Happily Never After

Annabelle Hearst is just another person in the Headow kingdom, ruled by the Tomlinson family. Pressured by his father the king, Prince Louis is searching for a bride, a wife to make him a heir. He stumbles into Annabelle, one of the few who doesn't venerate the royal family. Can he convince her to come to the live the royal life with him willingly, or will he have to force her into it?


20. To Be, or Not to Be

The farmhouse is hauntingly empty when I wake up alone the next morning. Of course I knew Louis’d leave for Iregar, but I had hoped he would’ve at least woken me to bid me good day. Or kiss me softly with the promise of a quick return. Or give up on going to Iregar all together and lie in bed with me. His absence makes the dwelling hollow. And to make matters worse, I can’t even go outside and enjoy the fresh air; the roaring thunder and bucketfuls of rain forbid me to do so.

It’s now in the middle of the afternoon and I’m bored out of my mind. I’ve cleaned the whole house, did the laundry, the dishes and every chore I could think of. Truth be told, I longed for company. Any company. I’ve never been the one to enjoy solitude, cherishing the presence of another human being more than anything. The castle has always been buzzing with life, and so was my house with the twins bustling about. But this farmhouse has isolated me from the world and I’m not sure I’m fond of that without Louis.

I couldn’t even get Zayn to stay inside to keep me company, the dark man insisting on staying by the door in case something happens.

“Come on Zayn,” I complain, opening the door a smidge to attempt to sway him for the umpteenth time this afternoon. “It’s raining outside, you’ll catch a cold. There’s nobody outside out to get me in this horrid weather.”

“Miss Annabelle, thank you for the offer, but I’m perfectly fine outside,” he responds emotionlessly, soaked to the bone.

I huff, nearly stomping my foot.

“You know it’s not ladylike to complain?” he adds calmly, eyes briefly leaving the road ahead to shoot a glance in my direction. “Even less for a princess.”

I roll my eyes. I couldn’t give two shits about being ladylike and acting like a princess right now, especially without Louis around to reprimand me. But I attempt to use my status as an advantage.

“Your princess has asked you keep her company inside.”

“And my prince, as well as the whole kingdom of Headow, is counting on me to keep the princess safe and I can only do so properly if I can foresee threats coming from outside,” he retorts.

Sighing loudly once more, I open the door wider, and step outside on the front porch. It takes barely five seconds for my clothing to end up drenched, the cold rain pouring down on me violently. I squat down on the steps beside his standing form.

“Miss Annabelle!” he admonishes, shocked to say the least.

“If you’re not going to come inside, then I’m joining you outside,” I state simply.

His hand grabs my upper arm, ready to pull me back inside.

“Unhand me Zayn,” I demand before he can urge me to my feet. He doesn’t move, clearly analyzing the situation. “I demand you unhand me,” I repeat more firmly.

“Are you out of your mind?! Are you trying to get me killed by Louis?!” he states finally, scowling as he releases me. “You’re going to end up ill if you don’t head inside right this instant and he will not be pleased!”

“I suggested you come inside with me by the fireplace and you refused,” I shrug.

He stares at me, water dripping down from his features onto his boots.

“I hate when you do that,” he grumbles finally, holding his hand out for me to take. I graciously accept it and he helps me to my feet, before heading inside with me. He shuts the door behind us, locking it. “Go change into something dry,” he commands, removing his boots. I watch him as he walks to the fireplace to add more wood to the dying fire. He hates when I do what? “Annabelle please do as I ask,” he exhales, glaring at the fire as he realises I haven’t moved from my spot by the door.

“You hate when I do what?” I enquire, rainwater quietly pooling by my feet.

“Manipulate me. Use your status against me even when I’m the one who knows what the right thing to do for your safety is. I thought you were better than that,” The guard turns to me. “I thought someone who wasn’t surrounded by the golden walls of royalty at a young age would stay down to Earth. I guess not,” he mutters.

“Well now I’m confused,” I reply. “Do you want me to act like a princess or not?” I ask, crossing my arms over my chest. I feel goosebumps rising on my skin.

“We don’t want you to act like royalty, we want you to be it. There’s a difference. Using your status to manipulate someone into fulfilling your selfish desires is acting. Evaluating situations in order to determine what ultimately will benefit most, is being. Your Exhibition speech was being. Your protest at The Reckoning was being. What you just did to get me inside, was acting.”

I blink.

“And by we, you mean—”

“Everyone in Headow. No one wants you to act. We’ve got the King acting like a king and that’s more than enough,” Zayn grumbles. “That and Louis wavering between both is also worrying.”

“I’m sorry, I was lonely I didn’t mean anything of it…” I say, voice barely above a whisper. “I was more mocking your words really…”

He shakes his head, rubbing his hands together. “It’s fine. You’ll learn. You’re new to this,” he exhales finally, sitting in front of the fireplace. “Just know that this isn’t a game, nor a temporary arrangement. This is all permanent, and all your actions will have repercussions.”

A small shiver racks my body.

“I think I’m going to go change,” I declare suddenly. He nods, not adding anything as I head to the bedroom. His words seem to be etched in my head.

I rapidly change out of my wet clothes, putting on a warm and thick dress before heading back into the living room, taking a seat beside Zayn.

He says nothing, gazing into the fire. His own clothing is licked dry by the waves of heat emanating a few feet away from us.

“I don’t mind keeping you company inside,” he states finally, “but I need to be near the window in the kitchen to be able to glimpse at the road.”

“Alright,” I agree, standing up. “What shall we do then? Oh, I know! I How about a game of cards?” I exclaim

“You know how to play cards?” he frowns in disbelief.

“Of course I do. My father taught me. And I found a deck of them when I was cleaning this morning.”

Zayn stands, still dumbfounded.

“A father doesn’t teach his daughter how to play cards,” he continues, following me to the kitchen. “Cards are usually for betting in pubs. Not for women if you ask me.”

“Swearing is also frowned upon when used by women yet he’s the one who’s let me in on a few. What can I say, he wanted a son and got me,” I shrug, taking the deck of cards from the counter and taking a seat at the table.

“But what about Finn?”

“My father didn’t get to stay long enough to see the twins born,” I state a little too carelessly, shuffling the cards.

“I take you got your feisty spirit from your father then? If he went about teaching how to play cards and swearing to his daughter, I can’t imagine him being very friendly with the law—”

“Please, do not pry for more about him?” I ask, looking at Zayn. There’s a short moment of silence, disturbed only by the sound of the rain hitting on the house and windows.

He nods curtly.

“As you wish.”

I smile, handing out the cards.

As the evening slowly set in, I found Zayn to be a surprisingly excellent card player, something abnormal for a guard of his status especially considering the fact that he’d claimed cards were for pubs and bandits wanting to make a little money. Nevertheless, I beat him in ten games out of the seventeen we played. We ate some of yesterday’s leftover food as dinnertime rolled by and then Zayn excused himself to the washroom after he’d insisted on washing the dishes.

The rain was still pouring outside when I heard the distinct sound of a carriage rolling on the pathway and then stopping near the farmhouse. Tossing the kitchen curtains aside, I catch a glimpse of the royal coach. He’s back. I’m suddenly eager as I see Louis step out, hastily walking up the steps and onto the porch. I step away from the window as I hear him enter.

“Annabelle?” he calls out, shutting the wooden door behind him.

“Louis,” I exhale, grinning as I go to greet him, wanting to feel him. Wanting to be held in his arms.

“God I’ve missed you, Annabelle,” he gets out when he sees me, dropping his sagging coat to the ground.

My husband drips all over the floor as we meet halfway in the house’s corridor, both of us needing to be in each other's arms.

Next thing I know, I’m locked in a passionate kiss, his hands pressing his body to mine to leave no space between us.

“Annabelle,” he breathes out between two ardent kisses. “Hi,” he continues, hands cupping my face. I gaze into his deep azure eyes.

“Hi,” I smile, slightly breathless. “How was Iregar?”

“Let's not talk about Iregar right now please,” he shakes his head. “I-I-I—” Need and doubt cloud his features simultaneously, visibly worried I don’t want him as much as he wants me right now.

“I want you too,” I admit.

“Oh good,” he exhales relieved, before joining our lips once more. His arms wrap around me, locking us into a lover’s embrace as our fervent kissing continues. Heat pools in my stomach, similarly to how water pools at Louis’s feet.

I grimace as my hands clutch his wet shirt.

“We need to get you out of this, you’ll catch a cold,” I get out after a couple seconds, partly worried he’ll really end up ill but mostly wanting to feel his skin on mine.

“Come on,” he agrees, pulling me into his arms before leading us to the bedroom. I’m placed on the bed and immediately pressed into the sheets by Louis’s nearly naked body. When did he take off his shirt?

“Trousers Lou,” I pant, pulling a face. “Take them off, you’re going to soak the sheets!”

“Always ordering me around in bed, are ya?” he smirks, kissing me again before pulling away and off the bed to remove his pants.

I can’t help giggling as he struggles with the buttons, unable to get them undone.

“Damned trousers,” he grunts, hands fumbling. I get off the bed. “No Annabelle, I’ve got this—”

“Let me help you,” I deny, walking over to him with a boldness I didn’t know I possessed. I drop down on my knees in front of him, my small hands replacing his on the buttons.


I glance up to him, my nimble fingers easily and unhurriedly undoing the buttons all while gazing into his eyes.

Both he and I stop breathing as I slowly let the trousers fall to his feet, unsure what to do next.

“Do you need help with your—”

“I think I’ll manage,” he gets out lowly, pulling me up to my feet. “There will be plenty of time for that later. Let’s get you out or your clothes, shall we?” he suggests, his hand softly trailing over my exposed shoulder as if I were a porcelain doll. My husband aimlessly repeats the movement, making my skin tingle all over.

I shut my eyes before he places a soft kiss in the crook of my neck, his right hand unzipping my heavy dress leisurely before it slips under the fabric and caresses my bare back. The left hand soon joins, and the dress is pulled downwards. Of course I hadn’t bothered to wear any corset whatsoever, so the falling dress reveals my chest. But his eyes don’t drop down, they lift up to meet mine. And then he kisses me zealously, forcing our naked chests together. We tumble onto the bed, throwing pillows to the side as we struggle to get comfortable, both of us keen to touch the other. His touch leaves a searing heat all over my skin, despite the coldness of his hands.

His prominent arousal digs into my thigh as I let him take control over the kiss, his lower half nestled in-between my legs. A peculiar throb aches near my center.

“Louis,” I moan, begging to be touched.

“Tell me what you want Princess,” he purrs, pressing tender kisses all over my neck. “You like ordering me around, this is your chance. I’m all yours. But I want you to be very precise in what you want.”

“I want you,” I whimper, trying to get him to feel how much I wanted him by lifting my hips upwards.

“I’m going to need more than that,” he chuckles, pecking my lips once. My body is practically buzzing for him, and I know he wants me just as much.

“Touch me,” I plea.

“I already am,” he replies, nuzzling in my neck. “Unless you want somewhere more precise?”

“Stop teasing me,” I exhale, shutting my eyes. I swallow thickly. “Touch my center,” I whimper.

“Alright then, I guess can do that,” he acknowledges softly.

My eyes shut involuntarily as his hand descends to my burning core. His hand removes my underwear before his palm cups me.

“Satisfied, princess?” he coos, taunting.

“No,” I shake my head rapidly. “You know I’m not…” Something he’d said yesterday comes to mind. I gulp, unsure. “I…”

“Say it love, come on… It’s just you and me…” Louis encourages.

“Pleasure me,” I whine. “I want you to use your mouth,” I say finally, shutting my eyes.


His voice is coated with lust, making my head spin with need as he slowly descends to my throbbing center. I’m almost wary as his face nears my feminine folds, but my apprehension disappears as soon as his tongue comes in contact with my bundle of nerves.

My toes curl, the prince forcing against me to keep my hips down and my legs open as he pleasures me sinfully with his mouth. I grab the sheets, waves of pleasure drowning my body at every flick of his tongue and movement of his lips.

“Louis,” I whimper, unable to keep the moans for myself. “Louis please,” I beg, teetering over the edge of the biggest wave of pleasure yet. And then, just like a tense elastic, I’m released and I fly, nearly sobbing out my husband’s name as pleasure takes over every single one of my cells.

I don’t even realise Louis has pulled away from my center until I see his satisfied expression, a few moments later. I feel exhausted.

“And you know what else is great about a woman’s body Annabelle,” he whispers, nearly as breathless as me. “They can easily feel this good more than once per night.”

I notice his erection looks painful in his underpants and the desire to please him overpowers my exhaustion. I sit up on the bed, hands extended to release his member. Some weird conversation I’d overheard other girls talking about comes to mind, something about pleasuring a man with my mouth.

“I can—”

“I’d very much like that,” he stops me, “but another time. I’d much rather be inside you if you really insist on pleasing me.”

“Alright,” I agree, still gasping for air. “Another time.”

“God I love you,” he sighs, before shifting back above me to kiss me softly.

“I love you too,” I whisper, my need for him growing once more.

He stiffens, his whole body rigid over mine.

“Do you really? Or are you saying that in the heat of the moment?” he gets out, pressing his head in the inside of my neck like a scared child would. It’s only then I realize I’ve never said these words out loud, depriving him of what he’d craved from me for the last couple of weeks.

“Louis,” I shake my head and urge him to look into my eyes. His pained eyes meet mine. “I care for you at a point where I feel as if something is missing when you’re not there… If that’s not love, then I don’t know—”

I’m hastily cut off by his lips as he kisses me with desperation.

“Say it again Annabelle please,” he asks after pulling away briefly, almost wary.

“Louis Tomlinson, you’ve managed to make me fall in love with you. I love you,” I repeat. “Now make love to me.”

“Your wish is my command, mademoiselle,” he breathes out, positioning himself in between my legs.

The feeling of his engorged member pushing against my entrance makes me wince, the pain still not completely gone. But Louis takes his time, easing me through it by peppering my chest and neck with kisses until my body has fully merged with his.

Feeling him throbbing inside me is peculiar, but all the more pleasurable as soon as Louis begins thrusting in and out of me.

I dig my nails into his shoulders as he slightly changes the angle.

“Right there Lou,” I whimper, digging my face into his neck and holding on to him for dear life as he does all the work to get us both to ecstasy. My legs are tightly wound around his waist, leaving little to no space between our bodies.

“Belle,” he groans, accelerating his pace as he nears his high. “Cum for me,” he pleas, hand descending between us to stimulate my bundle of nerves.

Still high from its previous climax, my body comes undone in a matter of seconds, making me cry out my husband’s name once more. He follows soon after, moaning my name in elation as his pace slows to a slow halt, before he drops on the bed beside me, breathless.

“You know,” he begins once our hearts have calmed and I’m nuzzled against his chest, “I didn’t see Zayn when I came in. Where is he? He was supposed to watch over you.”

My eyes grow big. He went to the bathroom a couple minutes ago. The one right outside our bedroom. There’s no way he dared to get out. Which means he heard everything that just happened. Oh god.

“What? Where is he?” Louis enquires, seeing my flushed face.

“He was―he was― picking up more wood outside. Yeah. He’s probably back at his usual post now that you’ve arrived,” I reason.

“Oh. Well, maybe I should go check up on him—”

I pull him back onto the bed as he shifts to stand.

“He’s a big boy, he can take care of himself. Stay here with me…” I trail on, looking up at him.

“Fine,” he sighs, sinking back down on the bed. He kisses the top of my head, wrapping an arm around me while pulling the sheets over our bodies with the other. “I’ve missed you, Annabelle,” he mumbles, yawning.

“Me too Lou,” I exhale, pressing myself closer to his body.

I’m just about to doze off when I realize all the lamps are lighted in the house. I gaze at Louis. He’s already snoring away. Shaking my head with a smile, I carefully unwind Louis’ arms from my body, grabbing a discarded piece of clothing before tiptoeing out of the room. I shut the door behind me, and after verifying I’m mostly covered, proceed to open the bathroom door.

Zayn’s sitting on the counter, his eyes shut.

“Zayn!” I whisper.

The dark boy shifts and immediately turns to face me. My face turns scarlet.

“Did you…”

“Princess I don’t even want to talk about this. Good night,” he ends quickly, walking swiftly past me without another word.

I can tell he’s as embarrassed as I am about this.

Chuckling to myself, I proceed to extinguish all the lamps in the house, before returning to the safety and warmth of my husband’s arms.

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