The Prince or My Lover…….{Episode-11}

Hi…guys…Natasha here…i’m back again with an epi……hope u all like it……..i have joined wattpad and my username is: Natasha_nats .
Ty so much Hope, Jwala, Turaifa shafenaz, Anandh, Pramudi , Vb, Arohi ,Sheeba,B, sweeta and my sweet sis shreya for commenting and supporting my ff.
Enough of my bak bak’s.On to the epi.
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Link 4 this ff’s previous epi’s:
By midmorning I was ready to start my day. It was Saturday, so there was no routine or schedule, but it was the one day a week we were all required to stay in the Women’s Room. The palace saw guests on Saturdays, and we had been warned that people might want to meet us. I wasn’t too excited about it, but at least I got to wear my new jeans for the first time. Of course, they were the best-fitting pair of pants I’d ever owned. I hoped that since Maxon and I were on such good terms, he’d let me keep them after I left.

I went downstairs slowly, a little tired from a late night. Before I even got to the Women’s Room, I heard the buzz of talking girls, and when I walked in, Ragini grabbed me and pulled me toward two chairs in the back of the room.

“There you are! I’ve been waiting for you,” she said.

“Sorry, Ragini. I had a long night and slept in.”

She turned to look at me, probably noting the leftover sadness in my voice, but sweetly decided to focus on my jeans. “Those look fantastic.”

“I know. I’ve never felt anything like them.” My voice lifted a bit. I decided to go back to my old rule: Laksh wasn’t allowed here. I pushed him away and focused on my second-favorite person in the palace. “Sorry to keep you waiting. What did you want to talk about?” before she could start,Tuesday, who had been listening to Camille with an anxious expression on her face, got up from her seat and looked around the room. She found Ragini and me in the corner and quickly walked over.

“What did you guys do on your date?” she asked abruptly.

“Hi, Tuesday,”Ragini said cheerfully.

“Oh, hush!” she cried, and turned back to me. “Come on, America, spill.”

“I told you.”

“No. The one last night!” A maid came to the corner and offered us tea, which I was prepared to take, but Tuesday shooed her away.


“Tiny saw you together and told,”Ragini said, trying to explain Tuesday’s mood. “You’re the only one he’s been alone with twice. A lot of the girls who haven’t seen him yet were complaining. They don’t think it’s right. But it’s not your fault if he likes you.”

“It’s completely unfair,” Tuesday whined. “I haven’t seen him outside of mealtimes, not even in passing. What in the world did you two do?”

“We … uh … we went back to the gardens. He knows I like it outside. And we just talked.” I felt nervous, like I was in trouble. Tuesday’s face was so intense, I looked away. When I did, I saw that a few girls at nearby tables were listening in.

“You just talked?” she asked skeptically.

I shrugged. “That’s it.”

Tuesday huffed and went to Kriss’s table, urging her to tell her story over again, quite energetically. I, however, was stunned.

“Are you okay, America?”Ragini asked, snapping me back into reality.

“Yes. Why?”

“You just look upset.” Ragini’s brow furrowed in concern.

“Nope. Not upset. Everything’s great.”

Suddenly, in a move so swift I would have missed it if they weren’t so close, Anna Farmer—a Four who worked land for a living—reached up and slapped Celeste across the face.

Several people gasped, including myself. Those who missed it turned around and asked what had happened, most notably Tiny, whose high voice pierced the quiet left in the room.

“Oh, Anna, no,” Emmica said with a sigh.

The moment after it happened, Anna slowly comprehended what she’d just done. She would probably be sent home; we weren’t supposed to physically assault another Selected. Emmica started tearing up while Anna sat in stunned silence. They were both farm girls and had bonded early on. I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel if it was Ragini suddenly leaving.

Anna, who I’d only met in passing, had always struck me as an effervescent creature. I knew there was nothing in her that would naturally seek to harm another person. During a large part of the rebel attack, she’d been on her knees in prayer.

Undoubtedly, she had been provoked, but no one was sitting within earshot to prove that. It would be Anna’s word against Celeste’s as far as any exchange of words went, but Celeste would have a roomful of people who could back up that she’d been hit. Maxon would presumably be urged to send Anna home as an example to the others.

Tears welled in Anna’s eyes as Celeste whispered something to her and swiftly left the room.

Anna was gone before dinner.
WHO WAS THE PRESIDENT OF the United States during the Third World War?” Silvia quizzed us.

This was one I didn’t know, and I averted my eyes, hoping Silvia wouldn’t call on me. Luckily, Amy raised her hand and answered. “President Wallis.”

We were in the Great Room again, starting the week with a history lesson. Well, more like a history test. This was one of those areas where it always seemed that what people knew was varied, both as far as what was fact and just how informed they were. Mom always taught us orally when it came to history. We had pages and worksheets to master for English and math, but when it came to the stories that made up our past, there was very little that I knew for sure was truth.

“Correct. President Wallis was the president before the Chinese assault and continued leading the United States throughout the war,” Silvia confirmed. I thought the name to myself. Wallis, Wallis, Wallis. I really wanted to remember this to tell May and Gerad when I went home, but we were learning so much, it was hard to keep it all straight. “What was their motivation for invading? Celeste?”

She smiled. “Money. The Americans owed them a lot of money and couldn’t pay them back.”

“Excellent, Celeste.” Silvia gave her a doting smile. How did Celeste wrap people around her finger like that? It was so irritating. “When the United States couldn’t repay their massive debt, the Chinese invaded. Unfortunately for them, this didn’t get them any money, as the United States was beyond bankruptcy. However, it did gain them American labor. And when the Chinese took over, what did they rename the United States?”

I raised my hand, along with a few others. “Jenna?” Silvia called.

“The American State of China.”

“Yes. The American State of China had the appearance of its original country, but was merely a facade. The Chinese were pulling strings behind the scenes, influencing any major political happenings, and steering legislation in their favor.” Silvia walked through the desks slowly. I felt like a mouse in the sights of a hawk that was circling ever closer.

I looked around the room. A few people seemed confused. I thought that part was common knowledge.

“Does anyone have anything they’d like to add?” Silvia asked.

Bariel piped up. “The Chinese invasion prompted several countries, particularly those in Europe, to align themselves with one another and make alliances.”

“Yes,” Silvia replied. “However, the American State of China had no such friends at the time. It took them five years to regroup, and they could barely handle that, let alone trying to forge alliances.” She tried to express the hardship through an exhausted look. “The ASC planned to fight back against China but was then faced with another invasion. What country attempted to occupy the ASC then?”

Lots of hands went up this time. “Russia,” someone said without waiting to be called on. Silvia looked around for the offender, but couldn’t pinpoint the source.

“Correct,” she said, slightly unhappily. “Russia tried to expand in both directions and failed miserably, but this failure on their part provided the ASC with an opportunity to fight back. How?”

Kriss raised her hand and answered. “The entirety of what was North America banded together to fight Russia, since it seemed clear they had their eyes on more than just the ASC. And fighting Russia was easier because China was attacking them as well for attempting to steal their territory.”

Silvia smiled proudly. “Yes. And who headed up the assault against Russia?”

The whole room shouted out the answer: “Gregory Illéa!” Some girls even clapped.

Silvia nodded. “And that led to the founding of the country. The alliances the ASC acquired had formed a united front, and the United States’s reputation was so damaged, no one wanted to readopt that name. So a new nation was formed under Gregory Illéa’s name and leadership. He saved this country.”

Emmica raised her hand, and Silvia acknowledged her. “In some ways, we’re kind of like him. I mean, we get to serve our country. He was just a private citizen who donated his money and knowledge. And he changed everything,” she said with wonder.

“That is a beautiful point,” Silvia said. “And exactly like him, one of you will be elevated to royalty. For Gregory Illéa, he became a king as his family married into a royal family, and for you, it will be marrying into this one.” Silvia had moved herself to awe, so when Tuesday raised her hand, it took her a moment to acknowledge it.

“Umm, why is it that we don’t have any of this in a book? So we could study?” There was a hint of irritation in her voice.

Silvia shook her head. “Dear girls, history isn’t something you study. It’s something you should just know.”
Ragini turned to me and whispered, “But clearly we don’t.” She smiled at her own joke, and then focused again on Silvia.

I thought about that, how we all knew different things or had to guess at the truth. Why weren’t we given history books?

I remembered a few years ago when I went into Mumma and papa’s room, since Mumma said I could choose what I wanted to read for English. As I went through my options, I spotted a thick, ratty book in the back corner and pulled it out. It was a U.S. history book. Papa came in a few minutes later, saw what I was reading, and said it was okay, so long as I never told anyone about it.

When papa asked me to keep a secret, I did so without question, and I loved looking through all those pages. Well, the ones that were still legible. Lots had been torn out, and the edge of the book looked like it might have been burned, but that’s where I saw a picture of the old White House and learned about the way holidays used to be.

I never thought to question the lack of truth until it had been placed in front of me. Why did the king just let us guess?
The flashbulbs went off again, capturing Maxon and Natalie smiling brightly.

“Natalie, bring your chin down just a touch, please. That’s it.” The photographer snapped another picture, filling the room with light. “I think that will do. Who’s next?” he called.

Celeste came in from the side, a general group of maids still swarming around her before the photographer started up again. Natalie, still beside Maxon, said something and kicked up her foot flirtatiously behind her. He responded quietly, and she giggled as she walked away.

We’d been told after yesterday’s history lesson that this photo shoot was merely for the amusement of the public, but I couldn’t help thinking that there was some actual weight to it. Someone had written an editorial in a magazine about the look of a princess. I didn’t get to read the article myself, but Emmica and some of the others did. According to her, it was about Maxon needing to find someone who actually looked regal and photographed well with him, someone who would look nice on a stamp.

And now we were all lined up in identical cream-colored, cap-sleeved, drop-waist dresses with a heavy red sash across our shoulders, taking pictures with Maxon. The photos would be printed in the same magazine, and the magazine staff was going to make picks. I was kind of uncomfortable with it all. This was the thing I’d been bothered about since the beginning, that Maxon was looking for nothing more than a pretty face. Now that I’d met him, I was sure that wasn’t true, but it got to me that people thought that Maxon was like that.

I sighed. Some of the girls were walking around, munching on no-drip foods and chatting, but the majority, including myself, were standing around the perimeter of the set erected in the Great Room. A huge golden tapestry that reminded me of the drop cloths Dad used at home was hung up against a wall and spilled across the floor. A small couch was off to one side and a pillar was on the other. In the middle the Illéan emblem stood, giving the whole silly thing an air of being patriotic. We watched as each Selected paraded across the space to be photographed, and many who watched were whispering things they liked and didn’t or what they were planning for themselves.

Celeste walked up to Maxon with a sparkle in her eyes, and he smiled as she approached. The moment she reached him, she put her lips to his ear and whispered something. Whatever it was, Maxon leaned his head back with laughter and nodded, agreeing with her little secret. It was strange to see them like that. How could someone who got along so well with me do the same with someone like her?

“All right, miss, just face the camera and smile, please,” the photographer called, and Celeste immediately complied.

She turned herself toward Maxon and placed a hand on his chest, tilted her head down, and gave an expert smile. She seemed to understand how to use the lighting and set to her best advantage and kept moving Maxon over a few inches or insisting on changing their pose. Where some of the girls took their time and made their turn with Maxon last—particularly those who still hadn’t secured a date—Celeste appeared to want to show her efficiency instead.

In a bolt of speed, she was done, and the photographer called for the next girl. I was so busy watching Celeste run her fingers down Maxon’s arm as she exited that a maid had to gently remind me it was my turn.

I gave my head a tiny shake and willed myself to focus. I gathered up my dress in my hands and walked toward Maxon. His eyes shifted from Celeste to me, and maybe I imagined it, but his face seemed to brighten a bit.

“Hello, my dear,” he sang.

“Don’t even start,” I warned, but he merely chuckled and reached his hands out.

“Hold on a moment. Your sash is crooked.”

“Not surprised.” The darn thing was so heavy, I could feel it shifting every time I stepped.

“I suppose that’ll do,” he said jokingly.

I fired back, “In the meantime, they ought to hang you up with the chandeliers.” I poked at the glittering medals across his chest. His uniform, which looked almost like something the guards would wear, only far more elegant, also had golden things on his shoulders and a sword hanging off his hip. It was a bit much.

Look at the camera, please,” the photographer called. I looked up and saw not just his eyes but the faces of all the other girls watching, and my nerves shot up.

I wiped my moist hands on my dress and exhaled.

“Don’t be nervous,” Maxon whispered.

“I don’t like everyone looking at me.”

He pulled me very close and put his hand on my waist. I went to step back, but Maxon’s arm held me securely to him. “Just look at me like you can’t stand me.” He squinted into a mock pout, which made me crack up.

The camera flashed at just that second, capturing us both laughing.

“See,” Maxon said. “It’s not so bad.”

“I guess.” I was still tense for a few minutes as the photographer shouted out instructions and Maxon shifted from a close embrace to a loose one, or turned me so my back was against his chest.

“Excellent,” the photographer said. “Could we get a few on the lounge?”

I was feeling better now that it was half over, and I sat next to Maxon with the best posture I could muster. Every once in a while, he’d poke or tickle me, making my smile grow bigger until it burst into laughter. I hoped the photographer was catching the moments just before my face scrunched together, otherwise this whole thing was going to be a disaster.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed a waving hand, and a moment later Maxon turned as well. A man in a suit was standing there, and he clearly needed to speak to the prince. Maxon nodded, but the man hesitated, looking to him and then to me, evidently questioning my presence.

“She’s fine,” Maxon said, and the man came over and knelt before him.

“Rebel attack in Midston, Your Majesty,” he said. Maxon sighed and dropped his head wearily. “They burned acres of crops and killed about a dozen people.”

“Where in Midston?”

“The west, sir, near the border.”

Maxon nodded slowly and looked as if he was adding this piece of information to others in his head. “What does my father say?”

“Actually, Your Majesty, he wanted your thoughts.”

Maxon seemed taken aback for a split second, then spoke. “Localize troops in the southeast of Sota and all along Tammins. Don’t go as far south as Midston, it’d be a waste. See if we can intercept them.”

The man stood and bowed. “Excellent, sir.” As swiftly as he’d come, he vanished.

I knew we were supposed to get back to the pictures, but Maxon didn’t seem nearly so interested in it all now.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

He nodded somberly. “Just all those people.”

“Maybe we should stop,” I suggested.

He shook his head, straightened up, and smiled, placing my hand in his. “One thing you must master in this profession is the ability to appear calm when you feel anything but. Please smile, America.”

I raised myself up and gave a shy smile to the camera as the photographer clicked away. In the middle of those last few frames, Maxon squeezed my hand tight, and I did the same to his. In that moment, it felt like we had a connection, something true and deep.

“Thank you very much. Next, please,” the photographer sang.

As Maxon and I stood, he held on to my hand. “Please don’t say anything. It’s imperative you’re discreet.”

“Of course.”

The click of a pair of heels coming toward us reminded me that we weren’t alone, but I kind of wanted to stay. He gave my hand one last squeeze and released me, and as I walked away, I considered several things. How nice it felt that Maxon trusted me enough to let me know this secret, and how it had sort of felt like we were alone for a moment. Then I thought about the rebels, and how the king was usually quick to point out their sedition, but I was supposed to keep this news to myself. It didn’t quite make sense.

“Janelle, my dear,” Maxon said as the next girl approached. I smiled to myself at the tired endearment. He lowered his voice, but I still heard. “Before I forget, are you free this afternoon?”
Something kind of knotted in my stomach. I guessed it was a late batch of nerves.

“She must have done something terrible,” Amy insisted.

“That’s not what she made it sound like,” Kriss countered.

Tuesday pulled on Kriss’s arm. “What did she say again?”

Janelle had been sent home.

This particular elimination was crucial for us to understand, because it was the first one that was isolated and not caused by rule breaking. She had done something wrong, and we all wanted to know what it was.

Kriss, whose room was across from Janelle’s, had seen her come in and was the only person she’d spoken to before she left. Kriss sighed and retold the story for the third time.

“She and Maxon had gone hunting, but you knew that,” she said, waving her hand around like she was trying to clear her thoughts. Janelle’s date really had been common knowledge. After the photo shoot yesterday, she gushed about their plans to anyone who would listen.

“That was her second date with Maxon. She’s the only one who got two,” Bariel said.

“No, she isn’t,” I mumbled. A few heads turned, acknowledging my statement. It was true, though. Janelle was the only girl to have two dates with Maxon besides me. Not that I was counting.

Kriss continued. “When she came back, she was crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she said she was leaving, that Maxon had told her to go. I gave her a hug because she was so upset and asked her what happened. She said she couldn’t tell me about it. I don’t understand that. Maybe we’re not allowed to talk about why we’re eliminated?”

“That wasn’t in the rules, was it?” Tuesday asked.

“No one said anything to me about it,” Amy replied, and several others shook their heads in confirmation.

“But what did she say then?” Celeste urged.

Kriss sighed again. “She said that I’d better be careful of what I say. Then she pulled away and slammed the door.”

The room went quiet a moment, considering. “She must have insulted him,” Elayna said.

“Well, if that’s why she left, then it isn’t fair, since Maxon said that someone in this room insulted him the first time they met,” Celeste complained.

People started looking around the room, trying to discover the guilty party, perhaps in an effort to get them—me—kicked out as well. I gave a nervous glance to Ragini, and she sprang into action.

Maybe she said something about the country? Like the policies or something?”

Bariel sucked her teeth. “Please. How boring must that date have been for them to start talking policy? Has anyone in here actually talked to Maxon about anything related to running the country?”

No one answered.

“Of course you haven’t,” Bariel said. “Maxon’s not looking for a coworker, he’s looking for a wife.”

“Don’t you think you’re underestimating him?” Kriss objected. “Don’t you think Maxon wants someone with ideas and opinions?”

Celeste threw her head back and laughed. “Maxon can run the country just fine. He’s trained for it. Besides, he has teams of people to help him make decisions, so why would he want someone else trying to tell him what to do? If I were you, I’d start learning how to be quiet. At least until he marries you.”

Bariel sidled up beside Celeste. “Which he won’t.”

“Exactly,” Celeste said with a smile. “Why would Maxon bother with some brainiac Three when he could have a Two?”

“Hey!” Tuesday cried. “Maxon doesn’t care about numbers.”

“Of course he does,” Celeste replied in a tone someone would use with a child. “Why do you think everyone below a Four is gone?”

“Still here,” I said, raising my hand. “So if you think you’ve got him figured out, you’re wrong.”

“Oh, it’s the girl who doesn’t know when to shut up,” Celeste said in mock amusement.

I balled my fist, trying to decide if it would be worth hitting her. Was that part of her plan? But before I could move at all, Silvia burst through the door.

“Mail, ladies!” she called out, and the tension in the room flew away.

We all stopped, eager to get our hands on what Silvia was carrying. We’d been at the palace nearly two weeks now, and with the exception of hearing from our families on the second day, this was our first real contact from home.

“Let’s see,” Silvia said, looking through stacks of letters, completely oblivious to the almost-argument that had taken place not seconds ago. “Lady Tiny?” she called as she looked around the room.

Tiny raised her hand and walked forward. “Lady Elizabeth? Lady America?”

I practically ran forward and snatched the letter out of her hand. I was so hungry for words from my family. As soon as it was in my clutches, I retreated to a corner for a few moments to myself.

Dear America,

I can’t wait for Friday to come. I can’t believe you’re going to get to talk to Gavril Fadaye! You have all the luck.

{I certainly didn’t feel lucky. Tomorrow night we were all getting grilled by Gavril, and I had no idea what he would ask us. I felt sure I’d make an idiot out of myself.}

It’ll be nice to hear your voice again. I miss you singing around the house. Mumma doesn’t do it, and it’s been so quiet since you left. Will you wave to me on the show?

How’s the competition going? Do you have lots of friends there? Have you talked to any of the girls who left? Mumma is saying all the time now that it’s not a big deal if you lose anymore. Half those girls who went home are already engaged to the sons of mayors or celebrities. She says someone will take you if Maxon doesn’t. Aadhi is hoping you marry a basketball player instead of a boring old prince. But I don’t care what anybody says. Maxon is so gorgeous!

Have you kissed him yet?

{Kissed him? We’d only just met. And there’d be no reason for Maxon to kiss me anyway.}

I bet he’s the best kisser in the universe. I think if you’re a prince, you have to be!

I have so much more to tell you, but mumma wants me to go paint. Write me a real letter soon. A long one! With lots and lots of details!

I love you! We all do.

So the eliminated girls were already getting snatched up by wealthy men. I didn’t realize being the castoff of a future king made you a commodity. I walked around the perimeter of the room, thinking over ladoo’s words.

I wanted to know what was going on. I wondered what had really happened with Janelle and was curious if Maxon had another date tonight. I really wanted to see him.

My mind was racing, searching for a way to simply speak to him. As I thought, I stared at the paper in my hands.

The second page of ladoo’s letter was almost completely blank. I tore off a piece of it as I wandered. Some girls were still buried in pages of letters from their families, and others were sharing news. After a lap I stopped by the Women’s Room guest book and picked up the pen.

I scribbled quickly on my scrap of paper.

Your Majesty—

Tugging my ear. Whenever.

I walked outside the room as if I were simply going to the bathroom and looked up and down the hall. It was empty. I stood there, waiting, until a maid rounded the corner with a tray of tea in her hands.

“Excuse me?” I called to her quietly. Voices carried in these great halls.

The girl curtsied in front of me. “Yes, miss?”

“Would you happen to be going to the prince with that?”

She smiled. “Yes, miss.”

“Could you please take this to him for me?” I held out my little folded-up note.

“Of course, miss!”

She took it eagerly and walked away with a newfound energy. No doubt she would unfold it as soon as she was out of sight, but I felt secure in its odd phrasing.

These hallways were captivating, each one more ornate than my entire house. The wallpaper, the gilt mirrors, the giant vases of fresh flowers all so beautiful. The carpets were lavish and immaculate, the windows were sparkling, and the paintings on the walls were lovely.

There were some paintings by artists I knew—van Gogh, Picasso—and some I didn’t. There were photographs of buildings I had seen before. There was one of the legendary White House. Compared to the pictures and what I’d read in my old history book, the palace dwarfed it in size and luxury, but I still wished it was around to see.

I walked farther down the hall and came upon a portrait of the royal family. It looked old; Maxon was shorter than his mother in this picture. He towered over her now.

In the time I’d been at the palace, I had only ever seen them together at dinners and the Illéa Capital Report airing. Were they very private? Did they not like all these strange young girls in their house? Were they only all here because of blood and duty? I didn’t know what to make of this invisible family.


I turned at the sound of my name. Maxon was jogging down the hall toward me.

I felt like I was seeing him for the first time.

He had his suit coat off, and the sleeves were rolled up on his white shirt. His blue tie was loosened at the neck, and his hair that was always slicked back was bouncing around a bit as he moved. In stark contrast to the person in uniform yesterday, he looked more boyish, more real.

I froze. Maxon came up to me and grabbed my wrists.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he pressed.


“Nothing. I’m fine,” I replied. Maxon let out a breath I didn’t realize he was holding.

“Thank goodness. When I got your note, I thought you were sick or something happened to your family.”

“Oh! Oh, no. Maxon, I’m so sorry. I knew that was a stupid idea. I just didn’t know if you’d be at dinner, and I wanted to see you.”

“Well, what for?” he asked. He was still looking me over with a furrowed brow, as if he was making sure nothing was broken.

“Just to see you.”

Maxon stopped moving. He looked into my eyes with a kind of wonder.

“You just wanted to see me?” He looked happily surprised.

“Don’t be so shocked. Friends usually spend time together.” My tone added the of course.

“Ah, you’re cross with me because I’ve been engaged all week, aren’t you? I didn’t mean to neglect our friendship, Swara.” Now he was back to the businesslike Maxon.

“No, I’m not mad. I was just explaining myself. You look busy. Go back to work, and I’ll see you when you’re free.” I noticed he was still holding on to my wrists.

“Actually, do you mind if I stay a few minutes? They’re having a budget meeting upstairs, and I detest those things.” Without waiting for an answer, Maxon pulled me over to a short, plush sofa halfway down the hall that rested underneath a window, and I giggled a little as we sat. “What’s so funny?”

“Just you,” I said, smiling. “It’s cute to see that your job bugs you. What’s so bad about the meetings, anyway?”

“Oh, Swara!” he said, facing me again. “They go round and round in circles. Father does a good job at calming the advisers, but it’s so hard to push the committees in any given direction. Mom is always on Father to give more to the school systems—she thinks the more educated you are, the less likely you are to be a criminal, and I agree—but Father is never forceful enough to get them to take away from other areas that could manage perfectly with lower funds. It’s infuriating! And it’s not like I’m in command, so my opinion is easily overlooked.” Maxon propped his elbows on his knees and rested his head in his hands. He looked tired.

So now I could see a bit of Maxon’s world, but it was just as unimaginable as ever. How could you deny the voice of your future sovereign?

“I’m sorry. On the plus side, you’ll have more of a say in the future.” I rubbed his back, trying to encourage him.

“I know. I tell myself that. But it’s so frustrating when we could change things now if they’d only listen.” His voice was a little hard to hear when it was directed at the carpet.

“Well, don’t be too discouraged. Your mom is on the right path, but education alone won’t fix anything.”

Maxon raised his head. “What do you mean?” It almost sounded like an accusation. And rightly so. Here was an idea that he’d been championing, and I’d just squashed it. I tried to backpedal.

“Well, compared to the fancy-pants tutors someone like you has, the education system for Sixes and Sevens is terrible. I think getting better teachers or better facilities would do them a world of good. But then what about the Eights? Isn’t that caste responsible for most of the crimes? They don’t get any education. I think if they felt they had something, anything at all, it might encourage them.

“Besides…” I paused. I didn’t know if this was something a boy who’d grown up with everything handed to him could grasp. “Have you ever been hungry, Maxon? Not just ready for dinner, but starving? If there was absolutely no food here, nothing for your mother or father, and you knew that if you just took something from people who had more in a day than you’d have in your whole life, you could eat … what would you do? If they were counting on you, what wouldn’t you do for someone you loved?”

He was quiet for a moment. Once before—when we’d talked about my maids during the attack—we’d kind of acknowledged the wide gap between us. This was a far more controversial topic of discussion, and I could see him wanting to avoid it.

“Swara, I’m not saying that some people don’t have it hard, but stealing is—”

“Close your eyes, Maxon.”


“Close your eyes.”

He frowned at me but obeyed. I waited until his eyes were shut and his face looked relaxed before I started.

“Somewhere in this palace, there is a woman who will be your wife.”

I saw his mouth twitch, the beginnings of a hopeful smile.

“Maybe you don’t know which face it is yet, but think of the girls in that room. Imagine the one who loves you the most. Imagine your ‘dear.’”

His hand was resting next to mine on the seat, and his fingers grazed mine for a second. I shied away from the touch.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, looking my way.

“Keep ’em closed!”

He chuckled and went back to his original position.

“This girl? Imagine that she depends on you. She needs you to cherish her and make her feel like the Selection didn’t even happen. Like if you were dropped on your own out in the middle of the country to wander around door to door, she’s still the one you would have found. She was always the one you would have picked.”

The hopeful smile began to settle. More than settle, it started to sag.

“She needs you to provide for her and protect her. And if it came to a point where there was absolutely nothing to eat, and you couldn’t even fall asleep at night because the sound of her stomach growling kept you awake—”

“Stop it!” Maxon stood quickly. He walked across the hall and stayed there for a while, facing away from me.

I felt a little awkward. I hadn’t realized this would make him so upset.

“Sorry,” I whispered.

He nodded his head but continued to look at the wall. After a moment he turned around. His eyes were searching mine, sad and questioning.

Is it really like that?” he asked.


“Out there … does that happen? Are people hungry like that a lot?”

“Maxon, I—”

“Tell me the truth.” His mouth settled into a firm line.

“Yes. That happens. I know of families where people give up their share for their children or siblings. I know of a boy who was whipped in the town square for stealing food. Sometimes you do crazy things when you’re desperate.”

“A boy? How old?”

“Nine,” I breathed with a shiver. I could still remember the scars on Jemmy’s tiny back, and Maxon stretched his own back as if he felt it all himself.

“Have you”—he cleared his throat—“have you ever been like that? Starving?”

I ducked my head, which was a giveaway. I really didn’t want to tell him about that.

“How bad?”

“Maxon, it will only upset you more.”

“Probably,” he said with a grave nod. “But I’m only starting to realize how much I don’t know about my own country. Please.”

I sighed.

“We’ve been pretty bad. Most times if it gets to where we have to choose, we keep the food and lose electricity. The worst was when it happened near Christmas one year. It was very cold, so we were all wearing tons of clothes and watching our breath inside the house. May didn’t understand why we couldn’t exchange gifts. As a general rule, there are never any leftovers at my house. Someone always wants more.”

I watched his face grow pale and realized I didn’t want to see him upset. I needed to turn this around, make it positive.

“I know the checks we’ve gotten over the last few weeks have really helped, and my family is very smart about money. I’m sure they’ve already tucked it away so it’ll stretch out for a long time. You’ve done so much for us, Maxon.” I tried to smile at him again, but his expression remained unchanged.

“Good God. When you said you were only here for the food, you weren’t kidding, were you?” he asked, shaking his head.

“Really, Maxon, we’ve been doing pretty well lately. I—” But I couldn’t finish my sentence.

Maxon came over and kissed my forehead.

“I’ll see you at dinner.”

As he walked away, he straightened his tie.
MAXON HAD SAID HE WOULD see me at dinner, but he wasn’t there. The queen entered alone. We made our delicate bows as she took her seat, and then settled in ourselves.

I looked around the room to find the empty chair, assuming he was on a date, but everyone was here.

I had spent the afternoon replaying what I’d said to Maxon. No wonder I’d never had any friends. I was shockingly bad at it.

Just then Maxon and the king walked in. Maxon had his suit coat back on, but his hair was still a handsome mess. He and the king had their heads together as they walked. We hurried to stand. Their conversation was animated. Maxon was using his hands to express things and the king was nodding, acknowledging his son’s words but looking a little put out. When they reached the head table, King Clarkson gave Maxon a heavy pat on the back, his expression stern.

As the king turned to face us all, his face suddenly flooded with enthusiasm. “Oh, goodness, dear ladies, please sit.” He kissed the queen on her head and sat himself.

But Maxon remained standing.

“Ladies, I have an announcement.” Every eye focused in. What could he possibly have for us?

“I know you were all promised compensation for your participation in the Selection.” His voice was full of a ringing authority that I had only really heard once—the night he let me into the garden. He was much more attractive when he was using his status for a purpose. “However, there have been some new monetary allocations. If you are a natural Two or a Three, you will no longer be receiving financing. Fours and Fives will continue to receive compensation, but it will be slightly less than what it has been so far.”

I could see some of the girls had their mouths open in shock. Money was part of the deal. Celeste, for example, was fuming. I guessed if you had a lot of money, you got used to the idea of collecting it. And the thought that someone like me would be getting anything she wasn’t probably got under her skin.

“I do apologize for any inconvenience, but I will explain this all tomorrow night on the Capital Report. And this is a nonnegotiable situation. If anyone has a problem with this new arrangement and no longer wants to participate, you may leave after dinner.”

He sat down and started talking again to the king, who seemed more interested in his dinner than Maxon’s words. I was a little disheartened that my family would be receiving less money, but at least we were still getting some. I tried to focus on my dinner, but mostly I was wondering what this meant, and I wasn’t alone. Murmurs went up around the room.

“What do you think that’s about?” Tiny asked quietly.

“Maybe it’s a test,” Kriss offered. “I bet there are some people here who are only in it for the money.”

As I listened to her, I saw Fiona nudge Olivia and nod her head toward me. I turned away so she wouldn’t know I saw.

The girls offered up theories, and I kept watching Maxon. I tried to catch his attention so I could tug my ear, but he didn’t look my way.

Mary and I were alone in my room. Tonight I’d face Gavril—and the rest of the nation—on the Illéa Capital Report. Not to mention the other girls would be right there the whole time, watching one another and mentally critiquing. Saying I was nervous was a gross understatement. I fidgeted while Mary listed some possible questions, things she thought the public would want to know.

How was I enjoying the palace? What was the most romantic thing Maxon had done for me? Did I miss my family? Had I kissed Maxon yet?

I eyed Mary when she asked me that one. I’d been throwing out answers to the questions, trying not to think too hard. But I could tell she’d asked that one out of genuine curiosity. The smile on her face proved it.

“No! For goodness’ sake.” I tried to sound mad, but it was too funny to be upset about. I ended up smirking. And that made Mary giggle. “Oh, just … why don’t you clean something!”

She laughed outright, and before I could tell her to stop, Anne and Lucy burst through the doors with a garment bag.

Lucy was looking more excited than I’d seen her since the moment I’d walked in the first day, and Anne seemed quietly devious.
What’s this about?” I asked as Lucy stopped in front of me to give a buoyant curtsy.

“We finished your dress for the Report, miss,” she replied.

My brow wrinkled together. “A new one? Why not the blue one in the closet? Didn’t you just finish that one? I love it.”

The three of them exchanged looks.

“What did you do?” I asked, pointing at the bag Anne was hanging up on the hook near the mirror.

“We talk to all the other maids, miss. We hear a lot of things,” Anne began. “We know that you and Lady Janelle are the only two who got more than one date with His Majesty, and from what we understand, there might be a link between you two.”

“How so?” I asked.

“From what we’ve heard,” Anne continued, “the reason she was asked to leave is because she said some rather unkind things about you. The prince did not agree and dismissed her immediately.”

“What?” I put a hand to my mouth, trying to hide my shock.

“We’re sure you’re his favorite, miss. Most everyone says so.” Lucy sighed happily.

“I think you’ve been misinformed,” I told them. Anne shrugged with a smile on her face, not concerned at all with my opinion.

Then I remembered where this had started. “What does any of this have to do with my dress?”

Mary came over to Anne and began unzipping the long bag, revealing a stunning red dress that shimmered in the fading light falling through the window.

“Oh, Anne,” I said, absolutely awestruck. “You’ve outdone yourself.”

She acknowledged my praise with a nod of her head. “Thank you, miss. We all worked on it, though.”

“It’s beautiful. But I still don’t understand what this has to do with anything you said.”

Mary pulled the dress out of the bag, airing it out, while Anne continued. “As I said, many people around the palace think you’re the prince’s favorite. He says kind things about you and prefers your company above the others’. And it seems the other girls have noticed.”

“What do you mean?”

“We go down to a workroom to do most of the sewing on your dresses. There are stores of material and a place to make shoes, and the other maids are in there, too. Everyone requested a blue dress for tonight. All the maids think it’s because you wear that color almost daily, and the others are trying to copy you.”

“It’s true,” Lucy chimed in. “Lady Tuesday and Lady Natalie didn’t put on any of their jewelry today. Just like you.”

“And most of the ladies are requesting simpler dresses, like the ones you prefer,” Mary stated.

“That still doesn’t explain why you made me a red dress.”

“To make you noticeable, of course,” Mary answered. “Oh, Lady America, if he really likes you, you have to keep standing out. You’ve been so generous with us, especially Lucy.” We all looked over to Lucy, who nodded in agreement and said, “You—you’re good enough to be the princess. You’d be amazing.”

I hunted for a way to get out of this. I hated being the center of attention.

“But what if everyone else is right? What if the reason Maxon likes me is because I’m not as over the top as everyone else, and then you go and put me in something like that and it ruins it all?”

“Every girl needs to shine once in a while. And we’ve known Maxon most of his life. He would love this.” Anne spoke with such assurance that I felt there was nothing I could do.

I didn’t know how to explain to them that the notes he sent me, the time he’d spent with me, meant nothing other than friendship between us. I couldn’t tell them. It would deflate their happiness, and besides, I needed to keep up appearances if I wanted to stay. And I did. I needed to stay.

“Okay, let’s try it on,” I conceded with a sigh.

Lucy jumped up and down with excitement until Anne reminded her that it wasn’t proper. I slid the silky dress over my head, and they stitched a handful of places they hadn’t quite finished. Mary’s skilled hands held my hair in various ways to see which looked best with the dress, and within half an hour, I was ready.

The set was arranged a little differently tonight for our special show. The thrones for the royal family were off to one side as always, and our seats were on the opposite side again. But the podium was off center, leaving the space focused on two tall chairs. A microphone was resting on one for us to take when we spoke to Gavril. I got queasy just thinking about it.

Sure enough, the room was full of dresses in every shade of blue. Some of them fell closer to green, others closer to purple, but it was clear there was a theme. I felt immediately uncomfortable. I caught Celeste’s eye right away and decided to just stay away from her until I absolutely had to go over to the seats.

Kriss and Natalie walked past, having just checked their makeup one last time. They both looked a little unhappy, though sometimes it was hard to tell with Natalie. Kriss at least looked somewhat different from the crowd as well. Her blue dress was melting into white, like delicate strands of ice were weaving their way to the floor.

“You look stunning, America,” she said in a way that was slightly more an accusation than praise.

“Thanks. That dress is gorgeous.”

She ran her hands down her torso, straightening imaginary wrinkles. “Yeah, I liked it, too.”

Natalie ran her hand across one of the capped sleeves on my dress. “What’s that material? It’s really going to shine under the lights.”

“I have no idea, actually. We don’t get a lot of the nice stuff as Fives,” I said with a shrug. I looked down at the fabric. I’d had at least one other dress made from the same type of cloth, but I hadn’t bothered learning the name.


I looked up to see Celeste standing right beside me. Smiling.


“Could you come with me for just one moment? I need some help.”

Without waiting for an answer, she pulled me away from Kriss and Natalie and around the heavy blue curtain that was the backdrop of the Report studio.

“Take off your dress,” she ordered as she started unzipping her own.


“I want your dress. Take it off. Ugh! Damn hook,” she said, still trying to get out of her clothes.

“I’m not taking off my dress,” I said, and went to leave. I didn’t get very far, though, as Celeste buried her nails into my arm and jerked me back.

“Ouch!” I cried, grabbing my arm. It looked like there would be marks but hopefully no blood.

“Shut up. Take off the dress. Now.”

I stood there, my face set, refusing to budge. Celeste was just going to have to get over not being the center of Illéa.

“I could take it off for you,” she offered coldly.

“I’m not afraid of you, Celeste,” I said as I crossed my arms. “This dress was made for me, and I’m going to wear it. Next time you pick out your clothes, maybe you should try being yourself instead of me. Oh, wait, but maybe then Maxon would see what a brat you are and send you home, huh?”

Without a second of hesitation, she reached up and ripped one of my sleeves off and walked away. I gasped in outrage but was too stunned to do anything more. I looked down and saw a tattered scrap of fabric dangling pathetically in front of me. I heard Silvia calling for everyone to come to their seats, so I walked around the side of the curtain as bravely as I could manage.

Ragini had saved me a seat beside her, and I saw the shocked look on her face as I came into view.

“What happened to your dress?” she whispered.

“Celeste,” I explained in disgust.

Emmica and Samantha, who were sitting in front of us, turned around.

“She tore your dress?” Emmica asked.


“Go to Maxon and turn her in,” she pleaded. “That girl’s a nightmare.”

“I know,” I said with a sigh. “I’ll tell him next time I see him.”

Samantha looked sad. “Who knows when that will be? I thought we’d get to spend more time with him.”

“America, lift your arm,” Ragini instructed. She expertly tucked my tattered sleeve into the side of my dress as Emmica plucked away a few stray threads. You couldn’t even tell anything had happened to it. As for the nail marks, well, at least they were on my left arm and away from the camera.

It was almost time to start. Gavril was flipping through notes as the royal family came in at last. Maxon had on a dark blue suit with a pin of the national emblem on his lapel. He looked sharp and calm.

“Good evening, ladies,” he sang with a smile.

A chorus of “Majesty” and “Highness” fell over him.

“Just so you know, I’ll be giving one brief announcement and then introducing Gavril. It’ll be a nice change; he’s always introducing me!” He chuckled, and we all followed. “I know some of you are probably a little nervous, but you have no need to be. Please, just be yourselves. The people want to know you.” Our eyes met a few times while he was talking, but nothing long enough for me to read him. He didn’t seem to notice the dress. My maids would be disappointed.

He walked over to the podium, calling out “Good luck” over his shoulder.

I could tell something was going on. I assumed this announcement of his would be related to what he’d told us yesterday, but I still couldn’t guess at what it all meant. Maxon’s little mystery distracted me, and I wasn’t so nervous anymore. I felt all right as the anthem played and the camera settled squarely on Maxon’s face. I’d been watching the Report since I was a child. Maxon had never addressed the country before, not like this. I wished I could have told him good luck, too.

“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of Illéa. I know that tonight is an exciting night for us all as the country gets to finally hear from the twenty-five remaining women in the Selection. I can’t begin to express how excited I am for you to meet them. I’m sure you will all agree that any one of these amazing young ladies would be a wonderful leader and future princess.

“But before we get to that, I’d like to announce a new project I am working on that is of great importance to me. Having met these ladies, I’ve been exposed to the wide world outside our palace, a world that I rarely get to see. I’ve been told of its remarkable goodness and made aware of its unimaginable darkness. Through speaking to these women, I’ve embraced the importance of the masses outside these walls. I have been woken to the suffering of some of our lower castes, and I intend to do something about it.”


“It will be at least three months before we can set this up properly, but around the new year, there will be public assistance for food in every Province Services Office. Any Five, Six, Seven, or Eight may go there any evening for a free, nutritious meal. Please know that these women before you have all sacrificed some or all of their compensation to help fund this important program. And while this assistance may not be able to last forever, we will keep it running as long as we can.”

I kept trying to swallow up the gratitude, the awe, but a few tears leaked out. I was still aware enough of what was coming next to worry about my makeup but so appreciative that it was no longer the top priority.

“I feel that no good leader can let the masses go unfed. Most of Illéa is comprised of these lower castes, and we have overlooked these people far too long. That is why I am moving forward and why I am asking others to join me. Twos, Threes, Fours … the roads you drive on don’t pave themselves. Your houses aren’t cleaned by magic. Here is your opportunity to acknowledge that truth by donating at your local Province Services Office.”

He paused. “By birth you have been blessed, and it is time to acknowledge that blessing. I will have further updates as this project progresses, and I thank you all for your attention. But now, let’s get to the real reason you all tuned in tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Gavril Fadaye!”

There was a smattering of applause from everyone in the room, though it was obvious not everyone was enthusiastic about Maxon’s announcement. The king, for instance, was clapping but without excitement, though the queen was radiant with pride. The advisers also seemed torn about whether or not this was a good idea.

“Thank you so much for that introduction, Your Majesty!” Gavril announced as he ran onto the set. “Very well done! If this whole prince thing doesn’t work out, you should consider a job in entertainment.”

Maxon laughed out loud as he walked to his seat. The cameras were focused on Gavril now, but I watched Maxon and his parents. I didn’t understand why their reactions were mixed.

“People of Illéa, do we have a treat for you! This evening we’ll be getting the inside scoop from each of these young women. We know you’ve been dying to meet them and hear how things are coming along with our Prince Maxon, so tonight … we’re just going to ask! Let’s get started with”—Gavril looked at his note cards—“Miss Celeste Newsome of Clermont!”
Celeste moved sinuously from her seat in the top row and down the steps. She actually kissed Gavril on both cheeks before she sat down. Her interview was predictable, and so was Bariel’s. They tried to be s*xy, bending forward a lot to get clear shots down their dresses. It looked fake. I watched their faces in the monitors as they kept glancing at Maxon and winking. Every once in a while, like when Bariel tried to smoothly lick her lips, Marlee and I made brief eye contact and then had to look away so we wouldn’t laugh.

Others were more composed. Tiny’s voice matched her name, and she seemed to fold in on herself as the interview progressed. But I knew she was sweet and hoped that Maxon wouldn’t count her out just because she wasn’t a great public speaker. Emmica was poised, as was Marlee, the main difference being that Marlee’s voice was so full of excitement and enthusiasm it flew higher and higher as she talked.

Gavril asked a variety of questions, but there were two that seemed to pop up with everyone: “What do you think of Prince Maxon?” and “Are you the girl who yelled at him?” I wasn’t looking forward to telling the country that I had chided the future king. Thank goodness that, as far as anyone knew, I’d behaved that way only once.

Everyone was proud to say they weren’t the girl who’d yelled at him. Then every single girl thought that Maxon was nice. That was almost always the word: nice. Celeste said that he was handsome. Bariel said he was quietly powerful, which I thought sounded creepy. A few girls were asked if Maxon had kissed them yet. They all blushed and said no. After the third or fourth no, Gavril turned on Maxon.

“Haven’t you kissed any of them yet?” he asked, shocked.

“They’ve only been here two weeks! What kind of man do you think I am?” Maxon replied. He said it lightheartedly but seemed to squirm in his seat a little. I wondered if he’d ever kissed anyone.

Samantha had just finished saying she was having a wonderful time, and then Gavril called me. The other girls applauded as I stood, like we had for everyone. I gave Ragini a nervous smile. I focused on my feet as I walked over, but once I got into the chair, I found it was easy to look right past Gavril’s shoulder at Maxon. He gave me a little wink as I picked up the microphone. I felt instantly calmer. I didn’t have to win anyone over.

I shook Gavril’s hand and sat down across from him. Up close, I could finally see the pin on his lapel. It obviously lost its detail through the camera, but now I saw that it wasn’t just the lines and curls of a forte sign, but a small X was engraved in the middle, making the whole thing look almost like a star. It was beautiful.

“America Singer. That’s an interesting name you have there. Is there a story behind it?” Gavril asked.

I sighed in relief. This was an easy one.

“Yes, actually. While my mom was pregnant with me, I kicked a lot. She said she had a fighter on her hands, so she named me after the country that fought so hard to keep this land together. It’s odd, but to her credit, she was right—we’ve been fighting ever since.”

Gavril laughed. “She sounds like a feisty woman herself.”

{Maxon}:“She is. I get a lot of my stubbornness from her.”

“So you’re stubborn, then? Have a bit of a temper?”

I saw Maxon covering his mouth with his hands, laughing.


“If you have a temper, would you happen to be the one who yelled at our prince?”

I sighed. “Yes, it was me. And right now, my mother is having a heart attack.”

Maxon called out to Gavril, “Get her to tell the whole story!”

Gavril whipped his head back and forth quickly. “Oh! What’s the whole story?”

I tried to glare at Maxon, but the whole situation was so silly, it didn’t quite work.

“I got a little … claustrophobic the first night, and I was desperate to get outside. The guards wouldn’t let me through the doors. I was actually about to faint in this one guard’s arms, but Prince Maxon was walking by and made them open the doors for me.”

“Aw,” Gavril said, tilting his head to one side.

“Yes, and then he followed to make sure I was all right…. But I was stressed out, so when he spoke to me, I basically ended up accusing him of being stuck-up and shallow.”

Gavril chuckled deeply at this. I looked past him to Maxon, who was shaking with laughter. But the more embarrassing thing was that the king and queen were laughing along with him. I didn’t turn to look at the girls, but I heard some of them giggling, too. Well, good. Maybe now they would finally stop seeing me as any sort of threat. I was just someone Maxon found entertaining.

“And he forgave you?” Gavril asked in a slightly more sober tone.

“Oddly enough.” I shrugged.

“Well, since the two of you are on good terms again, what sort of activities have you been doing together?” Gavril was back to business.

“We usually just go for walks around the garden. He knows I like it outside. And we talk.” It sounded pathetic after what some of the other girls had said. Trips to the theater, going hunting, horseback riding—those were impressive next to my story.

But I suddenly understood why he had been speed dating over the last week. The girls needed something to tell Gavril, so he had to provide it. It still seemed weird that he hadn’t mentioned any of it to me, but at least I knew why he had been away.

“That sounds very relaxing. Would you say the garden is your favorite thing about the palace?”

I smiled. “Maybe. But the food is exquisite, so…”

Gavril laughed again.

“You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?”

The word sprang from my lips without thought. “No!”

“Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!” Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. “So you think you’ll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?”

I thought better of myself. “No, no. It’s not like that. I don’t think I’m better than any of the other girls; they’re all amazing. It’s just… I don’t think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste.”

I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I’d called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word “Prince” in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I’d said it on live television.
Precap: i have preponed the suprise… nxt epi is the SUPRISE……
How was it guys??????…hope u all liked it…..ik this epi did not have anything intresting…..i’m sorry about that….ik this was just a filler epi……but belive me this was necessary……waiting know what u think about this epi……soooo…pls do comment….
Luv ya guys…???

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  1. This amazing sis..! Happy to read it today itself.. Leaving for Jaipur today..! Studies and exams..! See after some days..! Bubbyeee…. And till they finding me on wattpad .. We’ll chat when I come back.. My username is Shreya_MH.. It may be uh can find me through my story.. And even in Nisha’s profile too..
    Bubbbyyyeeee.. Love you .. Happy days..!
    ❤❤ and mera surprise..? Next episode.. Pakka na..?

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ty..soo much shreya……i was felling down as i thought u wont comment cause u said u r preparing 4 ur exam……but i’m soooooo happy that u commented….will miss u…….atb 4 ur xams….and ya i’m already following u shreya and nisha too…….and pinky promise ur suprise is waiting 4 u……in nxt epi……hope u’ll like it when u read it……luv ya sissy…..will miss u… of luck and take care……..???❤❤❤❤

  2. The first few para was all about history omg! Where did u collect those? I liked how swara said don’t even start during photoshoot and loved the way he made her laugh for all the photos. So,finally now everyone knows whose the girl who yelled at the prince everyone means everyone in the kingdom. And yeah the final shock she called him maxon in front of everyone which is telecast in television lively.well that’s something to look forward to as what would everyone do now? And who did maxon see when he closed his eyes ? Will they ever fall in love? Eager to know these .tq nats waiting for next part fingers crossed.

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ya…abt that history google and kierra cass helped me…….ya even i liked the part…..where says “dont even start” ..thats exactly the reaction….which i’ll give if i’m in her shoes……and abt falling in love wait for the nxt epi’s cause i’m thinking abt giving sanky’s p.o.v……
      Stay tuned buddy….
      Luv ya…??????
      And Tc❤❤❤

  3. Only i can say a one word..
    Love u natasha… ??
    Or can i call you as nat? ?

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ty pramudi…its kinda overwhelming…..of course u can call me with watever name u wanna call me cause….i luv to have nick names…….and luv ya???❤❤❤

  4. Man” i was w8ng 4 d surprise. Prince is on the path to change his country… I hope Ames doesn’t get any trouble 4 calling him Maxon! Nyc one buddy…

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Yup…prince is on the way to change their world…..and about ames getting in trouble….wait and watch buddy……i’ll update the nxt part soon dear….so u can get ur suprise early…..luv ya and tc???❤❤❤

  5. So nice it is, nats. Looking forward for the next part. Can’t just wait. Please post ASAP.

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ty…soooooooo….much goldie……luv ya???❤❤❤

  6. Its awesome dear

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ty…puuuuuu..ur comment means a lot to me….luv ya???❤❤❤❤

  7. Omg wat an episode….totally loved??????????????wasnt the 1st meet of swasan to be a secret ???? ?. Too bad their ‘secret’ is out in public ??? i suppose other girls would been shocked well well…… Shocked would be an understatement ?????? nevertheless i totally loved the prince in this chappy ????swara does hold great influence over him doesnt she ???? opppps i totally forgot to apologise to u for not been to comment previously so soooooorrrryyyy actually i got caught up in some work ??? well abt last chappy i loved the way swara opened out to the prince and him consoling her. ??????and hi calling her swara was too touchy u totally nailed it hope to c u soon with the prince surprise ????love ya ??????

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Rachu dear……,glad to know that u loved it……….yup their first meet was meant to be a secret….but what to do cat is out of the bag……..well abt the other gals u got it right….no prob dear…..its kk…..dear…u have been supporting me alot…….well..abt the nxt chappy…i’ll update nxt epi sooon….luv ya sweetie and take care????❤❤❤❤

  8. I have a request to make would u mind adding sankys pov in your next chappy abt recent happening abt him being friends with swara her telling him to close his eyes and picturise a girl (u c im dying to know abt it hehehe ???????????)

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Lol…ya nxt is the suprise chappy dear….. so i’ll give sanky’s p.o.v i, nxt to nxt chappy…sry abt that…but ya ..i’m sure u’ll enjoy it…wait and watch dudy???❤❤❤

  9. Omg! Omg! What will happen next? Wonderful episode. The bond between them was incredible. Feeling excited to read. Waiting for your next episode from now on…. thank you for this wonderful story.

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ty soooo much dear…..but pls take a breath…….so exited huh????…..
      I’ll update soon dear…….luv ya ???❤❤❤

  10. Read all in one go…its way too awesome…
    Everything is perfect…how many post more to complete it???

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ooh….it must have taken a hell lot of tym….. cause i have a bad habit of writing long epi’s….but i’m glad to hear that u liked it……tks for reading it dear……..luv ya???❤❤❤

  11. Hey dear I was badly waiting fa yur update yu update made me soo happy tqq so much and update epi soon dear

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Awww….so sweet of u……..i’m sry for the late update dearie….and ya i’ll update as soon as possible…..luv ya???❤❤❤

  12. It’s marvelous di… Hope they doesn’t throw swara off the competition for not adding the word Prince….. And that Celeste should be punished……I think Prince has started falling for swara…. Hope their love blossom soon…..and di plz tell which girl Maxon has thought when swara ask him to close his eyes…..di try to update tomorrow..

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      I was waiting for ur comment jenni……ty soooooooo much 4 commenting…….and about sanky’s p.o.v….i’ll give it in nxt to nxt chapter as nxt one is the suprise epi….hope u will like it….luv ya lil sissy???❤❤❤

  13. hai natasha
    i like ur ff maxon and america aka swara
    u told that the story is based on a novel
    reference plz………………
    if u don’t mind
    thank u…………….

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Its based on the story ……selection dear….tks 4 commenting…..luv ya???

  14. OMG this was soooo damn amazing. I am speechless…and i m in love with these two maxon and America. The story is sooo damn good. Thank you Natasha for writing such a great story thanx a lotzzz

    1. ❤?Natasha?❤

      Ty ssssssooooooooooooooo much kavya…….ur comment is kinda overwhelming……….luv ya dear???❤❤❤

      1. Awwww…love u top???

  15. waiting eagerly when will u update next
    plz try to update a still lon one like maha episode today
    as u said der is a suprise element in it

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