Thank you for all the love, here and on my other stories. You have no idea how many of you help me through hard times when real life hits.
Thanks to Mandy and BeLynda for their help and Denise (LadyLibre) for challenging me to a WC, without which there would be no new chapter.
For my OPMC readers, I am halfway done with a chapter. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Let's hear from Bella, shall we?
The American Princess Chapter 5
Isabella Marie Swan
What the hell have I gotten myself into?
This is the question I have been asking myself on repeat since I agreed to this little ruse. Hmpf. Little. As if trying to fool an entire world and the royal family was some little feat.
I am going to be thrown into the dungeons.
"Hmm?" He answers, studying some stack of papers intently.
"Are there dungeons in the palace?"
He looks up with an incredulous look on his face. "Dungeons? Why do you ask?"
Try to act casual.
"Oh, nothing. Just curious." I smile my best smile.
"No one is going to throw you to the lions in the dungeons, Bella."
"You have lions?!" What the fuck?
"No, Bella. We don't. We don't have a dungeon either. Will you quit worrying?"
"Easy for you to say. You won't be thrown to the lions, tigers or bears."
"Oh my," he grins.
"How about I click my ruby red slippers and go back to Kansas where I belong?" I threaten.
"You're not from Kansas," Emmett reminds me.
"I'm aware, Asshole."
He shrugs and goes back to reading his stack of papers.
I need a stack of papers.
Instead I reach for one of my smutty romance novels. It's my secret guilty pleasure. When a reporter asks what I like to read, I always answer with some classic. Like 'Pride and Prejudice' or 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I have read those but only because my tutor made me so I could get my diploma.
I can't very well tell them I like to read books with titles such as 'His Virgin Slave' or 'The Pirate's Booty', can I?
I glance at the title of a book I randomly packed to bring with me.
'The Prince's Pauper'.
Are you fucking kidding me? I look up to the heavens, seeing I am so close and all. I hear ya, Big Guy.
Not that I'm a pauper. Far from it, actually. My net worth is around seventy-five million. However, I am sure to the royal family, I may as well be.
I throw the book to the side in quiet disgust. I glance over at Emmett. He's my best friend and has been for some time. He doesn't understand why I am doing this. Why I would want to expose myself to more scrutiny and crucifixion. The only goal in his life is to protect me and he does it well.
How do I tell him I don't really understand it, either? That I don't know why I am on a private jet flying to London and Buckingham Palace to aid a man who is both trapped within his birthright and clueless to how arrogant this plan is—especially in regard to me.
I know that I will be crucified. I know that my self-esteem is going to take a hit. I know that I will have to hold my head up high when people are shouting disgusting things at me in public and in the media and while they are politely downing me in private like I am sure will happen in the palace.
I know all this but still, here I am.
Because I know what it is like to live in a fishbowl, even if it is of my own choosing. I know what it is like to have my days planned. I know what is it like to have my every action mapped out. Being instructed on how to act in public and what to say to interviewers so it can't be misconstrued the next day over thousands of magazines, papers and websites. Being told where to go, where to stand, 'don't do that', 'don't do this', 'why did you say that?'
What I haven't experienced is my parents telling me who I can and can't marry. Charlie doesn't even like for me to mention men and Renee wants me to live it up and fuck everyone. I imagine that different views like that are what ultimately led to their divorce in my early childhood years. I have had two relationships in my life. One in high school with Mike Newton. And one that just ended a couple of years ago with the co-star on one of my movies, Jake Black. Both ended without drama and we still remain 'friends.'
Since the incident with James Hunter, 'The British Fox,' where I beat the hell out of him for propositioning me, I have been a recluse of sorts. Work and home with the occasional charity function and awards show thrown in for good measure. I figure I owe it to Emmett, who had one hell of a year after the altercation. I know he blames himself for what happened. After all, he is my bodyguard but publicist work took him away from me that night. I tell him often that I don't blame him and I never will. After all, he is one of the few people who stood by my side through all that. Him, my parents and Angela.
I hear a chime and then a thud. Another text that Edward is ignoring. I feel for him and I probably would be more sympathetic but I am being dragged into it right beside him. Again, of my own choosing.
I watch him, feeling fairly safe that I won't get caught, because his attention is fully on whatever he is studying. He's a beautiful specimen of a man even with the bruising caused by my shoe. His hair is tamed today, but I prefer it wild like the night we met. His clothes are impeccable, not a wrinkle in sight. On the outside, it looks as if he has it all together. No doubt, a product of his raising. His eyes, however, share a different story. One of longing for a simpler life. Of a power he doesn't know if he wants, but a responsibility to take it on anyway. Of a love for his country and the people in it. One of turmoil, but a hesitancy to end it for fear of disappointing the people he loves the most.
The only confusing thing to me about Edward is Kate. I picture her in my head from the images I found on Google. She is beautiful, for sure. Elegant and proper; but I sense a coldness that I won't be able to confirm until I meet her.
The one other stipulation I have, besides getting to choose when we end this ruse, is that he is not to visit Kate until it is done. I will not have a picture of my 'boyfriend' cheating on me come to light in the media. I will suffer enough humiliation without all that. He agreed, quicker than I imagined he would. I laugh quietly to myself.
He doesn't even know that he is making a big mistake with his choice of Kate as his future spouse. All of these people are advising him of this but I sense it is more about being able to rebel for the first time in his life than any emotional attachment to her. Of course, the choosing of a spouse for duty rather than love is void of any emotional ties anyway. From what I understand of my research until early this morning, his parents lucked out. They knew each other from their social circles and Queen Esme had a title; it just worked. Princess Rose is single. Prince Jasper married an untitled woman named Alice Brandon but as second born son, he has the right to do this as he falls further down the line of ever serving as king. It is all very confusing—the lineage—but being the first-born son means Edward must put up with more shit than anyone else.
I want Masen back. Even though I only 'knew' him for a couple of hours, he intrigued me in a way that I haven't experienced in a long time. He was funny, and lighter than Edward. He didn't have the weight on his shoulders that Edward does. He laughed and teased. Masen was fun. Edward doesn't know what fun is.
I throw my head back against the seat and groan. Emmett looks back at me and mouths 'are you okay?' I smile and nod. What else can I do? Tell him I am thinking about Edward as two separate people? No, he already thinks I'm crazy. Maybe I am. Some lyrics from a Taylor Swift song come to mind.
'Cause we're young and we're reckless
We'll take this way too far
It'll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar'
Masen left me breathless. Edward will leave me with scars. I know this but am powerless to stop it.
Then again, why would I want to?
After all, I have my own agenda. To bring the Masen in Edward to the forefront and to make him mine.
Forget Kate. I'm not particularly worried about her.
The only problem is how do I compete with a crown?
Edward isn't the only one here with an agenda.
Question: What POV should I do next- Edward or Bella? The answer will choose which path I take.