Beneath the Crown

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Chapter 30

Ash

My eyes stung, my heart hurt so badly I thought it would crumble, and the lump in my throat made it hard to speak, but I had to end things now before they got any more serious.

Rein’s words still rung in my head. He’s right. I am not good for him. I’m reckless, clueless and too common to be with a king.

I could see that what I had said upset him.

“I see,” he said and dropped his gaze to the ground, “I never wanted this, you know.”

I blinked back the tears and looked up at him, “Wanted what?”

“All of this. To be a king, to rule this kingdom. I was a young boy when the decision was made for me, but I still remember the plans I had for my life before that moment. I know that if I hadn’t become the king, I never would have had my children, my brother never would have met Connie, and therefore you would never have come into my life. I have never loved and hated something so much.”

“I wish things could be different, for both of us.”

“Nothing about you should ever change.”

“Maybe if I was born here, a royal or something, things could be different. I would know how to act around you. I would understand what it is you do, and the responsibilities you face. But I’m not. I’m just a no one from Earth who has no idea what she’s doing most of the time. My life is such a mess, and I have a truckload of baggage that someone like you shouldn’t have to deal with. You have far more important stuff on your plate, and I can’t distract you from that.”

He stepped closer to me again but kept his eyes down, “What if I want to deal with it? What if I want it all. The chaos, the memories, the uncertainty, and the distraction. What if I need it all in my life? I am not attracted to you because of what you can offer me, I’m attracted to you because I prefer the man I am when I’m around you.”

I let a tear slip out and as it rolled down my cheek I shook my head, “You don’t know me. You have no idea what’s under the surface.”

“Give me the chance to find out. If you push me away, we will never know what could have been with us. Please, Ash, let me in.”

I so badly want to. I so badly want to see where this will go. I want to try with him. I mean, who wouldn’t, but to be honest, its too quick. A romance like this always ends in disaster.

“I need some time to think about it.”

I saw him nod with a sad smile, “Very well. I will see you later, at the shuttle,” he said and left.

As soon as the door closed, the tears in my eyes poured out like a dam. I went to the bed and sat down on it, thinking about how perfect this man seems.

He knows a lot of the bad shit that happened to you, and he still said he’s attracted to you. Maybe it’s worth giving it a try?

But will you be able to handle the heartbreak if it all falls apart?

I slid off the edge of the bed and sank down to the floor. I pulled my knees up to my chest and tried to stop the tears.

After a while of sitting on the floor, trying to banish the self-sabotaging thoughts in my head, I finally got up and went to the bathroom. I set the bath to fill, and as I waited, staring at the water falling from the ceiling, I thought back to my life on Earth.

I never wanted to get close to anyone after Dave. I never gave men the chance. I didn’t want it. I was happy being on my own, and not having to answer to anyone. Not having to follow anyone's rules except mine.

Am I willing to give that up again? To belong to someone like that?

But he isn’t Dave.

He told you he doesn’t want anything from you. That he likes you the way you are.

When the water turned off, I shook my head and stripped off my clothes. I sank down into the large square bath and let my body float on the surface.

Give him a chance.

Let him show you that good men do exist and that being with someone doesn’t mean being owned by someone.

Let him be the one to prove to you that you can have a happy ending.

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