Okay, so I thought it was time to share something. It has been a while, hasn't it since I last updated? Here it is!

      That dream had, truthfully, scared me. I woke up in shivers and in sweat. I didn’t know what to think. Why was he so important to me before? Why couldn’t I forget about him? Why was I searching for any bit of evidence to prove his existence? Indeed, I had rummaged through all the historical records, maps, portraits or anything in the library to figure out who he was. I had nothing though. Nothing. He wasn’t recorded. Why not? I asked myself that question with my bottom plopped to the ground of the library. Beside me were articles and piles of books. I was sure that Marie would complain that I was being unladylike or Calla would pull on my elbow to make me stand straight again. 
            “Are you all right?”
            I turned my head to find Beau leaning against the bookcase across from me. He had his arms crossed and one of his legs bent, and pressed on the lowest shelf. Dressed like how Cael would, he had his hair parted to the side and wore a long, navy blazer. In fact, he was too much like Cael that I wouldn’t have recognized who he was from his appearance. Only his voice was still his.
            “I . . . I will be fine,” I answered while gazing at his cold, steel-blue eyes.
            Bending down to remove a book lying on top of my foot, he stated, “You look lost . . . like a lost Leogarto.”
            Here in Urcis, Leogartos were as loyal as dogs. They were known to die along with their masters, and even if their owners passed away, they would wait. They would wait until their masters returned. Was I waiting for my master then? I let out a slight scoff, thinking that question. I didn’t even know who he was. I only knew that he was important.
            “I will not be one,” I announced, standing up on my feet. “Trust me.”
            “Even if you are lost,” he uttered with his eyes longingly staring into mine, “know that you can always come back here.”
            I should have thanked him, yet I knew that would not have been possible. I couldn’t take advantage of him anymore. I had already made my decision. I wouldn’t hurt him again. I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. So, I smiled gently, and said, “I cannot go back and expect to be nurtured. I would never learn then.”
            Like that, I left the library, and I wouldn’t return for a while. I chose to enjoy my days with Theo and Trenton or just by myself. Theo spent more time with her many lovers. Trenton, on the other hand, was busy preparing for his marriage with Paulette, the Duchess of Craydon. He tried his utmost to escape whenever possible; I would have too if I were him. The Duchess of Craydon was an obsessive cow, who basked herself in jewels and the latest fashions for she thought she was the prettiest of all. She was also a fanatic and took every opportunity she could to follow Trenton everywhere. She thought Trenton to be the handsomest man on earth, meaning her equivalent. At first, Trenton politely rejected her pursuits, yet somehow, she had targeted his parents. His parents, knowing the presence of the Craydon family at court, immediately agreed to her proposal. So, Trenton had disappeared from the list of the most eligible bachelors in Urcis.
            “You cannot avoid her forever,” I told Trenton.
            I was reading the latest novel when Trenton snuck into my chamber. Theo, Trenton and I shared a secret knocking signal that depended on six sporadic beats. I now closed my book to face Trenton, who had beads of sweat rolling down his forehead.
            “She is about to be your wife,” I stated.
            “I did not choose her to be my wife!” he grumbled. He was about to place one of his feet on the chair while his other rested on the coffee table, but once he saw my glare, he sat properly. “You need to help me,” he demanded. “Pretend to be my lover.”
            I folded my arms and even crossed my legs to holler, “That is a preposterous idea! Do you know what that would mean for me?”
            “You do not expect me to hire a whore,” he almost whispered.
            “No . . . but this should not involve me.”
            “What of our friendship? You think of nothing of our friendship?”
            Friendship. Truthfully, I had forgotten what it was like to sustain a healthy friendship. Sure, Trenton and I were probably more than acquaintances, but did that make us friends? What were friends supposed to be like? Alanna used to share her baked goods with me, but she had left me. Adrianna defended me from bullies, but she betrayed me. Zander would lend me his notes when I was sick, but he always defended Thayne. Thayne tutored me before exams to make sure that my grades would be above average, but he had cheated on me with Adrianna. And I? What had I done? I had listened to Alanna’s woes about her parents’ broken relationship, but I had never listened to her advice. I had introduced Adrianna to a good entry-level job using my father’s connections, but I hadn’t wanted to think about her feelings for Thayne. I had covered for him whenever he wanted to skip school, but I had . . . helped kill Zander. Thayne? I had . . .
            I scratched my head, not wanting to think about the past anymore. I shouldn’t have been thinking in that direction at all. I felt like hitting myself in the face for remembering, but there was Trenton, waiting for me with his innocent, wavering eyes. I knew Trenton was unlike them; he had done nothing wrong to me so far. He had no intention of harming me either. He just wanted to live well, like me. Was it so hard to give him a push then? I sighed, knowing that I should do nothing. I should just live my life as a dutiful, childbearing Princess, but somehow, my mind wouldn’t cooperate nor would my mouth.
            “Why do you not pursue her sister?” I blurted.
            The Duchess’ sister, Countess Eleanor of Fayeden, was one of the most eligible bachelorettes. She was known for her grace, beauty, and elegance. I had always suspected her to be born from a different mother or maybe father. In comparison with the Duchess, Countess Fayeden was a blessing from heaven, or rather a gift from great genetic makeup. Countess Fayden would have certainly been the perfect match for Trenton, who was rather popular among the ladies even though he was perpetually clueless about romance in general.  
            “I do not . . . want to pursue anyone for the time being.”
Normally, I would have been angry at him for rejecting my idea, yet hearing his quivering voice, I couldn’t bear to get mad. I even saw his sticky palms slide against each other too naturally as he pressed them together. He was nervous, too nervous for the usual Trenton.
            “Why do you not ask Theo to aid you?” I suggested.           
Theo was a brilliant actress, in terms of romance. She had had too many flings, so, surely, she would have been able to portray Trenton’s type of lover. Moreover, she was bored to death these days. She kept complaining about how Verrill’s family was pressuring her to bear a son, but it wasn’t as if she wasn’t trying. Verrill was the reluctant one, and we all knew why.
             “It would not be appropriate for her to act as my lover,” Trenton argued.
            “I thought you never followed proper conduct,” I joked.
            I couldn’t help noticing how he could conform to a rule like that. He was already rebelling against his marriage. There was, thus, nothing wrong with exacerbating his situation. He was already at his worst, and I was just elevating him a tiny bit from his worst. He could have at least followed my advice.
            Gazing out the winter scenery, he sighed, “She has wedded my brother. They are both very dear to me.”
            I would have never expected Trenton to be so considerate. It was not as if we had lost contact with each other and he had miraculously matured. Perhaps, he was like a forgotten, old apple tree, ripening as the days passed, while I was like a profit seeking farmer, focusing on the cash crops I could harvest. It was only until the apple had toppled on my head did I notice this fruit’s development. I stared intently at Trenton, who kept dodging eye contact. He wasn’t so innocent anymore, but his innocence had been exactly lost. I was trying to devise my hypothesis to understand what had caused the change in his behaviour. I was trying to bridge the gap in my memories of him, and somehow, I could only rely on my intuition to speculate.
“Trenton . . . do you . . .”
            He jumped forward to cover my mouth. I could almost taste the sweat perforating from his palm. Disgustingly salty.
“Quiet down!” he shouted. “What you are thinking—“
            “It is true then?” I asked once he had removed his hand.
His cheeks were bloody red and even his ears were the colour of frostbites. Still, he managed to form a forced grin, the exact type that he had used when he was having his portrait painted. I had been walked past one of the gardens then, and I remembered hearing the painter prompt Trenton to smile wider, but not so wide that he would look foolish. So, he flattened his lips, extending a pained grin.
            “Amusing, is it not?” he scoffed.
            I returned a smile, only to sense my muscles converging to a frown. “I would have laughed if it was another pair,” I replied, “but . . . this is . . . rather disheartening.”
             “I would have preferred if you had laughed. Haha.” That had to be the grimmest chuckle I had ever heard of from him. He too probably noticed how awkward it was, so he quickly added, “So, will you help me?”
            I could already sense what historians would write for my biography: a multi-faceted princess housing countless lovers. What counted as lover then for them? Ignoring what could be, I confirmed, “Trenton, you asked what I thought of this friendship. I believe I have the answer you wish to hear. I agree to your plan, but know that I am not your lover. Instead, you are merely my pursuer, and you will also pursue her sister in the meantime to appease your family’s concerns.”
            “And what of my heart?”
            Yes . . . what of his pure heart? If it were before, I would have told him to pursue true love. He would regret living a peaceful life, marrying someone he didn’t love. However, in reality, we all knew that duty came before feelings. Trenton was destined to marry a noble woman to serve his family. There was no other choice, and he knew too, yet he couldn’t admit to it alone. I knew what I had to say, and what I had to do.
            “To remain locked forever,” I uttered.
            I opened my novel again, flipping to the appropriate page. I would have expected him to leave. Instead, he chose to stay. He stayed for so long that I had almost finished the novel and during that time, he stayed so still. He had become too patient for my liking that I even wished that he could have screamed in anger like before.
            “I . . . sometimes wished I were a peasant,” Trenton suggested just as I turned to a new page. I gave him a glance, and he continued to explain, “It would be easier. Life would be simpler.”
            “But you would never have had the opportunity for a proper hunt,” I reminded him, causing him to grin again.
            “So,” he verified, “when do we commence this act?”
I beckoned him to come to my side with a wave and then, I whispered in his ear of my plans. His mouth was gaping like a Leogarto craving for a midnight snack.
            “No . . .”         
I grumbled, “You asked me for my help and here I am, willing to provide my services. If you are unsatisfied with my results, then leave.”
            “I-I-I agree.”
            “To what?”
            “I agree to your terms.”
            “Very well. Now, scurry along. You have taken away much pleasure from my reading.”
            I heard his feet rubbing against the carpet to their designated exit, and once the door closed, I resumed to the beginning of a paragraph. Yes, the princess was rewarding her knight a kiss, and they were off to raise sheep. How I wished to raise sheep. Then, I laughed at my own folly. A simpleton’s life was never my cup of tea. My flavour of tea had to be . . .
            Did I even drink tea at my own will? Since when I had gotten into this habit?

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