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Crowns and Handcuffs

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Prince River of England is tired of royal life, and his obsessive mother, Queen Cordelia, controlling his every move. So, he does what any desperate royal would- become best friends with Axel Harper, a teen drug-dealer sentenced to death. They weren’t supposed to fall in love, that hadn’t been a part of the plan. Then again- when did love ever go to plan?

Romance / Other
AJ Wylder
Age Rating:



Location Undisclosed

09:34 pm

“It was a warm August morning when Prince River of England decided that he wanted to run away. Why, you may ask, is he running away? Why would a boy born into royalty and privilege want to run away? Well, the answer to that that is simple, he is…”

“For God’s sake Cayleb would you stop narrating my life and instead help me find my charger.” I snapped emptying out the contents of my school bag onto the bed.

I watched my older brother grimace as all the stuff I had either hidden away or lost in the cold and dark depths of my school bag came tumbling out in a cloud of crumbs and ink.

“I’m not helping you run away River.” Cayleb smirked leaning against the wall with his arms folded perfectly.

“Fine, then get out of my room.” I said throwing a textbook at his head.

“Why exactly are you running away this time? Is it the Jason thing again?”

I gave him a dark look to which he laughed- Cayleb could never take me seriously when I was annoyed because he said I scowled like a toddler.

The Jason Thing. Jason Weatherly was the new gay boy at school and everybody thought he was so cool and quirky or whatever, I on the other hand despised him. And not in a romantic ‘enemies to lovers’ way like that weird book I read, about somebody named Chase falling in love with his enemy Blaze in high school. I actually hated Jason.

He only ever talked about himself and I’m pretty sure was a borderline sociopath/sadist. When he wasn’t talking about himself, he was talking about sex, really graphically. He had no filter, whatever twisted thoughts came to his head, he felt the need to punish our ears and say out loud. But when I came out to Mum last week on my 17th birthday as bisexual, she was so excited to set the two of us up. Jason’s Dad was some wealthy energy company guy and she loved the idea of the families joining.

So, for the past 14 days she’s been pressuring me to date him and when I said no, she and I had had a full-on scream fight, and by scream fight, I mean she screamed and I listened to her scream. Which leads to now, furiously destroying my room trying to run away from her and Jason Weatherly.

“Is Jason even that bad?” Cayleb said, still smirking, “How bad could one date be?”

“I’m not going to spend a whole evening listening to Jason Weatherly tell me he wants to make my eyes roll to the back of my head.” I snapped.

Cayleb screwed his face up awkwardly, he didn’t like it when people said that sort of stuff to me. He was 8 years older than me and even though I was 17, he still thought of me as a little kid.

“Okay, I can see why you want to run away. But putting psychopath Jason aside, let’s say you do run away, where will you go?”

“Anywhere that’s not here.” I said certainly.

To be perfectly honest, I had no idea where I was planning on running away to, I’d never been able to make it past the driveway in all my previous tries.

All our security details were well accustomed to my frequent runaway attempts, Mum had even debated putting bars on my window after I’d tried to Spiderman my way out of the window and wound up stuck on the roof all night. The paparazzi had had a field day.

“Anywhere, I’ll go and live in the jungle even.” I said diving under my bed, still in search of my charger.

“If you’re going to live in the jungle, why would you need a charger?”

To strangle my prey obviously. I could see it now: hunting, climbing trees, building shelters from sticks and leaves, swimming in lakes, making friends with tigers and leopards.

“River, I told you to get dressed, what are you doing?” Mum snapped walking into my room.

I stuck my head out from under my bed and gave Cayleb a knowing look. He rolled his eyes but didn’t say anything, we’d always been a team against Mum. Not that Mum was Cayleb’s actual mother, technically speaking we were half-brothers, same dad but different mothers.

Mum met our Dad when Cayleb was five years old, she fell madly in love with him and they got married, Cayleb’s real mother died when he was born so he only ever thought of Mum as his mother. But a few days after I was born, Dad had died from a heart attack, so for as long as I could remember, it had only ever been Cayleb, Mum and I.

It was kind of obvious we weren’t full brothers, just by looking at us you could tell. Mum naturally had quite tanned, honey-coloured skin and Dad had been Italian, so I was a lot darker than Cayleb whose mother had been incredibly fair. We both got Dad’s hazel/amber-ish eyes, but I had dark brown hair whilst Cayleb was blonde, he was also still a couple inches taller than me at 5’11”, but I was convinced I still had time to grow.

In any normal family, us being half-brothers wouldn’t be such a big deal, but because Cayleb wasn’t biologically related to Mum, he wasn’t blood-royalty meaning he wasn’t a prince in the same way that I was. So he didn’t have all the stupid royal responsibilities I did which was weird because I knew he would be a much better King than I could ever be.

“I’m not going!” I shouted retreating back underneath the bed before Mum could grab me.

“If I have to drag you kicking and screaming the whole way River Mountbatten-Windsor, I will.” Mum sighed.

I wasn’t going, I didn’t care how cute a couple she thought Jason and I would be, I was not going on a date with him. No way. No way at all.

1 hour later…

“So, River, you’re on the football team, right?” Jason said slightly unsurely.

I stabbed my knife into an unsuspecting piece of pasta on my plate, I watched red tomato sauce ooze out from either side of the stab wound.

“River?” Jason said again.

“Yes, I’m on the football team.” I said finally looking up.

He was good looking, I couldn’t lie to myself, light brown hair and soft green eyes, he’d done modelling a few times before. But I didn’t get attracted to people based purely off of their looks, especially not if, when the second they opened their mouth, I wanted to throw myself off a cliff.


“Are you…”

“Jason, I’m sorry, I really don’t want to do this right now, this was Mum’s idea, not mine.”

He stopped talking and sat back slightly, reached for his glass of water and took a small sip before smiling a little to himself. Jason looked back at me for a second and smiled again.

“I don’t want to do this either.” He sighed, “Dad thought it would be a good thing, but I’ve been kind of dreading it the whole day.”

Was not expecting that. I softened, my shoulders relaxed slightly and I put the knife on the table and sat up straighter.

“Mum thinks just because I like guys and girls now that I’ll date anyone she wants.” I said.

“Yeah, I get that. Now that I’ve come out, Dad feels the need to ask my opinion on things like clothes and interior design, I kind of just pick a random one to get him to leave me alone.”

“That can’t be good.”

“Yeah, now we have one luminous yellow wall in the kitchen and one bright orange.”

I laughed, if only because I felt the need to laugh in such an awkward situation.

“You wanna get out of here?” Jason asked standing up.


As we were leaving, my personal security detail- Kass- made to follow us but Mum, who had been spying on us the whole time, held her back.

Most of the royal family security guards were female, Mum said it was because she wanted to employ more women in security but I knew it was mainly because she didn’t trust men to keep us safe, not after what happened with Cayleb when he was younger.

“Should we go outside?” Jason asked.

He took a step closer to me, I didn’t say anything.

We walked out the back gates into the castle garden, it was nearly 11pm so the sky was pitch black, but Mum had obviously prepared for us to go outside because she’d set up warm orange lighting near the outside swing seat.

“So, Queen Cordelia made you come on this date with me?” Jason said.

I always found it strange when people called Mum, Queen Cordelia. Not just because I didn’t call her that, it was the way they said it that was odd. The slight fear in their voice as they said her name.

Everybody in the country was slightly scared of her, she was ruthless and whilst I supposed that that was good for a leader, sometimes being ruthless wasn’t the best skill to have when being a mother.

“She means well, I think, but I thought she’d understand of all people. She married my Dad for love, so I figured she’d let me do the same. Plus, arranged dates are awkward.”

“Very awkward. I just hate things like this, you know, the small talk, the uncomfortable conversations all of it.”

I nodded in agreement, maybe Jason wasn’t so bad. Maybe all that weird sexual talk was just a front at school, to act tough. He turned around abruptly to face me catching me off-guard so I stumbled backwards into the wall.

“So why don’t we skip the small talk River?” He said lowering his voice and hovering his lips above mine.

Spoke too soon.

“Jason, I’m not interested in you.” I groaned pushing off the wall and walking away from him.

“Aw come on River. I’ll be gentle, promise.” He laughed.

Maybe I should just go back to being straight at this point.

“You said it yourself,” He said, “The Queen wants us to be together, it’s inevitable, why fight fate?”

Screw fate.

I was so done at this point.

So I finally did it. I ran away.

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