We settled on Akira’s bed, I wrapped my arms tightly around her as I pulled her chest closer to mine.
It has been so long since I have been able to touch her like this that I didn’t want to lose even a moment of our time together now.
I was a kid when I was forced to break her heart and mine. But not anymore.
I wouldn’t ever lose her again.
If these two years have taught me anything, it is the fact of how miserable my life is without Akira.
Constantly watching her with Victoria, talking and laughing, it was astonishing how jealous I was of my own sister.
But the fact that I couldn’t be with her when she was alone and sad was more than I could have imagined. She didn’t have to remind me of the fact that I wasn’t with her when her mother died, it had killed me to watch her cry like she did, what had hurt worse was I couldn’t even comfort her. But at the end it had to happen, I wasn’t strong enough at that time. I had to stay away in order to protect her, but not anymore.
“Tell me, Victor” she said her eyes searching mine.
I could tell she was scared, not that I would lie to her.
She was scared that I would leave her alone again if I ever got bored of her. As if anybody could get bored of Akira.
For her to trust me, I had to tell her everything.
My jaw ticked when I realised how much mistrust has been spewed between us.
“My mother, she saw the two of us together in the gardens on your birthday.”
Akira’s eyes widened as her hands came to rest on my chest.
I breathed into her scent as I continued,
“She saw us together, lying under the stars. She heard me call you Ira, she realised that we were growing closer and…-
“And what?” Akira squeezed my arm
“She told me she’d sent you away.”
Akira’s brows furrowed,
“But how.. where would she have sent me?”
My hold on her tightened as I recalled what had happened after I had entered my chambers that night after dropping Akira off to her room.
My steps faltered as I saw my mother standing in the middle of my room, her focus on the other side of the wall.
“Where were you Victor?” Her voice echoed.
“I was out in the gardens, mother.”
“Were you out there alone?”
I gulped, “Yes I couldn’t sleep so-
She glared at me before I could complete my sentence halting me in the middle,
“Since when have you learned to lie to me Prince Victor? Is it because of the trash you associate yourself with lately?”
My jaw ticked, “What do you mean mother?” My voice hard.
Her glare narrowed,
“Do you think I would ever allow you to be even friends with someone who’s.. who’s so beneath us.”
“Who are you talking about?” My voice hard.
Mother snorted derisively,
“Victoria’s maid, Akira.”
“She is not tori’s maid, mother. She is Victoria’s friend, her best friend.” I remarked
“Is she now? Is she your friend too, Victor? Mother sneered.
“She isn’t my friend mother” I said in a hard voice.
Her body relaxed a little before I continued, “I love her and I will marry her when we come of age.”
I felt the air change, it grew tense, it felt like someone suddenly sucked the air out of the room.
“Have you lost your mind? Do you think a mere maid will ever be able to handle our monarch? Be the crowned queen of our kingdom?” She screeched
“Akira is not a maid mother. Her father was a respectful soldier who died protecting our kingdom-
“Her mother is my chambermaid, Victor.-
“Only because her husband died and she had no one else to provide for her daughter, she couldn’t survive her whole life depending on a few gold coins you sent her way” I replied with anger.
“The gold coins were enough-
“No! You know she wanted Akira to get educated, mother. It is not easy, she needed more money-
She cut me off, “However it may be, We all know how her health is deteriorating day by day, soon after her death Akira would be given her mother’s job-
“No! I won’t let her. She has so much potential and you know that. Akira is extremely intelligent, she has reads more books than anybody I know, not only is she well educated but she also has the intellect of the political matters and understanding of what happens in the kingdoms-
“She is not a royal born, Victor. She cannot be a queen of a kingdom, much less of Kingdom Kuru. We occupy one of the biggest kingdoms, people would make fun of her and our kingdom for choosing someone from her status. She would be made a laughing stock and-
“She has spent all her life around me and Tori, mother. Just because she is not a blood born royal does not indicate she does not know about the royal lifestyle, she knows all that goes-
“You are going to break her heart” mother said in a cold voice.
My eyes widened, “I will do no such thing, mother. Akira is-
“If you do not leave that girl, I will send her away after her mother’s death.” She declared.
“But… but she doesn’t have any relatives.. she doesn’t know anyone… where would you even send her?” I stuttered.
“I will look for any relative that I can find, if not, I will send her to another kingdom as a maid. A token of gratitude, providing another queen with a chambermaid who is not just a mere maid as you rightly pointed out but who is also extremely intelligent.” My mother said stoically.
My face paled.
“You have a week, Victor. I’ll give you a week to be good to her or to spend your time with her, but when this time ends, you’ll have to break her heart and push her away or else I can also send her away now with her diseased mother” my mother smirked at me sensing her victory.
As much as I wanted to believe that this was nothing but a threat, I knew my mother would do what she said, if for nothing else than to assert her superiority and to prove how powerful she is.
For the first time in my life I hated my mother, I hated the fact that someday I would be crowned as king. I hated that I was a royal born.
I could hear my heart breaking inside but it wouldn’t be anything compared to what I knew was coming, what I knew I had to do to protect Ira from my mother’s wrath.