His Royal Highness

Today’s the Day, Esme!
Longtime Girlfriend of Prince Carlisle Finally Gets Her Ring

Apparently, patience pays off. After a decade-long courtship, Prince Carlisle has finally decided to make an honest woman of his live-in love Esme Platt. They announced their betrothal at a brief, early-afternoon press conference. Miss Platt appeared wearing an engagement ring that once belonged to his great-grandmother, an Edwardian piece featuring a five carat diamond and a platinum filigree band.

When asked how it felt to know she’d be queen one day, she flashed a nervous smile. “It’s overwhelming. I can only hope I won’t be a disappointment.”

Prince Carlisle wasted no time intervening. “She’ll be fabulous,” he said, grinning at his betrothed. “Esme has succeeded at everything she’s ever taken on; this will be no different.”

Though a wedding date has not been set, the happy couple has expressed their desire to keep the impending nuptials “small and intimate”.

The moment Esme and I are alone, she bursts into tears.

“It seems as if everything has already been decided. I’m not sure why I’m being included in the wedding planning at all, considering I have no say in anything.”

“What happened?”

“I made one request—I just wanted to ride to the ceremony in a car—you know how frizzy my hair gets. But tradition dictates I take a horse-drawn carriage, and Her Majesty was livid I’d even consider doing otherwise. She sent me a text that said, ‘What’s next? Riding down the aisle to the altar on a Segway?'”

I squint at her, unable to wrap my mind around what I’m hearing. “The Queen knows how to text?”

“Bella, stay on topic!”

“Sorry. It’s just surprising, that’s all.”

“I know this shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve been dreaming of my wedding ever since I was little and if I’m going to get married in front of billions of people, I’d like not to look like a troll!”

I’m not sure what to tell her. She couldn’t have expected she’d get much of a say with regard to the wedding—it’s the monarchy’s big moment, not hers. Part of me is surprised she was naïve enough to even entertain the notion otherwise. Then again, she’s spent a lot of time trying on tiaras this week, and it’s a well-known fact they inhibit brain power. Anyone who’s ever had to sit through the interview portion of a beauty pageant can attest to this.

Regardless, she’s my sister, and I hate to see her like this.

I’m still trying to figure out what to say when I hear a voice from across the room.

“Mind if I hide out here for a while? I’d rather not be at my apartment right now. I revoked Lauren’s access and don’t want to be anywhere near the tantrum she throws when Marcus tells her she and I are over.”

Esme starts to laugh through her tears, and I turn in the direction of the voice, curious to see which of Carlisle’s friends could possibly be this much of a dick. I think I’d recognize him even if I hadn’t spent the summer after sixth grade licking his photo in an attempt to teach myself how to French kiss. The way in which he regards his surroundings is as telling as his features. That kind of ennui is usually only present in people who’ve seen it all.

It’s His Royal Highness Prince Edward, also known as the Spare to the Heir.

I’ve seen so many pictures and videos of him over the years, seeing him in the flesh is a bit surreal. I could say that in person his hair seems a bit more red or that his smile comes off as less cocky, and both would be true. Then I see his eyes, and I have this moment of clarity during which his title starts to makes sense. Though what’s “Royal” about him remains to be seen, the size of his pupils would seem to indicate that “His Highness” is pretty damned accurate.

“I hope I’m not interrupting.” His gaze settles on Esme, and his face becomes one of what appears to be genuine concern. “You’ve been crying? Wait, you haven’t had an—”

“No.” She jumps to her feet, shaking her head. “No, nothing like that—just wedding planning. Speaking of which, I’d truly hoped we wouldn’t see you until then.”

He wobbles a bit then stumbles forward. Right away, Esme’s arms are around his waist. She manages to make it look like an embrace, but the way the muscles in her legs are flexing it’s obvious she’s supporting his weight.

“This morning, I was still fucking furious about it. Now I’m just…dealing with it.” He pats her dismissively then slowly tries to stand on his own. He falls face forward, slamming his head against my chest. I close my eyes at the point of impact, and when I open them, his head is on my lap. He looks up at me, seemingly perplexed.

“Hello,” he says. “I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced.”

“Edward, meet my sister, Bella. Bella, this is His Royal Highness Prince Edward.”

I force a smile. “Hello, Sir.”

He looks up at me as if he’s waiting for me to do something or say something. After a moment, I think I know what it is—and it does nothing to endear him to me.

“It’s nice to meet you, Sir. Please forgive me; our current position prohibits me from curtsying.”

When he opens his mouth, I assume he’s going to say something. By the time I realize he’s about to puke, His Royal Highness has already covered me with His Royal Vomit.

If anything, I think maybe the tabloids have gone easy on him.

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  1. on 28 Jul 2013 at 3:35 pmSusan

    Great introduction to Edward. And first seeds being planted. Well done. More narration here but it was necessary to get Bella’s impressions and was balanced perfectly with the dialogue.