Eminence

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I've always considered myself to be enough, I've never had the worry of not being good enough and I've never been insecure about my place in the world. But when you start to care for someone so far above you, someone royal, it turns out my place in the world isn't quite enough.

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59. Fifty eight

I don't know why I got my hopes up.

James texts me the day after Charlie proposes saying I need to go to the palace to talk with him and his parents and I'm dragged right back into reality. I guess for a moment I forgot what this baby being James' means andm wishing with everything I have that we can come up with something simple and easy. Obviously I'm never going to be able to just be clear of James but I want as much of a clean break from him as possible.

I'm taken into one of the lounges and I'm prepared to feel attacked by Lillian and even Peter this time and I'm prepared for James to be ice cold. Instead James looks like a scolded child. Lillian actually looks at me with sympathy in her eyes. 

"Hello." she says, still formal but I don't feel like she hates me. "Come and take a seat."

I sit on the other side of the sofa to James. "Hello."

"We've just had James tell us about everything that's been happening and I'm very sorry Eve." she looks at me concerned and I can't help but frown. 

"I'm sorry but why are you being so nice to me? I thought you hated me." 

"I may not be a huge fan but that's just because of the trouble that's been caused and even that isn't all your fault." she sighs. "We have to handle today's conversation with great sensitivity."

I frown at them all, confused. They all look so depressed, it makes me nervous. "What is today's conversation?" 

"It's about what's going to happen with the baby once it's born." Peter looks at me, that same sympathy in his eyes. It's almost pity. What are they telling me today?

"When you and James were together it was easier." Lillian explains. "There was always the chance of marriage. Now you aren't together, it's more difficult."

"And what do you mean by that?" I narrow my eyes. 

"The baby will have to be in James' custody, of course." Peter says and my heart drops. 

"I don't know why you're saying of course. Of course the baby won't be in James' custody, I'm the baby's mother." 

"But this baby is an heir to the throne." Lillian explains. "That means it must be raised that way, the way it would be if you and James were still together. You will have visitation rights of course-"

"Visitation rights?" I demand. I am so angry. This is my baby, I am the one carrying it and I love my child already. And they want me to just hand my baby over to James to raise and I get visitation rights? I understand adoption isn't an option anymore and even though it used to be, somehow this is so much worse. Somehow I'd hoped my baby could just have a normal life without all of the royal things getting involved and it could have had that if James didn't reveal that it was his. I feel so angry towards him now. He did all of this out of spite but he doesn't understand the consequences. I glare at him.

"So you're going to raise this baby without me?" I demand and he sighs. 

"It's my baby too."

"And when have you cared about that in the last four months?" I raise my eyebrows. "The only reason you have ever been involved is to announce to the world it's yours as revenge for me being with Charlie which is because you turned out to be a real dick!"

He just stares at the floor. His jaw is clenched and I can tell by his eyes he regrets saying anything about it being his baby. He knows he's taken it too far and I'm glad he knows that and I hope he's sorry.

"I'm sorry." Lillian says again. "I know it's difficult."

I can't sit here and listen to her be pitiful and I can't just sit there wishing James didn't do what he did because there's nothing I can do to change it now. I just walk out and run out of the palace and down the path through all the tourists. I get into the nearest cab and burst into tears. This isn't even something I want to talk to Charlie about, I want to figure this out by myself but I don't know what to think. It's hard to think right now actually, we're surrounded by noisy traffic and we're driving fast and I can't make my thoughts go in any kind of order. Visiting my child occasionally isn't enough, I need to raise this baby because it's more mine than it ever was James'. I think of Lillian and what she said. If James and I were still together we would have been married eventually. I'm kind of annoyed I was never told that but still. What if I married James now? Maybe that's what I'm meant to do, maybe that's what's meant to happen and-

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