Charmed By The Mountain Prince

By: Frankie Love

An Arranged Marriage Romance





1





As far as I can tell from movies and books, being a princess is the pinnacle of most girls’ childhood fantasies. I get it.

There’s a lot about being a princess that’s pretty damn sweet.

For example, the title: Princess. And the crown jewels. I mean, put a tiara on any woman’s head and she’s going to look ten times hotter. That’s not even a question. Diamonds literally are a girl’s best friend.

But there are a lot of other things about being a princess that aren’t so cush. Especially when you’re a princess in a country that’s virtually bankrupt.

Because the truth is, I’ve never had a place to wear said tiara. There aren’t any balls or galas to go to—mostly because Father sold the private jet a decade ago, and his foolish spending has kept us under lock and key. In fact, I’ve been stuck on the island of Elexia my entire life.

And all I want in the whole wide world is a chance to explore. I want to travel to exotic lands and experience different cultures and take in everything this planet has to offer.

Instead, I’m here in this provincial country, surrounded by oceans.

I know, boohoo. The princess doesn’t get to leave her majestic tropical island where palm trees sway in the salty breeze and fresh fish is caught for an outdoor supper.

And I’m grateful, I truly am—but still, I want to see something. Anything. Here in Elexia, I can’t really work to pay for a plane ticket to a new locale. I’m a princess and my life is not my own.

So I’m stuck staring at my Instagram feed, because it allows me to imagine a life bigger than the one I have.

I follow travel bloggers hiking across Morocco or backpacking through Europe. I imagine a life that’s more than the selfies I take at the same beach year after year, attempting to make my life look more exciting than it really is.

When Father calls my sisters and me into the throne room, I know something big is about to happen. My life is finally going to start.

Which is good. I want a reason to live somewhere besides my virtual reality on the Internet. I want a reason to delete a dozen apps and go all in with something new.

So here we stand in the throne room—and honestly, this room really needs a new title. My sister Dahlia has reupholstered the cushion on that throne a thousand times and polished it with her own spit, to no avail. It still looks old, and not in a cute, shabby chic way. This throne room is just plain old dingy.

Not that it matters. No one is coming to Elexia to see my father. He isn’t exactly a political force to be reckoned with. He’s more like a nice, slightly stressed man who’s pretty much in over his head.

The only person who ever comes around this place is Gibraltar, my cousin, who will inherit the crown after my father dies. My sister Violet has a stick up her rear, but Gibraltar is a whole other level of insufferable. At least Violet helps people, and looks out for everyone else. Gibraltar though ...

I don’t even know why I’m talking about him. I’m just grateful royalty stopped marrying their cousins a hundred years ago. I may be desperate for a ticket out of here, but it certainly will not be as Gibraltar’s bride.

So when Father gathers us together, and tells us that we have the ability to save our poor impoverished country, I’m all ears. I’m ready for some freaking excitement, something that has a wider scope than my cell phone camera.

I pocket my phone, not that I have anything interesting to Snapchat anyways, and look at my father.

This poor man has been through the wringer. I mean not having a single son born to you, when you’re a freaking king, is terrible. I honestly feel bad for the guy.

So here he is calling in his three daughters with big news. A Cheshire cat grin spreads across his face and for a moment I think maybe something good is finally going to happen to our family.

My older sister, Violet—she deserves the world. She literally hands out soup to the hungry, and blankets to those without. And Dahlia? She’s so completely innocent, and I want her to stay that way, even though she would be content twirling around on the sandy beach, eating fruit from nearby trees, and daydreaming of her nowhere-to-be-found Prince Charming.

Which makes me look like the girl who has screwy priorities—but I like to say I’m just misunderstood. Because for all of Violet’s helping, and all the gentleness Dahlia doles out, I’m the one who has always wanted more.

When I was six years old, I tried to run away. I packed my knapsack and tried to go, only to learn I was living on an island. And that I wasn’t going anywhere. Ever.

I cried for days.

I remember my mother sitting me down and explaining that it wasn’t the worst thing in the world to have a home.

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