''A royal guest is here! Do you perhaps know who it might be?'' One of the servants ask one another as they make their way towards the front entrance, muttering more words as they do so. With a frown on my face, I turn to see a lot of more servants going through that way.
''A royal guest?'' I question myself.
I continue to walk inside the castle, seeing that most of the servants are lined up at the entrance, waiting for the royal guest to arrive shortly. While I continue to stare at the front door, I immediately turn to come face to face with a man's broad chest.
My eyes widen in surprise before stepping back a little and looking up in a hurry, seeing Emery looking down at me with a smirk on his face—probably from the look on my face because I bet it wasn't pretty earlier.
''You should really watch where you're going, it is kind of deadly.'' He says after rolling his eyes before passing by me, walking down the hall and straight towards the front door—leaving me thinking that he's going to greet the royal guest.
I come to realise that he has changed into a navy blue shirt.
''Deadly, my ass.'' I mutter under my breath.
Without further ado, I start to make my way towards the front door, standing right next to one of the servants while I watch Emery taking a few steps down the stairs, looking around in confusion but he stays still, talking to the queen—his mother.
I can't help myself when it comes to Emery. I end up watching his every movement and actions, even by the way he chuckles when the queen mutters a light joke. The way his eyes squint when he laughs, it's one of the things that may attract women.
Especially him, he's royalty.
After a few minutes of waiting for the royal guest, we finally see a black Range Rover stopping at the middle of the entrance—the windows are darkly tinted, preventing anyone from seeing inside. I can guess that it's indeed a royal guest; being greeted by the queen and prince, must be a special person.
Ever since I came here, for like two days, I haven't met or seen the king. Rumours are spreading around the castle, rumours about the king that I am starting to hear, they say that the king is actually ill, badly ill. It has been a couple of months since he left his chamber but his illness has been going on for a few months now.
As the door is being opened by one of the bodyguards, my jaw drops onto the ground as soon as I see a woman—around her twenties, stepping out in her high heels with full of grace and class but mostly class. My eyes manage to take a few seconds eyeing her whole outfit, seeing that she's wearing a black tight pencil skirt with a white tank top and a blazer in her hands.
One word, deadly gorgeous.
The way her light brown hair are in soft curls just fall down her shoulders—it's surprisingly building up envy in me. As soon as she steps out of the car, I manage to catch a glimpse of her face, seeing that she has a light makeup on; complimenting her flawless complexion.
''Damn,'' I mutter under my breath, sighing afterwards.
To my surprise, her lips are curving up into a wide smile as soon as she sees Emery before walking towards him and pulling him in for a very tight hug—pressing her body against his in an inappropriate way but everyone doesn't seem to notice. Emery doesn't either.
''It's been awhile and it's really nice to see you again, cousin!'' She exclaims in excitement before caressing the side of Emery's cheek, pecking afterwards.
I raise an eyebrow in disbelief before continuing to watch them bond—not in a family bonding way. The queen watches them with a smile on her face before receiving a peck on the cheek by her too.
Within seconds, Emery's eyes are on me while he clenches his jaw for an unknown reason. Then, his cousin turns to look at me, something passing her eyes but it disappears within a couple of seconds, ''Don't you miss me?'' She asks, pouting.
Emery clears his throat, ''Not quite.''
''How come? You should miss me,'' She continues to pout, showing off her big lips on purpose,
''I'd rather not,'' He replies, a smile appearing on his face and she doesn't seem to bother anyway.
Without me realising, I manage to let out a chuckle that gain Emery's attention. Then, he walks towards me before placing his hand at the back of my waist, earning a look from his cousin—the royal guest, ''Dian, this is my fiancée, Emma.'' He says, looking down at me.
His cousin—Dian, looks at me. Her eyes are looking straight into my eyes before eyeing my face and down my clothes which doesn't really matches her in any classy or gracefully way; I'm only wearing jeans and a shirt with a coat due to the weather.
She curves her lips into a smile, giving me her hand to shake, ''It's an honour to meet you, Emma.'' She says but before I can return the handshake, she pulls away and looking back at Emery.
''Likewise,'' I mutter.
Dian walks inside with the queen, her heels clicking onto the ground, bothering my ears. Emery continues to stand beside me as we both watch the servants walking in—leaving us outside.
I realise that Emery's hand is still at the back of my waist before he starts to lean in near my ear, ''You don't like her,'' He mutters.
''What makes you think so?'' I question, turning to look at him.
Once I face him, I am surprised to see his brown eyes turning lighter due to the sunlight which lightens his hair too—leaving him looking gorgeously beautiful. He doesn't seem to realise that I'm looking at him with full of awe, feeling attracted as he clears his throat, looking around.
''I don't think so, I know so.'' He replies.
''Who are you? Einstein?'' I cross my arms, standing on my tiptoes—nearing our faces together but he chuckles, pushes me slowly by the shoulder; making me drop back on my feet.
''Don't worry, I'm not fond of her too.'' He says, ''She annoys me for some reason and I don't like that. Unfortunately, I'm not able to show it but trust me, I would if I can.'' Then, he makes his way inside the castle with me trailing behind him.
Emery and I walk side by side, eyeing the queen and Dian from behind—knowing that they're talking about a few things we don't bother listening. If only my mum is here, at least she'll be the one I can pour secrets or stories to but speaking of mum, she went back to New York on her own because she wanted to meet dad and settle things there while I get my mind straight and plan this engagement or wedding. She'll be here when the wedding date has been set.
Dian turns around, looking at us immediately, making us stop walking and eye her from afar. I clear my throat, waiting for her to get closer towards us, ''It'd be lovely if Emery can show me around.'' She says, smiling seductively.
''Why would I show you around?'' He asks.
''Oh, silly. The last time I was here, we were both children.'' She replies, glancing at my direction for a few seconds before placing her hand on the side of his cheek.
Emery removes her hand away slowly with a small smile on his face, ''Unfortunately, I have things to do. It'd be best if you show yourself around,'' He says, earning a chuckle from his mother.
''You're as boring as usual,'' She pouts.
''I've never been fun,'' He rolls his eyes, walking down the hall without sparing a single glance at Dian nor I. My eyes wouldn't stop looking at him until he's finally out of sight.
The queen's eyes widen before walking towards me, ''We shall talk about your engagement party with Emery, Emma. Come, let's discuss.'' She gestures for me to come and walk down the hall towards one of the rooms.
Apparently, it's not only me coming along but Dian seems to be trailing behind us. I can't seem to remove the sound of her heels clicking against the floor from my head—it's killing me slowly without even physically hurting.
We are sitting at the nearest table as Genevieve—the queen, gestures for one of the servants to prepare tea. I stay still and try my best to avoid Dian's gaze so I only look at the queen; waiting for her to start a conversation.
''I'm sorry, Dian but this is a conversation that only Emma and I shall participate.'' The queen says, glancing at Dian while she nods in understatement—glaring at me for a few seconds before leaving the room.
Once she's out of the room, we are served with tea to warm up our stomachs while she starts to speak, ''I heard about the proposal earlier on the news, has everything been sort out between you and Emery?'' She asks, taking a sip of her tea.
I look down at my fingers, ''He told me about the agreement—the full agreement. For the sake of your family, I accepted his proposal. He doesn't deserve to die without a wife nor an heir and I think it would be cruel of me to walk away from what has been destined ever since I was born.'' I reply.
Her lips curving up into a small smile, ''Emma, honestly, I've been asking one of my men to watch over you to make sure that you're safe and growing up in a perfect environment. You got good grades in school including in university and I'm impressed, you turn out to be an intelligent young lady.'' She says, taking a sip of her tea again.
''Watching over me?'' I frown.
She blinks a few times, ''Yes. Remember that boy in high school? The one you were with on your senior year,'' She looks up at me.
I keep quiet, waiting for her to continue, ''I handled him to break things off with you before it become much more serious. I don't want anyone to come in between you and Emery, that would risk the agreement and complicate things.'' She adds.
''What?'' I ask, confusingly.
We broke up because she told him to. She must've paid him to do so—pretending that there was a deal made and breaking my heart was the ultimate goal. Genevieve got in between in my relationship; for the sake of her son.
''My apologies, Emma. I did it for my son. If you developed feelings for that boy, he wouldn't risk letting you go and I only made things easier for the both of you. I hope you hold no grunge against me,'' She places her hand on top of mine; rubbing with her thumb.
''I should've known, he was true with his feelings.'' I mutter under my breath—not quite believing.
''He liked you, that's why I didn't want things to be much more complicated than it already was.'' She continues.
''But he liked me,'' I speak.
''If he confessed his love for you and if you have found out about the agreement when you were that age, you would've run away with him—probably elope. You would've left your studies, your family and your responsibility. What I did was for the sake of my country,'' She says, sighing as she leans back at her seat.
''You're their future queen,'' She adds.
Future queen. I thought.
''Forgive me, Your Majesty but I did not choose this. I'm here to help your son and your family,'' I say.
''That shows how you're fitted to be queen. You sacrifice yourself for the sake of others, not everyone is capable of doing that.'' She replies, ''We were supposed to talk about your engagement with Emery but I guess that shall happen some other time when Emery may join us,'' She stands, smiling down before walking towards the door and leaving the room.
I stay still at my spot, breathing in and trying to calm myself down—afraid if I might explode. The queen has caused my life to tremble. Apart from all the achievements that I've made, I was hating love. If only I knew that it was a lie; a made up.
As I escape the room, I see Emery walking down the hall so I quickly make my way towards him—stopping him by the shoulder, earning myself a confused look, ''How did things go with my mother?'' He asks.
''She told me the truth,'' I reply.
''What truth?'' He frowns.
''It doesn't matter right now. I want to ask you one thing, if we go through this, if we go through this agreement, would you feel something for me or would we just pretend to be happy in front of your people but suffer behind their backs?'' I ask, looking straight into his brown eyes.
Emery looks at me in confusion—probably surprised to see me asking this kind of question. He takes a few steps closer towards me, ''You're having second thoughts.'' He mutters.
''Don't we always?'' I breathe out.
''I won't force you into this. You may leave and never return—'' He says but I cut him off, earning a frown.
''—but I won't,'' I cut.
Before he can say anything, the sound of the familiar heels clicking against the floor interrupts us, causing Emery to look up at my back while I turn to follow his gaze, ''Sorry, was I interrupting?'' She asks, swaying her hips side by side as she walks towards us.
''Not necessarily,'' He replies.
''My apologies, dear cousin but it was really hard not to interrupt. You've been attracting me,'' She chuckles as Emery sighs, going down the hall without glancing back at her.
Within seconds, Dian glares at me before walking down the hall towards the other direction; leaving me standing here all by myself, thinking about my future. My life. If someone is in my shoes at the moment, what would she do? Would she walk away and leave or stay and proceed? I thought.
I let out a deep sigh, gazing down at my engagement ring—seeing that it has some sentimental value to it and has been passed down for generations; adding more meaning. With another sigh, I continue down the hall, with Emery still in my head and bothering my thoughts.
As I walk down the hall, I am shocked to find someone pulling me near a dark room—causing me to yelp and shake in fear but as the door closes beside me, I look up to see Emery looking down at me with both of his hands are my shoulders.
''You scared me, for god's sake.'' I breathe.
He places his index finger on my lips, preventing me from speaking so I keep quiet, only focusing into his light brown eyes—loving the way they are actually looking down at me. As he removes his finger softly, I start to feel a strange feeling building up in my body.
The only thing shining the room is the fireplace, warming the room too. I am surprised to find myself much more attracted to his warmth than the fireplace itself.
Our faces are inches apart and due to that, I start to glance down at his lips; feeling weird out at the fact that it's the first time we've been this close to each other.
''You asked me, if I would feel something for you if we continue, would this explain?'' He asks, glancing down at my lips for a few seconds before leaning in and kissing the side of my cheek—causing me to close my eyes; enjoying the warmth of his lips on my cold skin.
My eyes open once more as soon as he pulls back, leaving us staring at each other—letting the strange feeling disappear on its own. Within seconds, he has already pulled the door open before quickly stepping out of the room; leaving me breathing heavily due to his presence.
I place a hand on my chest, feeling my heartbeat raising as a sign of my nervousness taking control over my body.