Direct link to chapter 9: http://eepurl.com/bAqxlT
I couldn’t see anything up front. To many people blocked my way.
“Yes, Mr. Brody,” a sweet angelic voice said. My entire body rippled as she said his name.
I looked back at the young man who was a younger version of Kevin but I didn’t care about him, not this time.
I started to move through the crowd. It was so easy and not like a normal crowd. I saw the outline of their bodies. I walked farther through and came into view of my mother.
An emotion so strong overwhelmed me as I just stared at her and my father, happy close to one another.
She was beautiful, her smile lit up the entire room and he was handsome, just like the day I’d seen him during my Ascending.
She spoke but I didn’t pay any attention. Then everyone laughed as I realized it was something snazzy.
“Mom,” I spoke softly but she didn’t pay any attention to me.
Then the entire image just stopped as they moved away from the crowd, away from me, and I could feel a tear roll down my face.
I wiped it away and felt how Lukas took the earphones off my head.
I opened my eyes.
“I’m so sorry, Princess.”
I started to laugh and flung my arms around him as flashes went off again.
“Thank you, you gave me something nobody could ever give me. I saw her, even if she didn’t see me. I know what she sounded like, looked like, it was so real.”
Questions were being asked again.
“Princess, tell us how it felt to finally being so close to her?” Kevin asked.
“Mr. Brody, I can finally say now that you’ve been a thorn in my mother’s backside too.”
Everyone laughed including Kevin.
“Thank you,” I said to Lukas again as Emanuel stepped in and started guiding me back to the limousine.
Becky and Sammy caught up with me in the elevator.
“That was seriously amazing, Elena.”
“It felt so real.”
Sammy hugged me. “It was the right project to fund. This will change lives and will give that son of a bitch what he needs.”
I laughed and saw Emanuel had a small smile tugging at the corner of his lips too.
“I’m so buying one of those.” Becky left her two cent comment as we walked out of the elevator. I knew what she would use it on, to hopefully see her father.
On Monday I found out that on Friday, King Helmut wanted me come to the palace only at five. The camping trip was set for this weekend, and they would be long gone by then.
Everyone was going, even Blake, or so it seemed from the way Sammy spoke about this weekend.
I was going to finally have the manor all to myself. I couldn’t wait.
I was sure that Queen Margerite would let me stay in Lucian’s room or in one of the guest rooms, if she got her way, and she always end up getting what she wanted. I would make up my mind once that was offered to me.
That morning, I also found a package from PSU Labs – the lab working on the Sonic.
I opened the card and read the note.
Thank you for believing in us, and as promised the first Sonic.
My eyes widened slightly before I tore off the paper and opened the box. It was round, and white with red neon stripes over the body. The patches were round and had a sticky substance that could easily attach to your temple.
There was an on button and a search button that carried all the video clips ever recorded in Paegeia.
The software was also called Sonic Ware, and this device had come with it.
Sammy, Becky and the boys barged through the doors and I showed them my new cool toy.
They immediately inspected it and they all tried it out with the directions Lukas left inside a leaflet.
We all had turns and experienced a video recording or two, and all of them were just as amazed as I was, after their first experience.
None of us could stop talking about it for the rest of the week. When the excitement was over, they started to speak about the weekend trip.
“We are not going to be able to phone you. Mom said it’s in the middle of nowhere.”
“It’s fine, Sammy. We all have to do some things we don’t want. Plus I have to learn how to do things like a Princess.”
On Wednesday, the Sonic was released. Everyone went insane over it and it made King Caleb’s kind of money in the first two days. They even shipped some of it to the other side as gifts to the Royal families and Presidents of all the countries.
On Friday, it was hard to say goodbye to my friends as we went our separate ways at the port. Isabel was there to pick up Sammy and Becky, and I gave her a quick hug before I jumped into the limousine.
I reached the palace in no time and had lunch with Queen Margerite in the garden with Cat at my feet.
She was quiet, and something told me that today was hard for her, for some reason.
It wasn’t Lucian’s death, it could’ve been Dezi’s but I was too scared to ask. I didn’t want to make it unbearable for her, so I didn’t ask.
Around three, and not five as I thought, I was called into King Helmut’s library.
When I entered I found King Helmut on the phone calming someone down and King Caleb pacing up and down. Something wasn’t right.
King Helmut finally put down the phone and looked at King Caleb.
“None of us could have foreseen this, Caleb.”
“Well, you should have thought harder about the consequences of this project, Helmut.”
“Consequeces? What are you talking about?” I spoke out of turn.
“Your little project.” King Caleb spat the words out.
“Caleb?” King Helmut warned.
“No, she should know what mess we are currently sitting on, Helmut.”
“Mess? What mess?”
King Helmut looked at me. “It’s a good project Elena, but there are some complications and it’s only three days after its release.”
“Some people try to live in the virtual realm, or that is what they call this world the Sonic creates. The first victim died after spending more than 48 hours in it.”
“It’s not a safe project,” Caleb said.
“Speak to Lukas, maybe he can install a time out button or something. It’s a good project.”
“No, Elena, we can’t take that risk. The project has been pulled back.”
“You can’t do this without telling him about this risk. Maybe he can fix it.”
“And what will be next, Elena? Someone developing some sort of tumor. This is way too advanced, for even Paegeia. We need to wait a couple of years.”
I closed my eyes.
“Maybe you have to wait a couple of years too.” King Caleb spoke.
My eyes flew open. “What do you mean by that?”
“You are too young to make these sorts of decisions. Many mistakes were made with this and I don’t think you are ready for this type of responsibility.”
“How will I ever be ready if you don’t give me a chance?” I looked at Caleb. He always got what he wanted. He’d never wanted me to sit in on these meetings from the beginning.
“Let me guess, you think so too?” I looked at King Helmut.
“I think it’s for the best.”
I huffed as I realized my friends were long gone by now. If I’d known this was going to be the outcome of today, I would’ve left with them.
“So what, you want to take my title, my responsibility? Is that it?” I yelled at Caleb. He wasn’t a King to me anymore and I didn’t care how good of friends he’d been to my father, he was devious and would do anything to strip me of my title.
“Elena, you don’t have the proper training to run Paegeia.”
“I’ve done everything you’ve said, everything you’ve shoved in front of me. Everything! And this is your great plan? To take it anyway, no matter how hard I worked?”
“Elena,” King Helmut said.
“Don’t, not today.” I said, turned around and walked out of his meeting room.
I’ve sat so long, listening to so many boring things, how to become a ruler, make the right choices. They actually granted me a couple and I thought the things I was doing were for the best. It lifted spirits and I’d had my mother’s journal to thank for that.
She taught me so much through them. How to make decisions and how to stand up to bastards like Caleb Kingsley. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy learning all of this. To attend the Academy and to be part of the Council, to make decisions like the one I’d had over the past couple of weeks, two month to be exact. I’d really thought I was doing well, but apparently I wasn’t doing it so well at all.
“Elena,” Emanuel grabbed my arm softly.
“Please just let me go. I can’t deal with one of your stupid explanations, Emanuel.”
He smiled. “I don’t give those to the people I care about, Elena.”
“I give up, he is never going to let me try to be the Princess, is he?”
“Don’t give up. The people of Paegeia need you. The blood that flows through your veins is what gives them hope, makes them feel safe.”
“He doesn’t see it that way.” I was referring to Caleb.
“I know, but just imagine how frustrating it is for him as well. You did amazing work in just a couple of months, Elena. You connected with the people and that is what your mother and father would have done. How do you think he got the title, the Greatest King that Ever Lived? He forgot about all of this.” He pointed in the direction of the meeting hall. “And he just put his foot down.”
“It was different, he had their support. I don’t.”
“You’ve got Helmut’s.”
“I don’t think I had that today. You didn’t hear him in there.”
“He hates seeing you upset, Elena. You have their support and you are winning people over every week.”
“It’s not enough, it will never be enough. I have to go.” I said and walked out of the castle.
A limo was waiting for me outside and it took me straight to my second home.
The Leafs were long gone, while I had to stay to go to meetings upon meetings for the next couple of days. Well if they would’ve just told me I wasn’t needed anymore, I could be on the trip.
I was so tired and had no idea how my mother had done it.
The limo drove through two huge beautiful wooden gates and revealed the beautiful manor once again. I wished that I’d taken the directions to the campsite from Sammy when she’d wanted to give them to me, but my schedule was swamped and I hadn’t even bothered. Now it was biting me in the ass.
The big oak trees calmed me immediately. Ever since that weekend Sir Robert brought all of us here, to show us the manor, I finally felt as if I belonged.
The dragons could just fly in but I had to use a set of keys as I wasn’t a dragon anymore.
I opened the door and made myself a cup of coffee.
My heart was still beating as anger flowed through my system. Why had he let me go through all of this if his plan was to strip me of my title, to prove that I was inadequate to run this world?
He was a devious snake.
“Oh, this is just fucking great.” Blake’s voice came from the door and all I saw was his back as he left for his room.
I felt like crying. What the hell was he doing here? I thought he was going with.
Still, this was another thing I was getting fed up with. I tried fucking everything with him. Told him and Tabitha that I didn’t want him but I needed his dragon to fulfill our destiny, and yet he treated me like vermin.
I knew it was against Paegeia law or something to release a Dent but my options were slowly getting fewer and fewer and I had no more left.
George didn’t take nearly this long to succumb and I had no idea that it was going to be this hard.
I switched off the kettle and picked up my keys again.
My Volvo was parked in the garage. I wasn’t going to stay here, and I needed to get all of this out of my system. So I drove to Longbottoms.
I figured Jimmy and Monique might have some ideas about how to get rid of all my problems, and if they didn’t, well, I could always just let myself go, for one night.
Their faces lit up for a few short seconds when I entered, and then their smiled disappeared.
“Oh crap,” Monique said. “What happened?”
I plunged myself at the bar and just started laying it all on the table. They listened, nodded when they should and gasped a couple of times when I told them about Caleb and what he’d been planning on doing this whole time. Then I switched over to Blake. He was driving me insane and not in a good way. It was seriously so frustrating.
After that last beating, when I went haywire on his dad’s ass for almost killing him, it was as if I was the plague to him.
“I have nothing for you girl,” Monique said. “I wish there was a way, but we’ve tried all my ideas, and nothing worked. I really thought the Ducati would do the trick.”
“His affections can’t be bought.” I mimicked the stupid words he’s said that days when he’d chucked the keys back at me. Like I said, I’d tried everything there was.
Jimmy turned around and opened the shelf. He plunged a bottle of hard liquor on the counter. “Maybe this can, well not so much about getting your dragon to act responsible or getting King Caleb’s approval, which by the way you don’t need, but it will help you. You need to just let go sometimes and who knows? The last time, I let go, well I got Longbottoms back and of course an amazing partner.”
I giggled. “You have to say that.”
“No, Elena. I don’t.”
I spent the entire afternoon up in the VIP Lounge. Monique took the rest of the day off, told Jimmy she needed to cheer me up and we chatted about everything.
I left so many messages with Sammy and Becky but none of them returned my calls and they probably had no bars or something, wherever they were.
Monique tried to elevate all my worries and I had to say that whatever I was drinking, it helped a tiny bit.
When a upbeat tune started I pulled Monique up and we started to dance in the VIP lounge which was closed to others. I hated that so much, but it was Jimmy’s rules. He didn’t want a repeat of last time when I’d come here to just let go. The papers were full of that night, making me sound like the most irresponsible human being on this earth. I guess I had to be an arrogant ass dragon to get away with it.
During the course of the night, it got really full. Now that Jimmy was back on track with Longbottoms, he could afford more live events on weekends. The band that played was good, but none of them were as good as Blake’s band. Why he’d had to stay this weekend was beyond my knowledge and I had to admit, I didn’t look forward to go back to the manor tonight. Maybe Jimmy would just let me sleep over at Longbottoms, but thinking about it, I guess my chances were zero as it was no place for a princess. A small fact that I still sucked at. I thought I’d go to a hotel and spend the night there. I thought that would be the best for both me and Blake as we might just tear each other apart tonight, and again, not in a good way.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when the bottle was almost finished, and I hardly felt the way I had with the shooters.
“The trick is not to mix,” Monique said as I questioned it, but right after that she ordered us cocktails from Charlie who managed the bar upstairs.
Then came the ugly buggers that I really struggled with. By the fourth one, my head was spinning, but I felt different about it this time.
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t give a damn about anything, or anyone and what they expected from me.
We laughed at everything, continuously, which made the night even more fun.
Why couldn’t every day feel like this? Carefree and without a single problem in the world.
Hope you can see where this one is leading to.
Next week will be the final chapter, we will announce the top ten of the exclusive review team too.
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