A Changing Love

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Chapter 11 - We meet again

Raphael’s POV

The last time I saw her was when she accepted Sir Bisalion’s request. That was 2 years ago. Today is her 18th birthday and it’ll be the first time I see her in those two years. I’ve been regularly updated on her progress at adapting to the customs of royalty, and yet I haven’t seen her in person or even spoken to her.

I spent the first 6 months struggling and trying to forget her or at least forget the way I feel when I look at her. After those 6 months, I realized it was a losing battle and that I shouldn’t waste my time trying to change something that I obviously couldn’t change. After I came to that realization I started focusing on the whole reason I left her in Denmark with Sir Bisalion. I was training and learning.

Before she even accepted her title it had been decided that I would be head of security for the crown princess whoever that might end up being. So when she claimed her title I was flown back to Monaco to continue my training and now, almost two years later, I am almost done.

As a part of my training, I have been planing the princess’ security for her coronation. It’s taken me 3 months to finalize everything and make sure nothing is going to happen to her.

And now it’s time.

It’s time for her coronation and for the final part of my training. If my instructors and the King is satisfied with my work for this event I will finally be given the title of Head of Security for Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess.

It’s a long title, but it’s one I’ve been working towards for years now.

I’m placed out of sight so that no one will notice me but I have eyes on everyone. At exactly 2 o’clock the music starts playing and the choir starts singing and not a few moments later does the doors open. With her head held high, she walks at a calm pace and she moves gracefully towards the altar where the archbishop is standing. For the first time in two years, I see her in person and she is even more beautiful than the last time I saw her. Her long brown hair is cascading down her back in light curls with a braid at the back of her head to keep the hair away from her eyes. Her red ball gown fits her perfectly and over the years her curves have developed even more. Her breasts have filled out and the dress accentuates her small waist. She looks absolutely wonderful and if I wasn’t already smitten with her, I certainly am now. She looks like royalty. She looks like a princess and she will officially be one in a few minutes.

As she reaches the altar and the ceremony begins I keep my eyes on the guests as well as her. I can’t forget that I am here to work. My eyes scan the crowd and I notice several world leaders and royalty of other nations. I see the King and Queen of Great Britain as well as the King and Queen of Spain. Then my eyes land on the people sitting in the first row. They look familiar but I can’t quite place it. I focus my eyes on the princess and I hear her swearing to protect Monaco and always do what’s best for the country and its citizens. Then the King stands and he walks towards the kneeling princess. I can see the similarities between the King and Nathalie even though there are few. And then it hits me. I look at the man sitting in the first row and he has several similarities to the King. The people sitting in the first row is Nathalie’s family from Denmark.

The man is probably her father and the woman that is approximately the same age as her father must be her mother. Then my eyes land on the elderly woman sitting with them. That has to be Nathalie’s grandmother, the King’s ex-wife. I can’t believe she is here. After all these years where she has kept her family away from Monaco, she is finally back. I take a closer look at the King’s ex-wife. Her eyes are focused on what is happening at the altar. The look she is portraying is one of sadness and when her eyes shift to the King her look changes to one of longing. I can’t even imagine the emotions she must be dealing with at this moment. Seeing her granddaughter giving her life to a cause that she never wanted for her family. Then to see, what I imagine is, the love of her life again after all these years. It can’t be easy. Finally, I look at the little girl sitting with adults. This must be Nathalie’s little sister. She looks no older than 10 years old and I am suddenly angry again. I am angry at the fact that they blackmailed the princess into accepting the throne by using her little sister who is only a child. My respect for the princess has grown in the last few seconds. She’s given up everything to protect her family. Even at the cost of her own happiness.

The coronation ceremony is almost over. My eyes return to the princess just as the crown is placed on her head and she is presented with her full title for the first time. The ceremony concludes with the princess walking back down the aisle and exiting the church. I have guards placed outside the church and they all report no trouble so far. As of now, everything is running smoothly.

___

Back at the palace, the guests are starting to arrive while the Royal family is having a meeting in the library. I can only imagine the discussions taking place there and I’m glad that I’m not a part of that. However, I can’t help but feel a bit bad for Nathalie. She is probably explaining everything to her very confused family.

After 1 hour all the guests are gathered in the ballroom where they are mingling. Finally, the King and the princess join the festivities and my eyes follow the princess as she is introduced to all the guests, one by one.

I am so wrapped up in my own mind and watching the princess that I don’t notice the person approaching me.

“Who are you?” a small voice asks me. I look down and meet blue eyes, blond curls, and a curious look. I smile a bit. The person standing in front of me is none other than the princess’s little sister. I kneel down to her height and my smile widens.

“My name is Raphael. What might your name be?” I ask her even though I already know her name.

“My name is Selene,” she tells me and stops for a second to look at me with her curious eyes.

“Raphael is a weird name,” she says bluntly and I can’t stop myself from laughing a bit, and when I laugh her smile grows bigger.

“I suppose it is a weird name, Miss Selene. However, I can assure you that my last name is weirder.” I tell her with a gleam in my eyes and a big smile on my face. She is adorable in her dark blue dress with lots of sparkles.

“What’s your last name then?” she asks me.

“Well, Miss Selene it’s St. Laurent,” I tell her. Immediately she starts laughing at me and I laugh with her.

“You’re right. That is a weird name. Why do you call me Miss Selene? My name is just Selene.” she tells me and at the end, she looks a bit offended. I guess it’s because she thinks that I don’t know her name. It’s cute.

“I know what your name is. But you see, when talking to such a pretty girl as you, it is only appropriate for me to address you as Miss Selene.” I tell her while smiling.

“You think I’m pretty?” she asks me right at once and her smile is the biggest I have seen.

“Indeed I do Miss Selene,” I answer her.

“Thank you, mister. But you’re still weird,” she tells me.

At this, I can do nothing but laugh and she soon joins me and together we are standing in a corner laughing. When we calm down again she fires another question at me.

“What are you doing standing over here? Why are you not talking to the other people?” she says to me.

“Because I am working Miss Selene. So, it’s not appropriate for me to be talking to lots of people.” I smile while telling her.

“What do you work with?” she asks right away.

“My job is to protect the princess. So I am keeping an eye on everyone in here and making sure no one harms the princess,” I tell her while yet again smiling.

“Uhh. That means you are protecting my sister!” she almost yells while excited. She really is an adorable girl.

“That is correct miss Selene. I’m protecting your sister,” I tell her.

“That’s so exciting! Has anyone tried anything suspicious yet?” she asks me while turning her eyes to the crowd and staring at the guest as if she can burn holes into their heads.

“I suppose it can be exciting Miss Selene. However, so far no one has done anything suspicious,” I answer her.

“It sounds more exciting than just walking around like I was doing. I’m the only kid here and all the grown-ups are so boring. Even though the women’s dresses are very pretty.” she rambles on.

“Yes, their dresses are pretty. What would you say if I asked you to help me in keeping an eye out for any suspicious behavior amongst the guests? That way you aren’t so bored Miss Selene.” I ask her. I can see the gleam in her eyes at the prospect of being able to do something that she deems as fun.

“Yes! I would love to,” she tells me.

“Very well. If you see anything you come find me, Miss Selene. But be careful not to blow your cover.” I tell her and wink at the end.

“I won’t say anything,” she tells me while making a zipping motion in front of her mouth.

“Selene! There you are! I have been looking everywhere for you,” a woman I recognize as her mother says.

“Hi mom,” Selene says excitedly.

“I was just having some fun with Raphael here. He is protecting Nutty. Did you know that mom?” Selene keeps talking to her mother and her mother’s smile begins to form at her daughter’s joy.

“No, I didn’t know that. You aren’t disturbing him in his work are you?” her mother asks and while saying the last part her eyes are focused on me.

“No, she wasn’t disturbing me Mrs. In fact she was keeping me company while working,” I smile at her mother. It’s strange talking to the princess’s mother without her knowing that I am even here. I hope to keep it that way. Nathalie has a lot on her plate at the moment and I don’t want to add to that.

“Well, that’s good. Come on Selene we’re going to get some food for you,” her mother tells her while taking Selene’s hand.

“Yay, food! Bye, mister Raphael! See you soon,” Selene says while starting to pull her mother’s hand.

“Goodbye Sir, and thank you for keeping an eye on my daughter,” her mother smiles at me.

“It was my pleasure. And farewell to you Miss Selene and to you Mrs,” I tell them.

“You’re still weird,” Selene says bluntly before dragging her mother aways.

“Selene!” I hear her mother scolding her daughter lightly while I simply chuckle.

The little Miss Selene has a wonderful personality and she is adorable. I look forward to learning all about Nathalie in the future when she moves to Monaco. If she is anything like her sister, Selene, then she will bring some joy to the palace. It’s been gloomy for as long as I have worked here. No love or joy is seen. The King keeps to himself. He has no family left in Monaco. When his brother died and his wife moved to Denmark he was left without any family. No one to celebrate the holidays with or to celebrate his birthday with. I can only imagine how lonely he must have felt over the years. From what I have learned from the other guards and employees at the palace, the King spends his Christmasses alone in his chambers. Besides the official events, he has to attend he doesn’t really celebrate Christmas. I can only hope that when the princess moves to Monaco they will begin to celebrate together and not both feel lonely. Although I imagine the princess will want to spend the holidays with her family in Denmark most of the time.

Time will only tell how she will bring change to the palace and in 8 months the princess will finally be moving to Monaco, permanently. She will take on her Royal duties full time and she’ll have to adjust to being a public figure where everyone will want to know what she is doing at every second of every day. I just hope that she won’t lose her joy and kind personality along the way.

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