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It's Royally Complicated - Chapter 18

I was with Ethan, but at the same time I wasn’t. In my opinion, we were dating, but when you really looked at it, we weren’t.
**Rosemarie's POV**

"Would you like another one, Rosemarie?" Mister Oaks asked teasingly. I laughed. "No, thank you. I’ve had too much already. I’m sorry," I said. He laughed as he and the girls cleared the table. "My dear, you don’t need to apologize. I’m actually surprised you didn’t eat more," he said and walked to the kitchen with the plates. I stood up, feeling contently full but needing an excuse to stand up. "I’ll help with the dishes," I offered. Ethan stood up behind me. I looked at his surprised face. "You can wash a dish?" He asked. I laughed again. "Official Princess punishment. My mother used to make us wash, dry and pack away everyone’s dishes if one of us didn’t mind our manners at the table," I explained and headed toward the kitchen. "Here you go, Rosemarie." Mister Oaks tossed me a sponge. "You can wash and I’ll dry and pack away," he said. I smiled, trying to contain my laughter and walked over to the sink. It was already filled up with soapy water.

"That’s fine, dad. I’ll dry and pack away," Ethan said. I looked at him as I started washing a glass. "Oh, no, you don’t. When do you think I’ll be able to talk to her? You see her almost every day." I blinked when I heard Mister Oaks say that. "Go, entertain your sisters. You can have her after we finish in here," Mister Oaks said. Ethan looked at me and smiled before leaving the kitchen. I worked on washing the dishes as Mister Oaks came to stand next to me. I nodded a bit. "So you know," I said and he started drying. He chuckled. "My dear, I read newspapers and I know where my son works. I know when you put two and two together, you get four." He said. I smiled a little and looked at him. "Well, thank you for not... well..." I trailed off. "For not, what?" He asked. I pulled up my shoulders. "For not making a big deal out of me. Thank you for treating me like you would any other person," I said.

He nodded. "I can read people. You don’t really enjoy being a royal, do you?" He asked. I dropped my eyes. "I don’t want to be ungrateful," I said. "You are not ungrateful, Rosemarie. You just hate attention. You’re shy and that’s okay. You have your eye on the more simple things in life, the things that are really important," he said. I smiled a bit. I took a deep breath. "No one’s ever told me that," I said slowly, deeply flattered. "I’ve always felt out of place. I’m probably just about the worst Princess ever. Everything has to be perfect, precise. My hair, my speech, my manners..." I handed him a plate then shook my head. "But that’s not me. I can’t be perfect. Rose and Matthew, and even Mark, they have no problem with pulling off perfect, they actually seem to like it sometimes, but... I’ve always been the odd one out. Rosaline has this incredible confidence and assertiveness that comes so naturally and Matthew, he’s the perfect gentleman; I don’t think he’s ever done anything that was purely selfish, and Mark..." I smiled.

"Oooh, I’ve read articles about him. I am terrified of what’s going to happen when he’s crowned King," Mister Oaks said. I laughed. "Mark is going to be a great King," I said and looked at Mister Oaks. He raised an eyebrow in disbelief. I smiled a bit. "Mark is a complete goofball. He is lazy and unpredictable, but he’s stable. Mark steps up to the plate when things get difficult. He always has a solution to any major problem. He’s very light on his feet and he’s much more reasonable than my father. Mark listens before he acts, he analyzes every possibility like a real King should." I pulled up my shoulders and focused on my task again. "If I were any of you, I wouldn’t fear his ruling, I would actually be thrilled about it," I said. Mister Oaks’ rich laughter filled the room again and I had to giggle. He looked at me, his eyes were kind and warm, like Ethan’s. "I really hope you and Ethan find a way to be together for a long time. You are really an exceptional girl. I like the way you think, and I’m not saying all of this because you’re a Princess, I truly mean it." And I believed him when he said that. I smiled sadly. The first part of his sentence worried me. I was with Ethan, but at the same time I wasn’t. In my opinion, we were dating, but when you really looked at it, we weren’t.

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**Matthew's POV**

Chanelle laughed at me when I walked into the library with a blanket around my head and shoulders. The coldness only hit me after the shower I took. I smiled as I shivered toward the couch she was sitting on. She moved up a bit and looked at me as I sat down. Chanelle smiled, her dark eyes full of amusement. She reached over and pushed the blanket off my head a little. "You’re insane," she said with a giggle. Chanelle tilted her head. Her hands were still clutching the blanket at the sides of my face. Her fingers brushed my cheeks lightly. "Let me take a guess and say, you did it for Rose," Chanelle said. I smiled a bit. "I’m her older brother. It’s kind of my job," I said with a shrug. Chanelle smiled again. "No, it’s just the way you are, Matthew. It’s what you do," she said and slowly brought her hands to her lap. Chanelle’s eyes dropped and she looked uncertain.

"Listen Matthew, I know we should talk about that kiss but..." She took an unsteady breath and I could see tears forming in her eyes. "I need to tell you something about last night," she said and looked at me with glassy eyes. "There was another reason why I wanted to go with you last night," she said. I nodded, waiting for her to go on. "My parents have been fighting and arguing a lot lately, that’s why I’ve been coming to the palace so often. I hate being at home and being around you, always helps me forget. My parents are getting divorced," she said, her voice cracking at the end. I didn’t even bother hiding my confusion. "What?" I asked. Chanelle nodded a bit. She took another shaky breath.

"Matthew, you’re my best friend and I was planning on telling you last night but then..." She trailed off and I understood. I nodded. "I’m sorry," I said, realizing how much more difficult I had made this for her. A few tears escaped her eyes and she wiped at them instantly. She sighed. "It’s not your fault. I’m just really messed up right now and I’m trying to pull it together as best I can, but..." Tears started flowing freely and I moved closer. I opened my arms and covered her shoulders with the blanket then pulled her closer, trying to comfort her. Chanelle’s face turned toward my t-shirt and she cried into it. I rubbed her back gently. "I just need you to be my friend right now, Matthew." She said, making me feel incredibly stupid for kissing her the night before. I held her closer and rested my chin on her head. "Okay," I said.

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**Mark's POV**

I watched as the black Limo stopped in front of me. A million thoughts were running through my head. I needed to make it clear to her that she was messing with the wrong guy, and I didn’t mean me. Whatever Jeremy felt for her seemed real and I was not about to get in the way of that. I had to set her straight. The door opened and I had to catch my breath when Aquamarine’s stunning perfection emerged out of the car in front of me. When she looked back, I saw the light pink highlight in her long blond hair. I lifted the big, black umbrella over her head as she got out. She was wearing a white dress that went to her knees despite the cold with silver heels and a pink bow around them. She wore a light pink cashmere sweater that seemed to keep her warm enough. All thought was terminated from my mind when her bright blue eyes locked with mine. She smiled slightly. "Hi." Her voice was sweet, and energetic, and confident, music to my ears. I cleared my throat and smiled. "Hi," I said.

"Wow, they really give you the royal treatment here, don’t they, your majesty." The last two words came out playfully sarcastic. I laughed a little. "What? I couldn’t tell you I was a Prince. It would have been too easy... not that it was difficult," I said and raised an eyebrow. Aquamarine raised a perfectly plucked eyebrow back. "Oh, so you’re saying I’m easy now?" She asked. I pulled up my shoulders. "You made me work for it, that’s for sure," I said and she laughed. "Hey, whose idea was it to win a stuffed animal?" She asked. "Yours!" I answered. She backed up a bit then raised her eyes to the clouds, thinking it through. "Oh, yeah, it was," she giggled. "Well, then I apologize for your humiliation, your highness. You should have just told me you couldn’t make a basket and I would have won the prize sooner and saved you a lot of trouble." She winked.

"Oooh, did you just say I can’t make a basket? Do you have any idea who you’re speaking to?" I asked. "Uhm, I’m pretty sure I’m speaking to Prince Mark the Third a.k.a. the Butterfinger Prince," she teased. I laughed and nodded. "Okay, looks like the first thing on the agenda is a friendly one on one game of basketball then," I said. Aquamarine laughed. "No way! You just want me to jump so my dress will lift," she tilted her head slightly. I took a glance at her legs then back at her face, letting the thought cross my mind. "Hmm, fine, we’ll have a shoot off in the game room. There are hoops and basketballs," I said. "The Prince likes competition," she commented and smiled. "I’ve never been afraid of competition myself," she said, confidently.

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Comment Replies

*Doll: Sorry for taking long. I'm having a bit of trouble stuffing Mark's part in the story now.
*M: Haha. Thank you.
*Anne: Ethan is so cute. It's like, no effort to write about him.
*Sara-No-H: Thank you.
*BriBri: Haha. Give it time.
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Published: 6/25/2013
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