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Running the rest of the way to the palace, looking back a few times to see if Drake was right there she would find that he was literally almost right in step with her as she knew that this was it, she was going to be going home because she knew that Bertrand was never going to stand for this, and not really knowing what time it really was to begin with, she could only presume that she was going to be severely late.
Her chest was tight and the air in her lungs seemed to be rushing in and out as she pushed harder almost slamming into a worker as she pushed through the door though as she went to turn left she soon felt a hand on her arm as she almost tripped when she was pulled back. “What!” and as she looked and seen Drake pulling her back she looked to him questioningly. As his breathing was raging through him as well, he nodded to just around the corner where she then saw King Constantine walking with his guard Bastian. He had just saved her from slamming into the King of Cordonia. As she looked at him right in the eyes finding those amazing brown eyes looking down to her she looked at him as if trying to thank him without any words. Though as he looked around her and found the coast clear he reached to her cheek and stroked it gently starting to brush back a strand of hair and tucking it behind her ear. “Better get going….you’re not late yet…I will see you later” and as she looked at him feeling her heart starting to beat faster and faster feeling his fingers that close to her again. She started to wonder what he meant as he turned away without another word and as she stood there frozen she then heard “There you are!” and as she turned Jade’s eyes immediately found Maxwell, though as she looked back she couldn’t see Drake around anywhere.
Maxwell jogged the rest of the way to Jade as he exclaimed “We went to your room and when you weren’t there I started to panic….but here you are and still time to spare.” He smiled as she looked at him and asked “Wait what time is it?” and Maxwell just let out a small laugh “Silly its 7 AM do you not look at your clock when you get up?” and as she realized that Drake did get her there in time and also saved her from complete embarrassment she started to feel her heart breaking a little bit more finding that he told her that she was late to get her moving and as she looked around found to see that there was no other ladies around at all. As she started to look down she started to feel the guilt racing through her knowing that this was his plan all along that he would make sure to get her there on time and to make sure that she was taken care of. Though as she heard Maxwell starting to explain what was going to be going on that day she could hear him say “Next you will be meeting the Queen Mother today, and I can tell you that she is a tough one to know exactly what she is thinking so there are a few things that you will want to remember. But first let’s get you dressed ,you will want to wear something presentable and something modern, the Queen is really taking to the upcoming trends although she herself would never steer away from her noble ways.” He said starting to walk her over to the boutique as she started to look at them a little bit her mind still completely fuzzy.
As they walked towards the boutique Jade was kind of falling behind as she started to look around hoping that she would see Drake come around one of the corners so she could thank him and as she started to think about what he has been doing for her, being there every step of the way so far, she started to wonder if this was really where she should be, though as the doors flew open as Hana walked out of the boutique Jade could hear “Jade! I am so happy that you made it, when Maxwell came around asking where you were I thought that you had maybe left” as she looked to Jade with a sad expression on her face. “Oh no, I didn’t leave I just thought I was running late after going out for a walk this morning.” Jade explained though she knows that she of course was lying. “Good I was hoping that you wouldn’t have...” as Hana was then interrupted by a very pretty red head that was walking out in a stunning outfit and as Jade looked to her as she spoke she heard her say “It’s a shame you didn’t go home. I mean there is no way that a simple person as yourself would ever really belong here” as the red head smirked to Jade. “I am sorry, I may be the simple person here but I certainly don’t know you so maybe there is a mix up in who actually is known and not known.” Jade said starting to cross her arms over her chest.
The red head started to smirk a little bit towards Jade as she spoke, “Well well the little commoner that is wanting to play princess has a voice and can stand her own, there just may be some hope for you after all. I’m Olivia – that’s all you need to know until I decide that you should know more. Just try not to get in my way, the Prince and I have known each other since we were young, and I will not have any little New York waitress getting in my way. Have a good day.” Olivia said as she started to walk past Jade not even giving Jade a second to respond. As Hana, Jade and Maxwell watched Olivia walk out Jade just shook her head and laughed “Is she always that warm and fuzzy?” she laughed as Hana linked her arm with hers and started to turn her towards the dressing room. “No she is a Nevrakis….they never are” as they both laughed they began to look over the outfits that were left to pick from when soon Maxwell walked over showing her an amazing little get up which was a classic modern look of a black skirt with a few flowers and an attached white tank with a stylish black and white hate to match the dress. As Jade emerged a few moments later both Maxwell and Hana agreed that this was the outfit that she needed to wear and as they stood talking a little bit more Maxwell decided to remind Jade about a few of the things that she should know as a little reminder and also went over the etiquette about the eating arrangements. “So this means that I can’t stab Drake in the hand with a fork?” she laughed as well as Maxwell did.
Though soon another voice echoed, “There will be no stabbing of any hands on my watch, especially when you are representing my name” Jade recognized the voice belonging to Bertrand, who was now in the room “Bertrand, what are you doing here I thought that you were going to be gone until the picnic?” Maxwell expressed as he took a step towards his brother. Jade started to remember the meeting that she had before with Bertrand as she approached and said “Good morning Duke Ramsford.” Bertrand immediately looked to Jade whom was standing close by as he arched an eyebrow, “It looks like you can be taught and also remember things as well, but did my brother here show you the proper greeting when making an acquaintance?” he said as he started to take a step to her starting to reach towards her and taking her right hand and bringing it to his lips kissing the top of it just briefly. “Now tell me Jade, what am I doing wrong in this scenario?” he asked as he stood there holding her hand before dropping it gently as she started to look at him realizing that he is testing her. “You took the wrong hand when greeting me. By taking my right hand you have actually insulted me, you should have taken my left before applying a respectful kiss to my hand.” She said as she started to smile to Bertrand. Bertrand just gave her a smile as he nodded, “Very well. I am pleased that my brother has done something right. Now when you get to the Derby today you are going to be greeted by the press, this will be your time to shine and your time to prove that you belong here, even though so many out there believe that you do not….this is your time. Make sure that when you are talking with the press that you compose yourself and also whatever you do, make sure that if they ask about the Cordonian Apple that you talk about it as if you would put your life in front of it.” As he started to walk away Maxwell leaned in to Jade’s puzzled look and whispered “It’s our country symbol, I will tell you more about it later.” Jade just smiled knowing that she was so lucky to have Maxwell on her side knowing that without him she wouldn’t be here and soon they could be walking out with Bertrand to the limo that would be taking them to Honeyhill Downs.
After what seemed like the longest trip ever, soon they pulled up to where Jade could see the other ladies starting to head in and starting to see the press there waiting just like they had mentioned and as their limo pulled up and stopped Bertrand could be like “Remember Jade what we told you about the press, they are going to try and eat you alive right away, just remain calm.” She nodded her head in agreement starting to feel the butterflies starting to creep up into her stomach starting to feel like she was going to be sick and starting to feel as though she was going to pass out though as soon as she felt Maxwell’s hand on her shoulder she started to relax and then heard him say “You got this you are going to do just fine, make sure that after this you head right to the pink tents, that is where the ladies are going to be waiting as the derby goes on.” Jade stopped right before opening the door as she looked back spooked “Wait you two are not coming with me?” she asked feeling her voice rattling in her throat with her nerves. “Sadly no this is just for the ladies, we are not as special so we won’t be there….you got this Jade just remember to just be yourself” and as Maxwell stated that to calm Jade down Bertrand stated “absolutely not….be the new face of Cordonia and remember what we taught you” and as Maxwell rolled his eyes he leaned in and kissed her head “You can do this!” as he smiled and she soon took a deep breath and started to get out of the limo just like Maxwell had taught her ‘Well here goes nothing.’ She thought to herself, as she started to turn just right and out of the limo starting to stand right away she took a deep breath as she then saw two reporters heading right to her.
Her body started to freeze as she immediately saw the reporters heading to her one man and one female sticking to the front of the pack approaching her first. “Over here, Donnie Brine here from Cordonia Broadcasting what is your name? So many people have been labeling you to be a mystery woman that is rather high on Prince Liam’s list, is this true?” Jade could barely think with the flashing that was going around her as she tried to focus on just Donnie whom was standing right in front of her. Knowing that she had to keep calm and collected she spoke up, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Donnie, my name is Jade and as for being high on Liam’s list, we will leave that to viewers to see for themselves. Liam is a kind person and I know that him and I get along, time will have to be the teller of the story.” She stated keeping it short and simple though not giving out much more than she should. “Hmm a mystery woman indeed, normally the ladies are ready to talk our ears off, though you keep it more to yourself. This is a refreshing promise to what the Cordonian future holds.” Donnie stated smiling to her as he started to jot down a few more notes. “Well Donnie, I am not like most of the ladies here.” She stated giving him a small smile as she started to look over and see a woman there smiling as she looked over the tops of her sunglasses to the outfit that she was wearing.
“Ana De Luca from Trend I have to say that your ensemble is rather refreshing. Normally ladies are trying to get the biggest brightest hat and dress that they can get to make a statement.” She smiled to Jade as Jade smiled back and replied, “I like to keep things modern and more me, this way the people of Cordonia are not getting a false representation of a possible future queen.” Ana De Luca looked right to Jade and smiled a huge smile as she started to take down that quote looking at Jade as if for approval on taking it down. “Jade you are not Cordonian born and raised, but you do know about our pride and joy of the Cordonian Apple, what is your take on our most prized symbol?” Ana looked up from her notes to Jade whom was standing there starting to smile as she remembered what Maxwell stated before about the apple importance as she started to take a deep breath as she stated “Ana, the Cordonian apple is a symbol that reflects the greatness and the stability of Cordonia. Its strength and sweet center is a collaboration of the way it represents charm and wonder in Cordonia.” Jade started to explain but just as she started to talk again Ana asked her “what would you do in an apple crises if we were to ever have one.” And as Jade looked at her she started to smile a little bit as she was like “I would take it just as it shows us, calmly and collective. I would address the nation and their concerns for the issue that would be at stake. I would meet with anyone and everyone to bring out the faith and to bring out the rebuild if something were to destroy something so precious to us all” she stated as she smiled to Ana starting to see that Ana has been writing everything that Jade has been saying “This is perfect I see amazing things coming from the Mystery Woman” she said giving Jade a wink as she started to excuse herself but before walking away completely, Ana turned back around and got a bright smile out of Jade for the photo to the article. Jade smiled knowing that she has never had her picture taken for a magazine or something really big like this, but wanting to make it right for her image anyways though inside she was still shaking and well nervous to hear what people would be saying about her now.
As she was finally able to step away from the reporters she started to turn around nodding goodbye to Donnie and Ana starting to head around ‘Now where is that pink tent?’ she asked herself as she started to look around and seeing the barn off to the side and knowing that she could start to recollect her thoughts there and maybe she would be able to stay in there for a little bit to clear her head. As she entered the barn she looked up to find a horse that was on the wrong side of her stable door as Jade started to talk sweetly to the horse to try and get through she ended up stepping on a twig that cracked making the horse rear up and starting to then jot right to her. Jade stood there in shock starting to try and back away though as she did she ended up with the back of her heel hitting some of the hay causing her to fall back, as the horse reared up again almost in a defensive, attack motion and just as Jade went to bring her arm up over her eyes bracing for impact she never felt anything land on her or hit her but then heard that voice….’What is he doing here?’ she started to wonder as she started to look over towards where she heard the voice and there he was again….Drake starting to calm the horse.
As she looked up to Drake seeing him being super gentle with the horse and calming the horse she looked to him wondering how he knew that she was there, how was he able to get to her, was he following her? The questions started to spin out of her mind as he then started to look back to her starting to walk over and reaching down to take her hand “Are you alright Morgan?” he asked as his voice was showing a strong hint of being concerned and worried for her. She took his hand though as she stood she ended up almost slipping on the slick hay again and ended up pressed up against Drake, his hard chest pressed right against her tiny frame as she looked up catching those amazing eyes again as she answered “Y…yes I am alright, what are you doing here Drake?” she asked looking at him feeling his heart beating fast through his shirt and she could feel her own heart starting to race giving way that being this close to him is making her feel weak, just like he always seems to make her. As she continued to look up to him, her green eyes looking right to his she continued to stand there waiting for him to answer starting to just now realize just how close he was holding her to him as his hands starting to run up and down her back a little bit and then resting on the hollow of her lower back. He looked to her the look in his eyes a deep look of concern and a look of wanting that she has seen there so many times before when they have been alone together. Soon he stepped away as he started to look at her bringing his hands away from her as he started to run his hand through his hair.
He cleared his throat looking to her as he stated “Actually Liam sent me to look after you, to make sure that you would be safe and sound.” He started to take in a deep breath as he stated “Apparently I am your hero today, saving you from horses and then again falling.” As he chuckled a little bit Jade looked down to the barn floor, “Really is that a joke, first you help me be on time to the boutique making me think that I was late, then you are here watching over me, did you think that was a good idea when how our meetings have been lately?” Jade stated starting to look at him again as she continued, “I don’t think it’s a good idea that you watch over me, I will see if there is a way to get someone else, just so you don’t have to be faced with that task, and risk everything that you are pushing me towards.” she said as she started to walk past him though he caught her arm and brought her closer to him. “ Is that really how you think, and how you feel that I find being around you a burden or that I am going to get in the way…well guess what your right, it is a burden, it is getting in the way, cause I …I can’t stop thinking about what happened. I know that I should just let it go but I don’t know what it is. When Liam first asked another guard to look after you I mentioned that I had nothing better to do so he appointed me to look after you today, I didn’t think twice” and as he looked to her his hand that was holding her arm was now reaching down to her hand and said “I am getting in the way, cause like I said, I don’t think you belong here, you are nothing like them and I …I don’t want to see you hurt.” As he started to look at her he brought his hand up stroking her cheek as he said “I just want you happy and I…can we just talk a little bit please, maybe finally find a way to get through this after what happened between us?” he asked knowing that normally he is much better at stopping his feeling, and hiding them for that matter. Normally finding the strength to just let it go but this time…this time it was different. As he looked her in the eyes again and she looked down again shaking her head, she stated “No that is not going to happen, because I already know how this goes. You are going to look at me with those whiskey brown eyes with that hint of green and I am going to remember that night in New York, then that night at the beach and then everything that has happened since then. Everything that has happened has left me wondering what the hell I did wrong and why you keep walking away. Every moment with you ends with the same thing that you don’t want to see me hurt and that you want to see me happy and you continue to push me to Liam.” And as she is talking tears could be welling up in her eyes “So no I don’t think that sitting and talking with you would be a good idea.” She said starting to look down to the floor of the barn again as Drake took in a deep breath starting to take her hand again and as she started to pull away feeling the warmth of his hand on hers again sending those same shivers down her spine again, he took a step forward and started to look right at her. “You know you don’t mean that? You can’t tell me that you are just wanting to really let it go” as he looked right to her sensing his heart starting to beat faster and faster as she raised her head the tears were falling. He looked at her seeing the tears falling from her beautiful green eyes, the ones that he saw every time that he closed his eyes, the ones that he wanted to look into for the rest of his time. Though he knew that this was not right that he shouldn’t be feeling this way, but knowing since that moment in New York when he met her, he can’t shake Jade Morgan.
“Drake I can’t keep doing this yo-yoing with you, one minute you are hot and then you are cold and then you are being a savior to me but then pushing me to find happiness with someone else even though you know that night in New York changed me and how it hurt me so badly when you didn’t come back.” She said starting to walk over to the bale of hay that is right next to the one that she fell into just moments ago. “Jade,….Morgan I know that what’s been going on is something that I should not be happy about and that it’s something that I should just ignore but, I just” as he started to walk with her towards the hay starting to sit next to her where she sat looking down to the ground and playing with the hem of her dress. Jade started to look up to him when she felt him sit down, as he continued “For the longest time, I have always looked out for Liam, always took the backburner because I wanted my best friend to be happy. I always take the hit of not being happy or doing what I can to make sure that he is happy and safe.” He stated starting to look right at her starting to feel the way that this was killing him inside “I know that what we did shouldn’t have happened, that night in New York was just that….and then here….I worry that if it happened again, I wouldn’t stop myself from taking you away from here and saving you ahead of schedule” he said starting to look to her again. Starting to feel the way that he was looking at her and the heat form his look was driving her crazy inside, making her wants of him taking her away being pushed to the front of her mind knowing that then she could go back home, she could go back to her normal life style. Though as she closed her eyes seeing the way that Liam smiled at her and the way that she was becoming a little bit more comfortable being here knowing that she would be able to make something of herself if she stayed, though as she looked to Drake she saw that life being washed away, but finding and feeling happiness when she let her eyes close for a moment and she could only see the gentle look in Drake’s eyes. As she opened them she found her body leaning a little bit to his as she could take in his rustic scent that drove her to wishing and wondering so many things.
As he sat there next to her he stated, “I know I can’t change your mind, I can’t just take you out of here but I will be here for you, that is a promise that I will keep and you ….” He started but soon she couldn’t take it anymore as she leaned in to him a little bit more feeling their lips just barely touching, teasing his lips being that close to him she gasped knowing that what she is doing is the last thing that she should be doing but she couldn’t take it anymore, the way that he made her feel and the way that she was feeling inside was something that she too could not resist. As she leaned in a little bit more as she whispered to him, their lips a sliver apart “Don’t make that promise if you can’t keep it Walker” her voice barely above a whisper as her lips curled into a small smile knowing that she shouldn’t be wanting him to kiss her but knowing that she had to have just one more taste of that whiskey on his lips, though as she started to sense that he again was going to pull away and give her the same old talk; she felt it those soft lips on hers as she started to melt to his kiss. He leaned to her eager to get more of a kiss from her than ever before, as his hand all callused and strong started to slide up to her cheek starting to feel the way that she accepted his kiss, feeling his mind racing and the way that she pressed back to him drove him insane. “Jade we…” he started to say but then stopped himself “screw it” as he started to lean in again starting to lean her back just a little deeper into the hay that was under her. Jade knew that she should stop it and she knew that she should tell him to leave but with the mention of New York and the mention of all the meetings that they have had already since she has been there she knew that this would be the last time; get it out of her system cause she knew in her mind that he would pull away soon and tell her that she should go. Though to her surprise she soon felt Drakes lips leave hers and starting to trail down her neck as his body was leaning half way over hers holding her to the hay. She gasped as she closed her eyes feeling the way that her body was giving in to him and his touches, his kisses, to just him. She brought her hand up to the back of his neck to hold him where he was kissing her neck as she started to breathe heavy feeling the ecstasy race through her.
She felt her body starting to sink further into the hay as he continued to kiss her neck and then back up to her jaw line, tracing every little inch with his lips as her hands started to roam down his sides feeling the muscles so perfectly pressed against his clothing. She knew that she had to stop this, she knew that she had to be strong and walk away from this, before he could “Drake, please…” and she then felt his lips on her ear nibbling it just a little bit as a moan escaped her lips, feeling a passion soar through her, something that she had never felt before. He whispered to her “You have no idea how bad I want to get you out of here Morgan, take you away and make sure that you don’t have to deal with any of them anymore.” He stated as he leaned in kissing her neck again and then her lips kissing her tenderly but with a burning passion that scorched her lips. Breaking the heat that was between their lips he stated “But I know that wont happen, I cant take you from Liam when I know how he feels for you.” Though as Jade went to say what she had been wanting to say she felt the vibration from his pocket on her hip as he cursed under his breath starting to reach down pulling out his phone. Sighing he looked to her, “Looks like it’s neither one of us walking away this time, but Liam is looking for me at his tent” he stated starting to stand up though reaching down and starting to take her hands gently to help her up and as she stood she looked right to him. Her green eyes studied his as she could see him still breathing rather hard from the kisses that they just again shared. “Take me with you.” Jade looked to him as she spoke “Let me go with you, I know that I shouldn’t but how am I supposed to as you say “fall in love” with him if I am around everyone else?” Jade looked to him again as he shook his head, “You know how much trouble you would be causing?” as he chuckled at the idea, knowing she is already causing trouble with his heart. Jade started to look at him still thinking about his lips on her as she looked to the ground “I…I know what we are doing is wrong and I know that soon you are going to tell me to forget about everything that has happened, I am never going to forget but this….this has to stop if you are not going to stop pushing me to Liam every other time. So please take me with you so I can decide for myself just what I want to do.” She said looking at him with pleading green eyes as he started to shake his head “You are just trouble you know that Morgan, but I will get you in to see him, this way you can make your own choice. Just remember I am willing to take you away from here…whenever you are ready. I don’t want to push you to leave, because I know that Liam is happy when you are around, but I just….we will talk later." as he let out a sigh "I will get you in to see him.” as he started to take her hand a little bit more starting to lead her out of the barn and starting to lead her back towards the greens where multiple tents were set up for the festivities and as she looked to Drake, Drake saw her smile and smiled back walking her towards the tent where Liam was.
After Drake stood there and “checked” Jade in as a guest of his he started to walk her to the entrance of the tent starting to stop her before letting her in. “You know, I am only doing this because you asked, right?” he stated as his brown eyes looked at her as she took his hand, “Thank you Drake. I don’t know what is going to happen but I have to find out for myself.” She smiled looking to him knowing in her heart that she didn’t want to walk away but knowing again in her mind that she had to see if there was something there with Liam before she just gave into her heart, knowing she didn't want that broken again either. As she took a deep breath Drake opened the tent entrance for her to walk in. Though as she did Drake started to think about what his mind was going through and what his heart was screaming. What was he doing letting her just walk away like that? Why didn’t he just admit that since New York he has felt something that he never has before? Why didn’t he just tell her to go back to New York and live her life, and that he would sometime see her again? As he looked in the tent he saw his best friend sitting there as Jade was starting to walk in, that was the reason….Liam.
To be continued………