My Firstborn: A New Chapter

Last January, I gave birth to our first born, a gentle son.

When I heard his first cry, my heart jumped out of joy and excitement.

When I first held him and our eyes first met, I knew that my life is complete.

I was holding an angel… he was so beautiful.

He was everything I prayed for, I wished for. It was the exact same face I saw in my dreams. From then on, I knew that I have someone who will be watching my every move and when he’s capable, he will do the things I will do.

What’s really important to me is I finally understood what unconditional love is.

My parents once told me that the love between a man and a woman can be conditional, broken, divided. But the love of a parent to their children can never be broken.

And they were right.

As I hold him, I knew that whatever happens, I love my son and I will make sure he will get everything he needs and he deserves. I will not let someone hurt him. I did not take care of him for nine months in my belly just so someone could bully him, hurt him or break his heart.

I took care of him and I continue to do it so he would know how he should be treated and what his worth is. It will also teach him how people should be treated.

This is a new a chapter for me. A new beginning.

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AMEIRA: Chapter Four

AMEIRA 

I was awake by a knock on my door. “Enter.” I answered as I stretched.

The door opened as I sat down slowly. It was Cristina, one of my handmaidens.

“Good morning, Cristina.” I smiled, rubbing my eyes.

“Good morning, milady.” She bowed. “I hope I did not bother your sleep too much.” She apologized.

“It’s alright, Cristina.” I reassured. “Is anything the matter?” I enquired.

“It’s eight in the morning, Your Grace,” She started. “And we are currently preparing your breakfast but we do not know whether you want it in bed or in the dining room.” She continued.

“I’d like to have breakfast with Charles.” I smiled as I looked to the couch on the foot of my bed, hoping I would find Charles sleeping… but I was disappointed.

“Where is Charles?” I quickly questioned, baffled and worried.

“Oh, he’s in the garden with Lord Antoine.” She informed. Lord Antoine?! He’s already here?!

“Lord Antoine is already here in the castle?” I asked.

“Yes, milady, he arrived very early.” She answered. “Prince Charles attended to him as he arrived.” She continued.

That was very… welcoming of Charles. I then stood up and started to fix my bed.

“Oh, Your Grace, let me do that.” Cristina quickly attempted to stop me from fixing my own bed. Seriously, do they think I’m that’s spoiled?

“No, it’s alright, Cristina.” I answered, reassuring her. “I make my own bed in Ireland so there’s nothing to worry about.” I continued. “On the other hand, please send my breakfast to the garden. I will be joining Prince Charles and Lord Antoine.”

“Understood, milady.” She bowed. “Would there be anything else? Would you like to have a bath before breakfast?” she asked.

Hm, a nice bath would do. I wouldn’t want to smell like a dirty sewer rat in front of a guest. “Of course. Lemon suds, please.” I requested.

“As you wish, Your Grace.” She bowed. She went on her way. After fixing my bed, I decided to look out the window, seeing the beautiful mountains beyond. I once wished I would climb that mountain. And I’m still wishing I would.

I heard a sudden thud on the wall. I looked around to see nothing. But that loud thud came from my room, on the right corner by the painting of our castle. I walked to that wall, put the painting aside and put my ear against it, hoping maybe the thud came from there.

And I wasn’t mistaken! I heard it again! Here, in this very wall! I touched everywhere in the wall, hoping I could find a secret entrance… and it looks like I did. At one part of the wall, it felt like it was lighter. I knocked and it sounded like a wood. I pushed with a little force and the piece of wood opened.

It showed a secret passageway. Could someone be using this tunnel? Could this secret passageway be made and used by our enemies? To kill me? To destroy my family? Oh, the things our enemies could do with this passageway!

Or… it can be used… by me…

“Milady?” someone started knocking on my door. It’s my handmaidens! They must not discover this passageway.

“One moment, please.” I quickly replied to their call. I quickly closed the wooden door and hung the painting back to its place on the wall. I fixed myself and said, “You may come in.”

The door opened and my list of handmaidens headed to my bathroom to prepare for me.

“Milady, are you alright?” Cristina walked towards me. “You sounded like you panicked when you heard us arrive.”

“I am alright.” I lied. “I was just… startled because I was doing my morning ritual.” I continued. I may not be a good liar but I do hope my reasoning is effective.

“You are easy to scare then.” She replied. I sense like she’s thinking of something bad.

“Not that easily. Just when someone interrupts my time alone.” I answered.

“Your Grace?” a handmaiden called from the bathroom. I looked to her. “Your bath is ready now.” She informed.

I nodded. “Thank you.”

Well, we wouldn’t want to keep Charles and Lord Antoine waiting.
As I walk down the steps to the garden, I sighted Charles with Lord Antoine, engaged in what it seems like a very happy and light conversation. That means they get along quite well, which is a good thing. As I got nearer, Charles finally turns his head and sees me.

He then stood up to greet me. I can see him he excused himself for a moment to attend to me. “Good morning, lovely.” He greeted with a smile as he walked towards me.

I giggled. “And good morning to you, early bird.” I replied. We then shared a hug. “I see you have attended to our guest and it’s very kind of you to wake up early to accommodate him.” I continued, praising Charles.

He chuckled. “Well, the guards knocked too early and I didn’t want to disturb you so I took the liberty of attending to Lord Antoine myself.” He explained. “Thank you for the compliment, as well.” He quickly added.

“Thank you very much for that, Charles.” I thanked, holding his hands. “You have such a good heart. You’re born to be a ruler, a ruler with compassion.”

He smiled a big smile. I can feel he melted with my words. “You just woke up and flowery words already have entered my ears.” He responded, trying to contain his smile. “Thank you for completing my day.”

We shared a small giggle together.

“Anyways, why don’t we introduce you to Lord Antoine now?” he offered. “He’s been very anxious and excited to meet you.”

I sighed, going along with the game.

As we reached the table, Charles called him. “Lord Antoine?”

As Lord Antoine stood up, he turned to us. He has a slight beard all over his cheek, chin and under his nose. He looks quite old for me.

“May I present to you the lovely Princess Ameira of Scotland.” Charles introduced.

Lord Antoine then walked to me and game a kiss on my hand. “A pleasure to meet you, Princess Ameira.” He smiled.

“Please, do call me Ameira only. I don’t like being called as a ‘princess’.” I smiled as I pulled back my hand slightly.

He chuckled. “That’s very… humble of you, Princess Ameira. No wonder the people of Scotland adores you.” He replied.

“That is a very generous compliment of yours, Lord Antoine.” I thanked. “It has been my custom and promise to life that I shall be a queen of compassion, not just law and order.” I continued.

“A very well put heir.” Lord Antoine then turned to Charles. “Her parents have raised her well.”

“That is a fact.” Charles agreed. “Growing up with Ameira, I knew she would grow up to be a lovely person and a very powerful queen indeed.”

Charles then turned to me. “Want to sit?”

I nodded with a smile.

Charles lend me his seat as he stood behind me. Lord Antoine then sits down once more.

“I heard you’ve just come home from the Irish courts.” Lord Antoine started the conversation.

“Um, yes. I’ve spent quite some time there to learn the ways of parliament and court.” I started. “It was the way of my parents for me to learn the cunning ways of people in power.” I continued.

“And have you enjoyed your time there?” he enquired.

“Of course. Seeing lovely places is what I enjoyed most in Ireland.” I smiled. “I am planning on bringing my family their for a vacation some time.”

“Have you been Ireland, my lord?” I asked.

“Yes. I visited Ireland last week for selling of resources.” He answered with quite an arrogant attitude.

“Really?” I showed a little hint of interest even though I am not.

“Yes. Surely you must’ve seen me there.”

“Oh, I do apologize but last week, I was in court watching how they sentence justice to criminals.” I responded.

“And how do they serve justice?” he questioned another one.

“Some are light, some have a little weight and some are… dreadful.” I explained. “It’s a worst comes to worst basis in their court.” I continued.

Some of the guards suddenly walked to Charles and I.

“Your Highnesses,” one of the guards started. “We have updates on the case of Prince Alexander. Perhaps you would like to talk about it.”

Charles and I then looked to each other. We both know how important this case is to us but we cannot abandon our guest. That would be rude of us. He then holds my hand and gives me a reassuring smile.

“I’ll go.” He said, turning to the guards. “I will be right back, I promise.” He replied, turning back to me. He then gives my hand a kiss.

“Pardon me for a moment, Lord Antoine. There is one business that I have to attend to.” He smiled to Antoine.

“It’s alright, Charles. Just be sure you’ll return before I leave.” Lord Antoine reminded Charles.

“Of course.” He gave a slight bow. He smiled to me once more and headed on his way with the guards. I hate it when he leaves me in cases like this. I’m not very good in handling guests. I did not develop my social skills that much.

“So,” Lord Antoine started. “Since Charles is gone, perhaps we can converse on a more serious matter.” He continued.

“What do you mean?” I answered, needing verification on what he means.

“About our marriage.”

He already knows?! Did Charles tell him about it?! “I’m sorry?”

“You must be told that we are bound to be wed.” Lord Antoine responded. “Your father has told me about it. Surely, he brought this subject to you.”

“He did.” I said. “But… the decision is still in my hands… and I’m still choosing Charles to be my husband.” I continued.

“So, feelings first before country?” he smirked.

“Wisdom without words and love is nothing.” I replied. “Is there a problem with that?”

“You may following your heart but… is it the right move for your country and your people?” he asked back.

“What are you trying to implement on me?” I snapped. “That I am a foolish future ruler of Scotland? That I cannot take care of my people? That my country will not be safe in my hands?” I continued throwing conclusions. He is insulting my capability to rule Scotland, my home.

“All I’m saying is that a queen must be ruthless and cunning, even more than her future king.” Lord Antoine answered. “Yes, a queen with a heart is loved. But will love help your country survive especially at these times when everyone is at war? To be a queen at this era, you must be smart. Brains are needed now, not hearts.” He continued.

“And who are you to dictate what I should do? Are you my king?”

“I am your future husband. And as my future queen, you must follow me in everything that I tell you.” Ha! How brave of him to say that he’s my future king. Never will I let Scotland be in the hands of this no-good lord.

“May I remind you, Lord Antoine, that you are in my home and you have no right to dictate what I am supposed to do.” I started as I stood up. “And also, only my father wants me to be wed to you but that doesn’t mean it’s final.”

“He’s the king. Whatever he says goes.”

“Not in Scotland.” I responded. “My father consults with my mother and I before he makes any decisions. And that is a sign of a true rule.”

I don’t want to boast about my father but it is but the truth. Being a ruler isn’t just about power and all the material things you’ll have. It’s always about your country and your people. It’s always about the welfare of my country. Brains are needed but like what I said: wisdom without heart is completely useless.

He then takes a quick sip from his tea. “I can see why your father’s having a hard time controlling you. I assume that when we marry, you will take over me rather than me take over you.”

“Then I guess Scotland isn’t for you, Lord Antoine.” I answered.

“Do you honestly think that I am to give up that easily?” he replied, arrogantly. “You may be in control today but once we are husband and wife, I’ll break your backbone and you’ll surrender to me for the rest of your life.” He continued as he walked to me, his voice changed from nice to absolute darkness.

“If you think that you can scare me with your threats, you’re wrong.” I answered, trying to contain my fear in my body.

“Is that so?” he asked with the smile of the devil.

I nodded, trying to keep a brave face against this demon in front of me.

“Then why is your breath shaking?” Oh no, he noticed. “Even a future queen such as you has a weakness and I’m seeing you are not as strong as you think you are.” He continued.

“I am stronger than you think.” I answered, feeling anger rush into my veins.

“Oh, I would love to see that… and then crush it like a piece of grain.” He growled.

“Ameira.” Charles’ voice finally rescued me from the darkness I feel with Lord Antoine. I will not marry this bastard. My country would not be taken care of if he was king.

“Ameira,” Charles finally reached me. “I have something very important to tell y–” he stopped talking when he held my hand. He must’ve felt me shaking.

“Well, I must retire now to my room.” Antoine then switches back to his costume of goodness. “Thank you for the wonderful breakfast, Charles.” He smiled at Charles. “Your Highness…” he bowed to me and walked away.

As Lord Antoine disappeared from our sight, I started to panic, trying to push Charles away from me.

“Don’t push me away, Ameira.” Charles comforted me. “Sit down.”

He helped me sit down, holding me gently like I’m something very fragile. He then knelt in front of me, holding my hand.

“Why are you shaking?” Charles started to ask. “What did he say to you? Did he hurt you?”

“He… he didn’t hurt me…” I replied softly, still shaking.

“Okay, calm down, Ameira.” He continued to comfort me, rubbing my hands. “What happened when I was gone?”

“He… he cannot be the king of Scotland. He has no heart.” I started. “He said he will make me surrender to him no matter how he does it. I don’t think he’ll take care of my people. I fear, I fear the worst.” I continued, starting to panic and burst into tears.

“Sshh, sshh, Ameira.” Charles then pulled me into his arms. “It’s alright, I am here now. He will not hurt you.” He continued.

We then stopped hugging. “Ameira, do you honestly believe that your father would let you marry this man if he knows he’s going to hurt you?” he asked.

“I don’t think my father cares about my safety anymore. All he cares for now is what Scotland needs.” I sniffled.

Charles then wiped some of the tears that are starting to fall down on my cheeks. “Well, do you think I would let that bastard hurt you?” he asked.

I looked to him, finding comfort with just the sight of his honey brown eyes.

“Ameira…” He started, cupping my face gently in his hands. “Even if your father wants you to marry Lord Antoine and if you two get married, I will never let him hurt you. He will die with my hand if he tries to.” He continued.

“So, don’t you worry too much. I won’t let anything happen to you.” He smiled. “Now, don’t cry.” He started to wipe my tears away.

“I am here.” He then gives me a soft peck on my forehead.

Never did I felt I wasn’t safe in Charles’ arms. He knows how to comfort me and assure me that everything will be alright. And everything he says is always true. I know Charles can protect me from whatever danger that may surface. And I am thankful for his presence.

“Thank you, Charles.” I thanked as I caressed his face. “You always know how to assure me I will be fine.” I continued.

“Anyways, what is it that you wanted to tell me? How did it go with the guards’ reports?” I changed the subject and the mood.

“The guards have investigated your incident with Prince Alexander. And a witness surfaced.” He said, his voice sounding very triumphant.

“A witness??” I asked in bewilderment. “What did the witness say?” I quickly asked more.

“It’s confirmed that… my mother did pay Prince Alexander… to take your virtue so you would not be wed to me.” Charles replied, disappointed.

“Oh… I am sorry to hear that, Charles.” I answered.

“You’re  sorry?” he questioned, baffled.

“I know how your mother means so much to you.” I started. “And for you to know that she’s the one behind Alexander’s attempts, I know it’s disappointing for you. You would forgive your mother, right?” I continued.

“Forgive her? After what she did to you, you want me to forgive her?” he responded. I think he’s starting to grow mad at me.

“Well, what she did is unacceptable but Charles, she’s your mother still.” I protested. “I know what she did was wrong but I know she only did that because she loves you and she doesn’t want your future to be ruined.” I explained.

“Ameira, she may be my mother but what she did to you is highly unacceptable.” He replied. “She just put your life at risk and you’re expecting me to forgive her for what she did?”

“You may not forgive her now but in the near future.” I answered, trying to convince him.

I don’t want Charles’ relationship with his mother be torn by what she did to me. She will still end up blaming me for that and that may cause her to hate me more than she already does now.

The trumpets suddenly started their fanfare. My family as back.
Charles and I head to the gates to welcome my family home from their journey. As the carriage stopped, my family came out one by one.

“Hello there, lovelies.” I happily greeted my sisters as they ran to my arms. “Did you have fun on your little sleepover?” I enquired.

“Yes, we did.” Iris said.

“Look, Ameira, I found this shiny marble in my room this morning. Auntie said I could keep it.” Anny intervened as she showed me a big blue marble.

“Wow, that is a jewel. Did you thank Auntie for that?” I asked.

“Yes and she said it’s okay for me to take it home.” Anny answered happily.

“Marvelous. Why don’t you two go to your rooms and take a rest? I’ve asked the handmaidens to prepare your meal for today.” I smiled. They quickly ran inside, more than happy to be home.

“Mother.” I smiled as I walked to Mother and hugged her.

“Good morning, darling. Are you alright?” she checked.

“Yes, Mother. Charles was more than happy to babysit.” I giggled.

Charles giggled as well. “Well, your daughter isn’t that hard to guard.”

“Ameira.” Father greeted me with a hug. I hugged slightly. “Did Lord Antoine arrive already?”

“Father, the first thing you can think about when you arrive is the bastard you want me to marry.” I snapped.

Charles walked to my side, calming me down. “Yes, Your Majesty. He arrived early this morning. I took the liberty of entertaining him while Ameira was still sleeping. They met already.” Charles reported like a knight. He’s not supposed to do that. It’s not what he’s here for.

“Fantastic!” Father exclaimed. “How do you find him?” he asked me with a smile, a smile hoping that I would like him.

“I do not want to marry him, Father.” I replied.

“What?”

“I can sense danger in him. You may be blind to see it but I felt and saw it.” I continued. “Scotland will not be safe in his hands. I’d rather marry Charles than that bastard.” I added.

“You’re thinking of his negative side only, child.” Father stopped my claims.

“And what is more important to you: your country or your daughter?” I asked.

“Of course, it’s you, Ameira. It’s just–”

“There we go.” I stopped him. “There is always a ‘but’ or ‘it’s just’.” I snapped. Silence came upon us as my rage entered my whole body.

“Choose: if you push my wedding with Lord Antoine… I’ll leave Scotland. If you let me marry Charles as I want to… Scotland will be stronger.” I gave my ultimatum. If he chooses Scotland over me… it’s set then.

AMEIRA || Chapter Three

 ⚜ ⚜⚜ Ameira⚜⚜⚜
Continuous murmuring and constant staring and gossiping or should I say backstabbing. Another ordinary day in any parliament.

And today, Charles and I shall face the jungle of the Scottish parliament.

Lord Cameron, the head of the parliament grabs everyone’s attention with the legendary gavel of justice.

“Good morning, ladies and gents of the parliament. Today, we have a very special hearing, concerning the marriage of Princess Ameira of Scotland and Prince Charles of England.” He started.

Murmuring then commenced.

“I’m afraid, Charles.” I whispered to Charles.

“Don’t be.” Charles comforted, holding my hand. “We’ll get through this.”

“Silence.” Lord Cameron uses the gavel again. “Also, this hearing also welcomes the presence of the Vatican, which is why the great Cardinal Thomas is here to join us.”

Applause commenced as the Cardinal stood up and bowed to the parliament.

“Now, let us hear the side of the royals.” Lord Cameron then pointed us. Charles then looked to me with a smile, reassuring me that everything is under control.

Charles then headed down to the stand in the middle.

He started, “Lords and ladies of the parliament, Your Holiness Cardinal Thomas, a pleasant morning to everyone.”

I closed my hands together, citing a silent prayer in my head.

“I’ve come before you today to discuss my marriage with your Princess Ameira.” He continued. “We are fully aware of your standing with the French and it is said that she must marry Prince Alexander of France to regain your alliance with them.”

“Ehem.” A member cleared his throat. It was Lord Mackevie, the firmest member of the parliament. He then walked down to Charles.

“If you’re aware of the solution, then why are you still pushing your chance to marry our heir?” He questioned.

“If she marries Alexander, your alliance will reborn but is there any assurance that they will not colonize Scotland?” Charles snapped.

Murmuring started once more.

“If you will let me marry Ameira, I can guarantee not only an alliance but a bond stronger than yours with France.” Charles replied. “Stronger defenses and the promise that your country will not be colonized.” He continued.

Murmuring started to rise.

“Silence.” Lord Cameron silence with his gavel.

“Scotland and England always had its difference.” Lord Mackevie opened a new ticket. “How sure are you that Scotland and England will see pass through them?” he continued with a question.

“My marriage with Ameira can solidify Scotland and England. As future king of England, it has always been my dream to unite our countries as one.” Charles started. “Just give us your blessing and we’ll prove it.”

“Is this marriage purely for the advantages of both countries?” Lord Mackevie asked.

Oh, no. He’s going to say yes. It may not be enough.

“Yes.”

“No!” I intervened as I stood up, causing everyone to one. I then started to walk to Charles.w

“Princess Ameira, you have no right to speak in this hearing. This doesn’t concern you.” Lord Mackevie stops me, blocking my path.

“I am the next queen of Scotland. Everything that deals with my people concerns me.” I answered. Lord Mackevie then moves out of my way, letting me join Charles in the stand.

“Fellow Scots and Your Holiness Cardinal Thomas, good morning.” I started. “You have heard the business part of our marriage. Now, let me speak about the heart.”

Murmuring of disagreement started.

“Silence!” I shouted. “If this parliament did not open themselves to opinions, our country will not grow.”

Everyone then settled down.

“This marriage is not purely about advantages. We’ll do this for love… love for our country… and my love for Charles…” I continued.

A unified gasp surrounded the premises.

“I love him, no joke or pretending… and I know he may not feel it for me… but I’m willing to do this for my country.” I explained.

I held Charles’ hand.

“I would like the parliament and the Vatican to look through this issue.” I humbly requested.

No one even bothered to speak against my claim. Suddenly, Cardinal Thomas stood up from his stand.

“I admire Princess Ameira’s passion.” Cardinal Thomas started. “She has wisdom but also a heart. And that is a sign of a true ruler.” He continued.

“But,” he quickly followed up. “A one-sided love is unbalanced.” He continued.

“We’ll give you both time, then.” Lord Cameron intervened.

“Preposterous!” Lord Mackevie shouted. “France is an ally, England is not! Should we risk our country for this?!”

“Over-ruled, Lord Mackevie!” Lord Cameron silenced him. He then turned to the Cardinal. “Your Holiness, do you have something to say?”

“I say… we shall deliberate.” He responded. “Until then, you two must prove that your love is evident.” He continued, turning to us.

“Meeting adjourned.” Lord Cameron ends the hearing.

Charles then pulls me to him. “What are you thinking?!”

“I helped you.” I protested.

“You just risked our chance, Ameira. You and your stupid feelings.” Charles snapped.

“If you do not care about anything but yourself and your country, then this hearing is all for nothing.” I then walked away and headed to the coach.

A simple thank you would suffice. But instead, he took this as an insult, a failure because of me, listening to my heart.

“Haven’t it occurred to you, Ameira?” Charles started as we head back to the castle. “I will only marry you for advantage, not for love!”

I looked to him. “Then do not marry me.”

“I offer you help and this is what you do to me?!” he started, getting very angry.

“I’d rather suffer my fate with Alexander than accept help from a trusted friend who doesn’t think of anything but his country.” I snapped.

“I’m the future king, it’s what I must do!”

“I’m the future queen of Scotland but I think of myself as well.” I answered.

“Then we shouldn’t be together.” He suddenly suggested.

“Stop the carriage!” I shouted. The carriage comes to a full stop.

“What are you doing?!” Charles asked.

I quickly left the carriage and asked for the guard’s horse.

“Ameira!” Charles shouted as he followed me out of the carriage. “Ameira, stop this now!”

“Who are you to order me?!” I snarled at him.

“As your future king, I command you to stop!” He shouted.

“My future king?! Who says my future king?!” I snapped. “We can’t make this work. You don’t want what I want. I can’t do what you want. I guess I’ll look for another alternative.” I continued as I hopped on the horse.

“Stop this now! You’re not doing things your own way.” Charles continued to stop me.

I kicked the horse on the side and rode off back to the castle. I have no plans in listening to his words.
“So, how did the hearing go?” Pauleen enquired as we walk in the castle grounds.

“It went well… until Charles disagreed with my claim.” I said.

“He only wants a marriage for advantage, doesn’t he?” she replied.

I nodded with a sigh. “Well, I can’t persuade him. If we can’t give each other what we both want… then I’ll have to tell the parliament and the Vatican about changing the plan.” I explained.

“Well, I think he’s not good for you.” She commented.

“Because he’s arrogant and selfish.” I ended her claim.

“Oh, everybody is aware of that.” She replied. “What you’re not aware of is he has these ‘secret meetings’ in his bedroom with ladies.” She continued.

“So supposedly, he already gave himself to a different woman?” I asked.

“To many different women.” She corrected. “He’s quite a ladies’ man.” She added.

I breathed out, trying to relax myself. A guard then walked towards us.

“Your Highness.” He gives a quick bow. “Prince Charles has arrived and is requesting for your presence in the library.” He informed.

“Tell him I’m declining his request.” I replied.

“He insists. He said he needs to have a word with you.” He persuaded.

I sighed. Well, a small talk won’t harm me. “Please escort Lady Pauleen back to the castle.” I instructed and went on my way.
As I arrived in front of the library, I was about to knock when I heard faint moans inside. No more knocking! I busted in and saw Charles and a girl! They’re on top of the table! And heaven knows what they’re doing!

“Ameira!” He quickly said, removing himself from the girl and pulling his pants up. The girl puts her dress down and runs out.

“Why do you burst in like that? You should be announced.” He complained as he walked towards me.

“You… how dare you…” I stopped myself from bursting everything on him.

He sighed. “Ameira…”

“So, that’s why you can’t give yourself to me…” I started. “You already gave yourself to them…” I continued.

“Ameira… please…”

“And worst… I have to see you do it in my home!” I shouted. “Have you no shame?! No decency?!”

“Ameira, you must understand. I have needs.” Charles tried to explain.

“If you have needs, do it somewhere!” I answered. “I will not have this kind of disrespect in my kingdom!”

He looked down. I could see he’s ashamed of what he just did.

“How many are they?” I enquired.

“You must know that a king doesn’t answer to his queen.” He responded, arrogantly.

“Fine. But you’ll never be my king.” I said. I quickly ran out of the library, wiping the tears falling down my cheeks.
⚜ ⚜⚜ Charles⚜⚜⚜  
Afternoon came and I was taking a light stroll in the hallway. I know I did wrong but Ameira does not have power over my life. But… I can’t help but feel bad about it.

“Psst.” I heard someone calling somewhere in the hallway.

I looked around and saw Regine, one of the handmaidens. Oh, great. I sighed and walked to her. She then pins me on the wall and kisses me on my neck.

“How about we continue our interrupted meeting?” she said with a smirk.

“No, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” I rejected.

“Don’t worry, this will be quick.” She then attempted to kiss me but I stopped her, holding on her shoulders.

“What’s wrong?” she asked, baffled.

“We can’t do this.” I replied.

“Is it because of Princess Ameira? Don’t worry, she won’t know.” She then attempted to kiss me but I blocked her.

“Once I said no, it’s a no.” I answered.

“Why are you acting this way?!” she asked, irritated. “It’s because of Ameira, isn’t it?!”

“No, it’s not!” I responded.

“Then, stop being ridiculous!” She complained.

“I’m not being ridiculous, you are!” I replied back.

“Your Highness?” a guard interrupts.

I cleared my throat. “Yes?”

“Your presence is requested by the King and Queen in the throne room.” He informed.

I nodded. “I’ll go on ahead.” I replied. I looked to Regine and walked away.
“Your Majesty, may I present Prince Charles.” The guard announced as I entered the throne room.

“You requested my presence, Your Majesty.” I greeted with a bow.

King George was the only person in the throne room. I thought Queen Amaia was also requesting for me.

“Yes, son.” King George then walks towards me.

“You see, my wife and I will be taking Iris and Anny to their aunt.” He started. “Ameira does’t want to join us, starting that Scotland needs a guardian.” He continued.

“And?” I think I know where this is going.

He chuckled. “I’m sure you know where this is going. I would like for you to stay the night and look after Ameira until we return.” He replied.

I gulped, knowing Ameira and I are not in good terms as of now.

“Don’t worry, son,” King George comforted. “Only for one night. Iris and Anny just really need this.” He continued.

“Ah, I understand.” That’s a relief. “But may I ask why I still need to watch over here when there are guards here already?” I enquired.

“She’s an heir. Heirs are always in harm’s way.” He answered.

“AAHH!” That sounded like Ameira. I wasted no time, I ran to Ameira with the King and the guards behind me.

“Ameira!” I shouted.
⚜ ⚜⚜ Ameira⚜⚜⚜  
Here by the fountain in the abandoned garden of the castle. I remember I used to come here when I was little when I want to cry when I feel bad.

“So… emotional…” A familiar voice disturbed the silence. It’s Alexander. He then came forward, revealing himself.

I stood up. “Alexander.”

“You seem surprised to see me.” He replied, smirking.

“More like intrigued.” I answered. “Suspicious. How did you get inside the castle without being seen or announced?” I enquired.

“I have my ways.” He winked.

“At what time are you leaving?” I asked. “If I were you, you’d better leave before I call the guards.”

“Leave? You want me to leave immediately?” he responded. “Will you not ask my purposes of visiting?”

I sighed. “Why did you come here?”

He started to walk towards me as I started to move back. “Simple: to claim Scotland.”

“And how would you do that?” I asked.

“Quickest way is to marry you.” He responded.

“And how sure are you that I’ll marry you?” I snapped. “You know I chose Charles.”

“But he will not marry you… if your virtue was taken.” He then looked at me devilishly.

I quickly turned to run but he grabbed my arms and tried to kiss me but I kept on fighting back, pushing him away as hard as I can.

“Get your hands off me!” I shouted. “AAHHH!!” I screamed as loud as I could.

Suddenly, a hand landed on my face, making me fall to the ground.

He gets on me but I continued to fight back.

“Help! Help me, please! Guards!” I continued shouting.

“Why do you continue to resist?” Alexander struggles.

” I would never let you have me. Never!” I shouted.

“Is that so?” he smirked. “Well, then let’s do this that hard way.” He then started to rip off the layers of the skirt of my dress.

“Help!! Guards!!” I continued to scream, tears running down my faces.

“Ameira!!” I heard Charles’ faint voice.

“Charles! Help me!!” I shouted.

“Ameira!!” His voice keeps on getting closer and clearer.

Alexander stops on his attempt and runs away, leaving me by the fountain in tears.

“Ameira!” Charles ran to my side, carrying me in his arms.

“What happened to you?! Who did this to you?!” he asked frantically.

“Alexander…” I whispered to him as I looked to him. “He… he tried to…” I started to cry.

“Where did he go?!” Father asked.

I pointed to the direction Alexander ran.

“Follow him! Now!” Father ordered four of the guards. “You two, tell all the guards that I want my daughter protected and I want a quick search!” He ordered the other two.

“He… he…” I stuttered.

“It’s alright, Ameira.” Charles comforted me as he hugged me tight like he’s ready to do everything to protect me. “I’m here now. It’s alright.”

I cried in his arms out of relief that I was rescued early and out of fear because of what happened.

“Your Majesty, we’ve searched the castle grounds and there was no sign of Prince Alexander.” One of the guards reported to us. Father, Charles and I are in the throne room, waiting for the report.

“What?!” I asked hysterically. “That’s preposterous! How can he be gone when he nearly reap out the virtue of my wife?!” Wife? He called me his wife?

“The only trace we have of him is this bag of gold.” The guard replied as he showed a small gold bag.

Charles went ahead, grabbed the bag and examined it. “That’s odd.” He said.

“What is it, son?” Father asked.

Charles then turned to us. “The bag was given… by Mama.”

His mother?! I knew she doesn’t want me!

“How sure are you?” Father asked.

“The bag was signed by her.” That made me cry. I couldn’t take it. I then felt Charles rush to my side and put me in his arms.

“Oh, Ameira, it’s alright. I’ll protect you.” He comforted.

“You can’t marry my daughter, Charles.” Father intervened.

I looked to Father. “Why?”

“Marrying him will put your life in danger and Scotland in danger.” He replied.

“Ah, so marrying Alexander will make me safer?” I snapped.

“No but it will make Scotland safe.”

“So, you’ll choose Scotland to be safe than me?!” I shouted.

“Then you will not marry Alexander.”

“Then who will I marry?” I enquired.

“Prince Antoine of Spain. You’ll be safe with him.” He informed.

“How much guarantee will we have if I marry him?!”

“Marry him, Ameira.” Charles suddenly intervened.

I turned to him, hurt and disbelief in my eyes. “What?”

“Your father’s right. I can’t protect you from France, especially my mother.” He explained.

“No, we can. I can protect myself.” I protested.

“I can’t risk your life, Ameira. It will be my responsibility.” He replied. “Marry Antoine. For your people.”

“That’s settled, then.” Father said. “I’ll arrange a feast tomorrow night for Antoine.”

“You invited him already?” I asked.

“Yes.” He nodded.

Charles then walks out.

“Charles!” I ran after him.
“Charles, stop!” I shouted, stopping Charles at the hallway.

He then turned to me.

“Please, don’t do this.” I plead.

He then stood there, looking at me, getting teary-eyed.

“Charles, please…” I plead once more.

He did not talk to me but walked towards me and kissed me.

His kiss… made me feel like hot candle wax… it’s the first time I felt my knees grow weak, so weak that it feels like I cannot stand anymore.

As he stopped kissing me, my lips did not want to let go.

“Marry Antoine, Ameira. For your country.” Charles repeated.

“Only for my country? What about me?” I asked, crying.

“For yourself, as well.” He followed up. “I can’t protect you from my mother.”

“I’d rather be in danger with you.” I cried.

He pulls me to him and kisses me on the forehead then lays his forehead on mine.

“You will be alright, Ameira.” Charles answered. “Once you make your claim, I’ll be the first one to support you.” He continued.

“Can you stay the night?” I asked like a child.

“I will stay the night.” He nodded. “Your father already asked me to because he mentioned he will be taking your sisters to your aunt.” He continued.

“And after what happened today, it seems only fitting to guard you.” He added.

I forced a smile beyond my tears. Charles and I shared a hug.
My family already took off. Charles is in the study and it’s time for my night bath. After it was prepared, my handmaidens left me to bathe.

As I dipped into the water, the lukewarm temperature of the water feels so good on my skin. This always helps me to clear my mind. I took a deep breath and went underwater.

Just after three seconds of going underwater, something fell into the water and started boiling. I quickly went up to the surface to leave but a knife greeted my throat.

“Scream and I’ll slit your throat open.” It’s Regine! What is she doing?!

“Regine?” I asked in shocked. “What are you doing? What did you put in the water?”

“Poison.” She smiled with evil. “The powder makes the water boil and as the smoke start to rise, the smoke itself will kill you.” She explained.

I coughed.

“Mmm… smells good, isn’t it?” she asked.

“You’re not affected?” I asked.

“I drank a resistant for that.” She replied. “Don’t worry, your death will be quick and you will feel no pain at all.” She laughed.

“Why are you doing this? What have I done to you?” I asked. “We played together as children.”

“That’s the problem. Because you’re the princess, you can have anything you want.” She responded. “Even the only thing that I’ve ever wanted in life.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“I’m talking about Charles!” She shouted. “You disturbed our time together in the library.”

She was the girl? “You were the girl?”

“Yes! I’m the one who experienced your precious Charles first.” She bragged.

“You bastard! I trusted you!” I shouted.

“Well, you should learn how to choose people who you should trust.” She snickered.

I’m starting to cough continuously. I’m starting to feel weak.

“Any last words before your death?” she asked.

I coughed. “Charles…”

The bathroom door opens. Regine lets me go and I slid into the water, weak.

After five seconds underwater and hearing distant shouting, I was removed from the water. I started coughing and felt a big cloth covering me. I look up to see Charles.

“Ameira…” He started comforting me.

I looked around and saw Regine being held by two guards.

“Charles! What about me?! What about us?!” Regine started complaining.

“Get her out of here! I don’t want to see her near Ameira or me for the rest of my stay!” Charles shouted.

“Charles, you can’t do this! Charles!” Regine continued shouting as she was being take away.

“Ameira, are you alright?” Charles turned back to me.

I coughed a little. “I am alright.” I smiled a little. “I just need to get dressed.”

“Allow us.” I looked to who spoke and it was my ladies-in-waiting.

Pauleen walked to us. “We can take care of her. Meet her in her bedroom.” She reassured.

Charles hesitated for a while. He kissed me on the forehead and hands me over to Pauleen.

“I’ll meet you in your room.” He smiled at me and left.
My ladies already left me to rest, when the door opened. It was Charles.

“Charles…” I greeted weakly.

He then sat beside me, holding my hand. “Are you alright?” he asked.

“I’m alright.” I smiled.

“I’m sorry about Regine.” He apologized. “I put your life in danger once more.” He continued.

“No, you did not.” I blocked his statement. “This is her fault. Do not blame yourself.”

He kissed my hand.

“Do you love me, Charles?” I enquired.

“I… um…” He stuttered to find his words.

I giggled softly. “It’s okay, you don’t have to answer that.”

“It’s just… I don’t know what I’m feeling right now…” He replied. “But I just couldn’t bear… the thought of losing you… or seeing you get hurt.” He continued.

“Thank you, Charles.” I smiled.

“Take some rest. I’ll watch over you.” He answered.

“Will you not sleep?” I asked, worried.

“I will sleep. There.” He pointed the chair beside my side table.

“I have a couch at the foot of my bed.” I pointed. I rummaged through my side desk and grabbed my comfort blanket.

“Here.” I offered my comfort blanket and one of my pillows.

Charles smiled and accepted.

“Good night.” I smiled.

He smiled and slowly leaned it to kiss me. He then stops before his lips touch mine.

He then clears his throat. “Good night.” He smiled. “Sleep now.” He started singing a lullaby.

I felt myself slowly drift off, feeling safe as I sleep holding Charles’ hand.

APPRECIATION

Wazzup, guys! Welcome to a new post from your quirky and weird neighbor, Beautiful&Enthusiastic&Weird!

Last week, I may have missed a few days to post something for you guys. I had a rough week.

Like, literally.

So, today, we will talk about one thing and that is called…

I-Have-No-Idea-What-It-Is-But-I’m-Sure-It’s-Awesome. In short, APPRECIATION.

In this era, this word is starting to become a myth.

Remember, guys: one of the components of having a healthy relationship, whether with your family, friends, boyfriend, girlfriend and others, is knowing how to appreciate the things they do for you.

It doesn’t have to be a BIG effort for you to appreciate them.

Simply being thankful of their everyday-presence in your life is enough.

Especially, with kids.

Appreciation is the BIGGEST happiness you could give a child. It gives them encouragement.

Some people are wondering why the ones they love sometimes leave them. Well, maybe you should try and assess yourself.

Ask this question to yourself: do I appreciate this wonderful person and all the things he/she/they have/had done for me?

With my partner and I, I made it SPECIFICALLY CLEAR that appreciation is needed.

You see, in his family, appreciation is, what I said, a myth. Now, we’re raising a beautiful baby boy, I am teaching him appreciation in its simplest forms.

Appreciation is needed. You might think it’s nothing. But once you start appreciating the little things, contentment follows.

——-

Skadoosh! xx

Someone Has My Back

What’s up, people? This is your friendly-neighbor blogger Beautiful&Enthusiastic&Weird.

Today, we will talk about faith.

Yes, i said it: faith.

These past few weeks, my family and I were on a very, very tight budget. Time came we didn’t know how we were going to eat.

I am thankful that everything our son needs we were still able to buy them. Like milk and nappies.

I was on the verge of just giving up.

I mean, my partner and i have jobs enough to feed us three. But we still make decisions that become mistakes. And we learn from them.

What i did this week is i just kept holding on to my prayers. I kept saying, “Lord, i lift up to You the wheel of our life.”

And i just continued to hold on.

Then i remembered my side of the family has a traditional summer vacay to go to by Saturday. I didnt know how to tell my father, “Dad, i cant provide the money i promised before.” so i told him we won’t be going.

He then asked me why, i said we’re gonna pay bills here, which is very true. I only left out the part where we’re on a tight budget.

My father, being so gracious, asked me the real money i can bring. I said i can only bring money for my entrance fee and money.

He said, “Then that’s what you’ll bring. You just have to be honest with daddy”.

Then today, abundance came from the Lord. And i am very, very thankful for it.

I was reminded again on how He moves. When you think you’re lost or you have nowhere to go, God comes to your rescue.

Whether you believe in Him or not, I tell you: He will not and will never forsake you. He is just waiting for you to believe and have faith.
——-
Skadoosh! xx

AMEIRA || Chapter Two

⚜⚜⚜Ameira ⚜⚜⚜
Morning greets me and what a perfect way to wake up than to feel the warmth of your own bed and to hear the birds singing outside. I sat up, did a little stretch and head to the window. As I opened the curtains, I felt the powerful radiance of the sun pierce through the window glass and gently touched my skin.

Today is a new day, Ameira. You can manage today.
After my morning rituals, I’ve decided to take a little stroll inside the castle. A lot has changed since the last time I explored these halls. The halls are decorated by portraits of the history of our family. Every portrait of a family member is their phases of growing. As I saw mine, the last portrait is when I was ten years of age.

My, how time does fly.

As I ventured more into the castle, I caught a very delectable scent form downstairs. Must be the kitchen.
As I arrived in the kitchen, every cook, baker and all of the servants are already preparing for breakfast. As one of them noticed me, they all started greeting me.

“Good morning, Your Highness.”

“Good morning, Your Grace.”

“My Lady.”

“Your Grace.”

I bowed back to them. “Please resume your task. Don’t let me disturb you.” I smiled.

They all bowed and went back to their tasks, which smell absolutely irresistible.

A cook then walk towards me. “Would you care for a hot tea and a slice of cake, Your Grace?”

“It’s alright, I’m still full.” I responded. “Actually,” I continued as I started to walk around. “I was thinking of how you make such delicious delicacies.”

“Thank you, Your Grace.” the cook replied.

“In Ireland, I make my own food.” I shared. I saw an empty station and quickly approached it. “Is this station taken?” I enquired.

“Um, no, madam. No one prefers this station because its legs wobbly.” The cook explained.

“Well,” I started as I grabbed an apron. “Starting today, I’d like to have this station and I should like to bake.” I continued, rolling my sleeves up in preparation.

“But Your Grace, you’re not allowed to get your hands dirty.” She stopped.

“Let me, please. This is my therapy.” I plead. The cook sighed and let me be. I prepared every tool that I will use.

Suddenly, the bakers gave me all the ingredients I will be needing.

Finally! Something to quiet my mind.
⚜⚜⚜ Charles ⚜⚜⚜
“Must we bother their morning?” I questioned Mama as we head to Ameira’s residence. It’s hard when your mother suddenly decides to have breakfast in someone’s house.

“You mentioned the princess wants to marry you.” she replied. “It is a custom to know your future wife’s family.”

“Mama, I haven’t made a decision if I want to marry Ameira.” I protested.

“So, you’d rather marry Marieline?” she snapped at me.

“Mama, you know, I don’t like to talk about her.” I reminded. “Even the very thought of her ruins my day.”

“Then, Ameira it is.” she said, thinking she won.

I then just sighed out of frustration.

“Son, I’m not forcing you to marry Ameira.” she explained. “If you’ll ever consider marrying her, it’s better to meet them now.”

“It’s your father who’s forcing you.” she added.

I sighed. “I know, Mama.”

She then holds on to my hand. “It’s just breakfast, son, don’t you worry.” she reassured with a big smile.

In a few minutes, we finally arrived in Ameira’s castle. As we stepped out the carriage, Mama commented, “They have such a calm and wonderful environment.”

“They sure do, Mama.” I agreed.

“She has a good family.” Mama smiled.

We then started walking to the entrance where the butler greeted us.

“Good morning and welcome, Queen Benilde and Prince Charles.” he greeted, accompanied with a bow.

“Please, call me Charles.” I smiled.

“As you wish, sire.” He bowed.

“I hope we did not disturb the peace the family here is having.” Mama started.

“They’ve woken up a while ago. Your arrival has been announced and they will meet you in the hall.” the butler explained. “I shall accompany you till the family has arrived.”

“Splendid!” Mama expressed.

The butler then gave way to Mama and I. “See, son? This is the type of household that succeeds.”

We finally arrived in the hall. The servants offered us early refreshments, which Mama highly appreciated.
In a few moments, Ameira’s family arrived… but Ameira’s nowhere in sight.

“Good morning and welcome, Queen Benilde and Charles.” King George greeted, accompanied with a bow along with the Queen and their two other children.

“Thank you and good morning to you, great King George and Queen Amaia.” Mama bowed and so did I.

“I see you have beautiful children.” Mama continued, praising Ameira’s sister.

“Thank you.” Queen Ameira smiled.

“But… it seems that your heir is missing. Is she a late sleeper and late to wake up?” Mama enquired.

“No, she’s not.” Queen Amaia replied. “We checked her room and she’s not there. She must’ve taken a little morning stroll.” She continued.

“Not to worry, guards have been requested to look for her.” King George added.

“Oh, an explorer of an heir.” Mama answered. I can sense the sarcasm in her tone.

“How about we have breakfast in the garden?” Queen Amaia offered.

“I would like to see your kitchen first.” Mama suddenly requested.

“Mama…” I stopped her.

“According to my mother, we must check if the castle is completely clean and the best way to justify it is the kitchen.” Mama explained.

I sighed. Mama can be such a pain in the neck.

“Of course, then.” Queen Amaia smiled. “This way, please.” She then led the way.

We finally arrived in the kitchen. Everyone is working and the place looks clean.

“The kitchen looks clean.” Mama expressed. “Except for the people.”

“We make sure that if our people in the kitchdn are dirty, it’s because they’re doing a job well done.” Queen Amaia explained.

“But is everybody hygenic here?” Mama asked.

“Absolutely.” King George replied.

Suddenly, a few trays fell from the very end of the room. I quickly ran to help. “Are you alright?” I checked.

“Yes, thank you.” She said as she looked to me. It’s Ameira!

“Ameira?”
⚜⚜⚜ Ameira ⚜⚜⚜
Almost done with the cookies I am baking when a handmaiden came running in the kitchen.

“We have a guest! We must triple the food! We do not know how many they will be!”

“No worries.” The other chef replied.

A chef then walked towards me. “You should go and change into your clothes, love. You have a guest.”

“I’m sure this guest is for my parents.” I answered, smiling while continuing my task. “They won’t be needing me, I assure you.”

I then put the last tray of cookies in the oven. “I’ll start cleaning the station then whilst the cookies are still baking.”

The chef then went on her way to her station.

A few minutes later, the cookies are baked and my station is a hundred percent clean. I grabbed the tray and carefully arranged the cookies in a beautiful arrangement. I heard some murmuring at the entrance of the kitchen but I did not bother to look.

Alas! I arranged the cookies! It’s perfection! I put the tray on top of the other trays. Suddenly, three trays slipped.

I quickly knelt down to grab them.

Someone then came to my aid, asking, “Are you alright?”

“Yes, thank you.” I looked up… it’s Charles?!

“Ameira?” His eyes widened.

“Charles?” I replied.

We stood up and I saw my family and what it seems to be Charles’ mother, Queen Benilde.

“Ameira?” Mother suddenly called out.

“Mother.” I replied.

Mother quickly walked to me. “What have you been doing?” She started wiping some flour off me. I started removing the flour on my dress.

“I was baking.” I replied.

“Why are you baking?” She asked frantically.

“I needed something to do this morning.” I explained.

“So, the heir of Scotland fancies baking?” Queen Benilde suddenly spoke behind Mother.

“Queen Benilde.” I bowed. “I apologize for my appearance. I did not know.”

“Don’t apologize, dear.” Queen Benilde walked towards me. “An early bird is always successful, especially for a future queen.” She continued.

“How’s about you change now? She smiled. “We’ll see you in the garden.” She continued.

“Um, the cookies are yours.” I showed the cookies.

“Highly appreciated, dear. Now, go ahead.” She smiled.

“I’ll accompany her.” Charles intervened.

“Very well.” Queen Benilde nodded.

Charles offered his arm to me and we left as I hold on to him.
“I do apologize for our abrupt visit, Ameira.” Charles said as we walked to my room. “Mama can be quite persuasive and… stubborn.” He continued.

“That is nothing to be sorry for. Your family is always welcome in our home.” I smiled. “And besides, I do love having you here with us.” I added.

We both giggled. “Do you, now?” He asked with a smirk.

“Don’t get dirty thoughts that quick, Mr. Charles.” I blocked his smirk. “I love having you here because… you give me peace.” I explained.

“Peace?” he asked, baffled. “You’re here in your home but you don’t have peace?”

I sighed. “Will you have peace when you come home to a big problem where the only solution is you?” I asked back.

“I understand your frustration.” Charles comforted me. “Now, don’t you worry, I’ll assure you that I’m always here as much as possible.” He continued.

“Have you thought of what to do when you’re already king?” I asked as I continued preparing whilst Charles is waiting on the couch.

“No, I haven’t thought of anything yet.” He replied. “Well, except for putting our country first.” He quickly added.

“That’s very… kingly of you.” I giggled.

“So as my mother said.” He answered. “Isn’t that how a ruler should be?” he asked.

“That’s not how I plan to rule Scotland.” I responded.

“Really? Mind sharing a thought or two?” he asked.

“I plan to rule with my heart.” I started as I walk to the mirror to see how I look. “There’s nothing wrong in using your mind. But wisdom without heart is nothing.” I then turned to him. “How do I look?”

He didn’t speak. He just stood there, staring at me. He then walked to me, our foreheads almost close, our lips so near and yet so far.

He then cleared his throat as we went back to reality.

“You look…” he started, looking on his feet. “You look absolutely breathtaking.” He finally looked to me.

I looked down, flushed.

“Come. They’re waiting for you.” He then offered his arm once more.

“You mean waiting for us.” I corrected as I held on to him.

“Correct.” He smiled and we shared a brief laugh. We then headed downstairs to join our families.
“So, how’s life for you here in Scotland. Queen Amaia?” Queen Benilde asked.

Now, in our garden. Iris and Anny are playing in our open area. Charles and I join our parents for breakfast.

“It’s more than we could ever ask for.” Mother said with a smile. “What’s really important for me is to be able to experience life with my family.” She continued as she hold Father’s hand.

“You and your family seem so… contented of the life you have here.” Queen Benilde replied.

“Of course, we are.” Father answered with full confidence.

“And I’m sure you’re aware of your daughter’s decision of choosing my son.” She continued.

I heard Charles let out a sigh.

“Um, with all due respect, Queen Benilde.” I intervened. “I don’t think now is the perfect time to talk about it.” I continued.

“Well, we’re talking about marriage so might as well plan ahead.” Queen Benilde replied.

“We are still going to escalate this matter to the parliament and the Vatican.” Mother entered the conversation.

“Is your choice being stopped by your destroyed treaty with France?” Queen Benilde suddenly asked.

“How on earth did she know?”

“Your current standing with France is not a secret with the royal families anymore.” She continued. “Might as well make a decision now.”

“I already made a decision and I chose your son.” I said.

“Then, plan for the wedding.” Queen Benilde replied.

“It’s not that simple. It has to be deliberated by the parliament and the Vatican for the approval.” I answered.

“Is the parliament and the Vatican really the problem?”

“And what do you mean by that?” I asked, holding back my temper.

“Maybe the problem is you.” Queen Benilde started. “Maybe you’re still bitter about your history.”

“That is not true.”

“Maybe you still have feelings for him.”

“Please, stop.” If she did not stop what she’s doing, I will lose my patience.

“If that’s the case, then marry him instead.”

“Enough!” I shouted, standing up as I banged on the table. All the cups, teacup and utensils shake. I then quickly ran to the stables. I need some air.
I quickly grabbed Sunshine’s saddle and started to prepare her for a ride.

“Ameira?” I heard Charles’ voice.

I quickly and everything faster.

“Ameira.” Charles finally arrived.

I did not pay any attention on him. I just need to get out of this place now.

“I apologize for my mother’s behavior. I know it’s absolutely unacceptable.” Charles started talking.

I continued saddling Sunshine up, almost done.

“What are you doing? Where are you going?” he asked.

I sighed as I finished. ” I have the biggest feeling that your mother does not want me as your bride, let alone your wife.” I started as I turned to him. “If that’s the case then I will push marrying you.”

“Then you’ll end up marrying Alexander!” Charles replied.

“As a future ruler, I must make decisions that I do not like but it is the best for my people.” I answered. I hopped onto Sunshine.

“This is madness, Ameira.” Charles responded. “You’re making rash decisions.”

“In my world… madness is nothing but ordinary.” I then kick Sunshine’s side and began to ride to the hills, going through the forest. I did not look back if someone’s following my tracks. I just need to get away from this place.

“Ameira!” a faint voice echoed through the woods.

I look back to check and it was Charles on one of the horses.

I pushed Sunshine to run faster.

“Ameira, stop!” Charles’ voice started to become closer and clearer.

All of a sudden, I felt myself on the ground, hitting a branch.

“Ameira!” I struggled to stand as I felt Charles rushing to my side to help me.

“Ameira, are you okay?” he frantically asked. “I know things are not going right as of now but running away won’t make it easier.” He continued. “That’s not what a future queen should do!”

“Do I have a choice?!” I shouted as I looked to him.
⚜⚜⚜ Charles ⚜⚜⚜  
“Do I have a choice?!” she looked up to me, tears running down her cheeks.

Oh, Ameira…

“I don’t know what to do anymore!” She cried. “I’m a prisoner in my own country! What am I supposed to do?!”

I did not answer. I just pulled her into my arms and held her tight.

“It’s too much… it’s too much…” She cried to me.

“Sshh… it’s alright, Ameira…” I comforted her. “We’ll find a way.”

And time didn’t matter. All I know is that Ameira is in my arms, safe.
“What?!” Mama suddenly asked.

“I think it’s the best thing I could do for her.” I said.

“Bringing the princess of Scotland to England?!” she started. “Do you know what kind of danger you’re implying on yourself? On England?”

“If the parliament is one of the troubles of Ameira, I must consult both their parliament and ours.” I protested.

“You’re willing to marry the princess of Scotland for advantage? You said you didn’t want to!”

I sighed. “Ameira… I’ve known her for a long time and I know we can marry as friends.” I answered. “But please, Mama, I need your blessing on this.”

Mama sighed. She’s beaten.

“Thank you, Mama. I must tell Ameira at once.” I excused myself to find Ameira.

Mama already left, leaving me here to stay the night. We swore to keep my stay here a complete secret.
It’s nighttime and it’s almost time to go to bed. But I know where Ameira is: in the abandoned room in the oldest tower in the castle, waiting for a meteor.

As I entered the room slowly, I saw her by the window.

“I thought I might find you here.” I suddenly spoke whilst walking towards her, making her jump and look to me.

“I thought you already left.” She replied, baffled.

“I kept this a secret. I’m staying the night.” I smiled.

She nodded and looked out back to the sky.

“I remember when we were children,” I started, making her turn to me. “We used to sneak up here every night to see the stars and wait for a shooting star.” I continued.

“It was the only way for you to comfort me whenever I feel bad or lonely.” She added, looking back to the stars.

“I have something to tell you.” I said, making her turn back to me. “I’ve decided to… go on with our marriage.” I continued.
⚜⚜⚜ Ameira ⚜⚜⚜ 
“I’ve decided to… go on with our marriage.” He continued.

Wait… he’s agreeing to marry me?

“You… you are?” I asked in disbelief. 

“Only for business purposes and advantages for out kingdoms.” He explained.

“Oh.” Only to help. How disappointing. “Only for those reasons?” I enquired.

“Please don’t tell me you’re wanting more.”

“I understand your… reasons at saying ‘yes’.” I started. “We must do the right thing for out countries.” I continued, giving out a fake smile.

“But I still can’t afford to marry you straight away. I must consult with your parliament, our parliament and the Vatican.” He answered. “And you must come with me, as well.”

“We can’t just have a meeting with her whenever we want to.” I said.

“Yes, we can.” He disagreed. “I’ve arranged a hearing tomorrow for this matter. And you must agree to whatever I say to get their approval.” He reasoned.

“What if this fails?” I asked. “What if they don’t approve of it?”

He then holds my hands. “They will agree to this. You just have to trust me.”

I nodded.

“Now, why don’t you look back to the stars?” he smiled.

I turned around to see a meteor shower. And I never was I happier and more amazed.

“We can do this, Ameira.” Charles spoke. I turned to him. “Let’s not lose hope.” He smiled.

We then shared a hug.

But worry and disappointment fills my body.

I do hope our marriage does not end just for advantage.
She did not went home like she promised. Instead, she went to an old tavern in the woods near their kingdom.

As she entered, the tavern was empty. The only people there was the janitor cleaning the stage and a young man sitting on the bar, drinking beer.

She then sat down beside him.

“You took longer than expected.” He spoke under his hood.

“I apologize for my attendance… but we have business to attend to.” She replied.

“What is it that you want me to do?” he asked, taking another sip.

“I’m sure you’re familiar with Princess Ameira, the heir of Scotland.” She started.

“What about her?”

“I want her removed from my son’s life, even if it means… killing her.” She continued.

“Killing a princess? Shouldn’t you be happy for the advantages your kingdom will receive from their marriage?” he asked.

“She’s not of royal blood neither is her family.” She answered. “It would be an absolute disgrace for our family.”

He sighed. “You do know the consequences if they find out about what you want me to do.”

“I’ll protect you. Just do what I ask you to do.” She persuaded. She then reveals three bags of gold. “Do we have a deal?”

He then turns to her.

“Do we have a deal… Prince Alexander?”

His hood was then removed. It IS Prince Alexander of France himself.

He then grabs the gold. “Understood.

Your Life Partner and Their Purpose

In a married life, there are always two people. That is pretty much obvious unless you’re having a “side dish”.

Anyways, in a relationship, it will always take TWO make everything work.

Yes, you are two different individuals. But a relationship cannot function with only one moving and making all the decisions.

Both needs to think and meditate their own ideas. Then share it with each other and meet halfway.

There’s a reason why our Creator has given you a life partner.

Number one: To share the burden. In a married life, a husband and wife must work together and share everything, even burdens. That’s why in some wedding vows, there are lines such as, ” Through our ups and downs, I will be by your side, no matter what”. Your partner is there to help you carry the weight. You’re not alone.

Number two: To help you make decisions. Sometimes, decision-making really gets into your head to the point where you’re so troubled, you just decided to get a big gallon of ice cream, sit on the sofa and mope all day while watching Dirty Dancing or other soap operas. Remember, when you can’t decide on something, consult your partner. Help each other to find the best solution.

Number three: To push you up. Partners should bring out the best in each other, not tearing each other apart. You’re not in a relationship to kill and destroy each other. Like a king and his queen. The king protects his queen and kingdom. His strength is his queen. The queen helps the king in making decisions for the kingdom and for their family. Both must encourage each other to be the best versions of themselves.

Number four: Your life partner is there to love you and enjoy their lives together with you. They could imagine both of you, gray-haired, sitting on the front porch on two rocking chairs while your children and grandchildren have fun. You’re not in a relationship to make your lives miserable.

Cherish each other. Make God the center of your relationship. You two will see the purpose of each other in each other’s life. (Repeating words are annoying but it makes sense)

——-

Skadoosh! xx

Recipe: Chicken Adobo Part 2

Hello, my peeps! Welcome back to Beautiful&Enthusiastic&Weird World of Food, where we will talk about food and JUST food.

Like what I promised from my previous recipe, I will show you to cook Filipino Chicken Adobo in two ways. So, here’s the part 2 of our Chicken Adobo series.

First, I want to thank those who liked the first part. Really appreciate it, guys. I also wanna thank those who liked my other posts. You guys have been amazing.

Now, let’s start with the ingredients!

6pcs of chicken (or how many you want)

1 whole garlic (i’m a garlic person and more garlic tastes awesome)

1 onion (optional)

1 ginger (optional)

Soy sauce & vinegar

Salt

Pepper

Laurel leaves

Chili Pepper (or what we call in Filipino language, siling haba)

Sugar (optional)

Slurry

1 tablespoon of oil

Potatoes (optional)

1 egg (optional)

As you can see, the ingredients are the same. You can still do this with any meat or even veggies.

First Step! Get a pot, put your meat/veggies, garlic, onion, ginger, salt, pepper and your potatoes. Don’t forget your soy sauce and vinegar. Remember, it’s up to you.

*Note: If you wanna save boiling time for the egg, you can put it in also.*

Pop it on the stove and let it boil.

Second step! After five to ten minutes, check your adobo. Check if the meat and your potatoes are fine.

Third Step! Check the taste. This is where you can put your own self into the taste. You can add the slurry, some oil, the sugar, salt and pepper. Anything to taste. Put your heart and soul into it. Like a painting canvas. Then let it boil.

Fourth Step! By this time, you’re already into 20 minutes of cooking, you can remove the egg and remove the shell.

Fifth Step! The final step is adding the laural leaves, chili pepper and the egg.

My family usually do this when we are in a rush or when the meat is fresh from the market. We just make sure the meat is washed properly.

There you have it, the second way to cook chicken adobo or any meat type of adobo.

Try cooking it to your family and friends. Remember, make sure your cooking is who you are.

See you guys!

——-

Skadoosh! xx

ANNOUNCEMENT!

What’s up, guys? It’s me again, your friendly blogger Beautiful&Enthusiastic&Weird 🙂 and here’s another announcement from me 🙂

If you don’t want to read it, it’s okay. You can stop at this point.

If you’re curious about my announcement, do carry on.

For my announcement, I will open a new chapter in our blog and it’s called #BEWMagicBall!

I was supposed to use #askBEW but it’s already used by almost everybody in this world.

So, you can send a message or comment accompanied by the hashtag caption mentioned.

I am opened to any questions except, of course for, racism, discrimination, too MUCH sexual content, too MUCH bad words and other more things that you know is on the highest point of the word WORST.

You can use it for advices and requests.

Spread the love. Spread the word. Spread the Word.

See you guys!

——-

Skadoosh! xx

AMEIRA || Chapter One

⚜ ⚜ ⚜ Ameira ⚜ ⚜ ⚜
Finally home to the sound of the songs of birds and the rustling leaves. The smell of the breeze is so much familiar and it’s gentle touch on my face.

This is home. This is Scotland.

“We’re near home, Your Highness.” The footman happily called from  the outside. “Castle is in sight!”

Castle is in sight.

I quickly moved to the window and stick my head out, sighting our majestic castle.

Welcome home… Ameira.
The carriage then heads to the underground entrance. As I got down, my family were already at the entrance to greet me and welcome me home. I walked to them with a smile.

“Family.” I greeted as I bowed.

Mother then walks forward and kisses me on the forehead. “Our eldest, finally home.” she said with a smile.

Father then takes her place and gives me a big hug. But he seems so… quiet and distant.

“Is anything the matter, Father?” I questioned.

“No, child, I am alright. I guess I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed.” He replied with a smile. But that reason cannot persuade me. I know when there’s something bothering my parents. Maybe I’ll consult about it later.

“And these must be my beautiful young sisters.” I smiled as I saw my sisters again after years of longing for them. We three then all shared a big hug, one thing I truly missed, wanted and needed in the years I was absent from their lives.

“I’ve learned how to swim fast, sister.” Anny started. “I bet I’m faster than you now.” she giggled.

I giggled as well. “I know you are.” I answered as I pinched her nose a little. “And I can’t wait to see you finally beat me in swimming.” I continued. I then turned to Iris. “How about you, Iris?”

“I found a liking in recycling things and making them beautiful again.” She responded with a proud smile.

“That’s marvelous! I would like to see your creations.” I said.

“Ameira, I know you’ve just returned home but we have some important business to discuss.” Mother started. “Iris, Anny, you can go back to whatever businesses you were doing a while ago.” She turned to my sisters. Iris and Anny then went running off.

“Come along, dear.” Mother spoke. I nodded and followed them to Father’s study.

“So, what is this important business that we must discuss immediately?” I asked as we entered the room.

“As you know, your come back here in Scotland has been anticipated so much by our people.” Mother started as we sat down. “We didn’t want to rush you into this but as future queen of Scotland, you must know this now.” She continued.

“Is there something wrong?” I questioned.

Mother and Father looked at each other, sighs leaving their mouths. Mother then turns to me, “We love you, Ameira. We really do. And you coming back here has been our greatest wish. But… it is only a matter of time that you choose your future king.”

I just returned and this is what my parents want me to do?! Find the next king of Scotland?! Can’t they just wait for the perfect timing of everything?!

“What?! This is ridiculous.” I started. “I know that I will have to marry someday but do we have to rush into things? I’ve just returned from the Irish court and this is my welcome wagon?!” I continued.

Father stood up. “My child, I didn’t want to say this but… we’re going to lose Scotland if you did not marry.”

“Lose Scotland?! Why would we lose Scotland?!” I asked, hysterically.

Father sighed. “The union between France and Scotland was terminated by their current prince, Prince Alexander.” Prince Alexander! That bastard! Is he really trying to destroy my life?! “We have to surrender ourselves to France to maintain Scotland in our hands.” He continued.

“We will not succumb to Alexander’s power, Father! You’re a king, he’s a prince! Surely, you can do something!” I replied.

“There is nothing I could do, Ameira. All I could is bargain with France.” He continued.

“And the bargain was me?” This is absolutely preposterous!

“If we don’t want to surrender to France, you must marry the prince.”

“Marry Alexander?! Are you being ridiculous, Father?! We all know that Alexander and I had a history and that history was never patched.” I answered. “He still loathes me and will do anything and everything in his power to destroy our lives, especially mine.” I continued.

“Dear, you don’t necessarily need to marry only Alexander.” Mother intervenes.

“What do you mean?” I asked, baffled.

“Do you still remember your childhood friend, Charles?” she asked.

“Yes, Mother, I do.” How could I forget Charles? I had a crush on him when we were little. But we grew apart.

“He is now the prince of England. France and Italy are trying to buy England’s affection. And we all know that England is the strongest kingdom there is.” Mother explained. “We figured that we need England more to defeat France. And since you and Charles have history together… we figured that it’s better that you marry Charles.” She continued.

I sighed. “I’ll have to discuss this matter to Charles. We have to deliberate on this.”

Mother and Father frowned. Someone then knocked on the door.

“Enter.” Father answered.

The messenger then bursts into the room. “Sire, I have letters here for you and the queen.” He stated.

“What kind of letters?” Mother asked.

“It looks like letters from the kingdom of England, France and Italy.” Oh, no. I have the biggest feeling there will be a feast.

“They said they would like to come over today and have a feast as a homecoming present for the princess of Scotland.” The messenger continued reading.

Mother and Father then looked to each other. “Please send word that we would be more than happy to accept them tomorrow.” Father smiled.

“Um… there is a note underneath each letter, Your Majesties.” The messenger interrupted.

“What does the note say?” Mother asked.

The messenger then took a look at the note once more. “It said that by the time you have finished reading these invitations, all three of us are on our way.” He said.

What?! Already?!

Father sighed. “Thank you, messenger. You may leave.” The messenger then takes off.

Mother then rings the castle bell. A group of handmaidens and a butler entered the study.

“We will be having… unexpected guests today and we shall have a feast.” Mother started to instruct them. “Please prepare a bountiful feast, delicious and fast.” she continued.

The handmaidens and the butler bowed and went on their ways.

I sighed and fell on the sofa. “I just got home and all I wanted today was rest. How come the other kingdoms found out I was going home?” I started.

“News spread quickly, love. And they have been very anxious to meet you in person, especially the princess of Italy.” Mother replied as she sat by the arm of the sofa chair. “She thinks you’re a competition for Charles.” she continued.

“Why would she think that?” I questioned.

“Charles and Princess Marieline, the princess of Italy, had a brief history before and the princess seems to be in love with him, still. She still wants Charles and when she heard about you and your childhood history with Charles, she felt threatened.” Father explained.

“I have nothing to do with them. Charles is like a brother to me.” I answered.

“But didn’t you have feelings for him, dear?” Mother asked.

“I do have feelings for him, Mother. I still do.” I responded. “But if he doesn’t feel the same way, why should I push myself to him? He has the freedom to choose his queen, every royal has the right to choose whether it’s for advantage or for love.” I continued.

Father and Mother looked at me, shocked. I don’t have to push myself to Charles, really. We could just marry for the sake of our kingdoms.

“I must go to my room and change. I shall like to have my ladies-in-waiting help me.” I stood up.

Mother then stands up and holds my hands. “I will summon them for you. Why don’t you go upstairs and make yourself beautiful?” She said with a smile.

I paid respect with a bow and headed to my room. First day I got home and this is what surprises me.
On my way to my room, a mere glimpse of my childhood memories with Charles appeared in front of me.

Running down the stairs, playing “Tag” with Charles.
“Catch me if you can, Ameira!” Charles teased.

“Oh, I will! Wait till I get you!” I shouted. Suddenly, I felt my knees fail me. “Charles!” I screamed out of help and fear.

In no time, I felt myself falling down the stairs, finding myself at the bottom. I… feel… so… dizzy…

“Ameira!” I heard a faint shout of Charles running towards us.

I felt someone lift up my head and it was put on something soft yet boney.

“Ameira?” It was Charles. “Ameira…” his voice is about to crack, ready to cry. “Ameira, please wake up. Please… I’ll be the ‘it’, just wake up, please…” he cried.

I tried to move my fingers and I didn’t fail. As I moved my fingers, I gently reached for Charles’ arm. As I reached him, I gently poked him and whispered, “You’re… it.”

He smiled with little tears coming out of his eyes. He then hugged, gently but safely. “I’ll always be here, Ameira. I promise.”
Looks like you broke your promise, Charles…
Just finished preparing for our feast and my ladies-in-waiting are still not in sight. I wonder where they could be.

Someone then knocked at the door. “Come in.” I answered.

The door opened and I saw Mother in the mirror.

“Mother…” I started as I turned around to greet her. “Is anything the matter?” I asked.

“I hope you don’t mind, Ameira but… I thought we should talk.” She replied as she closed the door and started walking towards me.

“No, I don’t mind at all.” I smiled. “Silvia, you may go. Thank you for helping me.” I smiled at my handmaiden. She bowed and went on her way. I then walked to my mother, starting with a question, “What is it, Mother?”

She then holds my hand. “I don’t want you to think that…” She started to stutter. “I know that all you came home to nothing but… frustration and disappointment…” Her voice started to crack. “I just wish that… there is still a part of your heart… that can forgive your father and I for this…” she then started crying.

“Mother, please don’t cry.” I comforted her. “This matter does not deserve all our tears.” I continued.

“We didn’t to do this to you, Ameira… especially knowing that you’re stressed about ruling the kingdom…” Mother continued to cry and it breaks my heart to see her like this.

I let out a small sigh. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” I smiled faintly. “And I know as a future queen of Scotland… I may make decisions that I do not want but it will be for the best of the kingdom.” I reasoned.

Mother then wipes her tears away. “My dear, just remember: I’ll always choose your side no matter what.”

“I know, Mother. How could I forget that?” I smiled.

There was a sudden knock on the door and the butler entered without permission.

“I apologize for barging in like this, Your Highness and Your Majesty but… the royals have arrived.” He announced.

Mother and I sighed. “Thank you. We’ll be right there.” Mother replied. The butler bowed and went on his way.

“Time to face the royals.” Mother turned to me.

Sigh… it is time.
As I was walking towards the main doors of the castle, I was stopped by my mother.

“Yes, Mother?”

“You look so beautiful, love.” She smiled at me.

“Thank you, Mother.” I bowed, flattered. “You don’t look like you aged, Mother.” I returned a compliment.

“Thank you, dear.” She giggled. “Now, wait here until you’re announced. Let’s make this as formal as we can.” She informed.

“Shouldn’t you and Father the ones to be announced?” I questioned, confused.

“We will be announced. But we have to be outside for the people.” She explained.

“Alright.” I nodded. Mother then gave me a small faint kiss on the forehead and went outside.

As I wait, I heard faint footsteps in the hall. “Who is there?” I called out.

A figure then came out of the darkness of the pillars. “Who are you?”

“Who I am is not the appropriate question.” It’s a lady. But I can’t see her face for it is covered by the hood of her cloak.

“State your business, madam.” I said politely.

“Me?” she started to walk around me. “I am just here to witness your welcoming of the other royals… and to destroy  their lives.” she continued.

“Pardon? Destroy the lives of who?” I questioned.

“You are destined to destroy everything.” She replied, angry. “You are nothing but a curse to this land!” she continued, shouting.

“I think you should leave.” I answered, calm on the outside but afraid on the inside.

“Why? Do you fear the truth I am proclaiming?”

“No. I want you to leave because all you are saying are nothing but lies.” I snapped back. “And I don’t have time to listen to lies.” I quickly turned as I heard the trumpets do their fanfare.

They have arrived… Charles is here.

“Charles…” I whispered to myself.

“Reaching out for Charles?” The woman suddenly spoke.

I turned back to her.

“His life will be the first one you’ll destroy.” She continued. “If you do not marry Prince Alexander or surrender Scotland to the hands of the French… your choice to marry Prince Charles will be the very death of him… and of Scotland.” She added.

“Leave, woman! Your presence is not welcome in this place.” I snapped.

“Mark my words, Ameira… starting today, a lot will change because of you.” She answered, pointing at me. She then started to walk backwards slowly, disappearing once more in darkness.
“Presenting, their Royal Majesties, King George and Queen Amaia with Princesses Iris and Anny.” I heard the announcement and everybody’s cheer outside.

Two guards quickly entered the door.

“Princess Ameira, it’s time.” One of the guards informed. I nodded and walked right in front of the door, the two guards standing by at each of my side.

“And now presenting, the future queen of Scotland, Her Royal Highness, Princess Ameira Myeaka of Scotland!”

As my name was announced, I could hear the loud cheering from the outside.

When the doors opened and I was seen, the crowd’s cheer grew louder.

I greeted Scotland with a big smile and started waving at everybody. I started walking down, the guards leading me to the center of the carpet.

At the end of the carpet, I could see four carriages. That’s funny. I thought only three kingdoms are coming. Why is there another one?

“To start the acceptance of guests, please welcome Princess Ameira’s ladies-in-waiting, home from Glasgow.”

They were in Ireland, too?!

The white carriage then opens and out came Clarisse, Merlyn, Charity and Pauleen. Oh, how delightful it is to finally see them again. My ladies started to walk towards me, big smiles are on our faces.

As my ladies approached me, we all took a bow and started squealing as we hugged each other.

“My friends.” I said with a big smile. “How great it is to finally see you all.”

“We followed you to Ireland but we failed to find you.” Charity sighed.

“It doesn’t matter now.” I comforted them. “What matters is that we are all together now.” I continued.

“And now, for the royals.” the crowd started to cheer. My ladies then stood beside me.

“Presenting, the shiniest pearl of all kingdoms, Princess Marieline Sky of Italy.” The golden carriage then opens and out came Princess Marieline. She has her blonde hair all tied up. Her dress is absolutely big, it looks like a giant cake. She is using a shiny silver fan. She then started walking towards us, waving to the audience. But I could see some of them are baffled on how she looks.

“Isn’t she a little over-dressed for the occasion?” Pauleen started.

“She’s acting like she’s the main purpose of this event.” Charity added.

“She took that term being the shiniest pearl way too much.” Merlyn intervened.

“She doesn’t even look like a pearl.” Clarisse commented.

“Why is she called the shiniest pearl of all kingdoms?” I asked. I am absolutely baffled about her… tagline.

“Well, I heard her parents conceived her while staring at a pearl and they always tell her she’s a pearl.” Clarisse explained.

“Well, I have to admit: it really rubbed off her too much.” I replied.

Princess Marieline finally reached us. My ladies and I bowed to her. “Welcome to our home, Princess Marieline.” I greeted.

“Thank you.” she answered.

Pauleen suddenly intervened, “No bow from you, my lady?”

“Why should I bow? I bow to no one but to myself.” she said, proudly.

This princess has attitude issues.

“I respect that, Your Grace but here in Scotland, we practice that we bow to everyone, even to the commoners.” Pauleen replied.

“And what is your place here? Who are you to speak to me like that?” she snapped back.

“We’re the princess’ ladies-in-waiting.” Merlyn answered the question.

“Well, learn your place because no one is allowed to speak to me like that!” She scolded Pauleen.

“And no one has the right to speak to my friends with an attitude.” I calmly answered. “If there is someone who has the power to do so, that would be me but I do not practice that.” I continued.

“You call your ladies your friends? They should be your maids.” She responded, shocked.

“They are my friends.” I cleared. “And they are correct. We practice our bows here as a sign of respect. Now, if you would be so kind, please do it as a sign of respect not to me but to my people.” Princess Marieline looked around and sighed. She took a deep breath and bowed.

“That wasn’t so hard, wasn’t it?” I smiled.

She snorted. She then opens her fan and left my sight finally.

“Now presenting, the chosen prince, Prince Alexander Rufus of France.” The black carriage the opens and my enemy, Alexander came out.

He’s wearing the usual outfit: a normal jacket with a shirt and a crown on his head.

“Oh, look, it’s King Deimos’ bastard.” Pauleen commented.

“He embraces his crown too much.” Charity added.

“He thinks he looks royal because of the country he bought from his father.” Merlyn snapped.

“He bought France?” I asked.

“Yes, he did.” Clarisse answered. “Because he’s the bastard, he did everything to gain the king’s favor. France was supposed to be given to Prince Charles. But Alexander bough France in exchange for his life.” She explained.

I chuckled. “All for the sake of power, he sells his life.” I started. “A perfect example of a ruler who knows nothing but his thirst of power.”

Alexander then reaches us. “Ameira.” He greets, just bowing slightly. “Ladies.” He greets my ladies.

We then bowed although we hate to bow to this hilarious joke of a ruler.

“Alexander.” I greeted formally.

“You forgot the ‘prince’.” He suddenly corrected.

“No, I did not.” I have no intention of calling you a prince.” I replied.

“As ever, you have no respect for me.” He answered with a smirk. “No wonder why I left you.”

I scoffed. “First of all, no matter how hard you push that claim, everyone knows I left you for my people.” I started. “Second, I never had respect for me, to yourself or anybody else.”

“Well, I can guarantee that you will be respecting me once we’re man and wife.” He answered.

“And I will make sure that your wish of marriage with me will never push through.” I growled. “I’d rather die saving Scotland from your hands than lead my people right into your grip.”

“As if you have another choice to marry.” He scoffed.

“I know and I’ll make sure you’ll never have Scotland in your hands.” I snapped back.

“We’ll see.” He smirked and went on ahead to greet my parents.

“And for the noble prince and first in line for the English throne, Prince Charles Ezekiel of England!”

As the silver carriage opened, Charles came out. And everybody did not cheer or waive but bowed. How respected he is and he deserves it. He still looks amazing. He never changed.

“Is that Charles?” all my ladies questioned.

“I guess so.” I replied.

“Well, for the record, he’s equally delicious.” Pauleen started.

“I have every woman in and outside their kingdom sought after him.” Charity added.

“Cannot imagine why they wouldn’t” Merlyn agreed.

Charles does look extremely dashing. His soft brown curly hair, his eyes, his mouth, everything about him specifically indicates gorgeousness… perfection.

“He looks… very delicious…” Clarisse said.

“Hold your horses, Clarisse.” Merlyn suddenly blocks Clarisse’s statement.

“That’s Ameira’s future husband and king. Leave him be.” Charity entered.

I took a deep breath in as Charles finally reached me. My ladies and I bowed.

“Welcome, Prince Charles.” I greeted

He didn’t bow. Instead, he suddenly get my hand and kissed my knuckles, sending butterflies to my stomach, blood suddenly rushes through my veins.

“Princess Ameira.” He smiled. Oh, there he goes again with that smile. “Welcome home.”

“Thank you. Welcome home to you as well.” I giggled.

He then looked at me, confused but seemingly amused.

“Um, remember when we were little, you used to live here. So, welcome home.” I explained.

We both share a silent laughter.

“You’ve changed so much.” I smiled. “You don’t have any zits now.”

“Well, when you take care of yourself, all of the bad things will change.” He replied with respect and smile, his hands behind his teeth.

“Of course.” I nodded.

“You haven’t changed a bit.” He started. “Just your face.”

“Is there something horrible with my face?” I asked, worried.

“Nothing. You’re just growing more beautiful everyday.” He answered.

I could feel myself turning red.

“We have a lot of catching up to do.” He giggled.

“How about we discuss this after the feast?” I offered.

“Splendid. No time like the present.” He smiled. He then offered his arm and as I held onto him, we started walking to my parents.

This feast could be a challenge.
We are here in the accepting room whilst waiting for the food to be ready. Mother and Father are sitting in front and the four of us: Marieline, Alexander, Charles and I are sitting in a circle with my Mother on my left and Charles on my right.

“While we wait for the food to be ready, let us get to know each other.” Father initiated. “Who would like to go first?” he offered.

Then there was silence, each of us trying to see who will go first.

Marieline then sighed and stood first. “I’ll go first. I know you guys want to know me and I’m very honoured for this opportunity.” She’s so full of herself.

“My name is Marieline and…” My attention was then stolen by Charles who slightly tapped my hand.

“Yes?” I whispered towards him.

“Everyone is so full of themselves.” He stated.

“I reckon you’re going to pertain to this lady over here, saying she’s the best example.” I giggled.

“This girl and… Alexander.” He replied.

We both started to snicker.

“Excuse me?” Marieline cuts our conversation. “Are you gossiping about me?” she asked, near to being ridiculous.

“No. We’re just… discussing a few matters.” Charles replied.

“Well, could you discuss things later and focus on me?” she complained like a child.

“There are things that requires my attention and there are things that don’t.” I started. “There are things that are worthy of my attention and there are things that aren’t. And your vanity doesn’t require mine, it’s not worthy as well.” I continued.

Charles snickered. Alexander is holding back his laughter. I can hear my parents just taking deep breaths as they hate it when I do that.

Marieline throws a quick tantrum and sits down.

“Okay.” Mother clears her throat. “Um, Alexander, would like to go next?”

“No, it’s alright. I don’t like to share my own ideas and myself.” Alexander arrogantly refused.

“Understood.” Father respected. “Charles?”

“I’m okay, Sir.” Charles respectfully declined.

“Alright, then.” Father stood. “We’re here to discuss the throne.” He started.

“As we all know, all four of you are in line for the throne. And in time, you four must choose their spouse.” I sighed, knowing where this would go.

“To begin with this, tell me your preferences.” He then points Marieline.

“I would like to have Prince Charles as the future king of England and Italy.” She stated, looking dazed and flushed.

I turned to Charles and he looked irritated.

“Charles and I already had history together. I still love him and I know he does, too.” She then sat down.

“Any violent reactions?” Father asked.

“Don’t get your hopes too high, Marieline.” Charles started. “What we had is over. And I don’t have feelings for you.”

“Okay.” Father then points Alexander.

“It’s pretty obvious that I must marry Ameira over here for the reconciliation of France and Scotland.” He proudly announced.

“That, I will not let that be pushed through.” I stood up.

“Do you have a choice?” he snapped back.

“Everybody has a choice.” I answered. “And I choose Charles.”

“Charles?!” Marieline shouted as she stood up.

“Wait.” Mother stood, calming the air. “It seems like Charles has a choice to make.”

Charles then took a deep breath in. Please, Charles… agree with me.

“I have no decision yet. I’ll only say something if needed.” He stood up.

“We shall raise this to our parliament to deliberate. Then we’ll be also consulting the Vatican.” Mother replied. “But for now, let us feast.”
“You seem anxious.” Charles started the conversation.

“Just have a lot of things in my head.” I replied.

Charles and I are in the open field behind the castle, sitting beside each other but across. We used to to come here as children when we want to have private talks.

I sighed. “Came home, expecting I’ll be able to enjoy life before the crown but… I was betrayed by expectations.”

“I’m sure your parents didn’t want this to happen.” Charles replied. “And look at it, they’re still giving the decision making to you.” He added.

“Still, the agony and burden has caused me is just…” Charles then caresses my face, interrupting me.

“You’re stressing yourself too much.” He said.

I sighed and depended on his touch. “You don’t want to marry me, do you?”

“I want to marry you. I just don’t want it to be for advantage.” He explained.

“So, you don’t have feelings for me?” I asked.

“I had.” He responded. Then why won’t he choose me?! “We just grew apart and it’s going to take some time.” He continued. “And I don’t want you to marry me because of the reason to save Scotland. I want us to marry with love.”

“You doubt my love for you?” I asked, near to crying.

“No, I don’t doubt that.” Charles then cups my face. “I know you love me. The only problem is me and politics.” He continued. “Let time decide for us.”

I sighed and looked away.

“Don’t you trust me?” he asked.

I shook my head, saying, “No.”

“Oh, so you don’t.” He suddenly started tickling me.

“Charles! Stop!” I screamed, laughing.

“Say you trust me.” He persuades.

“I don’t!” I resisted. “Stop!”

“I will not stop unless you say you trust me!” He said, tickling.

“Alright! I’ll say it, just stop.”

Charles then stopped tickling and I started to catch my breath. “Well?” he asked.

I pushed Charles and started running for my life.

“You’re dead!” He shouted.

I ran as fast as I could, feeling like a child once more. But in a few seconds, Charles caught up with me and hugs me from behind, capturing me.

He then turns me around, facing him. “And you really think I can’t catch you, huh?” he asked, not letting me go from his grip.

“No.” I laughed. “Please, let me go.” I whined.

“Not until you say you trust me.” He persuaded.

“Alright, I trust you.” I giggled.

“Good.” He suddenly carries me on his shoulder and started twirling.

“AAHH!” I squealed. “Put me down!”

Charles then sets me back on the ground. At least today, there’s something fun and happy.
Outside, in front of the castle, escorting our guests to their carriages. I first attended to Marieline.

“Have a safe trip home.” I smiled.

She scoffed. “Quit pretending. We all know you wish for my death so you can have Charles for yourself.” She replied. “Well, guess what, Ameira, I’m not going away that easy.” She continued. “I shall see to it that you die first and by my hand so I could laugh at you.”

“As much as I despise you, I do not wish for your death. It is not our right as human beings to wish death on our fellow men.” I answered. “And also, if you come running back here to kill me, I shall see to it that I am waiting for your arrival.” I continued.

She gave me an angry look for one last time and headed to her carriage. Then, it’s Alexander’s turn.

“Hope you’re ready to be my wife.” He snorted.

“I have no plans to be your wife.” I protested.

“The parliament will see that marrying me will be the best decision for Scotland.” He responded.

“And I know the Vatican will defend my side. Now, please get out of my sight and have a safe trip back home.” I said.

“Wow, you wish me a safe trip home?”

“Don’t get any wrong ideas, Alexander. I loathe you and I am one of the people who would like to see you remove from the throne. It’s just a part of my duty to wish my guests a safe trip home.” I explained.

He then shrugged his shoulders and went ahead to his carriage.

Charles then walked up to me. “Sleep well, okay?” He smiled.

“I will.” I nodded with a smile. “Have a safe trip home. And I mean it to you.”

He giggled. “I will, I promise.”

“Will you promise you’ll think about it?” I asked.

He then kisses my hand. “I will. Good night, Ameira.”

“Good night, Charles.” I smiled.

He then walked to his carriage. Before he entered, he looked back and gave me a wave. I waved back with a big smile. As he gets in his carriage, all three carriages went on their ways.

Tomorrow is another day, Ameira. There is still hope.

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