“Brother you know this is the longest way to the palace, right?” asked the boy to his elder brother.
“So?” said the elder one.
They were riding their horses in the street while some more men followed them.
“Nothing, just wanted to know why don't we take the short cut. What's so special about this route that you come here everyday?” asked the younger boy, his eyes held mischief when he noticed how absent minded his brother was.
The elder one had a look of desperation while he gazed the door of the cafe across the street. Taking it as a wonderful opportunity the younger one continued on teasing his brother, “Or should I ask who's that special person for whom Prince Leopold come here everyday?!”
“Shut up Harrison.” Leopold glared at his younger brother but soon a beautiful voice caught his attention.
He diverted his gaze from Harrison, back to the cafe. A beautiful girl in her young twenties came outside the cafe with a jar of cookies in her hand. She was humming a song. Though it wasn't very much audible to everyone but to Leo it was the only voice he could hear at that moment.
She moved to a corner and signalled someone to come. And in a blink a bunch of children surrounded her. She gave them the cookies she brought and the jar was soon empty.
He smiled looking at that. Not because it was a very sweet gesture of her but it was exactly the mirror image of the moment when he first saw her.
Her carefree laugh, the love she had for children, the beautiful shine in her eyes when those children smiled and laughed. He could never forget that moment, which happened almost a year back.
Feeling a strong gaze on her herself, Marilyn looked around, maybe trying to find someone. And then she noticed him staring at her intensely. The tempest of emotions again surrounded her heart.
She looked at him for a moment and then ran back into the cafe. He looked at her running away from him, yet again. It's been almost a week since he last saw her.
She was doing very well on her mission to ignore him and he was getting irritated. It was like she went underground after committing some crime. But it wasn't a crime. The feelings that he had for her or the feeling that she had for him, it wasn't a crime.
Harrison looked intently at his elder brother. He knew that Leopold was troubled. He wished that he could help his elder brother but for that he needed Leo to tell him everything, which he didn't.
Before they could say or do something. They noticed Mr. William's car coming towards them.
Mr. William came out of the car. He came running towards Leo and Harry. His body posture clearly told that something wasn't good.
“Prince, King's health is deteriorating. The Queen had asked both of you to come back to the palace soon.” Mr. William delivered the message and without any waste of time all of them left for the palace.
AugustusLuther Valentine, the King of Rouen, France and the father of both, Leopold Everett Valentine and Harrison Alec Valentine. He was a very wise and good hearted King. People of that town loved him dearly. Throughout his life whatever he did was for the benefit of the town and it's people.
But now slowly and gradually his health was deteriorating which always made his wife and sons worried.
“Doctor, how's my father?” asked Leo.
“I'm sorry to say this Prince Leopold but the King's health is not very good. Just keep him happy and give him a stress free environment.” replied doctor and left.
Leopold moved inside his parent's room and saw his father resting and his mother sitting beside him.
When the king saw him he asked Leo to come inside.
“How are you feeling father?”
“I'm good son but I will be better if you fulfill my last wish.” his voice held tiredness.
“Don't say like that father. You're going to live with us for many more years. And I'll do anything for you. You just have to tell me.” the sincerity in Leo's voice was very clear.
“The only thing that I want to see now is you becoming the King. I want to make you wear the crown with my own hands.”
“If that's what you want father, I'll do it.”
A wide smile formed on the lips of King Augustus, Queen Katherine, Harrison and Aurora.
“I'm so happy son. Now that you have finally agreed, I'll tell this to Sophia. She'll be delighted on hearing it too.” Katherine exclaimed.
“Why Sophia Mother?” the sudden mention of Sophia confused him.
“Don't play this confused card on me Son. Sophia told me everything about how much you both love each other. And of course a King will definitely need a Queen by his side.”
“Sophia and me? There's nothing like that mother.”
The mere thought of marrying Sophia annoyed him. He would never marry anyone other than Marilyn.
“Don't be worried Leo. If you think that we both have any problem with your relation with Sophia then there's nothing like that. She's the daughter of King Joseph and I'm sure she'll be a great queen in future.”
“No if's or but's now. Let your father take some rest. We'll talk about this later.” she said ending the conversation.
Leopold was the first one to leave the room. This conversation stated it clearly why Sophia was spending so much time with his mother past few days. She was feeding her lies and made-up stories. Anger filled his mind.
Even though people tried to stop him by informing him about the bad weather outside, he left the palace in anger.
Itwas almost nine o'clock in the night. The cafe was closed a little early today because of the bad weather. And by now a bad snow storm had already started.
But it wasn't the bad weather that was troubling Marilyn. It was her feelings. She came at this place almost a year back. The cafe was owned by her aunt and therefore Marilyn use to work there whenever she's free, to help her aunt.
Marilyn was a photographer by profession. She loved photography. It was her passion, dream, love, etc. And this town was indeed a very beautiful place because of which she came here.
She use to live alone in a small cottage house but she loved that place. It was peaceful and relaxing.
But today her mind wasn't relaxed. Approx six days, seventeen hours and thirty nine minutes; she was successful in ignoring him but then today he was again standing there, staring her.
She could never forget the first time they met. At that time too he was staring at her. The only difference being, instead of running away, she moved towards him, rebuked him and called him a ‘jerk’ for staring at her.
Of course that time she didn't knew he was a Prince.
The fact about him always troubled her. The fact that they were different. The fact that people may not accept them together, always scared her.
And therefore she was scared to accept her feelings, to tell him what she feels.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the continuous knocking at the front door of her house. She moved towards the door and opened it, only to be left shocked on seeing the person standing there.
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