Hi…guys….this is Natasha back again wit an update………As i promised i’m gonna reveal the pairs…….it will be…………………………………………………………………………………………..SWASAN AND RAGLAK…….sry SWALAk and RAGSAN fans……..but guys u will all get to see their scenes as well…….hope all of u give me support to continue this ff…….ty readers for commenting…….and ty silent readers for reading(if they r present )………pls…..pls…..pls….do comment….i have replied for all ur comments…….ur comments r all very very precious to me…….and bashers r also welcome…..pls continue reading my ff……pls…..on to the epi now…..happy reading guys???
Previous episode link:
Recap-Heroine revealed and info abt her family and their situation.
When I thought of it that way, the Selection seemed like a rope, something sure I could grab onto. That stupid letter could lift me out of the darkness, and I could pull my family along with me.
I looked over at my mother. For a Five, she was a little on the heavy side, which was odd. She wasn’t a glutton, and it’s not like we had anything to overeat anyway. Perhaps that’s just the way a body looks after four children. Her hair was dark brown, like mine, but full of brilliant white streaks. Those had appeared suddenly and in abundance about two years ago. Lines creased the corners of her eyes, though she was still pretty young, and I could see as she moved around the kitchen that she was hunched over as if an invisible weight rested on her shoulders.
I knew she had a lot to carry. And I knew that was why she had taken to being particularly manipulative with me. We fought enough without the extra strain, but as the empty fall quietly approached, she became much more irritable. I knew she thought I was being unreasonable now, to not even want to fill out a silly little form.
But there were things—important things—in this world that I loved. And that piece of paper seemed like a brick wall keeping me away from what I wanted. Maybe what I wanted was stupid. Maybe it wasn’t even something I could have. But still, it was mine. I didn’t think I could sacrifice my dreams, no matter how much my family meant to me. Besides, I had given them so much already. was the oldest one left now as abhi left and I did my best to contribute. We scheduled my homeschooling around my rehearsals, which took up most of the day since I was trying to master several instruments as well as singing.
But with the letter here, none of my work mattered anymore. In my muma’s mind, I was already queen.
If I was smart, I would have hidden that stupid notice before papa ,ladoo, and aadhi came in. But I didn’t know Mumma had it tucked away in her clothes, and mid-meal she pulled it out.
“‘To the House of Singer,’” she sang out.
I tried to swipe it away, but she was too quick for me. They would find out sooner or later anyway, but if she did it like this, they’d all be on her side.
“Mumma, please!” I pleaded.
“I want to hear!” ladoo squealed. That was no surprise. My little sister looked just like me, only on a three-year delay. But where our looks were practically un identical, our personalities were same too. Unlike me, she was outgoing and hopeful. And currently very boy crazy. This whole thing would seem incredibly romantic to her.
I felt myself blush. Papa listened intently, and ladoo was practically bouncing with joy.Aadhi, sweet little thing, he just kept eating. Mother cleared her throat and went on.
“‘The recent census has confirmed that a single woman between the ages of sixteen and twenty currently resides in your home. We would like to make you aware of an upcoming opportunity to honor the great nation of Illéa.’”
Ladoo squealed again and grabbed my wrist. “That’s you!”
“I know, you little monkey. Stop before you break my arm.” But she just held my hand and bounced some more.
“‘Our beloved prince, Maxon Schreave,’” Mumma continued, “‘is coming of age this month. As he ventures into this new part of his life, he hopes to move forward with a partner, to marry a true Daughter of Illéa. If your eligible daughter, sister, or charge is interested in possibly becoming the bride of Prince Maxon and the adored princess of Illéa, please fill out the enclosed form and return it to your local Province Services Office. One woman from each province will be drawn at random to meet the prince.
“‘Participants will be housed at the lovely Illéa Palace in Angeles for the duration of their stay. The families of each participant will be generously compensated’”—she drew out the words for effect—“‘for their service to the royal family.’”
I rolled my eyes as she went on. This was the way they did it with sons. Princesses born into the royal family were sold off into marriage in an attempt to solidify our young relations with other countries. I understood why it was done—we needed allies. But I didn’t like it. I hadn’t had to see such a thing, and I hoped I never would. The royal family hadn’t produced a princess in three generations. Princes, however, married women of the people to keep up the morale of our sometimes volatile nation. I think the Selection was meant to draw us together and remind everyone that Illéa itself was born out of next to nothing.
The idea of being entered into a contest for the whole country to watch as this stuck-up little wimp picked the most gorgeous and shallow one of the bunch to be the silent, pretty face that stood beside him on TV … it was enough to make me scream. Could anything be more humiliating?
Besides, I’d been in the homes of enough Twos and Threes to be sure I never wanted to live among them, let alone be a One. Except for the times when we were hungry, I was quite content to be a Five. Mom was the caste climber, not me.
“And of course he would love shona! She’s so beautiful,” Mumma swooned.
“Please, Mumma. If anything, I’m average.”
“You are not!” ladoo said. “Because u look just like both mumma and papa, and they are pretty!” Her smile was so wide, I couldn’t contain my laughter. And it was a good point. Because my parents are really beautiful and ladoo is also pretty.
It was more than her face, though, more than her winning smile and bright eyes. Ladoo radiated an energy, an enthusiasm that made you want to be wherever she was. Ladoo was magnetic, and I, honestly, wasn’t.
“Aadhi, what do you think? Do you think I’m pretty?” I asked.
All eyes fell on the youngest member of our family.
“No! Girls are gross!”
“Aadhi, please.” Mumma gave an exasperated sigh, but her heart wasn’t in it. He was hard to get upset with. “Shona, you must know you’re a very lovely girl.”
“If I’m so lovely, how come no one ever comes by to ask me out?”
“Oh, they come by, but I shoo them away. My girls are too pretty to marry Fives.” Mumma took a sip of her tea.
“His name is James. Stop calling him a number. And since when do boys come by?” I heard my voice getting higher and higher.
“A while,” papa said, making his first comment on all of this. His voice had a hint of sorrow to it, and he was staring decidedly at his cup. I was trying to figure out what upset him so much. Boys coming by? Mom and me arguing again? The idea of me not entering the contest? How far away I’d be if I did?
His eyes came up for the briefest of moments, and I suddenly understood. He didn’t want to ask this of me. He wouldn’t want me to go. But he couldn’t deny the benefits if I managed to make it in, even for a day.
“Swara, be reasonable,” Mom said. “We have to be the only parents in the country trying to talk our daughter into this. Think of the opportunity! You could be queen one day!”
“Mumma. Even if I wanted to be queen, which I thoroughly don’t, there are thousands of other girls in the province entering this thing. Thousands. And if I somehow was drawn, there would still be thirty-four other girls there, no doubt much better at seduction than I could ever pretend to be.”
Aadhi’s ears perked up. “What’s seduction?”
“Nothing,” we all chorused back.
“It’s ridiculous to think that, with all of that, I’d somehow manage to win,” I finished.
My mother pushed her chair out as she stood and leaned across the table toward me. “Someone is going to, Shona. You have as good a chance as anyone else.” She threw her napkin down and went to leave. “Aadhi, when you finish, it’s time for your bath.”
Ladoo ate in silence.Aadhi asked for seconds, but there weren’t any. When they got up, I started clearing the table while Papa sat there sipping his tea. He had paint in his hair again, a smattering of yellow that made me smile. He stood, brushing crumbs off his shirt.
“Sorry, papa,” I murmured as I picked up plates.
“Don’t be silly, kitten. I’m not mad.” He smiled easily and put an arm around me.
“You don’t have to explain it to me, honey. I know.” He kissed me on my forehead. “I’m going back to work.”
And with that I moved to the kitchen to start cleaning. I wrapped my mostly untouched plate under a napkin and hid it in the fridge. No one else left more than crumbs.
I sighed, heading to my room to get ready for bed. The whole thing was infuriating.
Why did Mumma have to push me so much? Wasn’t she happy? Didn’t she love papa? Why wasn’t this good enough for her?
I lay on my lumpy mattress, trying to wrap my head around the Selection. I guess it had its advantages. It would be nice to eat well for a while at least. But there was no reason to bother. I wasn’t going to fall in love with Prince Maxon. From what I’d seen on the Illéa Capital Report, I wouldn’t even like the guy.
It seemed like forever until midnight rolled around. There was a mirror by my door, and I stopped to make sure my hair looked as good as it had this morning and put on a little lip gloss so there’d be some color on my face. Mom was pretty strict about saving makeup for when we had to perform or go out in public, but I usually snuck some on nights like tonight.
As quietly as I could, I crept into the kitchen. I grabbed my leftovers, some bread that was expiring, and an apple and bundled it all up. It was painful to walk back to my room so slowly, now that it was late. But if I’d done it earlier, I would have just been antsy.
I opened my window and looked out into our little patch of backyard. There wasn’t much of a moon out, so I had to let my eyes adjust before I moved. Across the lawn, the tree house stood barely silhouetted in the night. When we were younger,abhi would tie up sheets to the branches so it looked like a ship. He was the captain, and I was always his first mate. My duties mainly consisted of sweeping the floor and making food, which was dirt and twigs stuffed into Mom’s baking pans. He’d take a spoonful of dirt and “eat” it by throwing it over his shoulder. This meant that I’d have to sweep again, but I didn’t mind. I was just happy to be on the ship with Abhi.
I looked around. All the neighboring houses were dark. No one was watching. I crawled out of the window carefully. I used to get bruises across my stomach from doing it the wrong way, but now it was easy, a talent I’d mastered over the years. And I didn’t want to mess up any of the food.
I scurried across the lawn in my cutest pajamas. I could have left my day clothes on, but this felt better. I supposed it didn’t matter what I wore, but I felt pretty in my little brown shorts and fitted white shirt.
It wasn’t hard anymore to scale the slats nailed into the tree with only one hand. I’d developed that skill as well. Each step up was a relief. It wasn’t much of a distance, but from here it felt like all the commotion from my house was miles away. Here I didn’t have to be anyone’s princess.
As I climbed into the tiny box that was my escape, I knew I wasn’t alone. In the far corner, someone was hiding in the night. My breath sped; I couldn’t help it. I set my food down and squinted. The person shifted, lighting an all but unusable candle. It wasn’t much light—no one in the house would see it—but it was enough. Finally the intruder spoke, a sly grin spreading across his face.
“Hey there, gorgeous.”
I CRAWLED DEEPER INTO THE tree house. It wasn’t much more than a five-by-five-foot cube; even Aadhi couldn’t stand up straight in here. But I loved it. There was the one opening to crawl into and then a tiny window on the opposite wall. I’d placed an old step stool in the corner to act as a desk for the candle, and a little rug that was so old it was barely better than sitting on the slats. It wasn’t much, but it was my heaven. Our heaven.
“Please don’t call me gorgeous. First my mumma, then ladoo, now you. It’s getting on my nerves.” By the way Laksh was looking at me, I could tell I wasn’t helping my “I’m not pretty” case. He smiled.
“I can’t help it. You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. You can’t hold it against me for saying it the only time I’m allowed to.” He reached up and cupped my face, and I looked deep into his eyes.
That was all it took. His lips were on mine, and I couldn’t think about anything anymore. There was no Selection, no miserable family, no Illéa itself. There were only Aspen’s hands on my back pulling me closer,laksh’s breath on my cheeks. My fingers went to his black hair, still wet from his shower—he always took showers at night—and tangled themselves into a perfect little knot. He smelled like his mother’s homemade soap. I dreamed about that smell. We broke apart, and I couldn’t help but smile.
His legs were propped open wide, so I sat sideways between them, like a kid who needed cradling. “Sorry I’m not in a better mood. It’s just that … we got this stupid notice in the post today.”
“Ah, yes, the letter.” laksh sighed. “We got two.”
Of course. The twins had just turned sixteen.
Laksh studied my face as he spoke. He did that when we were together, like he was recommitting my face to memory. It had been over a week, and we both got anxious when it was more than a few days.
And I looked him over, too. No caste excluded, Laksh was, by far, the most attractive guy in town.But they do not know 1 thing that i know. That is the fact that even laksh has an indian origin.His ancestry line is more complicated than mine that i did not want about his family for pages and pages.He is ASPEN LEAGER to the outer world but for y family & some others he is Laksh singhania and 4 me and only 4 me he is my Lucky.He had dark hair and green eyes, and this smile that made you think he had a secret. He was tall, but not too tall. Thin, but not too thin. I noticed in the dim light that there were tiny bags under his eyes; no doubt he’d been working late all week. His black T-shirt was worn to threads in several places, just like the shabby pair of jeans he wore almost every day.
If only I could sit and patch them up for him. That was my great ambition. Not to be Illéa’s princess. To be Laksh’s.
It hurt me to be away from him. Some days I went crazy wondering what he was doing. And when I couldn’t handle it, I practiced music. I really had lucky to thank for me being the musician that I was. He drove me to distraction.
And that was bad.
Lucky was a Six. Sixes were servants and only a step up from Sevens in that they were better educated and trained for indoor work. Aspen was smarter than anyone knew and devastatingly handsome, but it was a typical for a woman to marry down. A man from a lower caste could ask for your hand, but it was rare to get a yes. And when anyone married into a different caste, they had to fill out paperwork and wait for something like ninety days before any of the other legal things you needed could be done. I’d heard more than one person say it was to give people a chance to change their minds. So us being this personal and out well past Illéa’s curfew … we could both get in serious trouble. Not to mention the hell I’d get from my mother.
But I loved Laksh. I’d loved Laksh for nearly two years. And he loved me. As he sat there stroking my hair, I couldn’t imagine entering the Selection.
“How do you feel about it? The Selection, I mean?” I asked.
“Okay, I guess. He’s got to find a girl somehow, poor guy.” I could hear the sarcasm. But I really wanted to know his opinion.
“Okay, okay. Well, part of me thinks it’s kind of sad. Doesn’t the prince date? I mean, can he seriously not get anyone? If they try to wed the princesses to other princes, why don’t they do the same for him? There’s got to be some royal out there good enough for him. I don’t get it. So there’s that.
“But then…” He sighed. “Part of me thinks it’s a good idea. It’s exciting. He’s going to fall in love in front of everyone. And I like that someone gets a happily ever after and all that. Anybody could be our next queen. It’s kind of hopeful. Makes me think that I could have a happily ever after, too.”
His fingers were tracing my lips. Those green eyes searched deep into my soul, and I felt that spark of connection that I’d only ever had with him. I wanted our happily ever after, too.
“So you’re encouraging the twins to enter, then?” I asked.
“Yes. I mean, we’ve all seen the prince from time to time; he looks like a nice enough guy. A snot, no doubt, but friendly. And the girls are so eager; it’s funny to watch. They were dancing in the house when I came home today. And no one can deny that it’d be good for the family. Mom’s hopeful because we have two entries from the house instead of one.”
That was the first good news about this horrible competition. I couldn’t believe I’d been so self-absorbed that I hadn’t thought about his sisters. If one of them went, if one of them won…
“Lucky, do you realize what that would mean? If Kamber(radhika singhania) or Celia(nisha singhania)won?”
He closed his hold tighter around me, his lips brushing my forehead. One hand moved up and down my back.
“It’s all I’ve thought about today,” he said. The gritty sound of his voice pushed out every other thought. All I wanted was for Lucky to touch me, kiss me. And that’s exactly where the night would have gone, but his stomach growled and snapped me out of it.
“Oh, hey, I brought us a snack,” I said lightly.
“Oh, yeah?” I could tell he was trying not to sound excited, but some of his eagerness came through.
“You’ll love this chicken; I made it.”
I found my little bundle and brought it to Lucky, who, to his merit, nibbled it all slowly. I took one bite of the apple so he would feel like it was for us, but then I set it down and let him have the rest.
Where meals were a worry at my house, they were a disaster at Lucky’s. He had much steadier work than we did but got paid significantly less. There was never enough food for his family. He was the oldest of seven, and in the same way I’d stepped up to help as soon as I could, Lucky had stepped aside. He passed his share of the little food they had down to his siblings and to his mom, who was always tired from working. His dad had died three years ago, and Lucky’s family depended on him for almost everything.
I watched with satisfaction as he licked the spices from the chicken off his fingers and tore into the bread. I couldn’t imagine when he’d eaten last.
“You’re such a good cook. You’re going to make someone very fat and happy one day,” he said, his mouth half full with a bite of apple.
“I’m going to make you fat and happy. You know that.”
“Ah, to be fat!”
We laughed, and he told me about life since the last time I’d seen him. He’d done some clerical work for one of the factories, and it was going to carry him through next week, too. His mom had finally gotten into a routine of house-cleaning for a few of the Twos in our area. The twins were both sad because their mom had made them drop their after-school drama club so they could work more.
“I’m going to see if I can pick up some work on Sundays, make a little more money. I hate for them to give up something they love so much.” He said this with hope, like he really could do it.
“Aspen Leger aka laksh singhania, don’t you dare! You work too hard as it is.”
“Aw, Mer,” he whispered into my ear. It gave me chill bumps. “You know how radhi(kamber) and nishu(celia)are. They need to be around people. They can’t be cooped up cleaning and writing all the time. It’s just not in their nature.”
“But it’s not fair for them to expect you to do it all, Lucky. I know exactly how you feel about your sisters, but you need to watch out for yourself. If you really love them, you’ll take better care of their caregiver.”
“Don’t you worry about a thing, Mer. I think there are some good things on the horizon. I wouldn’t be doing it forever.”
But he would. Because his family would always need money. “Lucky, I know you could do it. But you’re not a superhero. You can’t expect to be able to provide everything for everyone you love. You just … you can’t do everything.”
We were quiet for a moment. I hoped he was taking my words to heart, realizing that if he didn’t slow down, he’d wear himself out. It wasn’t anything new for a Six, Seven, or Eight to just die of exhaustion. I couldn’t bear that. I pressed myself even closer to his chest, trying to get the image of it out of my head.
“Mer?”(Mer is swara’s pet name kept by laksh)
“Yes?” I whispered.
“Are you going to enter the Selection?”
“No! Of course not! I don’t want anyone to think I’d even consider marrying some stranger. I love you,” I said earnestly.
“You want to be a Six? Always hungry? Always worried?” he asked. I could hear the pain in his voice, but also the genuine question: If I had to choose between sleeping in a palace with people waiting on me or the three-room apartment with lucky’s family, which one did I really want?
“lucky, we’ll make it. We’re smart. We’ll be fine.” I willed it to be true.
“You know that’s not how it’ll be, Mer. I’d still have to support my family; I’m not the abandoning type.” I squirmed a little in his arms. “And if we had kids—”
“When we have kids. And we’ll just be careful about it. Who says we have to have more than two?”
“You know that’s not something we can control!” I could hear the anger building in his voice.
I couldn’t blame him. If you were wealthy enough, you could regulate having a family. If you were a Four or worse, they left you to fend for yourselves. This had been the subject of many an argument for us over the last six months, when we seriously started trying to find a way to be together. Children were the wild card. The more you had, the more there were to work. But then again, so many hungry mouths…
We fell quiet again, both unsure of what to say. Lucky was a passionate person; he tended to get a little carried away in an argument. He had gotten better about catching himself before he got too angry, and I knew that’s what he was doing now.
I didn’t want him to worry or be upset; I really thought we could handle it. If we just planned for everything we could, we’d make it through everything we couldn’t. Maybe I was too optimistic, maybe I was just too far in love, but I really believed that anything Aspen and I wanted badly enough, we could make happen.
“I think you should do it,” he said suddenly.
“Enter the Selection. I think you should do it.”
I glared at him. “Are you out of your mind?”
“Mer, listen to me.” His mouth was right to my ear. It wasn’t fair; he knew this distracted me. When his voice came, it was breathy and slow, like he was saying something romantic, though what he was suggesting was anything but. “If you had a chance for something better than this, and you didn’t take it because of me, I’d never forgive myself. I couldn’t stand it.”
I let out my breath in a quick huff. “It’s so ridiculous. Think of the thousands of girls entering. I won’t even get picked.”
“If you won’t get picked, then why does it matter?” His hands were rubbing up and down my arms now. I couldn’t argue when he did that. “All I want is for you to enter. I just want you to try. And if you go, then you go. And if you don’t, then at least I won’t have to beat myself up for holding you back.”
“But I don’t love him,lucky. I don’t even like him. I don’t even know him.”
“No one knows him. That’s the thing, though, maybe you would like him.”
“Aspen leger, stop. I love you.”
“And I love you.” He kissed me slowly to make his point. “And if you love me, you’ll do this so I won’t go crazy wondering what if.”
When he made it about him, I didn’t stand a chance. Because I couldn’t hurt him. I was doing everything I could to make his life easier. And I was right. There was absolutely no way I’d get chosen. So I should just go through the motions, appease everyone, and when I didn’t get picked, everyone would drop it.
” Mer….do it for me.pls enter the selection…please??” he breathed into my ear. The feeling sent chills down my body.
“Fine,” I whispered. “I’ll do it. But know now that I don’t want to be some princess. All I want is to be your wife.”
So our heroine has agreed to enter selection because her lover requested her hopefully thinking that she does not get selected…..but ….wat will happen if swara gets selected?????? wat will happen to their beautiful luv story????? But the question is it Love at all??????
Precap:swara gets selected…….??????
Song dedication: Love me like you do…….by Ellie Goulding….
Guys,ik u r all confused tat i first said tat the pairs r SWASAN and RAGLAK…..but here i am…..giving u a episode mostly full of SWALAK romance…….but guys this is and out SWASAN and RAGLAK……….this a story were destiny plays its cards to bring true love together………sry for disappointing all the SWALAK and RAGSAN fans……..but ya u’ll get to see their scenes as well……..sry 4 the long update guys……and pls do comment……….it means a lot to me…..pls bear my grammatical errors and silly typo mistakes……….pls….pls…..pls….comment guys……and bashers r all so welcome……..and once again sry 4 the long update…….and Sanskar and Ragini’s entry will be cmng in the nxt or the nxt 2 nxt epi’s……..
Credit to: ❤?Natasha?❤