Recent Statuses

15 days ago
Current You have something to say, our DMs are open. The status bar is not a place for you to air dirty laundry so you can sound like a victim in all this.
15 days ago
God damn, just say what you have to say. You clearly want to given you keep bringing it up.
1 mo ago
You could say... NNN is driving you.... nutty.
1 mo ago
Thank you for your contribution.
1 mo ago
Imagine how sad your life must be to flex on some nerds online.


a e w i n
also known as the weirdo that fangirls a lot
annie 22 united kingdom


Most Recent Posts

A collaboration between @jetipster & @Aewin

Having neared the argument as it reached it’s finale Chris dove in as the Arcenian Princess was storming away. This was going to require some damage control and he knew that he couldn’t let his parents, or their good Arcenian friends, down by letting this scene continue. Having scooped up Arabelle’s arm into his with a smile and a “Your Royal Highness”, he forcefully yet gracefully steered her toward a large bouquet that he swiftly pretending to examine. “What the hell was that?” he muttered through a forced smile as he leant to smell the nearest orchid. “I know you don’t like him Belle but was that entire calamity really quite necessary?”

Arabelle was utterly fuming after her run-in with her ‘precious’ fiancé. Why did the Gods have to torture her? Is it because she didn’t attend Sunday morning church service with her family enough? The only comfort Arabelle had was knowing that the quarrel was somewhat quiet - only the immediate crowd could tell something was amiss, and Arabelle was sure she was friendly with most of them.

However, it appeared that her comfort was entirely a sham, because not long after the altercation she was spirited away by a friendly face. “I did nothing!” Arabelle argued. She kept her voice low, to maintain Chris’s hunky-dory facade as she appreciated the orchids in front of her. “All I wanted to do was check up on a friend. He started it by calling my concern for a friend frivolous.”

Chris placed his half-empty flute on a passing tray and took both of Arabelle’s hands in his own. “I know how these things go…” he whispered. He’d taken many of the phrases his father and brother had used during their years of disagreement out of context and it had never helped. “Misheard comments have caused many past disagreements for our families in the past. I’ve met Erik and doubt he’d call concern for a friend frivolous. Are you 100% certain that that is exactly what he said?” His green eyes locked with hers.

Of course! That was exactly how she remembered it going! Arabelle nodded solemnly. She already thought low of him, but to dismiss her concern for a mutual friend was a low blow. “I only told him I wished to talk to Princess Genevieve.” And to go away, but that was the first thing she almost always told him. She suppressed the urge to groan as she was reminded again of the encounter before. How could he be such a fool? It was irritating knowing she would have to spend the rest of her life with such a person. “Please tell me your evening is going better than mine.” Arabelle sighed, in an attempt to stop lamenting so much.

Her subdued nod told Chris all he needed to know. She couldn’t be 100% sure of what exactly had been said in the heat of the moment. He’d been there before. Too many times… He gave her a reassuring smile and turned them to face the room once more. “I’m sure we can catch Gen later” he said softly, “I mean we are all stuck here for the foreseeable future. ” He quickly realised that wasn’t exactly comforting so quickly grabbed another passing glass and attempted to ease the tension. “My evening?” he rolled his eyes and started to gesture around the room... “I’ve already slept with all the possible guys out there, all of whom now no longer talk to me. My best friend is with her betrothed who she knows nothing about and all of my other friends are also at one another’s throats over these political matches.” He downed half of the glass and stifled a burp. Is this my 2nd or 3rd glass? It can’t be my 4th… right? “So I’m having a gay old time Little Belle!” he laughed, the sarcasm palpable. “At least you’re getting married to a gorgeous guy,” he nodded toward Erik, “I’m forever destined to be the gay-best-friend-of-honour and never the bride-groom.”

Arabelle couldn’t help but be somewhat amused. Chris wanted what Arabelle had, but Arabelle desired the freedom that Chris had. It was like neither of them could be happy with their current situation. Delicately balancing the glass of wine she still had saved for Geneveieve, Arabelle gave Chris a sincere one armed hug. “You said so yourself, we are all stuck here for the foreseeable future. Who knows what may happen? Last I heard, the Prince of Estea is still single!” Estea was a small nation off to the east of Arcenia, and as far as Arabelle was aware, the prince was very single, and very attractive. “Or, if he is not to your fancy… I give you permission to take Erik. He may have a good face, but I doubt we’ll ever be compatible. Maybe you’ll have better luck with him.” She gave Chris a playful nudge.

Chris smiled at the hug and playful nudge. Mission accomplished. As for Arabelle’s comment… if only. What he wouldn’t give to be able to marry a handsome prince like Erik but given that the pool of potentials were in the room and already discounted, there was no chance of that. But he’s also jump at the chance to give his little Belle the freedom she desired, that she herself as just a teenager had helped him achieve in his formative years. “Ha! Don’t tempt me. I daren’t even imagine how our parents would react to that happening!” he pantomime whispered with a wink.

He examines her betrothed from across the room. “In all seriousness Belle, and I know you won’t see it this way, but you could be far, far worse off.” He held up a hand before she could reel off another rant about ancient grudges. “Hear me out.” He cocked his head as his appreciation of the Prince continued. “Personally, he’s well-bred, handsome, and well-built. I’ve only ever found him to be courteous, intelligent and quite humorous. Pragmatically for you he’s not only all of those things that anyone would crave to have in a partner but who’s position would also set place you both down in history books.If you can spin it as an un-political marriage it’ll be an incredible story of how love and common sense conquered petty party politics, something we could all definitely do with right now.”

He broke his serious turn with a shrug. “Anyway, what do I know. You’ve only got the small hurdle of your eternal fire to get over right? Just hope he hasn’t fallen for my irresistible charm like so many others before then,” he added with a nervous laugh as he registered the faces of Alejandro, Raiden and Henri once more as he scanned the ballroom.

It was a bitter pill to swallow, but Arabelle knew Chris was correct. She - no, they both had to stop acting childish and start putting the prosperity of their kingdoms first. It was the same thing Pops had reminded her before she boarded the flight to Aciras. It was childish, but putting down her pride for a man that wasn’t willing to do the same was difficult. Seeing him only made her build the wall around her much higher than before with every train-wreck of a meeting.

“I mean… you’re not wrong. I cannot deny that, my friend, but…” She sighed, feeling weary. The conflict was too much for her. Her pride was both her strength and going to be her downfall. Perhaps she should consider taking an oath of silence when in Erik’s presence? Although, Arabelle was near certain that the Austerian prince didn’t need her to say anything to act like an utter prat. “I wanted to try… I just wasn’t ready to see him so soon. I’ve already postponed the wedding once, hoping that either I can catch feelings or figure out a way to escape this but, as you can tell, neither have been a success.”

Chris’s nervous laugh rang in her mind, making her forget her woes. She could easily push away her problems with Erik in favour for cheering up a friend! She watched him as his face scanned the ballroom curiously. Didn’t he say he’d hooked up with all the possible men? “Is there anyone you like, out of all the men in this room?” Arabelle wasn’t aware of the sexualities of the men in the room. She wondered if her question was a dangerous one. The last thing she wanted to do was force Chris into outing someone that wasn’t ready yet.

Maybe he’d been a bit harsh. Chris reached around to mirror Arabelle’s one armed hug and drew her close. “I didn’t mean to sound like one of our parents,” he replied in an apologetic tone, “You know I don't believe in arranged marriages.” He looked back across the room at Leo and Asher but they were now out of view and his heart fluttered. How was it going? What was happening?

He was brought back to the present by his friend’s question. “Oh Belle” he said before taking another sip, “I’m not one to kiss and tell…” He let the sentence dangle for a moment before whispering conspiratorially, “but I will say that your Erik is one of the only young royals here who hasn’t ‘experimented’.” A mischievous glint shone in his ears before fading at the reality of the many betrothed couples before him.

Arabelle couldn’t tell if she was happy or surprised by the news. At least Erik was honouring their betrothal by not fooling around behind her back, unless Chris meant that Erik has yet to experiment with the princes of the world. Gah, what did it matter - it wasn’t like she cared, really.

Still holding her tight Chris whispered into her ear as he pointed back across the room, “What about Sindri?” he murmured with faux huskiness “Then we’d be family but I would have the fitter brother...” He gave her a final squeeze as he laughed into his glass. “Keep it up Little Belle.” he said as he walked away in search of something carb-filled.

At the mention of Sindri, Arabelle snorted into her free palm. Sindri was a good looking man, yes, but he was far too much brawns for her taste. And Austerian, but that was obvious given her incompatibility with Erik. The idea didn’t seem terrible, however. She watched as Chris walked away, wondering whether she should encourage that joke or not. Perhaps she should.

But first… Now that Chris had helped calm her mood, she was ready to check up on Genevieve, who was still being whisked around by Henri somewhere in the ballroom.

In closed 21 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
I probably should have made a character sheet huh?

Nah, the basics will do.

Alright guys, time to go all out and make it fancy >:)
In closed 21 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
This has caught my interest. If you'll have me, I'd like to work on making Paul Wilton's daughter.

A collaboration between @Melo & @Aewin, ft. @NeoAJ

Steely blue-green eyes watched the other royals with curiosity and interest as the crowds grew larger over time. Being one of the first few to arrive, Arabelle had the honour of getting to see each guest after her make their grand entrance in their designer gowns or suits. Most royals cleaned up nicely, she thought. Alejandro was one that was expectedly flashy and brilliantly dressed. Similarly, the choices of Imani, Leonor, Beatrice and even Han was dazzling. Pink really suited the princess of Tuyen Phu, she thought, pleasantly surprised by the dress.

A servant cautiously stepped towards the Arcenian sisters, carrying an assortment of drinks on an intricately designed platter. Arabelle politely took one of the wine glasses offered, grasping the delicate stem in her hand before she resumed watching. “I think the last few as starting to filter in.” She commented, mostly to herself, as Fareeha stepped through.

It was tempting for Catherine to commandeer the platter for such an occasion. It couldn’t hurt to have a ready supply of wine to deal with the parade of pompous party people she was going to be dealing with at this soiree. But that wouldn’t do. #HurriKate drunk within the first...hour? That would be a field day. Instead, Cat followed her sister in accepting one of the glasses from the waiter, although she did size them up to pick one of the fuller glasses. It was almost unable to see the difference, but Catherine had enough of a sharp eye to notice the best option for her on the tray.

On the other side of the room, Erik enjoyed himself with a glass of wine. His giant attendant, Radke, stayed with him while the other left with his younger siblings. His brothers would need to be watched after, otherwise, they’d surely get themselves into trouble. And he could not afford to look bad because of them. This was the world stage, even if some of the players gathering here were of questionable repute. Although many were good friends and acquaintances that entered, a few earned a frown and a sidelong glance as they passed through the entryway. Luckily there were enough people here to be able to avoid such people altogether for his entire stay.

One person he definitely would not be able to avoid for the coming two months was his oh so beloved betrothed. Indeed, Arabelle had been the subject of over half of Erik’s minute glares. He clutched his glass with every discreet look. And her sister was with her, too, to make things worse. This party already felt like a lion’s den. He looked at Han, whose dress made her surely deserving of the glances of other males around her. Maybe he should pay her a visit to keep himself busy? No, she’d know what’s up, and then run her potty mouth to boot. No, needed a more discreet query.

Something that hadn't escaped Arabelle's notice was that most royals were gravitating towards their selected betrothed. Most pairings seemed unremarkable, save for a select few. She couldn’t help but feel somewhat envious of those royals. For Arabelle, approaching her own betrothed was not an option. In fact, approaching Erik now would only cause drama and she had promised her grandfather she wouldn’t cause him any trouble.

Nearby, she saw Philip and Imani chat amicably, with Genevieve hovering nearby. Bless her cotton socks, Arabelle mused. Although she was glad to see the hermit princess experiment past her comfort zone, part of her was still concerned for Gen. Perhaps it would be a good idea to check on her? Yeah.. it has been a while since the two girls have been able to see each other face-to-face, and talking to Philip is always a treat. Plus, this way she could get herself well acquainted with the newly crowned princess of Massylii.

“Cat? If you’ll excuse me, I should greet the rest of the guests. I’ll be back shortly.” She politely excused herself from her sister and bodyguard. Gen was her first priority to greet. Arabelle was sure that Gen wouldn’t mind the extra glass of wine.

“Yes, yes, that makes sense. I… I think I’ll hang back for a moment and allow myself to get acclimated to things,” Catherine told her sister as Arabelle headed off. It was polite speak for “I don’t want to talk to any of these people in front of me, especially not your betrothed, so good luck while I stay here and drink wine,” but Cat didn’t have to tell Ara that.

Erik strolled past the people as he chatted with the giant that was his attendant. As instructed, the man would inform him when the unpacking had been finished. Surely he had to know if one of Vivian’s gifts had been damaged. But nay, everything had gone perfectly. The crowd that had filled the room by now with royals and attendants of all nations had obscured his vision largely of the people he knew. But he had kept an eye on a few. One, in particular, he wanted to say hi to right now.

Genevieve Anders was a dear friend of his. And the two hadn’t spoken in such a long time now. It was only common courtesy that he would invite her to play a game of chess with him when their presence here was no longer required. Not to mention, surely Phillip would be up for a chat as well. He had no real knowledge of the person beside him, but the way they locked elbows spoke of something beyond casual acquaintances. It piqued Erik’s curiosity, to say the least. So what better place to start?

As Cat sipped with about 10% of her normal gusto when it came to enjoying a glass of wine, she could see her sister stepping out onto the floor… and her ghastly groom to be coming right towards her. “Aw, shit,” she muttered under her breath just low enough for no one to hear.

It was hard not to notice the prince falling into step nearby. In fact, Arabelle's attempt at avoiding her fiance had led her directly to him, much to her displeasure. It was like the gods were out for blood or entertainment… or both. Stopping in her (and his) path, Arabelle spun on her heels to face her demon. “And why is it that you decide to greet the one person I plan on speaking with?” If she could cross her arms at this moment, she would, but alas the blasted glass of wine was stopping her from showing her ire. “Can you not go bother somebody else with your presence instead?”

Erik tried very hard not to show his displeasure in regards to this unfortunate encounter. However, Erik’s brow enjoyed furrowing despite his master’s sincere wishes. From the corner of his eye he saw his attendant shuffling his feet nervously. Radke never had seen the two together, this Erik knew, but rumour always spread like wildfire amongst servants. With a sigh he finished the last of his wine. “Refill my glass, if you please.” He held out the empty glass towards him, and gestured him along.

The man was all too willing to comply.

Now it was time to face the beast. He turned back towards her, and maneuvered his mouth into something that could pass for a polite smile from a distance. Still, the subtle twitch he felt from his mouth’s corner was more than enough to annoy him. Arabelle tended to do that to him. She radiated discomfort like a skunk did odor. “My lady Arabelle. Still skipping etiquette classes, I see?” He made the slightest bow mockingly. It was a bow far too shallow for someone her station, in spite of their betrothal. A lack of respect was the best way to cause upset. Some things truly hadn’t changed since the times of the old Crevnonan courts. “Please, don’t let me keep you. I find it very sweet that you wish to entertain my friend with your… frivolities.” Something in him wanted to lash out at her. But he would maintain his composure. Not only would it make him look better in front of crowds, it would also serve to annoy her all the more.

Ignoring the etiquette comment, Arabelle smiled pleasantly instead, a practised act she'd perfected from childhood. “Perhaps checking on a 'friend' seems frivolous to you, but I suppose having friends is a foreign concept to someone like you.” There was no denying the tenseness in her jaw, but she kept her body relaxed. There was no bow from her in return, there was no point in doing something half-heartedly, and her Arcenian pride would not allow her to even lower her head in the direction of that traitor.

As pleasant a smile she might put up, Erik was convinced that he must at least get a little under her skin. Erik’s bow might be an affront, but the lack of any was downright rude to anyone who could see. If she wanted to make herself look bad, so be it. Erik did not consider that a bad thing. Her words irritated him however. That was a malicious way to spin his words. Even by her standards. “Of course, only an Arcenian tyrant could think of friends as anything like frivolous. How else could you even interpret my words that way?” He rose his chin, looking down at her arrogantly. “No matter, I do not believe the day will come when Arcenians value people of any sort.”

Technically it wasn't difficult to look down on her, Arabelle was much shorter than he was. “Well, it certainly was not me that assumed that my concern was 'frivolous',” There was a bite to her tone, unappreciative of the negative assumption that he had made of her concern for Genevieve. Why couldn't he just leave her alone for the next two months?

His assumptions didn't just stop there, oh no, he had to make a fool of himself by incorrectly judging her people as tyrants that had no values. No matter, history was on her side after all. “Of course,” she barked sarcastically. “Traitors such as yourself would really know the value of people, right? Of course, your ancestors had no sense of loyalty to their own family, so they had to value something to remain in power, is that correct?” She smiled sweetly.

History only favored her side when it was written by an Arcenian hand, of course. True history was much muddier than apparent at first sight. “We ‘betrayed’ our family for the people. If your knowledge of history is this bad at this point in your academic career you might as well drop out. Save your professors the trouble and don’t waste their time.” He harrumphed. History always struck a wrong chord with Erik when someone spouted obvious falsehoods as fact! The nature of the Crevonan conflict was truly obscured by time. But the histories of both sides had always said that the Bel Austers had one it for the people (of course, whether or not that was actually true is not as clear).

“Though I guess tyrants do not need to win the respect of their people with competency, as you so well display. Your grandfather is truly a great man to have risen above the cesspit that is your brood.”

“There were no people to save, all your family wanted was the throne that wasn't rightfully theirs and they failed to take it.” Arabelle sneered, her nose wrinkling in distaste. Her fingers tightened on the stem of the wine glass, her knuckles whitening from the pressure. It was a miracle that the glass hadn't shattered yet. How dare he speak to her in such a manner? She did not appreciate him dragging her grandfather into their business in such a crass manner. Arabelle had to fight every muscle in her body to not slap Erik for disrespecting her, but she knew that that would only escalate things to the point of no return.

Arabelle bit her tongue, only for a moment. The fake pleasant smile on her face wiped in favour for a cold, unreadable expression. “Wow, what a man. Did that make you feel any better? A little more manly? Or perhaps, powerful?” She clicked her tongue, shaking her head condescendingly. “I pity you. Your inferiority complex is entirely justified because you will never compare to the King of Arcenia with the way you're talking.”

He wove his hand dismissively of her comments. “You have no right to speak to me like that when you were just saying the same kind of things about me and my family.” Erik smiled smugly. Was he happy with himself? No, not really. But he hadn’t said a word in the moment that he thought wasn’t true. “I find your hypocrisy appalling, truly. You truly tried to berate me over that, are you serious? How dare you?” If there was one thing he could say about his future queen, it was that she was audacious. Unfortunately, not in any sort of good way.

“All I wanted to do was check on a friend, apparently even that is too kind for you to allow. Truly, shame on you, because you had no right to dig at me either. This could have all been avoided had you not tried to start a problem with me. Could you not have waited a few minutes before trying to ruin other people's day?” Admittedly, her digs had been weak and personal, but he had caught her off-guard, hitting below the proverbial belt. Her grandfather is special to her, a kind hearted soul he is, and she couldn't allow Erik to get away with taunting her in his name.

“Please, get off your high horse. You're no better than me if you have to resort to petty insults to protect your ego. You just cannot admit that you're just as awful.”

He visibly shrugged. “Oh yes, yes. I talked back at you just as badly. But at least I’m not a hypocrite, and I had all the right to dig at you for that.” It was then that his attendant came back with his wine. Erik sighed. He found the whole notion laughable. She was the one who had lashed out at him in the first place. Maybe had she kept her stupid mouth shut, they could’ve both done their thing in peace. But no, Arabelle just had to have a go at him. Of course, he had childishly done the same thing back.

He took the wine out of Radke’s hands, and sipped it lightly. “So, why don’t you be a dear and go do what you actually came here for? That’s right. Move along.” He gestured towards Gen. “And if from now on you could just pretend I do not exist… well… let’s say that would make my world a little brighter. At least for the nearby future.” For the long-term was filled with unspeakable horrors as the last few minutes had demonstrated.

Arabelle scoffed at his attempt at a dismissal. “You're insufferable, if I have to see you again it'll be far too soon. Gods, I hope someone puts me out of my misery before I have to marry you.” Rolling her eyes, Arabelle muttered to herself as she turned her back on him.

“That blue looks awful on you, by the way. Do us both a favour and ditch the suit next time. The blue makes your attitude pretty in comparison.” Without turning back, she left Erik to be by his lonesome to go talk to some actual company, finally letting the anger cloud her expression.

A collaboration between @NeoAJ & @Aewin

The day had started early at Arcton Palace. The flight from Arcenia to Aciras was over twelve hours with no stopovers. With the flight departing at six, the two princesses set on their long journey had little time to rest and say their goodbyes to everybody. Boarding the flight in comfortable, but dressy attire, the first thing on Arabelle’s agenda was to take a couple hour-long nap before being dressed up by the half-dozen palace staff the princesses had brought along for the two-month stay at Aciras.

Out of everyone in the Arcenian royal family, only the two Arcenian princesses were expected to partake in the two-month celebration of Princess Vivian’s upcoming nuptials. Prince James, Arabelle and Catherine’s elder brother, was currently busy with military service while their youngest brother, Prince Theo, was far too young to be introduced to the royal courts. This left Princess Arabelle and Princess Catherine to accept the wedding invite, although Arabelle was very aware that Cat had very little choice but to accept.

Catherine tapped the button on the earbuds that had kept her in a world of her own choosing for the first few hours of the flight as it appeared her sister was stirring from her nap. Honestly, she was surprised the headphones weren’t completely worn out at this point. After the Houghton incident, her parents had her on lockdown for the majority of her time outside of school. There were unbribable guards posted outside her door, following her to class, it was a nightmare scenario for the 20-year-old. Then came the suggestion of the two-month stay in Aciras for the wedding of Princess Vivian. It was actually well-received on both sides. Her parents get Catherine out of the country until the incident blows over, while the princess gets out of the castle for two months and gets a whole new country to explore. Win-freaking-win. Although Candice gets to run around being famous for another couple of months without explaining what that kiss was about.

It was clear that the scandal following #HurriKate hadn't helped tensions at home, as their parents decided that Catherine would be best suited out of the country while the tabloids calmed down. It was also a way of keeping Cat away from the 'terrible influences' and realise her duties as a born princess. Arabelle disagreed with their decision, trying to support her sister as family and, particularly the media, tore Cat's character apart. It didn't mean Arabelle was any less concerned for her sister's wellbeing. Their parents had high hopes that sending Catherine away would yield a marriage proposal and further secure the Almore line in history.

"I know you don't want to look for a partner," Arabelle started, an hour after she woke up from her naps and four hours into their journey. "And you shouldn't be forced to find someone. We will get through this together, and when we go back home we can talk to mom and dad." Surely they could convince their parents to change their mind if they face no troubles in the next two months. It was hard enough for Arabelle to grow up knowing that her marriage was not going to be one of love but of convenience. The last thing she wanted was for her sister to expect the same.

Catherine moved to tuck the buds into a pocket, but forgot that hoodies were still frowned upon for royals, even on trips to the airport. She just ended up grazing the fabric of her blue turtleneck sweater before adjusting and tossing her iPod into her purse. "I mean, I don’t know what they think is going to happen," she stated. "None of their preferred choices for me are going to be interested after what happened. Which, I mean, thank fuck for that, but still. Just gonna be frosty as ever when I come back." Cat put her hands on the armrest next to her sister and gave her best puppy dog-eye stare. "Protect me, Ara. You’re my only hope."

"All they have is high expectations, Cat,” Too high and unreasonable. Cat deserved that freedom to have a good time. It’s not like she’s a terrible princess. “Even if you come back with nothing, perhaps just being away from them for a while will help them realise they don’t want their baby flying from the nest too soon.” Arabelle smiled as she tried her best to resist the dog eyed look.

“Even if they do not agree, once I wed… Prince Erik, I will become queen. Then unless you wish for it, no one can force you to marry.” Arabelle grimaced upon saying his name. She’d been practising referring to the Traitor Prince by his actual name - it wouldn’t look good on her if she caused a stir during Vivian’s wedding.

Cat made an unpleasant face upon hearing that name. "Ugh, maybe as queen you can lock that fuckhead in a tower," she offered as an option. It was no secret that neither girl was a fan of the Crown Prince of Austerund. More like Garbausterund. "You know, twist on the old trope. Helpless king kept hidden away. Let the princesses have fun." She giggled slightly, a brief moment of hope in the face of, well, everything that happened. "Seriously though, if he is a total douche, you just say the word. I know people who can do things now. At least they say they can do things. Pretty sure that dude was lying about the ear poison."

Arabelle snickered at the suggestion. It was a tempting idea, but it would undo all the hard work Pops had done for peace between Austerund and Arcenia. “I’ll be fine. It should be me looking after you, not the other way around. I’m certain that he will not cause me any problems. You on the other hand, with your friends. It would give dad a stroke if he heard.”

A weak chuckle escaped Cat’s lips at that last remark. It was a tough decision to laugh at the thought or wish it into existence. In the end, she leaned more on the former side. "I dunno, I think some of them are pretty smart. I don’t think they get listened to enough when it comes to things the kingdom should be doing." She looked out the window over the vast amount of ocean that kept surging underneath their plane. "Hey, at least when you’re queen, you’ll keep listening to me, right? Help me give some voice to the voiceless? Cause I swear, if Erik separates us, ear poison time."

“Of course, there is no doubt about it.” There was no way that Erik could keep the sisters apart, and she was certain that marriage would not change their relationship. In fact, knowing that her sister would be with her throughout anything was comforting, especially since Arabelle knew that she couldn’t turn to her future husband for that support. “You’ll always be the People’s princess. I’d be a fool not to listen to you.” Given Catherine’s penchant for attending protests beside her people had earned her the nickname before the scandal. “However, should you get married… who will I listen to?” She gave her a light, teasing smile.

That did get a full laugh out of Cat. "I don’t think you’re going to have to worry about that for a looooooong time, sis," she assured her. "Believe me, I’m gonna be right here, by your side, bugging the fuck out of you, making sure Erik doesn’t get a moment alone with you. Because that’s what a little sister is for."

“Oh the horror, whatever shall I do with so much support!” Arabelle joined in with the laughter, suddenly feeling much better about the upcoming trip. Although she’s on friendly terms with most of the royals, her concern was spending so much time with who she considered her ‘Enemy Number One’. It was easy for the Arcenian princess to slip into her hatred in his presence but she had been given clear terms from her family to not start any fights with the crown prince.

“That reminds me. Did you read the booklet I sent you? Pops wanted us to be prepared for meeting royals from all over the world. It had everything about Tuyen Phu to Maris.” The festivities excited Arabelle, but what good would it be if she inadvertently insulted someone due to ignorance? She couldn't let that happen. Although Arabelle was familiar with most customs, it did not hurt to be completely prepared.

"Well, I definitely saw it," Cat jokingly admitted. "That big binder with the flag on it, right?" She laughed, hopefully a sign that she was kidding. While there are some aspects of royal life that Catherine pays complete lip service to, the socio-political aspect was not one of them. She read the booklet a couple times, but not recently. "Yes, I read it, sis. Don’t worry. I won’t be asking the delegation from Tuyen Phu for a takeout menu. Han would kill me if I ever did that." She laughed again. She was in a surprisingly good mood now. The power of Arabelle was coming in strong.

Arabelle nodded approvingly. There was no way she could or Catherine be unprepared for such a momentous occasion. She eventually stood up, straightening her limbs with a grimace. “The day teleportation becomes a reality, I’ll be glad.” She complained. For the remainder of the flight, Arabelle had been burning off restless energy by either pacing up and down the cabin, talking to Catherine or studying the customs of kingdoms she was not knowledgeable of. The staff were clearly impacted by the elder princess's restlessness. So when the jet was close to Acirian airspace, the stylists were glad to finally get to work. Like usual, Arabelle's makeup was done to exaggerate her doll-like features, done with a heavier hand than Catherine's to hide any sign of imperfection.

By contrast, allowing the makeup artist and tailor to attack her was the most preparation that Catherine was allowing to be done to her. She had done a little research of her own beforehand. Aciras was known for being a cultural hub, and there were dozens of venues in the area near the castle. She just had to find someone at the party who would be willing to get her the heck out of there to find out exactly what they had to offer. Hopefully the Acirian tabloids won’t be on the lookout for her in the same way the Arcenian tabloids are.

Once the plane landed, the princesses were quickly ushered into a protected vehicle. Shuffling into the car was no easy feat for Arabelle, who had now donned a dress with a gorgeous iridescent blue sheen. It was a custom dress, gifted from the most esteemed Arcenian designer, Alexandrea Volcov. The dress was the perfect representation of Arcenia, from the national colours being played off against each other in the midnight blue of the dress and small silver and gold flecks of hand-stitched floral artwork decorating her chest, to the design in and of itself. The sleeves, although sheer, covered her shoulders and satisfied her grandmother's fondness of modesty. Her hair was inspired by none other than her good friend, Princess Leonor of Nevarrea. The braids were wrapped by the nape of her neck, secured in place with a flattering gold headpiece that acted as a clip with some curled pieces of loose hair framing her face. It was a well-known rule that unwed princesses were not to wear tiaras or crowns. Even the Queen would rarely be seen wearing her crown, only wearing it on diplomatic dinners with other royalty. The rules applied to Arabelle and Catherine, the former which would accessorise with intricate hair clips or hats to compensate.

The latter hated having to wear her hair done up. It just never looked completely right on her skull, it exposed her giant forehead, and it relegated the streaks to going backwards. Catherine campaigned to be allowed to wear a hat as she usually did, but she was voted down by her parents. As such, she just had it done in a simple tie-back updo, golden clips, ribbons and a fake yellow flower were inserted by the makeup artist to accentuate the blond and better compliment her own dress, the Arcenian yellow to match her sister’s Arcenian blue. Continuing her trend of selecting lesser-known artists to patronize and donate royal funds to, it was designed by Chelmsford Row newcomer Hannah Chung, and Hannah did a great job sneaking in some of Cat’s preferences while keeping to her parents’ wishes of a relatively conservative dress. The benefits of having a designer one can drink with. Ms. Chung was going to go places, that’s for sure.

The drive from the airport to the palace was a surprisingly quick one. It was given that the roads would be semi cleared to make way for the wave of royals coming from across the globe, prioritising their safe travels most efficiently. After all, only the best could be expected from Aciras as hosts. The princesses could tell they had arrived once the car had stopped within the palace grounds, surrounded by cheers. Harold, their dear butler, was the one to open the door for the princesses once the coast was clear. Harold had been a faithful servant of the Almore family for nearly four decades, employed since the crown prince himself was a child. He presented his arm, allowing to take hold and gracefully pull herself out of the vehicle. She gave Harold a sweet smile in thanks. Being the older sibling had some benefits.

Cat sat in the limo for a moment. She had to compose herself and get ready to go full royal mode. It wouldn’t do any good to be her usual self on the royal carpets, so she prepped silently to get into the mental state necessary to be Princess Catherine. "All right, girl," she said to herself, the mantra prepared to help enter the necessary mindset. "For the people. For Arcenia. For Arabelle." She nodded and took Harold’s offered arm as she hoisted herself out of the car.

The camera shutters were loud as she expected. Arabelle took a moment to look around at the people and wave with a practised motion to the crowd, smiling graciously as she waited for her sister to join her outside. When she noticed her staff had carefully taken out their combined luggage, wedding gifts and Cotton's travel case, and were beginning to follow Aciran staff to the princesses assigned quarters, Arabelle began to head over to the King and Queen. Catherine followed, and behind them were Harold and two attendants, prepared to take care of the princesses personally.

Like the Royals before them, the princesses approached the awaiting King and Queen of Aciras when it was time for formalities. Arabelle curtsied in a fluid motion, greeting the three royals with a smile on her face. "His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness, Princess of Aciras," She greeted politely. Arabelle was certain that by the end of the day, the royals would get tired of hearing their titles back at them. "To thank you for your hospitality, I, Princess Arabelle of Arcenia, would like to offer you a token of gratitude. May our gifts be to your satisfaction."

Catherine moved in lockstep behind her sister, bowing slightly to repeat the greeting. "His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness, Princess of Aciras," she parroted. "I, Princess Cat...herine of Arcenia, thank you for the kind welcome to your great country. I look forward to the festivities planned for such a momentous occasion, and humbly offer a token of gratitude on behalf of the Arcenian people. Thank you." She knew she stumbled slightly on her name. She blamed the high princess. Her eyes were killer.

Arabelle waited for Catherine to finish her greeting before curtsying again. To make way for the next set of royals, Arabelle continued inside into the grand palace. From here on out, the princesses would only be joined by key staffers, including Harold.

"Our two month celebration begins..." Arabelle smiled to no one in particular, as she prepared herself for a night of fun. She looked at the people that were already there, eyes narrowing in the direction of one in particular, but pointedly ignored.

"Let’s get this party started," Catherine said to herself, saying it more glumly than she usually did as she prepared to enter the grand display in front of her.

Was it too soon for Willow to feel exhaustion? The night had barely begun, but all she wanted to do was go home to her bed. Let the rest of the class enjoy while she wallows in misery. She thought Grace could save her, but even she couldn't blame the beauty for opting out of the drama and keeping a safe distance away from the explosion zone.

It all began with Allison. She physically winced when Allison, despite her offering peace to the grovelling man, quipped bitterly about Adderall. Willow wanted to stop her, but it was too late. With Tessa joining the group shortly after it was obvious that there was no going back.

"I mean, it's not his fault you popped pills every day before class, Allison."

She made a pathetic sound of disbelief as Tessa was quick to pick up on Allison's hostility. It took a moment to realise the significance behind the comment, but Willow didn't make it a habit to remember every reason that the girls had to be hurt by Grayson. Ever the pacifist, Willow meekly tried to interject before Allison and Tessa would say things they regret. "Hey, let's not go that fa...-"

Her voice quietened as the woman of the hour joined the volatile group. She looked stunning, of course, and she couldn't help but notice that she looked pissed. Understandably, of course. Part of Willow was glad for some authoritative backup, while the other was wholly unprepared to see Amanda completely wrap Grayson around her fingers as she had done ten years ago. Willow was certain that while Amanda's presence would work best to quell any rising tensions, she just wasn't ready to see Grayson fall for the married woman's charms.

Instead, Amanda stunned the once hopeful Willow with a scathing comment about being mature. It hurt even more as her eyes landed on Willow, before commenting coldly “Are any of these women bothering you, Grayson?” It was a slap to the face when Amanda had the gall to accuse Willow and her friends of bothering Grayson. She didn't want that drama, all she wanted to do was talk to old friends and maybe have a good time. She caught the look Amanda gave her and the rest of the girls before she nearly attached herself to Grayson's side. Had she missed something? Perhaps sometime during the ten years, Grayson got his dream girl.

When Grayson spoke up, she suddenly found herself in a different setting altogether. She felt like she was eighteen, experiencing her first heartbreak as her crush ogled the star of Kings Academy. She felt like utter shit. Her voice escaped her as he shot her own words right back at her. The slap continued to burn as all she could do was watch in silent horror as Grayson utterly ruin any small hope she had for reconciliation. Willow, despite the insincerity, had some hope to keep things pleasant. She was open to forgiveness, had Grayson not completely blindsided her with such a rushed, blanket apology that meant as much as she did to him at prom ten years ago.

Like the doormat she is, she let Grayson continue his spiel. Any security she'd built for herself in the last ten years came crashing down, and she felt sick. By the end of it all, she couldn't even look him in the eye. Instead, she watched the space between his and Amanda's head, staring away as if that could somehow save her from utterly losing her mind. She couldn't return his gaze, she knew it would hurt.

It was no surprise to her when, finally, Grayson had enough. Luckily, he was taking Amanda with him, and she still couldn't watch him just whisk away with Amanda as he won. She was quick to turn her back on him, staring intently down at her glass as if it held all the answers. For all she knew, it did.

Just one more hour of this, Wills. Then you can go.

Surely that was an appropriate time to stick around. Any longer and she would drive herself mad watching Grayson prance around with his happy ending. Not long now... not long now. It was a mantra she chanted in her head, counting down the seconds until she could excuse herself from the group and hide away in her room. It couldn't get any worse now.

Except, it could.

Tara and Allison, both well-meaning, enquired about her husb- ex husband, reminding her once again that it wouldn't matter where she'd go to hide, she'd just be alone. She couldn't blame them for their question either. They had no possible way of knowing that it was a question that would hurt, but somehow she wished they did know. At least it would save her the embarrassment of being the Failure of Kings Academy.

"Lucas... he's doing great." She responded finally after a long, awkward pause. "He's still in love. Granted, not with me, but he's happy." Suddenly her throat was parched and not even the gulp of her drink could save the word vomit threatening to escape. "We divorced. He's with the love of his life now. I think." Willow truly didn't know the outcome of Lucas and Luisa's relationship. The gloating messages sent by Luisa through Facebook was enough to tell her that they were happy without her.

She needed to get away and do it fast. She felt horror washing over her, realising that now they'd pity her. Distractedly, Willow dropped her glass at the bar (a little too forcefully, but thankfully Rudy didn't comment). "I- I should go say hi to Grace," Willow, like with Grayson, didn't look at the three girls in the eye. Her primary objective was to just escape. She didn't want to hear their condolences, she just couldn't hear it now. "I-it was great seeing you two- three, shit, the drink is getting to me, ha," Her laugh was filled with panic as if getting them to laugh with her was better than them laughing at her. "I'll see you girls around."

Willow escaped quickly, keeping her head down and making a beeline towards Grace. She bumped into many people, but she ignored their calls as she joined Grace at her table. "I can't do this anymore, Gracie." Her voice shook as Willow finally hid her face in her hands. "I should have never come. Do you think I can still get a partial refund if I check out now?" Willow kept talking, anything that was on her mind spilling like a tipped-over glass of misery. She was aware she looked pathetic, but at this point everyone knew that that was exactly what she was.

Willow was doing great! She had her rum and coke, as well as peace of mind when it was just herself and Rudy the bartender. Things were pleasant, and Willow believed she could handle tonight. All is well, after all.

The first (not staff) face Willow saw was Allison, wearing a gorgeous pink number suiting her light skin. Willow suddenly felt like her dark dress couldn't compare. Willow gave Allison a smile, waving at her from across the bar in greeting. Just as she was ready to stand up and greet her old bridesmaid properly, her eyes caught a bright green shape approaching the bar.

'Holy Jesus disco-dancing-' Willow was stunned. Tara blew everyone away with her green cocktail dress, including Willow who least expected it. The last time she saw Tara in so much colour was at her wedding, forcing poor Rocky to wear light blue at the altar beside her and--

Focus, Willow.

"Rocky! You- Wow, clearly you've won the glow up of the reunion!" Willow peered at Allison, wondering if she thought the same. "Unfortunately I doubt these girls are suitable for laps," Willow pointed at her heels, a lame attempt at a joke cracked. "But I'm not complaining. The torture of heels is worth doing no more laps."

First joke of the night, good job Wills.

She then proceeded to squeeze Allison and Tara in a warm hug. Despite it being years since she'd seen their faces, Willow didn't feel as uncomfortable as she was expected. Truly, was luck really on her side tonight? "I haven't seen you guys in so long, how have you been?" The more she could avoid talking about her own life, the better. She directed the question towards both the girls, but it wasn't long before Lady Luck laughed.

Willow stiffened at the sound of Grayson's voice. She whirled around, realising that while she had been distracted with internally gloating at her success, he had taken the third and final seat at the bar. He left a respectable distance between himself and the girls, which Willow realised was for the best. That man had somehow managed to wrong every girl standing in front of him in some way.

Where're your balls now, Wills?

"Ah..-" Willow made a strange noise as she considered Grayson's offer. It was tempting to ignore him for the rest of the evening, but what good would it be? Willow glanced briefly at the girls beside her, almost as if hoping someone would speak up first... But... Nobody did.

"There's... there's no need for hostility..." Willow finally let out, hesitantly as if she were testing the waters. "We're grown adults, it's... it's time to move on from the past." The words felt sour on her tongue, insincere, like she was anticipating things to go wrong very quickly.

Willow hadn't realised when the time had passed by. Upon arriving into her room and noting (much to her dread) how expensive everything looked. She was situated on the first floor of the resort, which suited her just fine. Some part of her actively preferred being away from most of the faces she still wasn't quite ready to see, but there wasn't much time left before Willow would have to face her fears.

During the few hours she spent holed up in her room, Willow had taken her ring back out to fiddle with. The band was neat and the gem small, nothing that was extravagant. She'd asked both Teddy and Grace what to do with the ring, but no matter what they said, Willow just never got rid of it. She made excuses: she was busy or, the shops were closed, but she always found a way to keep the band hidden away in a small pocket within her purse.

When it was time to get ready, Willow had to drag herself out of bed. Every process took twice as long, from choosing the dress to brushing her midlength hair. She teetered between two options: a cheeky blue number (which she would certainly button up the moment her foot entered the elevator) and a safer, classy option. After showing both options to her older sister on Facetime, Willow finally settled on the cheeky blue with her help.

"Don't you dare button it up, Wills. I have Grace's phone number. She'll tell me if you're being a bore." Summer's voice filtered through the room. Willow's phone was perched on a table, angled high enough to show her body up till her knees. "Just belt it up and you'll be good to go. I'd show you how but I don't think my belt is big enough."

Willow laughed absentmindedly as she searched through her small makeup bag. Her sister's pregnancy excited her, but also reminded her she had only a furry child. "Pink lips or red? Actually no, no red. Lucas thought it made my lips too small. Pink is good."

"Wills, Lucas isn't there. You can do what you want." There was a frustrated sigh which she pointedly ignored.

"Of course not. I just think he's right. Plus, I don't have my red on me anyway." She waved at the camera dismissively. She closed two more buttons, hearing the growing incense in Summer's voice as a result. "Alright, it's nearing eight. I gotta go Sum. Give my love to Tom and Clara." Willow reached out for her phone, blowing her sister a quick kiss for good-bye before exiting out of the call.

She gave herself one last look in the mirror in her room, a quick pep-talk or two in mind was enough to instil the confidence needed to step out of her room. 'Find Grace and Teddy. This'll just be like our get-togethers, except with less wine and more faces. This will be okay.' Her hand fiddled with the ring once more, and when the elevator dinged, Willow stepped out into the reception to see the grand decorations.

'Wait... bar!' Her knight in shining armour came through, and she stole one of the six empty stools. No need for the staff take her order when she was sure her butt would never leave the stool in the first place.

Okay, maybe now she was a little more equipt for the night ahead.

Sorry for the essay, got a little too excited. @HaleyTheRandom@ayzrules
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