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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 3 (v.1) - Yohance

Submitted: September 03, 2012

Reads: 20

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Submitted: September 03, 2012



3. Yohance

Yohance tries to convince himself that he is fine and doesn’t need his inhaler as he rides, unable to breathe, a limousine to the Longstride palace. When it becomes clear that it’s either use his inhaler or die he reaches for the emergency bin but was beat to it. His sister, Abeba, gives him a comforting smile and hands him the inhaler. He tries to smile back as he grabs it but fails.

His parents, the King and Queen of Gwandoya, sitting across from their children, were too busy discussing last minute details for the Peace Convocation and didn’t notice their son’s increasing panic attack but look up when they hear him inhale.

“Aw, honey, again?” asks the worried Queen.

“Why don’t you just hang it on your neck already? We don’t need an asphyxiated prince and it’ll make a nice necklace,” the King jokes.

The Queen fake punches her husband. “Berko, leave him. Hance, sweetie, are you ok?”

Yohance inhales one more time before pulling away from the device.

“Yes. I am just a bit nervous but I am sure everything will be alright.” He says. “Perhaps I should hang my inhaler around my neck?”

“Yes, see?” says the King addressing his wife.

The Queen and Abeba roll their eyes.

“That is not necessary, keep it in your pocket just in case, but I don’t think you’ll be needing it anymore.” says the Queen smiling to her son as she reaches to pat his knee reassuringly.

“I hope you’re right.”

“She always is. Have a little faith in yourself, Hance. You’ll be great.” says Abeba pressing close and putting her arm around him.

Yohance just nods.

He appreciates all the faith and support he gets from Abeba and his parents but mostly it just scares him. They are expecting so much from him and he just isn’t sure he can deliver. At all. It’s not even just his parents; he would be letting down his entire kingdom if he fails to marry Lucasta. His people are starving and living on the streets, they need this union. But how could he compete against Prince Ferdinand? He looks like a supermodel and girls love him. Hell, Yohance isn’t sure he could get the Princess to marry him even if there wasn’t any competition. How can he interest a girl he himself has no interest in? It’s all pretend interest which isn’t fair for her either. To top it all off, he has to deal with seeing Theo again and has no idea how that will go. And who is he kidding that is probably his main concern and that feels like betrayal to his kingdom.

Sweat starts trailing Yohance’s forehead. He reaches for his inhaler once more but instead finds Abeba’s hand. She grabs his and holds on tight. He takes a deep breath and at that moment the car stops.

“Well, here we are. Everyone alright?” asks his father who really just means Yohance.

Abeba squeezes her brother’s hand tighter and he doesn’t know if it’s to reassure him or because she is nervous too.

“Yes.” say the Queen, Yohance and Abeba in unison.

“Very well, then.” The King knocks on the window to alert the chauffeur.

He opens the door to let the King out, then the Queen, Abeba and finally Yohance.

There are a lot of people surrounding the palace kept out by a rail. They are taking pictures and that alone is a lot of pressure.

The King and Queen of Longstride are waiting for them on the palace front steps, between them stands Lucasta looking very pretty in a royal blue dress and her blond locks loose. Yohance smiles at her and she smiles back. His eyes then fix on the boy trying and failing to hide behind the Queen and his breath catches. Golden curls almost shimmering in the sun and big blue sad eyes staring back at him and Yohance misses a step and almost ends up in the ground but manages to balance. No one notices since they are all busy bowing before each other. No one but Theo, Lucasta’s twin brother, who is still staring deep into Yohance’s eyes.

“Yohance?” Calls his mother and he cuts back to reality.

He hurries and bows down before the King and Queen.

“Your majesties.” They nod at him and smile.

“Your highness, welcome to Longstride. It’s good to have you again.” says the King.

“Thank you for having me.”

They nod at him again.

Yohance then turns to face Lucasta. He can feel everyone’s eyes on his back and hears a million cameras flashing at once.

“Your highness,” he says as he gets on one knee and kisses her hand.

She giggles at him. “Hi.”

People, including their parents, start clapping. After a moment, the King of Longstride invites them inside and they start walking through the front garden.

“Walk with me?” says Lucasta extending her arm in Yohance’s direction.

“Of course, m’lady,” he says letting her grab his arm.

She scrunches her nose. “Don’t. You can call me Lucasta now.”

He forces a smile and nods. What does she mean with ‘now’? Nothing has really changed between them and the other kingdoms don’t arrive until tomorrow so she hasn’t met with Ferdinand yet, meaning she can’t possibly have made a decision. Right? He feels a pang of guilt for wishing that she chooses Ferdinand over him.

He looks back and sees Theo in conversation with Abeba. He looks as sad as ever and Yohance wants to walk over there and do something about it. He tries not to think about needing his inhaler.

They walk into the palace; his parents who are deep in conversation with the King and Queen follow them into a room and Yohance is left standing with Lucasta clinging from his arm, his sister and Theo.

Theo is looking at him and Yohance has no idea what to do. He can’t just leave Lucasta and go talk to him.

“Do you want to take a walk on the gardens?” Lucasta says addressing Yohance only. “They are now very different from what you must remember.”

“I would really love that,” he smiles at her while Theo’s eyes burn through him. “But I would like to change out of these clothes first, if you don’t mind?”

“Oh, of course not! I can show Abeba in the meantime. Your things must be upstairs already. Theo can walk you. Right, Theo?”

“Yes,” says Theo hesitant but Lucasta doesn’t seem to notice.

“Good, we’ll be outside,” she says as she grabs Abeba’s hand and pulls her away.

“Okay, I won’t be long!” Yohance calls after them.

He turns to face Theo who again is just looking at him with big sad eyes. He barely remembers how Theo looks like when he smiles.

“Shall we?”

“Yeah, it’s this way,” says Theo and starts climbing up stairs. Yohance follows him.

He spends a few minutes thinking about what would be a good thing to say and finally decides to just keep it simple.

“So, how have you been?”

“Pretty fucking miserable.” Theo says casually. “You?”

Yohance ignores the question. “Why?”

Theo snorts. “Why? How much time have you got?”

“Not much so you can just keep it simple and say that you’re angry at me.”

Theo stops and faces Yohance. He doesn’t look sad anymore.

“I’m not angry at you. It isn’t about you, okay?” He shouts and a for a split second he sees Lucasta in him. Yohance gulps down the knot in his throat.

“It isn’t?”

“Well, not everything.” He stumbles through the words and looks down, back to sad.

Yohance had forgotten about how he could go from one emotion to another in a matter of seconds. It used to drive Yohance mad. But God, he has missed feeling this way.

“I’ve missed you.”

Theo looks up and a smile threatens to brighten his face but he doesn’t let it.

Instead he just nods. “Whatever,” and keeps on walking.

“They’ve put you in the tower so we have to go all the way up.”

Yohance gives him a frustrated mhm in response.

They walk in silence the rest of the way.

Yohance wishes he could hold his hand or pin him against the wall and kiss the miserable out of him, but those are probably not good ideas.

They get to his room and just as Lucasta said his things are already there.

“I’ll leave you alone so you can change,” says Theo

“Yeah, thanks.”

Theo starts to leave.


He stops at the door and turns around. “What?” His face is a mix between hopeful and annoyed that only Theo can manage.

“I’m very sorry. About everything. You shouldn’t be going through this. It’s not fair for you, or your sister and I wish I had any other option. I really do.”

“How is it not fair for Lucasta?”

“She is not the one I want.”

And that’s it. Theo is smiling at him, his face all lit up, nose and eyes scrunched up, and it’s the single most endearing thing he has ever seen and he has missed it so much. He can’t help but smile back, feeling as if time stopped and sunlight finally found its way inside the dark room that has been his life for the past five years.

“I really would like to kiss you right now,” Theo tells him and it takes all his might to not throw himself at him.

“Me too, all the time.” They smile at each other some more and Yohance enjoys the moment for a while longer before he has to ruin it, reality and time crashing into him.

“But I can’t. I’m sorry.”

Theo’s smile fades and Yohance hates himself. Hates everything.

“I know.” Theo says drily.

And just like that he is gone leaving Yohance alone in the room, back into darkness.


Yohance marches back down and into the gardens, alone since Theo wasn’t there waiting when he finished changing his clothes. He runs into Abeba who is hurriedly walking back inside and he notices a glimpse of tears in her eyes. He has been so busy worrying about his own problems that he never stopped to think about how hard it must be for his sister to come back here. Yohance is about to go after her when Lucasta grabs him by the arm.

“I think it’d be best if she is left alone,” Lucasta tells him. “I shouldn’t have brought her to the gardens.”

She doesn’t looks remorseful in the slightest and Yohance just wants to free himself of her grip and go hug his sister.

“He used to love it here, Ewan. She must have a lot of memories.” Lucasta continues. “I miss him too, you know. He was my brother and all.”

Yohance takes a deep breath and reminds himself why he is doing this.

“Yeah, I know you do,” he says sympathetically. “We can do something else if you want.”

Lucasta shakes her head. “No, it’s okay. I want to show you.”

“Okay then,” Yohance says forcing a smile and giving his arm to the Princess.

She gives him a satisfied smile and grabs his arm.

They walk through the gardens, Lucasta showing and telling him about the flowers and the fountains and the gooses that she’s named and everything. At some point they start holding hands so she is dragging him around by the hand. She was right before, the gardens are different from how he remembers them of five years ago. But even if they would have stayed the same, Yohance is sure that he’d be seeing them differently right now anyways. Right now, holding hands with Lucasta fighting for her hand in marriage to sustain his people. Five years ago that responsibility was Abeba’s; all eyes were on her and Ewan, her fiancée. No one cared about Yohance. He could sneak out and walk through the gardens holding Theo’s hand without worrying about people ever coming to look for them. It was perfect, his sister was not only going to marry out of love but she was also going to join their kingdoms and feed the people of Gwandoya and Yohance could lay unnoticed in Theo’s arms forever.

And then everything went to hell when Ewan was killed in a horse race.

“What are you thinking about?” Lucasta asks him as she sits down on a bench and gestures for Yohance to sit with her.

He complies and sits on the bench. “You. And me. What will happen to us tomorrow when Ferdinand arrives,” he lies.

She looks pleased with his answer and smiles. “Well, I don’t have to make my decision yet, so we can still hang out!”

She says it as if that is all the reassurance Yohance will ever need in his life. He really wishes it was.

He smiles. “I would really love that.”

She giggles and leans in to kiss his cheek. Lucasta pulls back and looks up at him so innocently with her big blue eyes. Theo’s blue eyes.

She is really close to him so Yohance only has to lean in a few inches to press a soft chaste kiss on her lips.

Lucasta blushes and smiles before resting her head on Yohance’s shoulder. He puts his arm around her and they just stay like that for a while and it’s easy and Yohance just wishes he could care about her the way he cares about Theo.

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