***author’s note: this is part two of chapter 15 – the italics are Genevieve’s narration and the regular text are Irene’s thoughts | PART I here ***
Lina eventually convinced Seb to lighten up and enjoy his freedom since he’s never taken the liberty of going out before. And he told me everything later that night… Particularly his experience meeting you…
Sebastian: She was quite remarkable
Genevieve: The girl you ran into?
Sebastian: Yeah, I’ve never seen anyone quite like her
Genevieve: That’s because you’ve never gone out of your way to meet anyone you didn’t have to
As Sebastian told me more about his and Lina’s day, I grew a bit jealous I’m ashamed to say, and decided I’d sneak out one more time in attempts to have an experience like he did. It was much easier the second time around and I had Lina cover for me at home pretending she and I were hanging out in my room.
Sebastian had expected me to try something and wasn’t too far behind after I’d gotten out… I figured I’d try and have someone throw him off my tail. What were the odds that the person I’d run into for my favor would be the very person I heard so much about the night before… you. The happiness Gen had when sitting in front of the fire and enjoying the outdoors suddenly made a lot more sense.
I have to give you my thanks once more, I managed to have a slightly more eventful evening looking at shops and chatting with some citizens in my time off.
When I saw you with Sebastian, I put two and two together and realized you must’ve been the girl he spoke of.
I have to confess I was just as enchanted by you as he was, especially after getting the chance to talk to you more later that night. I was especially amused by your hasty escape.
Sebastian was so happy to have seen you again, that the next morning while we were on our way to one of our lessons, he didn’t appear to be upset or angered by the fact that I – quite ungracefully – pushed him to the ground the night before to let you get away…
Sebastian: I wish to see her again
Genevieve: For someone who was so reluctant to break any rules, you appear to be quite into it now. The fact that father hasn’t heard about the previous two nights is a miracle. I doubt he’d be willing to let you wander off. You know how adamant out parents are about keeping us here.
Sebastian: I’ll just have to have a word with father
I’ve never seen Sebastian acting so… so… ordinary. I don’t mean to sound rude, but my brother can be rather uptight and emotionless most of the time. I hadn’t seen him smiling so much in ages.
Believe it or not, the following day he went to speak to our father about not living in hiding and getting to know our people better.
Sebastian: With the competition coming up, it’s only a matter of time before everyone knows about us anyway. Gen and I no longer wish to live in hiding father. We want to shorten the distance our citizens may feel from us.
King Stefano: But that’s why we are having this competition, to do exactly that; bridge any distance our people may feel from us and give them a chance to better our nation alongside us
Sebastian: I don’t believe that’s enough.
King Stefano: Very well, what do you suggest?
Seb managed to convince father to reveal us to the public so that we could have more of a presence and shed some light on the mystery of the palace. He also managed to get permission to wander the capital unsupervised before he made the announcement so that he could get the chance to find you once more and do a few of the things he’s never gotten to.
My dad felt I was still too young to act as Seb was, and kept me here with Lina who was so interested in Seb’s fascination with you, she prolonged her stay. That explains why the start of the competition was delayed… He spent the next few days revisiting all the places he’d ran into you, hoping he’d see you again. That sounds familiar. He appeared quite unlucky and was unable to find you on the first few days of his search.
On the day Lina was supposed to leave, she stopped by each of our rooms to drop off a goodbye present and saw some papers on Sebastian’s desk.
Lina: You aren’t going to give up on Blondie, are you?
Sebastian: I don’t intend to, no
Lina: You don’t even know if she’s seeing someone
Sebastian: I’ll cross that bridge when I get there
Lina: Of course you’d fall for the first pretty girl you see once you’ve escaped this place. I told you, you should’ve left way sooner
Sebastian: She’s not just a pretty girl
Lina: Right…. You haven’t had a chance to look at those Elite files your dad told you to read before the competition starts, did you?
Sebastian: No, I’ve been otherwise preoccupied, why?
Lina: You’ll find everything you need to know and more about your mystery girl there. I walked over to your room to drop off your present and saw her name sticking out amongst the papers on your desk. How ironic that the one time you push off your responsibilities, it turns out they would have helped you on your quest to finding your latest obsession
Sebastian: What did you just say?…
“So Seb honestly didn’t know anything about the Elite those first few times he saw you. He was genuinely curious as to what you thought of life in the Kingdom.” She said. I felt the anger I felt towards him subside a little. “Anyways, he managed to fall for you even more if it was possible after reading what you wrote. He found the fact that you were a few yards away the whole time he searched for you extremely ironic and quite amusing. He sent a maid to see if you were in your room but she said that you had gone out earlier…” Genevieve continued…
Sebastian had told me he’d managed to find you later that evening on his own, and I’m sure you know the rest of the story from that point on better than I do… After your chat with my father during your dinner he became even more convinced that he should let us show our faces to the world, and pushed the announcement he’d planned to make later on, to the next morning.
When it came time for the broadcast, Sebastian thought you’d be pleasantly surprised. But after you failed to show up to speak with our father, I figured you’d be feeling more along the lines of hurt or angry…
“And that is all I wished to share… are you still upset?” Gen asked after wrapping up her story.
I paused to think for a moment before answering, “Not as much as I was before.” I said honestly. “I still don’t have the desire to talk to Sebastian yet.”
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention any of this – what you’ve told me, and how I feel about it to your brother.” I said. “You have my word.” Gen stated, holding her arm across her heart.
Now that I thought about it, Genevieve wasn’t obligated to go out of her way to explain anything to me, but she did anyway. “Thanks for talking to me.” I said while rising, “I should get going.” “Could I do it again, sometime?” She asked eagerly. “I quite enjoy chatting with you.” She said. “I’ll think about it.” I teased; she smiled.
“On your way out just give the bookshelf two hard pushes on the right side, it should open.” She said. “Got it.” I said. “Goodnight, your highness.” I said with a smile. “Goodnight, Irene.” She replied. And we went our separate ways.
After successfully opening the secret shelf once more, I was surprised to see the library wasn’t empty when I returned.
In the distance I could see Ivan and Kala making out, rather passionately… I’d hate to ruin their moment, though I can’t say I didn’t see it coming ages ago. I attempted to make my way towards the door as quietly as possible since they didn’t appear to notice me.
Unfortunately, halfway towards the door, the bookshelf door slammed shut rather loudly…
They broke apart immediately and locked eyes with me. “Irene!” Kala exclaimed. “Are you feeling better?” She asked, breathing slightly quickly.
“Yeah… Sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you guys.” I said as they approached me, smirking at one another. “Don’t worry about it.” Ivan said.
“It’s getting late anyway. We can fill you in on what you missed on the way upstairs.” He added. “I’d like that.” I said.
By the time we had changed and gotten ready for bed, Kala had filled me in on all that transpired in the palace. Apparently after speaking with the King and Prince for a bit, the first official task for the competition was assigned and the Elite were to work in pairs. Kala mentioned she’d already promised to work with Ivan, so I needed to pair up with someone asap.
Since we had a week to tackle the prompt, I figured I’d begin to worry about it tomorrow. As I settled into bed, I noticed I received a missed call around an hour ago from an unknown number. I’ll just deal with that tomorrow as well. As I drifted off to sleep, my mind went back to all the things Genevieve had told me earlier… I wonder what Sebastian is up to?…
Thanks for reading! Wow, this was so wordy – but I felt the backstory was kind of necessary to explain some stuff that took place before as well as set up some things to come. I hope you enjoyed! Since I got this out kind of late, I’m hoping the fact that it is two parts will make up for it :p Feel free to let me know what you thought. Take care~