Where the water is sweet and the snow
is fresh, don’t eat yellow snow
“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the palace, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse.” Yeah no. We were having a large drinks party with the Prime Minister and loads of important people. I got so many sympathetic looks I had to walk out of the ballroom to the training room Chris had asked for it and it had been given and it was good.
There was a punch bag. I wrapped the surgical tape stuff around my hands. I don’t know what is that stuff? Like. I don’t know. Anyway. Jane and Mary walked in together and flipped when they saw my hair had come out. They started fussing and dragged me into the small bathroom and redid my hair and makeup.
‘Lets get this tape off your hands.’ I nodded.
‘I just had my Christmas screwed up and you have tried to keep it normal. Thanks.’
‘It is our job. No, go on. You have to go and Par-tey.’ Mary said. I tilted my head back, closed my eyes and groaned.
The party was in full swing when I appeared again. Chris put an arm around my waist.
‘Keep smiling. Your father is fighting off possible suitors.’
‘Do they happen to be French?’ I asked.
‘Yeah. I guess we could fix it, though.’
‘No. I am not kissing you because then we will look drunk it is because I have not kissed you at a party. Yet.’
‘We do have to change that. You will have to kiss someone in public while being broadcast to roughly six million people.’
‘Well, hopefully, I would have been courting that person for almost a year and a half.’
‘What a minute. Did you just-?’
‘The penny drops.’ I muttered.
‘One two three.’ Chris said.
‘What?’ Chris leaned down and kissed me. I kissed him back.
‘What is your justification?’
‘Mistletoe.’ He whispered. I kissed him again.
‘I am so sorry, but she is unavailable right now.’ I heard a loud voice say. We broke it off as my father walked away looking slightly ruffled.
‘Bloody snails.’ He muttered under his breath. It was the first time I had heard my dad curse.
‘Fotos!’ Heard a loud nasal voice say. ‘Princess and Lordship.’ A crowd of boys lined up to have their picture with me. I pushed my way to the front with Chris following me.
‘I am the princess.’ I said quickly. All the boys groaned and slumped off when they saw Chris.
We all counted down to Christmas day then the guests started going home. My father caught my arm.
‘Thanks for having a little kissing scene in front of the french. Saved my bacon.’
‘No problem. I am going to bed.’ I walked off to bed and slept until Chris came bouncing into my room at nine.
‘Come come! You have to get up! There is church in an hour.’
‘What?’ I blinked my eyes a couple of times.
‘Church. Come on!’ Still when I did not move Chris ripped off my duvet. I yelped and curled up into a little ball.
‘It is bleeding freezing. What have you done?’ Chris looked mildly frustrated.
‘I opened all your windows. You could’ve been dead.’
Church was boring as always. Chris was in a black suit and tie as well as was Dad and Titus. We were driven to St Michaels Cathedral in the limo with a hell of a lot of land rovers in front and behind us. Dad stood up and read something from the bible and then we sang a lot.
It had started snowing just after lunchtime. Chris and I walked out onto my balcony which was covered in snow.
‘Merry Christmas my Taylor.’ He whispered.
‘Merry Christmas my Chris.’ I whispered back. He kissed me as the snowflakes fell around us.
Presents were different this year than anything else. Chris gave me a silver necklace with a crystal teardrop on the end while I gave Chris a waterproof watch with his name engraved on the back. I got Dad a waffle maker because he loved waffles and Titus I gave him a bottle of 1980 port. I mostly got body butter, soaps and stuff like that. Were they trying to tell me something or not? I had given Phoenix her gift before she left for England. It was in two parts. One was the inheritance from my grandmother in an envelope and twenty-five pounds gift vouchers for her three favourite brands.
Going back to school was weird. Chris had to get back into his all black things with his guns and stuff everywhere. Phoenix descended on me the moment I stepped out of the limo.
‘Oh my god. I read that article about you and the new law. Who are you going to marry? You have just nine months left. Thank you so much for the present. But seriously who? I see you have got your bodyguard left. I loved my present so much. Your cousin Jamie asked me out last week and I said yes. He is so hot.’ She was talking so fast it was hard to keep up. She kept going until I slapped her gently.
‘Shut up. I am putting off the moment so much right now.’
‘Did your grandmother really say I could get into any university I wanted? The gift vouchers were amazing. How did you get them? The one for Chandlers are a murder to get. How did you get it?’
‘I called in a few favours.’ She pulled me into a hug. Chris kept a deadpan face the whole time ignoring all the looks.
‘More like you own the place.’ He said. “Quick quick change the subject” my mind was screaming. I prayed Phoenix had not heard that comment.
‘Two do you have a knife?’ I asked. He handed one to me like it was nothing.
‘Cheers. So you and my Cousin. How did it happen?’ Phoenix's face flushed.
‘Well we were chatting while I was at your place and he said he like me. We exchanged numbers and he asked me out.’ Dad had a sister who was killed in a hit and run just after Jamie was born. His father then disowned him with something about having bad luck and not wanting to lose his son so he went to live with some second cousins or something.
‘I am going to have to have a full on conversation with him about you.’ I said. The bell rang for us to get into class. Chris never left my side and made barely any comments all day.
Hannah flung herself at me crying.
‘Oh, Taylor. I am so sorry. About the marriage.’ I pushed her off.
‘Go and suck up to some other guy Hannah. I don’t need your sympathy. I broke my fifth cousins nose when he tried to make a move on me.’ Nobody had asked about Louis and that he had disappeared off the face of the earth. Well, he was buried in the Lords graveyard. Some of the guys were falling over themselves to just talk to me. Impress me. Win my affections. There was only one person who had all my affection and he would never leave me. And he had gone back to how he was when I first met him. “Factory settings” he called it.
There was some snow over in England but it had turned into a grey slush. I felt sick just looking at Chris touched my arm gently.
‘Hey. It will be okay.’ I was sat inside with Phoenix as we ate lunch. Mary and Jane had made a full on lunch for Chris, Phoenix and me. Hannah waddled over.
‘Does anyone have any food they would like to donate to the Hannah needs food charity?’
‘Well I do but I was going to give it to Two because he has no lunch.’ Hannah narrowed her eyes at him.
‘Wait. Aren't you Taylors boyfriend?’ Chris turned his eyes on her. They were like ice chips.
‘There is no relationship between myself and her majesty. I come. I guard. I leave. That is my job. Until they die of course. Normally murdered.’ Hannah gave a nervous laugh.
‘I will be off then.’ Joshuah tapped me on the shoulder.
‘Hey do you want to go walking soon. Like alone just us. As friends’
‘Sorry. I can’t be anywhere without my bodyguard.’ Phoenix was looking at me intently.
‘I don’t get it. Why are you staying with me when you could be out partying with those guys.’
‘Because you stayed with me even when I was a nobody. You were my friend. Now Charlotte wants to be my friend again because I now have a large palace. They probably know that you have acceptance into any university you want and know that I can give those sorts of gifts then well they could get away with murder if I was their friend.’ She grinned.
‘My mother did not believe it. I have got my future literally sorted.’ I did a sort of half smile.
The winter term came and went. So did Easter. Everything was flying by in a flurry of school, home, the palace, photos, revisions, mini-tests, ISAs. My GCSEs were getting closer and so was the date for my engagement before Jamie would get the throne. If I have not explained what GCSEs are then they are really big tests at the end of year 11 when you are sixteen and seventeen. I was getting more and more stressed. Phoenix seemed more relaxed then me but she did not have a country to lead did she?
June half term rolled by and I was flown home to revise without all the things of England going on. They were re-electing the prime minister and there were going to be a lot of drunk and angry people knocking on doors and shoving things through letter box. Chris was hilarious at packing. He was running around the house as Manwell and I sat having a princess lesson in the library on how to greet people.
‘Manwell show you. You say. Goodmorning. Or evening depends on the time of day. Not good to say good morning in the evening. Hehehehe.’ He had a really hilarious laugh which was insanely infectious. Jane belted into the room.
‘We are leaving in three. Ready?’ I nodded.
‘FOUND IT!’ Chris shouted. He tucked something into his pocket as we walked out to the car with Mark, Manwell, Jane and Mary carrying my bags out. It was Marys fault I had so many shoes.