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It's Royally Complicated - Chapter 19

"Does it ever stop hurting?" I asked and clutched tighter onto his arm. His eyes softened and uncertainty was clear in them. He shook his head and looked away. "It gets easier; you start forgetting, but just the fact that you’re forgetting, kills you." He said.
**Rosemarie's POV**

"I wish I didn’t have to go home," I said and realized that I was at the last dish. "You are welcome to visit again," Mister Oaks said. I shook my head. "That’s really kind of you, but I’m not sure when that will be," I said. He nodded. "Well, whenever you get a chance, we would be happy to have you. I haven’t seen Ethan this happy in a long time. He cares for you more than you know," Mister Oaks said. I looked away shyly and felt my heart skip a beat. I put the last plate into Mister Oak's hand. I rinsed my hands and shook them dry. "Thank you," he said. I turned around and leaned back against the sink.

Mister Oaks chuckled suddenly. I turned to look at him. "I wouldn’t keep Ethan waiting too long now," he said. I smiled and walked out of the room. I heard my symphony being played from somewhere in the house and followed the sound. There was a room at the far back of the house that looked like a lounge. The piano was in the corner and a few brown couches stood around the room with a television against the wall. The flooring was also wood and so was the roof. It gave the room a very homely feeling. I walked over to Ethan and sat next to him. He looked at me and stopped playing for a second to put his arm around me, then started again. "Where are your sisters?" I asked. "They’re upstairs. They got bored from waiting for you and, just so you’re prepared, they are going to drag you upstairs to their room and make you stay there as they drown you in questions because, believe me, they have a lot," he said and glanced at me with a smile. I laughed a bit. "So how much time do I have? You know, more or less?" I asked. "About ten to twenty minutes," was the reply.

Ethan stopped playing and stood up, taking my hand in his. "Where are we going?" I asked as he guided me out of the room and toward the front door. "Shhh." Ethan put a finger to his lips and handed me an umbrella. "If they hear you leaving, they’ll be here faster than a bullet," he said, opening the door and putting a hand behind my back. I barely had the umbrella open when he pushed me outside. I giggled and heard him close the door. He sheltered under the umbrella with me and started pushing me so that we ran across the grass.

"Okay, honestly, Ethan, where are you?" The bridge came into view and I understood immediately. "I couldn’t let you leave without seeing this," he said. It felt like someone had reached into my heart and given it a squeeze. Tears formed in the corners of my eyes as we crossed the bridge and Ethan led me to the foot of it. Memories of my childhood came flooding back to me and I only lived that moment in flashes. Flash. Ethan and I couching down slowly into the wet grass. Flash. My grandfather parting the long grass a bit and Rose gigging next to me. Flash. The fuzzy fur of ducklings only partially sticking out from under their mother. And then time somehow froze, all sound and feeling was eliminated. All my senses seemed to stop working except for my sight. My heart ached, but not just from pain, from relief as well, and joy. Ethan put his hand on my shoulder and his wet face came into view, his eyes full of concern. Only then did I realize, I had dropped the umbrella and the rain was furiously beating down on us. Ethan put his arms around me and carefully moved us to under the bridge, somehow knowing that I wouldn’t be able to function properly at that moment. He was careful not to startle the ducks and also got us a close view. The ground under the bridge was dry and if it wasn’t for Ethan’s arms, I would have dropped on it without a care.

"Hey," he whispered with his face close to mine. My eyes were still glued to the ducks and my senses had returned. I could feel hot tears streaming over my cheeks. I wiped at them instantly and dropped my eyes to where Ethan’s arms were around my shoulders. I brought my shaking fingers up and wrapped them around his one arm while burying my face into his sweater. "I’m sorry," I mumbled, not sure if he could hear me through all the rain, but he held me closer, warming me. "It’s okay," I heard him whisper into my ear and that sent my tears pouring again. I turned my face to look at him. "Does it ever stop hurting?" I asked and clutched tighter onto his arm. His eyes softened and uncertainty was clear in them. He shook his head and looked away.

"It gets easier; you start forgetting, but just the fact that you’re forgetting, kills you." He said. My heart ached more. I studied him carefully and tried remembering my grandfather. A clear image came into view of the old man I adored so much. I could practically hear his laughter. I found myself smiling a little, feeling the pain lighten. He would have loved Ethan. There was no doubt in my mind. Ethan looked back at me. His eyes touched every section of my face before a small smile appeared on his face. "But..." He continued, "if you’re lucky enough, you meet someone that has such a powerful hold on you that all the hurt disappears the second you see her smile," he said, pushing a wet strand of hair out of my face. My heart skipped a beat and that moment I understood in more ways than one, exactly what he meant.

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**Shane's POV**

Seeing the hurt in Rose’s eyes when I said goodbye to her almost killed me. I was out of ideas. No matter what I tried from here on out, would be a failure and was sure to make things worse. It’s not like I could wait for the day of the marriage and yell "I object!" when I knew whatever objection I had wouldn’t count. I needed something legal and there was nothing. I let out a breath of air and stared out of the jet’s window. I quickly got frustrated at looking at the clouds, and shut the window. This was so unfair! The worst part was that I would never be able to tell her how I really felt about her or find out if she felt the same. Hell, I knew she felt something for me but whether or not, it was the same as what I felt was a whole different story. I knew she wanted to get out of this wedding but it seemed to be more of a case of her losing her freedom, and less about what she felt for me.

"Shane?"

I turned to look at my mother sitting opposite me on the couch. She took off her reading glasses and placed them on the book in her hands. Her eyes were concerned. "Yes, mother?" I asked. She tilted her head a bit. "Are you alright, dear?" She asked. I held her gaze for a while before shaking my head. Telling my mother would be the worst decision ever. "I’ll be fine," I said simply. "Are you sure?" She asked. I dropped my eyes then raised them to my brother sitting in the seat a few steps from mine and facing me. His eyes touched mine before it went to the book in his hands. I stood up. "Can I be excused, please?" I asked, looking at my mother. She held my gaze for a few seconds before giving me a small nod. I thanked her and headed for the bathroom. After splashing my face with cold water and looking in the mirror, I reached for my phone in my back pocket and called Rose. This was dangerous, but I didn’t care. I let it ring and leaned back against the sink, waiting. The phone rang until it couldn’t ring any longer. I tried again, same thing.

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**Rosaline's POV**

I stared at the palace grounds through the window in my bedroom. I don’t know how long in, had been standing there and I didn’t care. I closed my eyes slowly. "Eric knows." Shane’s words echoed through my mind. "He’s not changing his mind." I had expected this but to have it confirmed hurt more than I thought it would. I closed my curtains, turned around and sunk to the floor. I felt like crying but I just couldn’t anymore. My phone rang on the desk next to me. I reached up slowly and took it between my fingers. Shane’s name appeared on the screen. I stared at the phone a while before throwing it across the room and dropping my head. There was nothing I could do to change my situation. It was time to start being strong. The phone stopped ringing then started again a few seconds later. I sighed and pulled my knees to my chest, letting it ring. When it rang a third time, I slowly stood up and walked to where the phone lay, picked it up and answered it. "Hey," I said. There was a small pause. "Hey, how are you feeling?" Shane’s smooth voice sent shivers down my back. I felt tears coming on strongly but fought them back. I scoffed. "Right, stupid question," Shane said before I could reply.

I sighed. "I’m really sorry, Rose." He said. "I just feel like my life’s about to end, like after this I have no chance of ever being truly happy," I confessed. Shane sighed as well. "Well, for whatever it’s worth right now, you’ll always have me, Rose." My heart skipped a beat. "And I won’t try anything with you after the marriage, I don’t want to make it more difficult for you or Eric," Shane said. I looked up at the ceiling as the tears burnt more. A wave of misery crashed through me and I dropped my head, still fighting the tears. Giving Shane is the most difficult thing anyone could ask me to do, and here I was compelled to do it. "Thank you for trying, Shane..." I lost my voice for a second. "I really wish things could have been different for us... I-I really would give anything to give us a chance."

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Comment Replies

*M: Yes, yes he does.
*Anne: Hold on, there's a lot more.
*BriBri: Lol. I can actually picture that even though I don't really know you.
*AK1215: Haha. Love your optimism.
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Published: 7/6/2013
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