t h i r t e e n | When You Forget To Hate Me

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t h i r t e e n | When You Forget To Hate Me

The evening went by smoothly without a hitch.

That is, except for at the end, until we were heading back to the car.

Alexander walked on ahead out the entrance as I paused inside to fetch my wrap before doing the same.

"Have a good night, miss," a different man by the coat room than the one before handed me what I was there for without any guidance on which was one was mine among the entire room full of wraps, shawls and coats.

Instead of wondering at that, I thanked him and wished him the same.

The night had almost seemed to soothe a need for interaction that had built up in me. The Marsdens had been lovely. Alexander had been civil. Okay, no, he'd actually been very nice. What more could I ask for?

I walked out the entrance, smiling to myself as I soaked in the feeling of having had a good day.

And gasped when I suddenly impacted with an ambush of a hundred flashing lights and people shouting phrases.

"The King has missed a couple of benefits last month. Just how sick is he?"

"Is it true? Are you the princess next in line for the throne of Bellewynn?"

"What's the King's stand on recent acquisitions of the Central Union?"

There was a multitude of questions hurled at me and I could only make out some of them among the yelling and sounds of the camera-clicking. It was loud enough that I was sure I couldn't possibly think to myself in the middle of the chaos. To top that off, I couldn't see a thing past the blinding flashes of the cameras everywhere around me, and it was immediate sensory overload as I tried to cling to something for my mind to focus on.

I decided to try lower my gaze to the ground along with a hand in front of my eyes as a shield. It didn't do anything for the yelling, but at least my eyes adjusted to the sight. Narrowing in on the feet of the huddle around me, I realized I was well and truly surrounded by a swarm of people. How was I supposed to get out of this?

Bernice had trained me how the handle the media but this? This wasn't the media. And I certainly wasn't prepared.

Which meant I had to think fast, and I was pretty sure that wasn't going to be easy.

Thankfully, I didn't have to.

I heard some sort commotion in the crowd—a disturbance among the chaos as the people in front began to protest—but deemed it best to keep still with my eyes aimed below where I could at least see.

And then spotted a set of feet with shoes I could've sworn I'd seen tonight, now making their way to me.

A very pissed "Fuck off or I'll make you, yeah?" snapped at someone nearby in a familiar voice.

A firm grip on the wrist I was holding up and a familiar presence beside me.


It was Alexander.

His hand tugged my wrist to get us moving. He walked right ahead of me, almost like he was blocking me, and I understood what he was doing, obstructing the cameras.

Oh, thank God he was here.

"You've the right idea," he muttered near my ear. "Keep looking away till we get to the car."

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