Chapter 25

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*Elizabeth's P.O.V*

"Elizabeth, I need to be quite frank with you. I'm not saying this because I enjoy it or because I necessarily want to but rather the fact that you need to hear it. You get pushed around far too much as the ruling queen," Mother says, making my eyebrows furrow.

"I do not!" I disagree far too quickly. It kind of hurts my feelings a lot that she would say such a thing because I do not get pushed around! I was the queen and the queen couldn't get pushed around like that!

"You do so stop denying it. By me, by Grey, by any noble who gets you to fall for their schemes. I don't mind you respecting me or Grey or anyone else that's worth respecting and I would be lying if I said I don't encourage it but at some point enough is enough. You wilt when someone you respect shows the slightest bit of disapproval and are always looking for them to back and prop up all your decisions. I raised you to stand up for yourself, not become a wilted flower when someone makes you upset. You should have more confidence than this," Mother says and I open my mouth but shut it when she gives me a disapproving look.

"See, this is exactly what I mean," Mother states, like she just made the most wonderful point ever.

"I only did it because I didn't want to interrupt. You made it seem like you had more to say," I retort, huffing at her mean words. I was never going to be nice to her again if this is what it got me.

"You can interrupt me when it's appropriate to do so. I know my place in society and the privileges it provides. You are the queen, act like it. I do not get the privilege of telling you to remain quiet. As your mother, yes. As your subject, no one has that right. You need to learn how to tell the difference and take control. Maybe even tell people no every once in a while," Mother orders and I furrow my eyebrows at her words.

"No, I already do what I want," I retort, making her smirk. I realize that I had fallen into her trap and curse myself, upset that I had so easily fallen into her stupid trap.

"See? You can say no if you feel like it, most of the time though you  seem unwilling to though. Why is that? Do you like seeing people get their way? Is that it?" Mother asks as she pulls me closer, pressing a kiss to my forehead.

"No. I like getting my way the most. Sometimes to get my way though, I have to let other people get their way first. Even if my way is the absolute bestest way and is the only way that makes any sense," I inform her, making her smile slightly.

"Yes, I'm sure that your way is always the bestest way and that is exactly the point I am making," Mother says, the word bestest sounding weird on her tongue. It only was a word that I could use, not one that she could use. Not now or ever. It was a word that only I could use for the rest of my life and she could use none of her life.

"I'm glad you agree but never say bestest again," I inform her sternly, making her raise an eyebrow.

"Why is that?" She asks.

"Because you are old and old people should not use the word bestest. Not now or ever in their life," I inform her sternly, making her roll her eyes.

"You can be such a brat once you decide to backtalk," Mother mutters and I pout at her, upset that she would ever say anything like that. It wasn't nice of her to talk to me like that.

"I am your queen, you don't get to talk back to your queen," I inform her as sternly as I can, making her raise an eyebrow. I wilt slightly under her gaze but other than that I manage to be strong and not waver.

"You are correct your majesty, you're still a brat nonetheless," she informs me, making me huff at her words as I cross my arms over my chest. I was not a brat, not in any way at all! I couldn't believe that she would even think to call me a brat.

"I forbid you from calling me a brat," I retort, making her raise an eyebrow. I expect for her to argue, to tell me that I can't order her around but instead she just smirks.

"Of course your majesty, I will never call you a brat to your face again," she says, making me smile before I realize what she is saying.

"No! You can't ever call me a brat ever again even behind my back," I retort, making her sigh as she rests her head on her hand.

"But that's my favorite nickname for you. What ever I am to call you now?" Mother says, making me glare at her with narrowed eyes. I cross my arms over my chest, turning away from her with a frown on my lips.

"I should have the guards arrest you. Don't you know it's treason to insult your queen?" I ask with a raised eyebrow, making her sigh softly. She reaches over, turning my head to face her before she presses a kiss to my forehead. I wrinkle my nose up as I huff at her audacity.

"You are so adorable when you fuss about being called a brat. Oh my goodness, sometimes I wonder why I made you queen instead of just trying to keep you all to myself," Mother says, making me whine when she kisses my forehead again. She was telling me to act like a queen and then was making me feel like a child again. It was cheating! It just had to be cheating of some sort!

"In all seriousness though baby, I love when you stand up for yourself. Whenever I hear that a noble has bossed you around or manipulated you, it makes me so angry. Because you are so smart and you know better than to let that happen," Mother says as she taps my nose, making me pull away slightly.

"Yeah but I also don't want to alienate people," I argue, making her sigh softly.

"I would rather you alienate every noble there is than bow down to their every whim and whine. You can survive just fine if a noble doesn't like you but if you put in laws and rules just because they ask then you will lose your throne," Mother explains. "I have seen it happen. That's why I've tried to push you into snapping at me. Into sending me away. If you can stand up to me then you can stand up to anyone," she informs me. My eyebrows furrow as I realize all of her sternness and strictness came from her trying to get me to stick up for myself.

"You want me to send you away? For good?" I ask, curious if she was okay with never seeing me again.

"I meant for this visit dear. If you ever try to send me away permanently then I may have to become queen again just so I can punish you fully," Mother warns, making me roll my eyes. She wouldn't really do that...would she? I hoped not, because I hated the idea of her bossing me around as queen again.

"You can't boss me around, I am too old... And queen," I argue, making her raise an eyebrow.

"Is that what you think?" Mother asks, holding my chin and making me look her in the eyes. I pout slightly at her words, knowing that she was right and that I could totally be bossed around by her. She was just so mean to me all the time!

"Can boss me around, only a little bit though. And not when queen. I'm boss then," I finally say, making her chuckle as she kisses my cheek.

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