The Prince's Unwilling Lover(2)By: Leslie North
“Mother that is unfair,” Liane said.
“Young lady, just what were you thinking lying with another man when you were betrothed to the prince?” her father asked.
“It was a mistake, father.”
“That I am aware. We have to tell the royal family.”
“No!” everyone shouted at once. The girls wanted to hide the father's identity and the mother knew what repercussions they would face. She wanted to keep the last dignity they had intact.
“We have to come up with something! The prince will be here in a fortnight,” their father stated.
“We have worked too hard for this country, therefore, Francesca will replace Liane, as someone is marrying the Crown Prince,” their mother stated. Everyone turned to face her.
“Why me?” Francesca asked.
“Because it cannot be Macee.”
“Darling!” her husband voiced out. He was not fond of his wife constantly singling out Macee.
“Francesca attended lessons with Liane, she speaks three languages fluently and she has poise.”
“Why does anyone HAVE to marry the Crown Prince?” Macee asked.
“Why shouldn't she? We deserve what the marriage will bring and more.”
Macee shook her head and dismissed herself from the table. Her mother was too much for her sometimes. Ever since her father advanced to the highest position of Colonel in the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Roi, she became impossible to be around. She craved the power and attention too much and Macee did not want to be a part of it. She left her parents discussing excuses for breaking the betrothal and went to her room.
Colonel LeBlanc would speak with the king the following day to let him know that they were going to replace Liane with Francesca. This arrangement had been in place for years and he hoped that it would not cause too much unrest with the royal family. His wife suggested sending Liane out of town before she began to show to avoid any embarrassment. They had to hide the pregnancy at all costs.
Liane did not want to leave but her mother was giving her no choice. She reminded her that her transgression affected the entire family. Francesca did not fight them much on the matter of her marrying the Crown Prince. At first the idea seemed preposterous but the more they discussed it, the more she warmed up to the idea. Being queen meant fine clothes and jewellery, respect and she could have anything she wanted whenever she wanted. It was not such a bad idea to be queen and at least the prince was handsome.
Liane woke Macee up early the next morning. She was the only one unaware that their mother was sending her away and she wanted to say goodbye. Macee groaned when Liane shook her. She sat up with a frown on her face and her eyes closed. “This better be important,” she said.
“I'm sorry, babe, but I had to see you before I left,” Liane said as she sat on the bed.
“Left? Where are you going?”
“Mother is sending me to North Creek until the baby is born.”
“What?” Macee jumped out of bed.
Macee ran downstairs to speak with her parents. They were both sitting in the living room waiting for Liane. “You're moving Annie away?” Macee shouted as soon as she ran into the room.
“Of course. We cannot have her around when she starts showing. People will talk,” Mrs LeBlanc said.
“You always worry about what people think and not how we feel. Appearances first for you, mother,” Macee accused.
“Macee, let it go,” Liane said and touched her arm.
“No, Annie, it's not fair.”
Francesca walked into the room and hugged her sisters. The three of them hugged and held hands. Only one year apart in age, the sisters had never been separated from each other for more than a week or two since Macee started to walk. Now, Liane was going to be in North Creek until she gave birth.
“How can she be all alone for nine months? She needs her family,” Macee said to her father. He kissed her on the forehead.
“I know, sweetheart,” he said.
He took Liane's hand. It was time to leave. She kissed her sisters before she left. Macee stood there with her arms crossed over her chest furious with her mother. It was not fair that Liane was being shipped away like that.
When Colonel LeBlanc arrived at the palace, he went straight to the king's office. The king greeted him with a big smile as the Colonel bowed.
As the highest-ranking officer in the Compagnie des Carabiniers du Roi, it was Colonel LeBlanc’s job to oversee the day-to-day operations of the small, elite military unit. Long-time friends and colleagues, he was not looking forward to this discussion.