e joking. ”
”I wish I am. ”
The petite woman in front of me, wearing her pristine white scrub suit, stopped checking her see-through purse and finally gave me her full and undivided attention,
e really serious. ”
”When you told us in the group chat that you were promoted as a Royal Private Secretary of the Crown Prince, I thought you were just pulling our leg, or you finally sniffed enough dust from your cleaning staterooms and offices, it finally reached your brain. ”
I shook my head exasperatedly while trying to straighten the dress that I had borrowed from her and tried not to breathe too deeply, ”I wouldn be here borrowing your sunday dress if that boss of mine didn demanded I work on my supposed day off, Eiry. That guy, really. Wasn it not enough he worked me to the bone Mondays to Saturdays more than twelve hours, he have to take away the single day of the week for myself?! ”
”Welcome to my world, bitch. Always on call, even on my day off. My news of the outside world came from you girls. I should just live in the hospital lounge instead since I spent more than fifteen hours of my waking moment life there anyways.
”I know exactly what you mean now, Eiry. If its not the office in the palace, its the back of that insufferable crown prince is all that I see in my life lately. ”
That seemed to get her attention, and she smiled mischievously at me, ”So, are the rumors true, Linnea? ”
”What rumors? ”
”That he sleeps with different women each night? ”
I rolled my eyes and sighed exasperatedly, ”If that were true, my work life would be easier. I would not need to work past bedtime for him. That man is a workaholic to the core. He would sleep on his desk just so he could finish all his paperwork for the day. ”
”Is he really deranged? ”
Before I could answer that question, we heard a familiar blare of sirens through the street and a convoy of expensive armored black cars bearing the Crown Prince of Arcanias Coat of Arms.
I stood up in a panic and headed for the door of the cafe,
”I already paid for the coffee, Eiry. You
e it next time. Thanks for the dress, I don have anything formal to wear. ”
”No problem, Linnea. You can keep it! Its not like I have time or occasion to use that anyways! ”
”You are a literal lifesaver, you know that? ”
The nurse just winked and sent me a flying kiss before waving goodbye.
The car of the Crown Prince stopped the moment I reached the pavement in front of the cafe, and one of his guards opened the door for me as always.
I quickly sat on the farthest seat on the left closest to the door that closed just now, pulled out the tablet from the trusted palace-issued bag, unlocked it, and opened the proprietary scheduling app created by the Royal Household Computer Department.
It allows me to track, create and adjust the schedule, appointments, meetings, and tasks of the Crown Prince on the dot, and it synchronizes with all the respective departments of the Royal Household like security, equery, administration, treasury, public relations or medical to name the few.
To my surprise, the only thing that showed for todays schedule was a long weekend visit to Waite Castle, located on the far northern outskirts of the crown city, for relaxation.
You may ask why I didn bother with the curtsy and protocol.
Well, His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince hates wasting time with formalities regarding working. He prefers if I go straight to the tasks at hand, for every second is more critical than pleasantries, or so he always says to me.
”Sir, your schedule for today seems to be a long weekend visit to Waite Castle until Tuesday for recreation, ” I said carefully as I looked up and saw the dashing man that I never get tired of looking at, even after half a year of working for him as his private secretary.
”I know that, Lyn, ” he answered in a bored voice as he gave me a dismissive look after looking at me from head to foot, ”I know how to read, in case you forgot. ”
”Of course not, sir, ” I replied apologetically before carefully choosing the following words to use as I knew full well that this tone meant he was in a very, very bad mood, ”Its just, I don understand why I am required to accompany you on a personal trip, with all due respect. ”
He looked at me as if he wanted to say something.
To warn me.
But stopped at the last moment before clearing his throat and taking a deep breath as if to clear his mind before speaking, ”The prime minister will be there as well, together with his wife, to join us for a retreat, I am not dismissing the chance that we might have some time to have some sort of a meeting and I want you to take minutes just in case. ”
”Understood, sir, ” I responded promptly and added those remarks on the scheduling app, ”What time do you think the prime minister will be free for a chat? ”
”Maybe tomorrow or the day after that. ”
I looked up in a panic when he said, ”Sir, thats… ”
Before I finished my sentence, the car stopped, and the driver announced that we had finally arrived.
The moment we stepped outside, my jaw dropped when I saw the castle, and for a moment, I forgot just how deep in trouble I was right now.
White Castle, true to its name, is ivory-colored and gleamed beautifully as it reflected the light from the crystal clear lagoon behind it.
The whole area is nestled deep inside a forested area I once heard from Frida designated as a conservation nature park rich in wildlife.
”You can enjoy the view in the morning. Lets get inside or you will catch a cold. ”
I took a deep breath and followed the Crown Prince as he walked briskly towards the crown entrance, where servants welcomed him warmly.
The interior of the castle didn disappoint. Though not as lavishly decorated as the Arcadia Palace, it is still remarkable in its warm, homely way.
We followed the butler to the great dining area where to our surprise, the royal family was already enjoying dinner with the prime minister and his wife.
They all stopped what they were doing and stared at the two of us.
My boss headed for his mother, queen, and kissed her on both cheeks before sitting beside his grinning brother, who punched his arm playfully.
Then suddenly, I realized I was a fish out of water here.
I am so used to following his back all the time I forgot my place.
Royal Private Secretary to the Crown Prince of the Dominion of Arcania I may be, I am still part of the Royal Household.
Who am I to dine with the Royal Family and the Prime Minister?
While making sure that my face won betray any of my shocks, I bowed my head lowly and curtsied before turning my back on them and planning to talk to the guards at the front door to ask where is the pantry.
”And where do you think you are going, Secretary Linnea? ”
I stopped cold when I heard a high-pitched female voice that could only be from the queen herself.
”Pray tell I made a fool out of myself personally preparing this banquet only for the guest of honor to walk out the second she showed herself in. ”
I slowly turned around and dared myself to look at the queen staring at me coldly as I was sure I offended her greatly.
Thankfully, in his coldheartedness, my boss didn forsake me in my direst moment, ”Mother, she didn know. ”
”And why didn you told her? I am informed she is only away from you during bedtime and on Sundays. ”
”I thought Leo was joking when he called me about this feast you prepared for my secretary at White Castle out of the blue. ”
The Prince of Arcanus sighed in disbelief as he looked at his brother accusingly, ”See, Mrs Themis, I am not exaggerating when I told you that my brother trusts your husband more than he trusts me. ”
”Everyone, please, we are making the lady of the hour uncomfortable, ” the king, who had been quiet until now, finally spoke before standing up and walking towards me; as I gave him a curtsy, he offered his arm respectfully, ”Would you allow me, Secretary Linnea? ”
”I would be honored, Your Majesty, ” I answered in awe as I carefully held his arm and allowed him to bring me next to his wife and pull a chair for me, ”My wife is not kidding when she said she personally prepared all of this for you. ”
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