E M M E L I N E ' S P. O. V
"Emmeline! Emmeline!" I run harder from the chasing voices.
They echo down the hollow halls, the grand chandeliers overhead tremble as our feet pounds the marble.
I can't believe I did this. I've ruined everything.
God, I'm such an idiot.
"Emmy wait," That nickname almost makes my feet stop.
Damien's voice caresses my anxiety like always but then I remember what just conspired 5 minutes ago. The way his haunting silence caused my fleeting confidence to dissipate, his eyes finding anywhere to look by my own.
I wanted to crawl up into a ball and die... I still do.
I almost trip over my floor length gown, stumbling into my bedroom, and slam the doors shut for extra measure. My fingers tremble as I reach for the brass lock.
That noise should be comforting, knowing I've finally escaped my own embarrassment.
Yet, all I feel is intense loneliness.
I've never really been alone. Even when I've wanted privacy, someone is always there, watching me, protecting me. Sleep is the only privacy I have but even then my home thrives with noise.
I fall asleep to the guards posted outside my door discussing the recent sports, servants gossiping as they pass my room, people outside after hours, laughing and screaming in their drunken glee. Even at eighteen I have a curfew. I always will, but I've never wanted change until now.
My life is forever mapped out by everyone but myself. It's part of the job, being Princess is glamorous of course, but I'm a public figure. I dress and eat and behave all for the benefit of others. I just wanted to be impulsive for once.
To do something for myself.
I asked my mom if I could dye my hair dark purple. She said it would draw too much attention away from the fundraisers being hosted.
I wanted a small tattoo on my hip. My dad ended up showing me a piece of legislation that stated royals were prohibited from marking their bodies in fear of propaganda or resistance campaigns.
So instead, I strove for something deeper.
Something that no-one else but me and the other person would ever know. That meant finding someone I trusted, and in a court full of snakes that's very difficult to do.
Luckily, I'm not alone. I have them.
Ajax and Damien. My lifelong best friends, the sons of my parents' closest friends and the best part of my fated future.
Ajax will be my general when he comes of age, but for now he remains my personal bodyguard, and Damien is my advisor for all things diplomatic.
The three of us are inseparable.
Our prospective jobs, and parents' friendships means our futures are entwined irrevocably.
I've never feared that...until now.
I jump up, as Ajax pounds at the door.
"Emmeline! Emmeline! Open this goddamn door before I break it down!" I want to scream back at him as good as he's giving it to me but embarrassment forces my lips to glue shut.
"Emmy, we won't say anything mean. Okay, we just want to talk to you." Unlike me and Ajax who are dubbed the hotheads, Damien is the reasonable one out of the three of us. The born politician that always gets his own way.
"Please," I sigh at his soft desperation and unwillingly turn the lock to let them in.
They're both standing there, side by side like always.
The two of them are kitted out in matching suits of my own choice, except Ajax ditched the jacket within five minutes of my black-tie party and his tie hangs loosely around his neck. I eye it with the same frustrated glare I wore when I was trying to convince him to wear it. Ajax lives in his uniform or sweats.
However, Damien wears the suit with such ease, it's hard to remember he's only 21. Most days he seems so much older, responsible, and I guess that's why it was so easy for him to reject my proposal.
He notices my lingering stare and smiles. "We need to talk."
They both push on through to my room like it's their own. Ajax perches on his favourite chair, lounging his feet on my chaise. Damien leans against his dresser.
I don't usually feel small, not when everyone bows as I walk into a room, but in front of them, I shrink. I think it's because finally I realise, they are all grown up and so am I.
I don't exactly know when they both crossed the line into adulthood, but I see it now and it makes me feel things I wasn't used to before, like uncomfortable now as they both stare at me, waiting for me to say something..anything.
Instinctively my gaze falls on Damien's lips, then on the way Ajax's muscles flex as he crosses his arms across his chest. I feel hot, like the room has suddenly become rooted in the sun, and I quickly turn away.
I asked them to take my virginity. Both, because it's impossible to choose between the two. They're my best friends, the people I go to for everything.
It's never been weird or awkward between us so I figured, hey why not ask them to fuck me?
It would be a change for myself, no longer being a virgin. A change no-one but us would know, but I didn't account for what happens afterwards. Now I regret it because our friendship means everything to me and the risk of losing that...no, I can't lose it.
It's as simple as that because I wouldn't survive this world without them.
"Will you both stop staring at me like that?" I snap, blowing a stray curl out of my face.
Ajax's lips rise. "Like what?" I scowl even harder. He fucking loves riling me up.
We're both hotheads, we act first and we do so with no thought about the consequences. Damien is more methodical; he's calculated and book smart, but logic driven doesn't bode well with such intimate matters like me asking him to fuck me.
That's why he didn't respond. He was stunned into silence and if I wasn't so obscenely mortified, I would pat myself on the back for carrying out the impossible.
"Why did you run?" Damien finally asks.
"You didn't say anything, and I was scared that you would both...reject me."
Because sleeping with me would be the thing of nightmares, because they both either view me as a little sister, or simply aren't physically attracted to me that can't even get it up. I don't know which would be worse.
To me, they're my best friends but I'm not immune to the fact I find them both insanely attractive. I think of my others friends.
But do they make me hot and flustered? Are they were the ones I think about as my finger slips between my thighs?
No, it's only Ajax and Damien
Ajax crosses the room to grab my hands in his. His touch melts my icy defences instantly, enough that I lean into him.
"We were just shocked, Em. Honestly, that was the last thing we expected you to say. Can you tell us why you would want to lose your virginity tonight? I thought you were waiting for something special?"
I sigh, pushing back from him.
"What is special anymore? You guys know a lot of my firsts are public knowledge or documented to the kingdom. My first sip of beer whilst visiting Kalmia, my first time behind the wheel whilst fundraising in Juniper...everyone is discussing my virginity since I turned 18 this week. There's no rule saying I must save my virginity for my future husband, but there are people who will see me as unfit to rule. I do lose it, others who would applaud for breaking traditions and those who can barely stand to imagine a Queen on the throne, neverminded one who's 'impure'. I choose this, I choose you. In this room, right now with only the three of us as witness to it. The only other person who will know in the future is..."
I can't even finish the sentence knowing what lies ahead.
A man. A future king. Someone I'll marry for their kingdom, not because of love.
I sniff back my tears, but Ajax catches a stray one with his thumb whilst Damien joins us near my bed. He takes my hand, Ajax takes the other and together they lead to my bed illuminated underneath a canopy as the moon beams through the skylight.
Fuck, it's about to happen. My heart races faster than I can understand whilst my mind is attuned to every single move they make. The light brush of their thumbs across my palm, the stroke of my flimsy dress.
Thank God I remembered to shower this morning, but I didn't shave, and I'm not embarrassed to admit I have body hair, darker than others since I inherited my mom's dark genes.
I doubt they'll care, they've seen me naked more times than I can count from skinny dipping in the forest lake, or quickly getting dressed in a coat room for the next event. They both never leave my side.
It's their duty, but this...isn't.
"I don't want you to fuck me because of an obligation. Just because I'm the Princess doesn't mean I have some right to your bodies. If you don't want to..."
"We do Emmy," Damien's cold finger trails the deep v of my dress into my cleavage. Oh fuck. "Trust me, we really do." I fist his shirt in one hand, the other squeezing Ajax's thigh through his tight pants.
A moan creeps up my throat as Ajax nips gently on my ear. "You want to be in control of something, I understand Emmeline..."
Then like they both pull away from me suddenly and the fire that sets my body alight is doused with thick ice. "but you're drunk." Damien continues. "And neither of us would ever take advantage of you like that."
"I'm not that drunk." I pout, as though that would add to my cause, but it really doesn't. I downed shot after shot after shot, trying to work out the courage to talk to them
Ajax's deep laugh echos in my ear. "Em, you are most definitely drunk and if one of us was ever to fuck you, it would be when you're calm and willing and can recite the alphabet without thinking about it."
"abcefghij..l...m..." Now they're both laughing, hysterically so, that it makes me angry for no goddamn reason other than I feel left out. "I want to have sex."
"You think you want to have sex tonight, but truthfully Emmy you've never even kissed someone, or cum on someone's fingers."
"We can do all of that tonight." I ignore the literal ticking clock.
My birthday is nearly over as the big hand moves closer to twelve, and the guards outside my room are posted to change soon, which means they'll check in on me since they saw Damien and Ajax both enter my room, assuming we're all just having a pleasant chat rather than fucking in my bed.
"Trust me, we can't." Damien is the oldest out of all of us. His word has always been final because in truth he just knows more, and we accept that.
But not tonight. I can't tonight.
"Something then. Please, just let me feel...something." Turning 18 is supposed to be fireworks and freedom and adventure, but I'm still enclosed within these walls, and I'm still supposed to live knowing the way my future is planned.
Ajax gives Damien a look I can't decipher. Damien looks back and Ajax frowns and shakes his head, before staring with a fiercer intensity. No words are spoken, yet Damien somehow concedes and nods his head.
"Are you two telepathic and have been keeping it a secret from me?" I'm more pissed they kept the secret, rather than they have superpowers whilst I don't.
Damien's lips quirk up. "Not at all princess, but when you know someone as well as we do it's not hard to tell what they're thinking."
"Are you saying I don't know you guys as well?" Now, I'm offended.
"Of course, not Emmy, but you know our friendships are all different. They're strong in different ways." Ajax soothes.
That's true, whilst we're all friends what binds them is different.
My friendship with Ajax is lighter, carefree. We could laugh for hours about stupid pointless things, whilst with Damien there's an intensity I don't find with Ajax. We are bound by interests, conversations. He's truly one of the only people in the world in which I find myself constantly challenged with.
"What were you both thinking then?" They share another look.
Then suddenly Damien hooks his legs around my ankle, drawing my body closer to him, whilst Ajax shuffles in behind until I'm sandwiched between the two of them, barely able to breathe.
Damien grips my chin. "We're going to kiss you."
Then Ajax murmurs, "Unless you object."
Kiss. That was less than I was expecting but somehow the air inside my chest is sucked out, and I'm struggling to breathe.
"Emmeline." Damien chides, his hold squeezing tighter. "Words."
I nod desperately. "Yes...that sounds nice."
Nice? Who the hell says that?
His lips quirk, green eyes slanted as they peer behind to Ajax who gently sweeps my long dark hair over my shoulder. My neck is bare to him, which fuels an intense desire inside of me I've never had for another person before.
He brushes his lips over my skin once, twice...each one creeps closer and closer towards my lips, inciting the pleasure that threatens to overrule all my senses. They dust the corner of my mouth, forcing my eyes shut, I brace myself for his kiss.
But Damien suddenly tugs me away from Ajax. His lips devour mine with feverish intensity, fingers releasing my chin only to cradle my face instead. He tilts my head up, letting the kiss deepen as his tongue gently broaches mine, softly, almost asking for permission.
I kiss him back with equal hunger, sinking my fingers into his thick black hair whilst he swallows all my moans, sending them back down to incite me.
A whimper almost breaks out of me as he pulls away. I need more of him, but as I reach out, Ajax catches my hands, pinning them behind my back and then slowly he inches closer. "My turn, Princess." His kiss is gentler than Damien's, but there's an unspoken passion within it that pulls me in.
I don't shut my eyes this time. They're wide open, imprinting the memory to mind so I can relive it forever.
His soft brown eyes fix on mine, creased at the sides, as he smiles into the kiss, letting his tongue dance with mine in collective grace.
We only pull away to breathe for air.
I curse myself for being human and needing oxygen to survive.
Ajax laughs softly as though he can read my mind. He can't because if he did, he'd been gloating that I know the two of them were right.
Losing my virginity would have been too much for tonight, and how would it even work? They have two dicks; I have one vagina.
It was a stupid thought, a reckless thought.
They squeeze my hand, forcing me out of my mind. I glance down to see the two of them clutching my hands, one each. I stare at our hands, but for some reason it just feels wrong.
I move Ajax's hand in the centre, then join Damien's with his, and finally I clasp both their large hands with two of mine.
I stare down at our entwined fingers and laugh. "That's better."
They share another unspoken smile, but Damien frowns and glances away.
Did I do something...
The clock strike twelve. My birthday is officially over, yet still the two of them lean over and to brush my cheeks with their lips.
It's official. Best birthday ever.