the game.

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i woke up, still wrapped in charlie's arms. normally, i couldn't sleep if someone was even in the same bed as me, but when i was with charlie, it just felt right. he was still sleeping when i woke up. i kissed his jawline and he groggily opened his eyes.

"now, if peter woke me up like that, i'd be a happier person," he smiled.

i giggled. "you have an engagement event in three hours. you need to get up."

he hugged me tighter to him with his eyes closed. "noooo," he whined, "i want to stay heeeere."

"what if i gave you a little... encouragement," i smirked.

"what does that mean?" he asked with his devilish smile.

we were both still naked. i slid down underneath the covers. "nora," he groaned, "you're seriously going to kill- oh shit!" he exclaimed as i began sucking. his hands flew under the covers and tangled in my hair, guiding me how he wanted me to move. he removed one arm and tucked it behind his head. i licked up and down his shaft, paying special attention to his tip. he moaned, "oh fuck."

just then there was a knock at the door. i froze and started to shuffle out of the bed. charlie lifted the covers up, and motioned to me to stay still and stay under the covers.

"come in," he said, in his forceful, deep voice.

"your highness," i heard peter's voice say. "oh, i'm so sorry."

"no, it's alright, leftover from last night. what's up?" charlie asked.

i could tell peter was standing off to the side of the bed. "uh, i just came in to fill you in on today's events."

"do you have an itinerary?" charlie asked, and i assume peter nodded, because then i heard charlie say, "just leave it on my desk. i'll meet you in the offices once i'm, uh, done here."

i heard the door shut, and i threw the covers off of me. "that was close," i laughed.

charlie ran his fingers through my hair. "alright, i need to get ready. i'll see you at the game." he kissed me and then rolled off the bed.

* * *

my dress was insanely wrinkled. i had to put it back on to get from charlie's room to arabella's. the door was unlocked this time.

"where have you been all night?" she laughed.

i looked over. she was lying in her bed, naked, only covered by her sheet.  she was scrolling through something on her phone.  "doesn't matter," i said coilly.

arabella rolled her eyes. "royal news daily posted their top 10 candidates for princess."

"and?" i said, gathering up clothes to change into.

"you, my darling," she smirked, "are number seven."

my eyes widened as i dropped the clothes i had piled in my hands.  "i made the list?" i shrieked.

arabella nodded and i ran to jump onto the bed next to her.  "let me see that!" i exclaimed and then i began reading, "nora groves has been a friend of the royal family for over fifteen years now.  she is unarguably prince dominick's right hand gal, but does that just make for a stronger relationship between she and prince charles?  groves sat down with our team the night of the ball, and was very tight lipped about the goings-on of the castle, but was very well versed on on-going politics.  she's gorgeous, smart, and a political science major with a minor in education at king's university, and one of our top choices for princess."

i laughed.  "basically, kaci chin put that in there as either a favor to me for the interview or as a joke for everyone we went to school with."

we were both silent for a moment, and then arabella quietly said, "would you marry my brother?"

i thought for a little bit.  "i don't know," i squeaked out, "i don't think i could do that to d.j.  he doesn't even know what's been going on."

arabella squeezed my hand.  "no one knows about shawn either."

"yeah, but you wouldn't lose a friendship over that," i breathed.

she looked down, "but i could lose my family again."

* * *

"alright and here it is! the second to last engagement event of the weekend!" chad squawked into the camera as he stood on the pitcher's mound.  "tonight, prince charles will sit and watch from right there behind home plate with his friends and family as the senate's top twenty choices for princess battle it out in Old America's favorite past time."

the stands were packed.  arabella and i stood in line for beers and snacks, with the royal guard tightly around us.  "have you ever seen tighter spandex on anyone than the girl who is warming up in center field?" arabella whispered to me.

i rolled my eyes, "no, and thank god i'm only a substitute for this game.  i'm way too competitive for this froo-froo oh-no-prince-charles-look-at-me-i-broke-a-nail shit."

arabella and the guard to my right, wesley, chuckled.  shawn from legal, dressed in full guard gear, stood to arabella's left.  he had volunteered for guard duty, mainly so he could spend time with arabella.  i could already tell the three of us would be sneaking off to the bathroom under the stands so those two could have "private time."

as we settled back in our seats, chad was back on the mound with the king and queen to one side and franco del monte, isabel's favorite pop star from her teenage years, to the other.  chad was no longer hosting his show, but instead, addressed the crowd as our emcee for the day.

he went over the rules of the game.  they were playing by elementary school softball rules.  only underhand pitches, two-handed tag-outs, and, in a pathetic show of "everyone gets a shot," on the chance of a third strike, the girls got to use the tee.

d.j. and i sat, his arm across the back of my chair, snickering about all of the bimbos out on the field.  first up to bat was jana lowenstein, whom d.j. and i had gone to school with, she was a sweet, sweet girl, but dumber than a box of rocks.  she hadn't been at the ball, because she was working hard to become a big movie star.

the teams were simple, the home team were girls who had been fully involved in all of the engagement events, they showed effort in being involved with the royal family.  the second team were girls who were busy with other things, but would make for a good princess on paper.  they were on their way to becoming doctors, lawyers, psychologists and on and on.  

jana hit a ball that barely lobbed to the pitcher's mound.  the play was a sore sight, between that ended up in a double.  it took a couple minutes before the announcer called out the name of the next batter.  "next up... twenty-three year-old, courtney groves."

"what the fuck," d.j. and arabella said in unison.

isabel shot them both a deadly look.  "is that... is that my sister?" i said, shell-shocked.

"yup," d.j. said, just as surprised.

i looked down to isabel and king dominick.  "did you guys know about this?"

courtney was a brainiac, she was gorgeous, she was artistic, but she was droll and boring. she was a researcher for the psychology department at stanford university, and the light of my parents' life.  king dominick shrugged.  "fuck it," i huffed, "i'm going in."

i sat my beer down at my feet and pushed my hat down on my head.  over my dead body would i let my overly-perfect sister show me up in sports.  especially in front of charlie.

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