Chapter Four.

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Three days passed agonizingly slow.

Mom, Dad, and Pedro were constantly busy going over arrangements and giving me trivia that should help prepare me for this world. I tried to be interactive with them and get excited, but with Dalton always pouting in the corner, it was impossible to do.

I rolled out of bed on the night of my departure, a mix of straight up fear and crazy hyped anticipation pumping through my veins.

That's a strange thought.

Blood pumping through my veins.

Could be by the end of this summer that I will have found a place to fit in and I would have nothing pumping through me anymore. I could be just like the rest of my family.

I go to take a quick shower, not trying to look too hard at my bags and suitcases all stacked at the foot of my bed and my travel clothes laid out on top of my dresser on my way to the bathroom.

When I'm done, teeth brushed, hair brushed out but then carelessly thrown up into a messy bun, and a little eyeliner I dress quickly. I decide since I am supposed to be incognito anyway, it didn't much matter what I wore, so I go for comfort since I'll be flying all night. I pull on my old Cubs sweatshirt over my Braves T-shirt with the bleach stains, pair it with my blue jean cut off shorts, knee high red socks and my black Chucks.

I stop in front of my full length mirror and sigh deeply.

I certainly don't look like a princess, which I guess is good since no one is supposed to know anyway. I frown, butterflies with sharp edged wings batting around in my stomach.

Am I really even ready for this?

Maybe mom was right. Maybe I need to take some time to process the whole thing before I just up and run off to a place I've never been, with thousands of people I don't even know, without my family. I mean, Pedro is family, but I imagine he's pretty busy what with being the King and all.

I almost let my fear talk me out of it entirely, but then I look at the little carved rose necklace hanging around my neck that my dad got me for my first birthday we spent together. He had one made just like it for my mom before I was even born. I turn it over in my fingers and count to ten. I am my mother's daughter. I can do this.

"I can do this." I chant to myself like a little mantra to build my confidence back up. "You've got this."

My door pushes open and I nearly jump out of my skin when Dalton walks into my room, not knocking or announcing himself.

"If it takes that much work to convince yourself then maybe you actually can't do this." He mutters under his breath, leaning in my doorframe.

I know he is trying to be an ass, but he just gave me the final push I needed. Nothing makes me want to do something like having a person tell me I can't. I put on my brave face and told my head and heart to get in line.

"What do you want?" I roll my eyes. It's the first time we've spoken at all since our little tiff in the barn.

He only crosses his arms, my eyes annoyingly take in the sight of his bare arms and the tattoo across his bicep. I squint, trying to read it, but its in some other language.

He clears his throat, pulling the sleeve of his fitted black T down to cover the writing.

"Unless you've studied up on your Latin all these years while you've been here living the high life in hiding, I don't think you'll get what it means."

I narrow my eyes at him, a strong urge to punch him growing bigger and bigger every second I'm alone with him. "Whatever." I huff, going to grab my bags. I sling the first duffle bag over one shoulder, and then another one on the other. When I bend down to pull up the handle on my larger suitcase, the straps of both of my duffles slide down and the bags hit the ground again.

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