. His black boots are caked in filth though, so he must have taken a long journey to get here. His pale skin matches Chloe’s and his dark eyes watch me with a cold glare. The man does not waver, and I hazard a guess to his identity.

“Lord Warrick Barlsow.” I say through gritted teeth. He chuckles.

“It seems you have me at a disadvantage, since I do not know your name, though you clearly know mine.” He replies. I debate on my answer. If I give him my true name, then he could discover the truth and gain an advantage. But if I give him my false name, then he’ll have an advantage by gaining a royal hostage. So I say the first thing that comes to my mind.

“I am Lady Gretal Hood.” I say, hoping he doesn’t notice the mixed fairytale characters. I always loved Little Red Riding Hood, but I couldn’t give the entire thing. For obvious reasons.

“I am not a fool. And I do not wish to play your ridiculous games. We play on my terms, after all, I am the one with the gun.” He snarls. What could he mean? What does he know?! He must’ve aimed for me on purpose... But I only arrived yesterday!

“You will tell me your real name, Lady Olivia. The other stupid Silvers might not know it, but the real Olivia is dead.” He growls.

“How did you...?”

“You think her husband wouldn’t know when she was dead?” “She was your safe ticket to the throne.” I say in realization. All he had to do was persuade her to take her rightful place on the throne and be named the heir and he wouldn’t even have had to start a war.

“She was going to as well, but she died last month.” He sighs.

“How long have you been married?”

“Six years. It was a strategic marriage at first, of course and no one besides my mother and hers knew. We fell in love, soon after our child was...” He trails off as he realizes he shouldn’t be saying any of this. Especially not to me.

“How old is your child?”

“She isn’t your concern!” He yells, his finger curling around the trigger, but I know he won’t pull it.

“Who. Are. You?” He finally spits out.

“I...” I start but then I hear him.

“Bekka? Where are you? Chloe says your interview is soon!” Elliot calls and realization dawns on Warrick’s face as he sees the small piece of string that Elliot has attached to his trousers. Red string.

“Bekka. The legendary one true queen, eh? I see what they’ve done. My mother will be furious when she finds out that you’ve taken my traitor sister’s throne.”

“She’s...” I start but I stop myself before I tell him where his mother’s loyalty lies. It would be catastrophic if I told him that. It seems as though he has all the information he wanted, because he says,

“You can go. Tell no one of our meeting. If you anger me, even once, Red bred, you will pay.” I flinch at the nickname that he spits to me, and watch as he runs through the bushes and out of sight. Elliot comes through the tall flowers and smiles.

“Hello.” He says happily, but I fail to return the greeting. He just removed all chances of leverage against Warrick, and now I have that interview that he will most certainly see. I’m doomed...

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