Beverly Hills Academy : The Royal Affair
Chapter 19 : Gone Rogue...
Nicky looked at him with bulged eyes but Jeffrey's twinkling blue ones made her nervous and look away. "And. And why would you think so?" She stuttered, evading giving an answer. He shrugged thoughtfully. "I dunno, but it kinda feels like it. You don't talk to me except you're forced to. You avoid me everytime we meet up at Rick's. You don't hang with me like you used to. And if we cross paths, you avoid contact and put some kind of. odd distance between us. " He paused. "Nick, you look away anytime you're with me. like you're doing right now. " He noticed and playfully raised her chin with a curved finger. Nicky could feel it slipping. Gazing up at his pleasant features, she could feel her resolve slipping away. And his finger on her wasn't helping at all. She slowly drew away. "Fine. Maybe you're right. But it's best for me, you and Ricky if I just continue this way. Please, don't take it the wrong way. " She murmured and made to leave but he gently held her back. A soft gasp escaped her lips as butterflies fluttered crazily at the pit of her stomach. Nicky took in a deep breath to stop herself from crying and yelling and confessing and making him feel hurt for making her feel hurt first at the same time!. Her sanity was going rogue!. "I'm sorry, but I don't get it. " He apologized. "Why would us staying away from each other affect the relationship I have with both you and. your brother??" Jeffrey sounded genuinely lost. Nicky kept her back to him as a lonely tear slid down her cheek. Jeffrey Campbell was still helplessly in love with Becky O'Neil even though the latter didn't reciprocate his feelings. She reminded herself. So how could she explain that letting her brother see her hurt, and being reminded time and again that his best friend's the cause go down well with either of them? It was only gonna cause a rift between them and Nicky didn't want that to happen. Ricky saw them as his family and she wasn't going to ruin that for her weak, selfish emotions!. With that in mind, Nicky placed her hand on his and decisively pulled away. ***. Arian Antoine De' Argent watched as Natalia walked away, a cold loneliness taking over him with every step she took. Having her in his arms felt natural, felt. right. The faint scent of lavender which wafted from her beautiful hair left him helplessly breathless. Yet, it got him entrapped, wanting for more. The softness of her skin hinted they needed all the gentleness in the world and his hands had seemed to obey. The young master was frozen in place, reeling in the alien emotions that were rising within that he barely noticed when she pulled away, or the incoherent apology she muttered before leaving. However, reality dawned on Arian when he saw her wrap her arms around herself. The atmosphere had turned a bit chilly earlier and she'd given out her jacket to that commoner. Whoever said 'kindness pays' should be smacked in the head! He frowned in displeasure and felt his legs move on their own accord. He walked briskly after the Princess and took off his jacket, gently placing it around her and surprising himself once again. Arian was on a cozy, hooded pullover underneath so he was still quite comfortable. He secured it tightly around her and turned to leave but her weary voice stopped him. "Don't you get it?" She whispered softly. "Being around you invites trouble to me. Simply interacting with you for the first time made a group of people hate me so much, that only God knows what evil things their twisted minds are cooking up right now to hurt me. " She paused, her parted lips letting out a soft sigh. Seeing her so exhausted reminded Arian of a baby bird drenched in rain. A vengeful icicle in the young master's cold heart wavered, but his features maintained his indifference. "If it's not much of a bother, please let's not cross paths so frequently. I apologize for my ill manners towards you. You can get back at me for being rude, but in subtility, please. Apparently, my peace and sanity in this school depends hugely on our distance. So please. let's keep it that way
Natalia removed the jacket, lifted Arian's arm and gently hung it on it. Then deliberately avoiding his eyes, she stepped aside and left. As it seemed, the Princess did not only leave. She left the young master in a turmoil of his emotions which was mostly overwhelmed with the uncomfortable pricks of guilt. ***. ( Astheria, Australia. Queen Fiona wrote in her secret journal in the quietness of her bedroom office. It'd become a favourite hobby of the eighty year old ever since her instincts kept warning her about the crisis approaching the Royal family, her granddaughter. The diary held her suspicions, puzzlements and revelations. But mostly, it was a guidance. Whenever she was done, the Queen hid it in a secret safe which no one knew about, except the reigning rulers and crown royals. Just as she laid on her bed to rest, her little pearl, Alexis, called through a video chat. Queen Fiona hastily rose again, powdered her face a little and wore her glasses. Connecting the video call, she saw the Princess clad in a thick woolen pajama instead of the nightgown and robe which was customary with every Royal. With a smile, the Queen finalized that she meant to exercise every freedom from her office. Natalia smiled at her grandmother. "I really thought you were already in bed, grandma, and wanted to check in tomorrow. "No, honey. How are you?" The Queen dotingly smiled. Natalia returned it faintly, looking really tired. "I'm fine, grandma, thank you. It's just a bit of the cold and a whole lot of homework! Anyway, I should be asking you that instead. How are you? You look quite pale?" She noticed with concerned etched all over her huge brown eyes. "Silly girl! Have you forgotten? It's really cold here at night now. And besides, I'm getting really old. I can't compete with your lush, young skin forever. " She waved her hand dismissively. Natalia laughed out, hastily laying flat on her tummy and holding her personal laptop in place. "I miss you so much. " She whispered after a while. "Thought you were in a hurry to leave?" She jested and Natalia flushed. The Queen chuckled. "I miss you much more my little, precious pearl. " She continued. "So, tell me how your day was. Any "gist"?". Natalia helplessly giggled and hid her blushing face in one of her throw pillows. It was their nightly routine to share 'gists', the Princess's new favourite word which had no actual relation to the meaning, but the most mischievous event of her day. The Queen chuckled too. Since they couldn't have their evening chats one on one, the Royals had to do it online. Natalia spent the next thirty minutes talking about how her day went, without hiding anything from her grandmother. "So, you like him?" The Queen tauntingly wriggled her brows. Natalia bulged her eyes open. "Grandma!!" She yelled in embarrassment. The Queen laughed. "I do not!" She emphatically stated. "I mean, he was only nice once but he's also a real time jerk! Almost a royal one, given the important air he puts on!" She snorted. "I don't think. No, I'm certain I don't like him that way. Especially as his girl fans are currently and viciously after my neck! I don't want that much trouble over a boy. " The Princess concluded and the Queen sighed. It was one of the things she wanted her to get rid of. "Alexis, I've always told you that if you let people have their way over you, obnoxious kinds or not, then with time you're gonna become a puppet. Forget the stress or unpleasantness of a competition, If you really want something, then you have every right to go after it!". "Except for a noble reason, you do NOT do the bowing! You ARE a crown princess, a future Empress! And I'm saying this not only because of the boy but also when you become Queen. " She solemnly lectured. "I miss all this. Having you by my side, listening. " Natalia muttered with emotion. "I wish you'll stay with me forever, grandma. "Of course, I will. Right there in your beautiful heart, forever
" She smiled warmly, touched by the sentiment. "Now, to bed you go! You look awfully tired. " The Queen ordered with a subtle note of urgency. She was slowly starting to feel the dizzy spells and didn't want her granddaughter seeing her pass out. "Okay, grandma. Goodnight!" Natalia pouted ignorantly and blew her a heartfelt kiss. "Goodnight, Alexis. Remember that I always love you. " The Queen smiled and Natalia disconnected. As soon as her home screen appeared, a mighty dizzy spell hit and the Queen's smile faded into a painful groan. She weakly layed on her royal bed and within minutes, she was out. ***. ( Beverly Hills, California. A bright Friday morning and Natalia felt great!. snuggling comfortably into a stuffed teddy. She didn't feel like jumping up just yet but her alarm chose that exact moment to interfere like the boss of the morning it was!. The Princess opened her eyes and felt a slight headache hit her. She'd always had a dreadful weakness with cold weathers. She drew the duvet aside and stood up. Her vision blurred but she made her way to the bathroom safely. After a warm shower, Natalia slipped into a bathrobe and a matching pink head towel before walking into her closet. Fridays at the academy were mainly for workouts and extracurriculars, and her gym clothes were in her locker room. So, she settled for something simple. Picking out a wrap dress which had orange and white flowery designs and a slightly fitted bodice, she let out a pretty smile. The dress was light and quite simple, but cute. Natalia dressed up and stepped out to brush her hair. After grooming it, she wore a white headband and brushed it to both sides of her face. Then she finished with a pair of nice summer sandals which accentuated the color of her white nail polish. In total, the princess looked a cute mix of orange and white. At the last minute, Natalia took along a bottle of aspirin. Then she picked up a jacket and left the room. Elva was already at the table, looking great in black shorts and a blue tank top which matched her boots. Trust her to always kill the looks!. "You're a little late today. You okay?" She looked up from her sandwich. "Yes, thank you. It's just a little cold. " Natalia took her place and stole a sip from her orange juice. "Little??" Elva bulged her eyes in disbelief. "Natalia, no cold is "little" for you! Wait right here! I'm calling the doctor immediately. " She breathed and ran off to her work phone at the edge of panic!. Biting her lip in guilt, the princess really couldn't blame her. About twenty minutes later, the doctor came. He examined her and asked about whatever-doctors-asked-a-sick-patient before prescribing some medication. Then he told the seemingly obedient patient to get plenty of rest. "Can we go now?" The Princess grumbled as soon as he was gone. Elva looked skeptical but they left anyway. At school, the students were in their pristine white gym clothes which had elegant gold stripes across the top. They were supposed to have only a theory class on physical education first thing that morning but they'd missed it. LATE AS USUAL!. Holding both their bags, Elva clasped her fingers with Natalia's as they walked, fussing about what to do and what not to do the entire day!. Natalia almost cried. Elva was so baby-ing her! She thought and pouted. If that was even a thing!. "Natalia!" They were at an open corridor which had pretty little flower pots at the side walks when they heard someone call out. The girls turned, expecting Nicky or Jeffrey. But it wasn't. Elva furrowed her brows in confusion as Natalia cheerfully waved back. But that expression morphed into a shocked one when the stranger came over and did the unexpected!. Chapter 20