Atria

Atria

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A private 1x1 between Lilah & SleepingInTheGardens

1,604 readers have visited Atria since Lilah created it.

Introduction



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SleepingInTheGardens & Lilah

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1x1 Roleplay || Not-Accepting

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Our story is set in modern times in a place called Atria, where the Princess has been forcibly put in an arranged marriage by her all too gruff Father, the King. What is to happen, however, when the Princess's brother, the Prince, falls for her Fiancee, and the princess falls for her lower-classed best friend?




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____________________________________________xx{xxThe Princessxx}
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xG E N D E R: Female

xA G E: ???

xF A C E C L A I M: Im Yoon-ah

xH E X: ???

xP O R T R A Y E D xB Y: Lilah
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______________________________________________xx{xxThe Princexx}
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xG E N D E R: Male

xA G E: ???

xF A C E C L A I M: Vernon

xH E X: ???

xP O R T R A Y E D xB Y: SleepingInTheGardens
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____________________________________________xx{xxThe Fianceexx}
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xG E N D E R: Male

xA G E: ???

xF A C E C L A I M: Bill SkarsgΓ₯rd

xH E X: ???

xP O R T R A Y E D xB Y: Lilah
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____________________________________________xx{xxThe Poor Boyxx}
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xG E N D E R: Male

xA G E: ???

xF A C E C L A I M: Matthew Daddario

xH E X: ???

xP O R T R A Y E D xB Y: SleepingInTheGardens
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Toggle Rules

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 2 authors

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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#, as written by Lilah
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Nervous feelings shot through Rosalie, and she felt like she was going to throw up. Everywhere. All over the dress she wore, all over the ballroom floor, and all over the people she greeted as she stood at the bottom of the stairway, waiting as they descended. Those poor poor people. They wouldn't even know what hit them. Well, they would know what hit them, but they weren't going to expect it, let alone like it.

"Princess Rosalie?" A man spoke, breaking Rose away from her nervous thoughts. Rose's dark brown eyes ran over the partially familiar face of the salt and pepper haired man who stood looking at her inquisitively, a hand jutted out, waiting to be shook. Rose plastered a smile on her face, taking his hand and giving it a soft yet firm shake of greeting. "My apologies, Senator! How have you been, I hope the children are well," Rose smiled, all the while trying to rummage through her memories to recall the man's name. She remembered his kids name's Mason and Mary, but not his. Shoot, what is it!

"The family is doing great! The twins are just waiting for the day you visit their school again, though, it looks as if you've had your hands full, hmm? You're family throws such elaborate parties, I can only imagine what you or your brother's weddings are going to be like." Rosalie was beginning to crawl back into the depths of her mind again, but at the mention of a wedding, her attention shot back like a rubber band- a rubber band that just snapped. "Oh, haha!" Rosalie laughed wildly, her laugh clearly too overdone for the tiny joke he had tried to make. Placing her hand on the Senator's shoulder, she said a little too nervously, "You're so funny, but speaking of my brother, I should go find him! Enjoy the ball!" And with that, Rose shot off like a rocket. Nearly everyone who was invited to the ball should have arrived by now, so hopefully the King wouldn't get too upset that she was skipping out on greeting duties for the night.

She'd been dreading this night ever since her father had told her she was to be married only a month ago. It was to someone from the Swedish Royal family, the second prince. She hadn't even met the dude yet! Of course her father knew she wasn't thrilled with the arrangement, but she also knew Atria needed more political connections, and Sweden wasn't a bad one to have. That being said, she still wasn't happy about it, especially since her father put of their meeting until the night of this ball when the engagement was to be publicly announced. It was like some sort of taunt in her face, a punishment for her disagreement. However, she was more shocked that her father didn't decide for them to wait until the wedding day until they met. Better not jinx it, though. Wouldn't put it past him to decide to do that last minute instead.

God, she hadn't even told Matti yet.

One month of knowing, and she hadn't even confided in the one person who knows every single detail of her life. It made no sense why she hasn't told him. Every time she tried to, it got caught in her throat and she was left staring at him with an open mouth like she was shocked at something. The last time she had saw him was a couple days back, and she told herself over and over again that she would tell him before he found out from someone other than herself, but she just couldn't get it out. What bothered her more was that she didn't know why she couldn't get it out. Every single problem she had, she could discuss with him freely, but for some reason that only the universe could seem the fathom, she just couldn't discuss this with him. She just felt terrible that he would most likely wake up tomorrow reading it in those stupid headlines. Maybe she could sneak out early morning however and get to him before he could. Maybe.

Well, no matter what happens tonight, Rose was sure of one thing. She would force her baby brother to be by her side even if she had to handcuff their wrists together to do it. She wasn't meeting this Stellan dude alone and facing mass amounts of people telling her congratulations about something she wasn't happy about. She just had to find Leo first before her father brought Stellan over to meet her and make the announcement, but time was running out, and even as her eyes scanned around the overly large room, she couldn't see the familiar face of Leon anywhere. Darn.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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L E O N. S O N G
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"Look, I'm not going to say this again". Leon's hands clung to his hips like a mother's when scolding her child after sneaking out of the house. Not too roughly, of course, or he would ruin the suit that was pressed and readied especially for tonight's event. He was late, again, even when the event was in his own palace. All it took was a walk down the stairs and across the hallway to the ballroom, and it's not like Leon disliked these kind of events, it's just that tonight's in particular was not one he was looking forward to. "You need to stay here, you got it?". The white feline's tail swayed lazily from side to side as it stared blankly at his owner. The prince let out a sigh, lowering his arms and shoulders in defeat. Reasoning with a cat was impossible, that much he knew. "Whatever just don't eat anything weird". He didn't know why he was bothering to instruct his pet. Cats are notorious for doing whatever they want anyway, much like himself. After checking his phone one more time, he all but sprinted to the ballroom. By now it was probably packed with royals, politicians and their families. All awaiting for the grand announcement his father, the king of Atria, had promised them.

Leon already knew, of course. He and Rosalie had known for about a month now. Leon felt about it now just the same as he did a month ago. He was completely and utterly against it. The last thing he wanted was for his sister to have to marry some guy she didn't love, let alone someone she's never even met before. But the King didn't care about his opinion on the matter, just like he didn't care about Rosalie's when he decided to marry her off to some random prince. Finally reaching the ballroom, he stepped inside, attempting to be as unnoticed as possible so daddy dearest wouldn't have anything to lecture him about. Unfortunately, he failed. "Oh, young prince you finally made it". He was suddenly bombarded with welcoming guests from every angle. Under normal circumstances, he would be more than happy to great everyone. However, this was not helping his sneaking. "Ah yes, hello! Hi! Welcome! Thank you for coming!". He worked his way out of the small crowd that had formed and immediately navigated to his phone. The prince knew his sister would need all the support she could get tonight, which is why he had invited Mateo. It had taken some convincing, but he had managed to talk a couple of guards into letting him in. All that was left now was the "all goof" from Matti, letting Leon know he was inside. Unfortunately, there was still nothing.

Immediately after putting his phone down, he spotted a familiar face just a few feet away, lost and desperately looking for something. Their eyes met and he offered her a reassuring smile from across the room. Making sure not to run anyone over, he quickly worked his way through the crowd and several hellos, finally making it to her. "Miss Rosie cheeks, you look absolutely stunning" he said, albeit a bit too dramatically. There was a pause before he continued, uncertain of the answer he was expecting to hear. "Have you met him yet?". Judging by her surroundings, he assumed she hadn't, and in the back of his mind Leon hoped that she never would. Maybe the prince would have a change of heart and decide to not come tonight and not get married to a girl he had never met. That's the kind of thing that happened in fiction novels, but this wasn't a book nor was it fiction. This was real life, and real life never worked like it did in books.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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#, as written by Lilah
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Rosalie was about to leave the ballroom to try to find her brother, her father's rage be damned, but right before she could, Leo whisked up right beside her being his kind hearted, charming little self. Rose let out a long, way over exaggerated groan at his question as to if she'd met him yet and it drew the attention of some of the officials around her, who gave her questioning looks. Letting out a nervous laugh, Rose stated, "Look at me, half an hour into the night and I'm already tired! Maybe I should go dance to wake myself up," while waving a hand dismissively. The people around her either let out chuckles or small smiles as she clutched her brothers hand and dragged him a little ways away, into the corner of the ballroom.

Letting go of his hand, Rose crossed her arms over her chest, glancing up at her brother, grumbling, "I haven't met him yet. Who knows, Father might be teaching him more ways to make my life miserable." In a split second, Rose regretted what she said and she looked away, her eyes sweeping across the people in the room once more. "No, sorry. I'm sure that's not true. I haven't even met him and I'm making terrible judgements." she mumbled. She was going to be nice to him, she was. Just because she wasn't happy with the situation didn't mean the Stellan guy was going to be a bad person. At least she hoped he wasn't. God, she wished she could talk to Matti.

Turning to look at her brother again, a tiny trace of guilt flashed through her eyes as she began to say "Leo, I don't know what I'm going to do. I never even told Matti abou-" Rose's voice got cut off as her Father approached with two very very tall men trailing behind him. Like everything, her father's introduction where quick and curt, and he was gone without even a meaningful acknowledgment, leaving Stellan behind who looked almost as stunned. So tall...



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Stellan was so close to turning back. He didn't particularly want to go to a ball tonight and meet a girl he'd never met, yet was supposed to be married to. Truly, he was so close to telling the driver to turn around. It wasn't like he was aggressively against the idea; he'd always known his father would try to marry him off for political connections. It's what always happened. He'd just hoped to meet someone before his father set something up. But being the "asocial broody boy", as his elder brother liked to call him, it was hard meeting people, let alone finding someone you'd actually want to marry. But whatever the case, Stellan had committed to it and was just going to have to ride it out. Though, he hoped he could escape the elaborate engagement ball early on in the night. He didn't like socializing with large groups of important people in Sweden, and he could only imagine the relentless and boring conversation of officials from a different country entirely.

"I can't believe he couldn't even get away for a single day to come here with you," sighed Alarik, his elder brother. Stellan let out a low chuckle, still staring out the car window as he replied, "Why? You really hate spending time with me that much?" This was a joke of course. Stellan and Alarik were as close as siblings could get. Well, as close as two siblings could be who's schedules barley ever lined up considering their very different stances. Alarik was the next King of Sweden and had more political things to do. Stellan, on the other hand, didn't.

The 'he' in question in his brothers earlier statement was their father, King Erik. Originally it was intended for just his father to come with him just for the ball in order to meet the Song family in it's small entirety, yet an unexpected set back held their father back and Alarik took his place. His father assumed it wasn't going to be a big issue as he had already met Roaslie's dad in an earlier meeting when the King of Atria had come to Sweden earlier in the year when the engagement had been originally set up. Alarik on the other hand thought it was entirely inappropriate and unreasonable that his father wasn't there. Stellan was indifferent.

"Of course not. This just might look really bad on him. This is more of a business transaction between him and King Ho-Jun than anything, you and the girl are just the goods." Stellan let out a half chuckle-snort at his brother's word choices. "I'm glad to be such a useful object." Stellan casted a sideways glance at his brother, who let out another sigh and gave an apologetic look. "Sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I just hope dad let King Ho-Jun know that he wasn't coming and didn't leave it to us to spring it as a surprise." Stellan simply nodded in agreement, looking back out the window as the car finally pulled up to the Song Palace.

In a flurry of movement, Stellan's car door was opened and he and Alarik were quickly ushered and shown inside the palace. As soon as he entered the ballroom, King Ho-Jun greeted them with a smile that Stellan felt was precisely practiced as a show face. It wasn't fully real. "Welcome to the Palace! I heard that your Father couldn't make it. It's a real pity, but I thank you Prince Erik for being here in his place." Erik nodded and continued to make polite chatter. Stellan muttered a small greeting before letting his eyes wander around the room. There were so many people. "Well come on boys, I'll introduce you to Rosalie and we'll get this announcement out of the way so the night can really start." In almost a blink of an eye, King Ho-Jun whisked them off and soon they stood in front two people, a brunette girl and boy who looked an awful lot like siblings. He barley had time to really register their faces on a more detailed level before King Ho-Jun stated firmly, "this is my daughter Rosalie, and my son Leon. Prince Stellan, I'll leave you to get introduced while me and your brother quickly make the rounds before announcing the engagement." And with that, they were gone. Wow, that man just kept going and going.

"Wow, you must have drank a lot of milk as a kid." spoke a soft voice that sounded almost amazed and confused at the same time. Stellan glanced down at the girl, Rosalie, who must have been nearly a foot shorter than him. Quirking an eyebrow up, Stellan cleared his throat slightly, asking "what?" For a second, she just continued to stare up at him, almost like she was studying him. But it ended shortly as she shook her head slightly as if getting out of her head, and glanced down at her feet. "Ah, uh- sorry. You're just really tall."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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As expected, the faceless prince hadn't shown up yet and a small piece of Leon really hoped he wouldn't. Not that he had anything against a man he had never met, but Rosalie marrying him would mean that she would be miserable for the rest of her life. Well, it was a possibility at least. Just like there was a small possibility that Rose and this prince would eventually learn to love one another and live happily ever after, but that was a risk Leon did not want his sister to have to take. She was anxious, that much was obvious. Rose wasn't the type to judge someone she'd never met or seen only once or twice. Letting a soft smile settle onto his face, he gently squeezed both her hands for reassurance. At the moment, it was all he could do. There was nothing that Leon wanted to do more than swoop in and save her, and get her out of this mess, but at this point it was out of his hands as much as it was out of hers.

The least he could do now was give her some words of encouragement. Rosalie knew, or at the very least she should know, that her little brother would always be there for her, even if it was just to lend her a shoulder to cry on. Still, it was always nice to be reminded, which Leon intended on doing before the night's authority figure came waltzing in, cutting off his inspiration and whatever it was that Rosalie was trying to express. Behind him followed two impossibly tall men, very stoic and handsome. They both had the kind of looks Leo always wished he could have. Casually taking his sister's arm, he gently wrapped it around his own. He may not have looked like much to these intimidating men, but one thing needed to be made clear. He was there to protect her. Their father kept the introduction short and sweet, as always not bothering to waste more words than necessary as if they cost a thousand euros a piece, and just like that he was gone. Leaving his children alone with the two strangers. There was a short silence, during which Leon always felt it necessary to say something, but turned out to not be necessary. ""Wow, you must have drank a lot of milk as a kid.". The prince looked nothing but confused, and Leon couldn't help but chuckle quietly at his sister's sudden outburst. "Ah, uh- sorry. You're just really tall." Leon couldn't contain his smile, suddenly feeling like he was the oldest of the two.

"Ah, I think what my sister meant to say was, it's nice to finally met you" he spoke finally, deciding to do all the formal meeting and greeting to save Rosalie the trouble. He felt odd looking up at the prince. The man was significantly taller than him and his face was more than slightly intimidating. Still, Leon knew better than anyone that one shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. "Welcome". As much as Leon wanted to blame this man for what was happening, he knew all too well that he was not at fault nor did he want the prince and his brother to think that, so he smiled brightly in hopes of easing the awkward tension that had slowly accumulated around them.


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M A T E O. V A R G A S
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Mateo was still entirely clueless as to why it was so important that he showed up to his event. Leon hadn't explained much to him other than the occasional "It's important!" and "Rosie is going to need both of us there", which was more than enough to convince the Spaniard. He was given special instructions by the prince as to how he was going to get inside what what he should do once he got there. Mateo planned on following his instructions to the T, if he could only get to the palace. Of all the days he had asked for overtime and extra work, tonight was not the day to receive it. He didn't say a word to his boss, of course. He didn't want to ruin any future chances. But the man was anxious. Anxious to leave work, anxious to get to the palace and know what was going on, anxious to see Rosalie's smiling face. He had seen her just a few days before, but it already felt like centuries.

After many hours of working diligently and as quickly as possible, he was finally set free. Leon had given him a run down of how the staff would dress at the event, which happened to be very similar to his work attire. Adding on a black vest for good measure, he finally settled into his old chunk of metal and all but speed the whole way to the palace. He was already late and if he didn't hurry, the event would already be ending by the time he arrived.

[To: Leo On my way!]
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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Rosalie was grateful for her brother's interjection into her already awkward introduction to Stellan. She could hit her head on the wall for what she had said. It wasn't like she was wrong or anything, he was very tall, but to say he must have drank a lot of milk? Really? The only thing that could have been more appalling and embarrassing for her to say would have been to ask him if he owned a cow! Maybe he did, though. It's not super unusual for royal families to get produce and farm stock from some people as gifts, but... God. She was getting carried away again. Snap out of it, Rose!

Getting her head wrapped around reality once more, Rose tried joining in on her brother's greetings. "Yes, sorry! Sometimes my thoughts just slip out of my mouth. It's nice to meet you both. You can just call me Rose by the way, Rosalie is a bit of a mouthful." She smiled, extending her hand to shake both Stellan and his brother's hand. Rose's nerves hadn't quite settled yet. Stellan looked pretty intimidating, and not only because Rosalie had to strain her neck to look up at him. He stood sort of rigidly, and his large sunken eyes only added to his slightly dark look. However, when he shook her hand it was gentle, so she hoped that might signify that his personality was not too harsh. Never judge a book by it's cover.

"It's lovely to finally meet you both," Alarik spoke, a kind smile spreading across his face. Stellan grunted something inaudible in reply, his stiff demeanor looking as if it was growing more uncomfortable by the minute. Poor guy. She knew exactly how he felt. "I hope you had a safe trip over here. Have you gotten a chance to tour the palace and city yet? Me and Leon would be more than happy to show you around tomorrow," Rose smiled, gently squeezing her brother's hand. Alarik casted a sideways glance at Stellan, but his head was turned away, his large green eyes scanning over the tops of everyone's head as he looked around the room. "The trip was good, thank you. Unfortunately I fly back tonight, but I'm sure Stellan would be more than happy to join you two tomorrow," quipped Alarik, who rested a hand on Stellan's shoulder, which brought the tall prince's attention back. "Oh, sure. Sounds good."






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Letting out a silent chuckle at Leon's speaking on Rose's behalf, Stellan simply nodded in reply. At least they seemed nice and more relaxed than their father was. More personable. Their smile's weren't as fake as his, but he could tell both of them were a little on edge. Hell, he was too.

While Rose talked to his brother, Stellan took the time to study the Song siblings. They were both attractive, that he had no doubt of. Rose was as feminine as a girl could be, especially in the blue, flower-decorated dress she wore. Her brother, on the other hand, shared her delicate features. He wasn't overtly masculine, but Stellan sensed a sort of edginess about him. He could see more of their european heritage through him, and it was an interesting mix.

Letting his eyes scan over the ballroom, Stellan took in the grandness of it all. There was so many people around him and it just added more discomfort on top of the discomfort he'd already felt. He felt the urge to nervously run a hand through his hair, but as he reached u to do just that, he had to stop himself. His hair had been gelled slightly back and he didn't want to mess it up, though it wasn't like he cared about it too much. Alarik would just slap him upside the head though if he looked even the least bit not put together.

Suddenly he felt a squeeze to his shoulder, and his brothers had sent an almost grounding effect through him. Glancing back at both Rose and Leon, he replied, "Oh, sure. Sounds good." He'd hoped he heard what they had been talking about correctly, or else his answer wouldn't make sense.

"You'll have to forgive Stell over here for his disposition. He's not one for parties," Alarik commented in a disapproving tone, casting a look his way. Stellan was about to interject, before Alarik cut him off. "Oh, I see your father beckoning us over. Must be time to make the announcement, let's go along, shall we?" Stellan nodded his head, as he looked back over at Rosalie, whom he'd caught glancing at her own brother with nervous eyes. Clearing his throat, Stellan watched as his brother strode over to the kings side, before glancing back and Rose and saying, "Sorry about all this." Rose looked from her brother back to Stellan, offering a sheepish sort of grin. "Oh, no don't apologize! These sort of things are always a bit weird. I mean I would assume so, I uh- well I've never actually been in this scenario before but uhm... sorry. Yep, let's go." And with that, she walked towards her father, Stellan trailing behind her.

As they reached a sort of platformed area on the ballroom floor, Stellan stood rigidly beside the petite girl, his hands behind his back. He stared at the wall straight ahead, trying to avoid any eye contact with those who gathered around at the sight of the King announcing something. "As you may have guessed, I have gathered you all here tonight to announce something very special." the King started, drawing the attention of the last few people who already hadn't turned their gaze towards him. "I am here to announce the official engagement between my Daughter, Princess Rosalie Song, to the second Prince of Sweden, Stellan Mikaelsson. I hope you will all join me in my wish to congratulate them."




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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L E O N. S O N G
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As much as he loves to read, Leon has never been good at reading people. Still, even he could tell the prince was uncomfortable with this situation, and who's to blame him? Had it been Leon in this situation, he may have opted out of showing up at all and just hid for the rest of his life. He felt a sense of admiration for this man, and his sister as well, for confronting this situation. Maybe this was why their father preferred Rosalie over Leon. She had always been much more responsible when it came to her royal duties. The air between the four siblings felt a bit rigid. They were all on edge which made these kinds of situations even more difficult to handle, still, Leon had no problem navigating through the awkward conversation.

There was an agreement to show Stellan around the next day, and considering the fact that his brother would be leaving tonight, the prince assumed he would be the couple's chaperone. Not that they needed one, but Leon could almost guarantee that Rosalie would force him to go along. "Sorry about all this." the small prince was brought out of his thoughts by the man's voice. It had been almost hard to hear before because of the bustling of the party guests, but everyone now had began to quit down. The moment of truth was finally here. Before they parted ways, Leon sent his sister off with a soft kiss on her forehead. It was his way of saying "you'll be okay", though he didn't know that for a fact.

The two made their way up to the small platform beside the king and Leon almost felt nauseous. A month of knowing this was going to happen and he hadn't been able to do anything about it, now it was finally here. In felt unreal, in a sense, like this was all some kind of weird dream. But as he stood just a few feet away and listened to his father's announcement, it was impossible to ignore. The room suddenly erupted with noise, mostly applause, but also murmurs of confused and surprised party guests. The noise was a bit too much for Leon's ears, but he resisted the urge to leave. Rosalie would need him there. "Engagement...?" the familiar voice snapped Leon back to reality. Looking in the direction where it came from, he came to find a very confused looking Mateo having suddenly appeared out of nowhere. "Matti? When did you-?" stopping himself mid-sentence, Leon quickly reached for his phone. As expected, he had three unopened messages from the Spaniard. He let out an apologetic sigh before putting the device away. "I'm sorry, didn't mean to miss your messages"


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M A T E O. V A R G A S
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Mateo had been beyond thrilled that he made it inside the palace without any problems. The guard at the gate didn't question his being there and the guards at the palace entrance let him walk right in. Mateo figured it was thanks to Leon. Grateful that he hadn't left him to mend by himself, he had sent him a message. <I'm inside. Had no problems getting through. Thank you!> But now he was at a loss for what to do. Should he just walk over to the ballroom in integrate himself as one of the night's staff? Should he wait for Leon to come and get him? The Spaniard was a bit uneasy, and the last thing he wanted was to get caught out of place. After waiting a few minutes for Leon's response, but not getting one, he decided to head over to the ball room. He would just have to pretend to be one of the waiters for the night until he found the siblings.

The palace was just as enormous and expensive as Mateo remembered it being. He had been inside several times, back when he was just a small teen. The king hadn't always been against his being there. There was a time when the man actually welcome Mateo inside and let him spend time with his children. That was all before the queen passed away. After that day, Matti had not been allowed to set foot anywhere inside or near this palace, as if he were to blame for the queen's death. To some extent, Matti understood why the king was acting the way he was. Losing someone you loved dearly was never easy, and Matteo was not family. NOr was he a friend of the king, he was merely a friend of his children. Mateo didn't hate the king for treating him differently, but that still didn't mean it was right.

Finally making his way inside the ballroom, he was suddenly overwhelmed. The large space was packed from wall to wall with people of different shapes, sizes and ethnicity, and every one of them looked important. Taking advantage of his height, Mateo stretched his neck to look over the heads of the party guests. It didn't take him very long to spot Leon and Rosalie. They were off to one side of the room talking to a pair of very tall men. By the way they were dressed, Mateo assumed they were extremely rich and extremely important. Not wanting to interrupt whatever conversation they had going on, he decided to take a step back and wait until they were finished. He knew better than to stick his nose into royal family affairs. From afar, he could see the king making his way onto a small platform at the center of the ballroom. This must be the announcement Leon had mentioned. Mateo watched silently, confusion slowly taking over as Rosalie parted ways with Leon and joined her father up on the balcony along with one of the strange men. A very odd and uneasy feeling began to settle into his stomach as the king began to speak, his words barely registering in Mateo's mind. Rosalie...prince...engagement. It all began to blend together and before he knew it, he had made his way to the front beside Leon. "Engagement?". Leon looked surprised, but not as surprised as the look on Mateo's face. Rosalie and the prince made their way down from the platform. Mateo felt paralyzed, like he had just been drenched in buckets of ice cold water. "You're getting married...?" he said, his voice almost noticeable shaky. "Congratulations...". The word was empty, just like his forced smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Rose felt her throat closing up and it was getting much more difficult to breath. All she could do was stand beside her father and Stellan, eyes barley casting over some of the politely clapping people in the front as she plastered a tight smile on her face. She couldn't even look over at Leo because she knew if she did, her emotional front would crumble and she would be left standing there like a sad little girl who didn't get what she wanted. Though, as it stood right now, Rose was going to pass out. She was going to fall right on top of poor Mrs. Johnson right there in front of her and knock her out accidentally. Hey- maybe that ordeal would beat out the engagement headlines so Matti wouldn't see them.

Or not.

As Rose stepped down from the platform, hesitantly holding onto Stellan's extended arm as he helped her not fall down, she found her brown eyes wandering past the crowds and over to look at her brother. What she didn't expect to see was the handsome brunette standing beside him, Mateo. The breath that Rose had been holding in since the announcement was made released out of her like a sad deflated ballon, as she breathed it out with it, "oh no."

Releasing her arm from the crook of Stellan's arm where it rested, Rose quickly tried weaving her way through the rest of the crowd, feeling partly awful that she only gave passing thank you's and brief comments to those who tried to stop her and the tall Swedish dude as they past on through. As she began to approach Matti and her brother, she lessened her speed, having trouble keeping eye contact with Matti through the guilty feeling that scratched at her chest. At his comment of their marriage and his congratulations, Rose instinctively reached out to grab his arm gently as an awful feeling hit her heart as if she had just been shot. She was unsure if she had grabbed him to comfort him or her own self. "Matti..." Rose trailed off, her voice weak. She didn't know what to say. What was he even doing here? How did he get in? Today of all days she was sure her father would have a field day if he saw he was in the palace.

"Can we go talk? I just-" Rose spoke softly, her voice almost a whisper. Dropping her hand from his forearm, she cast a look down at her feet. "I'm so sorry I never told you," she breathed, grazing her eyes up from her heels to glance at his chest, unable to meet his eyes. "Let's go for a walk, okay? I'll climb down my balcony, just... meet me below it and we'll get away from the palace." She was sure she could easily get away now. Some people might notice her absence, but they would assume she was off talking to other groups. Her Father would be too wrapped up in himself to even notice she wasn't there, and besides, she'd essentially already exhausted her purpose of the night.

Turning quickly on her heel to face Stellan, she gave an apologetic look as she said, "I'm so sorry, but I'll see you tomorrow," before turning to her brother, kissing his cheek and asking, "please cover for me? I'll owe you for the rest of my life." And with that, she rushed away from the group to go to her room and change. She didn't wait to even hear Matti's reply, too afraid he would reject her invitation to walk. She couldn't get upset at him if he didn't show up. She'd kept something huge from him, afterall.






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Stellan didn't pay much attention to the clapping of those around him or the curious mumblings of those who were inevitably starting gossip about something or the other. He could hear the tabloids now coming up with all sorts of wild things about the sudden engagement- Was it arranged or not? Was the Swedish royal family blackmailing Atria for her hand in marriage? Was she pregnant? Something always had to sell.

Stepping off the platform and absentmindedly holding his arm out for Rosalie to grab onto, he stood there simply unsure what to do now or where to go. His brother was already off conversing with the King, so he was sure he wouldn't see him for the rest of the night until he left. Stellan didn't know anyone in the ballroom except now for Rosalie and Leon, but he wasn't sure if he felt totally up to doing tons of introductions for the rest of the night. Wasn't really his thing. He would most likely just trail behind Rosalie as she did whatever she did at these Balls, and maybe even get some whiskey from the bar and stand off to the side for a bit. Yeah. That sounded like a good plan.

Rosalie's small outburst of "oh, no" drew Stellan out of his mind, and curious as he was, he didn't voice his questioning, only followed her lead like he had been planning to do anyways. Eventually, once they pushed past people in a friendly enough brush-off, they ended back up in the corner where they had been first introduce, however, there was an additional person standing there. As he silently listened to their conversation, he got the notion that the two must have been fairly close. Maybe even dating. The guy's congratulations and smile on the engagement news was clearly faked, so much so that anyone could probably tell it was. Man, that dude looked more worse for wear then Stellan himself felt. Turning to glance down at Rose as she addressed him, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said, "Alright, see you then," before side stepping a bit so he planted himself next to Leon. Maybe I could leave too... I wonder where the library is.

After Rose left, Stellan looked down at Leon, questioning, "they dating or something? Rough." Stellan, though it may sound weird to hear, wouldn't be surprised nor really upset if they were. They'd only just met and he was fairly sure Rose wasn't in agreement with her father on the whole marriage matter. Hell, he wasn't either. Maybe her father set this up just to keep those two apart. Double rough.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Leon had estimated that Mateo's presence would be good for Rosalie, given that she was as close to him as she was to her brother. Unfortunately the looks on both their faces said otherwise. Granted, Leon made the estimation on the assumption that Mateo already knew about what was going to happen. Rosalie always told him everything, so he didn't understand why she would keep such a life changing event like this for him. Especially for so long. They had known for almost over a month, you'd think she would have brought it up at some point.

The confused prince watched in silence as Matti congratulated his sister on the engagement. It didn't sound at all sincere and Rosalie could clearly tell. Suddenly the suffocating tension in the air was beginning to build up again, but this time for an entirely different reason. Leon opted out of saying anything. Whatever was going to happen would be between Mateo and Rosalie and he had no business sticking his nose in it, so he just nodded in understanding when his sister decided to head out. She had covered for him before and got him out of messes on several occasions, the least he could do now was do the same for her.
He watched as she and Mateo went their separate ways, probably planning on meeting up somewhere else, and he couldn't help but feel a stab of guilt. Inviting Mateo to the announcement was probably not the best idea he'd ever had. He frowned subconsciously, now feeling like he had made Rosalie's night worse instead of better.

"they dating or something? Rough." Leon didn't mean to flinch, he had just been so caught up in his own thoughts that he hadn't even realized Stellan was right beside him. The smaller boy responded with a nervous grin, not entirely sure how to respond to the question. "Not exactly..." he said, not really thinking about his next few words. "At least not that I know of...I think she would tell me if they were. I hope..." the last couple of words came out almost as a mutter, his mind now turning over the idea of his sister keeping something like that a secret from him. He didn't see why she would, but he also didn't see why she would keep the news of the engagement to herself either. "He's a childhood friend, almost like family" he finally added, not sure why he was trying to explain the situation so detailed, it's not like Stellan had a reason to care nor did he sound like he did. "Uh- did you want a drink?" he said suddenly, deciding that changing the subject was the best course of action right now. "There's wine, vodka...whiskey probably" he said, biting his lower lip in thought. "Or maybe step out for a bit? We've got a really nice library" for all Leon knew, Stellan didn't even like books, but the library had always been the first place Leon went to when he needed a breather, so naturally it was the first thing that came to mind.

"Or maybe..." realizing he had probably already talked too much, he quietly cleared his throat, giving an apologetic smile. It's not like Rosalie had listed taking care of Stellan as part of covering for her, but something about meeting strangers made Leon babble. Most didn't mind it, but people like Stellan usually found it annoying. "I'll just..." he said, pretending to zip his mouth.


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M A T E O. V A R G A S
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Ever since they were kids, Rosalie had always shared the smallest of details with Mateo. The Spaniard couldn't forget the time she told him she lost her favorite paintbrush, and with every bit of penny he had saved he had saved he bought her another, just like the one she had before. She didn't need him buying her things, but he always loved to help her and see her happy again. This wasn't any different, which is why Mateo couldn't understand why she had kept something like this from him and who knows for how long.

Part of him felt betrayed, but the other part just felt heartbroken. As to why, he didn't know. It's not like he didn't know this would happen eventually. He knew, Rosalie knew as well. Royals married other royals. It was a social rule that no one could deny. So why did he feel so miserable? He had half a mind to turn down Rosalie's request to meet up somewhere to talk, because just looking at her in the eyes brought him pain, but in the end he couldn't get himself to do it. So he agreed, like he agreed to everything else Rosalie ever asked him to do.

Getting out of the palace was even easier than getting in. No one so much as even looked in his direction. Most were probably preoccupied by the news. Some looked happy, others indifferent, but most just looked confused. He couldn't deny he didn't feel the same, although confused didn't come close to summing up how he felt. Walking around the extremely large estate, he finally made it to Rosalie's window. He had been here several times to help her sneak out, but somehow this time it felt different. He couldn't keep himself from fidgeting with his fingers as he waited for her. The wheels slowly turned in his head as he tried to come up with something to say, anything, but the only thing that came to mind was one question. A question he wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer to.

Finally, after what felt like a century, Rosalie's face popped up from above. He helped her down as quickly as possible, all but had to sew his mouth shut to keep from asking her right then and there. This wasn't the time nor the place. Getting away from the palace was first priority right now. The last thing they needed was to get caught. Rosalie would most definitely be in trouble and there's no doubt in Mateo's mind that the king would send him to jail. So he took hold of her hand, just as he always did, and they ran for a bit to get as far away from the palace as possible. Mateo wasn't sure where they wee going yet, but at this point it didn't matter.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Rosalie kept her head down the whole way as she made it to her room, only lifting it as she gave polite hello's to the maids that she passed by the down the halls. She was thankful none of them made any effort to stop her to ask where she was going with the ball in full swing. She liked all the workers who lived in the palace. Some of them had been their since she was a really young child. She made sure to know all their names by heart, which wasn't that hard because most of them, if not all, she considered friends.

As she entered into her too-large room, she immediately slipped off the long gown and threw it over one of the chairs that rested in the corner, before quickly rummaging through her closet and throwing on a much more comfortable outfit. Taking a deep breath for what seemed like the first time in awhile, she moved over to her vanity and undid her hair from the tight up-do in which it had been set in before, letting it fall in loose curls over her shoulders as she began brushing her fingers through it in more of a nervous gesture than one of trying to get the knots out.

Rose began to take hesitant steps towards her balcony window, afraid to see if Matti was there or not. Though it was going to be hard to face him and actually talk to him, it would be even harder if he wasn't there. If he wasn't, she knew she would never be able to forgive herself for not telling him. She wasn't sure if she could forgive herself even now. She needed him, and she felt as though she had betrayed him. God, how could she have not told him? He really shouldn't be down there! He should never talk to her again.

Opening up the doors, she stepped out into the cool air and glanced down. Rose's eyes directly caught those of the familiar boy who, by simply just being there, proved that he had a much better heart than she did. But it's why she loved him. He was the sweetest person who could make her smile in even the most horrible of situations. Yet, as she looked down at him now with his face reflecting a sort of pained look, she only felt guilt and shame in being the one who caused that. He'd given her everything, and in return, Rose had only done this.

Climbing down, she stiffened slightly as he helped her, but relaxed the moment her feet touched the ground. As he took her hand, Mateo directed them away from the palace, neither of them saying a word as they escaped. When they were a safe distance away, they took a moment to stop in order to figure out where to go to next. Rose took a quick glance around her surroundings and her eyes quickly settled on an old trail leading into the forest. She knew exactly where to go. Still holding onto his hand and saying nothing, Rose began to take the lead down the old, but still familiar, trail path.

In a short fifteen minute walk, Rose and Mateo stepped into a small clearing area. Years ago, the area was a lot more grassy and untouched, yet now there were wild flowers growing in places there weren't before, and a few fallen trees that moss grew over like a soft blanket. However, the one large tree in the middle of it all still stood upright, but the wooden fort that they had built many years on the tree had grown weak and broken in some parts. Rose couldn't remember the last time they went to their old fort. It must have been before her and Leon's mother died.

Finally dropping his hand, Rose walked slowly over to the base of the tree, resting a hand on one of the planks nailed into the bark as a ladder. The wood had grown soggy from all the times it had rained over the past year, and even with her soft grip, pieces of the wood came falling off easily. No matter, Rose kept her eyes on it, picking at the pieces that kept falling down. "I should have told you," Rose spoke, her voice still quiet in her shame. When she finally stopped picking at it, Rose still kept her hand and eyes on the soft plank of wood as she whispered, "Matti, I'm so sorry," unsure if she was apologizing for the way he found out, or by the fact that she was engaged all together.






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Stellan let out a deep chuckle at Leon's zipping of the mouth. He was sort of glad that he rambled on. Nothing was more worse then petty small talk or awkward silences between two people.

"I'll take you up on both the drink and library offer," Stellan nodded as if Leon had read his mind. Literally. It was a little spooky. "I'll be glad to get away. My brother wasn't kidding when he said I wasn't one for parties. I get sort of-" Stellan stopped, trying to think of the correct term for a moment. "... uncomfortable in crowded areas."

Turning abruptly on his heel, Stellan started a slow stride over to the bar that he had noticed almost immediately upon coming in. What a sad statement of his priorities. Stellan barley casted a glance to those around him, and only stopped once on his endeavour over to the liquor when a forty-something year old man strode in his path, arm extended expectingly. "Hello, Prince Stellan! A pleasure to make your acquaintance. I'm Gerald Kang, one of the Song family lawyers." Taking his hand for a fleeting moment, Stellan shook it once before dropping it, simply stating a small "Hello." Gerald cleared his throat slightly, squaring his shoulders in an almost awkward seeming gesture. "Yes, well, I hope you like Atria so far. I was talking to your brother only a short moment ago and he mentioned that you are fond of classical music? There's never a shortage of concerts in and around the city surrounding the palace so I'm sure you won't get bored." Stellan stiffened slightly, unsure how to respond. "Ah, well, I'll be sure to keep an eye out." Kang gave a sort of unsure smile, only nodding his head. After a long moment of pause where neither said anything, Kang made an obvious gesture of looking around, before asking, "And where is the lovely bride to be? Already got into a lover's quarrel, hmm?" Stellan stared at him for a moment, now entirely unsure of what to say. Flicking his green gaze over to Leon for a moment, he briefly moved his gaze back to Kang stating, "No, she uh, went to the bathroom. Please excuse me." Giving him a polite nod of the head in goodbye, stellan slipped right past him to walk up to the bar.

After ordering his whiskey, Stellan turned to talk to Leon once more, picking up their earlier conversation as if though no time had past at all. "You sounded unsure before. You think she would keep something like that from you?" Propping his elbow up on the wooden bar top, he leaned back casually, until the bar tender politely tapped his shoulder, passing him his drink. He found Leon fairly easy to talk to so far, compared to others he had met. Maybe it was because of his ramblings before. Stellan could tell it was just his nature, and not just something to say in order to hold a conversation out of some false polite duty.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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L E O N. S O N G
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Still feeling a bit intimidated, Leon made a mental note to control his rambling. Stellan didn't seem to mind it, but he could just be pretending so as to not be rude. Although, if being around so many strangers made him uncomfortable, maybe it didn't hurt to have someone talking to him. At the very least he could step in on the chance that anyone asked for Rosalie's whereabouts. Leon was fairly quick on his feet when it came to things like this.

Surely enough, it didn't take long for someone to approach him. Leon listened quietly from a few feet away as Mr. Kang spoke to Stellan. It all seemed to be running smoothly, that is, until he asked for his bride to be. Leon didn't miss Stellan's nervous glass and quickly followed after him, but not before telling Mr. Kang all about how Rose's bride's maids had planned a surprise for her after the announcement was made and Leon was in charge of looking after her fiance for the time being. The man seemed pleased enough and walk off with a satisfied grin on his face. Leon couldn't help but wonder when he had become such a good liar.

Meeting up with the impossibly tall man at the bar, Leon contemplated having a drink. Technically, he could not legally drink for several more months, but being the prince had it's perks. "You sounded unsure before. You think she would keep something like that from you?". Leon casted a glance in his direction, suddenly feeling a little uneasy again. The thought of Rosalie keeping something so important from her own brother, whom she claimed to trust 110%, felt almost impossible. Especially since he was as close to Mateo as she was. Leon's large chocolate eyes stared at the marbled counter for a moment before tilting his head in Stellan's direction. "No, i'm sure she would tell me" he said, partly to answer Stellan's question, and partly to convince himself that it was true. The bartender came around a second time and Leon gave him a soft smile. A smile that the man already knew all too well. "You know, one of these days your father will find out and he'll have my head" the almost middle aged man said playfully, to which Leon responded with an innocent laugh. "I'm sure he's got much more important things to worry about besides his underage son drinking. Besides, in a few more months you won't even have to worry about it". The man gave in with ease and passed Leon his usual. Leon had never been a big fan of alcohol, but on nights like these he needed something a little heavier than coffee. Putting his cup down, he slipped off the stool before turning to Stellan. "Library?". He assumed the "asocial" prince was more than itching to leave the crowded ball room and Leon on his part wasn't opposed to getting a bit of fresh air.


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M A T E O. V A R G A S
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Not speaking felt really strange...awful even. Anytime Rosalie and Mateo were together there was chatter. Of anything and everything under the son. Rose loved to talk to him, and Matti loved to listen, but tonight was different. She wasn't speaking, and whatever she may have to say to him, he wasn't sure he would want to listen. They spoke briefly, deciding on where to go to get away from the real world for a while, and settled on a childhood memory. A place Rose, Leo and Matti had created as kids. Mateo would hide with them there on the occasions that they wanted to escape the royal life and just...breathe. Somehow, the air always felt clearer. So there they went, hoping to find some piece of mind among all the confusion.

When they finally arrived, Mateo almost didn't recognize the place. The only thing that stood proud still was the tree, as if it had stayed frozen in time while everything else moved forward. The Spaniard watched silently as Rose made her way to it. There was a pause, slightly suffocating, before she spoke. Mateo didn't really have a response to what she said. All this time to think and he had still not thought of anything to say, other than his initial question. [color=#00ff00["How long have you known?"[/color]. Perhaps she had just found out that morning or the night before. It would explain which she had never brought it up on the times they had meet before. It was unlikely, a large part of him knew that, but a small part of him hoped he was wrong.

His eyes didn't leave hers. Maybe he wouldn't like what she had to say, but he needed to hear it regardless. He couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if he hadn't gone to the party at all. Would she have told him anything, or would she have kept ignoring it until the day of the wedding. He couldn't help but feel a little angry, betrayed, hurt mostly. It wasn't even rational for him to feel this way, it's like Rosalie belonged to him. And yet, deep down it felt like she did and this stranger was taking her away from him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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At the sound of his question, Rose leaned her head forward until it hit the tree. She didn't mean to do it hard, more like gently rest it, but it still made a resounding thud noise nonetheless. "A month," she mumbled quietly, almost too quiet that she was unsure if he would actually be able to hear her. Lifting her head back up, she looked him in the eye, knowing she owed him that much and repeated gently, "I've known for a month." The pained look in his eyes twisted into her gut like a knife. I caused that. She felt more guilty for that then anything she ever had in her life.

Drifting away from where she stood at the tree, she moved so she stood straight across from him, yet distant, feets away. She didn't approach him, afraid he would feel crowded or worse, that he would step away from her. "The day, no, the moment I found out," Rose started, trying to ground her voice and make it sound more strong, less quiet, "I went straight to you. I only wanted to talk to you, but when I saw you and tried to say something I couldn't. I couldn't get the words out. Everyday since then when I saw you I told myself I was going to tell you but the words always got stuck in my throat and, God," Rose breathed out, a soft humourless laugh escaping her lips. "Matti I was so scared- I am scared. I don't want this marriage."

As the resolution of her words settle in, Rose felt a small tear trickle down her cheek and she instinctively turned away, wiping it off her face. Why did she feel like this? Why couldn't she have just told him? She never once stopped to think about the reasoning as to why she just couldn't tell him and it only aided in making her guilt worse. Rose never really stopped to think about that until now. They always knew this day would come. She never doubted that her father would arrange something for her. But it all seemed so complicated.

Turning to move to sit on a fallen tree, she dropped her hands from her face and admitted. "I can't explain to you why I couldn't tell you. I just... I don't know. I don't know why I couldn't, I don't know," she almost kept repeating, as if hoping it would draw out the reasoning in her mind. She never once held anything back from Mateo. All her deepest and darkest feelings, he could draw those out of her in no time. She wanted him to know everything, needed him to in order for her to feel sane, but why couldn't she blab out this! Rose was so caught up in her head that she barley even registered as another tear streaked her face.






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Stellan lifted an eyebrow at the underage comment. Leon looked young, but he couldn't be younger than twenty, could he? Tossing back the rest of his drink, the bartender went to fill it back up after giving Leon his. After he handed him his refill, Stellan said, "If the King asks questions, tell him I threatened you or something. God knows how many times that excuse has been used for my younger cousins." He meant it as a half-joke, half-truth. His younger cousins who were caught with alcohol had told the bartender to use it as an excuse once or twice without Stellan's consent before, but it did sorta work. He didn't deny it. Besides, all he got was a slap on the wrist from his Dad. By the look of the bartenders face, it appeared it his comment hadn't come across as a joke at all. "I'm sure it'll be fine" he had replied quickly, before turning to attend to other guests. Stellan simply shrugged his shoulders.

It's not like he cared much if he got in shit over it if the bartender did decide to use it as an excuse. What's the worse that could happen? They send him back to Sweden? Boo-hoo.

Taking a slow sip of the whiskey, he glaced back down at Leon, making a sweeping gesture with his hand towards of the the exit doors to the ball room. "Lead the way," he commented, before holding up a finger in pause. "Wait, actually." Stellan mumbled, before turning around to walk behind the bar counter. The bartender just stared at him, a little stunned as Stellan reached over to grab the half-full bottle of whiskey, saying only, "It's an open bar, right?" in an attempt of explanation before turning right around and walking back to Leon. "Now we can go."

It wasn't like Stellan was actively attempting or hoping to get drunk that night. He rarely did, his tolerance was pretty high. But after the stress of the day and the nerves that grew every moment he was in the crowd? Well, two glasses of whiskey just wasn't going to ease his tension.



Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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L E O N. S O N G
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Leon let out a quiet chuckle at the bartender's expression. The man had clearly not registered Stellan's comment as a joke. Not that it would really matter. The terrified bartender wouldn't have to come up with excuses to give the king because the king wouldn't ever ask. If it has nothing to do with his politics or ways of becoming even more rich and powerful, his highness could not care less. Sometimes it was convenient. Other times, not so much. Leon was ready to step out and take a breath of arrogance-free air. The aristocrats crowding the ball room were all too busy chit chatting and making connections. No one would even notice Stellan's or Rosalie's absence. If they did, Leon would just explain how they had left for a bit to get to know one another in a more calm and quiet setting. And he was there with them, of course. Otherwise, the rumors and gossip would be never ending.

The smaller prince watched curiously as Stellan helped himself to an entire bottle of whiskey. A bit excessive, maybe, but most definitely amusing. An entertained grin decorated his face as he was told to lead the way, meanwhile the bartender stared after them in utter confusion.

The air felt lighter the second the two stepped out of the ballroom. It may have had something to do with the tall prince trailing behind Leon. His muscles very visibly relaxed as soon as they stepped away from the crowd. Leon had never minded large crowds and he had always been very social, so he couldn't imagine how Stellan felt being around so many people he had never even met, on top of already having to deal with an arranged marriage to a girl he had also never met. Luckily, the library wasn't a far ways away, but hidden enough for them to hide away from the people in the ballroom which is essentially what Stellan wanted. As soon as the large double doors opened, the fresh air from the opened balcony doors brushed past Leon's face, leaving his hair just a tad messy and out of place. Not bothering to fix it, his attention switched to the small, white ball of fur curled up on Leon's favorite couch. He smiled at the sight and ran a hand through the soft fur blanket. "Well look at you behaving like a normal cat for once" he joked, to which the feline responded with a soft purr and continued to sleep, completely disregarding Stellan's presence.

The atmosphere in the library felt light and fresh, unlike heavy tension that surrounded the ballroom. There wasn't much to do here other than talk or read, so Leon could only hope Stellan was okay with this. At the very least it served it's purpose of giving him a break from the crowd. "I'm sorry you got stuck with me..." the petite prince said lightly as he settled beside his pet on the couch. It was probably a bad idea considering he was wearing a nice black suit, but at this point that was the least of his worries. "You'd think you came to marry me instead of Rose" he added with a soft chuckle. Not that Leon minded keeping the man company, in fact, he liked having someone to escape royal responsibilities with. But he couldn't tell if Stellan felt the same and didn't mind having to hang with him, or if it was purely because Leon was the only person there that he sort of knew and thus felt obligated to follow him around. He could only hope it wasn't the latter.




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Rosalie's answer left Mateo breathless...as if someone had punched all the air out of him for the second time tonight. All of his hopes crumbled. A month was a very long time to keep something like that a secret from someone she considered her best friend. Yet, somehow, the fact that she had kept it a secret for that long didn't bother him nearly as much as the engagement itself did. It was illogical, Matti decided, to think that way considering he should have felt betrayed over her keeping such a secret.But instead he felt heartbroken, unable to bear the thought of seeing her marry someone else. A lump caught in Mateo's throat the moment he say Rosalie's tears. He had always been there for her when she cried, but now if felt as if he were going to break down and cry at any second.

She didn't want to marry this prince, that was made very clear. And somehow that gave Mateo a feeling of...relief. Whether she wanted to or not, it didn't really make a difference to the king, but it made a difference to Mateo. A big difference. He felt his anger towards her slowly begin to crumble as the tears rolled down her face. How could he be angry with her when she was clearly having a really hard time already. Mateo had promised when they were younger that he would always be there to keep her safe, and he fully intended on keeping that promise, no matter the consequences.

Taking the necessary steps towards her, he stopped so they were face to face, merely inches away. She looked so fragile and broken that it made him feel the same way. Mateo had always towered over her, even more so as they began to grow up and she stayed relatively the same height meanwhile he continued to sprout upwards. Still, she had never looked as small as she did now, here, standing in front of him with her face covered in tears. Mateo felt a little bit of guilt for having blamed her for this, when it clearly wasn't her fault. She couldn't seem to think of a reason as to why she had kept the news from him all this time, but at the moment, Mateo didn't really care. All that mattered was that she was hurt, and he felt the overwhelming need to make her feel better.

"Shh...it's okay" he finally said as his arms slowly wrapped around her. He pulled her against his chest, just as he always did when he hugged her, and held her as tightly as he could without breaking her. With his chin resting lightly on top of her head, his big blue orbs stared at the tree bark behind her, the memories of when they were younger suddenly flooding his mind. The day after the queen had passed away, Rose and Matti had come here to talk. He remembered very clearly how he hugged her for hours while she cried. That was the first time he had ever seen her shed any tears, but back then there was nothing he could do about it. Now, he was determined. He didn't know how, but he was determined to get her out of this mess.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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For a moment, Rosalie let all her stresses fall away when he brought her into his arms. It instantly made her feel better, it always had, but as she begun the slink her arms around him, she abruptly stopped, instead simply pressing her palms firmly against his chest. She wasn't exactly pulling away, but she wasn't hugging him back either. How could she let him comfort her? She'd hurt him. Bad. He should be yelling and screaming at her. She wouldn't blame him.

Letting out a strangled laugh, Rose shook her head fervently, saying, "It's not okay." Slipping away from his arms, Rose stepped away to look up at him, yet still stood close enough to him that if he took a step forward he'd knock her down. Wiping the rest of the tears away from her eyes, she dropped her arms down to her sides determinedly and pleaded softly, "Get mad at me, okay? Yell at me. Hate me. I kept this secret from you and I can't even give you an explanation as to why!"

This whole not knowing thing was really starting to bug her. She needed to give him an explanation. It's what she owed him. She'd do absolutely anything for him, anything with no questions asked. He was her family! He was one of the two people who she loved with her whole heart! She had no trouble telling Leon. He wasn't happy about it of course, but she wasn't either so she wasn't afraid of his reaction on the matter. Why was she so scared of Matti's reaction? Obviously he hadn't seemed happy with it just as she wasn't, but would she have expected him to have been happy about it? Or not care? Maybe that was it. Maybe she was scared her wouldn't care if she got married or not, but why- Oh... shit.

Dropping down, Rose abruptly sat down on the mossy log, bringing her head down to her knees as ran both her hands through her hair. Shaking her head slightly again, Rose let out a painful groan of, "This- no, I can't, oh god." She was an idiot! A bloody idiot!






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Taking the occasional sip of whiskey as they made their way to the library, Stellan barley gave any passing glance at his surroundings. He was just damn happy to be away from the ball. He could finally breath again.

As they walked through the double doors, a slight shiver ran up Stellan's spine as the breeze from the open balcony doors hit him. It was nice. Fresh air and libraries were a good mix. He liked the smell of old books as much as the next guy who spent half his time in a library, but when their were a bunch of old books in one place, it was a bit much. Setting his glass down on one for the side tables by a lounger chair, Stellan shrugged off his tux jacket before setting it gently across the arm. He also went about loosening the maroon tie he wore.

Turning back to look at Leon as he went to talk to his cat, the corner of Stellan's mouth twitched up in a half smile. Good thing he wasn't the only one who talked to animals. He was happy they allowed them in the palace at least. He knew some royals were a bit stingy with the whole shedding problem. Stellan had a habit of finding hurt animals and bringing them inside. He'd taken to hiding them in unused servants quarters in his family's palace.

Turning to go walk about the room slightly, he took to looking at the collection of books the library held. Form what it appeared, there was a bit of everything. As Stellan went to take one off the shelf to inspect it, Leon's voice brought him back to reality, and he looked over his shoulder at the prince. Shrugging at his comment "You'd think you came to marry me instead of Rose", Stellan gave a slight smile as he replied back, "Either way, it wouldn't make much difference to me." Slipping back the book in it's original slot, Stellan was hit with the realization that his words could be misconstrued as saying that he didn't care who it was because he didn't care for either equally, which most defiantly wasn't the case.

Shooting his glance back at Leon, Stellan opened his mouth and rambled out, "Ah- wait, I think that came out wrong. It's not that your sister's not nice, I mean, I don't know her of course, but uh... It's not that you aren't nice either, you are, I just meant it that I don't really have a preference between guy or, uh, girl." It wasn't like his sexuality was a secret or anything. Everyone in his family knew.

Clearing his throat gruffly, Stellan made his way over to pick up his drink and take another swig, only setting it down once more to comment plainly, "Did you know cats can't taste sweetness."




Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Leon hadn't expected the prince to talk to him as much as he was. Not that he had been judging, but at first glance the man appeared to be kind of...cold and unwelcoming. Clearly that was not the case. They had barely known each other for just under two hours and Stellan was already speaking to him as if he'd known Leon for much longer. The younger prince watched in silence as Stellan mumbled for a bit, trying to explain himself, only responding with a quiet, almost childlike chuckle. It was nice to see he wasn't the only one that rambled. well thanks...I think" he responded, his face twisted into somewhat of a confused grin.

The last part of his statement, though, lingered in the back of his mind for a moment. It was unusual to find someone as important as a prince to admit to something like that so easily. Of course, Leon had no idea how things worked in Sweden. For all he knew, that was normal. Unlike upright and conservative Atria where it was considered "disgusting" and "immoral" and in the words of King Song, "unfit for an Atrian citizen". Many of the locals thought the same way. Leon never understood why, nor did he try to. He didn't plan on falling in love with another man anytime soon, or woman for that matter.

"Did you know cats can't taste sweetness." Leon quickly looked up, the prince's voice bringing back down to reality, kind of relieved by the fact he was attempting to make conversation. His gaze switched from the prince's face to the sleeping fur ball that had now moved to his lap and tilted his head in sudden realization. "Is that so?" he said, his eyes inspecting the feline's face. Surely Leon had read a book about cats at some point or another, but whatever he had learned is now long gone. "So that's why you never eat my cookies you little brat" he sighed, gently patting his pet's head. He paused for a moment before adding "or maybe they're just horrible". Leon loved sweets of any kind, shape and size, but he hardly ever made them himself. His favorite bakery usually had them delivered first thing in the morning.

Gently pushing Snickers off of his lap. Leon got to his feet and shrugged off the suit jacket. He felt a little stuffy in it, and on the off chance he would have to go back to the ball, he didn't want it to be covered in white cat hair. Adding his cream colored bow tie to the pile, he unbuttoned his shirt cuffs and rolled them halfway up his arms. He would have much rather taken everything off and slipped into a pair of sweatpants and t-shirt, but the night was still young and he would most likely have to go back down to the party to send off the guests. Sitting back down on the couch, Leon stared at his lap for a moment before meeting the man's gaze. It may have been the lighting, but his eyes looked deeper and darker than they did down in the ballroom. Almost like a deep forest green. "I'm sorry about all this...honestly. I know my father won't ever apologize, so I'll do it for him". Of course, Leon had no more control over the situation than they did, but apologizing felt like the right thing to do and since Rose wasn't here at the moment, it was up to him.




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Mateo had expected Rose to accept his hug, and stay in his arms for hours just as she had last time. But she didn't. She didn't even return the hug. After lingering for a moment she pulled away. He would be lying if he said he wasn't hurt by that. She didn't have a reason as to why she had't told him, yet Mateo could understand, somehow. Putting himself in her shoes, he probably wouldn't have had the courage to tell her either. Why? That was both the most simple and complicated question. Mateo had briefly thought about a few times before, but was always quick to discard the thought. Their relationship was fine as it was. It wasn't Mateo's right to ruin it.

But now, in the light of all things, he couldn't help but think about it again, and again. Now it felt as if it were the only logical explanation to everything. Why he felt so hurt, why he felt so heartbroken, why he felt angry because random stranger had suddenly stepped in to steal Rosalie from him. He knew nothing about her. He didn't know her likes, her dislikes, her fears, how her eyes shine when she's excited or how she tends to mess with his lip when she's nervous. Someone that doesn't know those things can't possibly make her happy. Mateo knows her, every part of her, almost better than she knows herself. She should be the one marrying her, not that stranger.

"This- no, I can't, oh god." her words echoed in Matti's head as if they were his own. For a moment he wondered if he had been the one to say them. His eyes a dark blue in the night's light and as large as dinner plates, stared down at her in both shock and confusion. "Rosie..." suddenly, as if everything had clicked into place all at once, he dropped down to his knees in front of her. His large eyes scanned her for a moment before his hand touched her cheek, gently lifting her head so they were face to face. "I don't care...I don't care that you didn't tell me, and I don't care what it is I have to do just...please don't marry him...".

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Rose let her face be brought up by Matti's hand, but her eyes stayed fixated on his nose. She couldn't bare to look him in the eye after having come to the realization of her feelings. Jeez, how long had she felt this way and not known it? That was dense, even for her.

After hearing his words, however, Rosalie's deep brown eyes grazed up to stare at his endlessly blue gaze. Placing her own hand on his that rested on her cheek. she didn't say anything for a couple of beats. She simply searched his eyes and pressed her forehead to his, trying to understand his words. Could him asking her not to marry Stellan mean that he might have feelings for her as well? No, it couldn't. He was just trying to help, to tell her that if it made her so unhappy, that she shouldn't marry him. But Matti's words were so pleading. He said he didn't care what he'd have to do and Rose was so close to accepting his offer. The words were on the tip of her tongue. All she had to do was say 'take me away from here' and she had no doubt he'd try, but Rose couldn't leave Leon. If she left, everything would fall onto his shoulders. The crown, the stupid responsibilities, everything. She couldn't leave her baby brother. She couldn't leave him alone, and she would never in a million years let Matti put a burden on his family either. She would never let his family suffer with the troubles that would inevitably arise if Matti were ever in danger because of something Rose had done. She cared too much about him-- about both their families to do that. She'd do anything to make sure Matti wasn't in pain, she loved him so much. His heavy gaze was tearing her heart to shreds.

Before Rose could even register for a second what she was doing, damn that impulsive nature, she closed what little space was left between their faces and gently pressed her lips to his in a soft kiss. She couldn't even process why she did it so suddenly. Yet, as suddenly as she had done it, she quickly pulled her face away from him and dropped her hand off of his. Her hooded eyes never felt so large in shock. "Shoot, I- I, uhm-" Rosalie stuttered, shooting up from her sitting position like a rocket and stepping over the log behind it to gain some space away from him. "I'm sorry... I just, I wasn't thinking..." Her words came out more like a breath, her voice not strong enough to speak in a pitch louder than the wind's breeze ruffling the leaves on the trees.






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Stellan let out a deep, throaty chuckle, saying, "You'd think you wouldn't get mad at a cat for not eating your cookies. More for yourself." Downing the rest of the drink that was left, Stellan didn't reach towards the bottle for another. At least not yet. His nerves had settled unusually fast. It might have been Leon's company, but he also didn't quite know how strong the drink he was partaking in was. He'd probably find out what was true soon enough though.

Sitting back up, Stellan continued his inventory on the literary collection the Sang Palace held. Picking up a novel yet again, he brushed his fingers gently over the cover of the first edition of Jacob's Room by Virgina Woolf. He let out a low whistle of appreciation, before dragging his gaze off the cover that barley seemed touched with age over to rest on Leo's eyes once more. Leaning gently on the wall he found himself by, he shrugged. "Don't apologize on other people's behalf. I can assure you, you're fathers not apologetic in the least. My own isn't either. You've done nothing wrong yourself." It was true. Leon really shouldn't have been apologizing, especially for someone who didn't think he was doing anything wrong.

Flipping a couple pages in the book gingerly, he scanned the faded words, adding, "I, one the other hand, should be apologizing. I can tell my presence amongst you two siblings isn't exactly pleasant. I know the situation is less than ideal." He needn't add that he was certain, just from the few moments that he had spent with the two, that something was up between Rosalie and her friend which made it even more less than ideal. Yeah, he wasn't super happy with the arrangement, but it's not like he was leaving a significant other behind. He had had partners in the past, but most where fleeting things. Nothing of consequence."I'm sure however that If I disagree with the arrangement now you're sister would only find herself in another soon enough, as would I. It's all bullshit in this world, isn't it?"





Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Leon knew he hadn't done anything wrong. Were it up to him, Rosalie would get to marry whoever she wanted whenever she wanted, Stellan as well. For all he knew, Stellan had someone at home he would much rather be with, yet he was being forced to be here between strangers. The prince sighed, slowly getting to his feet. It really was all bullshit, because here they were apologizing to one another when in reality the ones that should have been apologizing didn't see how wrong all of this was. "You haven't done anything wrong either" he finally said, running his hands along the spines of the books, his eyes searching for the one he had been working on finishing. As much as Leon would like to blame him, the prince had no fault in all this. He was only a pawn in the kings' chess game, just like Rosalie.

"You don't have to apologize either...especially not to me" his words were soft, yet firm. Leon's subtle examination of the books told him that some were out of place. Of course they had maids to put things such as these in order, but when it came to the books, Leon preferred to do the job and the maids knew this well. When it came down to it, he's the only one that really knew where the books went. He had been the one to put them all in place in the first place. Each author had their own section. "We're not upset because you're here..." he added, pulling out one of the books that was out of place and scanning the shelves for it's respective spot. After a bit of searching, he spotted it's place just a few shelves above his head. "so please don't feel like we dislike you or anything like that. We don't, er..I don't. I can't really speak for Rose but..." reaching up over his head, it suddenly dawned on Leon that he was just a few inches short of reaching the shelf. He raised himself on the tip of his feet in an attempt to reach. "I know her well enough- I know she'll like you too. I'm sure of it." he said, his words almost cutting off from his efforts to reach the empty spot on the shelf. After several attempts and getting nowhere, he gave out a sigh of defeat and lowered his arm, slightly glaring at the book in his hand. "I know this is...well, bullshit, but we should look on the bright side" he said, offering the prince a genuine smile. If he couldn't stop the marriage from happening, the least he could do was make the burden a little bit easier on them. "At least you get a pretty awesome brother-in-law in the process"

Maybe that wasn't enough to ease the tension of the situation, but it was the best he could come up with at the time. Leon only hoped Stellan didn't already have someone he was in love with or looking to date, otherwise that would make things twice as hard on him. This was one of the main reasons Leon had decided to stay as far away from love as possible. One day he too would have to marry some princess he has never even met before, and when that day came, he didn't want to have anything, or anyone, to lose. Looking at the book once more, he decided to give it another go. Normally he would go for the small ladder, but it had broken just recently, so his rather small figure was all he had. Stretching up as far as he possibly could, he reached for the empty spot on the shelf once again, but just like before, it was useless. If anything, it seemed to be getting higher each time he tried.




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There was a short pause as Rosalie and Mateo stared at one another, their foreheads touching gently, his hand still on her cheek. Mateo felt the overwhelming need to scoop her up in his arms and run away. Run as far away as he possibly could without looking back, and get her out of this mess. But he couldn't do that to his family, who depended on him to live. And Leon, who would have to deal with the mess left behind. They were trapped here, no matter how badly they wanted to leave. For a moment, Matti said nothing, his thoughts taking him somewhere he shouldn't have gone. It would only take moving his face just a couple of inches forward and...

"Shoot, I- I, uhm-" before he knew it, it was over. The Spaniard stared in complete shock as Rosalie scrambled for words. WHy was she apologizing? Had it been her that did that? Mateo could have sworn it was him. It was exactly was he was thinking of doing. Blinking several times as if it would get rid of the confusion, he took another step forward, carefully stepping over the look to close the gap Rosalie had put between them. Could it be that maybe...just maybe... she felt the same way about him. They had been so close all this time...why hadn't either of them realized this sooner. To think of all the time they wasted.

As if guided by pure inertia, Mateo's arms slowly wrapped around the princess' waist, being carefully not to scare her. His body seemed to move on his own as he slowly closed what little space there was between them. Before he knew it, their lips were touching again, but this time it was his doing. This he was certain of. He held her close, as if he were afraid that something were going to suddenly come and pull her out of his arms, and he kissed her. Something he had never thought of doing before, or rather, something he had never allowed himself to think before. Unlike Rose, Mateo didn't pull away instantly. Infact, he lingered as long as he possibly could, only pulling away after several long seconds. His eyes scanned her face for several seconds, looking for signs of approval. This was crazy. Insane really. "Rosalie I..." insane, even. This was the worst possible moment he could have chosen to say this, but that didn't stop him at all. "I think I love you.."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Rosalie stared so wide eyed as he stepped over the log and snaked his arms around her waist. He did it so gently that she was glad she had the support of his arms or she'd melt right to the ground. Blinking rapidly, she pushed those thoughts to the back of her head in order to get back to reality. Opening her mouth to sputter out an exclamation to ask what he was doing, he pressed his lips to hers before she could even breath a single word out. Wow.

Without so much as a second thought, Rosalie returned his kiss as she lifted her arms to wrap them around his neck, having to go right on her tiptoes as she did so. Leaning into him slightly for support subconsciously afraid she would tip over, all it managed to deepen the kiss a bit more. The only thing that forced Rose to fully realize what she was doing was when Matti slowly leaned away to move their faces apart. Keeping her arms still wrapped around his neck, she only stared back at him, exactly trying to figure out what the heck just happened. She honestly thought she'd black out or something. But no. He'd kissed her. Right? He did. Yup.

At his admission of love, Rosalie planted her feet firmly back to the ground, feeling an ache in her toes from having rested her weight on them all this time. When she got lower, her hands slid from his neck to rest against his chest. All she could do was look at him and process what he'd said, somehow completely disregarding the fact the kiss had happened at all. "We've been best friends for years, I'd at least hope you loved me," she mumbled perplexed, not really realizing she'd spoken it out loud as she intended it to only be a thought in her head. God knows how many time's she'd told him she loved him; whenever she left to go back to palace, when she ended phone calls- yeah, she's also told him she hated him a couple of times but that was only teasing and she didn't mea... Ooooooh, wait. The wheels stopped turning in her head and realization flooded through her. He told you that after kissing you. After you kissed him after coming to terms with your own feelings! Use your head, Rose.

"Wait, you mean... in love with me?" She blinked up at him, her voice sounding like a squeaky mouse who just had it's tail stepped on. "I'm an idiot, I'm a damn idiot," she groaned out dropping her arms down to her sides and plonking her head on Matti's chest in a defeated gesture as she stared down at her shoes. She was entirely frustrated at her own thought process only a moments ago.

In a split second, Rose sprang her head up, looking back up at Matti. Snapping back to reality yet again, she processed all that had just happened for what it was. Rose found out she had feelings for Matti. She kissed him. She freaked out. He kissed her. He told her he loved her. Rose had only mumbled to herself, not giving a reply to his admission of feelings. What an awful person Rose was. Feeling a blush rise furiously, she only hoped the darkness of the sky would hide the red flush that must have spread across her cheeks. Opening her mouth in a wide 'O' shape, Rose was about to come out with her own feelings, but it was like a frog had jumped in her throat, and she just couldn't get any words out. Come on, not this again!

Closing her mouth, she cleared her throat in order to try again, simultaneously trying to calm her racing heart with sheer will power of mind. "I-" she spoke, her voice closing up. Just spit it out! "I love you," she blurted, before scrambling and saying again dumbly, "I'm in love with you." The feeling of nervousness she had felt earlier had no competition against the knots her stomach was in now. She was freaking out. Taking a small step backwards as she squeaked out again. "What are we gunna do! Matti," before she could finished her sentence, her foot stepped on a twig and it rolled under her, causing her to lose her footing and fall right on her back as she let out a loud noise of surprise. Feeling the heat in her cheeks just get worse, Rose threw both arms over her face to cover it up as she let out a strangled noise that was in between an irritated groan and an embarrassed dry sob.






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Slowly making his way back over to the chair that his coat rested upon, he gently set the book down on the cushion as gingerly as he would a child. Listening as Leon made his speech, he nodded absentmindedly at some of the things until he finished. Walking up right behind him and chuckling, Stellan said, "I guess my soon to be brother is law isn't too awful," before reaching up and easily plucking the book from Leon's hand and gently pushing it in the spot in which he had been aiming for. Dropping his arm to Leon's shoulder, he gave it a pat, before adding, "I think I like his cat better though," in a low teasing tone.

Stepping back slightly, Stellan peered at the books, noticing for the first time how meticulously they were placed. It seemed to be a good system. "Well, whatever happens with this. my intentions not to be a pain in you or your sister's ass. I'm not expecting anything out of this. If I ever do anything to piss you off just be sure to tell me." Going over to sit in his chair, he made sure to pick up the book before he settled himself down gracefully. "Not saying I'll be happy that you're telling me I'm pissing you off but I'll cool down eventually and hate myself for my attitude later," he called over to him, waving his hand in the air in a dismissive gesture. Better get his behavioral issues out in the open now. Nothing to hide.

Yeah. Stellan has been told he has an attitude before. Mostly by his tutors growing up or his father, but he knew that he could get a little... heated. No one liked debating with him. He couldn't blame them. He was working on not getting set off by little things so much. Nothing was working thus far, but he was trying. Sorta. Deciding to pour himself another drink, almost absentminded doing so, he asked, "It looks like you spend a lot of time in the library. What's your favorite book?" Before taking a sip and setting his glass down.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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L E O N. S O N G
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Leon's hand slid down the shelves as Stellan easily put the book into it's place. What he wouldn't give to be able to do that. To be taller, bulkier, handsome rather than pretty. More of a man rather than a child. Leon tried not to think about such things too much, as they usually brought his normally cheery persona down several notches, but sometimes he couldn't help it. "Figures" he said with a slight smile as he turned to look at the feline lounging lazily on the couch. "Always gotta outshine me, don't you?".

Continuing his search for any books that were out of place, Leon was relieved that none of them had to be put into a spot that was out of his reach. Everything seemed to be in it's place, but Leon continued to search. If he wasn't reading, he had to be doing something. A book in his hands was the only thing that ever managed to keep him still. "Great Gatsby" he answered almost by reflex. It had been one of his favorite books ever since he could remember. "I've read it more times than I can count". Leon wasn't sure why he loved the book so much. He couldn't relate to Gatsby seeing as he'd never been so in love, let alone with someone that did not belong to him. Still, Leon loved the story and had come to love the characters greatly. "I'm actually the only one that spends time in here, usually" he added, settling on the arm chair across from where the prince was sitting, no book in hand. If he started to read now, Stellan would be left talking to himself. He watched with an almost surprised look as Snickers slowly made his way over to the stranger, almost immediately deciding to curl up beside him. It was unusual to see him warm up to someone so quickly. That was usually Leon's territory.

"for the record, It's really hard to piss me" he said, brushing the hair out of his face that had been placed there by a sudden gust of wind. "I promise that's something you won't have to worry about". In the course of his twenty years of life, Leon had only gotten angry twice. Once right after his mother had passed away and his father prohibited Mateo from coming to visit them. Leon had really taken that to heart, and yelled his little lungs out. Mateo was his and Rosalie's closest friend, and they hadn't even been allowed to see him when they needed him the most. The second time had been just a month ago, when he was told by Rosalie that she was to get married to a stranger. But just like that time before, that too had subdued. Especially after actually having met the prince. "As long as you treat my sister well, I promise you we won't ever have a problem" he said with certainty.




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Mateo watched, dumbfounded, as Rosalie slowly put the pieces together. He was glad that she had been able to figure it out and he didn't have to explain what he meant. Because id he did, he might have just broke down right then and there, confessing everything he's ever felt towards her. This was not the time to do that, but man did he want to. He listened to the words leaving her mouth, almost in slow motion, and felt his heart plunge. Wha should have been a happy, beautiful moment of confession was transformed into the most painful moment he'd ever been through. He loved her...she loved him... now what....

Rosalie asked him what they were going to do, but Mateo didn't have an answer. No matter how badly he wanted to, he couldn't think of one, because he was just as much at a loss as he was. Before he could give it any more thought, the sound of Rose hitting the ground yanked him back to reality. Eyes wide, he quickly moved beside her, helping her to sit and and make sure nothing was hurt or broken. She seemed okay...physically that is. "I'm sorry...." he muttered, taking both her hands in his. "I wish I had an answer...". In a way, he was lying....he did have an answer. It just wasn't the right one. Let's run away together! He wanted to say that more than anything, but that would solve nothing. If anything, it would only bring more trouble. Feeling a tear threatening his eyes, he swallowed them back. He had to be strong for the both of them.

"When..." he felt the words catch in his throught, almost not wanting to finish the question. "...when is the ceremony supposed to be?". Mateo tried not to get his hopes up too high, but maybe, just maybe, there was enough time for him to come up with a solution. He hadn't a clue how to go about this, but one thing was certain. He was not going to let her go...not without a fight.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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Rose let Matti help her sit up with the tension of a rag doll. She had suddenly lost any motivation for anything what so ever. She wanted to melt into the ground, become the dirt itself and forget about everything in the world. Screw responsibilities. Everything was just way too much to handle right now.

She gave a gentle squeeze of his hands when he grasped them as he apologized. She knew exactly what he was feeling-- they were both sorry. There was no answer, at least not one that would blatantly make everything happy and good in their lives. There really was no easy solution. Even so, they had only professed and figured out they loved each other like what, a few minutes ago? It was a quick step to go from that to trying to figure out what was going to happen in their lives. But did Rose really think they could be going on like this forever to begin with, friends or not? Eventually she would have to step up to 'the royal bat' as she called it. Her father, for as long as he would live, would fight their friendship. Both of them had just been living in rebellious ignorance. This was just the catalyst.

Looking into his eyes for a few beats, Rose didn't reply to his question. She felt a lump start forming in her throat and she was trying to keep the tears at bay. She refused to cry. There would be no use in it. "I'm not sure..." she finally replied, hearing the faintest crack in her voice. "These things are usually fast. Couldn't be more than a month or two, maybe? If I'm lucky,
longer.
" she sighed, flicking her gaze to their still clasped hands. Rose was sure her father would let her know tomorrow when her and Stellan were to be married. No doubt he'd already planned a lot of the wedding and now only needed her input on a few choice things that she'd get to decide.

"I-" Rose started to say, before stopping herself slightly feeling the lump in her throat grow more prominent. "We need to tell Leo about this. I can't keep it from him, Matti." No doubt Leo would notice something off about the two anyways and start questioning things. Then again, what happens now? She wasn't ready for Matti not to be in her life, but all this just complicated things more. Quickly Rose's sadness started turning into panic as the wheels started turning in her head. Looking up to Matti with wide eyes, she blurted, "Matti I don't want to lose you, I don't want this to ruin our friendship, I need you!"






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Nodding at his profession that he was generally the only one who spent time here, he said slightly quietly, "that's a shame. It's a rather nice library." Then again, generally it was the same at his home. He was the only one who took up the library space on a regular basis.

Lifting up his eyebrow as the cat walked towards him and cuddled at his side, his lip quirked up into a half smile. Scratching lightly on the top of his head, the cat began to purr gently before he moved his hand back to his lap, letting the cat sleep in peace. Maybe once the wedding ordeal was over he could get a dog from one of the shelters hopefully around.

"Gatsby is good. As a kid I had a fish named Daisy. It died within a few months and I think I was more devastated over it because I was attached to the name. Now every time I read the novel I imagine Daisy Buchanan as some walking fish." Never again would he name a pet after a literary character. At least not an obvious one, that is.

Taking a sip from his drink, he let out a low chuckle. "You promise me that now but just you wait. You'll end up in the same support group all my childhood nannies are apart of." Setting the drink down once more, he sunk lower into the chair, his hand going back to absentmindedly stroke the cat's soft fur. "You and Rose are close then, huh? You're lucky. Not a lot of royal or socialite siblings are. It's all rivalries and bullshit." Stellan and his brother got along just fine as kids, but into adult hood it all sort of dissipated into responsibilities and blah blah blah.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Leon Song Character Portrait: Rosalie Song Character Portrait: Mateo Vargas Character Portrait: Stellan Mikaelsson

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L E O N. S O N G
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Leon's wide, innocent orbs followed Stellan's movements as he spoke. He seemed to be convinced that Leon would come to dislike him sooner or later, but Leon didn't see his reasoning behind it. He'd only known the man for a night and he already felt they had many things in common, that they could be great friends even. Then again, there's a lot more to a book than it's cover and title page. Regardless, there hasn't yet been a person that has landed themselves on Leon's bad side, assuming there even is one. "Ah come on, you don't seem that bad to be" the younger boy beamed, adding in a genuine smile. Much like his sister, Stellan seemed to be having a bad night. Though it wasn't his job in any way, shape or form, Leon felt it necessary to attempt and cheer him up even if just a small percent. "Besides, I'm like a boomerang. If you push me away I'll just come right back!" he joked, his gaze following Snickers as the feline made himself comfortable around the guest.

He also listened carefully to the story about Daisy the fish and couldn't help but laugh at the thought of Daisy Buchanan walking around with a giant fish head. Leon bit down on his lower lip to control his urge to giggle and allow Stellan to continue speaking. "You and Rose are close then, huh? You're lucky. Not a lot of royal or socialite siblings are. It's all rivalries and bullshit." The younger boy tilted his head in perplexity. Yes he'd heard about rivalries happening between royal siblings before, but he never thought it to be that common, especially since he and Rose were like two peas in a golden pod ever since he was born. Most even mistook them as twins when they were toddlers. "I don't see the point in that..." he panders, subconsciously running a hand through his hair. "Rose is like my best friend. What's mine is hers and what's hers is mine." he says before quickly lifting his gaze and adding. "Ah, I mean- except you of course." and only a second later realizing how awful that sounded. He quickly waves his hands dismissively in an attempt to excuse his impulsive thoughts. "N-not that you'd belong to her or anything. It's just- well I meant- uh- never mind" deciding to stop talking before he digs himself into an even deeper hole, the small prince's eyes switch to the view outside the window while he racks his brain for something to say that could change the subject.

He can feel his cheeks threatening to catch on fire, though he should be used to it by now. It's not the first time he embarrasses himself in front of a stranger, and it most certainly will not be the last. "You and your brother aren't close?" he finally asks, only switching his gaze back on Stellan after the heat in his cheeks has subdued. Maybe he shouldn't have asked such a personal question, but Stellan seems like the kind of person that just won't answer if he doesn't feel like it, and Leon was deprecate for something to divert the man's attention from his stupidity.




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Mateo could vividly feel everything Rosalie was feeling, mostly because they were the things he was feeling himself. Scared, confused, overwhelmed. The list could go on for days. But even if he felt like he was suffocating, he refused to let it show. Rosalie was already scared enough, there was no need for him to make it worse. At her her plea to tell Leon, Mateo only nodded. In a situation like this, Rose's younger brother was probably the only one they'd have on their side. Even though the young prince would have his hands tied just as much as Mateo and Rosalie would, it would probably make Rosalie feel a little better if her brother knew. Honestly, it would make Mateo feel better himself, just knowing that they're not alone in this even if it feels like it's literally them against the world.

Mateo's large hands kept their firm grip on Rosalie's, some part of him afraid of letting them go. They'd come this far, but now what? She was to be married in a month, or less, and Mateo didn't have the power, the movie or the strategic mind necessary to stop it from happening. And there's no doubt in his mind that the king would continue to do everything in his power to keep him away from the Song Siblings, which will only make this one hundred times harder. "Matti I don't want to lose you, I don't want this to ruin our friendship, I need you!" a little startled, Mateo looked down at the girl. The look on her face matched the desperation in her voice and it shattered his heart into a million pieces. "What-? No, Rosy I'm not...I'm not going anywhere!" he answered almost immediately.

He lifted his arms and gently cupped her face in his hands, forcing her to look only at him to make sure she understood. "I don't care if he's the king...your father can't keep me away from you, understand?" he waited for her to give some sort of agreement before letting her cheeks go. A weary sigh escaped him as he fraught the urge to pace. They had to be rational about this. Making precipitated decisions and plans never turned out well. "Okay..." he said, turning to her once again. "Let's just...take some time to think this through.". He knew better than anyone that right now was not the time to try and come up with solutions. Not while their minds and hearts were all one collective blur. "We'll think of something...we will!" he said, forcing the tiniest of smiles. "You can talk to Leon tonight...or tomorrow. Whenever you're ready." he took a step forward and placed a quick kiss on her forehead, just like he'd done many times before, except now it had a whole new meaning. "We will figure this out..." he added, not sure he was trying to convince her or himself.

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