Chapter 7 - Plans ruined
Well, that didn’t go as I had hoped. My day has sucked so far. I woke up late causing me to run out of the door without my lunch. My lovely lunch. My pizza. God, I love pizza. Just thinking about it waiting for me at home is enough to brighten my mood a bit. But just a little bit.
“What is up with you today? You have been sulking and moping all day and it’s not even lunch yet.” My best friend Kat says. We are sitting in our English class doing a group project and I just so happen to be working with my best friend. I prefer it this way. Then I can at least tolerate working in groups. The others I have been paired with before never helped with the project and I ended up having to do all of the work. It’s called a group project for a reason. Not that they care.
“Hellooo, Nutty? Are you in there? You keep spacing out.” She says again.
“Yeah, I am here. I just got lost in thought. Sorry, what were you saying?” I reply trying to focus on our project again.
“Nope. You are not diverting my attention to school when something is obviously wrong. Now tell me without denying it. Otherwise, we will be here all day and I know you want to get home to your books.” She says kind of mocking me and my love for books. Truth be told, if yesterday didn’t happen I would be fidgeting in my seat to get home and read. Today however I don’t really look forward to going home. It will just mean that I am closer to Sunday where I have to meet Bisalion again. But I know she is right. My first strategy would be to deny something being wrong. However, she is my best friend, so she knows me better than I know myself. Right now, that’s not a good thing. I can’t tell her. Not when I promised Raphael that I wouldn’t tell anyone.
“I was just thinking about my sister. Yesterday she was in a good mood, closer to how she used to be before. It just got me thinking about how things used to be. Back when my parents were still together. I know Selene doesn’t remember it, but I do and sometimes I miss it.” I lie to her. Well not completely. I do miss my parents being together, but I also know that it’s for the best with the way things are now. My dad has a new wife that he loves, and I also love her. She is kind of like a second mother to me. My own mom has spent a lot of time working so that she can afford to pay for the house and put food on the table, which means she hasn’t always been at home so much. She still loves us so much, and I love her. But in her absence, I sometimes confide in my dad’s wife.
“Look Nutty, I know that you miss your parents being together, but your sister is doing better, and both of your parents are working together to support her. It will all work out. Now cheer up. The sooner we get this finished, the sooner you can get home to your books.” She says. Her joke brings a smile to my face, and I see her eyes brighten. She knows how to lighten my mood. And it usually works, but today the reason I smile is the thought of how ridiculous her joke is and the fact that I won’t be reading when I get home. Instead, I will be overthinking and wondering what to do.
The rest of my day goes by in the same manner. Me sulking. By the time I get home my mood is worse again. I kind of think Kat gave up on me after lunch when she realized that I just needed to figure out my thoughts on my own. I love Kat, she has always been there for me but in this case, she just can’t help me. This is something I have to figure out on my own.
It’s currently 5 pm and I’ve decided to take a walk so that I might clear my head. Without realizing it I have walked all the way back to the park where Bisalion told me everything. I sit down on the same bench and just stare out at the water in the creak.
I’m interrupted by my phone ringing. I fish it out from my jacket pocket. The caller-id says, grandma. I quickly press accept. Hopefully, she will have some good news for me.
“Hey, grandma. Any news?” I say without giving her a chance to greet me.
“Hey, sweetie. I have news, but not all of it is good news.” She says with a defeated tone.
Oh, sh*t I think.
“I contacted one of my old friends who still works at the palace. She said that the king is desperate and more so that his advisors are pressuring him to select an heir to the throne within the next week. I know that it’s not the news you were hoping for, but this might be just as good.” She says with a bit of hope in her voice.
“How so?” I ask. I hope that the hope I heard in her voice is something good.
“Well, this means that the King is depending on Bisalion. Bisalion has to convince you to accept, otherwise, the King won’t be pleased. You can use this to your advantage and ensure that, if you accept, it will be on your conditions. In a bad situation, this might be the best you will be able to get.” She says with a bit of defeat in her tone at the end.
But she is right. It is a good thing in a bad situation.
“Thank you, grandma,” I tell her. It wasn’t the answer I was hoping for, but hopefully, it will help me.
“You’re welcome, sweetie. Let me know what you decide. No matter what I will always support you. I love you.” She says
“I love you too,” I tell her and hang up.
I think I know what to do now.
“I was pleased to hear from you so soon, Your Highness” Sir Bisalion says as he takes a seat next to me on the bench. I called him almost instantly after I got off the phone with my grandma. I figured that I might as well get it over with. But I still hate it when he calls me that.
“I wasn’t planning on meeting you earlier, but I have reached a decision,” I tell him.
“I am very pleased to hear that, and I will arrange for transport to Monaco as soon as possible.” He says with a gleam in his eyes. He expected me to accept after he blackmailed me. Too bad he is wrong.
“I don’t accept your offer,” I tell him with a calm voice. Right away the smile falls from his face. That’s what you get for blackmailing me. I can almost see the wheels in his head turning, trying to process the fact that I rejected his offer.
“At least not without you following a couple of my conditions,” I tell him without breaking face. Inside I am dying a little bit with every word that leaves my mouth next.
“This is not a discussion for everyone to hear if you won’t mind following me to the hotel?” he asks me with a strained smile.
“Alright,” I tell him as I get up and follow him out of the park.
The car ride is short and soon we are sitting in the same hotel room as earlier. With the lavish interior design that I still can’t wrap my head around. There are so many details to observe that it would take me hours to comprehend them all.
“What might these conditions be if I may ask?” he says and interrupts my thoughts bringing me back to the serious situation and decision I am about to make.
“First of all, I am not moving to Monaco. At least not until I have finished high school. Second of all, I don’t want any of your agents following me around everywhere I go. Also, I don’t want anyone to know yet. I don’t want to be watched or treated differently because of some title. That means you can’t publicly announce that you have an heir to the throne. If you can agree to these conditions then I will accept your offer, as long as you also promise to leave my family alone from now on. No more blackmailing me by using my sister or anyone else.” I tell him with a bit of spite in my tone with the last sentence.
By now he is processing my conditions. But I already know the outcome and I won’t like it. No matter what his answer is.
“I can agree to your terms, however, I have some things to add as well.” He says after a minute’s silence.
“I’m listening” I simply say.
“I can accept that you do not wish to move to Monaco until you have graduated. However, that is in almost 3 years. Your training can’t wait that long. So, for me to agree to this condition, you will have to accept to spend all of the following summers in Monaco, at the palace in training. Furthermore, you will be assigned a private tutor that can teach you French and Italian. These lessons will take place three times a week, and you will attend all of them. Otherwise, you will be moved to Monaco instantly.” He says with finality in his voice.
I can accept his terms, but it doesn’t mean that I have to enjoy it.
“I accept your terms,” I tell him.
“Good. As for your other conditions. For security reasons, you will be assigned protection from this day on. However, I can agree to only two agents following you at a time. You won’t notice them, but they will be there to protect you. Therefore, for security reasons you cannot under any circumstances tell anyone about your identity. This also brings me to your third condition. I agree that there can be no public announcement of your identity. At least not yet. However, it is a tradition in Monaco that on their 18th birthday there will be a coronation of the crown prince or princess. I expect you to adhere to this tradition, which means that on your 18th birthday you will have a coronation to become the Crown Princess. This means that this is the day your identity will be publicly announced. After the coronation, you can return to Denmark to finish your school however your security will be increased. Can you agree to these terms as well?” He asks me.
I must say that everything became more real the instant he mentioned a coronation. I can’t believe I have to do this and that this is my life now.
“I agree to your terms,” I say in almost a whisper in the end.
“Excellent, for legal reasons I have a contract for you to sign.” he says and gives me a contract to sign.
I quickly read it through and check if he is trying to fool me. But he isn’t. So, with a swipe of the pen, I leave my signature. I leave behind my old life and accept a new one.
“Congratulations, Your Royal Highness Princess Nathalie,” he says with a smirk.