Twins and another wedding
The moment I saw Dad again I hugged him.
‘I am so sorry. I was annoyed and angry and I wanted to kill someone.’
‘I am removing the grounded thing from you, but you need to be careful about what you say. People can take it the wrong way. Have you chosen my childrens names?’
‘Valentine and Cecily.’
‘I should not have bought you that book.’ He said rolling his eyes. ‘Independence day ball tomorrow okay.’ I nodded.
I found Chris later hanging around the ballroom. When he heard the door open he bounced over to me.
‘You got my message!’
‘What message?’ I said blankly.
‘Or not.’ I heard a scratching at the door. I opened it to see Dylis and Tobias with blue and pink bows around their necks.
‘I wanted to give you a present and did not know how or what.’
‘Chris you don’t have to-’
‘No Taylor. I wanted to.’
‘So stubborn.’ He continued ignoring me.
‘Well, I thought what the hell do I get someone who has everything? So I was like. What does she not have? I could name many unpleasant things. Then I thought up the most amazing idea.’
‘Better be good.’ I muttered.
‘I thought wedding rings. I freaking bought our wedding rings. And got us a slot whenever you like on Don’t tell the wife to be!’
‘Oh my sweet mother of Crowley.’ I whispered. Dylis bounced over to me . Tied to the pink ribbon was two slim pieces of metal which had been twisted together to make one band of metal.
‘Thats yours.’ He said. There was just a plain band of metal tied to Tobias. On the inside was what cracked me up. “You’d better”. It was our thing that if I said “I love you”, Chris would say “you’d better.” Back to say you had better love me. We did it from time to time but not always as some people can’t take a freaking joke.
‘Thank you so much.’ I kissed him ignoring Dylis who wanted to be picked up. ‘So what is this about Don’t tell the wife to be?’
‘That. Anytime we desire. They give us twelve thousand pounds and tell us to plan a wedding. Venue sorted, reception sorted. Cost still nothing. The honeymoon is sorted as well. Not saying where, though.’ I frowned at him.
‘Fine. if you dare spend more on your stag do than my hen do I will freaking slaughter you.’
‘Are you sure you can do three weeks?’
‘Chris I have done months without you. I am fine. I will go and camp base in England.’
Christmas was crazy. Vanessa was such a big party animal. Christmas dinner was just us three as Chris and Titus were going to see Titus’s sisters. Chris had already given me his present to me and I had given him his. It was a box set of his favourite films while he gave me a zillion different books such as the mortal Instruments, Harry Potter, House of Night, Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus and Stardust. Dad and Vanessa gave each other baby things. I gave them small blankets with a V and a C on the side.
Dad received a phone call in the holidays which brightened them up ever so much more. The government had decided that I was too young for marriage and so had given me to the age of twenty. Which I accepted straight away.
I was sent back to England for school and I took Dylis and Tobias as Vanessa could not really look after them anymore and most of the maids were busy with decorating the twins new bedroom. Mary and Jane would look after them while Chris and I were at school. But even then we left them sometimes with our neighbors who sold us Dylis and now Hazel another blue whippet.
I was woken up by Jane on what seemed to be just another normal school day.
‘Okay, Taylor you have Music, French and History today. You will we wearing this lovely blue blouse and blue skirt.’ She held up a navy blue skirt and a lighter blue shirt. I got changed into them after breakfast and waited at the door for Chris.
‘TAYLOR JUST LEAVE!’ Mary shouted to me as I grabbed a blue blazer and walked out of the door snatching Chris’s Mini keys.
I drove to school with Fall Out Boy blaring out of the cars sound system. I left myself to my thoughts as I swung up the school drive, dodging the students who poured off the bus and flooded the car park. I waited for the less experienced drivers to park their cars and stand around chatting as I pulled into my usual spot and pulled the keys out of the ignition. There was no note from Chris about where he was or what he was doing. There was an odd buzzing from my phone as I pulled my bag from the passenger seat.
‘Hello, this is Taylor how may I help you?’ I asked not checking the caller ID.
‘Taylor, je m'appelle Fitch. Christopher il est en sécurité.’
‘Fitch. Ou est il?’
‘Je ne peux pas dire.’ I climbed out of the Mini and pressed the phone to my ear with my shoulder and I shut and locked the car.
‘Pourquoi?’ I asked as I walked into sixth form block and waved to Phoenix who was chatting to Emily. They both bounced over.
‘Taylor, croyez- moi.’
‘Pourquoi devrais- je?’
‘Parce que jesuis avec lui. Il demande comment êtes-vous.’
‘Je vais bien.’ I said quietly as Phoenix started talking animatedly with me.
‘So we thought for the spring ball to go as elves.’ I pulled the phone away from my ear for a moment.
‘Phoenix can you not for a moment? I am slightly busy.’ She nodded and moved away with Emily.
‘Mes copines. Est-ce qu’il peut me rappeler?’ I asked, but Fitch suddenly hung up leaving me to battle the hordes of questions I would face.
I went through the day paying no attention to anyone or anything. Phoenix and Emily had long and detailed chinwags about dresses and shoes. I just blanked them out. I was not part of their world and part of mine had gone missing. Where: I had no clue. How: Hadn’t the foggiest. Who: Only he knew. When would he come back: Only time would tell.
‘Taylor your phone is ringing and it is driving us crazy.’ Emily said loudly breaking through my thoughts like they were glass.
‘Hm?’ I asked looking around. The sound of the Doctor Who theme tune reached my ears. ‘That’s me.’ I said fishing around in my bag. The name Vader was on my screen. ‘Hey, dad. Can you tell Vanessa to stop changing the contacts on my phone-’
‘Taylor this is about Christopher.’ Chris’s name was like a punch to my gut.
‘What about him? Is his okay? He isn’t at Firs Cottage so I thought he was out planning something with you. Where is he? Please tell me.’
‘Taylor, Barney is missing as well. I thought you knew something.’
‘Fitch, Chris’s friend, called me says he was safe but he didn’t say where.’ Emily and Phoenix were staring at me like I was crazy. ‘What?’ I asked.
‘You know fluent Russian?’ Emily asked looking slightly concerned.
‘Yeah. Second language.’
‘Barney left a message in the note section of my phone saying he had to go and he can’t contact me or anyone.’ My dad said down the phone.
‘What could they be doing?’ I almost sobbed down the phone as I felt the impact of what was going on hitting me like a ton of bricks.
‘I don’t know, but Taylor stay safe and don’t go anywhere alone okay?’
‘Yes. And dad-’
‘- Same to you. Don’t let any harm come to Vanessa or my little siblings.’
‘Not planning on it.’ I hung up and looked at the two girls across the table from me. We had been through so much together and we still friends. They had seen me for who I was, past all the money, land, fame, titles, bodyguard, newspaper articles and still wanted to be my friend.
‘What was that about?’ Emily asked. Her hair was back to it’s natural honey colours which were highlighted with natural blondes and browns.
‘Chris went missing this morning and so had Uncle Barney. I just don’t know where they are are I am not afraid to say I am worried for them.’ Emily walked all the way around the long table (they were like from harry potter but plastic and you could pack them away quickly) and sat beside me rubbing my back as I bit my lower lip trying not to cry.
‘He will come back Taylor. He loves you and he has an important date to keep.’ She gently held up my left hand where my engagement ring sparkled in the bright lights of the school hall. I laughed as Phoenix stood up and stretched.
‘Well unlike you, your cousin does not need a bodyguard and is way more devilishly handsome than Chris.’
‘No comment.’ I said standing up also and grabbing my bag.
I was sent to pick up Chris from the airport two weeks later. I was dressed in a white shirt, black skirt, maroon jumper and for Jane’s sake black heels. Chris saw me before I saw him.
‘TAYLOR!’ He shouted as I looked up from my phone at my name. He pushed aside the slightly smaller men in black. He swept me up into a massive hug and kissed me in front of all his friends and Barney who wolf whistled. He put me down. Once my feet touched the floor I turned and started pummeling his chest.
‘Why the hell did you not tell me?’ I cried as I felt hot tears spill down my cheeks. He stood there and let me hit him until he caught my smaller hands in his.
‘Hey. I didn’t know.’ He said wiping away my tears with his thumbs. ‘I’m so sorry.’ He said said wrapping his arms around me.
‘I just missed you so much.’ I said into his shirt.
‘I missed you too but I searched for your star and thought of you.’ I laughed up at him as he slipped a long around around my waist and walked me towards the exit. ‘You have lost weight. Taylor were you eating properly?’ He asked as he held up one of my thinner than normal wrists.
‘I was scared about you and I couldn’t eat but I did try.’
‘As long as you tried I am proud of you. I would have started scouring the Earth to find you. But you will eat normally now I am back and I will force feed you to get you back you until you are back to a normal weight.’
‘Some year eights did ask me how I lost so much weight quickly. I gave them a very harsh lesson on why you should not binge and purge.’ Chris laughed and kissed the top of my head. We were suddenly surrounded by his friends who were clapping him on the back and making jibes in different languages.
‘So Chris, who is this gem of a woman you have snared?’ One of them asked in English like I was a stupid foreigner..
‘I am Taylor Ayers, Princess off Ethelburgesa. Who are you?’ I recited pleasantly, extending my right hand out to them, like my father had drilled into me years ago. They all took half a step back and glanced at Chris who was grinning down at me.
‘So when I called and had a nice conversation with a “Taylor” in french I was talking to you?’ A boy asked. His hair was jet black and he had grey eyes. I nodded with a smile.
‘Yeah. Then I had a conversation with my father in Russian Most people underestimate me being ginger and a princess.’ I said with a bright smile. They all smiled at me looking worriedly at Chris who grinned.
‘She can throw a knife very well and fire a gun.’ One of them grabbed my left hand and brought it up to eye level checking out the flower shaped diamond sat there. I had unconsciously been turning my engagement ring around on my ring finger.
‘Chris! He whined looking annoyed. ‘You had to snatch her away before she introduced to us.’ He complained looking up at Chris.
‘Have you not read the papers over the last few years? There was a law passed and it would have gone to her cousin and then she would be shunned in society. Now if you do not mind, Miss Ayers must be back in school for tomorrow as she has her A Level mocks coming up soon.’ ‘I rolled my eyes and let him lead me away.
It was March 1st when I was yanked out of school and flown home. Vanessa had gone into labour. Chris had asked for my Smart Car to stay at the airport so Mark did not have to pick us up. Let’s just say Chris is a safe driver when going fast. He literally jumped all traffic lights, flashing speed camera. The even let me drive for twenty miles until I nearly crashed the car. He was doing everything for me to get to the hospital. There was a throng of photographers outside who were sat there taking pictures.
7:32pm March 2nd 2018 little Cecily was born.
7:43pm March 2nd 2018 little Valentine was born. The both had Dads dark hair and his bright blue eyes. They were handed to Dad and Vanessa and Dad handed Valentine to me.
‘Valentine Apollo Ayers. I like him.’ He had fallen asleep in my arms when I was sat by Vanessa.
‘Probably tired from all the screaming he did.’ Said a very tired Vanessa who was lying on the bed beside us.
‘Christopher do you want to hold Cecily?’ Vanessa asked. Chris nodded and took the small bundle who was wrapped up in a little pink blanket.
‘Cecily Taylor Artemis Ayers.’ Vanessa mused.
‘Why the two names? Why mine?’ I asked.
‘Well actually we might take out the Taylor. It might go the wrong way.’ I nodded.
‘Nice sentiment but no.’
Vanessa was let out a week later because the nurses wanted to “check” the babies were okay. Even the guy nurses were commenting on how cute they were. Chris and I would just go and sit with them whenever they cried. Normally ended up in the nurses sidling up to us and holding them which was not allowed but who cares? Anyway Vanessa getting out. Chris and I left the day before for me to go back to school. It was broadcast on BBC 1 so in break I streamed it live from Chris’s phone.
‘Aw look at the little babies. Whose are they?’ Hannah said over my shoulder.
‘My fathers.’ She flounced off.
I spent the rest of the term working my little socks off. Literally. I got all A*s and As in my a levels and stuff.
I am going to skip a year of my schooling because it is the same pattern of people staring, flying home, seeing the dogs, seeing Parliament getting annoyed at each other and that stuff. There was a gem of a moment when just after Valentine and Cecily had come home Vanessa and Dad took them out onto my balcony and did a lion king moment. Barney held them up as they stood there. I was in hysterics when I got the text in french. Chris waved away the teacher as she came near.
It was the second week of university when I met Leo. I could hear piano music going at eight in the morning. Chris had been poking me, trying to wake me up for ages. I got up and opened the door. It took a moment for my brain to process he was playing My heart will go on from the Titanic.
‘JACK!’ I shouted. The music stopped.
‘ROSE!’ He shouted back and started running towards my room. Phoenix was out cold on her bed. He stopped outside my door as I looked back.
‘Jesus.’ Chris said.
‘Nope just me Leo De Lyon.’ I closed my eyes. The name rang a bell somewhere but I couldn’t place where from but he was important somewhere in the world.
‘Not another Lord.’ I whispered to Chris. He laughed.
‘No. My parents are the King and Queen of Spain. I came here to get away.’ I opened my eyes.
‘No. Crap. Damnit. Sorry. My father is King Zeus of Ethelburgesa.’
‘Whats with the boy?’ He asked.
‘This is Two. My bodyguard.’ Chris had a glint in his eyes which I did not trust.
‘No he is not!’ Leo sang. ‘He is Lord Christopher Baenziger. You are engaged!’ He started cackling loudly. Chris got out his gun and started polishing it.
‘Anyway. Nice to meet you Rose.’ He winked at me and walked back down to his room. ‘I am room 2016 by the way. If you ever want to drop by.’ Leo and I became good friends and he and Phoenix became friends and we had insane prank wars with Chris, who Phoenix completely underestimated.
The Don’t tell the wife to be crew turned up two weeks before Univercity ended. We had had the Educating Universities film crew floating around the school all year. They went around and filmed how we sorted out situation and stuff like that. They even had had a little session with me about missing so much school. Chris sat there glaring at the camera. So it became the war of the TV programs. They even filmed Chris leaving me for three weeks to sort out our wedding. The dress was sorted and cost a lot but Dad was paying for that. Anyway our parting was a hug, a quick kiss and an “If you dare do this I will kill you” kind of speech from me.
Anyway so the film crew followed me everywhere and stayed in the nearby hotel/pub thing which was just behind my rooms. Vanessa was the perfect mother of the bride. She had flown over and started crying when I went to pick her up.
‘I’m acting let it slide.’ She whispered to me. ‘Okay so how many bridesmaids are you going to have?’ She asked.
‘I was thinking of Phoenix and Emily and Leo to walk down with them. Cecily is a bit too young.’ She shook her head.
‘No. She and Valentine will be perfect along with my nephew Jonathan, he has just turned thirteen. Now are you going to search for a wedding dress?’ I shook my head.
‘It is being designer made. I have not seen it yet but Christopher has.’ Leo was leaning against the door. He had dark brown hair and sea green eyes. He was tall and was like a big brother to me.
‘Dude. I feel sorry for you. Check this out’ He casually flicked the cameraman next to him. I looked away trying to hide a smile.
Phoenix had a turkish angora which she had told me to look after because they “relieve stress” that’s what she said. They are the big fluffy cats which are white and all the baddies ever in the history of the world have had them. Well the first Bond villain had one and General Mosebush had one. Tobias, Dylis and Hazel had gone back to the palace with Chris. I was sat in the library with the cat which Phoenix had creatively called Snowball. I was in one of the large winged chairs with Snowball on my lap.
‘Taylor are you alright with Christopher planning the royal wedding of the century as it has been called?’
‘I am perfectly alright as he is very sensible and he know what I like. And if you dare share a clip of him hanging around with his mates with his head in his hands going IDK I will kill you.’
‘What are your thoughts right now?’
‘Well I am currently planning world domination and Snowball will by the symbol of terror.’ They all looked at each other worriedly.
‘Any thoughts on the theme of the wedding?’ Came a nervous voice from behind the camera.
‘I think that it will be perfect. He knows what I like and what I can do if I don’t like it.’
Phoenix, Emily and I went on a lovely little hen night to my my flat in New York. We saw a broadway show and then hung around fancy bars.
FInally the wedding weekend came. Phoenix and Emily had been sent out earlier to get their bridesmaids dresses fitted. I had been flown home as Chris had been kicked out of the palace so he bunked at his family manor. I had tried on the wedding dress in front of Vanessa and the gals. I had watched millions and millions of episodes of this TV show where the girls always ended up in floods of tears because they could not take stress. Chienne please. I have driven across Europe, been shot, beaten up my best friend, lived through my true love dying in my arms. There was nothing I couldn’t do. And yet I found it hard to admit I was getting married.
I woke up on saturday and panicked. He had forgotten the rings. Then I remembered he showed them to me already. Crisis: averted.
The dress was beautiful. It had a love heart neckline thing and was fitted very well. It had some sort of lace covering over the bottom which climbed up and faded out as it got closer to my waist. The shoes were simple high heels and I had to wear my tiara with a floor length veil. Phoenix and Emily were in matching white dresses with a gold band across their waist. My bouquet was full of white and blue roses. Emily and Phoenix had matching ones but smaller.
The cameras from so many different TV stations from across the world were following me get into the car from the palace. I felt like, I don’t know, like I was being judged. Screw up and everyone knows. I walked up to the steps of St. Matthews with Dad and then into the cathedral. I started getting more and more nervous. I wanted to run away screaming I was too young and that I should live my own life. That would get everyone talking.
‘Hey Daddy, don’t let me fall as I walk.’ I said nervously as I brushed down my dress.
‘No because I will be the one pushing you.’ He said sounding almost as nervous.
‘Prat.’ I muttered as we started down the aisle and I saw the dyed red hair of Phoenix and the honey coloured hair of Emily get out of the car behind me and pick up the back of my dress.
I am not going to bore you with the details of the ceremony but it was boring for me. Until the part where we had to exchange rings. I gave Chris his and He gave me mine. We kissed and then walked back down the aisle to the Queen of Sheba. I was pretty calm seeing as I was now married and that I was not just a normal person but eligible for the throne. At the age of twenty. I had had my birthday party while we were in New York. I have had better birthdays. And I am older than Dad when he married Mum.
We then were driven around Balaisbois in a gilded gold carriage. Anyone could have taken a shot at me. But the worst thing that happened was a horse behind us bolted. Chris kept smiling.
‘Just smile and wave boys just smile and wave.’ I muttered.
We had the after party and all that stuff that you do at weddings. It was just a blur to me.
‘Taylor! Photos.’ Vanessa said loudly across the din of the royal family political fight that was going on. We all piled out onto my balcony and the photos. Chris and I kissed as normal as everyone stood around looking all happy when really they were thinking about how they were going to kill the person next to them. Once back inside pandemonium erupted. My relatives started shouting themselves blue in the face about who useless each other was and how stupid everyone looked. Jamie and Phoenix hugged each other. I stuck two fingers in my mouth and pretended to be sick at Chris. He laughed.
‘It was well planned Chris. Well done.’ I hugged him. He kissed the top of my head.
‘Glad you think so. You father helped a lot. He said that your favourite colour was blue. I would never of guessed.’ There was something behind him that caught his attention. ‘I want you to meet my best man and my best friends.’ He said grinning at me.
‘Alright.’ He put an arm around my waist and guided me over to them. There were four men who were Chris's age but all sorts of sizes. There was one who looked roughly familiar.
‘This must be Taylor!’ One of them said and hugged me close. ‘We have heard so much about you!’ I glanced back at Chris.
‘Lovely to meet you too.’ I said. I was smothered by the others hugging me close. ‘Someone likes hugs.’ I muttered.
‘Taylor!’ Trilled Janes voice. I disentangled myself and walked over to her.
‘You are getting out of that dress before you ruin it.’ Leo was laughing in hysterics at what Emily had said.
My family politics were bad. I am not talking about a few arguments I am talking about full on war. Second cousins talking about if they bumped off this many people they would become countesses. Chris was stood awkwardly beside his friends as aunts and uncles who were completely off their face’s clung to his arm and giggled like maniacs.