Hey, guys!

Omg, it's finally time! It's finally here! The sequel to Once Upon a December! I'm so excited!

Huge, huge, shoutout to Ozzy for being my beta again! Thank youuuu!

I hope you enjoy!

Chapter One

She froze as the gun was pointed at her face.

Her heart thudded in her ears as she pried her eyes away from the gun and to the man who was holding it. How had things gotten this out of control? How could she have let this happen?

"I warned you," he told her. "I told you multiple times to drop it. I offered you what you always wanted in exchange for you to leave me alone, but you couldn't. Just like your stupid father couldn't. Now you will both pay."

Her mouth went dry as she tried to think of a response, but instead, her mind just went to the people she loved. Her friends, her family, her One. They would miss her, right? Surely they would…

"I would rather die knowing that I tried my hardest to expose your lies than live with the guilt of giving up," she said.

King Abernathy shook his head. "You stupid girl," he said as the gun clicked. "You could have had the world if you had just sided with me."

Then he fired the gun.

Beatrice Angelov-Schreave pushed aside dress after beautiful dress.

Her sister's closet was like something out of a fairytale. Dresses that come in pastel pinks and blues, dresses with large tulle skirts and some with straight satin ones. Each one of them screamed royalty at her, which is exactly what she would expect from a princess's wardrobe.

"Have you found anything yet?" Her younger sister, Corrine, asked. She laid on her bed, her elbows propping her up as she watched her older half-sister.

Bea looked over at her sister, then shrugged. "Not sure yet," she told her as she pushed another dress, a light purple one this time, out of the way. "What do you wear to these sorts of things?"

Corrine stood up and walked over to Bea. "To The Report?" She asked, then hummed for a second. "I would wear something pink or white."

Bea nodded, then looked through more of the dresses. None of them would fit her perfectly, but it wasn't like she had a choice. At the very last moment, King Abernathy had invited her to be on The Report. It was a very out of character move for the king, but she knew better than to say no.

"I'm sure that we can convince Diana to pin the dress for you," Corrine told her.

"If I'm lucky," Bea mumbled to herself. She loved Diana, but there were days where the love didn't exactly feel reciprocated. Of course, she knew why. It was easy to see why.

The two girls fell into a small silence, neither one of them saying anything while Bea looked through the last couple of dresses, then began going through the closet again.

This wasn't her first time on The Report, and it wouldn't be her last, but the thought of going up on stage and being judged by the entire nation more than she already was… She didn't like it. Maybe that was why King Abernathy had invited her. It was because she would hate it. Maybe he wanted her to be uncomfortable.

"I wonder what he wants with me," Bea said as she looked at Corrine.

Corrine tilted her head, then shrugged her shoulders as well as she could. She had moved back to propping herself up on the bed after Bea began looking through the closet again. "I don't know," she said. "Maybe it has something to do with the throne?"

Bea laughed out loud and shook her head. "Corrie, the day Abernathy lets me near the throne is the day he abdicates."

Corrine paled, the smile fading from her lips. "You don't know that," she tried.

Bea smiled a sad smile as she pulled out a white dress with flowers twisting around it. "Yeah I do," she said. "He hates me. Always has and always will."

Corrine stayed quiet, her gaze on the light blue quilt that covered her bed.

Bea winced as a thick silence filled the room. She hated how complicated her family was, but it wasn't like she could actually fix any of it. She definitely hadn't meant to make her sister upset about it. Corrine was too sweet and caring for any of this drama. She would be the perfect queen one day with her kindness and peacemaking capabilities. Bea wished that she had her sister's sweet demeanor some days…

After a moment, she cleared her throat. The thick silence was too heavy and tense. It hurt her head. "What do you think of this one?"

Corrine looked up at her, then eyed the dress. "It's great," she said. "You'll look like a princess."

Bea raised her eyebrow. "Even with all of the pins?"

Corrine smirked back at her. "Even with all of the pins."

The one upside of being on The Report, was that Bea got to see her father.

For as long as she could remember, Bea had been banned from the palace. Of course, it was because she was a disgrace to the royal name, but she wished that she could have seen her father more often.

She loved her mothers, Jensing and Davina, but her Jensing had always said that she was a daddy's girl. And Bea knew it too.

So, she paced around her dressing room as her younger sisters tried to pin her dress.

"Bea, you have to stand still!" Diana groaned as she threw her hands up in exasperation. "How do you expect me to do anything if you're moving around like this!?"

Bea looked over at Diana, her little half-sister… They had never been close, and once again, Bea blamed the king.

To Bea, the entire family was divided and it all came down to King Abernathy. She knew about what had happened to her father during his selection, and everything that he had done to destroy her grandfather's life, but somehow Diana sided with King Abernathy.

And maybe it was because she had grown up around him the same way that Bea had grown up around Oliver, but she couldn't understand it. Who sided with a monster?

"You need to stop pacing," Corrine said as she walked over and grabbed Bea's hands. "You're gonna do great up there. I'm sure he just wants you on there to talk about your newest article or maybe to wish you a happy birthday."

Bea frowned. "My article was about what he was doing to illegitimate children, and he hasn't ever wished me a happy birthday."

Diana rolled her eyes as she pulled out one of the pins. "People change, Bea," she mumbled.

Bea held out her hand as the sharp pin came closer. "I swear, if you poke me on purpose…" She warned. She would never actually do anything, but the idea of bleeding all over Corrine's beautiful dress made her grimace.

Diana rolled her eyes again and let out a sigh. "If you stay still, then maybe I won't poke you."

"Guys," Corrine said. "We're running out of time."

Diana nodded, then placed the pin in Bea's dress. "There," she said. "You should be good to go."

Bea smiled. "Thanks," she said.

She turned towards the mirror. Her hair was a mess, but at least the dress fit her better now.

She let out a soft sigh as she began to brush through her tangled hair. She didn't have hair that was dry or even that thick and unruly. It was just a pain to deal with by the end of the day. Why was The Report always at the end of the day? Why couldn't it be at the beginning of the day before her hair was all wild?

"I have an idea," Corrine said. "I'll be right back."

Bea turned to Diana as the two of them watched their sister leave the room. "You got any idea what she's got up her sleeve?"

Diana shook her head. "No idea."

"Me neither."

They stayed quiet for a minute, neither of them speaking. The silence wasn't uncomfortable, but it wasn't a good silence either.

"I read your article."

Bea turned back to her little sister, and tried to hide her shock. Diana didn't seem like the type to read articles that spoke out against the king. "You did?" She asked. "What did you think?"

Diana shrugged. "I think that it's gonna take a lot more than one angry journalist to fix Illea's problems," she said. "And definitely more than a new king."

"Our father would fix these problems that King Abernathy is starting if he had the chance," Bea told her.

Diana opened her mouth to speak, but the door opened before she could.

Bea gasped. "Dad!" She exclaimed as she ran into Crown Prince Adrian's arms.

Adrian smiled, then wrapped his arms around her. "Hey!" He said. "I missed you, Honey Bea."

Bea looked up at him. She could feel how wide her grin was, it was so wide that it hurt. But being in her father's arms? She wouldn't trade it for the world. "I missed you too," she said. "Did you read my article?"

Adrian nodded, and Bea felt the happiness overflow in her chest. Her father hated reading, yet he had read her article. "I did. You did a great job on it," he told her. "Now, I believe I am here to do your hair?"

Bea nodded, then sat down. She watched in the mirror as Adrian parted her hair and began to braid it. "So, how is Mother?"

Adrian smiled. "Jehan is doing great," he said. "She's sad that she has to miss this Report though. She really does love spending time with you. We all do."

"Good," she said. "And I miss her too. Maybe we can plan a little dinner together soon? Maybe Aunt Melody and Uncle Sebastian can come too. We can call it a family reunion or something."

Adrian chuckled. "I'll see what I can do," he told her, then twisted the elastic into her hair. "There. All done."

"And not a moment too soon," Corrine said. "It's time."

Bea inhaled deeply and straightened her dress. This was it. Time to find out why the king had invited her onto The Report.

Adrian placed his hand on her shoulder. It was gentle, but firm. Grounding and warm. "You're gonna do great out there," he said. "Just try not to pick any fights with him."

Bea nodded, but she knew she couldn't promise anything. "I'll try."

Hopefully, everything would go off without a hitch.


There we go! The first chapter! I hope you enjoyed! Please follow, fave, and review! I would love to know what you thought!

Thanks for reading! Love y'all!