Competetion

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Picture above is of Julianna Elizabeth Ronaldi
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I felt nervous as I walked quickly to the Throne Room with Maddox.

"What do you think he wants?" I asked him, trying to remain calm.

"Who knows. It could be nothing," he replied coolly.

"Then why would he call for me?" I squeaked, my anxiety spiking.

Maddox stopped and took me by my shoulders.

"It's ok. I promise. I'm here," he said, pulling me into a hug.

I instantly relaxed, my stress floating away. After a second, I sight.

"Ok, I'm fine."

He smiled at me.

"That's my lovely. Now let's be off."

.....

The throne room is an intimidating place, I'm sure you can imagine. The king sat on his massive, golden throne, looking powerful and merciless. I tried to stand tall and looked poised, but like always, his eyes slide over me.

"You've made it. Good," he said, attempting a smile that looked more like a grimace.

I kept my face neutral.

"Of course, father. Why do you call upon us?" Maddox asked coolly.

The king chuckled.

"Always getting straight to the point. Well, as you know, we have had stiff relations with The country, Orian, for four decades now, which has stopped us from trading goods and becoming Allies, but the king of Orian and I have made a deal. You will marry princess Julianna, and unite the kingdoms!" The king announced, proudly.

Time seemed to stop.

What did he just say?

Right on que, a beautiful girl with lightly tanned skin came out to stand beside the king. She was beautiful, rosy cheeks, peachy lips, gorgeous light brown hair and long dark eyelashes.

She wore a light pink dress and stood tall and gracefully. Maddox was silent, watching the girl quietly. I fidgeted nervously before making myself stop.

"And since you have now found your bride, Rebecca White, you are dismissed."

I felt shocked. Isn't this what I always wanted? To leave? I looked at Maddox, waiting for him to disagree. But he didn't. He just watched the princess.

I felt multiple emotions rush through me. Betrayal, confusion, hurt, anger, resentment. Acceptance. I felt tears prickle my eyes as I looked down.

Of course he would chose her. She looked like a goddess. Maddox always reminded me of a Greek god so I guess they're perfect. I turned, feeling conflicted.

This whole time, I'd begged to go home. Craved it! But now, I feel like I'm being torn into. Still, Maddox said nothing. I headed towards the door.

"No!" A voice screamed, grabbing my wrist.

I turned and sighed in relief.

"Maddox," I smiled.

He looked at me intensely.

"Father, I'm afraid I can't do that. I have deep feelings for Rebecca. She comes from high standing, she's well educated, and more than that, she's perfect in every way. I know she'll be a great queen," he said, pulling me to his side.

I beamed at him, feeling adoration flood my chest.

"Do you know what you're saying?" His father hissed.

The princess beside him started to look annoyed.

"Julianna will be staying here for the next two week and you will give her a chance. Do you understand?" His father commanded, then turned to me.

"And you! You can stay, only because it's a long standing tradition that the prince picks his bride," he sneered, then smiled wickedly.

"But trust me, he would never pick someone like you over her." I felt my confidence fall.

I felt so plain and drab with her in the room, but I have changed since coming to the castle. Before I would've practically handed Maddox over, but now, I will fight.

No way will I let some bedazzled Barbie doll steal him right under me. I looked sharply at the king.

"I appreciate your concern, your highness."

Then I curtsied deeply, smiled, and left the room. After a few moments, Maddox met me in the hallway.

"You are the craziest girl I have ever met," he mumbled, then pulled me close in embrace.

I giggled, but pulled away sharply.

"Why did just sit there and almost let me leave?" I demanded.

He rubbed the back of his neck, guiltily.

"I'm sorry, love. I was just so shocked," he said apologetically.

I rolled my eyes at him.

"Are you sure you weren't just drooling over the princess?"

"No, of course not! She's nothing compared to you," he defended.

I gave him a funny look.

"It's ok, you don't have to lie about it. I forgive you," I said quietly.

"What?"

"I know I'm not as pretty as her, Maddox."

"If course you are! Rebecca, you're beautiful."

I rolled my eyes and turned away. He wrapped his hands around my waist.

"She's nothing compared to you."

"Oh really?" A snide voice snapped.

We both turned to see Princess Julianna standing there with her hands on her hips, looking like the biggest drama queen (pun 😂) that I have ever seen.

"Princess," Maddox bowed.

Suddenly, she relaxed, putting on a simpering look.

"Oh, Please. Call me Julianna. You must be the famous, Prince Maddox. You're very handsome. Would you mind giving me the royal your? I really don't wish to get lost," she cooed, fluttering her dark eyelashes.

I tried not to show how much it bothered me, as I linked my hand in Maddox's arm.

"Thank you, princess. I'm sorry to say to I have plans today. Maybe one of the staff could entertain you," Maddox politely declined.

I felt myself smile victoriously but I tried to hide it.

"Good day, princess," Maddox said before leading us away.

She watched, angry beyond belief. But I felt satisfaction. That's right, he's mine.

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