Chapter Twenty-Two: The Competition
The hallway was quiet and dimly lit as the three of us stood around in silence. The royal family had already retired to their sleeping chambers, and here we are, the “esteemed” guests, standing about the corridor and doing absolutely nothing. As Parauvin was staring blankly at a painting of a mermaid laying upon a small cliff that extended into the ocean, Andrias was pacing back and forth frantically as if he were ready to attack someone. After a few more paces he suddenly stopped and stared at me straight into my eyes.
“If you didn’t run off and open your big mouth to that prince, we’d never be in this situation! Sometimes if you would just listen to me this trip wouldn’t be as har-”
“Sometimes I should listen to you? Andrias, I understand that you’re older than me, but let’s get one thing clear. If I was seeking paternal advice I’d be back in Cheul with a ring on my finger, eating prime rib dinners every night and carrying around a pooch the size of my forearm. I don’t need your guidance.” I responded, looking at the sea through the window. The water was throwing itself onto the beach as if it were in the midst of throwing a major tantrum. Seems like there’s a storm brewing somewhere offshore.
Andrias looked at me with pure anger in his eyes. His teeth were gritted, and his eyes were slightly reddened (that can possibly be attributed to his one too many mugs of beer and glasses of wine) as he got closer to my face.
“I don’t know what has gotten into you, but lately you’ve been a real bi-”
“Is all well with the three of you?” A voice asked softly from down in front of us. Andrias abruptly stepped away from me, trying to make everything appear to be normal. We looked before us to see Amelia holding a lit candle in the space between us. She was wearing her pajamas, a sea foam-coloured, frilly button up with bloomer like shorts that perfectly exposed her long, slender legs to match. From what I could see Andrias was impressed.
“Yes, everything is well, princess. Shouldn’t a young woman as yourself already be retired to you sleeping chambers?” Andrias inquired, his voice pooling with lust. Yes, he seems really intrigued by these chambers of hers.
“Why, yes,” she began as she move her long hair behind her shoulder, “but I came to inform you that your sleeping chambers are ready if you have already decided to stay with us during your visit here in Minerva.” Andrias sighed.
“We thank you for the delicious meal and hospitality, princess, but we’ve decided that it would be a hindrance to you if we stayed with you,” he responded. At this point, I was more taken aback by his sudden use of elevated vocabulary than being angry that he’s so stubborn. I assume it’s all for show and to just win the heart of Amelia.
She looked at him with sadness.
“Andreas, I do believe that my family and I are the ones that are extending our home to you. Obviously this is not interfering with our plans in any way, shape or form. Just stay for one night, please. We’d be happy to have the three of you, and I would be quite offended if you wouldn’t spend some more time with me tomorrow, Andreas!” she said coyly as her eyes flickered down to the floor. Andrias, being that he was excited by her pajamas and her statement, huffed and then approached her.