Once around the corner I stopped walking.
‘What is going on?’ A man just grabbed my arm and hauled me out of the door.
‘Don’t ask questions.’ I yanked my arm free.
‘No tell me. What is going on. I demand to know.’ The men looked conflicted. Disobeying me is disobeying a direct order from the royal family. But then they have their superiors and they had to protect me. Such conflict over a question.
‘Your majesty we are allowed to let you go home to Ethelburgesa.’ I looked behind me back to the classroom where Two was. Where I knew I would be safe because he would protect me from the bad things. I just wanted to be a four year old, where everyone makes the choices for you. Should I go home to my father and grandmother and a betrothal contract? Or should I stay where Two was and I was a normal english school girl with her school girl problems such as boys, grades and how I look? I looked in front of me where the men were and back to the classroom. My brain started making scenarios; Two would come running out to stop me, Louis and I get married and have kids and become King and Queen, I stayed here and married someone of my choice who I would love, Stay and go to university and then get a PhD. I sat down on the radiator. They were half a meter thick and useless but perfect for sitting on. I sat there thinking hard. What should I do? Stay or go? Marry Louis or marry someone else?
I stood up just as the bell rang and nodded.
‘I’ll go back home.’ I turned to walk away without a backwards glance. I would go and make everything right with home, grandmother and me.
‘TAYLOR!’ I turned at the sound of my name. Two was fighting the waves of students. I paused. I had chosen my path and he should choose his. Two fought his way to my side. I wrenched my heart but I kept walking. ‘Taylor. Please don’t go.’ I felt tears prick my eyes and that odd feeling your nose gets just before you cry. He grabbed my arm to stop me. I looked up at him. His eyes had a conflicted look about them.
‘Why? Why should I not go? I have lost nearly everything I hold close. Louis now hates me, these men steal away my privacy, a decent bodyguard, people want to be my friend just because I own a limo and my family is probably dead.’ Two dropped my arm but grabbed my hand.
‘I thought I was your family.’ We were now whispering. I tried to keep walking but Two was still holding my hand and pulled me back.
‘I forgot. It has been hard. I thought you had forgotten about what you said just after we got into England for the first time.’ I said quietly. Two walked with me towards the men.
‘I never forgot about that. I remember everything. When we trained and you got something wrong you would run your hand through your ponytail and bite your lips and watch with concentration until you got it right. When you got something right you would have a smile that would light up the room.’ I felt my jaw drop. He dropped my hand.
‘You watched me?’
‘I like watching people and how they work. You work best on your own but sometimes need somebody to lead you.’ One of the men grabbed my arm and frog marched me towards the car. Two gave me a small smile as I was led, no more accurately, dragged away. I tried to get back to him but the man was too strong for me to break free. I felt tears fall onto my cheeks; blurring my vision as I looked back at Two. He had turned his back on me and walked back to where Louis and Three were stood with smug smiles. I wrenched my arm free and walked as calmly as I could towards where they were pushing Two around. As I got closer I could hear what they were saying.
‘Rejected. See nothing special happens to freaks like you.’
‘Yeah. Two. How did you get through Special Operations in only two years. That is impossible.’ Two looked up.
‘Because I worked harder than anybody else. I had nothing to lose, and I still don’t.’ He said quietly. Louis had an ugly sneer on his face.
‘Why is that? Oh yeah because you were a loner in school and now here. Rejected by a princess. Seriously. Why aim high if you will always fall.’ I walked up to Louis and slapped his face. Three went to punch me but I sidestepped him and punched him in the face.
‘BITCH!’ He yelled. There was blood everywhere. I must of broken his nose. Two looked at me in wonder.
‘No problem.’ Was all I said and walked off back to the men.
‘Your majesty we are headed towards the airport. Anything you want to do before we leave the country?’ I nodded. I know what I needed to do, it was crystal clear. I had to send a letter to Two. I didn’t care if it was read by Three or Louis or anyone else. Well I did but I know I have feelings for him. To quote Two: “I don’t know if they are positive or negative yet.”
I sat down in a corner of the airport with a pad of paper and a pen but the words would not come to me. I just blanked out after I wrote the word "Two" on the paper. It aggravated me just to know that I could not get the words to form in my head. I had a rough idea of what I would tell him: that I would miss him, tell Louis I hate him and so on but my hand was not getting the signals from my brain. The news flashed on the large TV screens on the wall in front of me; Politics: George Webster was stood in front of number 10 Downing Street.
‘I thank you all for voting me into PM. Thank you all of you.’ I rolled my eyes at the typical politician. They thanked everyone like they had just won an award. The news broadcaster came back on.
‘Hello I am Jane Roost and I will be giving you the six o’clock news. George Webster has just been voted as Prime Minister and we hope he will do a good job. Now onto other news. Ethelburgesa is now awaiting the return of the princess. She has been missing for the best part of a year. She was found and now is well protected and on the flight home.’ I put the pen and pad down and buried my head in my hands. It was so hard just to choose what to do. Stay with Two? Or go home?
I sat like that until a teenager came up to me. He had blonde hair, tanned skin and blue eyes. The typical surfer guys. He sat down beside me and held out his hand.
‘Joe.’ I shook it. He had a strong american accent.
‘Taylor Ayers. I’m sorry to be rude but why are you here?’
‘You looked lost and lonely. I came over to see if you are okay.’ I gave him a small smile.
‘I have been worse. Who did you come with?’
‘My school. We are on the flight out to Ethelburgesa on a school trip. We are going on a grand tour of the palace and then staying for a week then flying back out to California. What about you.’
‘I should be flying back home to Ethelburgesa. I am confused whether to go or not.’
‘Tell me what happened.’
‘Well I came over just before the civil war started with my best friend. We stayed in England and went to school. I had a bodyguard who was really nice and kind. The perfect guy kind of guy. He carried my bag, was a shoulder to cry on, told me the truth and trained me to protect myself. He said he had strong feelings for me but he did not know if they were positive or negative. I was called home and now I have to choose: Go and be forced into marriage or stay and marry who I wish, when I wish.’ He looked sympathetic.
‘Just don’t go back.’ The news flashed on again with a photo of me coming into the airport and a caption. Joe looked from me to the picture and back.
‘You are...’ He trailed off. I nodded miserably. I hated been well known. Before I was a princess I could go into an airport and school and nobody would look twice. But everything has changed. Some for the good and for the worse. Like Louis hated my guts just because Two picked me over him. Two and I became good friends. Two taught me how to fight and become stronger. Everything is based around Two. Why? We are just friends. Friends who helped each other through struggles that we should not be having at the ages of sixteen and fifteen. I sighed. Joe placed a hand on my shoulder. I shrugged him off.
‘What?’ He asked.
‘I don’t like people touching me.’ A group of schoolboys strolled over to us. They all had blonde hair but some with dark eyebrows as if they had dyed their hair just to fit in.
‘Hey look! Joe has a girlfriend!’ One yelled at us. They kicked Joe in the shins. I stood up glancing at the TV screen. I was still up there.
‘I am nobody’s girlfriend.’ Joe stood up beside me.
‘She is a princess.’ He blurted out. I cringed away from their stares.
‘She does not look like a princess.’ Another commented from the back. How do I get out of situations like this. Well I had ten men milling around keeping a look out for me. I screamed as loudly as I could. I could scream loudly when I want to. The men pushed their way through the barrier of boys stood in front of me.
‘Your majesty are you okay?’ I shook my head. One of them grabbed the note pad off the floor and another picked me up bridal style and carried me towards a row of seats. I could feel the stares of the boys on my as I was laid down on the seats. They were uncomfortable and dug sharply into my back.
I went through security quickly as only I had the luggage of a small bag.
We boarded the plane and was lead straight into first class. The men were all sat at the back with the toilets. I smiled. This would be more fun. I turned off my phone and waited for the flight to start. I opened my bag to get out my spanish and science homework. We were doing GCSE coursework on physics and thermal energy. I got out a simple BIC biro and set to work. All the school children from Joe’s school were sat around me much to my annoyance. They were being really disruptive by by watching films and complaining that the food was bad. I just picked at it while I worked. A flight attendant walked up the aisle to me. She crouched down beside me and whispered in my ear. She reminded me of someone but I could not place my finger on who it was.
‘Your majesty we have a royal row for you if you would like to move there.’ I gave her a small smile. She was quite plain with grey eyes that were full of intelligence. Her blonde hair was in a ponytail.
‘No thank you. I am fine here.’ She patted my head and walked on. I turned in my seat and looked at her. I settled back down in my seat as the flight went on. As dinner came and the boys were getting roudier I started on my spanish homework. I hated spanish and hardly ever did the homework but now I had a chance to do it.
The plane dipped below the clouds towards the bunch of lights far in the distance. The intercom interrupted all the boys yelling with a ding.
‘This is your captain speaking please take your seats and buckle up as we are descending and going to land in five.’ The boys sat down but became, if possible, louder.
The moment the wheels touched down and the plane stopped moving the men were up to me in a flash.
‘We are getting off first. Let’s get moving quickly.’ I stood up and packed away my things. Joe raised a hand in farewell before I left. The attendants curtsied to me as I walked out onto the tarmac and into a limo. I stepped into the car as gracefully as I could.
Once I was safely inside it pulled away and Mark turned around.
‘Hello. I am your driver Mark.’
‘You flew over with us Mark. I think I would know because you drove me around for three days.’ He drove me straight to the palace where my family would be waiting for me. Mark kept checking the rearview mirror as we drove down the Super Strada.
‘What is it?’ I asked as I turned around and looked through the back window.
‘There is a bus which is following us.’ He said. He picked up his mobile phone and tapped something.
‘Yes?’ A male voice said calmly down the line.
‘This is limousine four one six five, we have a possible issue at hand.’
‘What is this issue four one six five?’ Mark checked the rearview mirror again.
‘We are being followed.’
‘Are there any VIPs on board?’ He asked calmly.
‘The princess of Ethelbugesa.’ Mark said calmly looking back at me.
‘What is going on?’ I asked looking out the window again.
‘Four one six five this bus was rented out by a school in California but follow protocol five just in case.’ The line disconnected and Mark pulled over to the hard shoulder and stopped. The bus roared past and I swear I saw Two driving it but they were too far ahead to tell. Mark set off again and didn’t stop driving but took a large detour around the small villages.
The whole country looked fine to me but looking closer I could see that people were uncomfortable to be out and their eyes looked like they had seen many terrors. I felt my heart go out to them as we drove past. People waved at me as I drove past so I wound down the window and waved back as I drove past. They looked slightly happier once I was gone.
We drove past the gates and into the drive. We smoothly pulled up in front of the palace. It still looked as magnificent as when I first saw it. Even though the grounds were overgrown and the windows dirty and the steps leading up to the front door were cracked and bullet ridden and the bullet proof inner front doors had bullets all over them. I walked up to them and placed a hand over the cool glass. They opened to reveal my father. His face was covered in deep cuts and painful looking bruises but he was still my father. His face lit up when he say me.
‘Taylor!’ He pulled me into a rib cracking hug. ‘I have been so worried! Are you okay? Did the men treat you well?’ I nodded. There was something off about him though. Like he was waiting for someone. I nodded and ignored the barrage of questions and the penetrating stares of the staff. I walked past them all and up to my rooms. It was amazing that I had hardly lived in that place and I knew my way around.
Once inside my rooms Jane ran up to me and pulled me into a whopping big hug.
‘We missed you so much! General Mosebush was so mean and harsh to us. He made us clean his feet.’ I pulled back.
‘How did you get away?’ Jane gave me a sly smile.
‘We poisoned his food.’ My gave her a weak smile.
‘Seriously?’ I asked as I felt my knees turn to jelly. Jane laughed. It was harsh and cold. Not like the Jane I knew at all. The laugh left her lips quickly. She glanced at the window and then back at me with a bright smile. I looked out the window. A long black car was drawing up. The door opened and a man with yellow eyes stepped out of the car. He was tall with closely cropped ginger hair. He had a scar down the left of his face from the middle of his forehead to just below the middle of his chin. General Mosebush. Jane closed the door behind me. She had a sad smile on her face.
‘It is for your own good.’ She started to scream causing the general to look up at the window. He nodded to the guards. They ran up the stairs towards the front doors. Closer to me. I could hear them pounding on the stairs. I backed away from the door.
‘What is going on?’ Jane had tears in her eyes.
‘I’m so sorry. It is for your own good.’ I looked at her.
‘What is going on? I was told that he was dead.’ I pulled out my phone. I had a text from Two.
“Where are you?” I decided that he could help me.
“In trouble at the palace. GM is back.” I texted back. The men burst into the room. They all looked pained when they saw me. These guys stood outside my room when I was in England and had looked after me when I was going to and from school. How could this of gotten so out of hand?
‘There she is!’ One shouted. They surged forwards and grabbed my arms and dragged me down to my father and General Mosebush. My father looked like he was dying while Mosebush was grinning like the cat go the cream.
‘So Taylor because you have defied me for so long we need to figure out some punishment.’ My family. He was going to kill my family. ‘I have found out many great and good things about you. Your father does love talking about you a lot. Hardly shuts up about you actually.’ He said throwing an arm around my fathers shoulders. My father flinched slightly when he came was touched. The doors were suddenly thrown open and a school group walked in with a tour guide. Joe’s school. Everyone was ignoring the guide and staring at us. Joe waved a hand at me. I raised my hand in greeting. The rowdy boys off the plane were pointing at me.
‘She was on the plane.’
‘Miss miss it is the princess!’ I wanted the ground to swallow me up and leave no trace of me behind. There were only four guards around me and none others in the room. They were all outside, or rounding up people, or showing the group around. Two burst into the room. Two of the guards tightened their grip on me stupidly putting their feet in my way. I ground the heel of my shoe into the man on the lefts foot making him release his grip on me. I curled my hand into a fist and swung it around. It smashed into his nose instantly breaking it. Blood poured all over the floor. The man on the left staggered to his feet. I tripped backwards over the right man’s legs. I fell on top of him. I grabbed his gun and shot the man on the left in the knee. He bellowed in pain but stopped when I pointed the gun at his head.
‘You won’t shoot me.’ I raised an eyebrow.
‘Try me.’ I moved the gun down and shot him in the shoulder. The right man stood up behind me and pressed a gun to my spine. I turned around and grabbed the gun and twisted it. The man relinquish his grip on the gun in surprise. I now had two guns. I raised them pointed either side of me at both of the men. The right man had blood all over his face from the broken nose which was still spewing out blood and a split lip. He was cradling his right arm to his chest. I might of sprained it. The left man was doing well seeing as he had two bullets, one in his knee and on in his arm.
‘You won’t shoot us.’ The right man said thickly through the blood.
‘Why? Because you won’t shoot me? Because I am too good and I don’t want that kind of blood on my hands?’ They nodded. ‘Because I am a princess and I should learn to sew and do girly things?’ They nodded again
‘Because you are a princess and princesses should not know how to shoot a gun.’
‘Why do people keep saying that?’ I lowered the guns. They were now pointing at the mens private areas.
‘Please. I have a wife and children.’ The man on the left said.
‘I had a father who now has turned against me! How do you think I feel?’ They shrugged. I pointed the guns at their feet. I shot them in both feet so they could not get away. Two was fighting the other two guards. He glanced over to me. I smiled at him. He finished off both of the men. They lay on the floor whimpering in pain as Two limped over to me. General Mosebush had come to his senses and run off. My ears were still ringing from the gun shots but they were clearing up. Once he was close enough Two pulled me into a tight embrace. He drew back and put his hands on both of my cheeks.
‘Are you okay?’ He asked checking me over. I nodded as I touched a bleeding slash over his eye. He flinched away and hissed slightly.
‘Stay still I need to see if it is serious.’ I scolded as he looked into my eyes.
‘Am I free to leave your majesty?’ He asked sarcastically.
‘Yeah go.’ I said too tired for a witty comment. My father was stood to one side of the foyer staring at me.
‘Taylor-’ He tried to get my attention but I just walked past him to get my things. Two glanced his direction.
‘Two. I-. I am so sorry-.’
‘Don’t apologise to me. Do you know how upset Taylor had been? Crying herself to sleep most nights. She thinks I don’t know but I know many things about her. I learnt these things by listening and watching her.’ I was at the top of the stairs listening in. I know it is a bad thing but Two knew that I cried myself to sleep because of what my family was going through. Did my father really want the best for me anymore? Selling me out to General Mosebush really hurt me. Why was I so wanted? I thought only last year that I was a normal girl who would go through life being unnoticed, but now I am wanted and I hate it with a passion. I want to be a normal girl again. Yeah I met the most amazing person but I just wish to be normal again.