We’ve got a right royal #WritingChallenge for you!

Writing Challenge BubbleYou guessed it – this weekend’s #WritingChallenge has a royal twist!

Your #WritingChallenge, should you choose to accept it, is…

Your royal hero and heroine have been betrothed since childhood, but they’ve never met. Now it’s their wedding day… what happens next?

We can’t wait to be surprised and enthralled!

Happy Writing!

The SOLD Editors x

126 replies on “We’ve got a right royal #WritingChallenge for you!”

‘Antonia, Antonia.’ Prince Gerard repeated her name softly.
It had been years since he last saw her photograph. A shy, timid little thing, now only too willing to please her family, from what he’d heard. The day had come. His bride was in the castle and this afternoon, in the great hall, as generations had done before him, his tiresome wait to do his duty would be over. A small sacrifice for the greater good.
One last formality by proxy and the future of the Principality of Rubenstein would be secured forever.
***
‘So, remind me again how my maid is allowed to meet my future husband, and I’m not?’
‘Tradition.’
‘Damn tradition.’ Antonia threw her hands in the air. ‘Would you marry someone you’ve never met in person?’
Antonia’s maid, Bea looked awash with concern.
‘I’m a commoner, you’re a Princess soon to be betrothed to a Prince and this castle will be your future.’ Bea raised her eyebrows as if to say what more could an ungrateful girl want?
Love and romance would be good for starters. Except that luxury had been written out of her future– both their futures — by a contract of betrothal signed by their respective parents almost as soon as they drew breath.
Antonia crossed her arms and gnawed at her bottom lip. ‘By all accounts, he’s practically a hermit and rarely photographed–’ She had to do something to ease her mind. Make sure she wasn’t marrying an ogre. ‘Take off your clothes.’
‘I don’t think–‘
‘You don’t have to think, Bea. Just do as I ask. Help me change. They know I only brought one maid with me so you’ll have to stay here until I get back.’ She paused. ‘I’m sorry for snapping at you, Bea. Don’t worry, you won’t get into trouble.’
‘But what if you’re caught?’
‘I’ll be fine. Plait my hair and wind it around my head like yours.’
‘What if you bump into your father or other family guests?’
‘I’ll make sure I see them before they see me.’ Antonia reached for Bea’s dark rimmed glasses and slipped them on. Lordy anyone would look good through those lenses. They swapped clothes, and like a child playing dress-up, Antonia twirled in front of the mirror in Bea’s austere straight skirt and tailored jacket.
Her moment of glee soon faded. This time tomorrow she’d be married to a stranger. She mentally shook her head. Back to business. ‘Yes, perfect. Okay, so where were you supposed to meet?’
‘In the stables.’

By sticking to the staff thoroughfares, Antonia found her way outside then followed the sweet scent of hay to the stables. She headed to a groomsman, and watched his smooth brush strokes as he softly murmured and patted the horse. Prince Gerard’s no doubt.
She cleared her throat. ‘I’m Bea, Princess Antonia’s maid. I’ve come to meet Prince Gerard, as arranged. Would you let him know I’m here?’
The tall, dark man turned, looked quizzical then wiped his mouth with the crook of his arm. ‘Really?
Not what she expected. Nor the broad white smile, or the twinkle in his eye.
He threw down the brush and stepped toward her.
Surprised, Antonia stepped back until she hit a stack of hay bales. He reached and grabbed her left wrist and gently pulled it up against the hay while his chest pinned her like a ton of concrete, but that wasn’t the reason she couldn’t breathe.
‘Sir?’
‘Call me Gerard. If you are who you say you are, Bea, I should have you arrested.’
‘Arrested?’
He glared at the ring on her left had. ‘That’s Antonia’s ring you’re wearing. The one given to her by my family. Now come clean or I’ll–I’ll kiss you until I suck the truth out of you.’ He didn’t wait for her to speak, instead his chin tilted, and his lips brushed against hers.
She had no air in her lungs. Couldn’t speak. Her system was about to short out.
‘You’ve got one more chance to come clean.’
‘I—‘ she struggled to talk. She slipped her tongue out and dampened her lips. ‘Okay, I admit it.’
‘Admit what? You’re a thief?’
He paused and Antonia pulled her hand out of his grip. Her heart pounded in her chest and her cheeks burned.
‘Sorry, I was having some fun. I’m glad to see you’ve got some spirit though, Antonia. We’ll both need it to get through this–this obligation we’re signed up to.’ He smiled with his eyes and she wondered about the dark cloud she saw hidden there.
Was he full of regret? Did he love another?
‘I didn’t mean to frighten you.’ He lifted a hand and ran the soft pad of his thumb from her earlobe down the side of her cheek.
‘I’m glad to see you’re more beautiful in person.’
Her knees wanted to buckle. She almost wanted to cry with relief. Almost.
Then she regained her pride and bristled as she straightened her jacket ready to give him a large chunk of her mind for frightening her.
She pulled off her glasses…
Lordy he was gorgeous. She wanted him more than he wanted her.

Fun read and nice term of phrase, Margie! Loved “…like a ton of concrete…”; “kiss…suck the truth out of you.” Fine job.

Love that he saw through the ruse. And that he commended her on her spirit (ingenuity). I agree with her thoughts on wanting to see the man she’s supposed to marry. She’s got gumption. I like her.

Wow! Really loved this, Margie! Hope you’ll continue writing this one ~ I’m hooked! 😀

This was such a fun read! I love that he saw through her and gave her a little shock of her own. I would love to read what happens next.

What a feisty heroine – love the lengths she goes to to see her intended, it feels very contemporary. Would love to know a little more about Gerard and how all the different aspects of his character – the dark cloud, the humour, the sense of obligation – all work together. But it promises to be one very exciting MOC 🙂

Oops! His chin DIPPED, not tilted. He’s a tall dude! Then again I suppose you can tilt up or down?? Now I’m not sure. xx

“Get in!” Lana hissed throwing open the car door to the passenger side. “Ooops!” She muttered as the door slammed into the tall well honed man.
“What the hell…”
“Just get in will you before we get papped!”
The man got in, his muscular physique swallowing up the space in her sleek sports car.
“This is a surprise.” He murmured sardonically. “We’re getting married in a few hours, couldn’t you wait until then to see me?”
“That is exactly why I wanted to meet with you…”
“Surely you could have thought up a better plan than drag me off the street.” His dark eyes narrowed on her speculatively. “How did you know I’d be here?”
“I have sources. I found out you usually go for a jog in this area around this time.”
“You’ve been watching me?”
“Don’t be ridiculous! What do you take me for, some sort of a psycho stalker?”
“It’s not like you don’t posses the skills for it.” he murmured under his breath.
Lana ignored his jibe. “You and I have never met… until now that is and yet we are going to get married.”
“I am aware of that.”
“So here’s the deal. I’ve read about you in the papers, I know you lead a playboy lifestyle. Your notorious reputation with women is very well known.”
“Thank you.” A smile twitched at the corners of his sexy mouth.
“It wasn’t a compliment. I am Willing to allow you to keep your freedom…”
He raised a dark eyebrow. “You’re allowing me my freedom?”
“Yes.”
“You’ll be making such a noble sacrifice because?” He prompted dryly.
“I am in love with someone else.”
“I see.” His gaze settled on her. “Couldn’t this conversation have waited until after the wedding?”
“No. I wanted to get things straight between us, otherwise I couldn’t go through with it.”
“So basically what you’re wanting us to do is live a lie?”
“That’s an awful way of putting it but because this wedding must take place, I thought it only fair to tell you that ours can never be a real marriage.”
After subjecting her to a lengthy look, which was far too intense for her liking, he opened the door. “Thank you for going to such lengths for me now if you’ll excuse me, I have some jogging to do. See you soon, little Princess.” he said with a half smile. As he resumed his jogging, she realised he hadn’t given her an answer as to whether he was in agreement with her or not.
Lana quickly clambered out of her car. “Wait!” To her dismay her slip on sandal slipped right off her foot. Instantly she found her foot being taken into a large hand and gently being placed back into her sandal.
“Th… thank you.” she stammered, the unexpected rush of adrenalin at the physical contact taking her by surprise.
“Don’t mention it. It’s the least I could do.” Lana stood watching his retreating figure, unable to recall why she had given chase to him.

“Lana, I’d like you to see something.” Said her mother once she’d returned to her stately home.
Sighing, she entered the drawing room where her father was sat in his favourite armchair. Her mother re-winded a news report and played it for her.

Oh no! She groaned inwardly as she saw images of herself and Zander flash across the screen.

“Prince Zander Tessaro and Princess Lana Francesco are to get married later today but the happy couple can’t stay away from each other. Women all over the world are swooning after seeing Prince Zander place a slipper back on his real life Cinderella. We will have complete coverage of the wedding as it takes place.”

Her mother switched off the television and glared at her. “Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”
“I can’t believe I made such a faux pas. It’s one of the worst ones yet…”
“Yet? You mean there’s more to come?” Asked her mother.
“I believe there’s a great possibility of that dear.” her father said, his eyes twinkling.
“What was I thinking? What on earth made me wear a salmon top with white jeans!”
Her mother made an undignified sound. “I’m glad you find this so amusing. The pair of you. I don’t understand why you can’t be more like your sister, more sedate and less of a rebel.”
Lana made to leave. “We’re two different people mother, in case you haven’t noticed.”

Lana’s heart felt like it was trying to pound its way out of her chest throughout the exchanging of the vows. Zander was a magnificent specimen of a man and the thought of him as her husband stirred strange sensations within her. Lana swallowed as Zander turned her to face him. Her breath hitched in her throat as his dark head descended towards her. His mouth claimed hers in a way which made her body lean into his. To her disappointment the kiss ended all too soon. Putting her from him, he murmured into her ear. “Come on Cinderella, your carriage awaits you.” The husky edge to his tone gave away the fact that he too had been affected by the kiss. As she walked alongside of him she kept reminding herself that she was in love with someone else but the only trouble was, she couldn’t recall his name.

Great mother/daughter interaction, Calida! Loved “salmon top with jeans” remark–classic “showing” of Lana’s character.

Wow, so much happening in this! Great banter, and love that she’s chasing him down. I appreciate a woman who takes initiative. 🙂

Great set-up of conflict, telling him she’s in love with someone else before they’re married. And then the sandal slipping off…nice touch! 🙂

Great read. I loved that ‘salmon pink…’ quip, too – really does give insight into her character. And the Cinderella echoes were well done, and great fun!

I love this!! I want to read what happens, what their black moment will be and the HEA! Super fun!

What a fun, rebellious heroine – love how she’s driving the action here! There’s also a nice sensual connection between Lana and Zander – no wonder she can’t remember the other guy’s name!

Frigid Freddy. Dominic couldn’t dispute what the paparazzi had christened his royal bride. Somehow, despite being betrothed from the cradle, her cradle, they had never met. She spent her school and college years in Australia, her mother’s birthplace, while he’d been doing the traditional thing at Eton and Oxford like his father and grandfather before him. It had been her fellow students who’d given her the nickname and the tabloids had picked up on it like the vultures they were.
He’d seen the photographs. Prim and proper, her dark hair coiled at the nape of her neck, wearing neat business wear by day and sleek glamourous gowns by night. She’d never be caught by the paps at a beach resort being stupid. Her degree in PR was the perfect complement for her future position as his wife.
Dom cast a quick look at his father, seated in the front row of the Cathedral. He’d been known as the Playboy Prince even after his marriage to Dom’s mother. And her successor. And the present incumbent, a girl younger than his eldest son seated at the other side from his mother. It was the first time Dom had seen his parents together, not screaming at each other, since he was ten.
He couldn’t claim much compared to his bride. The papers called him Dreary Dom or Dutiful Dom, depending on their mood. Ever since he’d been dragged back from Australia four years ago after headlines cited him as Disorderly Dom, with accompanying photographs of him in a naked romp, he’d been just as prim and proper as his intended. It had been an aberration. Some stupid plan of trying to meet up with Frederica before they had to go through with this farce of a marriage. She’d been off on some charity event and in his frustration he’d let loose with one of the local girls.
It had been the best week of his life. His mother had been horrified at the photos of him tangled with the bottle blonde nymphette. One of the reasons she’d hurried through this wedding as soon as his bride-to-be graduated. He wasn’t going to get another chance of following the Playboy Prince’s path.
The music swelled and he straightened, turning to watch the entrance of his destiny, led by a phalanx of bridesmaids and flower girls spreading rose petals along the aisle.
The dark hair was clouded by a veil that covered her face and trailed back at least three metres. In keeping with her image the gown was high necked with long lace sleeves. It irritated him for some reason. He wanted to see her.
“Do you Frederica Elizabeth Horatia Paracina, Princess of Latolina take Dominic Edward Philip Grevonaise of Ile de Charveaux to be your husband?”
The murmured assent was clear despite her lowered head. There was something… Finally the vows were over, the signing. He was trapped.
“You could look at me, Freddy.”
“Wave and look happy.” She was speaking through gritted teeth as she smiled at the waiting crowds.
A chant started at the foot of the stairs. “Kiss, kiss, kiss.”
He captured one waving hand and drew her closer. “We’d better oblige. Make it look good.”
Her eyes were shut as she tilted her head in response to the increasing excitement of the crowd. She was beautiful. Just as beautiful as her photographs. The audience roared as his lips brushed over her mouth but suddenly they were muted by the pounding of his heart. She tasted of strawberries and sunshine and the ocean. Her tongue flicked his and he pressed her against his body, fascinated by the taste, by her response. By the familiar scent of her hair.
He stepped back, staring as she opened her eyes. Golden flecks in the brown that didn’t show in photographs. At least none he’d seen. “Liz?”
“Hello Nicky. Long-time no see.”
Oblivious to the now silent crowd they gazed at each other until his best man nudged him, breaking the spell. Taking her hand, he faced the crowd, smiling and bowing as they rumbled their appreciation.
He spoke quietly, so no-one could hear, barely moving his lips. “What the hell were you doing at that resort? Hardly suitable behaviour for a princess who happens to be betrothed.”
She tugged at her hand but he tightened his grip. “Exactly the same as you, Prince high and mighty, get into the girls pants, if he can. And did.”
“It’s different. I’m…”
“A man? Sauce for the goose and all that. What was I supposed to do? Wear a chastity belt? Do you have the key tucked into a pocket under all those ribbons and medals?”
For the first time that day, the smile came easily. This was going to be fun. “Key or not, I’m looking forward to inspecting the merchandise.”
“You might need to rethink the plan.” It came out in a hiss. “I’m not going to lie back and think of my country. Not if you have plans to follow in your father’s footsteps.”
“I have every intention of ensuring you think of me with you are lying in my bed. And I am not my father.”
A quick glance showed a curious gleam in her amazing eyes. “Do you mean that?”
“I mean everything I say.”
“Always? Even what you said the last time we saw each other?”
Had he ever been that young? Making avowals to a girl he thought he would never see again. Hoping somehow things could be different. “Even then.”
She waved again at the crowd, but her fingers meshed with his. “In that case, can we get this over with so we can start the honeymoon?”

Entertaining tale of royal entanglement, Fiona! Witty. Has all the markings of a larger ms.

My goodness Fiona! Such beautiful writing as always! Every word had me hooked and eager to read on. This has everything, brilliant writing style, humour, great dialogue and wonderful characters. 🙂

Ha! This was awesome Fiona. Love the elaborate names, so authentic, and the teasing banter. 🙂 As always, your writing is solid.

Fi ~ I promise I hadn’t read yours before I came up with the name ‘Dominic’ in mine. Lol. Great minds… 😉 Once again, I’m hoping you’ll continue with this one. Great scene!

Love the Media angle with their derogatory nicknames – very realistic! Fun twist on the ‘never met’ brief – enjoyed it.

What an intriguing wedding revelation! Love the idea that both of them hide behind such watertight facades, and that the only person who knows the truth of their real personalities is each other… It’s going to be one hell of a honeymoon, that’s for sure!

And so, Princess Victoria of Love Island waited in the altar-side room of the cathedral. Could she really go through with what was her duty to do so — marry Prince Leopold, the man she’d never met, but had been promised to since she’d been a young child?

“Nanny, I cannot go through with this.”

“My obligation is to see that you do, Princess Victoria. You must get to the back of the cathedral, so that you may walk down the aisle.”

“But you work for me, Nanny,” said the princess, as the sound of pipe-organ melody drifted into the room. She snapped open her fanciful hand fan with a flick of her wrist, and began waving it at her face. “You must obey what I ask of you.”

“And what is that, my princess?”

“Get me out of this!”

Nanny eyed the princess in dismay, shaking her head. Then she stepped in front of her and adjusted the princess’s veil saying, “King Henry has instructed me otherwise, my princess. He knows you very well.”

Princess Victoria’s face contorted as she stopped fanning herself. “Father is always interfering.” She tossed the hand fan to a plush, brightly-colored ottoman. “Am I ever going to be able to make my own decisions?”

“A marriage such as this is how it has been done for centuries,” replied Nanny, as she retrieved the pristine, folded, hand fan and held it tenderly for its next use. “You must not fret. History knows what is best for you. So, you can, and you will, carry out your father’s wishes. It is the only way for you to keep your seat.”

“But I have never met, Prince Leopold, Nanny. And even you have never seen him.”

A wily glint came to Nanny’s eyes. “Years ago I saw Prince Leopold’s parents from afar. Dreadful looking giant trolls.”

“Nanny, for shame!”

“I am sorry, my princess,” Nanny said, lowering her head. “But you have always insisted that I be honest. I would find much fault with myself if I were not today.” She peeked up at the princess.

“But trolls, Nanny?” asked the princess, staring off in wonderment. “Surely, you do not mean that.”

“I am afraid so, yes, Princess Victoria. I do.”

“Well,” Victoria dithered. “Looks are not everything.”

“As you say, my princess. But how would you feel about having ‘dogs’ for children?”

“Nanny! I say, what has gotten into you today? I will not have that kind of talk in my presence. No child will be categorized as a…dog.”

“But, my princess. I have seen Prince Leopold’s parents.”

“Eyes play tricks, Nanny. You saw them from afar, years ago by your own admission.”

“But I trust that the apple did not fall far from the tree, my princess, where Prince Leopold was concerned. I gather that the same will hold true for any of his children. You do not want to birth dogs.”

The princess gasped. “Had father not thought of that?…”

“But what can you do? The ceremony is to momentarily begin.”

“Not with thee!” Victoria scampered toward the altar’s door, the elaborate train of her wedding dress sweeping over the grand, marbled floor.

“But, Princess Victoria! It’s the other door that leads to the back of the cathedral,” Nanny called, scurrying after her, accidentally stepping on the train.

“Ohh!“ cried Victoria.

The sudden snag of the dress’s train caused the princess to twist. Nanny jumped off the train and the princess stumbled backward, through the altar doors, and into the arms of Prince Leopold.

The Prince and Princess’s eyes locked and sparkled. Her heart skipped.

“Princess Victoria…I believe?” he said through a broadening smile of approval.

The princess grinned back at Nanny and whispered, “You cannot always judge a book by its cover.”

Leopold then set Victoria to stand beside him and before the celebrant in the packed, hush-filled cathedral and said, “Let us begin.”

Both attempts at my comment are ‘awaiting moderation’ for some strange reason. I’m giving it a third whirl before I give up.

I’m surprised more of us didn’t think to go the historical slant. Way to go Chris! I could really feel Nanny’s conflicted emotion over wanting what was best for the Princess vs. her obligation/duty.

🙁 It keeps moderating me. LOL
I like Nanny. Great conflicting emotion in her character.
Like that you went historical. Lets see if this works…

Dammit – I don’t know what happened to my comment!
Ok – round two: I love how you went historical with this piece. I’m surprised more of us didn’t go that route. Bravo Chris! And I could really feel Nannys conflict between duty and love. Really touching.

Brilliant – very cunning plan – couldn’t stop chuckling! Can still hear Nursie and Queenie’s voices running around my head!

Love the dialogue between Victoria and her Nanny. Falling into the Prince’s arms is certainly a fun way to start this marriage.

I had such a hoot writing that dialogue, Vicki. Thanks. I’m happy that my H/h meeting that way met with your approval, too. 🙂

This was so much fun Chris! Great job! It made me wonder what was going to happen next.

A fairytale beginning 🙂

Will be exciting to see what emotional issues keeps these two apart once they realise that they are attracted to each other!

This was a complete and utter disaster. Francesa turned to the mirror, hands sweeping over her ashen face. She was married. Actually married. And to a Crown Prince. A man to whom she had been betrothed since birth but had never set eyes upon, until today.
The ceremony passed in a blur of noise and colors and chaos. The only way she’d managed to get through the entire spectacle had been to lock herself inside a small, tiny box, sealing away all emotion. All feeling.
God, she realized, slumping down to the crimson tufted settee. She couldn’t even recall what her groom looked like! She’d seen his photos, of course. Grandmama loved to shove them under her nose often enough. But in the flesh? In that pinnacle moment as she was led down the aisle?
Francesca scrunched her nose, squinted. A vague impression of dark eyes and darker hair emerged from the fog, but not much else. What did it matter? Her thought railed. He was a stranger. An unknown person. And worse, the son of an enemy.
No, not an enemy, a little voice within her chided. Not since the treaty some twenty-four years ago…
A knock at the door shattered her thoughts and Francesca struggled to slip behind the mask of calm. The day was far from over and there were reporters and cameras and other members of royalty expecting her to perform. To paste on a smile for the world when inside all she wanted to do was curl up into a ball and scream.
“Come in,” she said, her voice ringing with a regal air of authority drummed into her since infancy.
That door whisked open, a slow, steady sweep, and she was struck full in the face. Eyes, dark as coal but warm, she thought. So warm. So sincere. And soft. Layers of ebony hair fanned away from a fine boned face, elegant in its lines. Aristocratic. Ever bit the Prince of Dreams, or so the papers liked to call him. And so handsome in his regalia and finery, all crisp navy jacket, satin sash, glistening medals and jeweled sword.

He sealed the door shut behind him, leaned back against it. And smiled. An impish pull of his lips that made him look like a schoolboy out for fun and mischief.
“Thought I would find you here.” The exotic lilt of his country rounded and caressed the words and made her wonder what else that tongue could do when set to a woman’s body.
Irritated by an utterly female reaction to a fine male form, Francesca rose, kicked back her train. “Are we needed so soon?” she asked. “I thought we had more…time.”
“Not for an hour or so yet,” he said. “I only wanted to see you.”
Silence reined and round Francesca the walls drew in, tight as a corset and God she didn’t even know what a damn corset was supposed to feel like. So why couldn’t she breathe? Why couldn’t she think?

His bride wasn’t happy to see him. Etienne wasn’t a fool. A blind man could see the temper in those arresting sapphire eyes. His heart had almost stopped as she’d walked down the aisle. A vision in ivory satin and chestnut curls. Shame whomever had dressed her decided to pin that glorious mane up and away from her delicate face.
In all the photos he’d seen of her over the years, he loved it best when that mane was set free. And even now his hands itched to run through its silken weight, scattering pins and fisting curls. He thought about what it would feel like against his skin. Dipping his nose to breathe in that rich perfume of lavender and woman.
Etienne pushed from the door, tucking his hands behind his back. And though she tensed at his advance, Francesca, the beloved Princess of the People, held her ground.
“I would prefer to spend this time alone,” she said, her voice stiff with formality. “Please leave.”
Etienne stopped, close enough to see the flecks of gold haloing those fascinating sapphire depths. “I don’t think so, no.”
Those eyes widened, and her lips thinned to a determined line.
“You may be my husband, sir, but not my master. Leave.”
Etienne edged a little closer, until the heat snapped between them. “No.”
Heat flashed under the soft cream of her skin, sparked in her eyes. “If you think—”
Etienne quelled her with a brush of his fingers across her lips. And though the simple touch ignited a flicker of longing within him, a desire to sample—to taste—he steeled himself against it.
“No,” he said. “We must talk, Francesca. I know you had reservations about our match. Contested our wedding.”
His answer was a flicker of her lashes, a quickening of her breath.
“I could not stop the proceedings,” he continued, “that much was beyond my control. The wedding had to proceed. But what happens from this point onward is beyond our parents’ control. I could have the marriage annulled, if you wish. Come tomorrow morning, I will speak with the Archdiocese and before the week is out you would be Francesca Athropolli. No longer my wife. A free woman. I will bear the shame. The disgrace and absolve you of any responsibility. All you must do,” his hand lowered to her shoulder, traveled the length of her arm until palm met palm and fingers twined, “is ask.”
Etienne held his breath, heart rattling in his throat. The seconds stretched beyond eternity, beyond the tolerable when finally, at long last, her voice slid out. Soft as a dream.
“You would let me go?”
He tightened his hold on her hand, his only tether of control, and nodded. “Yes. If only to have a chance to win you properly. I would court you, Francesca. I would earn your love, if you’d let me. And, God willing, call you my wife, once again.”
She ran her tongue across her bottom lip, a quick flicker, moistening the pink, supple flesh and oh, how he ached to kiss her. To know the shape and texture of her gorgeous mouth.
“Tonight,” she said. “You will have my answer tonight.”

Gina’s right – pure romance! Love the idea of Etienne being prepared to let her go, if only for the chance of winning her back properly. Great!

Fallon, this is great! I want to know more and I love that he would let her go and then win her back.

You’ve packed so much emotion into this short extract, great stuff! Francesca’s stress and turmoil is well explored and there’s a depth and intensity to both characters that’s really nice to see.

Thanks everyone!!! This was a great little break from the WIP. Looking forward to the next. 😀

“Put me down! Where are you taking me? I’m supposed to be married today!”

Princess Isabella pounded her fists into her kidnapper’s broad, muscular back. He’d somehow managed to get past the security guards and into her bedroom before dawn. He’d wrapped a silk sheet around her to obscure her view, and was carrying her over his shoulder out of her family’s castle atop the cliffs of Lastonia.

“Quiet. I’m not going to hurt you. Trust me.”

“Trust you? Who are you? And where are you taking me?” She couldn’t believe this was happening. She simply couldn’t miss her wedding. If she did, Lastonia would be lost. The tiny speck of a country depended on this union between her and Prince Winston of Ridgeland. Her parents had promised her hand in marriage when she was a child, after their enemy to the North, Prince Dominic of Greatland, took the throne and became a threat to her homeland. Lastonia would be swallowed up by the Superpower, along with all its freedoms, should he plan a coup. Her country would cease to exist. Ridgeland, and this union with its prince, was Lastonia’s final hope.

“Put me down, or I swear I’ll scream!”

“All right, woman.” The man set her on her feet and impatiently pulled the sheet away from her face. It took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. They were standing in the circular drive, next to a sleek, very fast-looking sports car. The moon was full, allowing Isabella a muted view of her captor’s features. His eyes sparkled down at her, but it was too dark to try to identify him. “Get in.”

“Why are you taking me away?” She tried to free her wrist from his firm hold. He only tightened it, pulling her against him. His warm breath mingled with the early morning breeze, caressing her cheek. Isabella’s eyes went to his lips as he answered.

“Because you’re the Princess of Lastonia. Although, I have to say, you’re…lovely. I daresay I’d be tempted to whisk you away and marry you, even without the title.”

The momentary thrill that coursed through her was quickly replaced by a sick dread. Surely this couldn’t be Prince Dominic. “I won’t marry you! You cannot have me, or my country. I would die before I’d go with you.”

“Don’t be ridiculous! If you stay here, you’ll surely die.”

She should have been terrified, but she wasn’t. She felt an overwhelming sense of security in his arms. But how was it possible? He was her enemy – Lastonia’s enemy.

“I can’t,” she whispered as he gently nudged her into the car. She sat very still, looking up at the glowing lights of the castle, knowing she couldn’t stop what was happening. “My family,” she whispered. Her chin quivered as he started the engine and pulled down the driveway.

“My people are with them.” He took his cell phone from his pocket and pushed the button. “I’ve got her. He’s in his car, near the gate. It will all be done before he comes to.”

Isabella tried to get a good look at him in the glow of the dashboard lights. She could see that his hair was dark, not red, like Prince Dominic’s. Still, he could work for him. “What have you done? What are you going to do? And…who are you?”

He turned to her just briefly as he navigated the winding cliff road. “So many questions, love. I’ve heard of taking the plunge, but let’s not literally do that.” He nodded over at the sheer drop just to his left. “Dominic put a price on your head, to stop the union between Lastonia and Ridgeland.”

Realization dawned. “You’re going to kill me…” she gasped.

He touched her hands, clasped tightly in her lap. “No, Princess Isabella. The man who was sent to do that is back there, knocked out in his car. He was to report to Prince Dominic when it was done – but I got to you first. I’m Prince Winston – and I’m going to marry you. That is, if you don’t mind trading the big white wedding for a private, sunrise ceremony?”

Ah…yes…I believe my Prince Dominic has an evil uncle of the same name. All these families are interconnected. Didn’t I hear something about an uprising in Greatland over night and the prince was hung from the castle battlements? I guess his plot to murder Princess Isabella was the last straw. Kudos to Prince Winston for getting wind of the plot and rescuing his princess.

Why yes, you are correct, Fiona… 😉 hee hee.

And Prince Winston and Princess Isabella lived Happily Ever After.

The End.

😀

LOL anyone else feel that the princess should fire her security? This was entertaining and a breeze to read. Who doesn’t love a good clandestine kidnapping story?

What a truly heroic hero – nothing beats a hero who genuinely saves the heroine’s life! Also love his ‘I’m Prince Winston – and I’m going to marry you’ introduction 🙂

She couldn’t do it. It was against everything she believed. She wasn’t that obedient princess anymore. Not since she had been incognito in Australia as plain Sarah Jane Smith aka Princess Sarah Al-Hussein. Her mother had to marry her Arabian prince didn’t she? That had been out of love, not like her own proposed marriage. Her husband chosen for her, from birth, Tradition. Not hers. She had tasted freedom, she had breathed, now they want to her hand tied to a complete stranger. Nope, not going to happen. Time to fly the coop so to speak.
Holding the cape a little bit tighter her face hidden by a hood she sneaked through the palace corridors. A car organised outside the palace walls, ready to make her escape. Yes, her family will be hurt, papa furious but it was her life and she didn’t want to marry a complete stranger. Some sheikh from another country, trying of sheikhdoms.
When they realised she was gone it will be too late. Everyone was in a flap over the wedding. Jasmine her personal handmaid who travelled to Australia with her was her scapegoat who would join her later once she was safely out the country.
Sneaking across the courtyard she disappeared into the darkened servants quarters to a hidden side door that lead outside the palace walls. Just as ordered and planned a car was waiting for her slip into the back.
“Where to Miss?”
“Airport.” She said throwing off her cape to rustle her long red curls and pulled down her oversized sweatshirt over jeans.
“As you wish miss,” the driver indicated and drove away. She didn’t relax until the palace was out of sight. Suddenly there was a click to sit up looking around. They weren’t heading to the airport. She tried the handles to find them locked.
“Hey what is going on here? Let me out! Now,” she rattled the handles panicked to watch horrified as a glass panel rolled up blocking her from the driver, heart hammering in her chest. She reached for her phone from her back pocket to call Jasmine to have no signal. Now whatsoever. She looked out of her prism as they left the city limits. Oh, gawd, she was being kidnapped and no-one knew she was missing.
Then they were turning off the main road to go along a sandy desert one to drive into a private airport to drive up to a waiting private Lear jet. They had to let her out of the car. She had only one chance to make a run for it to be made very clear she wasn’t going anywhere as her door was opened by armed men. Big men in robes with guns. She eased out of the car on shaking legs, her stomach threatening to empty as she was surrounded and guided to the jet a ladder ready to be climbed. Taking a deep breath she fought back tears as she grabbed the rail to climb with dread. Surely marriage to a complete stranger was better than this?
Reaching the top she glanced back to find the men standing guard armed to look over the edge wondering if she could jump to safety, surely that would be better than what faced her inside the plane.
“Good evening Princess,” she was greeted at to swing around to find an attractive blond attendant. “This way please,” she opened her arm in invitation to take a hesitant step in to be greeted with luxury. Rich deep tones of the Middle East, Person carpet beneath her feet. Trembling she took another step looking all around with nervous darting eyes.
“Now you weren’t on planning to run away Princess?” a deep familiar voice caressed over her. She looked across the man who suddenly stood up from a super soft armchair in beige tones with relief.
“Dammit Tariq you scared the hell out of me!” She flew across to run into his arms to be gathered against his hard rock form. Tears of relief fell to be wiped away. “What’s going on? What are you doing here? How did you know I was leaving? Jasmine,” she sighed. She looked up into his beautiful golden eyes she had fallen in love with over four years ago when he had been visiting Australia, staying with her Aunt and Uncle’s stud farm, looking over horses. She had been living there while she had finished her schooling then worked there until she was called home. Lovingly she ran hand over his chest and leaned in to breathe in his sent of sandalwood. “Oh Tariq, I can’t do it, I can’t marry someone I don’t know,” and when her heart belonged to another. The hours they had spend just talking. Dancing in his arms at the dance hall nights. The horse riding over the property. Watching the sunsets just been held in his arms. She had lost her heart that summer then he was gone. And to this day she reminded his mind blowing kiss to know real passion for the first time in her life.
“I totally agree princess, I could never marry someone I didn’t know either.” Blinking she looked up at him, stunned to lick sudden dry lips.
“You? What are you saying Tariq.” She closed her eyes, was it even possible to open then to fall into his eyes all over again. “Are you my future husband?” she asked huskily.
“Yes, habibti I am. Now I ask you again are you running away from me?”
“No,” she shook her head then threw her arms around his neck fusing her lips with his to passionately devour each other. His hands run over her curves to mould into his robed body. “I came to personally greet my future husband to my country,” she sighed.
He laughed richly. “I hope you’re not going to keep my chasing you Sarah?”
“No fear of that, my beloved Tariq. My heart has always belonged to you.”
“Thank goodness,” he kissed her again then made sure she got safely back to the palace without anyone knowing.
The next day she married her prince and he was no stranger, not to her.

Please ignore this one pity you can’t delete your work saw some big mistakes too late so redoing. Thanks.

She couldn’t do it. It was against everything she believed. She wasn’t that obedient princess anymore. Not since she had been incognito in Australia as plain Sarah Jane Smith aka Princess Sarah Al-Hussein. Her mother had to marry her Arabian prince didn’t she? That had been out of love, not like her own proposed marriage. Her husband chosen for her, from birth. Tradition. Not hers. She had tasted freedom, she had breathed, now they want to her hand tied to a complete stranger. Nope, not going to happen. Time to fly the coop so to speak.
Holding the cape a little bit tighter her face hidden by a hood she sneaked through the palace corridors. A car organised outside the palace walls, ready to make her escape. Yes, her family would be hurt, papa furious, but it was her life and she didn’t want to marry a complete stranger. Some sheikh from another country, trying of sheikhdoms.
When they realised she was gone, it would be too late. Everyone was in a flap over the wedding. Jasmine, her personal handmaid who travelled to Australia with her was her scapegoat who would join her later once she was safely out the country.
Sneaking across the courtyard, she disappeared into the darkened servant’s quarters to a hidden side door that lead outside the palace walls. Just as ordered and planned, a car was waiting for her to slip into the back.
“Where to Miss?”
“Airport.” She said throwing off her cape to rustle her long red curls and pulled down her oversized sweatshirt over jeans.
“As you wish miss,” the driver indicated and drove away. She didn’t relax until the palace was out of sight.
Suddenly there was a click to sit up looking around. They weren’t heading to the airport. She tried the handles to find them locked.
“Hey what is going on here? Let me out! Now,” she rattled the handles panicked to watch horrified as a glass panel rolled up blocking her from the driver, heart hammering in her chest. She reached for her phone from her back pocket to call Jasmine to have no signal. Now whatsoever.
She looked out of her prism as they left the city limits. Oh, gawd, she was being kidnapped and no-one knew she was missing.
Then they were turning off the main road to go along a sandy desert one to drive into a private airport to drive up to a waiting private Lear jet. They had to let her out of the car. She had only one chance to make a run for it to be made very clear she wasn’t going anywhere as her door was opened by armed men. Big men in robes with guns. She eased out of the car on shaking legs, her stomach threatening to empty as she was surrounded and guided to the jet. A ladder ready to be climbed. Taking a deep breath she fought back tears as she grabbed the rail to climb with dread. Surely marriage to a complete stranger was better than this?
Reaching the top she glanced back to find the men standing guard armed to look over the edge wondering if she could jump to safety, surely that would be better than what faced her inside the plane.
“Good evening Princess,” she was greeted. Startled Sara swung around to find an attractive blond attendant. “This way please,” she opened her arm in invitation to take a hesitant step in to be greeted with luxury. Rich deep tones of the Middle East, Person carpet beneath her feet. Trembling she took another step looking all around with nervous darting eyes.
“Now you wouldn’t be planning to run away Princess?” a deep familiar voice caressed over her. She looked across to the man who suddenly stood up from a super soft armchair in beige tones with relief.Tall, dark and bold.
“Dammit Tariq you scared the hell out of me!” She flew across to run into his arms to be gathered against his hard rock form. Tears of relief fell to be wiped away. “What’s going on? What are you doing here? How did you know I was leaving? Jasmine,” she sighed.
She looked up into his beautiful golden gaze she had fallen in love with over four years ago when he had been visiting Australia, staying with her Aunt and Uncle’s stud farm, looking over horses. She had been living there while she had finished her schooling then worked there until she was called home. Lovingly she ran hand over his chest and leaned in to breathe in his sent of sandalwood. “Oh Tariq, I can’t do it, I can’t marry someone I don’t know,” and when her heart belonged to another. Him.
The hours they had spend just talking. Dancing in his arms at the those country dances. The shared horse riding over the property. Watching the sunsets just been held in his arms. She had lost her heart that summer then he was gone. And to this day she remembered his mind blowing kiss to know real passion for the first time in her life.
“I totally agree princess. I could never marry someone I didn’t know either.” Blinking she looked up at him, stunned to lick sudden dry lips.
“You? What are you saying Tariq?” She closed her eyes, was it even possible, to open them to fall into his gaze all over again. “Are you my future husband?” she asked huskily.
“Yes, habibti I am. Now I ask you again are you running away from me?”
“No,” she shook her head then threw her arms around his neck fusing her lips with his to passionately devour each other. His hands run over her curves to mould into his robed body. “I came to personally greet my future husband to my country,” she sighed.
He laughed richly. “I hope you’re not going to keep me chasing you Sarah?”
“No fear of that, my beloved Tariq. My heart has always belonged to you.”
“Thank goodness,” he kissed her again then made sure she got safely back to the palace without anyone knowing.
The next day she married her prince and he was no stranger, not to her.

Love the fact she flees – only for him to know her so well he’s set up her getaway car and is ready and waiting for her! Great twist on the brief.

This was exciting, although a few typos did trip me up from time to time, I really believed the heroine’s panic when she thought she was being whisked away. Esp as a princess, the prospect of being kidnapped opens up a host of terrifying possibilities. Ransom. Political leverage. Ooooh the stakes! 🙂
And the last line was def the best way to wrap up the scene.

Sorry about that. Takes awhile to pick things up even with grammar checks and spelling checks. One always sees them after the fact. I do have to edit my writing a lot, because of it. Thanks.

I saw ladder really for a plane meant stairs yep they were eloping! lol now that would have been a twist eloping their own arranged marriage. Shoot me now!……I can see it now a ladder leaning against a plane… oops.. Persian carpets… not person…. okay I’m leaving now…. slinks away…..Really need an edit button for someone like me. 😉

Yay, a sheikh AND a shared past!

The adrenaline of the near-kidnap scene is good, although would have liked to know a little more about gorgeous Tariq and the emotional issues both of them needed to resolve before achieving their Happy-Ever-After. But they’re obviously meant-to-be 🙂

Nice twist, having them fall in love, yet not knowing they were betrothed to each other! The last line sums it up perfectly. 🙂

Thanks and still not perfect. Grr takes me about five or more imes to pick up on little things none instead now. Prison instead of prism sorry.

“Alors, mon amour,” Hero murmured acerbically as he helped her into the plush open-topped horse-drawn carriage, “how does it feel to have finally manipulated your rise from Princess of Piedanarco, to Queen of Monveterra, in a matter of one short marriage ceremony?”

His voice was icy and low that she almost shivered despite the intense heat of the glorious, summer’s day. She barely managed to make it to her seat before her legs buckled beneath her, turning her head to stare at new husband in shock.

Manipulated? Did he really believe she’d had any choice in this abominable charade? Up until a few minutes ago she had only but a Princess, in no position to revoke the ridiculous decree – which existed from their very childhood – that they should one day be married? *He* was the one who was King.

“If the match is so abhorrent to you,” she fought to keep her voice from shaking, “then why didn’t *you* do something to change it, the moment you ascended to the throne?”

“Smile and wave, your people are watching you,” he ignored her question, offering his public a benevolent smile which wasn’t reflected in those hard, unforgiving eyes when he turned back to her.

The icy sensation tightened its grip on her. This day had been one she’d known she had to get through, had been schooled to get through by her bullish father and brother, but had never once looked forward to. But now, in the face of her new husband’s evident hostility, she felt herself bristle, felt the flicker of a spark of inner strength – the one that her family had been so hell-bent on extinguishing in her.

“Might it have something to do with the fact that you only became the King the moment you announced our official engagement?” She countered bravely. “If you didn’t marry me, you wouldn’t get the throne – *that* was why you didn’t fight the decree?”

“Is that what you would have had me do? Fight the edict and leave my sister at the mercy of your brother?” the sneer was evident, despite the fact that his face remained remarkably neutral. “If *I* did not marry *you*, then it would have fallen to my sister to marry your brother. Piedanarco and Monveterra have to be united at all costs, correct? And the Crown Prince isn’t exactly known for his caring nature.”

Heroine shuddered again. No, she would not have wished that on any woman. King Hero’s assessment didn’t come close to describing the cruel, power-grabbing, black-hearted man that her brother had become. Part of her had even been relieved to get away from her pernicious brother – even if it meant marrying a man she had never met.

And from the little she had known about the notoriously private King Hero, the man was intelligent, caring and loyal, loved by his subjects. Instead, now, she was beginning to fear that she had escaped the grip of one controlling, heartless brute only to rush into that of another.

Hero watched her turn to the crowd, her sad face lighting up into a smile which practically dazzled the delighted well-wishers. Yet it was the emptiness of her eyes which stayed with him. Instead of triumph, there was a hopelessness in those depths which had tugged at his soul from the moment her veil had been lifted in the cathedral. Could it be that his new wife really wasn’t cut from the same cloth as her tyrannical father, or greedy brother?

No! Hero berated himself scornfully. It was just her unexpected beauty which was duping his other senses. He had seen photographs of her, media footage from an adoring press, but none of it had replicated just how breath-taking she was in-the-flesh. And that was her real weapon.

Beneath the stunning facade, she was as devious, covetous and manipulative as all of her family – and he was a fool for falling for the ploy. For decades he had watched his own mother manipulate his father. A Queen who had made an art-form out of playing her adoring puppet-King-husband, thanks to her own propitious union – just like his new bride.

Hero steeled himself. He refused to become the weak king that his father had been. His people mattered to him, Monveterra mattered to him, as much as the freedom and happiness of his sister had mattered to him. He wouldn’t allow this union to provide his bride or her family with the means to manoeuvre themselves into a position of power of his beloved Monveterra.

Hero loathed underhanded tactics, preferring forthrightness, clarity. But if his new bride thought to draw him into her scheming, then perhaps it was time to play her at her own game. To teach her exactly what he expected from his new wife.

Ooh, I love the tension between them. Sparks are flying and yet you can also tell there is an attraction. 🙂

I absolutely LOVE this Charlotte! Love the way the hero tries to fight the attraction between them. Stories with hostile hero’s are my most favourite! “There was a hopelessness in those depths which tugged at his soul…” Such a wonderful line. 🙂

Great H/h tension shown through exposition, Charlotte. Loved her “smile and wave” prod. A really nice interplay until the end.

I love how it’s love for his sister that is driving the hero more so than duty for his country. Solid, solid writing. I could really see this playing out on a much larger scale in a full length MS. Bravo!

It’s going to be a rocky (but sexy and emotional!) road for these two! There’s a lot of backstory and external pressures at play here, but you set it up skilfully and still leave room for the emotional conflicts both of them are struggling with. Very nice!

I don’t really write historical romance(love to read them though), so please forgive me if any of this incorrect. And as usual I sort of added my own spin on the “What happens next”

“Stop fidgeting Miss Abigail. Today’s the day and there isn’t nothing you can be doing about it.” Abigail Roussell’s lady in waiting gently scolded her.

“What if he’s dreadful? What will he expect me to call him, Trenton or My Lord? What if he won’t let me hunt or ride my horse?”

The maid clucked her tongue. “That’s what your father gets for letting you run around with your brothers all these years. Your dear mum would have never allowed such.”

She smoothed out the dress and looked Abigail in the eyes. “The music is going to start any second now and you’re going to go through the doors and down the aisle. Remember to look discreetly towards your betrothed. You shouldn’t look him full in the face until after the Priest proclamation.”

Abigail wished she was in her summer dress instead of the miles of white silk covering what she was sure was used to torture young brides into submission. Her breaths were short if only to keep her from the pain the seamstress had used with lacing up her corset. What would they do if she fell out half way down the aisle?

The sweet sound of harps filled her ears at the same time the doors were pulled open by two young men who sidestepped and bowed before her. A momentary thought of turning around and running for it filled Abigail. Her father kind eyes smiled as he held his arm for her hand and she stepped forward.

###

“My Lord, if I may be so bold, you’re beginning to wear a path in the carpeting.”

Trenton Dansberry glanced at floor beneath him and sure enough, the piling that had stood high when they’d entered the chamber was now flat. How could he have allowed his father to do this? Marriage wasn’t something he was aching to do. Not until he was older, his forties perhaps, but not now.

“What if this woman isn’t acceptable? What is she is a nag who doesn’t want me to go to White’s? Dear lord man, what she doesn’t like my estate?”

Trenton took a few steps forward and stopped turning to his butler. He reached up and traced the scar that ran along his right cheek to the bottom of his ear. “What if she doesn’t like this?”

The scar was a constant reminder of the war and the lives that had been lost. He didn’t bother to mention the night terrors he had when the storms tore through the land. Would a woman of refinement think he was less than a man?

“Sir, it’s time to go.” His butler opened the door and waited for Trenton to step through and make his way to the front of the altar.

The harps began to play and his breath caught in his chest as he turned toward his betrothed. The sun rounded her head like a crown. Ebony hair tied with small flowers fell to her waist. The slight smile looked a bit stiff, but her lavender eyes held a mischief that tugged at his heart.

She stood beside her father facing forward until the Priest asked who gives this woman to this man.

Trenton heard her father’s response but he looked only upon the woman who he now realized he’d not bothered to find out her first name.

Her father placed her hand into his and she gazed fully into his eyes. As they took the first step to reach the Priest she leaned in and quietly said, “It’s Abigail. Just in case you wanted to know.”

“My Abby.” He chuckled and lifted her hand to his lips. Gasp filled the church and he chuckled. “It will never be dull between us.”

###

Abigail took as deep a breath as the corset would allow and walked the aisle with her head held high. Her five foot two inches made it almost impossible to see her betrothed at the front of the church until he stepped forward. No one seemed to notice the slight intake of breath and smile but the man who waited for her. If eyes could chuckle, she’d say his did. Had he realized she’d smiled bigger than was dictated? A moment of fear coursed through her. Could she really ever be the lady she was sure he was expecting?

Her father placed her hand into Trenton’s and she glanced into his face. The scar should have terrified her but it didn’t. Instead, Abigail thought him brave.

His black eyes danced with anticipation as he led her up the stairs towards the Priest.
She leaned in slightly and said, “It’s Abigail. Just in case you wanted to know.”

Although she wasn’t sure what their lives would hold, when he kissed her hand before the vows had begun she knew there would always be surprises.

I really enjoyed this, Vicki! A charming scene, sweetly written. I’d love to keep reading! 😀

What a delightful scene, Vicki. Clever that you had both Abigail and Trenton with the same kind of pre-marriage worries/reservations. I think that it all worked well.

Seeing both sides of this pinnacle moment was awesome, and really well written. And I adore how you showed us a bit of who the hero is by something as simple and subtle as a scar, and that the same thing he finds abhorrent and off-putting about himself, is the very thing that draws the heroine to him. Truly fantastic.

Thank you everyone for your comments!! I love these challenge’s and your comments are always so helpful in anything I’m writing. 🙂

I thoroughly enjoyed this, Vicki, I was pulled right into the scene. Trenton is JUST my kind of hero with the scar and the war-story past giving him self-doubt – that was so beautifully written.
I loved your heroine too – heart on her sleeve and worried she isn’t ‘lady’ enough!
I really loved this – would have happily read more!

There are some lovely moments of emotional subtlety here – and how fun that she’s on his wavelength enough to tell him her name! Maybe you should write more Historicals 🙂

A lovely piece of writing, Vickie! Love the imagery and so love the way you portray the hero’s fears.
“If eyes could chuckle, she’d say his did.” Brilliant! 🙂

Please accept my apologies Vicki, I have just realised I spelt your name wrong in my comment! 🙂

At Karate summer camp for my son for three days. Hopefully this is okay. I only had a bit of time to do it tonight.

“Oh, my God…Look at his butt…”
“Stop it and put on my veil!” Amanda Carr whispered into her sister’s face as a flush of heat washed through her. She had been running down the street like a mad woman with her gown flailing behind her while her sister ran behind her carrying her veil and shoes and if that didn’t work up the heat in someone she didn’t know what did! “I’m late and that was seven minutes ago!”
Amanda looked down the long church aisle at the sight before her. Her heart raced to the music and her stomach was in knots as she looked at the empty church. It was a façade of a marriage and no one in town new about her wedding and she was happy about that. Although there would definitely be some questions later. The town was small. Someone was bound to have seen them running down the street.
And Amanda didn’t usually wear a wedding gown!
Her groom was standing with his hands clasped casually behind his back, curiously looking at the painted ceiling as if he was studying an art piece. Alex Megapolis was royalty, not of the crowns and jewels kind of way, but more of a long line of royalty passed down and along with it a huge amount of money. Amanda, on the other hand, was from a long distant line of royalty, but hers accompanied a gambling grandfather. If there was any money, there definitely wasn’t now. Amanda and her sister were brought up in a humble little three bedroom house in a small town an hour away from Toronto, Canada and as far as she had known her mother had never inherited a dime, except for their house.
Amanda and her sister Cindy loved the house and when her mother died, they vowed to never sell it even if things got really bad. But apparently good ol’ granpappy, had a will. And in that will there was a stipulation. She was to marry Alex Megapolis when she was thirty years old or the house was to be sold and used as payment. That meant she had to marry this man or she and her sister would not have their beloved home.
“Why are you even having a white wedding? You’re not a virgin. There,” Cindy said. “Perfect.” She finished fluffing the veil and hooked her arm through her sister’s. “Let’s go. We can’t leave that cute butt waiting forever!”
Amanda looked at her sister, her face a shade of red that could shame Crayola. “Sh!” She whispered and squeezed her sister’s arm which was currently linked with hers. “If anyone finds out, the wedding will be off!” One of the stipulations from the Greek grandfather was the girl still had to be a virgin or the bet was off and the house was his. “Besides,” she said and swallowed. “He’s not going to know!”
“Oh, he’s going to know alright.”
Suddenly Amanda felt sick as one foot followed the other. The Catholic Priest loomed large as big as life and the lights coming in from the windows streamed in with light. Then she looked at him…the groom. He was tall, but not too tall, slim built with a suit that fit well and an assuredness of definite money and royalty. While here she was, a small town girl that just had her hair cut way too short and definitely was not a virgin! She stumbled but her sister steadied her.
“You’ll be fine. Everything will be fine,” her sister said. “And I was just joking back there; just keep your legs squeezed tight and he won’t know the difference.” She snickered when Amanda looked at her. “And here we are,” she suddenly said and released her. “Holy George of Matrimony, the man is a hunk. Good luck.”
Amanda swallowed and looked up. She had been looking at her feet the whole time and now she was looking into the greenest eyes she had ever seen and her sister was right. He was gorgeous. But then she suddenly felt sick. Oh, no! Not now! She covered her mouth and gagged. Then she looked at her wedding dress and didn’t want to upchuck all over it, even though she had only paid seventy-five dollars for it at the local thrift store. Another gag pushed her hand away and she looked into the green eyes that were staring at her like she was some freak show. And then he pulled out an engraved hanky.
She couldn’t help thinking how nice that was; even though he was still looking at her like she was the hairy sasquatch lady at the carnival last year. She smiled and took the hanky and he returned her smile tentatively, then he took her hand and walked her to the altar.
When they knelt down, he turned to her and asked, “How far along are you?”

Lol, Karen! Creative will stipulation. Nicely written scene–perfectly captures/displays “in sickness and in health.”

…I like BIG BUTTS and I cannot lie…
Sorry, with that opening bit of dialogue, I couldn’t help myself. Thanks for the giggle. 🙂
This was so light and breezy and enjoyable to read. Only nitpick, ‘engraved hanky’, I think you meant embossed? Embroidered?

Lovely humour in here, balancing that wonderfully serious side of her desperation to keep hold of their home – the only thing they had left of their Mum. And I loved the whole bet thing – how someone else’s actions so completely impact on her life. Great twist on the brief.

What a great twist to end on! Would love to know how the two of them are going to deal with her pregnancy!

Your take on this challenge is fantastic! I LOVE the humorous way in which you’ve written this! And I agree with Gina, the last line! I would love to find out what happens next! 🙂

Thank you so much you guys for the lovely comments!! You guys are awesome and really made my day! 🙂 And yes Fallon I totally meant embroidered. Thank you for catching that! 🙂

This was a great read and I want to know what’s going to happen next. So many ways this story can go. Love it!!!

Great responses from everyone, as per usual! Thanks for taking the time to enter the #WritingChallenge, we hope you enjoyed it and see you at the next one 🙂

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