It's Royally Complicated - Chapter 10

"What have you got there?" Shane asked teasingly. I started backing away. "Nothing," I said too quickly, still recovering from the surprise but determined not to show him the sketch.

I sighed and leaned back against the tree stump that overlooked the lake. The view was so peaceful. The lake was still and serene, exactly what I needed at that moment. I looked down at the clear white page of the sketchpad in my hands and gently ran my fingers over it. Rosie had commented that morning about how I should start again. I hadn't sketched in a while, but it felt so natural to have the pencil in my hand again. Problem was, I had no idea what to sketch. I had so many sketches of the lake already. I noticed Shane walking out of the castle a few feet away and my heart skipped a beat. His strides were so easy across the grass. What was he doing out here? Then I saw the football in his hands. I smiled a little when he started bouncing it on his knee. He was completely unaware of me watching him. I reached into the bag I had brought with and took out a magazine that was folded over into the article I was stuck reading that morning. It was a teen magazine called 'The Latest'. Obviously, it always had the most recent gossip but the page I was looking at, had an A4 picture of the two princes from Palanadia stretched out on one page with the headline "Hottest Highnesses" below. The picture was Shane and Eric sitting in what I assumed was their garden, looking directly at the camera and wearing white t-shirts. They almost looked like twins.

I picked up my pencil and chewed hard on the bottom, studying Shane's features. His eyes had that intense look that seemed to come natural to him. It felt like he was looking right at me. I took the pencil between my fingers and picked up my sketchpad while placing the magazine next to me. My eyes went from the magazine to the sketchpad and back as my hand moved the pencil across the page and made an image more and more visible with each stroke.


I was almost done with the sketch when I felt the presence of another person behind me. I looked over my shoulder and almost got a heart attack when I saw Shane's face so close to mine. I jerked away with surprise and put my hand over my racing heart. "Don't frighten me like that," I said and turned the sketch over immediately, hoping he hadn't seen too much. The magazine was already overturned from my earlier reaction. Shane smirked and I stood up with the sketchpad in my hands behind my back. He stood up as well and slowly walked towards me. "What have you got there?" He asked teasingly. I started backing away. "Nothing," I said too quickly, still recovering from the surprise but determined not to show him the sketch. "Oh, I'm sure it's something." Shane said, closing in on me. I shook my head and kept on walking backwards. "Really, Shane, let it go," I said. Shane's speed suddenly increased and I jerked away and started running through the garden. My laughter surprised me. I was actually enjoying this game Shane was playing.

I saw the Royal garden maze and headed towards that. Rosie and I used to play hide and seek in those mazes when we were young so I was no stranger to it. I navigated my way through the maze on memory, almost completely sure I knew where I was going... until I ran into a dead end. I stopped at the end and stared up at the high hedge then turned around and saw Shane walking towards me. I pushed myself back against the hedge in a last attempt to keep the sketch away from Shane's eye. Shane neared me slowly, the smirk never leaving his face. I pressed myself harder against the hedge. "End of the line, Rose," he said and stretched out his hand. "You can just give it to me now and spare yourself some trouble," he said. I shook my head, trying to look stubborn but my smile betrayed me.

Shane laughed a little and came closer and closer... and closer, finally he was standing right in front of me, so close I could feel his body heat. He looked down at me and slid his arms around my waist. I stiffened. He's just trying to get the sketch, I reminded myself when I felt him grab the sketchpad in my hand. His eyes met mine and he held my gaze. I felt frozen. My breathing got harder, then he slowly brought his face closer to mine, hesitantly. His free hand touched my cheek and I closed my eyes at his touch. I felt him come closer. His lips touch mine. A slow chill went down my spine. I was vaguely aware of the sketch falling out of my hands and the old town clock announcing the end of another hour but I didn't care. Nothing else mattered right then.



"Yep, Autumn is definitely pregnant," Dr. Marsden said as he stood up after checking Autumn out. I shot Matthew an I-told-you-so face. He just shook his head with amusement and surprise. "Could be anytime within the next month or so actually," Dr. Marsden said. I could feel my eyes widening and see Matthew's doing the same. "Uh..." Matthew shook his head to clear it up a bit. "Thank you, doctor," he said. Dr. Marsden nodded and left. Matthew knelt next to Autumn and smirked. "So that's what's been up with you the last few weeks?" He asked and patted her neck lightly. I rubbed my arms and came to sit next to him. "Soon you'll have another horse around to adore," I said and bumped him playfully.

Matthew laughed a little. He shook his head. "Unbelievable," he said more to himself than to me. I noticed Autumn's eyes closing. "She's tired," I said. Matthew nodded. "Come on. We should probably let her rest," I said and stood up. Matthew smiled at Autumn then stood up as well. "How cool is this?" He asked after we exited the barn. I laughed. "There's that excitement I was looking for," I said and looked at him. Matthew smiled at me. "So what do we do now?" He asked. "About Autumn? Nothing, we wait," I said. Matthew shook his head. "Unbelievable," he said again. I laughed and took him by the arm. "Come on, my party is in a few weeks. You might as well help me with the planning since no one else is around to," I said and almost dragged him back into the palace.

When we got inside we ran into Eric. "Hey," I said and smiled at him. "Hi," he said. He looked good in casual clothes. Dark jeans and a gray shirt that made his eyes stand out. He was incredibly good-looking. "Do you two have any idea where Shane is?" He asked. I shook my head. "Nope," Matthew said. "Do you two have any idea where anyone is?" I asked. "I can't find Rose or Rosie anywhere. Rosie's been disappearing a lot lately and Rose is usually the one doing her own thing," I said. Eric nodded. "That sounds like Shane. He's been acting odd since we got here. He can't spend five minutes alone with me lately and we're brothers," Eric said. I pulled up my shoulders. "Maybe he has a thing for Rose and is dead jealous!" I teased then faked a gasp. "Or he and Rosie have a thing going on and that's where she keeps disappearing off to," I teased again and we all laughed but in that laughter, I noticed that Eric was laughing half-heartedly. He was actually thinking about what I had teased about.



"That's Madison and Jaylinne," Ethan said, showing his phone to me. We were sitting next to each other in front of the piano. I was still a little shy around him and it seemed like he was too. It was delightful though. The picture on his phone was one of two girls. The eldest one was holding the younger one and they had their heads beside each other. The older girl had straight strawberry blond hair that seemed to go to her waist and had a white beanie on. She had a gentle smile with amber eyes. The younger one had an energetic laugh and short, curly brown hair that went to her shoulders with amber eyes. I smiled at the two sisters. "They're adorable," I said and took the phone out of his hand to study the picture even closer. Ethan gave a little chuckle. "Yeah, they are," he said.

"What are they like?" I asked and rested my head on his shoulder. Ethan's arm came around my shoulder and he played with my hair. I froze at his touch. "Well, Madison has this crazy, assertive personality. She always seems to be bouncing about, bringing flowers into the house, playing with the animals outside, a ball of energy. Whereas, Jaylinne, she's the shy one, helpful, smart, lovable... sometimes a little insecure... she's... well, sort of like you," he said. I blinked and looked up at him. He smiled down at me and I felt like sinking down a little under his gaze. My heart started racing as he held my gaze. The phone vibrated in my hand and I jumped. The caller ID said "Dad". I sat up and handed his phone to him. Ethan took it from me and answered. "Hi, dad..." He put his hand to his forehead. "Crud, I completely forgot..." He checked his watch then stood up. "I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was this late. I'm on my way," he said. After a short pause, a smile spread across his face. "Love you too, Madison," he said. I smiled at how lovable that was. "Bye."

I stood up and Ethan looked at me. His eyes already apologizing. I stood up and smiled a bit. I would have liked to have him to myself for a while longer but I knew that would be selfish. "Go ahead. This wouldn't be the first time we part on unexpected terms," I said. Ethan smirked and stood there awkwardly for a while. "What now?" I asked. He chuckled nervously. "I was just wondering if I were allowed to kiss you goodbye," he admitted. I bit my lip and felt my cheeks heat up. "I wouldn't stop you," I said. Ethan smiled and leaned forward, putting his lips against mine and deepening the kiss. My legs instantly turned to jelly so I put my hands on his shoulders for support. Ethan broke the kiss and smiled. "I'll see you tomorrow," he said and left, giving me a small wave at the door. I raised my hand to wave back even though he was already gone. When I turned back towards the piano, I smiled at it. It suddenly felt like something old shed itself out of my system, like I was letting go of something. I lowered myself onto the seat and placed my fingers on the keys. Old instinct took over and my fingers automatically moved over the keys and created rich notes of music, a new feeling of relief flooded over me.


Comment Replies

*Anne: Thank you.
*Spohie: Yep.
*BriBri: Haha! I reread that part and laughed when I tried it myself.
*Nalith: Haha. Believe me it's my pleasure. Cute name by the way.
*Yvotte: Hmm, personally, can't choose one. Haha. It's like asking a mother to choose her favorite child. I like them all but Mark- I especially have a soft spot for, even though I haven't used him yet. I gave him the personality of my best guy friend.
Published: 4/6/2013
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