Not Today, Esme!

Not-Today Esme Moves
into Prince Carlisle’s Royal Apartments

Months after a rumored break-up, sources confirm Esme Platt has taken up residence with Prince Carlisle at Masen Palace. Does this mean an engagement is imminent? Our inside sources agree: Not Today, Esme! It begs the question—didn’t her mother ever tell her men don’t buy the cow when they can get the milk for free?

“They’d die if they knew the advice Mom really gave me.” Esme flops onto the sofa beside me, giggling. “Men are like carpets,” she says, imitating our mother’s voice. “If you lay them right the first time…” She erupts into hysterical laughter.

My older sister has been dating Prince Carlisle since their first year of college. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, it’s been an on-again-off-again, somewhat tumultuous relationship. The truth is, they’ve never been off—that’s just the story they’ve circulated when she’s needed a break from the attention that comes with being romantically linked to the world’s most eligible bachelor.

In the beginning, she tried to ignore what the tabloids said about her. When it got to the point that she couldn’t open a web-browser window without seeing her name in the headlines, we developed our now-weekly ritual. After throwing back a few drinks, we’d read the gossip blogs together and laugh over the ridiculousness of it all.

I can’t keep a straight face as I continue reading the article aloud. “‘Regardless, there’s one thing we do know: If Prince Carlisle ever does pop the question, it would be the first time a non-virgin has been considered an appropriate spouse for the heir to the throne.'”

“Oh please,” she says, rolling her eyes. “I was totally a virgin.”

“Yeah, maybe ten years ago.”

She takes a gulp from her wine glass then wipes her mouth with the back of her hand. “And so was Carlisle—not that his status matters to anyone. Whatever. I still wouldn’t have been the first.”

I look over my laptop at my sister. “Wait, who else wasn’t a virgin?”

Her eyes dart from side to side, as if she’s looking to see if the walls in my flat have ears.

“Prince Peter,” she whispers.

I laugh. “I don’t think they’re talking about the men. I mean, unlike you, they’re generally not brought into the royal family with the express purpose of serving as brood mares.”

“Bella.” She’s whined my name this way for as long as I can remember. “Don’t start.”

“A gilded cage is a still a cage, Esme.”

She sighs. “You know he loves me.”

“This isn’t about him,” I insist.

And it isn’t.

Over the past ten years, I’ve gotten to know His Royal Highness Prince John Carlisle Alexander quite well. I didn’t want to like him, but I found it impossible not to. He was everything you’d expect of royalty: handsome, charming, educated, and well-spoken. And it was obvious he thought the sun rose and set by my sister.

If he didn’t come complete with an overbearing grandmother and an antiquated monarchy, he’d be perfect for her.

“I just worry about some of the things you’re giving up…”

Like your freedom.

I may think itbut I know better than to say it. “I don’t want you to feel as if you have to do this. Your life won’t be over if you change your mind. Working with Daddy and me may not be your thing, but you know he’d let you run the Foundation if you wanted. You could cut ribbons and kiss babies all you want without the tabloids having any reason to theorize about the status of your hymen.”

“Look at me, Bella.” She takes the laptop from my hands and places it on the coffee table in front of us. “I’m not like you. I don’t have an MBA from Wharton, and I’m not trying to change the world. All I’ve ever wanted to be is a wife and mother.”

I know this all too well. The ambition that compelled our father to build a hundred million dollar kingdom out of nothing? None of it rubbed off on Esme. My drive to grow Dad’s success into an empire worth over a billion? It’s completely beyond her comprehension—just like I can’t for the life of me understand how an intelligent woman like my sister could ever be happy living her life as glorified arm candy in a borrowed tiara.

“You could have that with anyone,” I remind her.

“But I fell in love with him.”

“So be his mistress. Have him, have his babies—”

“And then have to share him with his wife? You know, if you’d…” She shakes her head. “Never mind.”


“Is this what business school does to a person? You never used to be this cynical.”

“Cynical?” It comes out a bit more loudly than I would have liked. “Hardly. I’m just being realistic. You’re the one whose head is so high up in the clouds you can’t see what a huge mistake you’re making.”

“That’s why Carlisle asked me to move in with him,” she says quietly. “So I’d be able to make an educated decision when he finally does propose. I thought you understood that.”

I shrug. These days where she’s concerned, I don’t understand much of anything. For a moment, there’s silence. And it’s damned uncomfortable.

“Okay,” she says. “Next headline.”

I pick my up my laptop and click the next link. “‘Is Prince Edward’s Supposed Humanitarian Mission a Cover for a Stint in Rehab?’ Oh, this should be good.”

“The media is really cruel to him.”

I give her the side eye.

She throws her arms up in exasperation then lowers them, smacking her hands against her thighs. “What now?”

“When you take into account his choice of recreational activities, it would seem as if he brings it on himself.”

“You’ve never even met the man.”

“And I hope I never do.”

“You know, I’ve been painted as a social climber.”

“What’s that have to do with anything?”

“Well,” she says, “we both know it couldn’t be further from the truth.”


“Doesn’t Edward deserve the same benefit of the doubt?”

I laugh. “If you say so.”

“Wait until you meet him. You’ll see.”

All I can see is a guy who dresses up as a suicide bomber for a Halloween party only to have undercover national security officers show up and evacuate the building, but I keep that to myself for now. Besides, my sister is about to give up her autonomy, her personality, and her freedom to marry the guy’s brother.

What could she possibly know?

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  1. on 28 Jul 2013 at 3:20 pmSusan

    I think I’ll read the story over here on your blog. I prefer the layout. So I’m reposting the review I wrote on –>

    As I pledged (to myself, anyways), I am re-reading THatS. I realized what I truly love about your stories, besides the plots and the depth of personality in your characters. It’s your dialogue. More than most fics. I dislike inner musings narrating an entire chapter. You minimize the inner thoughts and tell the story through lively, entertaining conversations between your characters. I love it. It tells the story and reveals so much about the characters involved. :)