Entitled Love

Submitted into Contest #16 in response to: Write a rags-to-riches story.... view prompt

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“Shit, shit, shit!” Lucy screamed, as she ran through the crowd gathered on the subway platform. At nineteen, Lucy’s idea of cardio was running from one job to another. In typical fashion, she was late for her evening shift at the local coffee shop and her boss, Dameon, was the present day Oscar the Grouch. Her brow was covered in sweat and her backpack squeezed her shoulders together as it bounced when she ran. Her books weighed a ton, not to mention cost a ton as well. No one ever said pre law was easy. 

She made to her job only five minutes late, which was a new record for her. She barrelled through the staff room, hung up her things and wrapped on the burgundy apron before she moved to the counter. Sure enough, the devil stood there with his hands on his hips and his usual scowl prominent on his face. 

“You’re late, again” he said.

She took a deep breathe before she responded. She needed this job, it helped pay for her dump of an apartment. She wasn’t above begging for forgiveness, but Dameon had been looking for a reason to cut her loose for a while. She tied her brown hair in a ponytail and fixed her black rimmed glasses on her nose. 

“I know, but it honestly wasn’t my fault. The subway was behind and I ran all the way,” she argued. 

Dameon raised his hand to stop her from her rant, “Lucy, I’m placing you on probation. Another late shift and I will be forced to terminate you. I’m trying to run a business and I need reliable staff to do that.”

She knew that she had been walking a thin line over the past couple months with Dameon, but she tried to see the positive of the situation. Probations meant that she still had a job, right? She had no grounds to argue so she simply nodded her head and moved behind the counter, where her BFF, Jane, was busy making a completed latte for the pretentious house wife who came in everyday at four fifteen. She always complained and they had to make her drink several times before she was satisfied. 

“You look like you ran a marathon,” she sniffed her as she passed, “and you smell like a boys locker room.” Yeah, she could always count on Jane to be honest to the point of rudeness. 

Lucy sighed and took over at the cash. The shop was busy for most of the evening and when she and Jane were preparing to close, a man in a long black wool coat, with the collar flipped to block the wind from his face, arrived. He was middle aged and had think hair cut short with some flecks of silver mixed with the dark brown. 

“What can I get you?” She asked. 

The man stood there for a moment and looked her up and down. The silence and the creepy look made her uncomfortable. 

“Are you Lucy Patton?” He asked, with a ice cold expression on his face. He had an accent, and she didn’t know if he was English or Iris or something she hadn’t heard before. 

“Do I know you?” She questioned. Her creep radar was blaring and she shared a look with Jane who was sweeping the floor in the front of the shop. 

“No, but I know you,” he said.

Creep radar reached one hundred and Lucy went on the defensive. 

“Sir, I’m not comfortable with this conversation. I think you should leave,” she said firmly, even though her knees trembled behind the cash. 

The man’s shoulders slumped and relaxed before he spoke again. 

“I mean you no harm, Lucy. But I do need to speak with you about your father,” he declared. 

Her father? She didn’t even know who the man was, let know anything about his connection to her. 

“I’m sorry, but I have no idea about my father.”

“I’m aware you don’t. But I do and it is imperative that we speak,” he added.

Lucy didn’t like the man who stood before her, but she admitted she was curious. She had asked her mother about her father but she never gave her anything about him. Her mother died two years ago from Cancer, so she believed that her quest to find out about her dad was over. If that guy could offer her some answers, she would take it. 

“Jane, can you cover the cash for a bit?” She asked her coworker. Jane nodded, no doubt she heard the interaction. 

Lucy grabbed herself and the mysterious stranger a cup of coffee and walked over to the seating area. 

“Okay, you’ve peeked my curiosity. You wanted to speak to me, so speak,” she asserted.

The man leaned back in the leather chair and eyed her cautiously before he decided to speak. Clearly, the man was not use to taking orders or people being rude to him. 

“My name is Luke Dumont. And I am the chief security officer for Her Royal Highness, Annalisa Fletcher, the reining Queen of Valencia,” he proudly announced. 

Lucy shook her head in confusion, “I don’t understand what this has to with me? I don’t even know where Valencia is or who their Queen is, or what this has to do with my father.”

Luke took a sip of coffee and laid his cup down before he reached into his inside pocket and produced a photo. He slid the photo across the table toward Lucy. When she looked down, she saw baby Lucy in the arms of a handsome man, who smiled at the little baby wrapped in a pink blanket. Lucy’s hand flew to her mouth to cover her gasp as her eyes filled with tears. 

“Where did you get this?” She choked. 

“That, is the only photo your father had of you when he returned to Valencia after your birth,” he answered. 

Lucy ran her fingers lightly over her father’s face in the picture. He could see the love in his eyes as he stared down at her, which confused her even more. Her mother told her that he left before she had been released from the hospital. 

“I don’t understand,” she confessed.

“Lucy, your father was the crowned Prince of Valencia and the only heir for the kingdom. Your grandmother, the Queen had no knowledge of your existence until very recently. Your father disclosed your existence in a letter she received during the reading of his last will and testament,” he offered.

“So, my father he’s not …” she couldn’t finish the sentence.

“I’m sorry, but he passed tragically in a car accident last month.”

“What does any of this have to do with me?” She exhaled. 

“Your grandmother wants to know you and since your father didn’t marry or have any other children, you are the only heir to the throne,” he declared. 

Lucy blinked and pinched her arm to make sure she wasn’t in a dream. 

“What are you saying, Luke?” She asked. 

“I’m advising you that your grandmother has requested that you attend Valencia to meet her. The hope is that you will one day be ready to take the throne,” he said. 

Throne? Queen? Prince? Did that make her a princess? 

“So what? You just drag me off on a private jet to a far off land to meet my long lost grandmother and inherit an empire?” She scoffed. 

“That’s exactly what I’m saying, Your Majesty,” he nodded toward her. 


The next several days were a bit of a blur and true to his word, Luke followed her back to her apartment and helped her pack a bag for the trip. She was floored to pull up to a private jet that was bigger than her apartment. It had a bed! On the plane! Who does that?

A town car brought us from the air strip to the palace. That was right, it was a palace. Fitted with a tower or two to hold a prisoners. She stepped out of the car and onto a plush red carpet that ran the whole way to the door. She felt out of place with her old converse sneakers she bought for a dollar at the thrift store. Fancy looking guards were stationed on the door and opened the giant wooden doors once she got close. 

“Um, Thanks!” She said to both with an awkward smile. Neither of them acknowledged her. Probably part of their job she convinced herself. Luke chuckled from behind her as he moved her further into the house. 

“What are you laughing at? Royal should show some manners too, ya know!” She argued. 

Luke had grown use to her personality over the last two days being placed in tight quarters together. She learnt that he was her father’s best friend and advisor. He told her stories about his life and how he got into trouble as a boy for hiding under the table during a fancy dinner. Now, she stood inside a massive palace with a fancy foyer, chandeliers hung from the detailed ceiling, and flecks of gold were seen in the black marble stone that covered the floors. 

“Whoa,” she murmured as she took in the grandeur of the place. 

“Whoa indeed, dear,” a proper voice came from behind her. She turned to face an older woman, with an air of elegance. Lucy expected her to break out into song just like Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music. She wore a silk white blouse with plum pants that were topped off by a white heel. 

“Your Highness,” Luke said, as he bowed. 

His voice broke her out of her trance and she faked a small curtesy and almost lost her balance. 

“My dear, please come let us take a look at you,” the Queen requested. 

Lucy moved closer hesitantly as her new found grandmother, embarrassed that she had holes in her jeans, a stain on her shirt from an unknown substance, and greasy hair pulled back. 

“Well,” she said, as she used her index finger to raise her chin, “You look just like your father.”

A pained smile crossed her face and tears welled in her eyes. She was fond of her son and was still grieved his loss. 

“I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him. Do you know why that is?” She asked. She was done beating around the bush about all the secrets around why her father wasn’t a part of her life. 

“Yes, dear, I do. Please come and we can sit in the drawing room and I can answer your questions,” the Queen said, as she motioned for Lucy toward an extravagant room that hosted old Victoria furniture that was pristine. Lucy sat across from the Queen, and was handed an envelope with her name scrawled across the top. 

“That is a letter that was left for you as part of your father’s will. I hope you may find some answers from him there. But as for why he wasn’t a part of your life, I believe that had something to do with my husband,” she admitted. 

“My grandfather?” She asked. 

“Yes, dear. You see, your father went to America when he was a young man to explore and travel. We encouraged him to do that because we knew he would once ascend the throne and fun would be low down on priorities. He met your mother when he was visiting South Carolina. She was working at a pub and they hit it off,” she signed. 

“He fell in love and told his father about his plans to marry your mother, but his disapproved. He was very old fashioned and believed your father should marry someone of noble birth. He refused to return to Valencia and I’m told shortly after your mother became pregnant with you,” he continued. 

“So, what happened for him not to do that?” She asked. She had so many questions. 

“Your grandfather fell ill, very suddenly and your father was required to take up royal duties. He left your mother and I believe it was the hardest decision of his life. Especially after you came into his life. I trust you have a lot of questions and that this lifestyle is different from what you’ve had your whole life. But I wish nothing from you except to know you. You’re the last piece of my son I have,” she declared, before she stood and advised that she would be away while she read her letter and acquainted herself with her rooms. 

Lucy felt sick. She was holding a letter from the man she had grown to hate without knowing anything about him. Of all her dreams about her father, this was the least likely. 

This could change the rest of her life. 

The doors could be unlimited. She could quit her job and focus on Law School. Surely there would be plenty of time before she would have to do anything for monarch. 

Her decision made, she took a deep breath before unsealing the envelope.


My Dearest Lucy, 


If you’re reading this, I am not longer on earth. For that and a million other things, I am eternally sorry. By now, you would have been told about my family and the burden of responsibility that comes with that. 

People have often envied those who are wealthy. We had the best education, best food, best clothing and many opportunities. But what the wealthy don’t always have is love. 


I found love with your mother. A love so pure I never thought it could be surpassed. But then, I held you in my arms and the love I felt for you surpassed anything I had ever felt. But the burden of responsibility came too soon for me and I was forced to make a decision. Your mother did not wish to raise you as royalty. She wanted you to have a normal life. Leaving her and you was the hardest thing I ever did. 


I may not have been there every day to see you grow, but please know that there wasn’t a moment in my life whereby I didn’t think of you. Although the burden of responsibility came between us, I would hope that by the time you’ve read this that things will have changed. 


Don’t turn your back on Valencia. What our country needs right now is someone who can see things from a different perspective. Someone who hasn’t spent their lives hand fed whatever they desired. Knowing your mother, I trust that she raised you to be a strong and fearless leader. That is what the country needs now. 


With that being said, be true to yourself. Love who you want to love. Do what you want to do. There is no amount of money that can buy love and kindness. 


With all my love, 

Father


Lucy saw the tears as they fell from her cheeks onto the letter from her father. She understood what he was trying to say. Daily she thought about what it would be like to be wealthy, but she never considered that being rich would make her happier. She knew what it felt like to be loved. Her mother had made sure of that. 


She would make changes to the monarch and ensure that no one had to feel the need to abandon love for wealth. She would stand with Valencia and use the power her status would give her to show compassion and love. 

She didn’t know what the future held for her, but she knew she was ready to face it. And now she knew that her father had loved her and her mother. She had answers to those questions and was ready to move forward and accept her role in this new life. 


Watch out Valencia, Princess Lucy was in the house. 

November 16, 2019 00:44

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