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.

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