I do not own Spy Kids.
Hey All, I am so sorry for not updating sooner! I know it's been several years since I last posted a chapter, but to be frank, I lost interest in this story. I really do feel bad, though! Life and other interests just got in the way. I feel like the only way for you to forgive me is if I post a really long chapter.
And now, without further ado, I give you the newest addition to A Mission Worth Fighting For.
"Perhaps one day, soon, we could be more than friends." He looked right into her eyes, and she into his.
"Carlos," she whispered.
As if they were in a movie, they both leaned in at the same time to kiss.
"I like you, too.
An Unfortunate Choice
Suddenly, Carmen jerked back. "I'm sorry, Carlos. But this is just a little too fast."
Carlos nodded. "I understand. Please forgive me." Carmen smiled, but the gleam in his eyes suggested otherwise.
They talked of inconsequential things for the remainder of the ride. Finally, they pulled into a driveway that was blocked by a large gate. Carmen saw a security guard blocking the way, but upon recognizing the flag on the limo, he let them through. The gates swung open, and they drove on.
Carmen looked at the grounds with interest. She was impressed at how simple the whole setup was; she was used to big mansions and beautiful landscaping, so she could appreciate the elegance of the grounds more so than other people could.
The driveway was lined with tall shrubs cut perfectly, reminding Carmen of the ancient Greeks. The grass was green, and there were pathways that led to secret groves hidden by tall trees. In the distance, she could see a fountain surrounded by bushes lit up with lights.
Up ahead, she could see a massive house lit up with what seemed like a thousand lights. A large balcony on the third floor was partially held up by great columns. The house itself was gaudy and expensive. Carmen hoped the inside wasn't as tasteless as the outside.
Why do rich people feel the need to show off their wealth? She thought.
"Beautiful, isn't it?" Carlos asked.
She suppressed a snort. The grounds – beautiful; the house? Not so much.
"Breathtaking," she said instead.
The limo pulled up to the front of the house. Vinnie stepped out and opened the door for them. Stepping out on to the red carpet, Carmen suppressed another snort.
"Shall we?" Carlos asked.
She took his arm, and together they walked up to the front door.
A butler dressed in a black suit met them at the door. "Welcome, Your Highness," he said. "Lord Watling is expecting you."
"Thank you, George," Carlos said with a nod of his head.
"Shall I take your coat, miss - ?"
"Cortez," Carmen replied.
Something flashed in George's face, something that only she saw. Was it recognition? She pondered briefly, but brushed it aside as she and Carlos followed George down the hall and up the Grand Staircase. They passed many rooms, most with closed doors. They finally reached a large double door guarded by two men, also in suits.
"His Highness, Prince Carlos is here. Please announce him," George said.
The doors opened, and one of the men bellowed out Carlos' title.
"What is your name, miss?"
"Uh, oh! Carmen Cortez, please."
"And his date, Ms. Carmen Cortez!"
Carmen looked around the room, trying to keep from showing her interest too much. The room was large, with marble floors and gilded columns. Plants lined the walls, along with couches and chairs for people to recline on. On the far side, a window the size of the entire wall gave a perfect view of the ocean. Two doors opened up to a balcony so people could take in the night air. Waiters moved in and out of the crowds, offering drinks and taking glasses.
"Ah! Prince Carlos! Welcome! Welcome to my humble home!"
"Thank you, John," Carlos said to a man in a white tuxedo. "May I present Ms. Carmen Cortez?"
Carmen held out her hand to shake, but John took it and brought it to his lips.
"Charmed," he murmured.
"The pleasure is all mine," Carmen said softly, her cheeks a light pink.
He let her hand go and put on a dazzling smile. "Please, mi casa, es su casa. Enjoy yourselves."
What followed was a blur of bows, curtsies, and introductions that left Carmen in a daze. Due to her being Carlos' date, she was a sought after companion. Many people expressed surprise and pleasure at her ability to make small talk. Given her accent, everyone knew immediately that she was American. But despite her humble origins, she was a model in elegance and tact. The women were slightly jealous of her closeness to Carlos, since he was the most eligible bachelor in the country. The men were enchanted with her beauty and charm and many wished she was single. They spoke of this in hushed whispers, however, because it was a well-known fact that Carlos could be extremely jealous.
"Isabel, darling, quit staring. Just because she's a beauty and have men drooling at her every word doesn't make it right for you to be ogling at her," said an older woman.
A small group of women had gathered together and were discussing Carmen.
"Mary, I can't help it. She is a commoner, yet she acts like she's royalty. I just don't understand it," Isabel replied.
"Yes, I do wonder where she got her manners. Americans are rude, conceited, and think they're entitled to everything," a young woman named Elizabeth said.
"Should we call her over then? I have to admit I'm rather curious to know her background. And to know what she's thinking of all this grandeur."
The women nodded, so Isabel made her way over to invite Carmen to their group.
"Ladies, it pleases me that you invited me to your conversation," Carmen murmured upon arriving.
"It's our pleasure, Ms. Cortez. We have to admit, we are dying to know how you met the prince."
"To be honest, he saved me from a rather…emotionally abusive relationship. His Highness was very considerate when it came to my safety. He listened, when my ex-boyfriend didn't. He made it clear it was his pleasure to make me comfortable. It took a little bit to trust him, but when my ex-boyfriend and I got into a fight, I finally left him. It was then the prince proclaimed his feelings to me, that I knew I felt the same way about him," Carmen said.
It was true that she exaggerated her relationship, but it was the truth. Gary had lied to her, and even though he never beat her, he made her think she was special and…wait.
Was it really that bad? She asked herself. Gary made me feel beautiful, and he truly cared about me. But…Carlos…no! I can't think of this now. Gary lied to me. And that's final. And yet…I know we weren't together long…
She turned her attention back to the women.
"Oh, it must have been awful! How dreadful!" Isabel exclaimed.
The women nodded in agreement.
"But His Highness was there to rescue you. Tell me, Ms. Cortez, where do you live in America?" Mary asked.
"My family owns a large penthouse in Los Angeles but we have a mansion in Napa Valley. My parents own a large wine producing company. My brother and I grew up in a beautiful villa surrounded by orchids and flowers."
The women were wise enough to suppress their surprise at her wealth.
Brother? Juni! I wish he was here with me. He would love to make fun of all this pomp and splendor that these self-centered people demand.
"Well, it sounds like you're accustomed to wealth, my dear," Mary finally said.
They continued to make small talk, but in the back of Carmen's head, doubts were beginning to grow.
Did it really happen that way? She wondered.
Later in the evening, Carmen excused herself, and asked a waiter where the ladies' restroom was located. Following his instructions, she made her way down a corridor and past many closed doors.
Lord Watling sure is keen on keeping secrets.
After checking her hair and makeup, Carmen began to make her way back to the crowd. It was then she realized a door that had been previously closed was opened a crack. Curiosity compelled her to listen into the conversation.
"Yes, the plans are all set. Mother and Father will have to submit if they want to survive."
"And what about Ms. Cortez?"
"Oh, she'll be mine by tomorrow morning. She is beautiful isn't she?" A pause. "If I don't kiss her soon, the potion may wear off. I think she'll make a wonderful queen. She won't have any say in policy, but she will be a wonderful adornment at Court."
"And the Giggles?"
"They'll be out of the way soon, as well. Her brother, too."
She could hear Carlos chuckling.
"What's so funny, Highness?"
"I'm imagining her in bed. I can sense her passion underneath all that…prettiness. She's not all that she makes out to be. I am really looking forward to our wedding night."
The men laughed and clinked their glasses together.
Carmen felt sick. She quietly left her hiding spot, and made her way back to the bathroom. It was all a lie! Carlos didn't care for her! He just wanted to possess her, to make her his. Well, she won't stand for it. Once they get back to the yacht, she'll feign sleepiness, and insist she needs to retire.
Yes. Prince Carlos won't be getting a kiss from me!
Little did she know that the potion was beginning to lose its hold.
Gary! If only you were here! Oh, how I need you!