Chapter 1

Princess Jolene Schreave

Jolene glared at her bonsai tree, "All right, work with me here, I just need you to get into a nice little cloud shape. It's a basic tree shape!"

The tree of course couldn't hear her, or respond for that matter, but Jolene carefully took her bonsai trimming 'scissors', and perfected the shape.


Her bedroom door burst open, and her brother, Damon, strolled in, hands in his pockets. Jolene's hand slipped, and cut off too much of the leaves on the right side of the tree. Jolene let out a groan of frustration, and turned to glare at her brother.

"Excuse you! Why are you barging into my room you brute?" Jolene snapped, setting down her scissors.

Damon shrugged, "I don't know."

"You don't-" Jolene scoffed, and stood, "Get out!" She demanded. Despite being only 5'1", her temper believed her to be far taller.

Damon snorted, "No, I really do have a reason, Father wants to talk to you."

Jolene raised a brow, "Which one?"

"King Dad, I said Father didn't I?" Damon clarified.

Jolene smiled, raising her chin, "All right, now get out of my room."

Damon smirked, "Fine."

Jolene trailed Damon out of her room, making sure he actually left her room, and then she went to her father's office. Her father, King Ray, was usually in his office working, and she loved helping him with his work. Anything to prepare her for the future duty of being Queen. It seemed so far away, but in reality, it wasn't too far, especially if Ray decided to retire and give the throne to her.

Jolene had always been ready for this. She was confident she could do just as well as her father, although it would be hard to match, but she could certainly try. She took a deep breath, and knocked on her father's office door.

"Come in!" His voice called from inside. His voice had dropped with age and stress. Jolene remembered watching an old Report episode, and being surprised at how light and high his voice used to be.

Jolene stepped into the office, smiling at her father, "You called?"

Ray looked up from his work, reading glasses perched on his nose. He smiled, and nodded, "Good, he actually listened for once. Yes, I needed you down here. I have an important matter to discuss with you."

Jolene smiled again, "Of course, is it paperwork? You know I can handle it. Or another foreign visit?" Jolene gasped, smiling widely, "Am I finally going to visit New Asia with you?!"

Ray smiled as he watched his little fireball of a daughter speculate what he wanted to tell her, "Are you ready to listen now?"

Jolene nodded, biting her lip with anticipation. Ray chuckled, and removed his glasses, "I think it's time we discussed a Selection for you."

Jolene's smile splintered, and she blinked one. Twice. "I'm sorry, what?"

Ray sighed, "I know you aren't exactly the romantic type, but, in order to take the throne, you must be married. So, you'll need a Selection eventually, and I think you're ready."

Jolene's eyes dropped to a coffee stain on Ray's desk, her thoughts running wild. Yes, it was true, she needed to marry to claim the throne, but she figured it could be something like marrying a guard or something a few months before taking the throne. Besides, love was something she didn't think she could find easily.

Watching her parents, she knew they'd gotten lucky, finding the love of their lives in a Selection. Meanwhile countless royal couples before them had had strained marriages. What if she was just another link in the chain? Destined to have a loveless marriage for her life? How would that be any different than marrying the random guard?

She glanced up to her father, "Will the names be called randomly? Or are we pre-selecting them?"

Ray thought for a moment, "Well, unless you want otherwise, random."

Jolene thought for a moment, and despite a small voice in her head telling her not to, she found herself saying, "I want to pick 5 of them, the rest can be random."

Ray seemed surprised, as though he hadn't expected his daughter to accept the offer of choosing some of them, "All right, we can work with that. We won't tell the public, that way they think it's still random."

Jolene nodded, "Father…."

Ray glanced up to her after he finished writing a note down, "Yes?"

Jolene bit her lip, unsure if she wanted to ask, "How did you know Dad was the one?"

Ray leaned back, smiling nostalgically, "Easy, Brendan was a challenge. He teased me, tested me, and made me question everything. He opened my eyes, not to mention we got along well, but weren't afraid to be friends, some of the Selected thought we could just fall in love without being friends first. I knew he was the one," He paused, and laughed, "well, because he was the one puzzle I couldn't quite figure out, and I knew I needed an entire lifetime to do it."

Jolene was taken aback by her father's words. She knew that her fathers were deeply in love, but she didn't know that when they were younger the sparks flew just as strongly. It gave her a boost of confidence in the outcome of her own Selection…..almost.

Jolene made her way out to the garage, and smiled at the motorcycles that were parked, just waiting for her to hop on, start the engine, and take off to forget life for a little while.

"Where ya goin?" A voice asked, and Jolene turned to face her brother.

Damon stepped forward, helmet in hand, strapping it onto his head, and claiming one of the motorcycles.

Jolene shrugged, she grabbed a leather jacket from the wall, along with a helmet, and climbed on the other motorcycle, "I don't know, where are you going?"

Damon shrugged too, "I was just going to hit the forest nearby."

Jolene nodded, "That sounds nice, I'm tagging along."

"I don't want you to," Damon said, frowning.

"I didn't ask, I said I was coming along." Jolene replied, glaring at her brother.

Jolene could feel Damon assessing her. The pinched features, the quick temper, the way she must have seemed desperate to get away. He nodded once, and started up his motorcycle. Jolene started hers up, and followed Damon out of the royal garage, and down the path on the way to a place where the stresses of royal life could be left behind.

They parked their bikes in the parking lot of the woods, which led off to several hiking trails. Damon started off down one, and Jolene jogged to catch up. Being 5'1", Jolene had learned to walk quickly to keep pace with Damon's 6'0" figure.

Damon glanced down at his sister, and asked, "What's wrong?"

Jolene scowled at the ground, "Nothing's wrong."

Damon's brow furrowed, "Come on Jo, I know you, something's wrong. Your nose scrunches up when you're upset."

Jolene quickly relaxed her face, and turned towards Damon, "Nothing's wrong, okay?"

Damon sighed, "Fine."

After a moment of silence, Jolene sighed, "Father thinks I should have a Selection."

Damon was silent for a moment, and Jolene was about to repeat herself, when he replied, "I think it's a good idea."

Jolene stared at her brother in surprise, "What?" She hadn't expected her brother to say she should have a Selection. He more than anyone knew she wasn't eager for marriage anytime soon. Jolene told him everything.

Damon stopped walking, sighing, and turned to his sister. "Jo, you're a smart, independent, fiery girl. But you're also lonely. I can tell, even if you can't tell yourself."

Jolene scoffed, "I'm not lonely, I have you and Marcus to keep me company."

Damon frowned, "Jo, you know I don't want to stay here, and Marcus wants to go to England to study once he can convince Aunt Ivy and Uncle Christian. What will you do then?"

Jolene bit her lip, and looked away, "I don't know, I'll focus on my work, I won't need people because I'll be busy."

Damon shook his head, "That's not healthy Jo, even as busy as our father is as king, he still spends time with us and his husband."

Jolene sighed, she knew he was right, but she wasn't even sure if she could find someone to trust in the Selection. She already had her brother to talk to, and when she was Queen, she certainly wouldn't trust anyone to do her work except herself. She was Crown Princess, and soon Queen, she needed to handle her responsibilities her own way, and if a mistake was made, then no one was to blame but her.

"I'll think about it," Jolene murmured.

Damon seemed unconvinced, but he let the matter drop. He smirked, popped his leather jacket collar, and turned to Jolene, "Now, let's enjoy this forest alright? We drove all the way out here and the palace staff hates when we waste gas, so let's make the most of it."

Jolene smiled, and nodded, following her brother's lead as they relished in the beauty nature provided.

Jolene and Damon arrived back at the palace, and saw their cousin's car in the large driveway. The siblings shared an excited glance, and raced inside. Apparently Marcus had just arrived, as he was still in the hall by the front doors. Jolene squealed, and ran full force at Marcus, tackling him to the ground in a hug. Damon wasn't far behind, but he stayed standing, and laughed as he saw Marcus's pained, yet overjoyed expression.

"Marcus! You're back! How was Italy?" Jolene asked, "Is it just as pretty as we're told?"

Marcus smiled, "It sure is. The flowers are pretty, you'd love it. But even more so is the art and culture there."

Jolene grinned widely, then gasped, "Do your parents know you're back?"

Marcus shook his head, smiling widely, "Nope! Where are they? The library I'm assuming?"

Jolene shrugged, "Probably, you know them. You're a more extroverted version of them."

Marcus laughed, and ruffled Jolene's hair, "Obviously, all right, let me go find them."

Jolene nodded, and climbed off of Marcus. He'd been gone all summer in Italy, and she couldn't be happier to have him back, especially if a Selection was in the near future. Marcus was basically Jolene's best friend, and was her optimist. She went to him whenever she was feeling down, whereas she went to her brother when she needed a reality check. She felt perfectly balanced between the two's support.

Marcus winked and shot Jolene with a finger gun, then climbed the stairs to find his parents and inform them he'd come home.

Damon chuckled, and turned towards Jolene, "Wanna go play some jams?"

Jolene smirked, "As long as it's not that god awful-"

"You mean Gilded Child?!" Damon asked, smiling gleefully.

"NO! Do not put that god damned song on!" Jolene retorted.

Damon took off for the music room, and Jolene chased after him to intercept the music player before he could get his hands on it.

That night at dinner, with everyone there, Ray stood, and cleared his throat. "Attention everyone," Chatter stopped, and everyone turned to look at him, Jolene's other father, Brendan, glanced curiously at his husband. Ray continued once he had everyone's attention, "Jolene has decided to take, upon my urging, a big step, and have a Selection!"

There was silence, then: "Are you insane?"

"How can this end well?"

"Do you not remember what happened in your Selection?"

Ray sighed, "I know, it's going to be a little difficult, and obviously steps will be taken, but Jolene needs a husband to help her rule."

Jolene frowned, she didn't need anyone to help her rule. But Christian murmured beside her, "Measures were taken with your Selection too, yet here we are."

Jolene bit her lip, but Ray didn't appear to have heard him. Jolene had the urge to glance at her uncle, and his missing eye, but she resisted, as he didn't need her to remind him.

Ray continued, "More background checks, more guards, tighter security."

Jolene could feel the doubt weighing heavily in the air, so she decided to try and ease it, "Hey, even if something were to happen, we know we can handle it, so let's just see what happens, okay?"

Everyone seemed doubtful still, but their concerns were hushed, and Ray smiled proudly at his daughter. Jolene smiled back, and lifted her chin proudly. If she can handle a rowdy family all her life, then surely she could handle a few months in a Selection.

AN: Hey guys. Guess what? A SEQUEL! If you're on the discord, you knew, but now you actually have the first chapter! I already like Jolene, she's going to be fun to write. Also, Marcus I think is going to be fun, it'll be nice to write a positive, social nerd for once lol. Anyway, the form most of the discord has, but it's on my profile too, I added a Height section, so if you already submitted, please just send me your character's height. Thanks!

As for rules, the basics:

No Mary Sue's

No Americas or Eadlyns (Jolene is already kind of Eadlyn, so plz)

Don't send in characters with the same FC's as my last SYOC, and please different names too, for the love of the writing gods please. Check my Pinterest or the Slideshow for HWC if you're unsure.

Also! Have fun guys! The more fun you have with your character, the more fun I have writing them.

Discord, feel free to talk amongst yourselves to make sure you don't have characters who are too similar. You can also plan potential friendships with each other and I'll take it into account, though I may change things.

Finally, I reserve the right to change things about your character, though I'll keep it to a very minimum.

Thanks so much guys! I'm so excited!