Summary (extended): Gwen and Prince Max are forced into a marriage. To make matters worse; Max already has a girl he loves, Gwen wants to follow her dream and become a dancer, they hate each other, and their only teenagers! Now Gwen is stuck in the palace, her emotions been pulled this way and that. Her only companions and confidant besides her "husband" is her new brother-in-law Jonathan. But things start to get difficult when love starts to blossom in the most unlikely (and sometimes unwilling) of places.
Gwendolyn Reynolds hated her name. Really, what kind of name was Gwendolyn? Why couldn't her parents give her an easier, less mocking name like Jane, or Susie, or even Tiffany? But no, they had to give her a name that sounded like a pig was snorting it. It had taken her all her freshmen year of high school to finally get everyone to just call her Gwen; students and teachers alike.
Said girl turned around and smiled when she saw her best friend, Lydia Hamilton, running down the hall, waving her hands like a lunatic. "Hey Lyd," Gwen said. Lydia came to a screeching stop in front of Gwen. She bent over, placing her hands on her knees, panting. Gwen raised an eyebrow. "Are you okay?"
"...Give...me...a minute..." Lydia panted. After she finally caught her breath she straightened up and smiled. "Okay, I'm good."
"Good," Gwen said. They then started to make their way through the busy hall and to their next class. "So why were you in such a hurry?"
Lydia's eyes brightened up. "He looked at me! I swear there was chemistry; a bolt of love lightening!"
"Yes, love lightening."
"Okay...and who else was struck with this bolt?" Gwen asked, though she already had a good idea as to whom.
"The wonderful, handsome, god like figure-"
Lydia glared at her. "No! The crown prince."
"...Oh, right, sorry I didn't get that," Gwen mocked, rolling her eyes. "Don't get your hopes up Lyd, he's just a snob who thinks he's better than everyone else."
Lydia pouted. "How would you know? Have you ever spoken to him?"
"How could I? He hardly talks to anyone, especially underclassmen."
Lydia just rolled her eyes. She jumped in front of Gwen, hands on her hips, and scowled. "Well, our eyes connected and I know it was love at first sight!"
"Whatever you say, Lyd." Gwen said, ducking around her and making her way to class. "Just don't do anything stupid."
She heard Lydia let out an aggravated sigh. Lydia ran up from behind Gwen, hit her over the head, and ran into their classroom. Gwen sighed and followed her in. She took her seat next to Lydia and Mark Limbisky, and rested her head on the desk. How could Lydia be so stupid?
Gwen had known Lydia had a crush on the crown prince, who for some reason decided to attend our school last year, but Gwen didn't think she would disillusion herself into thinking he felt the same way. Crown prince Maxwell Dashwood was the coldest, rudest, anti-social boy Gwen's ever met. Of course...she'd never technically met him, but she'd seen the way he acted. He was just a cruel, stuck up snob who thought he was better than every one else.
Gwen's head shot up when she felt something poke her back. She turned around in her seat to glare at her other best friend, Caitlyn Banks.
"And why are you so tired?" Caitlyn asked curiously, cocking her head to the side.
Gwen let out a yawn and shook her head. "Practice ran late last night, so when I got home it was already eleven. I was up until one doing homework and then I had to get up at four thirty to go to my five fifteen rehearsal," Gwen explained, growing even more tired just thinking about her busy schedule.
Caitlyn hit Gwen in the forehead with her pencil. "You're going to kill yourself."
Gwen smiled and gave her a thumbs up. "I'll be fine. If I want to become a world renowned dancer, I have to work for it, right?"
"Work for it, yes. Die for it? Yeah, not so sure about that."
Before Gwen could reply, their English teacher, Miss. Hoffman, came in and called for attention. The rest of the day went by rather quick for Gwen, well except for that test in Latin, that seemed to take forever, but the hour had finally finished and school was over.
Gwen hummed to herself as she made her way down the hall. Lydia had decided to get to her locker as fast as she could and wait at the school entrance to see if she could catch a glimpse of her "one true love" as she put it. Caitlyn had to get to her track practice early to help set up, so Gwen was left alone to venture through the dangerous wilderness known as St. Benedicts High School hallways.
St. Benedicts was not a bad school. In fact it was ranked number seven for the best school in the country. Of course, it might not be as high as an honor since Danali wasn't that big of a country, but still...
"Gwen!" came a shout.
Gwen turned around and stared with a raised brow as Caitlyn ran up to her. "I thought you had to go to track?"
Caitlyn nodded her head. "I do." She held up a large purple container Gwen hadn't noticed she had been carrying. "But the lunch lady stopped me and asked me to bring the grape juice to the science lab for some lab they're doing tomorrow, and you know how hard it is for me to say no..."
Gwen sighed and took the bucket. "I'll take it, I'll take it." Gwen really was too nice for her own good.
"Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Caitlyn hugged her and then ran off.
Gwen shook her head and made her way to her locker. She dropped off her books, placed the ones she would need in her bag, slung said bag over her shoulder, and then turned around to go to the science lab.
She was surprised at how deserted the hallways had gotten. Everyone had either gone home or to an activity.
As she walked through the now spacious halls she would glance into some of the classrooms. Some were as empty as the halls, and some had clubs or after school teachings going on. When she passed one particular room she stopped, doubled backed, and gaped.
Sitting on one of the desks, while in a passionate lip, lock was Prince Maxwell and an unidentified girl, since the stupid prince's head was pretty much blocking her face. Gwen quickly jumped to the side of the door, and then slowly moved her head to the right to look in on the couple again.
When they finally pulled away from each other, Gwen was surprised they could hold their breath for so long; she was finally able to identify the girl. It was Danielle Walker. Many of the boys in school had a crush on her. Who wouldn't? She was one of the richer, more beautiful girls in school; she had an amazing singing voice, and had great acting skills. She has been the lead in all the schools plays since her freshmen year.
"God, I hate this sneaking around," Danielle said, as she rested her head on Prince Maxwell's shoulder.
Maxwell brushed her hair back. "You're the one who wanted to," he pointed out.
Danielle sighed. "You know why. It would bring unwanted attention. But keeping it a secret these past three years has been hard."
Gwen's eyes widened. She couldn't believe this. The crown prince was having a secret love affair! Oh, this was just too juicy. Wait until Lydia and Caitlyn hear this. Oh...wait...poor Lydia, she'll be crushed. Well, it was more her faults for deluding herself like that; believing the prince actually loved her. Really that girl needed to get her imagination in check. Next she'll believe Gary Coleman is her real father. Gwen's eyes widened when she imagined such a thing happening, and she let out a chuckle. Only to realize her mistake and covered her mouth with her hand.
Suddenly, Prince Maxwell looked over to the door, and Gwen pulled her head away as fast as she could.
She wasn't fast enough.
"Who's there?" Prince Maxwell demanded, standing up and glaring at the entry way. "Show yourself."
Gwen bit her lip and made a dash for it.
"Halt!" Prince Maxwell had apparently left the class room and was chasing after her.
Gwen was finding it very hard to run with a big carton full of grape juice, so she wasn't at all surprised when the prince caught her by the wrist and wheeled her around to face his glaring green eyes.
"Who are you and what did you see?" He demanded his voice cold.
"I'm no one and I saw nothing," Gwen said, nodding her head and then tried to walk away from him. But his grip on her wrist only tightened and he pulled her closer.
"You know who I am," he started. "So I think it's best you tell me the truth."
Gwen glared. She really, really hated to be man handled and pushed around. She met his glare with one of her own. "Just because you're the stupid prince doesn't mean I have to tell you anything!"
He raised an eyebrow. "It doesn't? Does the term "beheaded" mean anything to you?"
Gwen gulped. "Y-You can't do that! Public beheadings were banned in 1812!"
"Yes, public beheadings." Gwen tried not to show the tiny bit of fear she had at his words. For all she knew, he could be telling the truth. He probably was just intimidating her, but you never know...
She let out a nervous chuckle. "Hahaha, you almost had me there."
He frowned a little. "Are you an idiot?"
"What?" shrieked Gwen.
"Only an idiot would talk to royalty like that," he pointed out.
"Just because I'm not some whimpering fool throwing herself at your feet doesn't make me an idiot! It makes me courageous."
"...Not only are you an idiot, you're a stupid moron as well." The prince seemed thoroughly amused.
Gwen stared at him in shock. No one, and she meant no one, had ever insulted her like that. She'd been called a dork, good heartily of course, but that was all. Her glare grew fierce. "You...You...Ugh!" Before she knew what she was doing, she ripped the lid of the container she was holding and threw the contents on the prince.
It took her about ten seconds to realized what she had done. When she did, her eyes grew wide, her hands covered her mouth after dropping the carton, and her heart stopped.
She had just drenched the crown prince with the juice. She had poured grape juice all over his white and expensive shirt.
The prince himself was in shock. The hand that had been holding Gwen's wrist was still outstretched, and he was staring down at his now purple shirt. He slowly brought his head up to look at the girl who had done the deed. No one had ever dared to do such a thing.
Slowly, Gwen brought her hands down from her mouth. "Please...tell me...I did not just pour grape juice all over you...the crown prince..." Prince Maxwell just glared at her. "Oh man...if my mom finds out, she is going to kill me!"
"By cutting of your head, I hope," snarled the prince, his fists clenching.
"Oh no, that would just be plain cruel," Gwen said while backing away from him.
"What's your name?" The prince suddenly demanded through gritted teeth.
Gwen looked around nervously. "Um...why?"
"Isn't it proper for someone to know the name of the girl who drenched him in grape juice?"
Gwen shook her head. "Actually, that rule only applies to orange juice."
"You are trying my patience girl."
"You are causing me to be late! Not only that...the science lab doesn't have juice for the lab anymore..." This really wasn't Gwen's day. Now she'll have to come up with a good excuse for Madam Ross as to why she was late for practice and come up with a plausible, no detention giving excuse for why the grape juice was gone. Maybe aliens abducting...
"Whose fault is that?" asked the angered prince. "If you hadn't been spying-"
"Excuse me but if you and Danielle hadn't been swapping saliva I wouldn't have stopped to stare! I mean really can you blame me? I thought you two were animals mauling at each other; I had to investigate."
Gwen's eyes narrowed when she saw him smirk. "So you admit you did see something."
Gwen exasperated. "I-" but she was cut off when she felt something on her hip start to vibrate. She let out a relieve sigh and answered her phone, the prince glaring at her all the while. "Hello?"
"Gwendolyn Isabella Reynolds, where in the blazes are you?" It was the harsh, raspy voice of Madam Ross. She was, with no doubt, glaring at the clock wondering where her prized pupil was. Gwen, on the other hand, was hoping the prince could not hear her teacher yelling
Gwen looked around nervously. "I'm sorry Madam Ross. But I've...been detained at school."
"Um...a really annoying pig?" The prince scowled at her.
"A pig? What in heavens name is a pig doing at your school?"
"Snorting too much?"
Gwen heard Madam Ross let out an annoyed sigh. She was most likely rubbing her temples and biting her lower lip. "Gwen...stop your idioticy-." why was everyone calling her an idiot today? "-and get over here."
Gwen saluted even though Madam Ross could not see her; the prince could, though, and he stared at her oddly. "Will do Madam!" She stared at the phone when she was met with the dial tone. "...Rude..." She turned around and started walking away lifting her hand to give the prince a tiny wave. "Sorry, got to go!" She broke into a run and disappeared from sight.
The prince stared after her in shock, before looking down at himself once again. He scowled. "Hey! Who's going to clean this up?"
But Gwen did not hear, or rather she did, but chose not to listen, and she ran to her practice.
All in all, Whitney Reynolds would say she was a good mother and a hard worker. She loved her children very much. Being the mother of five was hard work, but she treasured all the memories she had with her little angels. If she could, she would give them the world. But lately, she could hardly afford to give them new clothes.
With her husband being laid of from work, even with her working two jobs, money was just getting harder and harder to come by. They were already in debt as it is and paying it off has become near impossible.
"Honey!" Philip Reynolds voice called, bringing her out of her reverie. Whitney looked up from the piles of bills and watched as her husband, a woman and two men in black walked in. "Um...honey...we have guests..."
Whitney stared for a moment before she gasped and stood up. She bowed down low to the woman repeatedly. "Welcome to our home, my queen," she said respectfully.
The queen smiled. "Thank you. I know my visit must be rather unexpected, but there is a matter of great importance I must speak with you about."
"Of course, of course," Whitney said, leading the way into the living room. She praised the lord that she had cleaned earlier.
The queen took a seat on the chair, her two bodyguards standing on either side of her, while Whitney and Philip sat down on the sofa.
"Your father, Mr. Reynolds, knew the kings father fairly well, is that correct?" The queen said while smoothing out her skirt.
Philip struggled for words. "I-I suppose so, my queen. He-He d-did mention kn-knowing-"
"Did he ever mention any promise to you?" The queen interjected.
"N-No, your majesty."
The queen sighed. "Your father, Mr. Reynolds, promised your eldest daughter's hand in marriage to my eldest son." Silence spread throughout the room as the Reynolds couple stared in shock at the queen who was now inspecting her nails.
"En-Engagement?" Whitney stuttered, not sure if she had heard her dear queen right. How could her daughter be engaged to the crown prince and why did the queen find now the prominent time to tell them about it?
The queen nodded her head, her gold hair falling over sapphire eyes. She pushed her hair out the way irritably. "Yes, engaged. It seems my father-in-law and your father, Mr. Reynolds, were poker buddies. Having nothing else to bet, he bet the hand of his not yet born grandchild. If it was a girl she would marry my eldest son, if it was a boy he would marry my daughter."
The Reynolds stared with their mouths open.
"Usually we would wait until your daughter reached adulthood, but there are circumstances now in which we need the marriage to happen within the month."
The Reynolds blinked once.
"Of course," the queen continued. "We will not force your daughter. The decision is entirely up to her, but we cannot stress enough the importance of this marriage."
The Reynolds blinked twice.
"Now, if you will excuse me, I have an important meeting I must attend too, here's the number to call when you reach your decision, just ask for my advisor Ms. Ernstien she will then patch you over to me."
The queen stood up, nodded, and started for the door. "W-Wait a moment!" called Whitney, standing up. The two bodyguards stiffened. "Where is the proof that this is true? How do you know it was my father-in-law you're talking about?"
The queen turned around, not at all shocked or threatened. "Those are very good questions, Mrs. Reynolds," she sounded impressed. She opened her purse and held out a piece of paper. Whitney took it, and gazed down at it confused. "This is the royal engagement ring. Your father-in-law was supposed to give it to your daughter when she was born. Do you still have it?"
Whitney was in shock. "This is... This is the ring your father gave Gwen before he passed away," she whispered to Philip, who was also staring at the photo in shock. She then looked up at the queen. "She wears it all the time, around her neck."
The queen smiled and nodded her head. "That is how we know."
She walked out the door, the two men in black following.
Gwen let out a sigh as she opened the front door. Today had not been a good day. First she was late for practice, then she poured grape juice on the evil prince, then Madam Ross yelled at her for being late, and then the student she was helping for the day, Josh Daniels, dropped her while lifting her over his head.
She could tell it wasn't going to get any better when she walked into the living room to see the lights still on and her parents waiting for her. "Um...hey?"
Her parents smiled at her.
"Hi honey," Whitney said, patting the sofa. "Why don't you take a seat."
Hesitantly Gwen did as she was told. She sat next to her mother, stiff as a board, and stared at her parents in confusion. "What's going on? Who died!"
Philip shook his head. "No one died."
"Gwen..." Whitney began, patting her daughter thigh to get her full attention. "Gwen baby...what do you think of...marriage?"
Gwen stared at her. "Oh my god...you guys are splitting up?"
"No!" he parents yelled at the same time.
"What I mean to say is," Whitney said, trying to find a clearer way to explain things without causing her daughter to have a hernia. "What do you think of marriage...for yourself?"
Gwen bit her lip. "Well...its definitely something I would like to look into in the future... I mean, first I'll have to find the right guy, then date him for awhile, then have that whole engagement period and then the wedding... Wait, why are you asking me this?"
"What your mother is trying, but failing to tell you," Philip started, ignoring the glare from his wife. "Is that...well honey, your engaged!"
Whitney slapped her forehead while Gwen stared at him in shock. Then she smiled and let out a laugh. "Am I getting punked?" She looked around. "Are they doing a special in different countries now? Where's Ashton?"
"I'm sorry baby," Whitney said while running her hands through Gwen's dark curls. "But... it's true..."
Gwen's eyes widened. "What? H-How...why...who!"
Philip scratched the back of his head nervously. "The crown prince..."
Gwen stared...and stared...and then stared some more.
"You don't have to marry him, honey," Whitney said, stroking her daughters hair some more.
Gwen took a deep breath, smiled, and stood up. "Oh, well that's good, good-night."
Whitney stood up, grasped Gwen's shoulders and forced her to sit back down. "Now Gwen, think it over before you say no," she advised.
Gwen scrunched her eyebrows, and tapped her lower lip with her forefinger, as if in deep thought. Then she perked up and smiled even more. "No way." Whitney and Philip sighed.
"Gwen-" started Philip.
"I can't marry him dad," Gwen interrupted. "He has a gi-" She stopped. What right did she have to tell about the prince's secret affair? Yes, she despised, absolutely loathed the prince, but it wasn't her place to give away such private information... God, she was to nice for her own good. Literally.
"He has a what, dear?" Whitney asked.
Whitney looked confused. "Really? I've seen pictures of him and I always thought he was rather handsome."
Gwen shook her head. "Oh no, he goes to my school, and let me tell you; big nose and...and...brown hair!"
Philip raised a brow, while taking a strand of Gwen's own hair and rubbing it between his fingers. "You have brown hair, hon," he pointed out.
"Yes, on me it's adorable, but the prince? Oh no, he looks like the top of a bad mushroom."
Whitney let out an exasperated sigh and patted her daughter on the head. "You being married to the prince, Gwen, would...definitely help our situation..."
Gwen stared at her parents in shock. "You want me to marry him for the money? So what, you're basically marrying me off?"
"No!" said Philip. "We just want you to think about this clearly and rationally, look at all the pros and cons and think over all the options."
Whitney nodded in agreement. "That's right. Plus, doesn't every girl dream about marrying prince charming and becoming a princess?"
Gwen shook her head furiously. "First; Prince Maxwell is far from prince charming, second; I want to get out of this country, not rule it. Once I become a famous dancer I can see the world! I'll make money so you and daddy can pay of those debts."
Whitney took Gwen's hands in hers and gave them a gently pat. "The life of a dancer, Gwen, is so... unpredictable and unreliable. If you get hurt your whole career could end, and then where would you be?"
"I'll...I'll go to college..." Gwen really wasn't that sure herself.
"At least...if you married the prince, you would be taken care of," Whitney said. "You wouldn't have to go through...everything we had to..."
Gwen looked at her mother, the sadness and doubt clear in her chocolate eyes. "I'm only seventeen mom, how can you even think marriage would be good for me?"
"Just...think it over before you make a decision, alright?" Whitney said while she and Philip stood up. She kissed Gwen on the forehead before she and her husband walked out of the room and to their bedroom.
Gwen sighed as she stood up as well. Slowly she walked up the stairs and went to her own room. She wasn't surprised to see her faithful collie dozing on her green sheeted bed, and her fifteen year old sister, Martha, in a deep sleep in her own bed across from Gwen's. She laid down next to her dog and petted his head.
"Oh Dexter," she said. "What am I going to do? I can't marry the prince! He's rude, mean, cold-hearted, I spilled grape juice on him, and not to mention he is in love with someone else! Forcing him to marry me would be cruel." Gwen rolled over on her back, Dexter giving her lick on the cheek. "But... if I did marry him, I could help mom and dad a lot faster than if I became a dancer..." She put a pillow over her head and screamed. "Ah! What to do, what to do, what to do!"
"How about shutting up?" came Martha's drowsy reply. "Don't you have to get up early for practice again?"
Gwen took the pillow off her face. "No, Henry dropped me today, so Madam Ross said to just get some rest."
"Walk with you to school?"
Gwen smiled. "You got it."
"You're not as mad as I thought you would be," Prince Jonathan said, looking at his older brother peculiarly.
Maxwell shrugged. "With a dad's liver cancer, I was expecting it."
"Yeah...but marriage to a complete stranger? What about Danielle?"
"I wouldn't want Danielle to have to live in the palace...you know how hard it is, especially on women. Danielle...she wouldn't be happy here." A knock interrupted the two boys and the head of security, George Rhinestone, walked in, carrying a manila folder.
"Hello young princes," he said while bowing low. Then he held out the folder to Prince Maxwell. "Her majesty the queen asked me to give this to you, Prince Maxwell. It is information on your fiancé."
Maxwell sighed as he took the folder form George. He opened it with disinterest and looked down at one of the pictures inside, his brow rose. The girl...she looked familiar...
In the picture the girl's curly hair was pulled back into a bun. She wore a tight, red top with a flaying black skirt that showed off her tan well defined legs that looked even better with the black heels she wore. She was holding hands with a boy with blonde hair wearing a black tuxedo, who was smiling at her and handing her a bouquet of roses.
"Is she a dancer or something?" Maxwell asked taking a rather good guess. He was smart like that.
George nodded. "Yes. She participates and wins many competitions. She knows ballroom dancing, ballet, tap, modern, and lyrical." George did his homework.
Maxwell let out an "hmm" as he went to the second photo in the folder. His eyes bulged. It was her! It was the evil girl who drenched him in grape juice! She looked so different in this picture than in the last. In this one she wore a pink tank top and jean shorts. She had star shaped sunglasses sitting atop her head with her hair pulled back in a messy ponytail. She was holding a chocolate ice cream cone in one hand, and making a "V" sign with the other.
"I can't believe it..." Maxwell said, staring at the picture in horror.
"What?" Jonathan asked, leaning over to look at the picture. He let out a laugh. "Aw, she's cute."
"Cute?" Maxwell asked, staring at the girl. She was, indeed, cute; but could a girl like that ever make it in the palace? In the picture she looked like a fun-loving, innocent little girl, who she probably was, but she was also a she-devil with no manners and no sense of privacy. "She's troublesome."
"Eh? How do you know?" Jonathan asked.
"She goes to my school."
"You know her, Prince Maxwell?" George inquired. "Then that will make the situation a little better."
"No it won't. She's hardly what you would call princess material. Though... it would be funny to see her try..." It would be too; a girl like her in the palace? She wouldn't last a day, much less a lifetime.
Authors Note: Hello everyone! How are all of you? Man, I've missed writing so much! It feels like its been forever!
Well, I'm sure you all have noticed that I'm using the same "forced marriage full of hate" idea I used for Love, but this story is going in a completely different direction.
Also, this is kinda a test run. I want to see what everyone thinks of it. I've written three chapters, all kinda long, but I'm going ot be going back and polishing and adding things. Like I want to make Max and Danielle's scene more detailed. I think the scene with the Reynolds and the queen was a little bland. Also, I want to make the last scene a little longer.
I love writing this and I hope you love reading it. I'm really serious about this story, and I;m thinking of getting it published when I do all the editing and stuff.
Please tell me what you all think.