Chapter 30

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*Elizabeth's P.O.V*

Mother fixes my dress when we reach a room, making sure that I look presentable before letting me go in. I wonder why it bothers her that much but once I enter the room I understand. I shiver as I see Duchess Grey, watching as she looks over me before smiling.

"Well you look absolutely beautiful, child," Duchess Grey says, crossing the room. I can't seem to move away quick enough before she manages to press a quick kiss to my forehead so I can't pull away from her.

"Duchess Grey, stop it," I huff, upset that she is treating me like I'm a child and even called me a child. I didn't need to receive kisses or compliments. I was the queen and didn't need her to coddle me with her attention even if it is nice.

"Don't tell me to stop. I just want you to receive the affection that you used to throw fits for. How nice it would be if only we could go back to those precious days," Duchess Grey says, making my cheeks burn. I had only done that when I was a child, a very small one at that so she shouldn't be bringing that up! I wasn't a baby anymore who constantly needed her to coddle me and give me the affection I used to desperately crave.

"I'm not a baby for you to coddle," I protest, huffing when she grabs my chin and tilts my head so I'm looking her in the eyes.

"Are you sure? You used to love how I delayed you from having to attend events by smothering you in affection. You used to beg for me to pick you up and smother you in kisses so that you didn't have to think about the horrible stupid events, your words, not mine," Duchess Grey says, making me shake my head.

"I do not need your affection Ma," I inform her as I cross my arms over my chest. I'm upset with her for daring to think that I needed her to give me affection. I was a big girl who most definitely didn't need it at all and most certainly didn't want for her to pick me up and cuddle me right this very minute.

"I think you do need your mama's affection. You used to cling to me so much and just begged for me to cuddle you, especially when you were sleepy," Duchess Grey says as she cups my face, running her thumb down my cheek. I whine, turning away as I look at Mother for help.

"Grey, she clearly isn't sleepy and you're just going to wind her up before the event. You know how she gets when you do this," Mother says, making me stomp my foot. She raises an eyebrow as I look at her, upset that she would say such a thing. I wasn't going to get wound up! I never got wound up so I didn't know why she was talking such nonsense.

"Don't stomp your foot," Duchess Grey scolds, making me look at her as I frown. I step away from her, rolling my eyes. She couldn't scold me cause I wasn't a child anymore. Besides, I had only stomped my foot a little bit so there was no reason she should get all upset.

"My little Elizabeth is clearly not in a good mood tonight," Mother says casually as she pulls me close, looking down at me as I look up at her. I stick my tongue out slightly, not bothering to respond verbally. Mother's lips quirk up slightly in a smile as she turns her head away from me, clearly trying to hide her smile.

"I thought you said not to encourage her behavior," Duchess Grey says, making me look at her with confusion. I huff when she looks away, not paying me any attention.

"You two need to be kept separated," I state, making Mother roll her eyes as she fixes my crown since it's slightly crooked now. I narrow my eyes at her dismissing me so easily and so I do the clearly smart thing and decide to use my rank of queen to order her around.

"You two go wait in the carriage. I want to wait for Zelene since she is clearly the nicer of you three," I state, making my Mother snort as she tilts my head up. She smiles slightly as I pull away, crossing my arms over my chest to show just how much I mean my words.

"Fine, I don't mind waiting in the carriage. It gives me plenty of time to talk to your mother about your recent actions," Duchess Grey says, making my eyes widen as I look at her with worried confusion. I hadn't done anything for them to discuss...had I? I mean I had been rather well behaved in my expert opinion and I was an expert in behaving correctly.

"Good, go wait. You can wait out there until I'm ready to go," I say as I cross my arms over my chest. Duchess Grey rolls her eyes, making me gasp. My mama was never supposed to be so rude. I couldn't believe she had suddenly lost her manners and decided to be rude like that. The fact that my mother wasn't commenting on her rude behavior was also upsetting me.

"She gets so bossy before these events," Mother says to Mama as they start to leave the room.

"It's what happens when you let your children get too big for their britches," Mama says as she links arms with my Mother before they're fully out of the room. I glare at them even after the door has closed and they're no longer in my sight so now I'm just glaring at a door.

"Are you alright?" Zelene asks, making me turn quickly because how startled I am. I hadn't even heard her come in. It wasn't fair that she was already much sneakier than me and I had been living in the castle for my entire life. She had been here for less than 3 full days and she was already sneakier than me.

"When we come back from this party, help me look into trespassing charges for my Mother so we can evict her from the castle under armed arrest. Her or Duchess Grey, whichever one will be easier to get rid of," I state instead of answering her.

"So neither of them?" Zelene asks, making me glare at her. Her lips are pressed together but I can tell that she is smiling and finds what I just said amusing. I sigh softly, rubbing the bridge of my nose.

"So all three of you are so insufferable and clearly in cahoots," I throw my hands up in the air before leaving the room, heading to the carriage and wishing I had brought some medicine since I can already tell I'm going to have a headache either from listening to one of them or from the drinking I do to cope with their annoying asses.

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