***PLEASE BE ADVISED OF POSSIBLE ADULT CONTENT***
Over the next two weeks Jade was barely able to see Liam due to him being away at meetings now that he was going to be King his father thought that it be a good idea to join in the responsibilities of being King. Though she didn’t hardly get the chance to see Drake either as he was commonly with Liam in the travels to these meetings. She found out from Hana that Drake had wanted to stay behind to keep an eye on you but knew that he couldn’t let Liam face these new responsibilities alone just like Jade remembers Drake telling her that is why he came back so Liam wouldn’t be alone. Over this time she thought that it would be easy to then think about exactly what she wanted and who she wanted to be with but with getting flowers from “Marshmellow” and sweet texts from Liam including a day spa trip that she took Hana too she couldn’t come to a head of who she was going to choose. She knew she had a little bit more time and she swore to herself that before the social season was over she was going to finally pick where her heart wanted to be.
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A few days later Jade awoke in the Limo that was driving her and the Beaumont’s to the country side part of Cordonia and as she yawned and stretched Bertrand was the first to wake her “Well nice of you to finally join us. Now as you know we already talked about the Cordonian Ruby and what it symbolizes but I wanted to remind you that you are one step closer to becoming Queen, knowing this you should make sure to bring your best A game today” and as she looked at him in a questionable look he tossed a paper to her with the headline “THE ROYAL THREE” and there was photos of Liam with Olivia from Lythikos, a photo of Liam and Madeleine walking during the croquet match and then a photo of Liam and herself from the Regatta after she had won when they were standing side by side with his arm around her. “Sources believe that what started with six possible matches is now down to three front runners. Countess Madeleine as we all know was betrothed at one time to Liam’s older brother is a definite front runner in this race to queen. But we can’t rule out the close friend in Lady Olivia Nevrakis as her and Liam not only grew up together but has always been rather close. Leading with the pack is the mystery woman New Yorker Jade Morgan, who came out strong in all the events to show that though she maybe be a foreign gem she is her to make a statement. All three ladies have shown a great deal in mannerism, leadership and have been making waves with Liam’s heart. Time will only tell which Lady will outshine the rest and end up being King Liam’s happily ever after. For more on this story please see the full article on page 12” Jade read outloud in the back of the Limo. “Top three…I am up against a countess and one of his closest friends…you really think that this New Yorker is going to just swoop in and win his heart?” she said as she tossed the newspaper back to Bertrand. “I expect that yes but you know that you and Liam have a past, you know that he cares for you, but it is you that has to decide if you surely want this as well. You agreed to come help us and in return get closer to Liam to see him again and possibly start a relationship with him” and as Bertrand was starting to get a little irritated with the new wave of confusion that was hitting Jade he looked to Maxwell who was just sitting there looking down to the floor. Jade looked between the two and then to Maxwell “Maxwell do you honestly think that I can just waltz my way to his heart with this kind of competition?” and as she looked at him and he went to speak she said “Honestly” and Maxwell took a deep breath and looking right to her he could see the uncertainty in her eyes and it hurt him “Yes…Yes I can. I have never seen Liam look at either of the other girls that I have seen him look at you Jade, but it’s your heart you have to be the one to decide if this is what you want. I know personally I want you here no matter the outcome” and as he looks to Bertrand who is looking angrily at his little brother he stated “Bertrand, if Jade doesn’t capture the Kings heart I still want her here…I believe it’s her choice” and as those two began to bicker back and forth the limo finally came to a stop and Jade didn’t wait a single moment as she got out of the Limo and immediately got to the trunk getting her luggage and heading inside.
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Finding her room was rather easy as a maid at Applewood escorted her to her room and it didn’t even take her a single moment to kick off her shoes and go to her bed, falling right to it and crying into the pillow. Her heart was so torn, she had no idea what it is that she should do. What if she just went home and left both men behind, they would soon forget about her, Liam would marry Madeleine or Olivia and Drake would find an amazing woman here that would break through that tough exterior like he claims she did. What if she chose Liam, her life would be a never ending circus really, being taken all around the world, helping him with affairs, and being his Queen. What if she chose Drake, her life would be carefree to the point of adventure knowing that Drake wanted to do so much with his life but couldn’t cause he was trying to be the top best friend to Liam. As she buried her tears into her pillow she drifted off to sleep. “KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK” is what shocked her awake as she looked around seeing that she had dozed off for a good two hours “Jade? Jade are you in there its Hana” and as Jade tried to quickly wipe her eyes she answered “Just a minute Hana” as she checked the mirror and fixed her hair heading to the door and opening it to a Hana who stormed in hugging her and for the first time in a long time she really hugged Hana back knowing that she needed this “Maxwell told me that you ran off from them, they have been searching the ground for you since the front desk told them they couldn’t give the exact room to where you were even if you were one of the Lady’s, so I helped them and then started to knock on every door. Are you okay?” and as she looked to Hana another tear fell and she shook her head. Hana lead her back to the bed after shutting the door and Jade just broke into tears. “Bertrand expects me to win this, it’s a competition to him, cause House Beaumont needs a win. Maxwell sides with me and says I need to follow my heart, but I cant choose which way my heart wants to go. How can I just push away my feelings for Liam that have grown to be with Drake, but then how can I throw away the part of my heart that wants Drake to be with Liam after what happened between Drake and I before all of this started, how can I do it Hana?” Jade asked starting to look at Hana who just wrapped her in her arms and held her there. “I know I cant tell you what to do and it really does all come down to what it is you want in your heart. I had it easy, I knew that I wasn’t a right fit for Liam when I first got here, finding Maxwell was a huge slap in the face, and I …I don’t know what is going to happen with him and I but right now he is my person.” And as Jade started to look to her a little bit they continued to talk through it and by the time that Hana mentioned that shopping is a good therapy Jade had been smiling again and laughing knowing that this was going to be hard but she wouldn’t know her choice until her heart knew it. In the meantime “We have some shopping to do and like I said it can be therapeutic to your soul” and with that both ladies got up from the bed, hugged again and started to head to the boutique.
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On the way there Jade inquired with Hana about what was going to be going on this visit and Hana explained about all the apple themed activities and Jade was actually happy and she made a decision that she was just going to take the next days as they came and she was going to see Liam and Drake both when she could and each night think about each and start to narrow her heart. Heading into the shop they looked around a little bit and soon Jade’s eyes landed on a perfect dress. It was white with dress with its top off the shoulders and layered ruffles, a gold belt that was separating the top and the bottom and the bottom had a flower pattern on it stopping just before the knee and as she looked at herself in the mirror she liked this one and soon her and Hana were starting to head out of the boutique and heading out towards the orchard. Though as they walked a little bit catching up with the others soon Olivia joined them “My, my you do when to be on time don’t you Jade?” she laughed as she handed her an apple. “Here seeing as how you are not from here you have yet to taste the delicacy of the Cordanian Ruby, so I thought that I would give it to you first hand” Jade looked at her and examined the apple “Are you sure there is no sleeping course on this apple to rid of me?” and as she looked to Olivia she chuckled “Sweetheart if I wanted you out of the way believe me I would have gotten you out by now, but I would rather prove that I can win his heart, and beat out you and the Countess Madeleine on my own.” Jade just looked to her shaking her head not wanting her emotions to get the best of her and as she took a bite she instantly felt the mix of a granny apple from home and a very potent green sour apple, something so tart and sour than she had ever tasted though as she chewed she smiled to Olivia not giving her the gratification of seeing her fail “Delicious” Jade stated as she swallowed and smiled again. Olivia stormed off as she saw that she didn’t detour Jade with the sour apple but as Jade stood there she then decided that she would go with Hana to pick a few apples for her own.
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Though as they stated to tour around the orchard the press was swarming the top three trying to get photos and questions answered “Lady Jade it’s your boy Donnie here, now you have to tell me who do you think that Liam is going to choose? As you know now it’s a tight race between you, Lady Olivia and Countess Madeleine, who are you thinking he is going to choose” and as she looked to him and thought in her heart about Liam saying that he would love nothing more than it to be them she knew that she couldn’t put it out there like that so she looked to Donnie with a smile and said “Donnie, I can tell you that all the ladies here are incredible, and any one of them could win his heart. I believe that Liam is smart and I believe that he is going to choose the best woman that can be the best Queen for Cordonia. Someone who can embrace the responsibilities, embrace the role and someone that can be by his side through it all. All of these women her are worthy of it, but I don’t know who Liam is going to choose, I just know that he knows who the right one is” and as she smiles to Donnie he asks her if he can quote her and she agrees. Though right as she goes to turn Ana De Luca from Trend stops her “Lady Jade I have to say your dress is rather fitting for today’s outing, have you been able to take a taste of our prized apples yet?” Jade smiles and explains that it’s the perfect mix to represent the mix of compassion in Cordonia and as she starts to excuse herself she overhears Madeleine compliment the “elegance and poise that Lady Jade has shown in her little time her is beyond impressive” and though she wanted to stay and thank Madeleine for her kind words but was soon ushered away from the reporters by Maxwell.
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“Hey you know while we are here we should go visit the gardens, it sure is lovely this time of year let’s go” and as Jade went to question why he was acting this way she realized that its Maxwell, that this is kind of the norm and as they got to the gardens and stopped she looked to him and asked “They are beautiful but why did you bring me here” and Maxwell just tilted his head to a closed of Gazebo “someone wants to see you” and as Jade looked to him she realized that she didn’t know if it was going to be Liam or Drake and as she looked to Maxwell he told her that he would try and keep people away but to get in there and so she did and as she walked over the little bridge connecting the Gazebo to the little walkway that she was just on with Maxwell she started to step into the Gazebo and seeing that familiar blonde hair and the perfect posture even as he just looked over the pond that was surrounding the gazebo. Though from the slightest slouch that she could see she could sense that something was off with him, knowing that she hasn’t seen or talked to him at all really since the Regatta and as she walked in she said “You know they say if you stare at something to long, you will go blind” and as he turned to her his face just lit up, a complete 360 from how he just looked “Lady Jade, then I should anticipate going blind looking at you today, cause that dress, you look amazing” and as he stepped to her she did as well and they came together in a tight embrace as he kissed the top of her head. Knowing that she hadn’t felt his hug in a few weeks she missed the way that she felt secure in his arms and as she looked up to him and found him looking back to her she smiled “Miss me” and as Liam leaned in kissing the tip of her nose she giggled a little bit as he answered “I always do. These weeks have been very demanding and I know I haven’t been able to see you, I can tell you that I have missed you 100%” and as he smiled down to her his eyes looking deep into hers as she looked up to him “Well I think I missed you too I mean it was hard to miss you when I was so busy just lounging around and you know going to different places with Hana including that amazing spa day” and as she taunted him he straightened up and smiled a huge smile and asked “Did you enjoy getting massaged and taken care of like you should be?” She looked to him and remembered how amazing that it felt and as she ran her hands up and down his back she said “It was amazing, getting massaged all over releasing all that tension, I believe I speak for Hana as well when I say thank you for that” and as she looked to him he leaned down and pressed his lips to hers gently “I am glad that you had a good time but I have to say I am a little jealous of the masseuse that got to do the job for me” and he leaned to her ear and whispered “I call the next one” and she felt her heart starting to race a little bit more in her chest thinking about Liam being the one to give her the massage and as she wanted to let her mind go she couldn’t help but feel there was something else on his mind as she looked to him “There is something that is on your mind, are you alright” and for a moment he just looked to her before pulling her closer to him again.
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After a moment he pulled back and took her hands in his and as he leaned in kissing them both he asked “Jade…can…can you see yourself, leaving New York behind, leaving that place called a job behind, and starting a life her permanently, can you see yourself being by my side and being Queen of Cordonia?” and as he looked to her his eyes were a deep color of wonder and concern as his hands held hers firmly. Jade knew that this moment was going to come the moment when she would have to answer something that she really wasn’t sure of and as she looked to Liam his sun kissed eyes burning to hers as she took a deep breath “Liam I am going to be honest, if it came down to you and I, and it was going to be me stepping into that role I believe that I could if given time to learn. I mean I know that it would be hard work and a lot of new responsibilities but I know that if it is us I could try to be the best Queen that I could be” and as she looked to him she smiled knowing that shee really didn’t know for sure if she could but seeing the hope and the love in his eyes she knew that she couldn’t tell him that. “You have no idea how happy that makes me and I really would like to talk to you in depth but I can’t just yet” and as he starts to look at her again he leaned in placing a kiss to her forehead and started to then lean in pressing his lips to hers “I could stay right here forever you know that” and as his whisper cascaded over her lips she kissed him back tenderly “I know what you mean it would be a different pace that is for sure” she laughed as he kissed her again and as the kiss broke she asked “So what are your plans right now…I can tell it’s not hanging out with some gorgeous apples” and as she smiled to him as he pulled her close he answered “Haha, well to be honest I will be meeting up with Drake in the Gardens” and as she heard his name she kind of gasped a little bit wondering if he somehow found out about them. “Oh I am so sorry I hope that I am not intruding or keeping you from meeting with him” and as Liam looked to her like she was crazy he shook his head “No you are not taking me away in fact would you like to come with? I bet he would be happy to see you considering today is his birthday” Liam smiled to her as she smiled “Really I wonder why he didn’t say anything” and as Liam started to take her arm in his as a guiding way he stated that Drake never really liked to broadcast it as if to want attention so he just kind of keeps it to a minimum of who knows.
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As they walked Jade couldn’t help but think about wanting to get Drake something for his birthday though she knows that he will probably tell her to take whatever it is back but knowing that she would like to get something for him. Soon as they crossed into the gardens she saw him standing there with Maxwell and Hana and she felt her heart beat increase as he was standing there in a tight black shirt and blue jeans. The top few buttons on his shirt were perfectly undone and as she started to walk with Liam towards them she was taking deep breaths trying to not let it be known how she was taking in the site of Liam. As they got closer Jade took the lead letting go of Liam’s arm as she said with excitement “DRAKE!” and as he looked to her as she approached “Morgan why are you so hap…no, no, god no you know don’t you” and he bowed his head to the floor “Of course, Happy Birthday!” and she didn’t waste a moment before starting to hug him in a sweet gentle embrace. Drake let out a grunt as he held her in a hug and thanked her though as he did he shot a look to Liam “You told her” and Liam brought his hands up in defense “Hey it just slipped out….it will not happen again” and as Liam smiled to his best friend Jade was still hugging him and she whispered “I would like to have the birthday boy for a few moments tonight if that is possible” and she smiled to him as she let go. “Well this definitely calls for us to go out and celebrate at least with a drink” Hana suggested as she looked to Drake and smiled “We could do something more American if you want Drake it’s your day” Maxwell stated starting to smile to Liam and Jade as they were standing there nodding their head though Jade thought for a moment “Wait, your American?” Drake looked to her and smiled “Half actually my mother is American my father was Cordonian so I am a mix of it all” He looked to her giving her that amazing smile that melted her heart over and over again “I was thinking that we could go check out that Western Bar on the outskirts of the town a little bit, that’s about the most American thing that I could think of” Maxwell said starting to look at Drake and as he looked to Jade he asked “What do you think you want to get Liam and we all head out?” and as she looked to him she smiled and agreed to going out as well and Liam chuckled and said that he would attempt to make it out there as well.
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After a few hours they all met up at the bar that was just as Maxwell said right outside of the town and the moment that they all walked in they saw the bar, the dance floor, the pool tables, and the mechanical bull. “You weren’t kidding this is drooling with American ways isn’t it” Jade smiled starting to walk in with Drake on her left and Liam who managed to sneak away on her right. As they walked towards a high top table Jade spoke up “Alright everyone we are here to celebrate Drake on his birthday so I am going to go get his birthday shots and then we can do whatever we want to do, deal?” and as everyone agrees Drake could be like “No you don’t have to get them for me” and as he blushes a little bit she said “Hey birthday drinks are free, it’s a bartender rule” and as she laughed a little bit giving him that smile he looked right to her as he leaned in to whisper “No one says no to a beautiful girl” and as she heard what he said he felt her heart soar in her chest “Well thank you that’s exactly why I am going up there and not the birthday boy” and as she gave him a little wink he smiled to her and headed up. Soon she returned with flat of 5 whiskey shots. Liam grabbed his shot glass first and raised it up to toast Drake “To the best friend I have ever had, you have done more for me than so many will ever know and for that I thank you for not just being my best friend but like another brother to me” and as he smiled Maxwell went on to say a few words and then Hana did as well. Soon they all looked to Jade as she smiled and said “Being the new person to this country I never thought in my dreams that I would feel so welcome and that is partially due to you, in addition to Liam and Maxwell and my new best friend Hana, so I toast you today on your birthday that you have another year full of memories, and filled with loyal friends” as she raised her shot glass “Happy Birthday Drake” she said smiling to him as they all slammed their shot back. Drake looked around and thanked everyone but held Jade’s eyes for a moment longer than he should have.
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After a few more rounds of shots the group decided to spread out a little bit as Liam talked with Hana and Drake, Maxwell was trying to get up the nerves to ask Hana to dance even though they were already past that he knew that dancing was a little bit more of a public display and didn’t want to rush her. But soon it lead to Drake actually getting on the bull and he rode it with a perfection that Jade had never seen though as the bull did buck a little too hard Drake lost his grip and was tossed off the bull and literally tossed into Jade causing her to fall back and Drake landing on top of her and she immediately started to laugh and asked him “are you alright” she laughed and Drake stood up and immediately helped her up and as they stood up he looked at her “Morgan I literally plowed into you and you are asking if I am alright, but are you okay” as he started looking her over she smiled “I am fine I promise” and as she stood there with him she then felt a finger tap her on the shoulder and as she turned she saw Liam standing there and as she smiled he asked her if he could have one dance with her as he had to return to speak with Bastien about the next activities. Drake smiled to her and then looked to Liam and thanked him for coming out and Liam promised that he would take Drake out again just those two to celebrate and Drake nodded hugging his best friend. Liam then lead Jade to the dance floor starting to pull her a little bit closer starting to sway side to side “I am glad that you came with tonight and I wish that we could have had a little bit more time alone but after all this is Drakes birthday so I am just going to have to steal you away again later” and as he smiled to her she rested her head on Liam’s chest dancing with him slowly and as she then looked up to him as the song started to close she could see in his eyes that he wanted to kiss her but they both know that he couldn’t not out in public like this and so he leaned in kissing her cheek and then kissed the top of her hand “Have a good rest of the night sweet Jade” and as he smiled to her he gave her a little wink and started to walk her back to the group. Liam gave his goodbyes to the group and told Drake that he would text him when he got back so they knew that he was back safe.
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Shortly after Liam left Hana and Maxwell were back on the floor leaving Jade and Drake standing together and talking though as Jade looked out to the dance floor Drake kind of took it as a hint as he grabbed her hand and started to lead her to the dance floor. Soon they were standing a little bit more on the outsides of the dance floor where she had her arms around his neck and his arms were around her back holding her close to him as they moved perfectly together. She looked up at him as the song by Kane Brown “What If’s” played around them. As Drake started to bring her closer he began to sing the lyrics in her ear and soon Jade was signing along with him as well starting to think about the words that were being said and she soon couldn’t take it as she leaned up kissing his cheek tenderly as he smiled to her holding her so close it was as if they were one. Shortly after the song ended they all decided that it was time to head out and head back and as they walked Jade realized that Drake was walking a little bit slower than them and she started to hang back. “What, is the birthday boy not ready for the night to be over” and as she smiled to him he stopped right there in the tracks and as Hana and Maxwell looked back Jade gave the hand to have them go ahead. “Jade tonight has been perfect and I owe a lot of that to you” and as she smiled to him she asked what it was like growing up with his birthday parties and such and he explained that it was hard for his parents at times cause they couldn’t get for him like they wanted and how it was hard knowing that his best friend – Liam was having huge parties and such and they always felt bad that they couldn’t give more. Jade looked to him picturing little Drake getting presents and still being the sweet person that he is and thanking his parents for whatever they could get him. “So as I grew it became a tradition that Liam and I would go out on our birthdays and we would each buy each other a top shelf drink and that would be what we would do” Jade looked to him “I am sorry if we ruined the tradition” she said giving a sad look and as she looked down Drake tilted her face up to him and looked right to her eyes “You didn’t ruin anything in fact tonight was amazing having you here, the only issue was wanting to be selfish with you and I couldn’t when Liam was here” and as he looked right to her Jade started to wrap her arms around his waist starting to feel her heart beating faster.
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Jade couldn’t get enough of him and as he stroked her cheek and she was looking up to him she smiled as she said “Happy Birthday Drake” and knowing she had been wanting to give him one all night she leaned up on her tip toes and pressed her lips to his cheek leaving it there for a good moment but as she pulled away he looked to her and said “You know I was hoping maybe for a little bit more for my birthday gift” and as he smiled to her she laughed a little bit “Right here…out in the open” and as he smiled to her he leaned in whispering “Well I could walk you back to your room you know” and as he leaned in a little bit more he pressed his lips to just below her earlobe. Jade could feel just with those words alone were driving her mind in all different directions and as he breathing started to catch a little bit as she felt his lips on her again she nodded as they then started to walk back towards the manor.
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Once in the manor and to her room they made sure that they were able to sneak into her room though as they got into the room and he shut her door and locked it he immediately turned her to him and then to the back of the door pressing her against the door “I have been wanting to get you alone all night you know that” and as she smirked to him feeling him pressing her to the door she looked right to his eyes “Oh really…did it upset you that I danced with Liam” and as she looked to him he lean in and whispered “I have never been more jealous of my best friend then I was at that moment” and he then kissed her right below her ear and started to run his hands up and down her sides a little bit as her hands started to run up and down his arms “Over little ol’ me come on now Drake” and as she laughed a little bit seeing the way that he was serious in his eyes as they stared right to her now she could see that he was telling the truth and before she knew it his lips were pressing against hers in a red hot kiss. His lips tasted of whiskey and as she could feel the want and the need behind his kiss and as she kissed him back she wrapped her arms around his neck starting to slowly hold him closer to her. His kiss was deep and though she had kissed him so many times before each time that they found themselves like this it felt like the first time. “Damn it Jade, you have no idea what you do to me” and as he kissed her again she parted her lips just enough for him to explore her mouth. The heat that was building inside her caused her to moan when she felt his tongue on hers.
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Soon Drake couldn’t take it anymore as he started to lift her into his arms and started to bring her over to the bed starting to lay her back and as the kissing continued, the heat continued to rise and as he was settled in between her legs he was still just devouring her lips with his. As Jade couldn’t hold back the things that she was feeling with him again and remembering all the times that they have shared she couldn’t hold back as she ran her hands down and started to pull at his shirt letting her hands slide up his warm skin. Causing him to moan to her lips he finally broke and said “You know if you keep doing that…I may not be able to stop this time” and as she looked to him she could feel in her heart that she could see herself going all the way with him but right now wasn’t the way she wanted it to be and as she looked at him she leaned up kissing him and said “As amazing as I know that would be, I know right now we can’t” and as she looked to him she saw the sincerity in his eyes of understanding as he pressed his lips to hers one more time before resting his forehead to hers “I know we can’t babe and I don’t ever want to push you before you are ready” and as Jade heard the words that he was saying she felt her heart starting to beat knowing that her ex dumped her because she didn’t put out and as she looked to him she stated “Thank you, I, I know that I am close to figuring everything out and I just thank you for not pushing me and for your patience” and as she smiled to him he smiled to her “Hey we waited how long before you came here…I can wait until you are ready” and as he looked right to her he leaned in one more time starting to press his lips to hers again before starting to pull himself off her. He told her to change into her pjs and to meet him back her that he didn’t want to end his birthday just yet and as she listened to him and headed out after changing into a pair of cotton shorts and a tank top she walked back out to where he was already in the bed though on top of the covers to be respectful. Though as she got into bed she literally pulled the blankets all the way down to get him under the blankets and not wasting any time as she leaned right to him starting to cuddle him as they laid there. Over the next few hours Jade and Drake were talking about everything and anything that either one of them could bring from their first time in New York, to seeing each other again, to the social season, to Hana and Max and so on but soon enough Jade did start to doze off and as she looked to him one more time she said “Please don’t leave” and her eyes began to close as he leaned in kissing the top of her head and said “I am here for you…always” and soon he joined her in falling asleep as they held onto each other.
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After having a good night’s sleep even after getting to bed rather late Jade woke early enough the next morning still in Drake’s arms, he hadn’t left her just like he said that he wouldn’t. Though as she looked to the clock seeing that it said 8 AM knowing that soon her alarm – Maxwell would be there to wake her up, she leaned to him kissing his cheek and then to his shoulder starting to wake him up “You know Morgan if you promise to wake me up like this every morning, I could get used to it” and as he smiled to her, his eyes starting to blink open she smiled to him “I would wake you up like this every morning if only you could spend every night here” and as she started to poke his sides a little bit she gasped when he flipped her around to be on top of her bringing the sheets over them both as if in a fort as he smiled to her “I think if we hide here, the rivalry will not be able to find us and we can be free” and as she smiled up to him “I don’t think they would give up to easily knowing that we were both at the manor and now we are invisible” and as she laughed he started to lean in pressing his lips to hers “If only this sheet worked to make us disappear” and as he lowered himself to her a little bit more she looked to him “It would be a nice get away wouldn’t it” and as she looked up to him leaning up again to kiss him she heard the knock on the door “Rivalry is here….get to the side of the bed” and as he started to get out from under the sheets actually slipping into the bathroom instead Jade walked to the door fixing her hair and opening it. Maxwell stood there behind it just like normal “Good morning little Apple Blossom are you ready for today” and as he explained everything he then let her get ready. Soon Drake came out and left the room for her to get ready but not before stealing a kiss before leaving.
Over the next few hours once Jade was completely ready they headed out to the Orchard where she met with the other ladies and where the festivities for Apple Queen was to be held. Queen Regina was present to introduce the history of the Apple Queen festivities and she acknowledged that it was her that was the first official Queen. Soon the ladies were assigned to a team and in the team building they had to make an amazing Apple Pie that would be judged by Queen Regina herself. Throughout the hour that they had to do so Olivia was doing what she could to jeopardize the other team and in the end it was her team that did win. Regina even complemented Jade on her choice of outfit for that day saying that it was fitting just for the perfect Apple Queen.
As things started to calm a little bit after the pie making contest Regina pulled Jade to the side “May I have a moment Lady Jade?” and as Jade swallowed hard nervous about what was to come she nodded her head and followed Regina off to the side of the Apple fields. “Lady Jade I wanted to get your opinion on a few people and see your side of what you see in a few of the ladies.” Jade smiled and answered “I will give my most honest insight Ma’am” and as she smiled to Regina she saw Regina smile back. “Now I know that things have been a little scarce lately with the leading Lady Countess Madeleine but I have to know what are your thoughts about her? I am aware that some of the other ladies find in unfair and unethical that she get a chance with Liam when she was betrothed to Leo prior to his abdicating himself from court. I want your opinion.” Jade looked to her and though she did agree that she didn’t think that it was fair but she knew that Madeleine was a strong woman and knowing that she needed everyone on her side, including Regina she knew what she had to say “Madeleine is a wonderful woman, she is strong and she certainly is capable of ruling next to Liam if he chooses her. I believe that she is a valuable asset to the Cordonian court and I know that she would lead with everything that would be needed to lead.” Jade smiled as she thought otherwise to herself knowing that she feels that Madeleine wouldn’t be there for Liam in more than just a business sense, that she wouldn’t be good for him personally but more so just ethically.
Regina smiled to her “I know that you are rather close with Lady Hana, what are your thoughts on her?” Jade smiled hearing her best friends name “Lady Hana is compassionate, loyal and my best friend here. She accepted me when no one knew me and took me in and I thank her every day for just reaching out to a foreigner like me. She is incredible and so diverse in so many ways that I believe that she would be a great leader with Liam. Being with the way she was raised, she could contribute so many thing and teach so much to anyone that she talks too, I know she would make a great Queen if Liam were to choose her” and as she looked to Regina she saw something in her eyes as if she knew that there was something else going on. Of course Jade did know that she and Maxwell were basically together and even Liam knew that as well that she was really not in the running anymore to be queen. Regina looked to her and smiled as she said “I know that you probably think that this is just silly that I am asking you these questions but I am not around you ladies daily, not like you are. I just want to know from an outsider – no offense to you though, you have shown me that you are worthy of being her and you have grown so much. But to see what I can’t see I know that I have to ask the best that there is.” Jade looked to her shocked at the words that were coming from Regina and as she continued to ask about Olivia, Penelope and even Kiara, Jade thought that she would be done soon but Regina looked to her and asked “What are your thoughts on Liam’s best friend, Drake? I do know that you have been spending time with him as well during the festivities and I know that he is rather different from us but he is Liam’s best friend. I need to know if what I see in him is shown to everyone and not just that he is faking it around us” though as Jade heard Drakes name she started to feel her heart beat starting to race as she knew that she couldn’t just blurt out everything that she felt for him and or be too giving away to what she felt and how she saw Drake and after about a moment she smiled. “Drake is very loyal, reliable, caring, compassionate, and the way that he cares for Liam shows just how great of guy that he is to be standing by his best friend when Liam needs him. He is always looking out for Liam’s best interest and will stop at nothing to make sure that Liam is okay and is taken care of. I have seen it firsthand the bond that they share and I have to report that I see it too and that there is no way that Drake is just faking it. He loves Liam more-so like a brother and I know he will be there for him through the end of time.” Regina seemed to ponder what was being told to her and soon left Jade to head back though leaving Jade to think about what she just told Regina hoping that it didn’t screw something up.
After around another hour of festivities and apple picking, Queen Regina finally announced the winner of the festivities and that Lady Jade was the Apple Queen. She was soon able to assign people to her court making Maxwell the court Jester and Drake the cup bearer – who would save the Queen from Poison if there was ever an attempt. As Jade smiled to Drake knowing that he would be the one to protect her in harm’s way she knew that she would never want something bad to happen to him though. As the proceedings continued it soon became time for Liam and Jade – being that she was named the Queen to plant a baby apple tree to signify a new beginning and a continuation of a Cordonian tradition. During the apple planting Ana De Luca ended up snapping a photo of Liam and Jade smiling together around the baby tree and then catching the final honor.
“It is my duty to present my Apple Queen with a victory kiss” Liam stated as he kneeled before her and as she nodded in approval Liam stood to his feet, leaning in and kissing her cheek. Though as she felt his lips touch her cheek so gently she did feel a shiver run through her body but she knew that she couldn’t respond to it not in front of everyone, though as she opened her eyes she saw Drake looking away. She felt her heart sink as she started to then feel Liam’s lips leave her cheek as everyone started to leave. Liam smiled to her “You know now that we are alone, I can give you the prize that I really wanted to give you” and as he smiled to her he took her hand and started to lead her past the first few rows of the apple trees laughing as they went and the moment that they were out of sight, he turned her to face him the biggest smile on his face that she had seen in a while and as she smiled to him his hands instantly went to cup her cheeks as he said “Now about that real prize.” As he smiled to her one more time leaning in and pressing his lips to hers tenderly kissing her, her hands started to wrap around his waist to hold him there as she did kiss him back. Knowing that she felt what she did for Drake she knew that there was still feeling for Liam as well and this kiss that he was giving her was definitely not making it any easier on her. As his lips continued to caress hers she felt her body giving into his kiss but soon enough it was over as he rested his forehead to hers “That was some prize there sir” as she smiled to him and he looked right to her eyes “You deserved it, my Queen” he said as his eyes just peered into hers as he then said “I know that I don’t have a lot of time but I wanted to steal you even for a moment” and as he looked to her she smiled “Well I am glad that you were able too.” Her smiled faded though as she thought about when the next time that she might get to have a moment with him might be knowing that right now time is of the essence and knowing that spending time with both of them is something that she should be doing to make sure that she can really decide finally. Though as Liam looked to her understanding the sad look in her eyes he said “I am sorry that it’s like this, but I need you to know that every day that we get closer to the end the closer it will be to finally figure out where we want to go from here” he said to her leaning in and kissing her lips one more time. “I promise that when I get another chance I will steal you away” and as she nodded in understanding he started to head out before her as he told her to walk the other way through the apple trees. Though as she did she ended up stopping halfway and leaned against one of the trees starting to feel in her heart that she didn’t know if she could continue like this but knew that she had to be fair. After a few moments she rejoined the others though there was no sign of Drake, even as they got back to the manor she retired to her room and fell asleep as she hit the bed knowing that she just wanted the day to be over.
Jade slept almost completely through the night only waking up three times from tossing and turning in a dream that she couldn’t even understand. Though as she awoke and took her morning jog not finding anyone else up at the moment she was able to really let her thoughts take over her mind though as she looked to her phone it read 6 AM, she knew that she had to get back. As she got back to her room and showered it wasn’t long before there was a knock on the door and as she opened it she was greeted by Maxwell and Bertrand who explained that today was now the Kings turn to host the festivities and that it was going to be a “Fox Hunt” through the historic hunting grounds – although it was not a real hunt, it was just a ride through the grounds and ending with a feast. Although Jade was nodding her head in agreement and the ever so often “uh huh” she wasn’t really paying too much attention as her mind and heart were simply not in it. As Bertrand was able to tell that something was wrong he took leave directing Maxwell to get her to the boutique to get her a new riding outfit knowing that she would have to look professional. As Bertrand took his leave and the moment that the door was shut Maxwell looked to her “Alright spill what is going on?” and as he sat down on the bed with her she looked to him tears already in her eyes before even saying anything “Oh I think I already know, you are still torn between Drake and Liam am I right?” and as she nodded her head he took in a deep breath “You know I could try to get you sometime with Liam today” and she stated “I don’t want to bother him. I know that he has duties to be with the other ladies, well besides Hana now but I can’t just barge in and take time with him when there are four other ladies that are here for him.” As she looked down to her lap she started to feel the guilt and as Maxwell talked to her again just reassuring her that everything was going to be alright and that there was still time until she had to know for sure what she wanted to do, he did get her to smile and finally he stood and she did too as they embraced in a hug, she knew that she could always rely on Maxwell and knew that without him, she wouldn’t be able to continue on.
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Soon there-after and meeting with Hana in the boutique Jade headed out to the stables again to get her horse and as she was now sporting her new outfit of a burgundy riding jacket and tan pants, she was looking over the horses knowing that she would have to find one soon and head out there. Though as she approached the stable of Silver Star she started to pet his nose a little bit “Sometimes I feel like you must feel, trapped, afraid and always wondering if this is the way that life should be” and as she leaned in to rest her head to his nose and he let her she started to hear footsteps behind her. “You know they can’t talk back right” and as she turned she saw Liam standing there smiling to her. “Oh I…I am sorry if I was taking too long to pick a horse” and as she looked down to the ground she felt Liam start to wrap his arms around her bringing her to him in a tight hug. “No worries, I already have my horse, I came in here cause a little birdy told me that you were feeling down” and as he started to lean in he pressed a kiss to the top of her head gently. “Let me guess is that little birdy named Maxwell Beaumont” and as Liam chuckled she knew that she was right as she started to know that if she left it up to Maxwell she would have all the time in the world with him. “Leave it to that little birdy to try and get me to cheer up” and as she looked up to him Liam’s blue eyes shone down to her “What’s going on Jade?” he said starting to reach out stroking her cheek a little bit and as she tilted her head to his hand she let a tear go as she stated “I, I am just going through the emotions and the ups and downs I mean part of me is so happy to be here and getting to see you, but part of me really wonders if I can continue on like this” and as she looked to him and let a tear go and he wiped away the tear right away. “I shouldn’t even feel like this cause I understand completely that you have a responsibility, but when I think about it, can I really be what you need” and as she started to continue she stated “How am I any different? We get like ten minutes here, five minutes there and if I am lucky we can sneak off…how can you be sure that you can really fall in love with,” and before she could continue she felt his lips crash down to hers kissing her deeply and with a passion that was new from him. Her arms immediately went up around his neck holding him there. His lips pressed against hers in a fierce heat that she had never felt from him and as her heart began to beat faster in her chest she started to feel her back hitting one of the closed stable doors as his arms wrapped around her waist but soon reaching to her arms that were around his neck and pressing them to the door pinning her there. His lips started to travel down from her lips and to her neck as her breathing increased into little gasps and moans as she felt his lips devouring her neck. She closed her eyes feeling the desire racing through her to every inch of her being. His lips stopped to whisper in her ear “Don’t you dare think for a moment that I don’t care so deeply for you, that I don’t want you every time I see you, that kissing you is like an addiction that I can’t break, that every time I even look at you I just want to steal you away and end this charade of trying to find the one” and as his words hit her heart she could feel the words just molding in her mind “Promise me that you won’t ever think differently” and as he started to lean in nipping her neck she moaned out against the air around her “I…I promise” and as she said those words his lips cascaded up her neck and then to her lips again starting to reach down with one hand he began to run his hand down her side and then around her back side until he was able to get right under her thighs, his other hand joining as he lifted her up pressing her with his body more to the stable door.
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Jades eyes were still pressed together though as she felt Liam’s body against hers she couldn’t stop her mind from drifting to the way that her and Drake were that night in the wine cellar as she tried to push the thoughts out knowing that it was only fair she tried to erase it by started to lock her ankles behind his waist as he pressed to her more and more “God Jade what are you doing to me…I have never, ever wanted someone as bad as I want you right now” and as he said that she ran her hands into the opening of his jacket “We….we can’t not right here, someone ….someone might see us” and as she tried to keep her breathing down as he was rotating his hips against her teasingly in a somewhat grinding motion, he smirked “I am tempted to just let everyone see just how much my feelings are for you” and as he started to lean in capturing her bottom lip with his teeth he bit down just a little bit causing her body to arch to his and he pressed to hers as a moan escaped her again though this time he moaned with her. As he pressed to her and slide his hand down her side to her thigh he soon started to hear King Constantine talking with Bastien heading towards the stables “I guess we might have to wait, and believe me I will wait as long as it takes baby” and as he started to lower her down to where she was standing now he leaned in kissing her tenderly one more time before walking her back over to Silver Star and starting to get the horse out and just in time as both Bastien and Kind Constantine stepped into the stable “Oh my boy I didn’t know you were helping Lady Jade” and as he explained they smiled to one another and then Liam helped her join the others before the ride began. Although her mind was not on riding at all she got into the saddle and started with her friends heading on the trail.
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Along the trail was such beautiful scenery that Jade had never experienced before, looking over the hills at the leaves and the way that the sun just sparkled off of them. The air was light and crisp as the light breeze washed over her and though she did join the others including Olivia who admitted to her that she is glad that Jade and herself had a common thought on Madeleine, Jade really wasn’t feeling it. Knowing that in her mind and in her heart she had a raging battle between choosing between two amazing men. Though as he mind was thinking through the times that she has had with both of them she was interrupted when she heard “Hey Morgan!” and as she looked back she saw Drake riding up on his horse. She smiled back to him surprised to see him and as she slowed down her horses speed she looked to him and said “There you are, I didn’t think you were going to be here” and as he caught up to her he smiled to her “Yeah I had an opening in my schedule, and thought oh what the hell I could go for a small ride” he said starting to give her a little smirk and wink.
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“Are you sure you just didn’t miss me?” and as she smiled to him giving him that little laugh of hers he looked to her raising his eyebrow “No Comment” and as she looked to him again she could see it in his eyes the truth. Jade and Drake continued to push forward though falling behind the others quite a bit “You want to know something Jade? When I first met you in New York I thought that after that last day that I was never going to see you again, so what was felt I just pushed it away, and then seeing you again when I was there with Liam, I wanted so badly to no like you at that moment. I knew that deep down I did, but I didn’t want too” and as he looked to her she could feel her heart starting to beat faster and starting to actually ache. “I didn’t want to like you because I didn’t know if I could past the fact that you were willing to put yourself through this social season, to get what five minutes with him each day. I just didn’t want to fall into any feelings knowing you were here for him” though as he looked down he heard her say “Drake, I didn’t want to like you either. That night in New York, I had never started liking someone that fast ever in my life before, so I knew that there was something about you. Now, knowing everything and having the truth out there and with what we have already been through, I know that I can’t stop myself from the feelings that I have. I know that I have a huge decision that I have to make and I know that I have to soon, but I never thought something like this, someone like you...would ever happen to me and to throw Liam in that equation, I had no idea what to expect.” Drake listened to her and started to ride closer to her as he reached out and taking her hand a little bit as the horses slowed even more. “Jade, no matter what you decide, you know you’re never going to lose me. I can promise you that” and as he looked to her and she back to him they both leaned forward and connected in the middle sharing a small gentle kiss as he pulled back rather quickly knowing that they could get caught at any moment out in the open, starting to lead her to catch up, they soon joined the rest and Hana asked if she was okay and she made up a small lie that she started to get a little dizzy so had to stop for a little bit, which of course as Hana looked to her and Drake she knew was a lie but the other ladies around them didn’t even think twice.
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Over the next few hours, learning more and more about the hunts that used to take place and the feast that King Constantine had provided for all on the social tour, those in attendance broke off into small groups. At first it was Jade and Hana and shortly there-after it grew to adding Penelope and Kiara as well, and through the talks Jade found herself looking over to where Drake and Liam were talking and laughing, but then her eyes veered over and saw Maxwell and Bertrand talking and Maxwell didn’t look to happy and as she started to see as though Maxwell went to say something Bertrand stormed off. Jade knew that though it may not be her place, she considered Maxwell to be like family so she walked over to him “Maxwell what…what was that all about” and as she looked to him and his eyes met hers she could see that he was sad and disheartened “Jade, I know that you told me that you are feeling for things for Drake, but I have to remind you…you are here for Liam. Whatever doubts you have they will fade, this whole thing was for you to end up Liam. Focus everything you have on him, you have too” and as he looked to her she could tell that something was off “Maxwell you know that I can’t…” and as she started to take he brought his hand up “You have to Jade, there is no other way” and as Maxwell went to leave she reached out and took his arm and the look in his eyes was pure sadness “I am sorry, but this is just how it has to be” and as he shrugged her hand off him she felt her heart starting to break and the thoughts that were running through her head were not that of Drake vs Liam right now but what had just happened to make Maxwell turn on her like that, what did Bertrand say to him? Did Bertrand know about her and Drake’s meetings? So many thoughts were racing through her mind that when she heard “Hello Lady Jade” she jumped as she turned seeing Tariq standing there “Tariq I didn’t know that you were here on the trip” and as she started to smile nicely to him she saw that he was smiling a little bit more to her than normal and as he explained why he was there they did end up talking for a little bit before Jade excused herself to rejoin the others.
As the night started to fall and the guest started to get ready to head out, some did even up leaving ahead of the others wanting to get back before night fall took over completely, the only ones left were Liam, Drake, Maxwell, Hana and Jade herself decided to stay back. They all sat around talking for a little bit though Maxwell was unusually quiet and soon they all decided to take leave. Liam helped Jade get back onto her horse and kissed her hand as he then went to his and started to ride back and everyone else followed. Once back to the stables and they all dismounted and got their horses taken care of, Liam was called to the manor by Bastien and Hana had walked off with Maxwell wanting to figure out what was going on, leaving Jade and Drake walking out together and heading back to the manor. Though as they walked Jade kept her head down and showing the sadness on her face from what was said between her and Maxwell earlier. “How about a penny for your thoughts” Drake asked her as he started to walk with he a little bit more looking to her with a concerned look in his eyes and as she took in a deep breath she explained that she just had a lot on her mind and she knew in her mind and to herself that this was all going to be over soon, that she was either going to be engaged to Liam or she would be telling him no and seeing if there was a future here with Drake. Drake looked to her and stated “I know that right now is not easy for you and I never….I never intended to put you in this spot, hell I was about to leave the moment that I saw you were coming back with us. I wanted to leave so badly but knowing how this is and how things like this go, I couldn’t leave Liam as you know, but the more that I think about it, I couldn’t leave you” he said as he started to look right to her “I…I couldn’t just leave knowing that you were going to be here alone and now I find more and more that I am glad I did. I wouldn’t have been able to be away and worrying about you and not knowing if you are alright” At that moment Jade didn’t care she wrapped her arms around him and hugged him right to her. After everything that happened that day and everything leading up to that moment she knew that she was in the right place with the right person. She knew what she had to do and knew in her heart that this was it. Though, as she went to say something to Drake, Hana text her asking her to come to her room. Drake smiled and offered to walk her which she accepted. Though after a few hours with Hana, Jade ended up heading back to her room and as she laid in bed thinking about how to tell the one she is choosing, the one she wants to be with, she ended up falling asleep rather soundly for the first time in a long time.