Today was mine and Julia's first public appearance together since the parade. The event is merely a welcome party to the envoys so I have confidence that Julia can pass the event without any problems and finally score some points with the nobility and my parents.
I put my white coat and saw a little bouquet in my bouquet with blue and pink flowers. The delicate flowers evoked a smile on my face.
'What to do my lover is just too adorable'
"Where is Julia?"
"She's finishing her preparations in your mother's chambers"
My guard answered. Just for today (unfortunately), Juli was granted permission to enter the Royal Castle once again. Sadly, father didn't let her to stay the night in the castle, so today is just another day without her my side.
Since she left, I've been waking up every night and sleeping poorly. The carnal desires that I have are also much more intense than they were, but fortunately I'm used to control myself since young.
I laugh at myself. Honestly I'm just like a drug dependent in withdrawal.
As I amused myself with silly thoughts I finally got in the room that Juli was preparing herself. I must say that I'm a bit nervous in seeing her. I feel that we didn't ended up our last conversation the way we should, but seeing the flowers in my coat once again, my nervousness faded. Right, Juli is such a lovely girl, I'm sure that we will overcome whatever is in our way.
I knocked the door.
KNOCK. KNOCK. KNO-
Before the third knock, the door opened and my beautiful fiancée plunged herself into my arms.
"Al I missed you so much!"
"And I, you baby"
I said giving a kiss on her forehead.
"Are you ready?"
I smiled seeing her little dimples and picked her hand guiding her to the banquet.
After we arrived at the banquet a swarm of nobles flocked around us. Some complimented Julia, others me, and some others tried to probe some kind of information.
I absentmindedly replied them with half-hearted answers and look glanced everywhere trying to find the person I was looking for.
It was only when I was about to loose my patience that I finally found him. I excused myself and brought Julia to greet this bastard.
"Heh~ Eric I see you still are shameless clinging to Cecile"
Seriously can't this guy at least converge a bit? He just arrived in the country and can't wait to declare his intentions towards Cecile.
Although I knew he had a crush on her when we were younger, I never thought he would still maintain the same feeling for her for years.
Seeing him embracing her still made the uncomfortable feeling of have my things snatched away, but just as I was about to say something, I remembered the disgusted face Cecile showed me some time ago and all the words died in my throat.
"Albert I see that you are as dislikable as always"
This bastard still is uncultured as always. Seriously, this way he will never get the little bunny in his harem.
Probably noticing my disdain, he stared sternly at me, which I obviously answered with the same stare.
Our little war didn't last long until both of us looked away at the same time after noticing how the our surroundings were less noisy and that the nobles around had their attention here.
We both broke into laughter breaking whatever rumor it may start due to our state contest.
"Sorry I couldn't greet you yesterday. I was busy with some matters"
I tactfully changed the subject, apologizing for not being able to receive him in our castle yesterday.
Due to some weird movements of the North in the border coupled with all the problems with my future with Julia, I was kept rather busy the past few days.
"It seems I have to thank whoever kept you busy. And this lady is?"
Eric said looking at Julia. Fortunately I could feel that he didn't harbor any lust or interest towards Julia unlike most guys, so I introduced the two without losing the opportunity to discredit him in front of my baby, hoping she also wouldn't show any interest in him. For my disappointment after Eric said some empty flattery Julia blushed a bit and held her cheeks shyly and said something that almost made me punch something.
"To think that the Prince was interested in me"
"Sorry Miss Julia, it seems that you misunderstood me. It's just that there are many rumors about you"
Eric smiled and looked at me awkwardly. In his eyes I could clearly see he asking me 'what the f*ck is this girl?'
"Ah? I thought for sure-"
Not being able to hear Julia's nonsense anymore I interrupted in hopes she could regain her sanity.
"Eric, I heard that you're going to spend this semester in the Academy. Unfortunately I'm not attending anymore so you're probably going to be lonely"
But to my despair, Julia couldn't get my hint.
"That's amazing! I also go to the Academy so I could show it to you!"
Hearing the enthusiasm in her voice my jealousy began to burn even more fiercely inside and I had the urge to drag her out of here and lock her somewhere where she couldn't contact anyone from the opposite sex.
Fortunately, Eric refused and even threw Cecile, who was clearly clueless, in front to block Julia's enthusiasm.
I looked at Julia thinking she would give up but once again she disappointed me.
"Prince Eric must not be aware but Cecile barely attends the school"
As Julia argued back I could see the thick mockery in Eric's eyes and for the first time of my life I felt a deep embarrassment due to my choice of partner. Not only embarrassment, but also jealousy and anger.
Trying to hold my sanity I still kindly reminded her of her queen lessons and busy schedule, giving her a step for her to retreat.
"Julia, my love, unfortunately you don't have the time now to be Eric's tour guide since you now have extra lessons right?"
I bit the 'my' trying to remind her of who she belonged to, but Julia only looked innocently at me and said something that made the last thread of reason within me snap.
"Al I can always skip the extra lessons right? It's not like they're important. And Eric is our friend so we need to make him feel welcome"
The thread was broken and an immeasurable anger begun to cloud my eyes. Fortunately before I could do something that I would regret for a life time I felt a soft hand grabbing my raised arm.
Cecile's composed and cold voice.
I looked around and sure enough everyone stopped to see the play here.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
Once I opened again I was back to normal.
"It seems that I need to discuss with these two lovely ladies who will have the pleasure to be your companion in the future, if you excuse me"
I nod to Eric and dragged Julia to the Royal Family lounge.
I was afraid that Cecile wouldn't keep up with me due to our bad blood, but fortunately she tightly followed behind us.
As soon as we closed the door, I shook Julia's arm attached to mine.
"Julia Hartmann, do you know your mistakes?"
I asked trying to hold back all the anger inside or else I'm sure I would once again raise my hand to her.
"I did not such a thing. I-I was just trying to be friendly! Why you are being fierce to me? And why is Cecile here??!"
Julia sobbed and almost screamed the last part. I could also see Cecile looking at me with an inquisitive look, but I couldn't care less about explaining the reason why I called her together, since I, myself, didn't know.
"Friendly? You were almost throwing yourself at him! He clearly stated that he didn't want involve himself with you, why were still persisting? You made a fool out of me and even worse, you made a fool out of yourself!"
"You, you are humiliating me!"
I asked mockingly. I was just telling what everyone saw. I have been tolerating this behavior of hers for so long, but maybe because this was in front of Eric and Cecile or maybe my rival's mockery got to me, for the first time I wasn't willing to swallow Julia's bs.
Perhaps Julia saw the unusual mood of our situation, so she stopped questioning me and started to excuse herself.
"You know I was just a commoner. Among commoners this level of friendship is common between sexes-"
Cecile murmured behind Julia, making Julia turn to her.
"What did you just said?"
Julia asked aggressively.
Unfortunately for her, Cecile wasn't even a bit intimidated by her appearance.
"Just that you're not only a noble now, but the future Queen of this country"
"But I'm still not well versed on the manners of the nobles, you know this Al!"
Julia turned to me again and said with grievances overflowing from her eyes.
I blinked at the face screaming 'in being bullied' and smiled.
"Yes I know"
I nodded to her, making relief visibly appear in her face.
"So that's why I'm confused as to why you said the extra lessons are not useful, when you clearly need them"
Julia seemed lost and tears spilled even more fiercely from her eyes. My heart begun to soft with each tear dropped.
Julia looked at me and Cecile who were silently waiting for her answer. She stomped her feet and pointed to Cecile.
"Didn't you say you hated how nobles were full of masks and tricks like this dirty w*ore? Isn't that why you love me? Why should I learn to be as boring and cold as Miss Flower of Society and the Queen? They are just some bad people pretending to be something they are not! Especially the Queen-"
As I was about to shut the mouth that I love to kiss for good, someone was faster than me.
A loud sound of flesh hitting one another sounded on the room.
As a result of the sound Julia held her cheek on the ground glaring daggers to Cecile who blowed her red hand.
Julia looked at me waiting for me to revenge her, but I only avoided her look fearing that I would completely deform her face otherwise.
"Are you choosing her side? I hate you Albert!"
Saying so Julia dashed out of the room and banging the door very loudly.
I propped myself in the sofa and held my head with both hands, Cecile sit in the sofa across me still blowing her hand.
"I thought you would revenge her or at least run after her"
She said mockingly in between her blows.
"Can't you comfort me for a bit?"
"And you're blind"
I laughed of our tit-for-tat that erased a bit of my foul mood. I raised my head and after seeing Cecile still blowing the palm of her hand, I got up and sat down
by her side.
I took the little palm that was completely red and hot and blowed it, even with Cecile's futile attempt to take it away.
"It seems a bit swollen"
"This is not something for the Crown Prince to care"
Is it for Eric to care then? Is what I would like to ask but I still quietly blowed her hand while ringing the bell.
Not long after a maid came in and out to get something cold for Cecile's hand.
I continued to blow the hand that Cecile's gave up to get it off of my grip.
"Thank you for today"
I finally said after putting the pack of ice that the servant brought in her hand.
"As long as you don't get upset with me hitting your lover"
Cecile said indifferently.
I opened a bitter smile and rested my head in her shoulders which made her immediately give a rejection reaction.
"Let me be here just a bit Cecile"
I said trying to appease her but she still tried to push me away with her other hand.
I grabbed her hand and closed my eyes.
"I command you to let me rest a bit in your shoulders Cecile Dubois"
She stopped struggling and took her hand back. Although I had to use the royal power, the silence and the comfort I had from her presence made it worth.
"Do you think we could be friends?"
"Probably before her arrival there was this possibility"
"You know being friends with the royalty could give your business a lot of opportunities"
"With all due respect Your Highness I don't need the royal family friendship to move forward in business now"
We became silent. I couldn't refute her claim and she probably didn't want to talk with me.
"I think I'm beginning to like more and more the idea you gave me about Julia"
"As a citizen under your future reign, I'm eternally grateful for not letting that mad squirrel wrack a havoc in our country"
I smiled at her answer and raised my head to look at her.
"But I can't let no one taking care of the Queen's obligations, so I have to offer you that proposition. Why don't you assume those obligations? You wouldn't be my Queen or be bound to me personally but rather to the kingdom. A new court position would be created for you and the palace would pay you the same salary as your father. I can hear some demands you may have. Honestly I have no one else better for the job than you"
Seeing the strong refusal in her eyes I put my finger in her soft lips.
"Don't answer now. Go talk with the Prime Minister and your brother. This is something I just thought in our conversations, so it's not a fully matured idea or was it approved by anyone. I just hope you can consider it and even if you refuse I hope you can appoint someone as a candidate to the job, what you think?"
Cecile slapped my hand and got up.
"Although I don't think the answer will change, I shall do as the Crown Prince said. And now if you will excuse me, I will take my leave"
Not waiting for my permission Cecile left me alone in the room.
I laid down in the couch and once again closed my eyes.
'Although I can see now, for my stupid pride and love I still need to pretend to be blind and do some preparations for the future' I thought bitterly to myself as my sleepiness took me away from reality.