Chapter 8: VIII.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 82

Eloise's thoughts are floating in the air above her, going around in circles, wishing they could come together and form a solid thought

Eloise's thoughts are floating in the air above her, going around in circles, wishing they could come together and form a solid thought. She should feel elated, this is what she wanted right? But something feels... off. It is as if Preston knows something that Eloise doesn't.

An infatuation with someone is different than having an infatuation with the idea of someone. Eloise has always been mindful of this. She doesn't like Preston, she is infatuated with the idea of Preston. He is a vessel for the loneliness that comes with living without contact to the outside world.

She lays on her bedroom floor, alone. Brushing the back of her hand against the soft, pastel carpet. The house staff had protested the carpet when she first requested it. It would be harder to move around in her wheelchair, they said. She persisted, it was easier to sneak out during the night time. Less noise.

She continues to reflect on the events of the morning. She considers the possibility of Preston and Ain being the same person. She shakes the thought away as she knows that it is unlikely. Ain is her partner, he would have told her upon discovering her identity as Eloise.

Perhaps it is wishful thinking- because it would be simpler. Was Preston a void filled by her friendship with Ain? She doesn't like Ain, he is someone she can trust with her life, there's a definitive difference.

She would never admit to it- if she liked Ain that is. She doesn't want to dwell on the idea for too long because she knows that she wouldn't be able to lie to herself if she had to. What is wrong with Preston? He is kind and educated. He doesn't think Eloise to be completely helpless in the way her parents do. Her parents. Her parents will never let her be with Preston or Ain, so does it matter?

The Desmonds, they are not royalty, but they have an empire built by Eloise's great-great-grandfather.The Desmonds marry for wealth, status and titles. They marry Dukes, Earls, and heirs to fortunes bigger than their own. Eloise is already a disappointment- she is an invalid. Her parents will not be satisfied if she marries anyone other than Prince Cyan himself.

She sits up. The sky is a gradient of purple and orange. The sun is setting and soon she can get away from her problems.


Electra had been looking forward to talking to Ain about her situation with Preston. A task now proving to be difficult as it has been a week since he's been assigned to Princess Lilith's guard. As a result, she sees less of him, but today is the opening ceremony to the Ostenland's Arts Festival. Both Prince Cyan and Princess Lilith are to be in attendance.

"Are you alright?" Prince Cyan asks from the other side of the electric carriage they ride in. They prepare to enter the recently built MontPec Opera House where the opening ceremonies are taking place. "I understand that the holiday can be draining at times, particularly out here."

"It's not that," Electra smiles at him, "I was hoping to ask Ain for advice on an unrelated matter, but it has occurred to me that they're sitting in the other wing. I'm very excited for the holiday actually." This was true, distracting herself wouldn't solve her problems but they would help her pass the time until she was ready to deal with them.

"Oh? Do you wish me to send for him?" the Prince offers. "We haven't seen much of him as of late. I too miss him, he's very easy to talk to. He knows everything about everything "

She laughs meekly, "I don't doubt it, but please don't worry about it, I doubt he will be of great help anyway."

"Ah, so matters of the heart?" the Head Vicar chimes in, poking his head into the parked car.

"Of sorts I suppose." Electra shrugs and wonders exactly how much information Ain has shared with their commander. He lived for gossip, but Electra had known that when she initially confided in him.

Now that she thinks back on it, she shared her one-sided romance with Ain as a joke. A lighthearted way to make conversation, not because she ever thought Preston would ever reciprocate her feelings.

"Oh I see," Prince Cyan nods, his lip twitching into a cheeky grin. "Yes I imagine Ain is probably a lot more helpful than I there. I'm afraid I have very little experience with these sorts of matters. I'm quite fortunate that I am heir to a country because aside from that, I don't have a lot going for me."

"Nonsense Cyan, you look like a pretty boy actor from the stories," Sir Errol teases referring to plays put on by professional actors, often hailing from Aire Claro.

"Errol, you don't have to lie to me for job security," the heir jokes. "My father would never approve my firing you. I've asked on several occasions."

"Cyan if I were lying to you, I would have said that you could be a pretty boy actor from the stories. That would imply that you had the talent to back it up and we both know you can't lie to save yourself." Sir Errol smirks, wiggling his eyebrows at Electra. "You need to be good at lying to be an actor, anyone will tell you that."

Gradually as Electra spends more time with the two, she finds Sir Errol's relationship with Prince Cyan significantly more relaxed. It is what she imagines a real family is like. She is a little jealous, but happy that she is progressively becoming a part of it.

"Ain is just as inexperienced, but he has been following this story for a while. I feel obligated to keep him updated," she assures the prince with good humor. Although in actuality, she has no idea if Ain has any experience with girls or not. For as nosy as he is, he never seems to say a great deal about his own life.

"That gossipy old lady?" Sir Errol laughs. "I can see it."

Electra grins, "Should we get going?"

"Yes, if you would do me a quick favor of checking in with Lady Xena at the front entrance before meeting us upstairs I would be forever grateful." Errol opens the carriage door for the heir and the heroine. "Meet us on the second floor on the west wing afterwards alright?"

"I'm on it." The blonde Vicar nods climbing out of the car and excusing herself. She is focused on the task at hand but it takes a bit of effort not to dwindle on the events of earlier. She finds it easier when there are others around. She does her task swiftly in order to return to Sir Errol and the prince's company.


Electra checks in with Xena as she was told, but is briefly side tracked by the beauty of the grand entrance. The crowds are unimaginable, she previously believe that the weekly festivities at the Desmond manor were unrivaled, but this was something else.

She is ogling her surroundings when she a familiar face catches her eye, he too gawking at the marvelous sights.

"Oh hey!" Ain greets her in his usual demeanor. A load has been lifted off her shoulders at the sight of her friend.

"Hey!" She waves and walks up to him. "Shouldn't you be inside the theatre already?" Although she is glad to have a chance to speak with him.

"Yeah I'm waiting on Princess Lilith, she had to powder her nose or something." The joy on his face reveals that he had missed Electra as well.

"Oh, well when you have a moment I wish to ask you about someth..." She trails off as a petite young woman approaches them. Princess Lilith, Electra assumes from the formal wear.

She wears the colors of her country, Winter Wind, a sister nation of D'Hiver Nero. Dark red, a chocolate brown, silver and number of cool toned off-whites.

"Ask me anything-" Ain begins eagerly but is cut off by the princess.

"Ain, we can go inside now, I hope you didn't wait long." She looks at Electra, her electric blue eyes widen upon recognizing the Vicar.

She is fair-skinned but there is a healthy, warm, pink glow to her skin. She has a few freckles sprinkled over her nose that Electra finds cute. Her hair is a tea rose color that isn't natural, but a popular dye color in Brute, the capital of Winter Wind. Electra had heard that the princess is a professional dancer and she has the elegant physique of one to back it up.

"Electra of the South!" The princess beams, she takes the famed Vicar's hand quickly. Her voice is deeper than Electra imagined for someone so petite. "I have been begging Ain to introduce me to you since the day we met! I was so disappointed when I was assigned Ain over you-" She glances at Ain who shrugs meekly, "No offense! He's exceptional, however there are not many female Vicars our age around here. I met Rupi of the North Wind once, but she lives in Hielo Blanco so I never see her."

"It is an honor to meet you Princess Lilith." Electra bows and salutes playfully with two fingers. She never knows how to respond when people recognize her. "Don't mind me, I have to go meet up with your cousin, I hope you have a wonderful evening!"

"Of course, forgive me! I'm keeping you! We ought to get going too!" Princess Lilith hooks her arm in Ain's and pulls him toward their seats. "I hope to see you again soon!"

Despite seeing her friend and trusted confidant Ain, Electra strangely feels discouraged. She shakes it off and heads upstairs.

She rejoins Prince Cyan at his side, but it becomes hard to concentrate on the show once it starts. Her thoughts tormented by the events of the morning. If she had it her way, she would pretend nothing had happened, but would that be fair to Preston?

What would Ain say of the matter? She looks across the theatre where he stands next to Princess Lilith's seat. He is watching the show genuinely engrossed. When he senses Electra's gaze however, he looks up to meet it.

Electra wavers, why this makes her depressed, she does not know. She turns to Errol.

"I'll be right back, I need to double check something..." She excuses herself without finishing her excuse.

She walks down the hall with long, quick strides and jerks open the window at the end. Thankfully, there is no one else around. She closes her eyes and breathes in the cold air, inhaling through her nose and exhaling through her mouth.

You're being melodramatic, be professional. This is silly.

She feels a little more at ease after a few breaths and believes she can return without causing suspicion. She can't cry, not here, not anywhere.

"I'm Preston Nordkov." She hears Ain's voice behind her, she tenses and shuts the window.

"Pardon-" Electra turns to face him. He is standing stiffly in the hallway, hugging his own arms, his gaze hesitant to meet hers.

"The kiss made you feel guilty because you like me as Ain." He spills his words out quickly and nervously. He feels his voice shaking but Electra is too anxious to notice.

"No," she shakes her head in disbelief, "that's ridiculous."


"It can't be that simple Ain-" she pauses, "You would've told me," she says sternly.

"I know, I should've-"

"Ain?" Princess Lilith's timing could not be more inconvenient. She turns the corner into the hall, a look of confusion on her face. "Are you alright? You ran-"

It takes everything in Electra's power to not explode at Ain in front of the princess. A professional courtesy allows her to calm down.

"Oh? Lady Electra? Sorry did I- I'll go back," she backs away, sensing the tension in the air.

"No, you're fine Your Highness." Electra presses her lips together making a strained effort to smile, "I should return to my booth." She bows mid-walk, she is eager to leave the stiffness in the hall.

"We can talk later." Ain calls out behind her, but she does not respond. He does not have a good feeling about that.

He does not have a good feeling about that        


Submitted: April 15, 2019

© Copyright 2020 SonglessSiren. All rights reserved.


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