423Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡv0zsPCLJwt
This was it…Jade was standing there looking right at Liam as he asked again “Jade?” his voice soft and calming as she started to smile a little bit more her hands starting to calm as well as she realized she was clenching her fists in the wake of being nervous. “Do I get a special prize if I say yes?” she laughed out as her green eyes met Liam’s. “What are you doing here…I thought that you would still be back in New York” he exclaimed as he reached for her hand to take it starting to look right at her as her heart began to beat faster in her chest. “Let’s just say a wacky friend of yours thinks that we shared a moment and he believes that I could win the Prince’s…well your heart” she said giving him another shy smile. Inside she was shaking and so nervous though as she looked just past Liam she saw Drake look to her and shake his head starting to head out of the room. She thought that he had already left but she knew that she couldn’t go after him. He had said his peace and there was nothing there, that night was gone, their moment was gone. “Jade, I just I can’t believe that you are here” Liam stated as he leaned in and pressed his lips to the back of her hand as she bowed her head in respect to Liam. Jade could feel her mind whirling with the thoughts about what she was doing, if she could really do this as she looked and caught Liam’s eyes again smiling she started to stand straight again. “Jade would you do me the honor and please save a dance for me. I have to meet with the other ladies but I really would like to have a few moments with you.” Liam stated as he started to bring her hand up to his lips again kissing the tender skin there on her hand gently sending shivers through her spine but nothing near the way another set of lips set her on fire. “Of course I will. I will just head over and mingle a little bit and then I will come steal you away.” Jade gave him a smile starting to take a deep breath and starting to then turn to walk away as she heard him say as he leaned into her “I hope you stay true to that statement.” As she then blushed and started turned away from Liam feeling her heart starting to return to normal and her mind settling on that this might not be as bad as she thought it would be, though wondering if this is how it was really going to be for the time that she was here.
As Jade started to make her way around the room she spotted a familiar face sitting on one of the chairs closer to the side of the room and as she approached she noticed that there were a lot of other gals there, and as she approached Maxwell who was sitting on the chair she placed her hand on his shoulder as he jumped a little bit. “How did it go with the King and Liam?” Maxwell asked starting to stand, offering her his chair. Jade sat down accepting the moment to sit down and reflect for a moment, “I think that it went alright to be honest, the king seemed happy with me and I …I just really wish I could have taken Liam away. Once he found out it was me I could tell that he wanted to talk more and he even asked me to save him a dance later, so I am thinking that it went good with him too.” Jade smiled as a server passed by offering a flute of Champaign that she gladly accepted. It was crisp and almost like an apple cider, though it was chilled just perfectly. Knowing that she normally didn’t drink Champaign she knew that things are definitely not going to be like they were before. As she sipped the last of the Champaign down to the very last drop she started to think again about if she could do this. Sure she was feeling something for Liam but could she fall in love, become a royal, not just any royal but a queen, she was just a waitress at a bar in New York, how could she take on an entire kingdom. Though as she thought a little bit more, Maxwell jumped into her thoughts “Hey Jade are you doing alright? You seem a little….out there” Maxwell stated as he pulled another chair up and Jade looked to him realizing just then that she had been looking down to the floor not really paying attention. “Yeah I am alright I just…I am just a little tired I guess.” She lied as she knew that it was her concerns taking over her mind and making her thoughts clouded, and not to mention she was wondering if she made the right choice to come all the way to Cordonia. Maxwell looked to her starting to see that she was deep in thought again. “Jade I know that this is going to be difficult and I know that there are going to be things that you are not going to know, but you will have myself and my brother Bertrand.” And he could start to smile to her a little bit starting to reach out to take her hand a little bit “You can do this Jade, if I thought for one moment that you couldn’t I wouldn’t have come back for you. You have that spark and the new face look that we need here in Cordonia. You have what it takes and I believe this with everything.” He stated as he smile to her and slowly that smile started to creep back to her face, “You know Maxwell you are right but just one thing, when you came back for me how did you know that I could be the change or what Liam needs?” as she took another flute of a passing server. Maxwell smiled as he said “I knew when I saw that smile on Liam’s face, a smile that I have not seen in a long time. It was like he already knew that you would be the one to make things right again. So I believe that you belong here…but I do sense that it’s time for you to cut in and get your dance with Liam.” He stated as he nodded towards the King getting ready to leave though another brunette was standing in front of Liam, Jade knew that she told him that she would dance one time at least with him. As she looked to Maxwell he smiled and stated “Go get him Jade.” As he took the Champaign glass from her hand as she started to stand up and head over to claim her dance with the prince.
As she started to walk over she heard Liam talking to the gal about a golden poodle statue and as she took another step and stopped to be respectful she saw Liam look to her as she smiled gently and asked “May I cut in, I believe that I own the Prince a dance.” Although the woman seemed rather upset she stepped to the side and allowed Jade to take her place as Liam smiled to her. No words were spoken as he took her hands in his and started to lead her around the dance floor though soon he broke the silence. “You handled that very well I must say.” As he started to glide her around the floor her dress twirling around her legs as she followed his lead knowing that she has never done the waltz before. “Well I am glad that I have done something right so far” she laughed as she looked him in the eyes as he smiled back to her “You know I still can’t believe that you are actually here, I never thought in my wildest dreams that you would be here in front of me. After that night in New York I thought that we would never be able to talk again or be around each other again” and as his voice trailed off she looked at him seeing the way that there was a small group that gathered around her and Liam and as he noticed her getting a little bit nervous he led her through an alcove and out onto the front lawn the music still ringing in their ears.
Their dance continued in the privacy of the gardens and as they spoke about how things are going to be and even a little bit about Bertrand. Jade began to feel so comfortable being in his arms again as he walked her around just a little bit knowing that they couldn’t go too far, and soon they began walking back towards the alcove that they walked through, though before they walked back in Liam turned Jade to look at him and said, “You have to know that I am so excited that you are here. I just hope that you will never regret your choice to come here and to see if this is something that you would like to have for your life.” He stated as he started to reach to her cheek stroking it gently as she looked up to him their eyes meet and as she knew that she wanted to take this chance she knew that she was terrified but she knew that she didn’t want to give up just yet as she smiled to him she responded “If I was going to regret coming here….I never would have come in the first place, but I do have to ask you one thing.” Though as she looked at him she felt the intensity of his eyes peering right to hers as he nodded and she asked, “Is this how it’s going to be all the time, just stealing little moments here and there.” Liam’s eyes fell to the ground as he then looked to her and answered. “I am afraid so, for right now more so than later. I have to spend an equal amount of time with each of the ladies that are here. I do need you to know though that I will do anything to make sure that at every event, we get some time together. I don’t want you to think anything less of our time just because it is going to be limited for the time being.” Liam started to stroke her cheek again as he continued “I care about you Jade so much and if I could change the rules I would right now and just work on our relationship but unfortunately I cannot, I just hope that you trust in me to fight for us as well.” Liam stated as he looked her in the eyes starting to lean in tenderly, she couldn’t help but smile as she leaned up to him “I will hold you to that promise” she smiled as he leaned in pressing his lips to hers in a tender, delicate kiss that sent waves of warmth through her. As she melted into his arms he was interrupted and pulled away instantly as he heard someone come through the alcove. “Sadly we better get back in there, I will see you at the Derby tomorrow, at the picnic.” As he smiled he leaned in kissing her forehead walking her back into the ballroom.
As they parted their ways Liam and his father made the closing speech as Liam explained he must retire due to a prior meeting that he would have to take part of. Jade looked at Liam one more time before starting to turn to head out though as she turned she ran right into Hana. “Hana! I am so sorry I didn’t see you right there.” Jade exclaimed as she placed her hand over her chest as she was startled just a little bit of running into her but so happy that she ran into her and not someone else. “Oh Jade that is okay I was just looking for you to be honest, I was wondering if you wanted to get out of here for a little bit and just go site seeing for a bit?” Though as Jade went to go answer she looked just behind Hana a little ways and could see Drake standing there at the edge of the room and her heart sank the way that he was standing there with his rugged shirt on looking just as handsome as he did the night of the bachelor party. Hana turned around and then back to Jade and smiled, “Actually why not go talk to him?” she smiled. Jade looked to Hana who gave her a wink “What do you mean why….why would I go talk to Drake?” as her eyes traveled between Hana and then back to where Drake was standing again and just as Hana raised her eyebrow and turned to look at Drake she caught Drake looking over towards Jade but then back down again and she snickered “Do you think that it’s not obvious. Maxwell told me that he even caught Drake the night of the bachelor party watching you, he obviously wants to talk to you, go talk to him.” Jade started to look to Hana as she took in a deep breath, closed her eyes and explained “Hana, I met Drake back at the bachelor party, there was a bit of a moment where I don’t know what or how it happened but it’s not there anymore I know that, but I just can’t walk away from here I am…” and Hana cut her off. “You are not engaged to Liam are you? What is the hurt in talking to someone if there is nothing there?” she said as she raised her eye brow to Jade and as Jade stood there thinking she knew that Hana was right, they both knew that the moment that they had was gone and what harm would a little talk do. What Hana didn’t know is about the passion that they had shared, even in just the kisses under the night sky and the way that Drake made her mind spin, her body limp and her heart weak. The way that his kisses seemed to melt away all the pain and hurt that she was feeling, that every little touch that he gave her before kept her wanting more, Hana didn’t know how deeply she had wanted to just run away with Drake, before he told her that they couldn’t be anything, and that is something that Hana would never know. “You’re right, I will be back in just a little bit.” She smiled to Hana as she started to walk towards Drake, though the moment that Drake looked up and seen her coming he started to head out though Jade followed thinking ‘What in the world is he doing?” though as she reached outside she saw Drake dip into what looked like a giant maze, she hesitated for a moment before stepping into what seemed to be the entrance.
She walked for what seemed like forever, every once and a while saying his name out loud. “Drake?” “Drake?” and soon she found what she believed was the middle where it opened up to a gorgeous swing with vines all around it and close to it, a well. There he stood right at the well looking down into it. “Drake what are you…?” and he held up a finger to stop her right mid-sentence. “Morgan, tell me why it is that I got to about half way to the airport when I realized that I had to come back? Why is it that no matter how many times I tell myself that I am not the one that you need, I keep coming back to this hell? Why is it that I know that I should be happy for my best friend and that I promised him that I would be there by his side through this, that I feel like I can’t?” his voice staggering a little bit as he continued to look only down the well. Finally after a moment he stood straight and turned right to her, his eyes burning towards her, and there she saw it, sadness in his eyes hidden by the rough outer ridges of the wall that he puts up. She saw it, and she knew that he knew that she could see it too. “Tell me why it is Morgan.” He said as she looked to him her eyes glazing over with the threat of tears. “Drake, you told me in New York that you, that we could be nothing that you couldn’t hurt your best friend, you then told me that again here…why is it that you keep telling me these things but then keep popping up?” her words hit his heart and he knew that she was right and as he took a step closer to her and closing the gap he reached for her hand, “Come here.” Is all he said as he took her hand and started to walk her down just a little bit more through the maze and revealing a small hidden water fountain. “I come here to think sometimes, not a lot of people remember that this is here, but it’s kind of a like my own little thinking space.” Jade could feel his strong hand holding hers as he walked her over to the fountain. The flowing water caught the glimpse of the garden lights just right as it then twinkled like diamonds.
As he walked her over to be more in front of it he had her face it “I didn’t mean to take you away from the dance….but I figured they were ending soon anyways, so I just thought that this could be a moment that we could…..we could really talk about what happened.” And there it was, Jade heard the words that made her cringe “What happened….Drake you know damn well what happened. We shared a moment in New York, a night that I know that I will never ever in my life forget, and then twice you turn away from me and tell me to fall in love with your best friend and to leave it at that. What more is there to talk about?” she asked as she quickly brought her hand up to her eyes drying them fast as he started to respond; she cut him off “You told me twice now that there could be nothing between us, because you saw the happiness in Liam’s face, and you didn’t want to hurt him” she said starting to look at him, feeling him take her hand again he stated “I was wrong, I ….I can’t just stand by, I can’t just let you walk in there and be forced to change, I can’t just stand by and watch you get hurt by these people…I just…I just can’t” and without a single word of response she felt it, her lips being crushed upon by Drake, his hands sliding up to the side of her neck to hold her there, and she couldn’t take it. His kisses made her weak, his touch paralyzed her into thinking that she can’t move or break away. Her mind was floating faster and faster away from what was right and what was wrong at that moment as she kissed him back, her lips pressing to his to return the passion that was flowing through her. Her heart was beating faster and faster that she swore that he could probably hear it. She felt him bring her body closer as they were connected in almost every way, his hand slid up into her hair to hold her there as her arms went around him to hold him as well and before she knew it they pulled away breathless.
Drake looked into her eyes his forehead resting on hers as he took in a deep breath. “If I have to sit back and watch you fall in love with Liam, then so be it, but I am not leaving you here to face the wolves alone. I want to just take you away from here, hell even back to New York to keep you safe even if that meant that I would never see you again.” He stated as he started to stroke her cheek and her eyes met his and in hers was a lost emotion that she hadn’t ever felt before that maybe he was right, maybe he should take her home but as she closed her eyes and saw Liam’s face she knew that she had to see what could happen, knowing that she would not just be letting him down but Maxwell and Bertrand. “Drake I…I can’t leave, but I don’t want you too either. I…I have to go back, I am sorry.” She said as she looked to him not knowing if he was going to stay or if this would be the last time that she ever saw him.
As she headed back towards the dance she found that Drake was right they were starting to conclude the ball and as she looked around she found King Constantine walking Liam out the back, she thought that they had already left but as she noticed they were joined by a few other nobles gathering around and she figured that is what held him from leaving while she was out with Drake. As she thought for a moment about what just happened outside she knew that this was going to be harder than she thought, that she was going to have to let herself feel something for Liam, knowing that she was here to not just find love but also to help House Beaumont and she knew that there was a chance that she could become queen that her and Liam could fall in love, that the feeling that she felt with him in New York was something more than just that…a feeling. But then there was Drake the one that she knew that she has been told to not fall for, to not even think about, and to leave everything back in New York but then he does that, and as she thinks about it she could reach up and touch her lips still feeling the passion and the fire and still could feel the like whiskey from earlier starting to tingle on her lips. She shook her head knowing that she had to get out of there that she had to get back to her room.
She met with Hana and Maxwell for a moment to bid a goodnight and started to head up to her room and as she was walking she found her eyes looking out the stained glass window pane and finding that she was looking right out to the maze and she felt her heart drop in her chest knowing that she had to forget Drake, she just had to focus on what she was here for. Though as she turned wondering to herself if it’s going to be worth it in the end, she slammed right into someone. “I am so sorry I didn’t” and as she looked at him she saw someone come running to be behind him, it was Maxwell as the man standing there spoke “I presume you are the one that my brother picked to sponsor? I can see that this is going to be a disaster already I am sure.” He spoke negatively as Maxwell caught up to them both and stood next to the man. Though as Jade thought about it she looked to him and started to think that this must be Bertrand as she bowed her head and stated “Good Evening your grace” and she looked up just in time to see the man raise an eyebrow and smirk “Well at least it seems like you can be trained.” Jade started to feel the anger arise in her as he spoke “I am Lord Bertrand the heir to the Beaumont house, I do hope that you are ready for tomorrow, you do know tomorrows agenda already do you not?” he asked starting to look at her as Maxwell’s eyes widened as he stated “Yes Bertrand she knows about the Derby” and Bertrand cut him off right there as he looked to Jade “You do know what a Derby is do you not?” and Jade crossed her arms as she answered, “Why yes your grace I do, it’s a fancy horserace.” She stated as Bertrand smiled and then turned suddenly stating “Good you best get your rest, for tomorrow marks the first outing with the press as well. Good night” he stated as he walked away. Maxwell stayed behind just a little bit to apologize to Jade and wish her goodnight, and as she retired to her room she began to wonder what the hell she was going to do. Plopping down on her bed she laid back looking to the ceiling, staring, staring and more staring. Soon as she looked to the clock and read the red numbers reading ’11:45 PM’ she decided that since she couldn’t sleep she would go out for a walk.
As she started to walk out into the long corridor hallway with her robe tied against her, she started to walk down the stairs finding that the palace was actually really peaceful when there was not a lot of people crowding the hallways and as she looked around at all the delicate paintings and furniture she realized more and more that this place was more like a fairytale. The palace was amazing and it was beautiful but did she belong here? As she started to walk a little bit more around the palace she started to look down a long hallway finding the back door that led out to the maze and that is where she knew she wanted to go. Not caring at all that she was barefoot she started out heading for the maze following the path that she did earlier and finding herself right at the fountain where her and Drake stood just hours ago. As she looked down into the water she felt her mind starting to race a little bit thinking about what she has been through in the past few days though no matter what she thought about her mind always landed on Drake and as she started to shake her head she could feel someone there behind her. “You know if you are going to go to the middle of a maze, you had to be racing someone….or just running from something” the voice hit her like a ton of bricks mainly at her heart as she let a tear fall into the fountain wiping the second tear away as she turned to look and finding the one man that was there all the time; Drake. “What…what are you doing out here…I thought that you would be on a plane out of here by now…” she said starting to look at him as he took a few more steps to her and said “I told you as much as I don’t want to watch you go through this hell…I am not leaving.” As he started to walk a little bit more to her she found her body taking over as she walked to him, wrapping her arms around him resting her head on his chest as she was a lot shorter than him. “Morgan what…what is that for?” he said starting to hold her to him though knowing that he shouldn’t. “I just…I couldn’t sleep and right here proves that you meant what you said that you would be here….always” she said as she started to pull away from him she looked up to him starting to look into his eyes “I told you I would…I am not going to let you…” and she couldn’t help it she cut him off by leaning up on her tip toes pressing her lips to his gently and not too deeply knowing that there could be anyone else out here and as she pulled away from him though her mind and heart told her not too she looked to him “Let’s go for a walk” and all Drake could do was smile.
For the next almost hour Drake led her out of the maze and started to walk her to a small little lake nearby sitting in the sand together looking out to the water they talked about New York and talked about how it was for Drake growing up here in the palace as he was Liam’s best friend. Jade found out so many things that night about Leo abdicating the throne, about the Queen mother Regina wanting Liam to find a wife fast so they knew that Cordonia would be in good hands. As Drake was sharing with her, she found herself cuddling up to him for warmth and found what he was saying was refreshing to her to know more about what she was getting into. Drake also spoke of some of the others that she would be meeting in court such as Olivia, Penelope, Kiara as well as many others that she would soon meet. Though as they talked and he held her to him to keep her warm she found herself getting more and more tired as she closed her eyes on his shoulder. “Maybe I should get you back” he stated as he went to go stand up though she just kept sitting there holding on to him as she stated “No…let’s just stay here…please” she looked up to him and he couldn’t say no he started to unbutton his blue over shirt leaving him in a beater starting to bunch up the blue shirt and starting to lay it on the sand starting to lean her back and for a moment as her back hit the sand her eyes looked to him as her hand ran up his side and then to his arm as he started to lean over her right there on the beach. “You know…Liam might get worried if you are not there in the morning” to his statement she responded by pulling him down to her forcing him to lay on the sand with her as she asked very sleepy like “Drake….Would you really take me away from here…if I felt like I couldn’t do this?” and as she started to rest her head on his shoulder as they laid there together her eyes started to close and her breathing starting to slow as well. Drake looked down to her laying there in his arms as he answered “Faster than you know.” As he leaned in kissing the top of her head holding her in his arms where he felt…content as he too drifted off to sleep.
A few hours later Jade woke to the seagulls flying above and as she opened her eyes she panicked though then looked down seeing Drake and then looking around seeing the lake as she reached over grabbing Drake’s wrist to look at his watch. Her eyes widened as she read the it was ‘7:30AM’ “DRAKE!” she yelled as he startled awake “What…what is it” as he started to sit up with her “I am going to be late….Bertrand is going to kill me.” She stood up starting to wipe the sand off herself as she heard Drake “Uh Morgan….its not 7:30…my watch died yesterday” and the look in her eyes fell “Shit!” she exclaimed as they started to both run back towards the palace. To be continued…..