“I RECKON YOU SHOULD be on your way to your room, Princess,” Dark says curtly after glaring at me and turning around to face ”Princess of England, Macey.”
I hear Asher snicker as he hears the way Dark responded to her.
“Why are you here? Shouldn’t you be with me? Touring me around the mansion?” I can hear her say from outside my door and I roll my eyes. Why do these princesses always think they’re so special?
“I apologize, Princess Macey—”
“Then show me around! And I shall forgive you!” I can see his fist gripping my door tightly and his knuckles turning white before he calmly says, “Alright, Princess.”
She squeals loudly and I cover my ears, wincing. He turns to Dark with a look of disgust covering his features as Dark closes my bedroom door and Asher turns to me.
“You don’t seem threatened?”
“What do you mean?”
He simply shakes his head and stands, “Do you want to go out?”
My eyes widen and a look of realization crosses his face, “No! Not like a date, jesus christ!” He laughs.
My cheeks turn pink in embarrassment, making him laugh louder and shakes his head, “Do you want to—? Go for a walk outside, I mean,” he smiles kindly, the kind of smile you just can’t say no to.
I nod at him, sitting up the bed and getting out of the bed to walk to him.
“I’m so dead when he finds out,” I hear him whisper as he closes the door after I step out. Out of everything that has been happening, I didn’t bother pondering over it all too much, no matter how much it spiked my curiosity.
It wasn’t really clear whom “he” was until we were stopped by Dark himself with a girl probably not too far from my age beside him just when we were about to open the mansion’s door.
As if seeing Dark while being with Asher wasn’t awkward enough, it also had to be in the “princess”’s presence.
“What are you doing?” Dark asks sharply, looking at Asher as if he had committed a crime and Dark was the police.
I bite my lip, resisting the urge to laugh out loud. Dark turns to me with a lethal glare, “You think this is funny?”
I shake my head furiously, and Asher scoffs, “Stop scaring her.”
His jaw clenches and turns to Asher, “Get her back inside her room,” he demands with a stoic voice.
With a sigh, Asher turns to me and nudges his head to the side, gesturing for us to go back. I frown and hang my head, sadly, feeling a pain coursing through my chest.
I ignore it, walking past every exquisite features of the mansion and back to the room giving nowise glance at anyone.
Beauty can be more manipulative more than once, twice, thrice. Beauty can be manipulative more than that fake friend that everybody has or had.
Sometimes, even a heart could fall into it’s trap.
Or at least, that’s what my mother said in her diary. I think that my mother was a very wise woman. Wherever she may be.
I was shook away from my thoughts when my door slams shut loudly and feel the bed dip, all the while keeping my eyes closed.
I inhale his scent, that for whatever reason, made my heart beat erratically yet, my breathing, calm.
I was rendered more startled than I was when I felt a hand travelling from my waist, to my ribs, then my chest.
His fingertips trail up and down where my heart is beating erratically, pressing lightly, soothingly. A pinch of pain I felt earlier came back for a short moment but quickly subsides.
I hear a soft whisper before my eyes fall heavy and I am engulfed by sleep.
The morning after, I finally saw Ofelia. I didn’t even bothering wondering why there was no evidence of Dark sleeping next to me at all. What did bother me though, was the fact that Ofelia barely said a word to me.
She ushered me around the room, fixing my hair, getting my make up done and helping me put on another one of those corseted dresses— never talking to me like she used to— so when I saw Asher just outside my door after opening it, I couldn’t help but let out a relieved sigh.
“Good morning, Lady Montgomery,” he
bows dramatically while grinning. I let out a giggle and curtsy.
He holds out his hand and I take it, guilding me down the stairs.
“What’s all this for?”
“All candidates are asked to meet and have an hour with Dark,” he answers, shrugging.
I frown as we descend the stairs, seeing the line of all ten other potential Queens— making me internally groan. I catch Asher’s gaze on me while he positions me on the line, looking at me with amusement dancing in his unusual colored amber eyes.
We were ushered into a wide room where there stood one grand piano and a lot of fancy sofas around the area, with paintings adorning the beautifully elegant pale, pink walls and the big windows, overlooking the mansion’s gardens and the rest of the town.
Apparently, the sole purpose for this is becoming friends with the other potential Queens— other than meeting Dark one on one— even though there are still other girls out of all eleven of us who could and I quote, “woo her way into the Prince’s heart.”
The question is, does he have one?
I giggle to myself at my own laugh and other girls turn to me like I have gone mad. Ignoring them, I only lock eyes with Asher who shakes his head with a small laugh, probably thinking the same thing right after the woman announced it.
Chattering of the girls fill the wide room in no time. Me? All I wanted was to be in my bed, reading a novel while Cole sings as he plays acoustic covers with his guitar.
Until unexpectedly plumped herself beside me with a shy smile.
I turn to her with slight shock and curiosity, “Hey?”
“Hi!” She greets back, now with a wide grin. “You don’t seem interested,” she says out loud, “Don’t you want to be a Queen or the love of the Prince?” She asks before I could even respond to her.
A girl runs after her and bows to me, “I’m sorry, Miss, my friend just tends to be like this—”
“Be like what, Ellie?”
“Ellie,” sighs and smiles at me apologetically, “Why don’t we introduce ourselves first, Auburn?” Ellie says, turning to the girl who unexpectedly sat beside me.
“Right!” Auburn agrees in response, “My name is Auburn,” she starts and then gestures her hand to Ellie all the while saying, “and this is Ellisa, whom I like to call Ellie!”
Goodness, can’t she get any more enthusiastic?
I smile at both of them, “I’m Kira Al—”
“Yeah yeah we know, Kira Alexia really long name Montgomery, one out of six from perfect six and is probably better than you in everything you do,” Auburn cuts me off and I could only stare at her with my mouth agape.
“I’m sorry, she’s just really bad at making new friends,” Ellie says again as she starts to pull her friend, Auburn, up, and her cheeks flaming with embarrassment.
I shake my head at her, “No, it’s fine, it’s nice to meet the both of you,” I reply with a polite smile, I could have sworn I heard her sigh in relief, “It’s nice to meet you too, I—”
“Ellisa Christine Moore!”
Her eyes widen as she hears her name, “That’s me! I’ll get back to you soon!” She exclaims and runs to the door, entering the room where Dark was as Auburn retreats and plops herself to another group of girls chatting their hearts out.
Before long, I hear my name being called out.
"—omery... And Princess Macey Hyland!”
I look around in confusion and make eye contact with the woman annoucing the names. She just nods for me to make my way over to the room and I was left with no choice but to oblige and enter the room right after the princess practically skips her way to the door sickeningly enthusiastically.
With an unpleasant facial expression, I enter the room and make my way towards both of them, talking and smiling like love sick puppies.
I watch them with a disgusted expression but quickly cover up when I made my presence known, accidentally, by losing my balance; making a small squeal of surprise escape past me when the woman abruptly opens the door and says, “What are you doing?! Sit beside them!”
Because of this, I begrudgingly walk over to them with a fake grin, though this princess was smiling, acting like a well-mannered one, I could see the way was looking at me, sizing me up and critizing anything she could criticize.
As for Dark, we both knew I didn’t want to be there.
“So, I thought it was an hour alone?” I ask, shifting my gaze between the two of them, waiting for an explanation.
“Dinner will be ready in exactly an hour and thirty minutes, normally both of you will have to take two hours, and a minimum of thirty minutes to get ready for dinner, so we had to do this,” Dark answers, looking at me directly into my eyes, as if waiting for any sarcastic remark or protest.
“How about I leave both of you to it—?”
“That’d be great!”
“That’s very unlikely.”
They repond in unison, with contradicting answers. I try not to laugh, looking at Macey’s mouth wide open, staring at Dark as though he had just said that Macey was no princess.
I shift my gaze from Macey’s expression and look into his enchanting eyes, “I don’t think I need an hour with you, your majesty,” I say, and with a curtsy, I walk out of the room with a smile on my face.
But as I walk my way back into the main part of the mansion, a hand pulls my wrist and corners me into a dark hallway, making me hit my back against the wall.