The wonderful Peter Drinkwater
The library was always my favorite place to be. It was quiet and full of many different types of books. Many of the books were old ones from before world war II from England, Germany, Russia and other countries who wanted their books protected. They had slowly forgotten that we had them and so we had original copies of Shakespeare's works, diaries and well everything. I pulled down George Orwell’s 1984 and started to read.
Hannah walked in when I had started on Chapter Eight.
‘So I said: boys only want me for my boobs and my amazing skills in bed. And She said: No, it’s because you can’t even do a decent bj. That is what her boyfriend said anyway. I don’t think I appreciated enough. I try to be the person everyone wants me to be.’ I put my book aside and spun around in my chair. They all looked terrified to see me.
‘I try to be the person everyone wants me to be.’ For some crazy reason, there were six of the girls from my tutor loitering my the door. They were all the chiennes who thought they could sing and be better than Phillipa who is an amazing singer.
‘Do you know how hard it is to be me?’ Hannah said putting a hand to her chest. I felt my sarcastic side come out.
‘Oh please enlighten me.’
‘Well I have to keep my image, makeup and hair perfect. Keep a boyfriend happy and fend off all those other boys who want me. Controlling two Instagram accounts, a facebook and a twitter account is hard.’
‘Well let me think. I have to keep away from the press, live up to my father's expectations, get all As and A*s in my GCSEs to lead a new way for the children to follow, keep up with all the bleeding maids problems, be a princess, tell all my suitors right now I am unavailable. Wow, I am not even started. Why are you all here anyway?’ Hannah giggled.
‘School trip. Your father let us all stay here. The whole tutor.’ I closed my eyes.
‘I am going to lie down in a dark room. Maybe Jane will help kill me.’
‘Who is Jane?’ Maye asked.
‘My personal maid. Duh.’ The door flung open and Jane and Mary tumbled into the room. ‘Speak of the devil.’
‘Blue or green.’ Mary said. She held up a green dress and an identical blue one.
‘Is there another party tonight or something?’ Jane rolled her eyes.
‘A formal dinner with the prime minister.’ I groaned. As much as I like our current PM he was slightly off the rails but had a good idea for the future.
‘Fine fine. Coming. When is it?’
‘We will tell you later. Just come on.’ I followed them out of the room. Hannah started whispering and the other girls laughed.
‘If they are laughing at me I swear I will kill them.’ I muttered as I left the room.
Once outside I completely flipped.
‘What are they doing here? If they are here? Where are the boys? Where are they staying?’ I hissed like a snake. Jane looked sheepish.
‘Down your corridor. Please don’t kill me.’
‘I won’t kill you,’ she let out a breath, ‘yet.’ I muttered. The door of the library started opening. I walked down the corridor with them trotting behind me. Chris was just around the corner. He winked at Jane and pulled me into a broom cupboard. Well more like Dad’s upstairs wine cellar.
‘What?’ He put a finger to my lips.
‘Let me explain. Phoenix had said something about Hannah coming over and stuff. I panicked. Okay. What if they had read the article about us at the party last night?’
‘They probably have. It was published in Chandlers almost straight away. You can’t hide from that.’
‘Taylor can I finish?’ I nodded, but it was too dark to see anything.
‘Is it just me or is it dark in here?’ I asked. I turned to find the light switch. I turned it and the room was filled with light. It was a small room which stacks and stacks of different wines and Chris stood in front of me blinking in the bright sunlight.
‘I did not want to be the subject of ogling girls. I am dropping out of William James because I have already done that and my father wanted to try to get me to have a “normal” life. You know if you turn out the light we are in a dark room.’ He reached past me and turned out the light. He leant down and kissed me gently. I kissed him back feeling the stress and anger drain out of me and just feeling happy. I was with Chris and nothing bad was going to happen soon. I pushed him back when the door opened and Mary stood in the doorway looking annoyed.
‘OI! JANE! I CAUGHT TAYLOR IN A BAD MOMENT!’ She hollered. Jane and Alec sprinted around the corner followed by three of the boys in my tutor.
I had lunch in the dining room with my tutor. The boys were on their best behavior and the girls were staring at Chris with doey eyes.
‘What do you need?’ He asked.
‘A throwing knife.’ I said smiling sweetly at Hannah who was throwing me evil glares.
‘Great.’ We got up. I placed my napkin on my chair as Rebecca came to get my plate.
‘Shall I send down some chocolate mousse?’ I nodded Chris and I raced each other to the shooting range. It was now in an outhouse down by the back gate. People started trickling into the room after they had finished. I picked up a throwing knife and took a deep breath in, drew back my arm and let it fly. Bullseye. After about twenty minutes of the cheering and whooping every time I hit close to the bullseye I put it away and let Chris take my hand.
‘So how long are they staying?’ I asked Chris. We were sat in the middle of the maze as everyone else tried to make it to the middle.
‘I don’t know.’
‘Two weeks.’ Came a shout from over the hedge. I had had the dinner with the prime minister and his wife my father and Vanessa two nights ago. Vanessa had gone wedding shopping with the designers and planners. She was trying to sort out a bridesmaids dress which would suit my red hair and match the decorations.
‘Okay, I am bored.’ I muttered.
‘Well, we could be here for a long time right?’ I nodded.
‘Well, I am here. And you are here.’
‘Oh dear no. Get your brain out of the gutter!’ Came another voice in front of us through the hedge. Chris shrugged.
‘What are you suggesting?’ I narrowed my eyes at him.
‘Prank calls.’ He whispered. His eyes lit up. I pulled out my phone as he pulled out his.
‘Okay. Whose number do you have.’ We swapped phones and went down the contact list.
‘Who is Fitch?’ I asked.
‘Awesome ready?’ He nodded. I swiped across the name. The phone connected.
‘Hey. Two my man. I saw you snapped up the princess.’ I started to fake cry.
‘Texas crematorium. You kill ‘em we grill ‘em.’ I said in my best Texas accent.
‘Is this Chrissy who ran for Ethelburgesa once upon a time in the olympics?’
‘Naw. Who is this Chrissy you is nattering about? I ain’t no Chrissy.’
‘Teddy, it is you. Cut it out. I know it is you.’ I burst out in giggles. ’This is a joke. Crap. Who is it?’
‘Taylor.’ I said simply.
‘As in the Taylor Ayers?’
‘No. The stripper who else?’
‘Yeah. How else do you think I got this number?’ He said something that sounded like duck you. I hung up as Hannah puffed around the corner. Chris kissed the top of my head.
‘That was insane. Best move on.’ I nodded.
‘Can we hide in my room?’ He grinned at me. We sprinted out of the maze racing each other.
Halfway across the large lawn with everyone following I was stopped by my father walking across the lawn with the British Prime Minister. Chris slowed down and took my hand. We walked past talking about serious things like chocolate. When Tom smiled at me in a more than friendly way. Chris pulled his hand across his throat with a glare. Tom kept walking. Once they had walked on we took off again.
‘Where shall I hide?’ He whispered frantically. I had hidden in the wardrobe where my dresses where. Right at the back where the long dresses where so nobody could see my feet.
‘Where the hell are you?’ I had left the main door ajar. It had turned into an intense game of sardines very quickly. I had nominated myself to hide first. All our rooms were in play and nowhere else. I grabbed Chris's shirt and pulled him in beside me. I could hear people moving around.
‘This is where she sleeps?’
‘I want to be rich.’
‘Imagine being married into the royal family.’
‘Only you would James.’ I snickered Chris put a hand over my mouth.
‘Shut up. Did you hear that?’ Chris kept his hand over my mouth as they opened the door going into my wardrobe room.
‘Even more rooms. I thought she only had a bathroom and a bedroom. Not a whole fricking wardroom.’
‘Is that even a word? There is another door at the end of the room.’ They stomped past ignoring the snuffles from me. The dresses started moving around at the front.
‘Taylor? Are you there it is Phoenix.’ I stuck out a hand. Phoenix grabbed it and hauled herself in.
‘No room left. Hide under the bed.’ She wandered off in search of another hiding place.
‘Taylor?’ Chris whispered.
‘There is something I have to tell you once they have all left. And I come back form a check up.’
It got to the point where nobody had found us but had found Phoenix.
‘TAYLOR! WHERE THE DEVIL ARE YOU?’ Came Janes screech. I poked my head out of the wardrobe.
‘You have the American President and his family for dinner tonight.’
‘Really? I swear I was eating with Chris and this lot.’ Mary wandered in.
‘What the hell are you doing in the wardrobe?’
‘Looking for a dress for tomorrow.’ Mary raised an eyebrow.
‘Really?’ Most of the boys were in the room now. ‘I swear I can see Chris’s hair. You know you should not be in a relationship with a tall person’
‘Well I am so screw you. Anyway. I can’t go to jail in this country.’
‘But he can.’ I rolled my eyes.
‘Fine fine. I need to go christmas shopping. What time is the president landing?’ Chris walked out of the wardrobe.
‘I am going to see my father.’
‘He has already landed.’
‘Right. I am going to see my father as well. Please everyone vacate my rooms or I will have a nice hissy fit in three seconds.’ I walked out my rooms leaving a stunned silence.
‘That girl is impossible.’ Jane muttered. I poked my head back through the door.
‘I know I am and I heard that.’
‘Like I said. Impossible.’
‘Hey dad. I heard the president of America is coming for dinner.’ Dad was working hard.
‘Ah yes that. He is not really coming. We heard from the maids your tutor was thinking you were spoilt brat.’
‘Why are they even here?’ I demanded.
‘Because of what people think of you. You have to show that you are a normal girl who happens to have more power.’ I pulled a hand down my face.
‘I think I might go and lie in a dark room.’ He caught my arm. He had lines of stress on his forehead and his eyes looked tired. I hadn’t realised he had come around to my side of his desk.
‘You do know that you and Christopher have to get married someday.’ I nodded.
‘I am fully aware of that fact. When is dinner?’
‘As soon as Titus and Christopher are finished talking. Is it around six now?’ He asked tapping away at his Apple Mac. I nodded.
I awoke the next morning to see Chris sleeping on my floor at the bottom of my bed. I heard a knock on my door.
‘Taylor. It is half ten can we come in?’ I gave no answer which meant everyone piled in. I closed my eyes and faked sleeping. Chris sat bolt upright and aimed a gun at somebodys foot. I opened my eyes and looked around.
‘What the hell?’ I rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
‘How was your dinner last night with the president?’ James asked. He was perched on the end of my bed looking intently at me.
‘It was good.’ I was still in my dress which was short and silky. Chris got up off the floor and flopped down on the end of my bed. My door opened again and my father walked in.
‘Taylor in the great rumor mill that is our home-’
‘I know I know.’ I cut him off quickly. ‘Chris passed out on my floor. And now my bed. How much booze did you give him?’
‘Well I thought two glasses of whiskey was too much but Vanessa was on a roll.’ Jane looked from me to my father then to Chris who was on my bed flat out sleeping. I nudged him awake with my foot.
‘Oh my life. I am so sorry.’ He woke up and wandered out of the room then walked back in.
‘Taylor did you drug me?’
‘Would I ever?’
‘Yes.’ Dad and Chris chorused together.
‘You gave Manwell one too many last month.’ I climbed out of bed. It had started gently snowing outside. The grounds were turning more of a grey with the white snow covering everything.
It was at last time for everyone to go. Hannah had walked in on a bad moment when Chris had kissed me before he went to have another bodyguard check up. Followed by everyone else. Chris was coming back the day they were leaving which meant they would overlap.
‘Taylor!’ He shouted as he climbed out of the black landrover. He ran over to me and kissed me full on despite everyone and I mean everyone watching. Even all his friends who were in the back of the car who were being dropped off at their charges. They were hanging out of the window wolf whistling. He hugged me close.
‘I looked at the stars every night to find your star.’ I smiled.
‘I found my star and then the one to the right I named it Chris because that is your star.’ He kissed me again. All the girls sighed when they left with the boys. Once the had turned to leave the drive I punched Chris on the arm.
‘You said you had something to tell me.’
‘Oh yeah.’ We linked arms and walked off. ‘So you know you overheard what I said to Phoenix.’ I nodded. ‘Well I was going to say is I chose her and always will because she is strong and won’t give up on her dreams.’
‘Also I don’t care if you break my heart but if I break yours I know mine will break also.’
‘Well you would care if break yours.’ Chris laughed.
‘Only you can break mine my Tayor.’
I was rudely awoken a week later by Jane screaming and waving around the morning paper.
‘TAAYYYYLLOOOOORRRRRRRR!!’ She screamed running into my room. Her hair had come out of her bun and was flying everywhere. I immediately sat up thinking the worst.
‘Who's died?’ I asked. Jane thrust the paper at me.
‘I can’t-. I can’t even. What is air? I can’t even.’ I read the front page ignoring a hyperventilating Jane.
NEW MARRIAGE LAW PASSED
By a new law that was passed at twelve last night Her Majesty Princess Taylor must be married before the age of nineteen to inherit the throne. If she is not engaged before her seventeenth birthday the throne is immediately passed to Sir Jamie Maylord, her cousin and next in line to the throne. The King battled hard not to have the law passed, but a previous law stated that to be Queen, a princess must be married before she can take the throne overrode him. This is an old law which has been in place for many years. The Lost Queen had to follow this law even though her parents battled hard against it. Granted that her husband was shot dead twenty years after their first son was born made us believe that something was wrong with their relationship, she ruled without him. Her majesty the Princess is very close with his Lordship Christopher Baenziger who also happens to be her bodyguard at this present moment in time. There have been no comments from either party. The government overrode his majesty who wanted make sure his only daughter chose who she wanted to marry and not who she was forced to marry. This happened around Easter last year when she was forced into a betrothal contract with Lord Louis Behan who has mysteriously disappeared. Was he killed so that her majesty could have another boyfriend? Did he call it off for some other reason? How is her majesty going to react? The royal family has made no comment since the law has passed and it is rumoured that the princess is not fit for the Crown and will abdicate the throne before she legally ascends. This is Peter Drinkwater.
Mary walked into the room in her grey flannel night clothes.
‘Jane what are you on?’ She mumbled rubbing sleep from her eyes.
‘THERE IS A NEW MARRIAGE LAW!’ She screamed. Marys eyes widened and grabbed the paper from my hands.
‘Sorry.’ She scanned it through. Her face went as white as chalk. The message had not sunk into my brain yet. I knew if Jane was distraught the palace would be in pandemonium. Jane was one of the most level headed maids in the palace apart from Mary. I found out last week they were twins and were separated at birth or something crazy like that. I got out of bed and looked out the window.
I walked out onto the balcony and let the winter air chill me to my bones. I had ten months to get engaged and then two years to get married. Yeah I loved Chris and I guess he loved me but marriage? Ten bloody months. I sat down on the edge of the balcony. It had a wide edge which was perfect for sitting on. My feet were dangling in mid air as I tried to organise my thoughts as I looked over the snowy grounds. I heard the door bang open.
‘Where is Taylor?’ Chris’s frantic voice floated out to me.
‘Out there.’ He ran out onto the balcony. He was in his pajama bottoms and messy hair. I was only in tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt with Harry Potter on it. He pulled me into a hug.
‘Have you read the paper?’ I nodded.
‘I don’t know what to do. I mean I love you but marriage?’ Chris nodded. He had wrapped his arms around me.
‘You are freezing. Come on lets get you inside.’ I nodded. We walked into my rooms and sat on my bed leaning against the headboard not talking. He held my hand and rubbed soothing circles on the back of it.
My father walked in around noon ashen faced.
‘Taylor I am so sorry.’ I had my head on Chris’s shoulder and His was on top of mine.
‘You did all you could.’ He nodded.
‘I just wanted you to grow up in your own time.’
‘I grew up when I was escaping the country.’ He sighed.
‘The whole palace is in shock. The maids are going crazy. Alec wants to serve you lunch.’
‘He is that butler who just turned up right?’ Dad nodded. A head peeped around the door.
‘Here is breakfast your majesty.’ Alec had sandy blonde hair which was the flicky type. You know what I mean. He had brown eyes which were huge. He had a large tray with lots of breakfast foods. My father took the try with a smile.
‘Go back to comfort Eriquka would you please. She is pretty traumatised by the whole event.’ He nodded and walked off. I looked at the food and felt sick.
‘I think I might be sick.’I muttered. Chris put his arm around me.
‘I will always be there for you.’ He kissed the top of my head. ‘That is one of the many promises I will make to you and keep. Hopefully making up for the ones I will break because I am just a mere mortal.’ I cracked a small smile.
‘I think I am going to be followed by the press for the next ten months until I turn seventeen and then until I turn nineteen. Why me? What did I ever do?’ I felt tears prick my eyes.
‘Nothing. You deserve so much more because you do so much for other people.’ I let a small smile grace my lips.
‘I wonder that everyone else is thinking?’ Chris laughed.
‘I bet most of the boys over at school will be spreading the rumors and working harder to get you. This is why I dropped out because I guessed your father would lose.’ I felt content just sitting there. I measured my feet against Chris's.
‘How big are your feet?’ I asked. They were a good inch or two bigger than mine.
‘Six I think. Jez yours are really small.’
‘Three.’ I muttered.
‘Aw. They are so diddy.’ He adopted the voice you would use on a small child or animal.
‘Please stop it.’ He stopped it and we nibbled on the breakfast we had been given.
I got up at around three in the afternoon in search of lunch. I wandered down to the kitchens with Chris. When I walked in I saw hordes of people crying and in different stages of hysteria.
‘What the hell?’ Chris muttered.
‘More like How the hell?’ I saw different types of food being made such as a christmas pudding and a small turkey.
‘What is the date.’ I glanced at a calendar which was hung up. There was a large 24 in bold with snowflakes around it.
‘Christmas eve.’ I whispered. Chris kissed the tip of my nose.
‘Merry christmas eve.’ I laughed.