R E S I L I E N T
(adj.) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
"SHIT, MAN I'm so relieved you guys are alright," Olivia shamelessly enveloped Bleu and Paris in a hug. "We've tried calling and messaging you guys and all we've been getting are these vague-ass answers that are lame as hell. Explain." She frowned.
"Yeah," Owen crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Why is Paris staying here? And what-"
"Pardon," Kael's lover interrupted by walking in to grab her phone that she had forgotten at the lobby area where the teens were gathered. "Lunch is ready."
Both twins and small asian girl gawked. Natasja, unaware of the attention she was drawing in her yoga pants and muscle tee, simply took another bite of the cucumber in her hand while checking her phone. She didn't seem to have noticed the newcomers; she was so engrossed in something on her sleek device. She then practically sashayed back into the dining room, and soon they could hear her volunteering to help Rosa (their maid) with setting up.
"Good god," Paris laughed slighty at the unhinged jaw of her three friends. "You've never seen another human being before?"
"That's a human being?" Brooke fanned herself. "I was thinking something more along the lines of goddess."
The twins numbly nodded, extending their hands for Brooke to high-five lamely while still staring after the gorgeous tall redhead.
"Now about that explanation..." Olivia was the first to break from their stare to look at Bleu.
"Let's talk after lunch," Bleu smiled, somewhat nervously. She wasn't sure if she would want to tell the truth to her friends, so she was going to let Paris take this one.
"No," Owen held up his hands. "You've been avoiding for too long. We want the full explanation now. There's something weird going on, and we can all sense it."
Olivia agreed with her brother. "You can trust us, you know. Whatever you have to say, we can keep it a secret."
Bleu shook her head. "No, seriously -"
"She's right. It's not fair to keep them waiting longer," Paris gently placed a hand on Bleu's arm to still her. "I'll tell Mrs. Ivy we'll be having our lunch later. I'll explain everything downstairs now." Paris took a deep breath and Bleu just about smacked her forehead.
She sighed. She didn't know who to trust anymore at this point. Then almost immediately she felt a slight guilt for not trusting their friends.
"Come on, then," Bleu waved them towards the elevator. "To the gaming room."
"Right, the elevator," Olivia raised a brow. "I forgot how rich Bleu Ivy was."
"Um, excuse me?" Brooke raised her hand tentatively like a pre-schooler asking a question. "I get the explaining part, but we're not totally skipping lunch, right? They'll bring some food downstairs...?"
"All you think about is food," Owen poked her ribs. "No wonder you're gaining weight."
"I will eat you if you don't shut up, Andrews." Brooke hissed, and Owen quickly went behind his sister.
"Angry asians are the worst."
"Pfft," Olivia flipped her hair. "Nothing scares me. I'm the queen of calm."
"YOU'RE A PRINCESS?! Wait a minute, If you're a princess, why don't you just announce that you're alive to the people now rather than wait for your 18th birthday and get killed or something before then?" Olivia was rambling, pacing the floor and running her hands through her hair, shock still evident in her features after Paris' quick confession.
Even knowing that their friends would never tell another soul of something like this, Bleu and Paris made them swear not to anyway (they even bribed the twins with chocolate just to be sure) they reacted a lot differently than how Bleu's parents did. I guess it's true that adults are more level-headed about things like these. Teens are just plain drama queens.
"Because, Olivia, this entire time I've been afraid of what my uncle would do to me. And now another problem would be getting the people of Monaco to believe that I'm their princess." Paris laid back against the couch. "I can't just walk up and be like, 'Hey guys by the way I'm the princess you thought had died eighteen years ago and I'm here to rule again!'" She mocked herself whilst burying her face in her hands. "I never wanted this. But I have a duty to my parents. Shit, I just don't know what to do anymore."
"So what happens when you turn eighteen? Is it any different?" a wide-eyed Brooke had a bag of chips and was eating away. The twins looked at her with slight disgust. Junk foods were never their thing. "God, I can't believe I'm actually buying this story."
"Whether you choose to believe me or not, it's true," Paris said. "And as for your question, I honestly have no idea what the heck I'm doing. We don't have a plan except stay alive and my turning 18 isn't even going to gaurantee that."
"You mean you might die?!" Olivia almost screamed.
"No, she won't," Kael locked the door behind her, with Natasja by her side. Her lover held a tray of their lunch balanced on her hands as she stood by, her face calm.
"Oh, by the way, guys, this is Kael and Natasja. Kael and Natasha, this is Olivia, Owen, and Brooke." Bleu made the introductions as she moved to help Natasja place the tray on the table. "You didn't have to bring this down, Natasja. That's why we have Rosa or Hargrove."
The redhead shook her head. "Kael and I insist on coming down." She smiled at her girlfriend then, nodding for her to continue.
"What do you mean by that?" Paris' brows were furrowed as she kept her focus on her bodyguard.
"I got a sample of your parents' DNA from the palace before I left to protect you," Kael sat down on one of the sofa chairs. Again, their friends tried not to be obvious when staring, but they couldn't help but ogle the two beautiful newcomers. "And I sent yours to be analyzed with theirs at a lab in Monaco that I can trust. Once the results come out, the media would eat it up. Who wouldn't believe you to be the princess?"
"Oh," Paris sat back. "That's it?"
"Yeah pretty much," Kael smiled. "That's why I told you not to worry. You're safe and things will work out. Your uncle will be put behind bars for the murder of your adoptive parents."
"Adoptive?" Brooke choked on a chip. "Oh wait, nevermind. I totally forgot your real parents were royalty." On eithe side of her, the twins rolled their blue orbs. Brooke had terrible timing for her dumb moments.
"Is there anything we can do to help?" They asked, all concerned and even a bit panicky about their friends' well-being. They were inwardly excited as well, now knowing that their best friend was actually a princess.
"Yes," Kael replied. "I trust Paris' judgement of telling you about all this. Her trust is not easily given. Remember to be quiet about this until it is released in the media. Until we know the results, Paris' uncle will stop at nothing to get to her."
"Why is he so obsessed with Monaco?" Brooke was flabbergasted. "It has a population of about 38,000 people. It's tiny. No offense, Par." Brooke was the only student in the history of their school that perfected the World History exam.
"Ah," Natasja replied in her usual sexy voice. "There has been recent findings of oil there. It could be worth billions of euros."
Their eyes widened.
"Well, that would explain why he wants Paris off the throne," Brooke concluded. "He wants to open a fried chicken restaurant."
They all looked at her blankly.
"You know? Because of all the oil...?" Brooke trailed off, complete confusion clouding her features. "Wait- OH. OHHH ok I get it now. Nevermind. Ignore me."
As they talked even further about the situation, Bleu quietly led Owen away by his arm, talking to him in private.
"How's Dean doing?" she swallowed as she waited for his response. "Is he ok? Did he really... die?"
Owen hung his head. "His family took his body back to be buried. They went back to their own country. We don't know if they're still coming back."
Bleu nodded, choking back tears and accepting it. She knew how family-oriented his family was, and how much they loved their country. It didn't surprise her that they'd fly back to bury their son. There was a lot of blood. No one could survive that. A needle poked at her chest at the fact that she hadn't had the time to apologize or thank him for being there for her even as a friend. She tried to shake it off. Now is not the time to grieve.
They walked back to the group and Paris' eyebrow raised in question at their absence. Bleu smiled at her in reassurance, then blushed profusely when she realized they had placed the tray of food on the pool table where both she and Paris did it.
She was so glad her dad had this gaming room sound-proofed. Whatever happens down here couldn't be heard upstairs and vice versa. They could make all the noise in the world and it wouldn't be heard. Maybe I should ask Hargrove to set up a bed here.
She shook her head, pinching herself.
Bleu! Now is not the time to be thinking about that either!
A few hours later, the teens hadn't eaten much. A lot occupied their minds, and they poked their food in silence or talked about old times. The twins asked a lot about the Academy and their physical training there while Brooke caught up with Paris and Bleu.
"So..." Brooke sidled up next to Bleu on the couch. "You and Paris, huh?" She wiggled her eyebrows.
"What? No." Bleu nudged her.
"Hmm. Girl, don't even lie to me I saw the way you look at her. She'd do these sexy droopy eye thing at you and you'd bite your lip. You're practically undressing her right now."
"God, Brooke just shut up already," Bleu laughed and it felt nice. "Yes, I admit there's something between us. But honestly I'm trying to just focus. Can you believe we even made out once while in a hurry to go the hospital for Kael? She's a freaking distraction."
Brooke's beautiful slanted eyes widened (as far as they would go, anyway), "You've kissed her already?"
"You have no idea," Bleu muttered while taking a sip of her iced tea. She watched Paris laugh at something Olivia said while Owen played at the playstation area. Natasja and Kael were at the bar, drinking but keeping an eye on them the whole time. It relieved Bleu that despite how strange and life-threatening the situation is, they had the time to just be friends. Even if it's just for a while. Everything felt normal right now, and Bleu so desperately wanted it to be like this always.
She appreciated that her friends were so understanding. Now that they knew of the truth, they somewhat ignored it to ease both of the girls' minds from the matter. They didn't mention it much in their conversations, instead reminiscing their childhood memories or joking about things.
But she knew that once their friends left, it was all going to come crashing back down.
Too soon, night had fallen and they all said their goodbyes to the Ivys and the rest. As usual, Natasja and Kael stood at the side, calm but alert in stance and mind. They smiled beautifully and sweetly at the girls' dear friends, making them swoon.
"Tschüss." Kael said in german.
"Au revoir." Natasja husked in french, adding to the dramatic effect.
Brooke and Owen internally gushed and melted.
"Can I order a hot bodyguard from the Academy too?" Owen whispered in Paris' ear when they hugged. She laughed easily and slapped his arm.
"I know right?" Olivia agreed. "But I love this idiot."
"And we love you guys," Brooke smiled, hugging Paris and Bleu. "Always remember that we're always here for you, ok? Nothing you do will ever stop us from being friends."
Paris' breath caught in her throat at her friend's proclamation. She choked back tears at how much the words meant for her. Right beside her, Bleu was feeling the exact same thing.
Then they waved their goodbyes and got into Brooke's car, driving away.
"À la prochaine," The princess whispered as the car disappeared behind the gates. Until next time.
That night, as they got ready for bed, Paris let a few teardrops fall. Bleu noticed, and let the brunette have her peace. Spending time with their friends meant so much more to them than meets the eye. They had no idea when they would see them next, now that they knew Paris' place on the throne was worth billions. People would kill for that kind of money. Literally.
So no matter how calm Kael wanted them to stay, there is still that inevitable fact that a psycho murderer is on the loose and has his target on Paris and quite possibly Bleu.
Paris sat on the bed after changing into an oversized t-shirt, softly sniffling. Her tears soon accumulated, until her grey shirt had turned dark and more sniffles could be heard. Bleu sighed, walking to her. She too, was dressed in just her underwear and an oversized shirt, so her bare skin brushed against the brunette's when she stood between her legs.
When she cradled Paris' head against her chest, the brunette let out her tears freely, clutching at Bleu. The blonde didn't say a word, and the sound of Paris' soft sobs in the still silence held a grip on her heart. She was overwhelmed with the need to comfort. She tilted her head and softly brought her lips against her own, tasting her tears.
"We're gonna be ok," she said against her lips. "We'll get through this."
"What if we don't?"
"We will. We've found our will to fight just a few moments ago." She kissed her nose, her tear-stained cheeks, her eyebrows, and her eyelids. "No matter what that bastard throws at us, we'll get through it."
She looked down at Paris, and her soft smile just about formed a sun in Bleu's head. It brightened her.
She lowered Paris on the bed, making her shirt slide up in the process and revealing Paris' lacy panties and button ring. She softly kissed her navel, then her belly button ring. She slowly peppered open-mouthed kisses up Paris' lean body, sliding her shirt up as she did so she could reach the bare skin. When she got to her chest area, she stopped and moved her head to kiss Paris on the lips deeply.
Then she pulled away to get the blanket over them both, enclosing Paris in her arms and laying her head down to sleep.
"You're not gonna... Uh..."
With her eyes still closed, Bleu softly kissed Paris' arm. "Nah. Let's just sleep tonight. You're emotionally tired."
"Ok," Paris laughed softly. "You owe me, though."
Bleu couldn't help blushing.
They dozed off then.
However, in just what seemed like moments, the door opened and a tall figure quietly rushed to their bedside, nudging the two girls awake.
"Get up," she whispered in a rush. "Get dressed and meet Natasja downstairs quickly."
"What? What's going on?" Bleu was wide awake now, the urgency in Kael's voice could do that. She checked her bedside digital clock; 3:05 am. Why do they keep getting woken up?!
"Your house is surrounded. They killed your father's security outside. We have to go, now."
Bleu's heart quickened. Oh, god.
"Where are we going?" Paris asked while quickly putting on her clothes.
"You Americans say, 'You can't get fired if you quit first', yes?" Kael unholstered her handgun from her belt, making both girls gulp. "Well, you can't get caught unless you go to them first." Kael led both girls out and down the stairs.
Bleu stopped, Kael's last sentence ringing in her ears.
"What are you doing? Come on!" Paris tugged on her.
"ARE YOU INSANE?!"