Michael and I slept the whole day. I woke up at midnight to find Michael not in bed with me.
“Michael?” I asked as I sat up and walked downstairs. He was nowhere to be found. “Michael?” I asked again as I went outside and looked over the balcony.
He walked along the shore. I smiled and ran after him.
“You’re awake now,” he smiled and hugged me.
I pulled his face down to me and kissed his lips, “why are you out here?” I asked.
“I was just thinking. Let’s go back tot he palace.”
“Yeah. I was just thinking about some things. We need to get back to the palace now.”
“Just trust me, okay?”
“Go put on some comfortable clothes and shoes. We’ll be heading back tonight.”
“Okay,” I said and walked back in the house. Why are we going back so soon? Does he think what we did was a mistake? Did I do something wrong?
I got my dirty clothes and put them in a bag. I put my hair in a ponytail and put on my slippers. When I got back downstairs, I saw Michael with a white horse outside. Where did the horse come from?
I went outside and hurried tot he horse.
“Ready?” He asked me and took my bag.
“Yeah.” He helped me onto the horse and hopped on in front of me.
“Sorry to cut the vacation so short.”
“It’s okay,” I said and held onto his waist.
We got into the forest and the horse sped up. I started getting cold and held onto Michael tighter.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“I’m just cold,” I said.
“We’ll be back in no time.”
“Why are we going back anyway?”
“Because I forgot your mother said to be back today.”
“Oh,” I sighed and looked at the passing trees.
“Miss, Leah is still not back,” I said to Queen Olivia.
“She’ll be back, Alice. Don’t worry,” she sighed.
“But Miss, Michael is gone too. What if he kidnapped her?”
“He didn’t. He’s protecting her, Alice. Why are you so worried? Where is Rupert?”
“He’s out looking for Leah.”
“Why, Alice? I told you she’s fine.”
“That’s his wife out there!”
“She’s my daughter. I know where she is.”
I sighed and walked out the room. Leah is out there with Michael. I just know it. It sickens me. He probably brainwashed her. She knows that she is supposed to marry Rupert, but she’s-
“Leah!” I yelled and ran out to her. She and Michael arrived on a white horse.
“Alice, where is my mother?” She asked and got her bag from Michael.
“Where in the hell were you? Rupert, your father, and I were so worried about you!”
“Nowhere. Where is my mother?”
“In her corridors,” I said and quickly took her away. Michael tied the horse and walked in the palace. “You better not have laid a finger on her,” I hissed and hurried up the stairs behind Leah. He mumbled something I didn’t quite hear.
“Mother!” Leah smiled and opened the door to her Mother’s room. I was about to follow her in, but she shut the door in my face.
I hurried downstairs to find Rupert and tell him the news.
“Rupert!” I should as I hurried out tot he barn and opened the door.
“Yes?” He asked.
“Leah and Michael are back.”
“Go in there and investigate! That’s your wife in there!”
“Mother, I am so sick and tired of you telling me this. I don’t want her. It’s obvious she likes Michael anyway.”
“Stop thinking about yourself and get in there. I’m not going to be a nurse for her the rest of my life.”
“You’ve got nerve, don’t you? After you left me on the street a s a child to fend for myself. Now you randomly get me to marry Leah. I don’t want her. If you don’t want to be her nurse anymore, why don’t you marry her? After this ‘marriage,’ I’m exposing the truth.”
“Why don’t you go tell them now, Rupert?”
“You know what? I will,” he said and ran past me to get to the palace.
“Rupert!” I hollered and tried to run after him. He is my only chance I am not about to let him ruin this for me.
“Mother, it was splendid,” I smiled as I lay in her lap.
“I want him to be my first and only. Is there any way a royal can marry a knight?”
“If your father is willing to break some rules.”
“Can you convince him? I couldn’t bare marrying Rupert.”
“I wouldn’t want you to suffer and marry him anyway. Listen, I spoke with your father while you and Michael were gone. You want to know what he said?”
“He knew you and Michael would fall in love. That’s why he appointed Michael to be your personal guard,” she smiled.
“What?! That doesn’t even make sense! Why did he get Rupert then?”
“I know. That’s what I said,” she laughed. “He just wanted to front Rupert as being your husband to be because everyone knows it’s almost against the rules for a royal to be with a knight.”
“So, what does this mean?” I asked, shocked.
“This means… Hmm. I don’t know. You should go ask your father. He’s in the entertainment hall with his Jokers.”
“Okay. See you later, mother!” I kissed her goodnight and hurried down to the entertainment hall.
When I was about to run past the main entrance Rupert and Alice came running in.
“Leah!” He gasped and stopped in front of me.
“What’s going on, Rupert?” I asked. “Why are you running?” I looked at Alice as she tried to catch her breath.
“Leah, forgive me,” he breathed.
“Don’t listen to him, Leah!” Alice warned.
“About what?” I asked, confused.
“Shut up, Rupert!” Alice yelled.
“No, Mother! This has gone too far!”
“Mother?!” I asked, taken aback.
“Yes, Leah. Alice is my mother.”
“But how? Why didn’t I know this?”
“Alice didn’t want to be underneath you anymore. So she told your father about me so I could become the future King after he died so you and I could rule together.”
“What?” I asked.
“I heard you the first time. Alice! Why would you do this to me? Why didn’t you tell me Rupert was your son? Why were you faking in my face?!” She looked down at her feet. “Answer me, Alice!”
“I don’t think I owe you an answer.”
“Well, you do!”
“Fine. I’m fifty-seven years old! What do I look like answering to a eighteen year old and caring for her? Someone needs to care for me. I’m getting entirely too old. You and Rupert were my only option. If I had ran away I would have felt guilty.”
“So, you’re telling me, you wouldn’t have felt guilty for stealing the throne?”
“That makes no sense, Alice,” I scoffed. “I am so glad my father only had your son as a charade for Michael and I.”
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“My father chose Michael before he chose your son. Rupert was supposed to be a charade since royals aren’t allowed to be involved with Knights. I’m supposing Rupert was in on it.”
“Is that true, Rupert?”
“Yeah…” he sighed.
Michael and my father walked up to us.
“Alice,” my father said.
“Yes, your highness?” She bowed.
“I’m dismissing you from your services. I heard the whole conversation.”
“Excuse me! You told Rupert to be a charade for Michael and Leah!”
“I told him afterwards. I didn’t know you were his mother. I knew he didn’t like my daughter anyway. He told me after I chose him when you presented him to me.”
“Your highness, with all due respect, I am an elderly woman. What am I supposed to do on the streets?”
“Fend for yourself like you had Rupert do.”
“Thank you for your services and I request that you not arrive at Michael and Leah’s wedding tomorrow.”
“Good day, Alice,” he said and walked away.
Michael stood beside me. He almost smiled, but had to keep his face straight.
“I’m sorry-” Rupert started as he walked toward his mother.
“Leah?” Alice put her hand up to silence Rupert and walked over to me.
“Yes?” I asked.
“All I’ve ever did was love you since birth and you repay me with this? How will I survive?”
“I’m sorry,” I looked away.
“You’re just like your slut mother,” she rolled her eyes and walked away.
“I’m no slut, Alice,” I followed behind her.
“Oh, but you are. You’ve learning nothing,” she said and walked out the door.
Rupert shut it and breathed heavily, “I'm sorry, Leah,” he said to me.
“It’s okay,” I sighed.
“I wish I would’ve been in on you and my dad’s secret though. It would have made me feel so much better.”
“Did father invite you to the wedding tomorrow?”
“Yes, but I declined.”
“Oh.” There was nothing else I could say. Just…oh.
“You’re a lucky man, Michael.”
“Thanks,” Michael smiled that gorgeous smile of his.
“Well, I’ll be on my way. I wish you the best,” Rupert said and walked out the door.
“Were you in on it too, Michael?” I looked up at him.
“I didn’t know I was initially chosen for you, but I did know Rupert was a charade for the public.”
“Well, at least you know half of the story. When did my dad and you get down here?”
“He heard commotion from outside and found me in the main hall. We heard you all talk about the situation. Then when it was almost finished we just came here.”
“I feel so clueless and stupid,” I shook my head.
“But I feel that way.”
“Doesn’t mean you are.”
“Wait a minute, sir! You’re seeing me before the wedding!” I gasped.
“So? You’re see me,” he laughed.
“Goodnight! I’ll see you tomorrow,” I kissed him quickly and ran up to my room.
“Goodnight!” He called up.
When I got my room, I thought of that just happened tonight. Alice won’t be at my wedding like I always dreamed. Rupert was a fake. Alice wanted to steal the throne. A lot happened and I didn’t even know it. I didn’t even know I would fall in love with Michael.
I have so many mixed emotions right now. I guess… I should be happy. Tomorrow, I’m going to marry the love of my life.