I wake up to a blinding light streaming through the windows of my Chamber, and I get up quickly not wanting to waste any precious time. I wander to my bathroom, and ready myself for the day. Solid blue lipstick, dark navy blue eyeshadow, and rosy pink blush coats my face in a thick blanket, covering my face until it no longer looks like my own.
I slide into a light blue dress with pearls and dainty flowers lining the low neckline and skirts, and as soon as it slides down, covering my sky blue heels I set off to Brenton's room. He's already up when I enter, and I thank my lucky stars that he at least has sweatpants on, but I still curse myself for not knocking before coming inside. I clear my throat, and he twirls around to face me.
Brenton without a shirt is a sight to see. Muscles line his rock hard chest, and I can see that he's been working out lately. he stares at me with shock, but doesn't seem embarrassed at all to be caught in front of me without a shirt on. He even nods at me, as he continues to pace his room, just like the first time we met in 12 years.
"Um..." I start, not knowing where to begin at all. He stops me with a wave of his hand, walking over to where I stand in a single stride.
"I'm sorry, just stressed." He explains, taking my hand in his and resting it against his cheek. His cheek is burning hot, but feel's good under my freezing cold fingers. Neither of us move, and we stay there staring at each other for what seems like forever. "Did you come in here to tell me anything?" He asks, his voice loud and clear after the long silence between us. I shake my head no.
"I just wanted to see you." I answer honestly. I may not want it to be true, but it doesn't make my love for Brenton any less real. I love him, and I know he loves me too. The only thing I need, is to be able to trust him. And that's almost an impossibility after all the lies I've stumbled upon so recently. They cloud my mind in a dark fog, and I shake myself out of the holds of the darkness of reality, focusing only on Brenton's face.
"That makes two of us." He smiles, wrapping his arms tightly around me, and I lean into his warm embrace.
"We should probably get to breakfast." I reluctantly say after another long pause of silence. And Brenton's hands around me fall to his sides.
"Yeah, just give me a minute." He says, already starting towards his bathroom. I walk over to his bed in the corner of his room, smiling at the ruby flowers growing out of the wooden floor to symbolize his element. They stare back at me, and I marvel at the fact that the King and his son can grow flowers like these effortlessly, with just the thought and the flick of their wrists.
"You ready?" Brenton asks from the doorway, and I realize I've been staring down at the flowers for awhile now. Blushing, I walk over to Brenton gracefully and take his arm in mine, hooking them together.
"Yes." I nod at him, and we walk out of his Chamber and to the dining hall of BloomsRidge palace together.
When the guards push open the doors to the dining hall, I expect everyone to be talking and laughing. But what we enter to is complete chaos. Mother is crying at her spot at the edge of the table, and father is trying to comfort her, but to no avail. Everyone else just sit's there, silently looking at the table, walls, ceiling, anywhere but each other.
"What? What happened?" I ask, breaking free of Brenton's hold and running over to where my father stands protectively by my mothers side. His face is lined with worry, and tears threaten to spill from his eyes at any moment. No one answers my question until I start again, raising my voice until it almost reaches a shout. "What happened?!" I try again, and surprisingly, Aella is the one to answer me.
"The rebels reached your kingdom. StormsEye palace was bombed and destroyed, and everyone is fleeing to the surrounding areas. We're not safe anymore. No where is safe from them." She explains, and I spot tears staining her bright pink cheeks. She puts her head in her hands, and Cassius is quick to her side, rubbing her back soothingly.
They collapse against each other as I drop to the ground, Brenton catching me right before I hit the floor. My kingdom! StormsEye, ruined! It was going to happen eventually, when there would be no heir to the throne, but not like this, definitely not like this. And what about the rebels Aella just talked of? Who are they?
"It's ok." Brenton soothes me, holding me against him tightly, as if I am a bird that will fly away any second. But it is not ok. It is certainly not ok.
"What do you mean by we're not safe anymore?" I ask Aella, my eyes not focusing, the tears blurring my sight, and my sister becomes a blob of light pink as liquid drips from my eyes. Tears.
"The rebels. They are everywhere, waiting for our weakest moments, to attack." She manages to get out between her tears, and my mind goes blank.
"There is no war is there?" I ask suddenly, staring daggers at my mother. "Is there?!" I say again, and my mother cries even harder, her ragged breaths the only sound filling the empty silence. Everything clicks into place in my mind, the war between StormsEye and FoxFire, was never a real thing. No, but the commoners, commoners who for some reason hate us Royals, rising together to ruin the balance of the Elements...that is the real war.
And I can't say I'm surprised. That is why my mother and father want me to marry the prince of fire. To show everyone, to show the Rebels that we can make peace between each other. But that peace is over now, because since the rebels won't take the bait, I can only guess that we will go to war.
"Why do the Rebels hate us?" I squeak out, my voice ringing around the dining hall. Echoing all around us.
"There's been some talk, some talk that elemental blood shouldn't control over the less powerful being." King Mishan answers, cracking his knuckles, the sound making me jump. "And some talk that people without any trace of Royal blood, have powers we can only imagine." He straightens in his seat. And I fall back against Brenton.
Commoners had abilities like us? But that didn't make any sense. How could that even be possible? I twist around in Brenton's arms, trying to break free, but he doesn't let go. I scream in rage, throwing my hands in the air. Nothing makes sense anymore, I tell myself. What's one more thing that troubles me?
But I honestly don't know who to trust. The balance of life was fine before the rebels ruined everything. But they have a fair point on the subject. And if it's true that commoners can have abilities, abilities that are just as powerful as the four elements, then we stand no chance against them. And I don't want to. I've always believed in what's right for my kingdom.
And maybe four divided kingdoms each standing strong but treating every commoner as if they are weak, as if they are nothing, isn't the best idea for equality and peace amongst ourselves. I'd only ever thought it as though a way of life of being superior to every commoner. But what if...what if that was a lie too?
I had always been taught that commoners led very happy meaningful lives, and that they had everything they could ever want or need like us Royals living in their palaces inside their kingdoms. And if that was a lie...I can't even finish the thought, my body going limp in Brenton's arms.
"Was everything I ever learned a lie?" I practically scream, ducking my head low under Brenton's arm and slithering out of his grasp. I run out the doors of the dining hall, my dress falling around me every which way, and don't stop. I throw open the doors to the entrance of the palace and yet I still don't stop. I can't be apart of something, something so terribly wrong as to be a Royal.
I trip many times over my dress, but I always get back up again, and continue my run into the kingdom of BloomsRidge. The shocked crowds parts to let me through, and tears roll down my cheeks as I dash into a store empty of people, needing to gather my thoughts before I do anything else just as foolish as running away.
"Can I help you Miss?" The clerk at the front desk asks, rubbing his hands together, his eyes wide as her realizes who I am.
"Um...do you have any clothes?" I ask him, realizing just how hard it will be to run in a ball gown and heels. The man gestures to a rack in the corner, and I smile a thank you in his direction, already starting across the store. I change quickly into a purple T shirt and jeans, and as I look at myself in the mirror, I'm surprised to see me in anything other than a blue ball gown. I almost look...normal.
I grab all of the gold coins from my dress pocket that now lays limp on the floor, it's for emergencies, and hand one over to the clerk who looks surprised at such payment. He does not look like a wealthy man I always thought my kingdom helped to support. Instead, he looks tired and old, with greying hair sticking up in every direction on his head.
I guess now everything makes sense, I always thought my subjects were happy and healthy and rich, but that was another lie. My parents, like any other King and Queen did not care of what became of these poor people. They only cared about the rich, and intelligent. And that is what the rebels are, I realize to myself. People that are poor and forgotten, who want to live a better life just as Royalty has the luxury of enjoying.
And suddenly I understand everything.
I hide in a barn, only ever leaving it to go get food from the market or to take a dip in the lake. I am now living a simple life. A life every commoner has had to live every day of their lives. And it disgusts me. Royals always say that we are equals with our subjects. And it seems true with all the wealthier people of our kingdom living nice lives. But it's just another lie. A lie that I have somehow uncovered. And a wrong that I somehow want to make right.
No one comes looking for me, but I suspect they have better things to do. They all just assume I will come back given time. But I won't. I am not stupid, and I have broken into every lie Royalty had covered from me. The only thing I wish to discover now, is the words that are still fresh in my mind.
Do some commoners have powers too? It is a question I need an answer to, but there is no explanation. At least not yet. And I am kept in the dark about not only my burning questions, but also what the Rebels are up to, and what the Royals are doing about them.
I sit cross-legged on the floor of the barn, specks of hey laying all around me, and I think. I think about everything. About my parents, the Rebels, the StormsEye commoners, my sister, and even Brenton.
"What the hell are you doing in here?!" Someone yells from behind me, and I whip my head around in time to see a young man, holding a gun straight at my chest. "Who are you?" He asks, not recognizing me. My makeup is gone, uncovering the Princess I used to be.
"Don't shoot. I can explain." I manage out, but what am I going to tell this stranger? That I am Royalty? Nothing can save me now. I am about to die, and yet I can't shake the feeling that this man won't shoot me.