Beverly Hills Academy : The Royal Affair
Chapter 2 : Fall In Love Too.
"Well. your loss. " Jeffrey replied in the same tone. Everyone chuckled again and even Ricky ended up smirking. Arian simply displayed his legendary eye roll and completed the journey from the stairs to the nearest dining chair. With a curt gesture of his hands, Butler Lee signalled the standby maids and what was left of breakfast was cleared up within minutes. Nanny came over and took little Tommy upstairs while Mom Rose followed behind, fussing over ordering a new collection of children's wears again. Certainly, the old ones were as good as trashed. The rich? Jeffrey Campbell sighed. "Dude, tell me you're taking that baby out on a freakin' helluva ride!" Ricky whistled, looking thrilled the moment the young heirs were left by themselves. With the exception of the family butler, of course. A-mobiles was about to launch another brand new, model sport car and as usual, Arian's father had sent him one in advance. Sir Argent did it every time there was an upgraded spec either as a gift to his passive son or simply for further publicity. But whatever the reason, Arian, as usual, didn't care. "No. " His reply was blank. Ricky's face contorted in a funny way. "You've gotta be shitting me! Those babies aren't officially out yet and you jus' wanna lock away that hot ass like the rest of your little fancy toys?? Come on, dude. Not this time!". "Yeah, I'm with Rick. A, you've gotta get wild a little! And I'm not only talking about the sweet ride. Life ain't all about home, school and home again. We're on summer break and senior year's starting in a bit. There's no better time for you to learn to live a little and. meet some hot chics?" Ricky deviously winked, cutting Jeffrey off. And for the first time ever, Arian and Jeffrey jointly agreed on something, shooting him nasty looks. "Oh, puhlease! There's more to fun than that, you know. " Jeffrey countered, making Ricky's grin double up. "More like what?" He mused sarcastically, permanently forgetting about his ruined sneakers. "Living like a monk hidden somewhere in the Himalayas?" The wild playboy snickered, briefly shooting a taunting look at Arian-no-fun-Argent before returning his gaze to Jeffrey-good-fun-Campbell. "Or waiting for that ancient crush to finally take her eyes off my assistant captain and focus only on me?". "Ouch. " Arian silently hooted, focusing on the apple he was messing around with. "That's a pretty lousy thing to say, Rick. What'd I ever do to you. " Jeffrey muttered and lowered his eyes. Ricky sighed apologetically when he noticed the energetic humour which was always present in Jeffrey's ocean blue eyes was absent. "Man, I didn't mean to hurt you but you've gotta face the blank truth someday. You and Becky aren't just meant to be! The poor thing's always had eyes on Danny and the worst part is the. douche hasn't even noticed her. " Jeffrey finished in a dull tone. "Exactly! Dude, you've got to move on before you become worse than a certain someone I know. Maybe this time, you'ld get your heart really broken and decide to become a caveman instead. " Ricky lowered his voice when he came to the part that DEFINITELY had to do with the hot French. Arian's facial reaction made Jeffrey helplessly chuckle. "Yo! I'm sure you ain't talking to me. " He finally turned his attention away from the bullied apple. "But when you finally do fall in love, i'll be the one to personally cheer you on, bro. " Jeffrey turned from sulky to mischievous. Arian snorted in disdain and tossed the apple over his shoulders. "Maybe when princesses get sick of a tiara. "Careful what you wish for. We're in auspicious times, you know. " Jeffrey naughtily breezed and brought out his phone. "Well have fun with that love shit. " Ricky zeroed out. "I've always wondered what's up with your suckish heart. " Jeffrey grimaced. "But then I really don't care
"Who's still in for a spin?" Arian boredly breathed and stood up, the conversation suddenly exhausting him. Thankfully, it snapped the obnoxious Ricky Winterfield out of the memories he wanted dead and long forgotten. ***. ( Empire Astheria, Located Somewhere In The Continent Of Australia. "Grandma, if you don't take your pills then I won't talk to you for a whole week!" Natalia threatened. It was one of those evenings she and the Que. oh sorry. her grandmother squabbled about her medication. Adamance ran in the family. But the "cold treatment for a week" threat worked all the time. "Angel, you wouldn't do that. You would never let your poor, old grandmother alone for a week, right?" Queen Fiona purred delicately, trying the emotional blackmail which was the princess's helpless weakness. But how WRONG she was!. "Yes, I will! And I'll add an extra week if you take a second longer!" Her grand daughter bossed. At that, negotiation was over and the pills went straight where they were supposed to. After having enough water, the royal maids disappeared from the Queen's chambers with the silver tray, leaving the guards outside the door. "See, wasn't that fast? You know you'll actually get better if you continue this way. " Natalia beamed and graciously walked them over to the lovely, garden-like balcony where they had their evening chats with a cup of tea nearby. The Royals sat together on one of the double cushions spread out in a semi circle and stared ahead at the beautiful night scenery of Central Astheria. The glorious city was illuminated by the golden rays from street lights and glows from different sign boards. From afar, they could see vague images of citizens still wandering about. And once in a while, distant sounds of happy laughters rang through the still, night air. Funny enough, this was the only time of the day the princess could admit having fun. Endless lessons on being the perfect Royal and performing royal duties drained a lot of energy from her. Sometimes, Natalia wondered what it'ld be like to have a normal life outside Astheria, or more precisely, outside the walls of the palace. Ever since she was young, the princess had avoided public royal functions and balls as much as she could. And for the critically important events she couldn't miss, she always wore a mask to hide her Identity. Natalia had taken it upon herself to avoid princes and supposed noblemen who only tried to get close in order to get their filthy hands on Astheria's vast amount of wealth!. She had turned down countless proposals of engagement and broken a lot of fake hearts. And also, getting married on contract wasn't on the princess's bucket list, AT ALL. Thankfully, grandma doted on her immensely to refuse her Angel's every wish. Aside the number of ''aristocratic'' hawks hovering around the princess's tower, Natalia had a frightening feeling. The feeling, deep and turbid in her guts, that her parents' tragic deaths wasn't accidental. The late Crown Prince and his wife had a long and secure entourage leading them from the airport to the palace on that stormy night. Yet, only the royal limousine they were in was involved in the crash?. Natalia helplessly avoided asking her grandmother the whole truth because bringing up the topic alone still upset the old Queen, even though over a decade had passed. And besides, the Queen's health was now fragile, more than ever. Several thoughts passed through her mind at the speed of light that she didn't notice the pathetic sighs which escaped her lips at intervals. Natalia only came back to reality when a foreign hand took both her cold hands into their slightly warm ones. "I won't bother asking if you are alright when it is evident you are not. " Queen Fiona gave a small smile as she rubbed some warmth into her granddaughter's hands lovingly. "Tell me?". Natalia hastily sat up straight like she'd been taught all her life and forced a smile which was clearly faux to anyone passing. "It's nothing, grandma. I'm just a tad dizzy from today's lessons, that's all. " She mechanically responded. "You could fool anyone you want with all the training in the world but certainly not me. Remember, I passed through them myself. Now tell grandmother what is bothering her little pearl?" The Queen's warm smile reached her wise eyes. Natalia knew there was no escaping the inevitable so she bared out her soul. not just her heart, to her grandmother. Everything she was feeling aside her parents' death. When she was done;. "So, even with me here, you still feel lonely?" The Queen asked glumly, feeling she had let, both herself and her late son and his wife down, in properly caring for their precious daughter. Natalia's breath hitched, hating herself for being thoughtless and selfish. "N. no. No, of course not! It's not t. it's just
" She stuttered for what excuse to give, but ended up saying the truth nonetheless. "I want to know what it feels like to live like a regular teenager. " She let out. "I. I want to attend a normal party without worrying about what society would think and. and hang out with other teenagers my age! Grandma, I want to have sleepovers and. and movie nights, to have real friends and attend a normal school. I want to go for class examinations, school excursions, perform extra curriculars, have healthy competitions, and if possible. " Natalia held her breath and confessed more slowly. fall in love too. The locked up princess was imagining each of those beautiful possibilities as they rolled off her tongue with ease. She didn't even notice the passion and longing in her voice!. Minutes that felt like seconds passed by before Queen Fiona finally parted her lips. "All you have shared isn't new to me. " She confessed. The moment those words came out, Natalia swept her gaze so fast towards her direction that her neck almost snapped!. "Huh?". ''Mhm. All you have said isn't new to me. Remember. again. I was once in your shoes. " The Queen paused and then continued. "Long ago, when I was a young princess, I had to watch from the comfort and seclusion of my blinded windows how the kids of the palace workers around my age played and grew up together. My only wish, was to just be like them. I envied them. "It got so bad that if the opportunity had ever come, I'ld have given away the throne just to live the life I wanted!". "Back then, in my period of ignorance and sheer improvident, it felt like being a Royal was a bondage. A curse restricting your every feeling and desire. So I understand exactly how you feel, my little Angel. " She held Natalia's eyes beyond her golden-rimmed glasses. "And as for the falling in love perspective? I also wanted to be with someone I loved. He wasn't of a royal blood or a noble born. Well, in status though. We were even together in secret!" The Queen gave a dry, acerbic chuckle remembering those memories while Natalia stared spellbound in silence, emotions flickering consistently. "But we couldn't be together much longer because father found out. Even though genuine sparks flew, our romance was over as soon as it started. We were separated for good and an arranged marriage was allied. She took in a deep breath and let the silence stretch for a while. Natalia left a single tear to roll down her rosy cheek. "Being a princess or Royalty isn't only a bed of roses, Alexis. Sometimes, we keep dreaming knowing we won't achieve. Other times, we have to choose duty over our dreams even though they might be staring us right in the face!". "Others might see the throne and the pleasures, glitter and glamour associated with it as an enviable position. And yes, they are right. But they don't realise the reality of that old saying; 'uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. "Admist the dreams and desires, as a Crown Princess, you can't forget that a bigger responsibility awaits you as an Empress when I'm no more. "Grandma, don't say that! That thought is so scary. You're not gonna leave me here all alone. I love you so much. " Natalia choked on the tears that threatened to fall. "In fact, this conversation is over! I no longer want to leave. I'm content with the happiness of being here with you. no, with us. Okay?". The old Queen didn't say a word further but simply looked at her grand daughter with so much pity, pain and love. She shared a faint smile with Natalia and gently patted her hands once more, before looking away towards the golden city…. Chapter 03