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Archived Threads > Rae's IR Royal Couple Challenge Story: Voice of Abandon

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message 1: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
I wrote this story but I haven't been quite satisfied with it. Maybe you ladies can let me know what you think.

It's called Voice of Abandon, or The Princess and the Violinist and it was going to be in a dual anthology with a writer friend of mine but I couldn't get it where I wanted so I thought I would work on it a little more.

It's basically inspired by a real life AA princess in Europe (I guess that's just a tad obvious huh? lol) who loses her husband in an early death. She basically shuts down until she hears the music of a traveling violinist. Said violinist is inspired by a favorite (yummy) musician of mine whose music I listened to while writing this story (that may be a dead giveaway too lol). My tagline was: His music inspires her to live again. His heart inspires her to love again.

I was going to aim for sweet romance but it'll all depend on where the story goes I guess lol.

Will post laters.


message 2: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Yes, definitely post the story.


message 3: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I still intend to read it Rae. Just didn't get a chance this week. Sorry about that.


message 4: by new_user (new)

new_user Would love to read it, Rae. LOL, when you said violinist and yummy musician my first thought was Jaime Foxx in his upcoming film, The Soloist. I want to hear about this AA princess in Europe though. My interest is piqued.


message 5: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (last edited Sep 24, 2009 08:20PM) (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Oh no prob, Danielle. :-)

Lol new user. I forgot about that movie. I would like to see that. The real life AA princess is Princess Angela of Liechtenstein who married Prince Max a few years ago.

And the violinist inspiration is here.


message 6: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
“Don’t let the light go out of your heart. Don’t stop living. Promise me that.”

His deep British accented voice came back to her in the moments she stole to herself. Even now she could hear herself responding in the silence of the hospital where they had spent their last nights together.

“I promise.”

Her Serene Highness Princess Julianna DiMarco looked out of the boudoir window of the second floor of her castle. Raindrops dented the windowsill as the deluge started again.

The 18th century walls of the Welshire castle had been no comfort to her for the past few days. The high tapestries of blue and gold lining, enriched with threaded imitations of classic paintings around the cream and dark wood walls had been her home for the duration of her marriage. Rich with history, the house boasted stories of Kings and Queens who have come through these doors to trade equal interest of sport and country. Many hands shook in deals that often, with a single word or wave of a hand, begat the start of war whether through an army themselves or a fatal alliances with an intended friend’s foe.

Julianna had always been comfortable within these walls, proud of her husband’s history and bloodlines that she now shared. One day to soon pass on to their children who would share her own history as well as his. But now the crème lined enclosed felt like a distant reminder that she was alone. To anyone else on the outside she would be, a black American designer who had met and married a prince from a small European country called Welshire. She had been afraid to meet his family who she was sure had expected someone much different and of higher standing than she. But it had been a smooth transition and even her own parents were excited, albeit nervous, at the news of their twenty-eight daughter moving abroad. She still hadn’t gotten used to the press and was happy that Frederick had enjoyed a quiet uneventful life with her aside from keeping the country in order. After her own duties during the day, she would wait for him.

The grimace that formed in the middle of his smooth brow upon his handsome elongated face would always tell of the decisions he had to make for the family business. He would sit on the bed with a soft grunt, his wide shoulders somewhat bent in thought and stress. Julianna would immediately dig her fingers into his shoulders and back, easing the tension away with a soft kiss to his neck.

“Did anyone tell you that you’re the best wife I ever had?” he had said one time.

She had leaned over his shoulder, noting the slight turn of his head toward her and the half smirk that he knowingly got a curious rise out of her. “I hope not because as they and I am concerned, I should be the only wife you ever had.”

His large, lithe build would twist, catching her as she moved forward so that she fell over his lap with a gasp. “That’s why you’re the best wife I ever had,” he said deeply, leaning over her.

His lips were soft and warm as they had always been. Despite living in the cold climate he always managed to feel warm, welcoming and tender.

Julianna placed her fingertips against her lips, tingling as if he had just given her one of those warm kisses. The sound of voices downstairs made her pull back the thin gossamer curtains to see the vintage 1958 Hearse waiting downstairs. She spotted the large shiny casket gently being placed in the back of the vintage Hurst to ready the funeral ceremony that would commence in a few hours. The open road lay ahead, waiting for her to run free within its open shade. Apart of her wanted to shed this pristine royal disposition she had adopted once they married. Instead she wanted to run across the lands barefoot and free and just let the Earth take over her body as it may.

She was alone now. A widow who had lost the love of her life to a heart disease the doctors couldn’t cure. She was now a loner in a land where she had gained royalty by way of marriage, a black woman who had become the first to take a noble crown of a European princess in this line. Now she had to bury her husband and await news of the new rulership.

Julianna suppressed the urge to leave and took a deep breath to clear her head. Today she made sure to wear her best black dress. Tulle, satin, comfortable. It served its purpose well.

“Your Highness.” She turned to her lady-in-waiting. Julianna dabbed at her eyes that she was sure was already stained with redness from the hot empty tears.

“Yes?”

“We are ready for you.”

With a nod, she lifted her dress slightly to step across the floor. The walls that she had felt so comfortable in all these years turned into enclosures of a shelter that felt like it belonged to someone else. No longer did it feel like the home she and Frederick had made for themselves. Perhaps it was just Frederick’s arms that formed her true shelter. His arms she would never feel again.

The 50s Roadster waited outside for her. Frederick’s favorite car matching his parents. As she descended the stairs she saw her mother-in-law, Her Serene Highness Marie Caroline. The older sophisticated woman wore her elegance like the designer dresses she was so known for. Her long silky grey hair was pulled back in an intricate tie, allowing the strands to cascade down her back. This morning she wore a vintage black Yves St. Laurent tailored designer suit and overcoat looking the epitome of the golden days of cinema.

They silently compiled into the backseat of the waiting Roadster, sitting in stillness except for the pitter patter of the rain and roar of the grass road.

“Frederick wouldn’t like it raining on his day,” Marie Caroline said, fixing her gloves over pale, aged hands. “I wish it would let up soon.”

Julianna stared out the window as the Roadster turned through the gate. She watched the drops hit the window in sheets. The castle, a remnant of the memories, slowly disappeared in the distance as they drove further and further away.

“It won’t,” Julianna said softly. “The weatherman said it’s supposed to continue all week.

“Unfortunate.”

The ladies fell into silence once again. The already dreary day felt even grimmer as soon as they pulled up to the family plot. Outside, the mortuary was already lined with flowers, pictures and mementos filling up less than a hundred feet. Guards of the palace were already in place holding up a line of people standing outside grieving for the passing of Prince Frederick of Welshire.

Camera flashes went off in succession as their car made its way behind the funeral procession. Julianna spotted the line of reporters ready to catch a glimpse of her. She would be ready for them, she told herself as she took a deep breath. She exhaled, feeling Marie Caroline’s hand on her arm.

Julianna turned to the older woman who warmed her with a smile. “Go with your heart, Julianna. These people are for you.”

The Roadster stopped and waited until the driver pulled the door open. Julianna slowly stepped out. Her high heels clicked against the cemented ground as she forced herself to her feet. An energy like no other immediately filled the area with the rush of voices. The strain of all of their eyes watching her nearly crippled her. She was used to this type of show. She had come to expect it even revel in it at times. As a girl she was like any other dreaming of what it would be like to be a princess. And here she was without her prince.




message 7: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
(cont'd)

Julianna kept her eyes ahead and forced herself to continue along the green grass. She was here to do a duty and follow through with it. Despite everything that had happened, she was the strength of a nation often anchoring Frederick whenever he needed it. Even now she could still feel his large warm hand over hers. His thin fingers intermingling with hers and the warm smile he shared to assure her everything was fine because they were together.

Julianna peered over at the blown up framed portrait of Frederick imagining he was standing there right next to her. She could still sense his presence surrounding her as if he never left. She could almost feel the silk of his hair between her fingers, the deep voice with a hint of a refined London accent off the tip of his tongue. His pictorial handsome smile touched her even then.

“What’s in your heart is what will be,” he always told her. No matter the desires she had, if she wanted it bad enough and if she put her mind to it, she would have it. Frederick was always the first to remind her. Right now she wanted him bad enough but she knew he would never be.

She could almost feel his breath on her ear once again. The soft touch of his hands on her skin. And the feel of his strong, lean chest as she listened to the soft beat of his heart. A heart that no longer could support his life.

She lowered her head to allow her tears to flow. Around her there were sniffles, cries and sobs, but there was nothing left within her anymore. Nothing at all to alleviate her release.

“He was such a good man.”

“He died too young.”

She knew the words would haunt her that evening.
The night would feel lonelier than ever before as she resisted going to bed, knowing the emptiness would likely swallow her whole. For now, she would take this time to say goodbye to the man who would always have her heart.



message 8: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Rae wrote: "Oh no prob, Danielle. :-)

Lol new user. I forgot about that movie. I would like to see that. The real life AA prince is Princess Angela of Liechtenstein who married Prince Max a few years ago.

..."



He's quite an inspiration. :)



message 9: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
That was really excellent and touching, Rae. Can't wait to read more.


message 10: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Rae, oh my! The princess lost her love. I know she will find new love.

This is a good story. Keep writing. :)


message 11: by new_user (new)

new_user That was beautiful, Rae. Wow. I do hope you continue.


message 12: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Thanks guys! Glad you liked it. I'll prob add the next part later this weekend.

Eugenia, you can definitely do it! I used to have trouble with it myself but I started thinking of it as sort of painting with words. Showing what the characters are feeling at that moment, maybe what their thinking and projecting through their expressions, which can be an extensive of your own POV and feelings as well.

I know I keep yapping about this particular author (but I LOVE her now) but Gabaldon has an awesome way of projecting what her characters are seeing and feeling. I'm learning a lot from the way she writes.


message 13: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
You all are going to make me want to write a chapter.


message 14: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL, Arch, that's what I was thinking. xD


message 15: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Yes, do it! Lol More goodies for us to read, hehe. :-)


message 16: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Go for it New_User, I am working on two stories now, well, I'm focusing more on His Bodyguard right now.

I still have to read Danielle's story, so yes, New_User, it's your turn.


message 17: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Go for it New_User, I am working on two stories now, well, I'm focusing more on His Bodyguard right now.

I still have to read Danielle's story, so yes, New_User, it's your turn.


message 18: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Rae wrote: "Thanks guys! Glad you liked it. I'll prob add the next part later this weekend.

Eugenia, you can definitely do it! I used to have trouble with it myself but I started thinking of it as sort of pai..."



Some authors really do paint pictures. I think you did this in your story. I am really bad about describing the environment in my stories. I tend to focus on the characters and what they are doing and feeling.



message 19: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
new_user wrote: "LOL, Arch, that's what I was thinking. xD"

You definitely need to write something, New_User. I would love to see your writing. You are so good at writing reviews.


message 20: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Arch wrote: "Go for it New_User, I am working on two stories now, well, I'm focusing more on His Bodyguard right now.

I still have to read Danielle's story, so yes, New_User, it's your turn."


Come on Arch. You can write a little for us. It's hard work but it's fun.




message 21: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
I am on page two to chapter two to His Bodyguard. I probably will write a few pages to a royal story. I will be working on three stories at once.

I'll post something, later on tonight or tomorrow. I'm having fun just reading.


message 22: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Arch wrote: "I am on page two to chapter two to His Bodyguard. I probably will write a few pages to a royal story. I will be working on three stories at once.

I'll post something, later on tonight or tomorr..."


Woo hoo! :-) Now we have two goodies from you to look forward to, Arch. Looking forward to reading your story too, new user.

Eugenia, that sounds great! Yeah, you guys are really good with the characterizations. I love how varied the stories are. Makes it fun to hop into different worlds. :-)




message 23: by new_user (last edited Mar 22, 2009 05:01PM) (new)

new_user Thanks, Danielle. I'm mulling it over. If I can come up with a good story idea, I'll give it a shot. :)

Eugenia, it's important to have a good balance and know when to use which. If it's mundane details, conciseness is important. Otherwise, revealing information through dialogue is a pretty sound talent and I think readers respond well to action versus exposition.


message 24: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I agree with New User. Your story has a vibrancy Eugenia through your skillful use of dialog. I look forward to reading your writing New User. Arch I am also looking forward to more stories by you.


message 25: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Oooh! I love your line of thinking, Eugenia! Not to mention that rockin' title. Woot! :-D


message 26: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
I do like the idea for the anthology, Eugenia. As a reader, I'd buy it!


message 27: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Rae is a publishing guru. What do you say?


message 28: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Let's go for it! I have a few places in mind we can try out. :-)


message 29: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Awesome. I just need to get my royal couple happily married off.


message 30: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Sounds great guys! And I have to figure out which guy my heroine is going with Lol.




message 31: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Music. The universal tongue. Andrew knew the power of sound since he was a child.

His left hand danced across the delicate strings, tapping and caressing the notes while his right ran the bow on a succession of powerful strokes. Each seat of the theatre was filled; top to bottom, side to side on each level. A full orchestra of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion filled the hall with a soundtrack that transported the listeners into another world, particular to each individual.

Even he was transferred, despite the music he produced from the carefully crafted string instrument. His body moved with the voice of the violin, but he had no control of his hands as he usually did when playing. Perhaps he was taken to a time back when the composer created the piece on a single sheet of vellum with a leaky ink tipped pen. His ink stained hands poured onto the paper in the form of notes, a story of what he was feeling for a love long forgotten; and perhaps lost within the pages of history.

For those few moments the world slipped away like a dream upon awakening.

Perhaps that’s what he would liken it to. A dream. It was the closest interpretation he could put into words to describe this feeling.

No matter how many times he played before a crowd, he always fell the strength of the room coursing through his veins. The energy of the music fueling him to pick up the strings and create a voice that told a story through song. Once he began, it was as if the Earth slipped away and he was flying on the wings of a song. It was a feeling he craved more and more.

As he took a final bow, he retreated to the back of the stage and took a breath.
The chorus of applause extended all the way to the backstage as he gathered himself among the well dressed stage hands and performers of the Philharmonic.

“Mr. Graham…”

Andrew turned at the sound of his name. A young intern with a mic attached to her ear and a green jewel toned evening gown draped over her thin frame handed him a towel with her free hand.

“Oh!” Gently he handed his violin to an older gentleman whom he didn’t notice had rushed to his side. “Thank you very much.”

Even after all the concerts he played at different venues, he couldn’t quite get used to being doted on. The quite nature of his disposition at times clashed with the need to come into the light of day and perform. Yet he always felt more than willing to accommodate his listeners.

“Thank you, Maurice,” he said to the older gentlemen.

Andrew patted his forehead with the towel and marveled as he realized how much perspiration he drew. Despite the mess he felt, the young assistant, Grace as he recalled her name just then, looked upon him with large doe eyes as her thin frail hands gripped the clipboard in her hand.

He flashed a warm smile as he handed the towel back to her. “I’ll never get used to the lights, I’m sure.”

“I’d be shocked myself going out there in front of all those people. I don’t know how you do it.”

He turned to the closed curtain and listened to the shuffling of instruments and the orchestra as they prepared for the next set. “I don’t know either.” He couldn’t remember standing out there moments ago. It was as if time had vanished in between his disappearance and reappearance behind the curtain.

After a moment of silence, Grace finally shifted and smiled nervously. “Well, I’ll go get you a glass of water before you start your next set.”

“I appreciate that.” Andrew couldn’t help watching her put an extra sway in her step as she walked off to get the glass. Her thin body slinked back and forth swishing the green grown she wore. A juxtaposition of sorts, he surmised. It had been a long time since he acknowledged the attention from a woman. He was told he was handsome with a boyish face despite his approaching forty years of age with a sandy brown mane of soft, silky hair to frame his features. But there hadn’t been anyone to take his heart since he lost his childhood sweetheart long ago. No one seemed to fill the voice and nothing brought that feeling back more than whenever he stepped out to play a set of classical pieces. He wasn’t himself anymore and he wasn’t of this time. The music was an escape that allowed him to free himself and for that he would forever hold on to it.

He pushed the thoughts aside as he gratefully received the glass to wet his parched throat.

“Are you ready to go back out?” Grace asked, her blue eyes sparkling.

“Always,” Andrew said, flashing her a warm smile. He handed her the empty glass and turned to take hold of his violin. He felt the familiar rise of his blood pumping as the crowd gave applause amidst the orchestra tuning their instruments.

Andrew took a deep breath and waited for the applause to even out before he continued toward the stage once again.

(End of Chap 1)


message 32: by new_user (new)

new_user Nicely done, Rae! He sounds like a sweet guy. :)


message 33: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Thanks new user! :-)


message 34: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
That was so beautifully written. You have such a wonderful, lyrical voice. I agree with New User. Andrew seems like a real sweetie. I love all the description. I feel like I'm there. Reminds me of when we used to warm up for concerts in band.


message 35: by new_user (new)

new_user What did you play, Danielle? :)


message 36: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
The clarinet, really poorly. I also learned the guitar. I wish I hadn't given up on playing. I love music very much.


message 37: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Thanks guys! I really wanted to get the feel of music down but sometimes it's difficult because the pieces affect everyone differently. But I thought I'd shoot for a POV here that sorta feels universal.

Danielle, that's awesome! I so want to learn the guitar but it's slow going. I love the way it sounds though. I used to play the flute myself but that was in the dark ages lol.

I wish they had continued music programs for adults. That's one thing they should really keep pushing forward. It's hard to pick it up later (as I'm learning now). :-(


message 38: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Another nice chapter Rae.

One of my favorite all time movies is Better Off Dead.

"I want my two dollars."

"Two dollars."

"I still want my two dollars."

In the movie, John Cusacks characters plays the saxophone. I love that part.

Will we be seeing the hero play the violin for the heorine on a romantic date?




message 39: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. I used to play trumpet, but I didn't like it very much. I wanted to play something like the clarinet, LOL.


message 40: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
That's funny, New_User. I wanted to play the flute but they said I wasn't right for it. I wish my school had orchestra. I think I was meant for the piano or something. LOL. :)


message 41: by Danielle The Book Huntress , Sees Love in All Colors (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress  (gatadelafuente) | 7314 comments Mod
Arch, Better Off Dead is one of my favorites too. I was majorly (still am) crushing on John Cusack. He's still looking mighty fine. I was watching Must Love Dogs on Sunday.


message 42: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
They don't make movies like they did back in the day.


message 43: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Ooh! John Cusack is classic. :-D

Arch, that's a good idea. I may just have to have a scene like that hehe.

I agree, they sure don't make em like they used to.


message 44: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Yes, Rae. Have a scene like that. You can even have the burgers too.


message 45: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Lol sounds good.


message 46: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
I use to own have Better Off Dead on tape. I need to get that movie again. Hopefully, record it again.


message 47: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Chapter 2

March 31st

I’m quite proud of myself. I finally finished packing without shedding a single tear. I thought I was finally ready to move on and return home but the idea of it only brought memories of how we met at Times Square during a botched meeting of schedules. I never believed in love at first sight, but like many things I had come to learn over the years, you brought my belief to the forefront. For that and so many things, I thank you and will be forever thankful. To you, my love. May sunlight shine upon your lovely face, especially in heaven.

Your love,

Julianna


“Leaving?” Tiana, Frederick’s sister, stared back at Julianna with wide blue eyes. She immediately dropped her butter topped muffin on the clean white porcelain plate before her. Gently she shook her head side to side. “Surely, you mean on holiday?”

Julianna cleared her throat and smoothed the invisible wrinkles of her grey suit. She peered down at the untouched breakfast just before her of eggs, muffin and pastries. Her tea was already cold and she found herself missing the heat vapors that once curled from the liquid.

“Not a holiday,” she said, her voice thin. “I think it’d be best if I return home to New York. Maybe just pick up design once again. I thought about trying my hand at painting. I always beat myself up over every stroke I messed up.” She chuckled a little perhaps out of nervous more than anything. “Frederick said it was beautiful because my heart was in it and that’s what mattered.”


Tiana shifted nervously in her chair and pushed back a stray blonde strand behind her ear. Her gaze remained on Julianna as she leaned in and placed her pale hand over her dark hand. Julianna smiled at the contrast and thought of how warm Tiana was to her despite Julianna being of a different race and background than that of Frederick’s noble upbringing. She was just an artist from America, ab African-American woman, and he was a European royal with a family that reached back for centuries. Her new parents in law were surprised when they meat, she could tell from their faces but soon they gave her a warm reception and a beautiful wedding she would never forget.

“Have you spoken to mother about it?” Tiana asked.

“Not yet, but I believe she already senses it.”

“You are family, Julianna. You’ve been family since you married Frederick and you will be forever. Besides, Adrianna would never forgive me for letting her Godmother move away.”

Julianna smiled at the sound of her Goddaughter’s name. “How is my little angel?”

“Well. She’s with the nanny for the time being but will be back in a few hours. She will miss you, you know.”

“Of course. But I don’t really belong here. Not anymore.” Julianna looked around the bright green grass lawn that decorated the large backyard behind the castle. The area flitted into the large backwoods with tall trees that served as a course for tennis, badminton and croquet among other sports.

“Well, you know I won’t stop you but I do hope you will stay long enough for the concert. The philharmonic is holding an end of the year concert with special guest violinist Andrew Graham.”

Julianna tried to ignore the sour feeling at the pit of her stomach. “Without Frederick, it would feel strange.”

“He wouldn’t want you to put your life on hold for him.”

“Tiana…”

“I know my brother.”

Tiana’s firm voice was final. Reluctantly, Julianna nodded and gave in.

“I guess we’ll have to find something to wear.”

“Already done.”


Julianna ran a list of preparations to start on her trip back home. It would be a nice change of scenery and she could pick up some of her continued studies. Perhaps teach a bit. She began to think about the things she would need to finalize in Welshire when she stopped in her room. A large clothing box sat across the clean white sheets, one she was sure wasn’t there when she left.

“Well, who could’ve—” Her words trailed into the air as she went to pick it up. The box was light in her hands and she shook it a little to hear slight ruffling inside. Finally she placed it down and dug in. Inside she found a dark red jeweled gown that fell off the shoulder with a thin matching shroud to go with it. It was a traditional evening gown that contrasted against her milk chocolate skin like fire upon dark velvet. It was like a ballgown that fit in the tradition of the royal family. Tonight was the first time in awhile she felt like a true princess of the royal court of Welshire.


A limo waited downstairs when Julianna met her family. Frederick DiMarco Sr. escorted Marie Caroline as she held onto his arm and they walked with their heads held high like a true king and queen of their country. Tiana was escorted by her husband, Baron Anthony Freeman and at the front door, Frederick’s older brother Phillip looked up at Juliene with a smile on his handsome face. Like the other men in his family, he wore a dark tuxedo with a crisp white shirt and matching scarf and gloves. He held out his arm and she was relieved to feel his strong muscles hold her up.

“I couldn’t let my sister-in-law visit the symphony without an escort,” he said smiling widely.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this, Phillip,” Julianna said taking his arm.

“Frederick would have my hide if I didn’t offer.” He chuckled softly. In a moment he sobered. His blue eyes clear and his thin lines formed a straight line. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to speak with you about. Tiana told me about you returning to New York. I think we’d all like you to stay but it is your choice after all."

Julianna smiled. “Thank you, Phillip. It’s still something I’m weighing my options over.”

“Good,” he stood a little straighter. “I just want you to know that we will always be here for you. And if you need anything, I’m always here.”

Julianna opened her mouth to speak although she wasn’t sure what to say. The gleam in his eyes and the soft boyish gaze reminded her so much of Frederick. A sting went to her heart and she was thankful when he placed his hand over hers.

“Shall we?” He led her to their limo and helped her climb in.


message 48: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (last edited Mar 25, 2009 10:56PM) (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
(cont'd)

Julianna was thankful for the constant chatter about the symphony’s visit. She lost herself in thought as she watched the bright yellow lights against the dark velvet sky passing along the streets of the city. The area was abuzz with cars rushing toward the downtown streets where the symphony hall was located. Although their country was quite small, tucked in the mainlands of Europe, it was a prosperous, wealthy country that had its share of great artists from inland and visiting around the world.

Julianna had to admit, she would miss Welshire if she were to leave. New York was a sprawling, wide, ambitious, boisterous city compared to her new home. Yet it was very much alive with her love of art. It had always been home, but even the Big Apple had to battle with her love of Europe.

“Ah, here we are.” Marie Caroline’s voice brought her back to the present as the limo turned to the back entrance to avoid the flashing cameras.

Julianna felt her nerves spring to life once she realized the amount of cameras, newshounds and media that would be circling the area. She and Frederick were never one to be in the public eye for long although it was necessary.

“Don’t worry, dear.” She looked up into Marie Caroline’s aged eyes that assured with warmth. “We’ll all be here together.”

She held onto Phillip’s arm, perhaps a little harder than she had wished. The family was escorted to the top balcony where their seating sat high above the symphony hall. No matter how many times she visited it, the hall always made her catch her breath. The deep red curtains matched the chocolate browns, deep mocha and silver trimmings and dark purple ribbons folded along the stage. A seat of applause welcomed the royal family of Welshire as they took their seats high over the orchestra.

* * *


message 49: by CaliGirlRae, Mod Squad (new)

CaliGirlRae (rae_l) | 2005 comments Mod
Arch wrote: "I use to own have Better Off Dead on tape. I need to get that movie again. Hopefully, record it again."

I'm going to have to check that one out when I next have a Cusack marathon. :-)


message 50: by Arch , Mod (new)

Arch  | 6626 comments Mod
Yes, please do.


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