~ Queen of My Country, Queen of My Heart ~
by Alex Tryst
Copyright © November 2002
Disclaimers: First and foremost in order to enjoy this piece to its fullest,
you must employ what is referred to in literature as “the suspension of
disbelief”. Secondly I must note here that I neither condemn nor condone
certain medical technologies such as cloning. Additionally you need to throw
everything you know about the American government and monarchies in general
out the window. Lastly but just as important, this book isn’t like my
others. You must know ahead of time that there is anguish like I’ve never
written, so tissues are a must. My beta reader even recommends a whole box.
Dedication: As always, to my wife, you are my fondest wish. To the specific
inspiration for this particular piece though, I must credit my father-in-law
in as much as it stems from one of his casual history lectures over a
leisurely dinner where he so proudly informed me that back after America had
won its independence from England, there was debate over whether or not
George Washington should become king of our new nation. You will see
American historical icons as you have never seen them before as I have
grossly manipulated U.S. history, but all in fun of course.
Now on with the
Chapter One: Falling into Blue Eyes
Sun was streaming in the large windows that morning as Alexa lay peacefully
in her bed. Even though she was awake, her dark eyes remained closed as she
desperately wished she could fall back into her dreams. Turning away from
the window, her body bumped one next to her, and her eyes opened in
confusion. Lying next to her was a stunning blonde with long flowing hair
and green eyes that were on her.
“Morning, Gwennie.” she whispered. “Been awake long?”
“Morning, Lex. No, I just woke up a few minutes ago. That sun is really
Alexa nodded sleepily in agreement. Curling an arm around her bed
companion’s waist and placing her head on the elegant woman’s shoulder, she
replied, “I just want to go back to sleep. I was having the best dream.”
“About some girl no doubt.” Gwen teased.
“Well, what can I say? I have the most beautiful woman in the world as my
best friend. I’ll never find anyone like you Gwen. It’s just too bad you’re
Gwen smiled. “True but if you asked me to marry you, I’d still probably say
yes. You are after all the crowned princess. How could I walk away from that
simply because I don’t want to sleep with you? I’d be a fool as would any
woman.” she joked.
“You really think I could get any woman I want?” curiously Alexa inquired
propping up on her elbow and looking down at her friend.
“Oh, don’t even ask me that. You know you can. Look at you, tall, dark, and
sexy, not to mention you are the sole heir to the throne. Women fall at your
feet for that reason alone.”
“I know, but I’ve always wanted to find that special one. It’s hard to know
who is being real with me and who is only out for what I can offer. With my
parents getting on me about marrying, I don’t know what to do really. They
want a woman at my side as does the nation, but I want to be in love,
Gwennie. I want to find her, but I just don’t know where to even look.”
“I know. You’ll find her though. I promise you, Lex. Someday you’ll find
that princess of yours, and she’ll be the luckiest woman in this world.”
Hearing noise outside the bedroom door, the brunette asked, “Who’s here?”
“Alfred came in a little while ago. He was ordering up some breakfast. We
really should get up.”
Alex groaned playfully and flopped down into the mattress. “I don’t want to.
Can’t you all just go on without me? They won’t miss me.” she stated
Gwen laughed at her tall companion. She gave the princess a gentle push on
the shoulder. “Get up, you lazy bum. I’m going back to my room to get
dressed. You better be ready when I return.”
Alexa watched the tall thin blonde rise from bed. It really was true that
Gwyneth Jefferson was the most beautiful woman to ever grace the earth in
her opinion, but the pair had known each other since they were infants and
formed a bond that went beyond friendship. They were as close as sisters,
including the fights that naturally came with such territory. As much as the
media embellished the precise nature of their relationship, both of them
knew it never could grow into what popular opinion deemed it to be.
When the blonde was gone, Alex reluctantly got out of bed herself and headed
into the bathroom. The hotel accommodations for the princess were
impeccable, but she hardly even noticed as she stumbled over to the shower.
Her head was pounding from all the wine she and Gwen had consumed the night
before, and she wondered why the blonde seemed unphased by it. Hoping a
shower would rejuvenate her, she stripped off her clothes from the night
before and slid under the warm spray.
Half an hour later she emerged from her room dressed in a dark grey suit
with a silk red shirt to accentuate her dark hair. Gwen was not back yet,
but her secretary, Alfred Simon, was standing in the living area on the
phone. He gave her a smile and nod gesturing toward the dining room table
where an extravagant spread of food was waiting as well as several of her
“Good morning, all.” she greeted taking a seat at the head of the table.
“Morning, your majesty.” they replied in unison before taking their seats as
Alfred joined them moments later. “Good morning, Lex. Feeling all right?” he
“I’m just fine, Alfred. And you?”
“Good. I was just on the phone with Gwen. She’ll be here shortly. We need to
be leaving soon. The presentation is at nine, and it will take about an hour
to get there.”
“Fine. As soon as Gwen gets here and gets something to eat, we can go. Tell
me again what this is about exactly?”
“You’re presenting this year’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ award to a Miss Lara
Monroe. Here is your speech.” he stated handing her a copy. “Read over it.
There will be a teleprompter there for you as well. Remember though that
this is a surprise. The school doesn’t know which one of their teachers won,
except for the principal.” Alexa nodded taking the speech. The remainder of
the morning during breakfast and the ride out to the school where the winner
taught, she perused her notes as Gwen sat at her side.
When they arrived at the tiny elementary school, the press was already
surrounding the building. Alexa just gave Gwen a demure smile and then
waited for her door to be opened. As soon as it was, the flashing began as
Gwen stepped out of the limo first with Alexa right behind. Extending her
arm to the exquisite blonde, the princess escorted her best friend inside.
Thankfully the press had been barred from entering the building, leaving
them in semi-peace. As with any ceremony there was a certain amount of
spectacle that preceded Alexa’s entrance, and this day was no exception.
After the auditorium was full for the presentation, she was formally
announced and paraded in with her entourage close behind. Everyone stood and
gave a bow as she passed by them on her way to her seat in the front row.
Being that Gwen was one of the top directors of the national education
program in the country as well as being Alexa’s companion, the tall blonde
spoke first after being introduced by the principal of the school. The
twenty five year old princess tried to listen as attentatively as possible,
but her thoughts inevitably strayed. Instead of listening to Gwen’s words,
she began to focus her thought on the beautiful woman at the podium. Alexa
had received a lot of pressure lately from her parents about choosing a
mate, and Gwyneth Jefferson was their prime choice. Another noble from the
distant lines of Thomas Jefferson himself, she appeared to be the ideal
candidate to carry on the Washington line, and she had the beauty and
intelligence to be a true compliment to the princess. “Now, here to present
this years ‘Teacher of the Year’ award, is a woman who needs no real
introduction. Nevertheless it is an honor and privilege to invite her
majesty, the crowned princess of America, Alexa Washington, up to the podium
to make the presentation to this year’s lucky recipient.” she stated.
Alexa stood as the clapping commenced and took a moment to straighten out
her suit coat and button it. Making her way onto the stage, she gave the
crowd a friendly wave and smile. She came to Gwen and leaned ever so
slightly down to kiss the blonde on both cheeks. Alexa then waited for her
to leave the stage before stating, “As many of you know, Lady Gwyneth
Jefferson is my dearest friend, and she is the executive director of our
country’s educational program. I would like to take a moment to extend my
heartfelt thanks to her for all her dedication in helping mold our youth.
Please join me in applause as I salute a real gem to our children.” Gwen
then stood for a moment as she was acknowledged before Alexa moved on to the
item of business at hand. “Well, as you know once a year the national board
of education recognizes one outstanding teacher in order to honor them for
their dedication to our children. Each school nominates the teachers they
think are most worthy of this esteemed reward, and the winner is then picked
by the board of education, his majesty King George IV, Queen Victoria, and
of course Lady Jefferson. This year I have the highest privilege of
presenting this award to one of the teacher’s in this school. In addition to
the engraved silver cup that is sitting right here for the winner, that
teacher will have the highest honor of representing our nation at the
international education conference being held this year in Washington, D.C.
with Lady Jefferson. Furthermore there is a generous stipend coupled with
this award as well as the title of interim assistant director for their
appropriate grade range, in this case, elementary, with the national board
of education to work in conjunction with the board on a lecture series for
the next year. Of course as an added bonus being that the international
education conference is in our nation’s capital, the winner will be residing
at the palace for the duration of the conference.” Alexa paused as the
audience clapped. After the appropriate time, she started again. “Now I must
admit I have not had the pleasure of meeting this year’s winner, but I have
been told that you have an extraordinary teacher among you. In the brief
time she has been with the school, she has been instrumental in bringing a
music program to the children, volunteering her time after school until a
music teacher can be found. She has also found ways for getting parents more
involved with the school by producing semi-annual plays for the whole
student body using the parents as vital parts of the programs, and she has
single-handedly improved the scores of those students that had previously
been classified as unreachable with her after school tutoring program for
kids of all ages. A native of Nashville, she has lived here her entire life
and attended Vanderbilt University on academic scholarship where she
graduated magna cum laude. After that she joined this staff. From what
everyone has told me about this woman, she is a real treasure to the school
and the educational community. This year it is my great delight to present
this year’s award to the winner, who additionally I might add is the
youngest and newest teacher ever having received such prize. This year’s
award goes to your hometown lady, Miss Lara Monroe. Miss Monroe, if you
would please come forward and allow me to look upon the face of the future
of our children.”
Alexa’s eyes scanned the crowd for the teacher. When a petite little blonde
rose from her chair, the princess felt her knees begin to weaken. The young
woman was beautiful. Taking a hold of the podium with both hands to hold
herself up, the tall royal watched as the pixie of a girl floated down the
aisle toward her with an adorable blush gracing her cheeks. The little
teacher climbed the stairs and glided across the stage to where Alexa was
standing, temporarily mesmerizing the brunette with the way she walked.
However she came to as Lara bowed her blonde head in reverence in front of
her. Alexa flashed a bright smile at the short woman as her eyes met the
bluest ones she had ever seen. The younger woman was smiling slightly as
well. “Miss Monroe, congratulations.” she stated extending her right hand to
the woman formally and holding the silver cup with her left.
“Thank you, your majesty. It is an honor to even meet you.” she stated
softly so only that tall woman could hear.
“I’m sure the pleasure is all mine, Miss Monroe. Please. The floor is
yours.” she said gesturing to the podium.
Allowing the blonde to approach the podium, Alexa moved back a few steps to
give Lara her moment. “Well, I hardly know what to say. I never expected to
win this award in my entire career, not to mention in my first year of
teaching. This is the greatest honor I have ever been given, and the feeling
of receiving this personally from Princess Alexa, is just more than I can
even articulate at the moment. I’m overwhelmed. Teaching and children are my
life, and I am just fortunate enough that our principal was kind enough to
nominate me for such a distinguished award and that the committee that voted
saw fit to give this year’s prize to me. For that I am most thankful, Lady
Jefferson. Along with this award comes great challenges, which I will strive
to meet and exceed, and I am honored to be the one chosen to represent our
prominent nation at the conference. Thank you all. I will serve you well.”
Once the ceremony had come to an end, a tour of the school had been
scheduled for Alexa and her group. As the middle-aged balding principal
showed them around the building, the princess wondered about the young
teacher. She had hoped to spend a little time with her, but she had
immediately returned to her classroom. Fortunately though as the tour was
winding down, the man mentioned where Lara Monroe’s classroom was. Taking
the initiative Alexa walked directly over to it. She heard the blonde’s
melodious voice before she saw her. Coming to a stop in the open doorway,
she spotted the small woman sitting in a child-sized chair in the front of
the room with her students on the floor around her, all of them riveted to
her every word as she read them a book. The teacher never even noticed the
princess, allowing Alexa time to watch her in action. The little woman was
as captivating to the princess as to the kids, and when the book had come to
an end, Alexa clapped for the reader to announce her presence. Lara’s head
jerked up in surprise to see the dark-haired woman with her group dawning
“Your majesty, I didn’t know you were standing there.” she stuttered rising
to her feet and bowing.
“I was just listening to your story. Do you mind if I come in? I would hate
to disturb your class.”
“No. Please do. Kids, we have a visitor. This is her majesty, Princess
Alexa. Can you all say hello?” she asked of her seven year olds. The tall
woman smiled as the young children did as they were told. “I was just
reading to them. We had one more story to go before we started our math.
Perhaps I could be so bold as to ask if you would like to read?” she
Feeling delicate hands pressing a book into her own and seeing hopeful blue
eyes upon her, Alexa knew she was helpless to resist. “Sure. I could read
one. However I’m not sure I could do as well as you.”
The blonde blushed lightly. The princess noticed Lara’s hand resting on her
arm for a moment as the petite woman addressed the kids. “Princess Alexa is
going to read our last story today. Everyone please stay settled.” Looking
back at the tall woman, she said, “They’re all yours.”
“Thanks.” the princess softly replied as Lara moved off to the side. Alexa
felt the loss of contact immediately. However she didn’t have time to do
anything about it as twenty pair of expectant eyes fell on her. Looking
around for a suitable chair for her large frame, she found none, so she took
to the floor. “All right, kids, here we go.” she stated launching into the
short book. Ten minutes later it was over, and Lara asked them all to go
back to their desks to prepare for math. “Miss Monroe, I was wondering if I
might have a word with you in private.” Alexa requested.
“Certainly, your highness.” she answered coming to where Alexa was standing
at the back of the room. “What is it?”
“Well, I was wondering if I could invite you and your significant other to
dinner with Lady Jefferson and myself this evening to celebrate your
achievement?” she offered, hoping that the little woman was not married.
“Your highness, that is quite an offer, and I would love to join you.
However my boyfriend Ryan is out of town on business, and since my father is
as well, my mother and I were planning on having dinner together this
“Well, please bring your mother with you then. I would love to meet the
woman who inspired such greatness.”
Another flush adorned the blonde’s fair cheeks. “Your majesty, you are too
kind. I wouldn’t want to impose you on.”
“Nonsense. I would not have invited you otherwise. Please. Will you and your
mother join Gwyneth and myself?”
“Yes. That would be wonderful. Thank you.”
“Great. We’re staying at the Vanderbilt. I trust you can still find your way
down to your alma mater. The hotel is right across the way. How does seven
“Good. Nothing fancy. Come as you are. One of my assistants will meet you in
the lobby and escort you where you need to go. See you then.”
On the limo ride to their next meeting on the agenda, Alexa looked over at
Alfred who was busy conversing on the phone. However seeing her staring at
him, he quickly ended the call. “What is it, Lex?”
“I need some flowers delivered up to the suite, Alfred.”
“Fine. What kind?”
The princess shrugged. “I don’t know. Roses I guess.” she stated gaining
“Roses? For what, Lex?” the blonde inquired with a teasing grin. “Would
these happen to be for a blonde that we met today?”
“Yes, they are for Lara. I need a card as well I guess. A congratulations
one. What color should they be, Gwennie? I don’t want to give off the wrong
“That rules out red. Go for a white or a pale peach. That would be nice.”
Looking back at him, Alexa said, “What Gwen said, Alfred.”
“And how many for the young lady?” he questioned beginning to take a note of
“Let’s not get crazy. Three dozen should do it. Have them put on the side
table in the dining room. I want them to be near her but not on the table
where they will impede anyone’s view.”
“Certainly. I will call the hotel and make sure that gets done right away.”
“Also, Alfred, see what you can dig up on this woman. I want to know
everything you can find out about her and her family.”
“Most certainly, Lex. I’ll get on it right away.”
Fifteen minutes to seven that evening found Gwen and Alexa alone on the
balcony of the spacious hotel suite. Alexa was nursing a whiskey and water
as she looked out over the city of Nashville. Gwen stood close by her,
sipping her wine and taking in the same view. “What’s on your mind, Lex? A
certain blonde beauty?”
“She was so amazing, Gwennie.”
“You really took a shine to her. Lara seems like a sweet girl.”
“Too bad she has a boyfriend.” the princess mumbled into her drink.
Gwen smiled. “That doesn’t stop you from taking interest though, does it?”
“Is it that obvious?”
“Not to her if that’s what you are worried about. I think she’s clueless. I
know you well enough to know that look you were giving her though. Lex, if
you really wanted to, you could persuade her to switch teams. You have
everything women want.”
“Yeah, I know, the money, power, etc. You know I want her to like me for me
though. That’s just not going to happen. I’ll just enjoy this evening with
her and leave it at that.” she said as there was knock on the door of the
suite. Moments later Alfred announced the arrival of their guests. Taking
Gwen by the hand the tall couple entered the suite to find Lara and an older
woman standing there. The little blonde was wearing a sleeveless black dress
that came to mid-knee with a black sweater draped over her shoulders. Alexa
smiled at how wonderful she looked as she moved to greet them. “Good
evening, Miss Monroe. You look stunning.” she boldly stated with open
admiration. Alexa figured she had nothing to lose by making her interest
known. After all she would never be rebuffed publicly by any woman being who
she was, so she knew she could get away with it.
Lara blushed deeply at the comment. “Your majesty.” she whispered, unable to
suddenly find her voice with the way the heir to the throne was looking at
Without waiting for any sort of introduction from the teacher, Alexa turned
to the older woman. “You must be Mrs. Monroe. It truly is an honor to meet
the woman who brought this treasure into the world.”
“Katherine, sire, the honor is all mine.” she stated with a bow of her head.
“May I present Lady Jefferson?” Alexa introduced. Once Katherine had greeted
Gwen as well, Alexa gestured to the dinning room. “Dinner was brought up a
moment ago. Please, let’s sit.” She allowed all three towheads to lead the
way into the other room and subtly enjoyed the view of the teacher’s
backside. Going into the dining area, the teacher noticed the roses sitting
on a side table with a card with her name on it leaned against the vase.
Walking over to it curiously, she looked at Alexa, who nodded for her to
continue. The petite blonde picked up the card and opened it. It was simple
and yet Lara felt such an honor that Alexa had signed it personally with a
note attached. Turning toward the tall woman, she gave a slight flush.
“Thank you, your highness. These are absolutely beautiful.”
“They pale in comparison to your blue eyes.” the brunette mentioned not
meeting Lara’s gaze as she was busy inspecting the wine for their meal.
However Gwen noticed the teacher turn a deep shade of red at the comment
while her mother faded to white. She cleared her throat discreetly to warn
her friend that she had gone too far and then invited their guests to sit.
Most of dinner focused on what Lara would be doing at the conference and the
role she would play during the coming year in her new position with the
board of education. However during the meal the phone rang. Both Alexa and
Gwen let it go for one of the servants to get, but after just a moment,
Alfred dawned the doorway.
“Your highness, you are needed on the phone.”
“Who is it? Can’t it wait? I’m in the middle of dinner.”
“No, sire. It’s the queen, and she requires your immediate attention.”
Alexa sighed. “Very well. I’ll take it in the other room. Excuse me,
When she was gone, Gwen turned to their guests and smiled. “Her highness is
so glad you were able to make it this evening.” she stated.
“Well, it’s not everyday, the crowned princess invites me to dinner. I
wouldn’t have missed it for anything. I’ll admit that she is not what I
The little woman shrugged. “I don’t know. She’s real. I guess there was some
mystique about her when I would see her on tv, but now having met her, she’s
just like everyone else.”
“That’s how she wants people to see her. She hates being treated differently
simply because she’s the heir. You’ll come to learn that as we all work
together at the conference.”
“She’s going to be at the conference as well?”
“Oh yes. Princess Alexa likes to be extremely involved. She will be at as
many meetings as she can. I have no doubt that she will want to help prep
you as well. You’ll be spending a fair amount of time at the palace
beforehand I’m sure.” Before any more could be said, the brunette returned
with a somber countenance. Forgetting their company for a moment, Gwen
slipped in her address when she saw her best friend’s face. “Lex, what is
it? What’s wrong?”
“Ladies, I’m terribly sorry, but I’m urgently needed back at the palace.
You’ll have to excuse me.”
“Well, we should go then.” Lara suggested, sensing that whatever was wrong
was quite serious.
“No. Please stay and enjoy the rest of your meal. Gwen, I need to speak with
you a moment.”
“Certainly.” she replied following Alexa out of the room.
“What is it, Lex?”
“My father, Gwennie. He’s in the hospital. I need to go back in case
“Is it that serious?” she questioned in concern for her friend and her
“He’s in a coma. Apparently he had a massive stroke. I have to go right
away. The people need to see someone on that throne, and that someone is
“Do you want me to come with you?”
“No. I need you to stay here with Lara. If nothing else, find out more about
her for me, and if you can slip in some good things about me.” she tried to
“Of course. I’ll come home later tonight. Call me and let me know if you
want company. I don’t care what time it is.”
“Okay. Now go on. We can’t let them know this is going on. The press doesn’t
know about it yet. They are waiting on me to make it public.”
“Of course. I’ll leave you to pack then, and don’t worry about Lara. I’ll
take care of her.”
Half an hour later Alexa stepped into the dining room to see the three
blondes still having dinner. “Again I’m terribly sorry that I must depart so
suddenly. I’ll be in touch though in regards to the conference.”
“Yes, your majesty. I do hope everything is all right.” Lara replied.
“It was a pleasure meeting you, Katherine. Hopefully next time we see each
other it won’t be for such a short time.”
“Likewise, your highness.”
Gwen stood from the table and came to hug her. Leaning to her ear, she
whispered, “Everything will be all right. You’ll see.”
Alexa nodded in response before quickly pecking the blonde’s lips in
affection. “I’ll see you later tonight.”
“Yes. I’ll come by your place as soon as I get in. I love you, Lex.”
“Love you too. See you in a bit.” Breaking away from her friend, she looked
at Lara and her mother. “Excuse me, ladies.”
As the teacher watched Alexa rush from the room, she knew something was
terribly wrong. Even though it was not her right to ask what was going on,
she was concerned for the princess. Alexa was obviously putting on a strong
front, but she saw the vulnerability there embraced in Lady Jefferson’s arm.
The mutual adoration so evidently displayed between the two confirmed her
curiosity regarding their relationship. All the major publications made it
known they were a couple even though both denied it. However seeing the
intimate demonstration, she assumed they were definitely involved.
Looking upon the face of Gwen, Lara pondered what it might be like for her.
Lady Jefferson had everything, notoriety, education, money, and the arm of
the most available woman in the country. The teacher wondered what her life
was like, being with Alexa constantly and dealing with the press. It seemed
as if the two never had any privacy, and she felt special that they had
allowed her to share in their private time.
Knowing that it was inappropriate to inquire of the situation, Lara smiled
at Gwen. “We don’t mean to keep you, Lady Jefferson. If you need to go as
well, we will understand.” she said.
“Actually Princess Alexa has requested that I stay here and take care of
some business before returning. Tell me more about yourself, Lara. Have you
always wanted to be a teacher?”
“For the most part, yes. Of course I think I had the adolescent dreams most
girls have of being a princess or ballerina, but teaching has always been my
fantasy. Although I must admit I never thought this would happen. The award
was nothing that I had ever considered even though I have heard about it
obviously. I really am appreciative of it and the opportunity that goes
along with it.”
“I know you will do a fabulous job, Lara. We have all the confidence in the
world in you and rightfully so by your accolades. You have impressed us all,
Princess Alexa, King George IV, and Queen Victoria included. For once I am
not so concerned about our presence at the annual international education
“Well, thank you for such faith. I won’t let you or Princess Alexa down.”
That evening after Lara and her mother left the hotel, and the teacher was
taking her mother home there was a news brief that interrupted the song on
the radio. It was about the king’s serious condition, and the little blonde
knew that was the call Alexa had received that evening that had sent her
rushing back home. The small woman thought of the princess, the image of
strength and composure even in such a moment.
“I sure hope the king is all right.” she stated aloud as she drove.
“Well, the Princess Alexa’s departure makes more sense now. Poor child.
She’s too young to lose her father. I hope that he recovers.”
“She certainly was interesting to meet, wasn’t she?”
“To say the least. She seemed to be flirting with you, dear. I don’t see how
she could do that in front of her intended.”
Lara shrugged. “I don’t know, but Lady Jefferson didn’t seem to care too
much. Maybe it’s a different kind of relationship. I could tell that they
love each other regardless of how much they deny it in the press. That was
quite obvious. Who knows though? They live differently than we do, and I
guess it’s not my business anyway.”
Her mother nodded in agreement. “Makes you wonder though, doesn’t it? They
are interesting to watch together. I can see where the love they share could
be taken a romantic sense, but I saw more there. It seemed more familial to
me, as if they were sisters. I didn’t see a sexual undertone there. However
I did see it when the princess was speaking to you.” she pointed out. “Maybe
they have an arrangement. Regardless of that though, she did take a shine to
you. Surely she knows that you are not available in that respect.”
“I don’t think something like that would matter to her, Mom. She’s the
princess after all. I’m sure she’s used to getting her way. She could
probably have anyone she wanted, whether or not they were of the same sexual
orientation. I mean think about it. Having sexual relations with the only
heir to the throne for fame and money, not to mention a crown of your own. I
think that could be appealing to lots of women if they are motivated by that
kind of thing regardless of their orientation.”
“Would it appeal to you, Lara?” her mother questioned hesitantly.
“I don’t know. I’d much prefer to marry for love than obligation.”
“Too bad because I think the princess has an interest in you.” her mother
Lara blushed. “She does not.”
“Oh no? You think she gets all women three dozen roses or compliments their
“What does it matter anyway?”
“It doesn’t. It’s just fun to speculate.”
Chapter Two: Learning to Woo Her
Several weeks later Lara had been invited up to the king’s country castle in
the foothills of the Shenandoah Valley for a working vacation with Alexa and
Gwen to help prepare for the conference. Alexa had insisted that the royal
jet bring her to the country, so Lara was whisked to the royal palace via
the plane and a helicopter. When the helicopter landed in the back rolling
yard of the castle, she was surprised at the sight that greeted her.
Alexa was standing there in a pair of riding pants, boots, and jacket. A
helmet was tucked under her arm, and she was grinning brightly as a pack of
hounds sat obediently beside her. Just beyond her in the shade under an
umbrella were the queen, who was fanning herself lightly and the king close
beside her looking frail as he sat in a wheelchair. The press had made it
clear that the king had not been the same since his stroke and for all
purposes, he was unable to serve in his former capacity, leaving the
twenty-five year old princess the unofficial leader of their country.
The tall woman moved to the helicopter as it landed and opened the door for
the teacher. “Welcome, Lara.” she greeted extending her hand to assist the
blonde to the ground.
“Thank you, sire.” she replied bowing as usual.
“Come. I would like for you to meet my parents.” she said moving her hand to
the teacher’s lower back and directing her over to them. “Father, Mother,
this is Lara Monroe. She was the one that won the ‘Teacher of the Year’
award. Lara, my parents, his majesty King George IV and Queen Victoria.” she
“Your majesties, it is an honor.” Lara stated bowing humbly before them.
“Please, sit and have some tea with us, my dear. You must be tired after
your journey.” Victoria offered gesturing to a chair. “Alexa, go inform them
that our guest has arrived so that Lara’s things may be taken to her room.”
“Certainly. I’ll be right back.” she responded depositing her riding helmet
on the table and moving away to do her mother’s bidding.
“So, you are the one that Alexa has said so much about? She was most
impressed with you when you met. I am so glad that you seem as splendid as
your resume. There was a strong pool of nominations this year for the award.
I’m glad it appears we made the right choice.”
“Your highness, I am thrilled for the chance to work with the board and
represent our country.”
“Lex mentioned that she sat in on your class while she was there. She had
only the highest remarks concerning your methods.”
“She did step in for awhile. It was a pleasure to have her there. The
children loved her. She was even obliging enough to read them a story.”
“She does love children. I hope it won’t be too long before she gives us
grandchildren. If we could just get her settled down with a wife first.” the
older woman teased. “The country needs that now, but she’s determined to
remain single much against her parents’ urging.”
“I’m sure when the moment is right, she will find the one. Whoever she is
will be lucky to have such a role. Following in your footsteps won’t be easy
for any woman Princess Alexa chooses.”
The queen smiled. “You are as charming as Lex said you were.”
Lara flushed lightly at the compliment and the thought of Alexa speaking
about her to her mother. The blonde spared a glance at the king, who had
said nothing. He did not look good, his eyes almost vacant and skin ashen.
Throughout the many years he had served as king, he had presented himself as
such a strong person and to see him so frail hurt Lara’s heart. He seemed on
the very edge of life, and her heart couldn’t help but go out to the young
princess for her father’s infirm condition.
Seeing where Lara’s eyes had strayed, the queen looked at her husband. “Have
you had enough sun, my dear?” she asked of him. He merely gave a nod. “Very
well. I’ll have Lex take you in when she returns.” Moments later the
brunette came back to the table. “Lex, be a good daughter and take your
father inside, will you?” Victoria asked.
“Sure, Mother. Come on, Dad.” she said to him. Lara watched as Alexa
embraced him under the legs and around the back to lift him from his chair.
As the tall woman carried the ghost of the man that had helped bring her
into the world, the blonde saw the complete adoration the princess had for
her father by the smile she gave him as they walked off toward the palace.
“Where would you like to sit, Father?” she inquired as they moved away from
Victoria noticed Lara watching the display. “She’s always been her father’s
girl.” she stated.
“The king is worse than the press even admits?” the blonde questioned
“I’m afraid so, Lara.”
“He will recover though, won’t he?”
The queen didn’t respond at first. “The time is fast approaching that Alexa
will take over her official duties of the throne. That’s why she needs to
marry so soon. She needs a queen to sit beside her when that moment comes.”
A few minutes later Alexa came back, but this time she had Gwen in tow. The
teacher observed the way they held hands as they came to the table. Seeing
Lara there with the queen, Gwen smiled brightly. “Lara, how are you?” she
inquired taking a seat next to the smaller blonde.
“I’m fine, Lady Jefferson. How are you?”
“I’m doing well. Are you ready to get to work?”
“Whenever you are.”
“Well, I’ll admit that I hadn’t planned anything for the rest of the
afternoon. I thought we could relax today and start early tomorrow. How does
that suit you?”
“That’s fine. Whatever you two want.”
“Well, I was about to go for a ride when I saw the helicopter land. Perhaps
after we’ve had some tea we could all go together.” Alex suggested.
“What a splendid idea, Lex.” Gwen responded. “Wouldn’t that be fun, Lara?”
“That does sound like fun. I’ve always enjoyed a good ride.”
“Wonderful. It’s settled then.” the princess said digging into the
refreshments that had been served.
The rest of the afternoon was spent riding. Alexa spent most of her time
riding ahead of the two blondes with the dogs, jumping over everything she
could and generally doing what Gwen would have considered showing off. The
two fair-haired women though followed at a more gentle gait.
“Princess Alexa is quite the equestrian.” Lara mentioned after watching her
for a while.
Gwen gave a wry smile. “Yes, she certainly is. Horses have always been one
of her pastimes. She loves coming here when she can. It’s her favorite
“Lady Jefferson, may I ask how long you two have known each other?”
“Lara, I think it would be best if you started calling me Gwen. After all we
are going to be working together, and I foresee us having a friendship. My
friends don’t call me Lady Jefferson.”
“Very well. Gwen it is.”
“Lex and I have known each other since birth. Our families are steeped in
history together, our ancestors fought together to win our independence from
England. For eight generations our families have been friends, and it was my
ancestor Thomas Jefferson who actually nominated Alexa’s great grandfather
seven times removed, George Washington, to be king of this great nation. In
turn King George I gave my family nobility, and Thomas Jefferson became lord
over most of the southern Virginia territory. My family still occupies the
house at Monticello just outside Charlottesville. My parents live there.”
“Where do you live?”
“In the D.C. area. That is where the headquarters for the national board of
education is, so I spend my time there. I suppose there will come a time
when I must occupy the house my parents do unless I marry another noble. My
family is held in the highest regard by the Washington line due to the
relationship our ancestors had though, so there is really no other royal
that could be of as much importance.” she stated matter of factly.
“Except for the princess herself.” Lara supplied.
“Yes, except for Lex herself.” Gwen agreed casting a glance at her riding
companion. “I think I know what you are wondering about, so allow me to put
your curiosity at rest, Lara. The press believes that Lex and I are to be
married, but such is not the case. We are dear friends, but she has not
asked for my hand despite popular opinion.”
“You are the obvious choice, though, aren’t you? Would you accept if she
made a proposal?” Lara inquired, thrilled that Gwen seemed to be willing to
discuss intimate details with her.
“It’s true that I am the obvious choice, Lara, but I am not the best choice
for, Lex. For the country maybe that is true, but Lex and I both want love.
As much as we love each other, there are no romantic feelings between us. A
marriage between us would strictly be an alliance of our families. I’m not
sure if either of us really wants that, even though our parents do.
Regardless of what happens, it would be in her best interest to marry
Lara nodded. She couldn’t really comprehend having to live the way the two
women she was coming to know did. She couldn’t imagine having to do things
for others all the time instead of just themselves. As much as she had
envied the life of the royals, she was quickly coming to realize it was not
all fun. They had to give a lot of themselves to others. Curiously she
asked, “If Lex could marry for love, what type of woman do you think would
strike her fancy?”
“Frankly I think a tiny little blonde with a sweet personality would be
exactly what she would want, someone like you, Lara.” Gwen stated staring
directly at her.
The teacher’s heart stopped momentarily with the way Lady Jefferson was
looking at her. Gwen was making the obvious point that Alexa’s interest
could be in her, and Lara didn’t know exactly how to respond. Not knowing
what to say, she merely mentioned, “But I’m not a royal.”
Just then Alexa rode up to them sporting a large grin. “What are you two
talking about?” she inquired shooting Lara a smile that made her eyes
sparkle with mirth.
“Oh, nothing important, Lex. Just girl talk you know.” Gwen answered for
“Oh, great. Just what I need.” she teased falling in beside Lara with her
“So, Lara, tell me more about this boyfriend of yours. What did you say his
name was? Ryan?” Gwen inquired trying to change the subject. She knew Alexa
wouldn’t really enjoy it, but it might be useful information for the
princess if she was going to try to woo the teacher.
“Oh, there’s not much to tell. His name is Ryan, and we’ve been dating for
about a year. He’s in sales.”
“Is it serious? Do you think you’ll marry him?” Gwen asked in casual
Lara shrugged. “I don’t know. He hasn’t asked, and I don’t think I would
call it serious. He’s traveling so much that even though we’ve been together
a year, it seems like much less. Only time will tell I guess.” she answered
sparing a look at the princess. She felt self-conscious discussing her
relationship with her boyfriend in light of what Gwen had just told her.
Alexa just smiled at the little woman before consulting her watch. “We
should be getting back. Dinner will be in a bit, and I’m sure you’d like to
retire early after your long trip, Lara.” she stated turning the house in
the direction of the stables.
Later that evening after their evening meal, Lara was left to her own
devices as Alexa had business to attend to with her parents. Being on her
own, she had a chance to wander the palace and the front grounds.
Meanwhile Alexa was holed up in her father’s office with her parents for a
serious discussion. Sitting on the couch, she looked at her father, who sat
by the fire. “Alexa, I know you know what this conversation is going to be
about. It is far time you choose a mate.” the king began.
“Father, why? I’m only twenty-five. I’m not ready to settle down yet.”
“Alexa, please.” her mother implored. “You need to be wed and soon.”
“Mother, why is this so imperative? I’ve been doing just fine without a
With a shaking hand, her father touched her on the arm. She looked into his
hollow eyes. “Alexa, you know my time is near. I want to see you married
before I leave this country in your hands. Please? Appease me and marry
Gwyneth. I want to see you two wed before the year is over. I’m not sure I
can even make it that long. You know what the doctors have said. I need to
see you walk down that aisle. It would please me as your father. Don’t make
me order you as your king, Alexa.”
The dark-haired woman sighed. She was torn as to what to do. She so wanted
her father to be at her wedding when it finally did happen, but she knew he
didn’t have long. The doctors had made it very clear it was less than a
year. She also realized the importance of being wed before she took the
throne. No heir had ever ruled alone, and the people would feel most secure
if she were married and producing heirs to carry on the line.
“Please, darling.” her mother pleaded.
Shrugging in defeat she mumbled, “Fine. You two win. I will ask Gwennie to
“Thank you. You are making the right decision.” her father assured her.
She looked at the two of them before quietly saying, “I guess I need to go
talk to Gwen now. If you’ll excuse me.”
With a heavy heart Alexa went off to find her best friend. Gwen was sitting
on the back porch watching the last bit of sun as it set behind the
mountains. As soon as she saw Alexa, she asked in concern, “What’s wrong,
Lex? Is it your father?”
The princess shook her head. “I just had a talk with my parents. They have
beseeched me to wed before the year is over. As you know my father’s
condition is getting worse, and he would like to see me take my vows before
it’s too late.”
Gwen reached for the brunette’s hand. “What are you going to do?”
Looking down at the blonde, she answered, “I told him I would do it, that I
would marry before then.”
“What?” she asked in surprise. “And how do you propose to win Lara’s
affections in such a short amount of time?”
“I don’t.” Alexa replied. “My interest in Lara may be love, or it may not
be. I need a woman I can count on to sit beside me as my queen. I need a
confidant and a friend. I need you, Gwennie.” she said. Kneeling down in
front of Gwen’s chair, she took her friend’s hands. “Gwyneth Jefferson, I
need you as my queen. It’s what my father and mother want, and it’s what
this country needs. Please, Gwennie, say you’ll marry me.”
“What about Lara?”
“What about Lara? I’m not even sure of what I’m feeling for her. I know
nothing about her or her family. I need someone of nobility. It’s what is
expected. If I were truly in love with her, then maybe I could persuade my
parents to make an exception, but there is not time for that. She’s involved
with someone anyway. There really is not a moment to lose. Please, Gwen,
will you marry me?” she asked again.
There was a moment of stillness as Gwen pondered the offer. However before
she could make any sort of reply, they heard footsteps along the stone path
just before Lara turned the corner of the porch. Seeing the princess on her
knees in front of Lady Jefferson, the teacher felt for sure she had just
interrupted something intimate between them and turned flush in
“Oh, I am so sorry, your highness. I didn’t mean to intrude. I was just
walking the grounds and watching the sunset. I’ll go.” she stammered.
Alexa jumped to her feet. “No. Please. Stay here. You didn’t interrupt
anything important. It can wait. Join us for the sunset. I insist.” she said
gesturing to a chair.
Lara looked at Gwen who was nodding in agreement, so she took the offered
seat. There was an awkward moment as the three of them sat there, no one
really knowing what to say. Alexa wondered if Lara had heard anything that
had been said, but she didn’t ask. She just cast a look at Gwen. The tall
blonde shifted nervously as her eyes found her friend.
“You’ll have to excuse me.” Gwen stated after a moment. “I just remembered
some business I had to take care of after dinner, and then I am going to
retire early. I’ll see you both at breakfast. All right?”
“Sure, Gwennie.” Alexa replied standing as Gwen did.
“Good night, Gwen.” Lara said.
“Night, Lara, Lex.”
When the little woman was alone with the princess, she said, “I really am
sorry if I interrupted you two.”
“It was nothing.” Alexa mentioned.
“It didn’t look like nothing.” Lara insisted.
“I assure you, Lara. It was not important.” A brief moment passed before she
inquired, “Would you care to continue your stroll of the grounds with me?”
“Sure. That would be nice.” the blonde replied.
As the two women stood, the princess whistled loudly, and her pack of dogs
came running toward them. “Let’s go this way. There is a lovely spot down by
the stream.” Lara followed her lead, walking just a step behind the powerful
woman. “Tell me, Lara. What do you want out of life?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I want to be married and have a family I guess. I’d like
to be able to help people. I think that’s what life is about really, leaving
the world a better place than how you found it if you can. I’d like to be
able to change one person’s life for the better. It would please me
“I’d say you’ve already accomplished that with your teaching. The kids in
your classroom are blessed to have you whether they recognize that at the
moment or not. Trust me. Years from now when they are adults with their own
lives, they will look back in fondness as they think of Lara Monroe. You
truly have a gift. I’d like to see that gift utilized on a broader scale,
and I think working with the board will be a start.”
“It certainly gives me opportunities I’ve never had. I look forward to it
very much. Gwen tells me you are really involved with the board.”
“I try to be. Education is an important aspect of development, and our
country can’t remain at the top of the pack if we do not take the time to
educate our children. I’m a firm believer that education is the basis for
brilliant thinkers. We have quite a few brilliant people in this country who
are doing wonders for the world, and I would like to see that trend
continue. It’s teachers like you that assure that future, Lara.”
The teacher nodded. Changing the direction of the conversation, she
questioned, “And what would you like out of life, your majesty?”
“Well, first of all, I think I would like it if you were to call me Lex when
we are alone. It’s hard to feel friendly when you are addressing me so
“Of course, Lex. Whatever you would like.”
Alexa smiled lightly as her name slipped from Lara’s tongue. It was so soft
and sensuous the way the blonde whispered it. “Say my name again.” she
“Alexa.” Lara said wondering why she had been asked to do so.
The tall women grinned. “That sounds so beautiful with your slight southern
drawl. Your boyfriend, Ryan, is a lucky man, Lara. You’re beautiful,
intelligent, educated, and I can tell on top of that you are a sweet woman.
He really has it all.”
The teacher blushed at the words. The tall woman’s words warmed her spirit,
because it was rare that people complimented her. “Sometimes I wish he
realized that.” she said sadly.
“You mean he doesn’t? Is he blind or just stupid?” the princess quipped.
“Look at you. I know plenty of men and women that would give their lives to
look into a pretty face such as yours.” she mentioned softly as her hand
instinctively came to cup the petite woman’s fair chin. Alexa tilted the
bashful woman’s face, so their eyes could meet. “I am one of those women.”
“Your majesty.” Lara whispered breaking their gaze.
Alexa couldn’t be dissuaded however as she felt drawn to the little woman.
Her arm slipped around the teacher’s waist. She heard the anxious exhale of
the blonde. “Lara, I must admit that the first time I saw you I wanted to
know you.” she whispered leaning down to Lara’s ear. “I wanted to know you
intensely and intimately.” she murmured as her breath swept over the
“Sire.” Lara managed to squeak as she felt the mouth of the future queen
kiss the top of her ear. Instinctually her hands came up to Alexa’s stomach.
“Lara, I know you’re involved with someone, but is there anything I could
say to get you to retire with me this evening?” she inquired softly running
her fingers through golden tresses.
Being completely caught off guard at the question and forgetting exactly who
she was addressing, Lara asked loudly before she could catch herself,
“Excuse me? Did you just ask what I think you did?”
Sensing that she was not going to get the response she wanted, Alexa stepped
back and shoved her hands into her pockets. “Listen, Lara. I’m a woman who
knows what she wants, and I’m used to getting my way. I didn’t mean to
offend you. I was just wondering if there was a possibility of us getting to
know each other better.”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, your highness, but you just asked me to go to bed
“That is correct, Lara. I did just do that, and you have not given me an
“What kind of answer can I give to that, sire?”
“An honest one. If you don’t want to, you can say so.”
“I can? You would really accept it if I told you no?” she questioned.
“Of course. I will not force you to do something you don’t want to. What do
you make me out for? There are plenty of women that would appease me. I’m
asking you though. A simple yes or no will suffice.”
Lara looked at the expectant eyes of her sovereign before casting her gaze
elsewhere. “In that case, no, your majesty.” she stated quietly.
“No?” Alexa questioned in surprise.
Lara met her eyes this time as she repeated firmly, “No, sire. There is
nothing you could say to get me to do such a thing.”
The tall princess was taken back by the firm rebuff for it was unusual that
anyone deny her anything. However she had given the blonde her word, and she
was not about to go back on it even though she wanted the woman in front of
her. “Very well, Lara. I understand.” she replied looking away for a moment.
Regrouping her thoughts she stepped closer to the younger woman again.
Reaching out she put her hand on the blonde’s arm.
Instantly Lara shied away from her touch uncomfortably. “Your majesty, I
would appreciate it if you would refrain from touching me.” she softly
It was obvious to Alexa that the feeling of her repulsed Lara, and it was a
shot to her heart. Never had any woman demanded that she not place her hands
on them. The princess pulled away. “I’m sorry, Lara. Could I ask you
something? What is it about me that you find so unappealing? Is it because
I’m a woman?”
The teacher glanced up into the dark eyes of her majesty. “If I may be
honest with you, sire, I am utterly offended that you would think me a
person that would casually have sexual relations with anyone, you included.
I am not that type of woman. You don’t even care for me. You just want what
you see, and I find that atrocious. Now if that is all, I think I would
prefer to retire to my room.”
“Of course. I’ll walk you back.” she suggested.
“No thank you, your highness. I’d prefer to go alone. I will see you
tomorrow.” the blonde said before rushing off, leaving Alexa simply standing
there wondering how everything had gone so horribly wrong in a matter of
minutes. It was clear that she had not only offended the teacher, she had
somehow hurt her as well, which grieved the princess. Unsure of what to do,
Alexa slowly made her way back to the palace. Determined to make it right
somehow, the brunette took a seat in the garden to ponder how she could make
She had never had to apologize to anyone nor did she know how to court a
woman, because no one had ever even admitted to their offense when she had
done something, and most of the time women were more than amiable with
whatever she wanted. However Lara had shunned her, but she still felt the
need to pursue the younger woman at least to apologize. It was a strange
situation for the princess, as she had never had to deal with such a
problem. Figuring that it wouldn’t hurt to at least give the young woman
some flowers, she began to pace the garden looking for the perfect one in
which to present to her. Her mother found her studying the rose bushes
several minutes later.
“My dear, what are you doing?” she inquired of her daughter.
“I’m looking for the perfect rose.” she answered plainly deciding on the one
she wanted to pick. Reaching for it she went to snap the stem.
“Is this for Gwen?”
“No, for Lara.” she stated. “Ouch.” she grumbled as the top of her hand
scraped against a thorn and breaking skin. However she smiled in triumphant
as her flower came free.
“Oh, Alexa, you’re bleeding.” her mother mentioned reaching for her
daughter’s hand. “Are you all right?”
“I’m fine. It’s nothing, just a scratch.” She retrieved a tissue from her
pocket and dabbed at the blood running down the back of her hand.
“That isn’t just a scratch. You need to see to that.”
“I will, Mother.”
“Now exactly why are you out here picking flowers for Lara?” she inquired
“Because I need to apologize, and I thought this might be a good way.”
“Apologize? To her? For what?”
“I offended her, so she’s upset with me.”
“What did you do to offend her, and why do you even care?”
“I just do. Okay?”
“No. Not okay. What’s going on?” Alexa shrugged. She wasn’t sure she wanted
to speak to her mother about what was in her heart, because she wasn’t sure
she would understand. “Alexa, you can tell me anything.” her mother pressed.
The princess shrugged again and looked at the queen. “Mom, I think I might
be falling in love.” she quietly confessed.
“With Lara?” Alexa nodded in confirmation. “Oh, my. Alexa, why didn’t you
say something about this to your father and me?”
“I don’t know. I know that you two want me to marry Gwen, so I thought it
wouldn’t even matter. Besides she’s not exactly royalty.”
“But you care for her. This makes sense. You’ve spoken about her practically
nonstop since you came back from Nashville. I should have guessed, but I
just passed it off as you being impressed with her professionally. Do you
think she returns these feelings?”
“No. She just left in a huff, because I said something she found offensive
and told me so.”
“She told you?” the queen questioned in astonishment.
“Yeah. No one has ever dared do such a thing with me before. It threw me. I
feel terrible about hurting her feelings, but in a way I’m impressed she had
enough character to stand up for what she believes even if it meant telling
me how horrible I was.”
“Oh, Alexa, I wouldn’t say you’re falling in love. I’d say you were already
there if you let that little woman walk all over you. You are the crowned
princess. She should be catering to you not the other way around. The fact
that you are out here trying to do so confirms the fact that you are in
“I don’t know what to do, Mother. I really don’t want to marry Gwen, but I
“Listen, Alexa, your father only wants you to be happy. He’s extremely ill,
and he doesn’t have that much time. He would feel more ready to leave this
earth knowing you were settled with someone that made you happy. That’s all
he wants. If you would rather marry Lara, I’m sure he would understand.”
“I don’t think Lara would marry me though. She has a boyfriend, and she made
it clear that she finds offense in the way I treat women.”
“How is that possible? What could you have said to make her think that?”
The young brunette flushed in embarrassment. “It’s not exactly something I
want to talk about with you, Mother.”
Her mother nodded. “So, you asked her for sexual favors.” she stated as if
it was obvious.
“Mother, you make it sound so unromantic. I tried to do it smoothly.”
“Alexa, listen. Let me give you a little advice. I know you think I don’t
know about your escapades, but I do. I’m your mother after all. If you want
to win Lara’s affections, you can’t treat her like any of the other women
you’ve been with. She’s different and should be treated that way.”
The princess shook her head. “What does it matter? Even if she loved me, we
couldn’t get married anyway. She’s not of nobility.”
“If you wanted to marry Lara, I’m sure I could convince your father to make
an exception. He wants your happiness after all. You’re about to inherit
this country, and you need to be married when you do. He just wants Gwen,
because she’s the closest thing you have to a girlfriend of any sort. It’s
not her really, just the idea of her.”
“None of this matters anyway. I already asked Gwen.”
“You did? What did she say?” the queen asked.
“She didn’t have time to give me an answer as we were interrupted by Lara.
I’m not sure Gwen wants to marry me either, Mother. She would I think for
the obvious reasons, but she wants love in her life. She’s my best friend,
and I want her to have that. She won’t with me.”
The queen gave a nod in understanding. “This is a life of service, Alexa.
It’s not all fun and games. Whoever you married would have to understand
that. Gwen knows that life and would be able to handle it.”
Alexa agreed with a nod herself. “Well, I should go try to find a vase or
something for this. You’ll have to excuse me. Good night, Mother.”
“Good night, Lex. Don’t worry. Things will work the way they are supposed
After Lara had departed from Princess Alexa’s company, she locked herself
into her room. She had called her boyfriend and spent quite a while on the
phone with him, but in the back of her mind, she kept thinking about the
brunette. Ryan had even mentioned several times during the conversation that
she seemed distracted, but she didn’t tell him what had transpired. She
still couldn’t believe she had actually said what she had or that the
princess took the brutal spurn with hardly any show of emotions. She
wondered how Alexa truly felt to extend such an invitation or how it was for
her to take the rejection. Briefly she wondered what consequences she might
incur for her disrespect, making her toss most of the night.
When morning arrived she leisurely dressed for the day. She was nervous
about facing Alexa after what had taken place, but she knew there was no way
around their eventual meeting. Gathering the things she would need for the
day, she made her way over to her door and opened it. As soon as she did,
her eyes caught sight of a beautiful single red rose in a vase with a note
leaning against it. She recognized Alexa’s hand from the other card she had
received. Her stomach flipped nervously as she reached down to retrieve the
items and bring them into the room.
Lara took a moment to admire the flower. The red bud had just started to
open, and she wondered where the princess had gotten it. Carefully she
opened the envelope to read the enclosed card. The stationary was Princess
Alexa’s official stock with the crest of her family embossed in gold at the
top center and her named printed elegantly just below. Lara’s eyes perused
it, opening a little wider with each passing line, as the princess made her
a humble apology for her behavior the prior evening. The note left the
teacher in such shock that she had to read it a second time. As the idea of
her sovereign issuing any sort of apology, not to mention one that seemed so
heartfelt, took hold in her mind, the blonde realized that she was no longer
upset about what had happened. It was now easy to forgive and forget the
event even took place.
Alexa was alone in the dining area when Lara found her way there. The
princess stood for her as she came to the table. “Good morning, Lara. I
trust you slept well.” she greeted as calmly and stoically as possible, not
allowing any of her emotions to be seen on her face.
“Morning, Lex. I slept all right. How about you?”
“Not well at all. I was up most of the night wondering if you would ever
forgive me for what happened.” she tentatively said.
Lara was caught by surprise at the comment. The small woman gave a little
nod. “I got your note. Thank you for what you said. I’d just like to put it
behind us if that’s all right with you.”
“Whatever you would like, Lara. Please sit.” she said gesturing to a chair
It was only moments before Gwen appeared dressed immaculately as usual.
“Morning, Lex, Lara. How is everyone?”
“Fine. How are you, Gwennie?”
“I didn’t sleep very well. I had a lot on my mind.” she replied looking at
her best friend. Noticing the cut on the brunette’s hand, she grabbed it and
inquired in concern, “What happened to you? Did you get that seen to?”
“It’s nothing, Gwen. I just cut my hand on a thorn in the garden. I swear
you are as bad as my mother.”
Lara looked down at the Alexa’s right hand enfolded in Gwen’s. There was a
large gash that started just under the knuckle on her index finger and made
a diagonal path across almost the entire length of the back of her hand. It
was red and obviously infected by inattention. Suddenly the thought occurred
to her that the princess had received the injury while finding her rose.
“Are you sure you’re all right, Lex?” the teacher asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. Thank you both for your concern however. It’s just a
scratch.” Just then Alfred entered the dining room breaking the brunette’s
attention away from her company. “Alfred, good morning. How are you? Would
you care to join us for some breakfast?”
“No, thank you. I already had some. I wanted to speak to you if you had a
“Is it important?”
“I have the research report for you.” he stated, being intentionally vague
as to its matter as he handed it to her. “I thought you’d like the
Alexa lifted the blank top page to see Lara’s name written at the top of the
second. “Oh, I think maybe you should give the highlights. Excuse me for a
moment, ladies.” Moving from the table, she followed Alfred out into the
hallway. “So, what do we have? Anything interesting?”
“Well, first I must say that Miss Monroe comes from a family that is well
off. Her father is a surgeon, and her mother is an M.D. and teaches at
Vanderbilt University Medical.”
“Wow. That is impressive. What else?”
“One of her ancestors was the president of Princeton University.”
“That’s good, but you know what I’m looking for. Is she related to anyone of
truly historical importance?”
“Well, Alexa, that took some in depth research. I’ve had the best
investigators and genealogists on this matter. It took a very long time, but
we can relate her to a man that actually signed the Declaration of
Independence, and you’ll never believe who.”
“Who? Tell me.” anxiously Alexa asked.
Alfred smiled as he put his hand on her shoulder. “My dear, Alexa, she is
related to John Hancock.”
“The John Hancock? The one that signed the Declaration of Independence large
enough that the king could read his signature without his glasses? Sir John
Hancock, the one King George I knighted for his efforts during the
revolution? The one who began one of the largest, most successful financial
institutions in this country?”
“The very one.”
“You’re kidding me, Alfred.”
“I’m not, Lex. She is related, distantly but related.”
“There is her family tree the best we could fill it in on the last few
pages, so you can see. It seems she is the daughter of the daughter and so
on. That’s why she holds no nobility currently. The royal line of the
Hancocks was passed down through the oldest children, all who happened to be
male. However the fact remains, she is a Hancock in blood. It might not be
full blood, but it’s there.”
Alexa grinned widely. “Oh, Alfred, you are the best.” she said hugging him
tightly and kissing his cheek. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Lex, as if you were my own.” he responded affectionately
cupping her face. “You deserve happiness, and I know she could fulfill your
“How did you know that is why I wanted this report?” curiously she inquired.
“Because I know you and I’ve never seen you this way. You are in love, my
child, and I’m so happy for you.”
“I should get back.”
“Certainly. Have a good day. I’ll be out with your mother most of the day.”
“All right. See you later.”
Going back into the dining room, she placed the paper on the table face down
and returned to her breakfast nonchalantly. When the meal had come to a
close, Alexa looked over at the teacher. “Lara, Gwen and I have a little
something we need to discuss. Would you mind meeting us in my office in
about ten minutes?”
“Of course not, Lex. Whatever you want.” she replied standing.
The princess watched her leave the room to make sure she was truly out of
ear shot before turning to her best friend. “Well, I think you need to give
me an answer to my proposal.” the brunette stated.
“I know I do. I’ve been up most of the night thinking about it, Lex. I know
you need me to do this. My country needs me, and I should be thrilled at the
idea of becoming a queen. However looking at you, I see that your heart is
elsewhere. I can’t accept your proposal, Lex, if you feel so strongly about
Lara. We both deserve to be with people we love. As much as I do love you,
it’s not in the way I want to love my spouse. I think you should ask Lara.”
“But she’s not going to say yes, Gwennie. I’m not her favorite person.”
“Well, I’ve decided that you should ask Lara first. If she won’t marry you,
then I guess I will do the duty our parents designed for us when we were
still children. I want Lara to be your queen, Lex, but if she will not take
the responsibility, I will take up the crown and sit next to you. However I
really want you to ask her first.”
“So, if she says no, then you’ll marry me?”
“Yes, I will marry you, Alexa, but only after you have pursued your heart.”
The princess nodded. “I guess that’s fair. Thank you, Gwennie. I knew I
would be able to count on you. However I should tell you that I know have
the evidence I need to even pursue Lara. Alfred just brought it to me.” she
mentioned picking up the report.
“What does it say?”
“She’s a Hancock.” plainly the brunette announced.
“What? How? Are you serious? That’s amazingly lucky. That means your father
won’t have to make an exception for her.”
“I know. I haven’t read the full brief, but Alfred assures me that it’s
true. I can marry her now rightfully if I so choose. The problem presently
is that she doesn’t necessarily think me worthy of a companion.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Well, she does have a boyfriend, and she thinks I’m a womanizer for a lack
of a better word.”
“Why does she think that?”
“Oh, I propositioned her last night.”
“You didn’t? Lex, how could you do that? Don’t you know how to court a
The princess cracked a grin. “Um, my idea of courting a girl is asking if
she’d rather be on top or bottom.” she teased.
Gwen rolled her green eyes. “Of course it is. Why didn’t I guess that? Well,
in that case you need to learn how to woo this girl, and I’m going to teach
“Mom said she would help too. Maybe with the two of you I’ll have half a
“What we need is an opportunity for the two of you to be alone where you
won’t let your mouth get you in trouble. Well, this will have to wait for a
while. We have work to do. Come on. Your queen awaits.” Gwen stated making a
move to stand.
Continued in Part 2
The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive