Credit Goes to Sleyf for the Cover Art
If only, if only...
I could find what my
heart says about love...
because we both live in
two different worlds,
and are two different girls,
each finding our own paths.
The words radiated from the young aristocrat’s tongue in a soft whisper, as quickly as it had run through her thoughts. I don’t... feel that way about boys, do I?
The princess stopped in her tracks, just to stare at the castle. Her mother sneered from the sidelines, and Estelle cringed, hoping she hadn't heard her whisper those words. The Heneurock castle rested before her in the middle of a purple moat, standing with two tall flags, and a row of torches. As she walked alongside her family, magical lanterns glowed endlessly in her path, all dangling upon the same thick cord.
Estelle stared at the creamy brown castle with amazement. She gazed at the hard marble flooring, free of any cracks in its surface, stopping to look above at the guards posted at the gate. Her mother urged her to continue, and so the princess kept walking, minding the crowd of people who walked by them. One of them, a curly haired inventor, eyed her with such a curious gaze that it gave her butterflies. She kept walking.
They traveled over a bridge, and Estelle stopped for a moment, taking a moment to gaze at the murky purple that had been the Heneurock moat. She noticed golden pipes sticking out from within the castle’s walls all the way to the bottom the hill. A few romantics were canoeing below them, but before Estelle could see further, her mother jerked her back and snatched her hand.
“Don’t get distracted,” Margarette said. “We must keep moving, we are here for a reason, aren’t we?”
The old yet strangely youthful queen made her snort. They continued to move through the crowd, knocking people out of her path as she tugged the princess with her. Oh, what a pain it was, the princess thought. All of those weeks of flirtation school, all for nothing! And just to think she might have had a chance to get away...
Vincent nudged her silently, stirring her from her thoughts. Had he spotted her distaste? Oh, what did she care? She looked up. So they were getting closer to the gate, and she could clearly see the guards pulling long ropes to let them into the inner entrance, and she could see the shadow of the queen in a different room. Right. Of course, The princess thought. They were here for a reason – to see the queen of Heneurock and discuss world matters. How boring.
Her mother finally let go of her when they reached the doorway. She started up the stairs, but the princess looked behind her. She saw two woman holding hands in the inner curtain of the castle, whispering small things to each other as one of them pecked the other woman’s cheek. The act filled her with a dreamy sigh, and her mother jerked her away once more, into the inner entrance.
“Estelle, remember your place." The queen rasped. Did she really even care? "Heneurock isn’t anything like Netheron. A royal princess such as yourself, should never consider the possibility of holding hands with another woman." She turned around, to knock on the large wooden door that hung between two large red flags.
Estelle frowned at this, but said nothing. She looked behind her again, and her mother jerked her back. Did she know? The princess hoped it wasn’t the case.
The door opened, and the servants let the queen and king through the gate. Oh how she wished she were one of the two woman…
Needless to say, Margarette snatched her hand.
“Come here you stubborn child,” The Netheronian queen hissed. “The Queen of Heneurock does not wait for arrogant children.”
“I thought the queen of Heneurock would wait for anyone?” The young princess asked as she was forced through the entrance. Oh, what tyranny the princess thought. What a waste of time being here, when she could be with her…
Finally, they reached the Palace of Heneurock, and Estelle’s parents turned to her, drenched in sweat enough to pamper it off with a handkerchief. What exactly were they nervous about? Oh, probably just an adult matter…
“Vincent, is it possible you can take her off my hands during the meeting?” Margarette asked. “I am unsure that I can even handle such a little tyrant.”
Vincent was more than happy to take on the offer. But the princess's eyes only clouded with more thoughts.
“Certainly, Margarette. One of us will have to do it,” Vincent told her. “I’ll be sure to take good care of her, but I’m sure you know that.”
“Oh, please... don’t get started on that mushy stuff. Just don’t get yourself into trouble,” The queen said. Estelle could see Vincent scrunch up his face is clear confusion.“Keep her away from the citizens - I cannot handle a complete disaster.”
Estelle frowned at this. How would that ever be a bad thing? All she ever wanted was to hold hands with a girl... or even kiss her. Was that really so bad?
But Margarette didn’t seem to care about that. She seemed to be questioning something deeper... or so the princess thought. Perhaps she was over thinking. It seemed ridiculous to even think for a moment that Margarette would be pondering something more than her role as queen. Such would never occur.
Finally, Vincent spoke with a slight quiver in his throat.
“Margarette, we’ll be okay I promise,” Vincent assured, messing with his lilac cape to nervously play with his short ponytail. “Attend the meeting, and you will be fine. I’m sure it’s nothing, like usual.”
Margarette nodded her head, walking the opposite direction. Vincent eyed Estelle, with a smile on his face. The princess gave a grin, knowing she could get away with anything now.
“Papa, do you think I can meet the princess of Heneurock?” Estelle asked. “I would love to meet another princess!”
“Let me guess, it’s Adelita, isn’t it?” Her father asked. Estelle nodded her head. “Oh dear… I’m not too sure we could meet her now… she’s probably very busy.”
“Busy? Oh I’m sure she doesn’t mind being bothered!” Estelle said.
Vincent bit his lip, causing the princess to panic. Wouldn’t he want to meet the princess too? Or was he thinking about Margarette again? Oh why didn’t he understand? Just think of how beautiful she’d be! She’d be so pretty, far more pretty than her Tele image. The Telescopic Tel can only do so much for a princess and especially one like her! Oh, just think of the possibilities!
Vincent quickly nudged her, bringing her out of her zone. The princess knew Margarette would be back soon, and she would have to get rid of him as soon as possible, so that she could meet Adelita alone.
“Let’s meet the Violette family at the water fountain for some churros instead,” Vincent told her. “Of course, if you don’t want to try some, I understand. We also packed a chocolate sponge cake for desert.”
“Dessert? I’m not in the mood…” Estelle told him. “Not without Adelita.”
“You really like her, don’t you?” He asked. She nodded. “Oh Estelle, we cannot see her right now, don’t you understand? She’s very busy.”
What could she do about this? He didn’t want her to talk to Adelita… then… maybe she had a plan.
“You know… maybe you’re right. But I still really need to speak to Priscilla through their Telescopic Tel, and I’m not too young to be alone. It’s important inventor business, papa. You know how much I love to invent.”
Hopefully Vincent would be compliant to that... she didn’t know what to do, if he ended up rejecting her on that.
“Oh Estelle,” Vincent said. “You know I can’t just leave you alone here, right? Margarette specifically said not to leave you. It doesn’t matter that most Heneurockers are off doing activities alone around 5, their culture is far different than ours.”
“But it’s so important!” Estelle cried out. “Can’t we take inspiration from them? It must be incredible to have so much freedom! I need to speak with Priscilla, please. It’s so important!”
“Come on Papa!” Estelle whined. “You know Priscilla doesn’t like it when I bring the royalty into the mix! It doesn’t matter that I’m a princess! No one’s going to hurt me, I promise! I know sword fighting, don’t I? I can defend myself just fine! I even brought a small dagger just in case!”
“Well... in that case, I guess I can’t argue...” Vincent said in defeat. “You are almost thirteen years old after all, and fully capable of being alone.”
“I’ll be careful, I promise!” Estelle shouted. “Don’t worry about me!”
“I’ll meet you at the water fountain around noon,” Vincent said. “Don’t be too long, Estelle.”
“I won’t,” Estelle replied. “I’ll be okay, I promise, so don’t worry about me!”
Estelle finally left then, to seek the princess. She hummed quietly as she walked down the halls. Before she turned to the Telescopic Tel room, she looked behind her to see if her father was behind her, but he’d been long gone, so she continued to walk.
Where would a princess like her be? She paused, scanning the area. Perhaps in her office? It seemed Adelita never left that. The princess quickly tip-toed past the Heneurockian guards. Would they mind, if she went into her personal quarters?
Estelle tip-toed through the place, to Adelita’s office room, where she leaned forward and saw Adelita typing away at the keyboard. Even in her mother’s meeting, the princess was still doing her office work. Oh, how boring that was! She knew how to make her day better...
Estelle had prepared herself for this moment. She picked out a fan from her small pocket purse, and stepped into the room, waving it with sheer exuberance. Adelita stared at her with surprise and shock, as Estelle leaned closer to her and closed it, bowing with sheer confidence.
“Oh Adelita, you’re more beautiful this fine winter, than a rabbit’s eyes,” Estelle said to her.
“Oh Estelle, I never thought to hear such things from you,” Adelita said, her face scrunching up with confusion. “Where did you come from?”
“Oh I’m just here on an adventure to sink into your beautiful iron heart,” Estelle said, slowing moving closer to the princess and opening her fan to fan herself. “You’re just sooo pretty, you know - Adelita. It’s a crime to be this pretty in Netheron.”
“Oh...” Adelita paused. “I get it... You’re flirting with me, aren’t you? Oh dear, you don’t do it like that, Estelle! If you really want to flirt with a girl, it has to feel natural! Hasn’t your mother ever told you how to flirt with one?”
“My mother doesn’t have time to teach me how to flirt. It’s something that’s supposed to come naturally,” Estelle told her. “But it never has for me...”
“I see... well, I know perfectly well - many Heneurockers always teach their youth how to flirt - because some people cannot learn on their own. Would you like me to teach you how?” Adelita asked.
“Oh... certainly,” Estelle said.
“Well, first off - let me get this out of the way: I’m not interested in girls. Not even remotely so - but many of my friends are just as interested in girls and flirting as yourself. Well, I suppose if you are interested in girls, you may call yourself a Lesbian – oh, and if you feel that way about men and woman or more, you might find you are a Bisexual. Oh, but in reality sexuality is so much more diverse and complex than that. You might find intimacy to be awkward to you - that you could like woman, and desire to be with one… but without… err… any of that as you might say. But I will save that discussion for when you’re older.”
“Oh...” Estelle said, sinking her shoulders with a pause. She wasn't that young, but for now, she would ignore the urge to complain. Adelita was only 3 years older than her. “Who are your friends?”
“That’s not important I guess, I don’t have too many - my closest is Marcilyn Locket - they are an inventor and a wonderful one at that. You would like them- although they always get themselves into a predicament. I should arrange to have you meet them sometime. Anyway...” She stood up from her office chair, walking over to Estelle to yank the fan from her. “This, is how you flirt with a lady.”
Adelita fanned herself towards Estelle, and Estelle’s heart nearly dropped out of its chest as Adelita moved closer to her in a graceful manner. She batted her eyelashes with such a romantic look it made the princess dizzy, and soon Estelle found herself hesitating to move.
The Netheronian princess gulped with nervousness as Adelita leaned towards the wall and cornered her, leaning close enough to see her startling brown eyes in great detail. Was this… real?
“Oh, it’s a lovely day my love,” Adelita said with a deep sensuality, so rich that it felt like chocolate. “Do you think you’d like to go out for a picnic sometime? Or maybe a walk in the park? Us Heneurockers are just too thrilled to go out with a sweet Netheronian princess such as yourself... might we have just one sweet kiss?”
Estelle quivered with such excitement, it nearly killed her. Adelita smiled provocatively, just as Estelle became so overwhelmed with emotion, she leaned closer and closer to the Heneurockian princess. Adelita pulled away instantly, handing her back her fan, causing Estelle to snap back to reality.
“O-oh… s-so that’s what you do?” Estelle asked. “Can I... can I try?”
“Yes, but don’t overwhelm yourself like the first time,” Adelita told her. “We Heneurockers are a master of the art of flirting. Why else would all flirting schools in Netheron be dedicated to our styles of advancement?”
“Right... well, I did go through one myself, but it felt like being in a revolutionary boot camp,” Estelle said.
“Some people just don’t have the knack for it, and that’s okay,” Adelita told her. ‘There’s other ways to flirt than just my way. Many different people come up with different flirting techniques. You’ll find your way, I’m certain. I’m always happy to have you flirt with me as a practice. We could still practice flirting techniques on the Telescopic Tel, if needed. I know you love to talk about all kinds of things with me on there, and so do I.”
“Alright so... tell me if this is good,” Estelle said. She paused, as Adelita handed her the fan. The princess covered her face with the fan as she moved seductively towards the other girl, before waving it near her cheek. “Oh Adelita... how I’d love to be your woman. Take me away, will you? How I’d love to see your smile in my two gracious pupils. Not even the sight of you could be enough... I need more than just your smile...”
“A little too headstrong,” Adelita said with distaste. “You need to be more aware of yourself. What do you want out of me? Just a single kiss? A passionate embrace?”
“A k-kiss I guess,” Estelle said.
“Right. Well then, Estelle - try one more time. But again, remember we’re just pretending. Neither of us should hold any affection for one another, especially not since I don’t feel that way towards you. I’m only here to help, are I not?”
“Right...” Estelle said with a pause. The thought strangely depressed her. She wanted to kiss Adelita, here and now - even if Adelita didn’t have those feelings. What else could she get out of this encounter? Just Adelita’s lack of response to her flirtations was embarrassing enough, when the girl could easily make her heart set on fire...
“Now, come on. Try your best to seduce me. I will try my best to pretend you’re a man - wait, here: wear my father’s old crown and robe,” Adelita said, handing her an old fashioned crown and a long slender cape. It was so heavy, it dragged her body down. The Netheronian princess, as confused as she was, put on the gear without hesitation. “There we go. You look splendid. Now come on, hit me with the best that you have...”
“I’m not too sure about this...” Estelle said with a pause. Her cheeks lit up with such graceful fire that the red cape looked almost bland compared to her.
“Now come on, Estelle. You came here for a reason, did you not? We Heneurockers take flirting very seriously. It is an art that must be perfected and taught to our children. Of course - you will never have any children I am certain - not even Margarette would ever succeed at destroying your purpose. If you can seduce me, you can seduce anyone.”
“But aren’t you... not interested in girls like that?” Estelle asked.
“Of course I’m not, but that doesn’t mean my heart won’t stir at a good flirt,” Adelita told her. “Many girls try to woo me, Estelle. You don’t realize how many of them actually fail, because they are too timid to approach me. You’re the first one with enough strength to corner me into my office, and attempt a low-man’s way of flirtation. I appreciate it - and though my parents expect me to find a partner, I am in no rush. Very rarely do I fall in love, but certainly not with a girl - people come and go in my life, and that’s okay for me. I always appreciate the time for a good flirt, so I never mind our heavy conversations that we share by the Telescopic Tel.”
Estelle paused, her mouth gaping. She didn’t know how to reply to that.
“I am so confused right now...” Estelle confessed. “But... if... if you want me to flirt with you, I... I guess I will...”
“Not just guess...” Adelita stated. “You will. Don’t you have some steam to let off?”
“Steam? U-um…” Estelle paused.
“Look at me Estelle, I know you like me,” Adelita said, shifting the princess’s gaze towards her. “Now prove that you do.”
Estelle gulped. How could Adelita propose such a thing? How did she know?
This was getting so unbelievably awkward, the princess just wanted to run out of the room and hide, and never come out. She’d never expected her outcome to be like this. Adelita, was straight, and yet she wanted her to flirt with her? Why did none of this seem to add up?
And why wear in all this fancy Heneurock garb? Was she really so desperate for a relationship? Was she lonely and desperate? Was she even a closet lesbian, and just didn’t want to tell her?
Or was she just teasing her, because she knew that she had feelings for her? Or maybe this was something Heneurockers did? Oh no, Estelle wanted to cry. No, no. Just get me out of this situation before something happens…
“Adelita, I really don’t want to do this anymore...” Estelle said. “You’re making me unbelievably uncomfortable...”
“Oh... well, I guess I went a little too far, didn’t I?” Adelita asked. “I’m sorry Estelle... I guess I’m just… lonely.”
Lonely? Estelle thought. So I was right all along?
“You’re lonely?” Estelle asked. “Can’t we talk about it? Just you and me?”
“Well, it’s just the two of us here, anyway, isn’t it?” Adelita asked. “Well, honestly - I’ve never been in a good enough relationship to fit in. Don’t get me wrong - I want to have children, I want to pass on the throne, I want to be with a man, and raise a family. But I feel too needy, and I feel like there’s never enough time... and most days, I’d rather do my work than sit around looking for a soul mate... I guess that’s why I love it when girls like you flirt with me.”
“Adelita? You’re not the average Heneurocker, are you?” Estelle asked.
“Oh, that old stereotype? Oh, no Estelle - don’t believe everything you hear. Us Heneurockers are as diverse as any Netheronian ever would be,” Adelita told her. “We have our own set of problems to deal with. Such as balancing love with work. I’ve been working ever since I was 5 - and for long strenuous hours. I have great desire to end this unrealistic work schedule, because it does no good for our people. It only destroys our purpose of life.”
“Adelita, I will flirt with you every day, if it makes you feel less lonely,” Estelle said. “And I know you said you were straight... but... what if you’re not? What if... you're actually, well, um...”
“Gay?” Adelita asked. She let out a small laugh. “Of course... I could be considered very... gray in all ways. Romantically, and sexually, even with my decor choice- but I am not gay - not even if - we'll, let's not go there. You do a lot of studying in our libraries, don’t you?”
“Yes, of course I do,” Estelle said. “You’re the one who told me that studying up on my sexuality would help me understand myself better. I’ve been going with my father to the Forbidden Library.”
“The Forbidden Library? Oh my... what a strange name for a library,” Adelita said. “Our knowledge is hardly forbidden.”
“Maybe not… but… my parents think so…” Estelle said with a pause, looking up to the princess with a sad smile. “Adelita… you see; I’ve never kissed a girl. I’ve never even gone out with one. You say you’re lonely, but so am I… could we… you know… k-kiss?”
“Is this like a checklist to see if you like girls?” Adelita asked. Estelle reluctantly nodded, and the Heneurockian princess quickly blushed. “Oh my... well, I assume it couldn’t hurt.”
Estelle leaned forward, so nervous she felt shivers run down her back. The Heneurockian princess leaned closer to her.
“Want me to flirt with you?” Adelita asked. “Might make the impact more real.”
“S-sure...” Estelle said. Her legs buckled down under the weight of the cape, until she was shaking. “Oh gosh, I’m shaking. I’ve never been so nervous...”
“Don’t be, hon,” Adelita said. “Because you’re a princess like me, and every princess shakes every once in a while. Plus, when I stare into your eyes... it’s like I’m flying. And every princess knows, that her prince can be anyone...”
Adelita leaned closer to her, and Estelle gulped, shutting her eyes tightly.
“If you’re going to kiss, don’t squish your eyes like you’re expecting a tornado to hit you,” Adelita said. “Kisses aren’t harmful, they are kind to you, and loving.”
“I- I know, I just never have been kissed before...” Estelle said, opening her eyes with her hand over her heart. “My heart... is beating so fast right now, Adelita... I can’t even take the impact...”
“Come here,” Adelita said, taking her hands. “Let me help you loosen up a bit.”
“Adelita, I’m dying inside... you know that right?” Estelle asked, too embarrassed to pull away. “I feel so much right now... so many emotions... I -” She stopped when Adelita’s lips met hers. The princess was so shocked, she lost her balance and fell to the nearest wall.
Estelle immediately pushed the princess away.
“Are you okay?” Adelita asked. “You seemed to be all over me earlier. Didn’t you want to kiss me?”
“Kiss? Of-of course!” Estelle cried out. “But... your body was so close to mine. You took me on by such surprise, I thought… I thought you were going to do something to me. Like that something.”
Adelita went silent for a moment. She began to laugh as she took her hands again.
“Oh… I get it… you’re Asexual, aren’t you?” Adelita asked. Estelle paused at this.
“Asexual? I – maybe… I don’t know actually,” Estelle said. “Is that what they call it?”
“Well you don’t like intimacy, right?” Adelita asked. Estelle nodded her head slowly. “Then you’re asexual. Of course… you could also be repulsed at the thought of it - and still feel it. Oh, and you can even still like it... but just not feel it. Have you ever looked at me… and wanted sexual intimacy?”
“What!? Adelita, that’s disgusting,” Estelle said. Nearly tugging away from her grasp. “Of course I don’t. I just wanted to kiss you…”
"Well, I can't say you're like Marcilyn, then. They recently found out they had sex-repulsion, after all, but of course - I would never call them Asexual." She paused, moving slightly closer, as Estelle stepped backward into the wall. "Would you like to try again? This time, I’ll let you kiss me first. But be quick, I'm sure you have places to be.”
“Again?” Estelle asked, looking away. For a moment, the Netheronian princess questioned Adelita's sexuality, but quickly denied it, blaming it on loneliness. The princess gave a nervous grin. How could she refuse something like that? “S-sure Adelita…”
They stood there for a solid moment, as Estelle mustered up the courage to lean forward. Adelita seemed to stand still, as if waiting for her cue. The princess approached hesitantly, as Adelita stood still. She leaned forward, closing her eyes tightly. This... this is.... really, really difficult... She thought. How does Adelita even do things like this on a daily basis? I'm shaking so hard.... I can barely even move.
She leaned closer.
Come on... a little bit closer... The princess thought. She leaned closer, opening her eyes just enough to see her lips up close.
"You're... you're really pretty up close Adelita," Estelle nervously said.
"Am I?" Adelita said. "Do you need help?"
"I'm... I'm fine..." Estelle said, looking away. "I just take time..."
With that, Estelle pressed her lips to hers.
A warm feeling rushed through her, until she felt butterflies buzz through her. Adelita applied some pressure, as if trying to help her do better. You know, this isn't so bad... Estelle thought. I could get used to this...
Warm bliss ran through her fingertips as Adelita hesitantly applied more pressure, until Estelle had wrapped her arms around the princess and pulled her close, so close that their two bodies touched. The feeling filled her with all sorts of sensations, a combination of peace and dysphoria, and soon she found herself pressing her lips harder and harder, trying hard to ignore the feeling of discomfort at the touch of their bodies.
Adelita was like a statue the whole time, possibly shocked at the impact. Estelle could barely even handle the shaking her own body was going through. It quivered, with a mixture of excitement, love and fear all into one. The princess tried to comfort herself by loosening the grip, and from a distance she could hear giggling. Was that... coming from Adelita?
The door slammed open with a jolt.
Estelle jerked away instantly to face Arvilla, her arms still wrapped around the princess of Heneurock. She gulped as she lowered them and pulled far away, hearing the sound of Adelita crunching her teeth, and the sight of her cousin Arvilla approaching them. Of course... Arvilla had been on the trip with them!
“Oh... I didn’t know you felt that way about girls, Estelle?” Arvilla asked. “I heard everything. You girls are so weird, from flirting techniques, to pretend kisses. Doesn’t anyone of your type ever take anything seriously?”
“I’m just training Estelle to become a better flirt for her future bride,” Adelita said. “It has nothing to do with who I like. As far as I know, I still have no one in mind.”
“Does that mean Estelle likes girls then?” Arvilla asked.
Estelle pulled out in front of the princess, furrowing her eyebrows.
“Arvilla stop it, seriously! Don’t you dare tell anyone what we did!” Estelle cried out.
“Oh... I get it. You do like girls,” Arvilla stated. “So that’s why you kissed Adelita, because you like her. Oh my... wait until I tell your mama! She’ll be thrilled when she finds out you just kissed the Princess of Heneurock - and not just once, but TWICE!”
Adelita sighed, walking to Arvilla. She put her hands on her hips and gave an aggravated sigh.
“Oh my dear rocket, you’re going to tell the Queen of Netheron? This isn’t even any of your concern,” Adelita said. “You proceed to act like such a child, I don’t understand you. Exploiting someone’s love life is such a personal affair, and should never be tampered with, don’t you know?”
Arvilla snickered at Adelita’s remark and grinned.
“Oh, so you liked it too, huh Princess of Heneurock?” Arvilla asked. “You hunger for them ladies, don’t you?”
“That is none of your concern. I do not, in case you were wondering,” Adelita told her. “I kissed Estelle as a demonstration... a pure demonstration. None of your measly ‘oh I hunger for ladies’ fuel.”
Estelle winced at this, a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. It was agonizingly painful.
“Oh sure. You kiss a lady because you love her,” Arvilla said, folding her arms. “Not because you want her to be better at kissing other ladies. I thought even a Heneurockian would know that?”
“Arvilla, stop,” Estelle cried out. “Just STOP. Don’t tell mama, okay? Don’t tell anyone, I beg of you.”
“Awww, I got the Princess of Netheron to beg! Now we know why all those men never liked her!” Arvilla said with a grin. “Come on Estelle, why don’t you just fess up? You want her, don’t you?”
“Want her? What do you mean?” Estelle asked.
“You want to be in her pants, of course!” Arvilla shouted.
With that, Estelle shoved her.
“No way! That’s so gross!” Estelle cried out.
Adelita stood there with complete confusion at the stunned Arvilla, as if the Duchess had forgotten she was in the room.
“Oh, you’re so shy, Estelle. You know if I were you, I’d want to be in Adelita’s pants every day,” Arvilla said, recollecting herself. “Everyone knows that -”
“There you are!” A cold voice boomed. Arvilla shivered as she grabbed Estelle and tossed her in front of her.
“H-here she is, Margarette! She ran off with Adelita!” Arvilla shouted.
“Adelita?” Margarette shouted. “Please excuse us, dear Princess of Heneurock. We need to settle some urgent family matters in private.”
“Please go, I cannot stand anymore of this nonsense,” Adelita said. “I have work to do.”
With that Margarette tugged Estelle out of the room and Estelle looked behind her, just as Adelita slammed the door shut with a violent jerk.
Margarette tugged her by the ear, just as Arvilla spilled the beans about everything.
“You won’t believe what I witnessed in there,” Arvilla said. “They kissed! Like a man and a woman! And did strange flirtation techniques to each other...”
“Oh dear, what a disgrace. I am so unhappy with you, Estelle,” Margarette said. “All those years of coaxing you to be the perfect heir, and yet you never respect me. How can I ever find you a prince, if all you will ever long for is a princess?”
“Please stop,” Estelle cried out. “She doesn’t like me, okay? She was just demonstrating!”
“You will never see that girl again,” Margarette told her, pulling her ear harder. “And you will follow my orders, when I tell you to marry a man. A man is most suitable – and any woman, especially HER will never do you good.”
“Then I will fight you,” Estelle said, her voice quivering with tension. “I will fight you, until you tire of me. Until you rip me apart - until I overcome your tyranny. There is another way, and I will find it. Adelita believes in me, Margarette. She believes there is another way. And if she believes it, then it is so. Netheron is not the only way, and neither is a man. I will love a woman to my core.”
Margarette let go of her, violently jerking her to the wall.
“Useless child,” The older woman spat. “You are going to be alone for the rest of your life, just like your father was. When he found me, he discarded his nefarious ways. There is only one way, and that is with a man. You will find love whether you like it or not. And you will find it with a man.”
“Please Margarette,” Estelle said with shaking legs. “Stop it. You are not my mother - you never were. You’re too hateful to be my mother... far too hateful to be a good queen.”
“We are leaving now,” Margarette told her, shaking her finger. “You are banned from ever speaking to Adelita again. You will travel to Heneurock under strict supervision. You will NOT EVER be a part of the Heneurockian society. You are a Netheronian – not some flimsy lovesick Heneurockian. You will never kiss another girl again – not even if you wanted to.”
She snatched the princess’s hand, and tears started to stream down Estelle’s cheeks, as Arvilla clutched her own scarf and gulped. The Duchess hid her face inside of her scarf, with a horrid look in her eyes.
“I don’t understand you mama! Why do you have to be so cruel?” Estelle cried out. A bunch of Heneurockian servants looked her way, and she could swear she saw Adelita from a distance staring at the sight of Margarette and Estelle arguing in the hallway. “All I ever wanted was love! Was that so much to ask?”
“Stop making a scene and come with me!” The queen screamed, attempting to snatch her hand.
“No!” Estelle cried out, pulling away. “I will not!”
“Then I’ll make you go!” Margarette violently tugging at her sleeve before the princess could run off. Estelle gripped her hands to the door, like a child, before Margarette jerked her violently her direction, away from the door, only to be thrust to the ground. The princess began to wail, as she attempted to crawl towards the door.
“Stop crying already! It won’t do you any good!” The queen yelled, as she grabbed the princess by her waist and thrust her over her shoulder.
Estelle kicked and screamed, before she heard the sound of the castle door.
The last sight she saw was Adelita, standing with a long, wide-eyed gaze.