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Forbidden Promise

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forbidden
arranged marriage
confident
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royal
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Blurb

Roscoe Fairchilde learns about a pact made between two long-established royal vampire families. His own grandfather did not uphold his end of the deal, so the other family has come to declare war on them. To avoid war and to also have what he sees as an opportunity for adventure, the young Roscoe leaves for Transylvania with the vampire king and Queen as their daughter’s new betrothed. The road is paved with good intentions, but Roscoe soon learns that his decision was weightier and more complex than a simple engagement. Has he made a huge mistake?

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Prologue
“Sir, King Aurelius of Transylvania and Queen Alexandria have arrived to see you.” John cast a furtive glance at his wife. What could this surprise visit be about? Certainly not… Elizabeth’s eyes glossed over as the horror of the reason for the visit sunk in. Both rose from their seats and turned to face the doors as a finely, albeit outdated, arrayed couple glided into the room. John and Elizabeth offered their respective bow and curtsy to their guests and exchanged pleasantries. “Aurel, it has been a few centuries since you have visited me in my homeland. What a pleasure to see my old friend!” John said warmly. Aurelius sneered angrily in response. “Cut the formalities, John. I’m sure you know why I have come. Word has reached me that your son, my daughter’s betrothed, has taken a mate. Surely this is nothing more than a vicious rumor. Here I have been a patient man waiting for your son to mature enough to see the opportunity that was laid at his doorstep, and I hear a baseless, I am sure, accusation that he has mated with- and this is absurd- a she-wolf. John, what is the meaning of this?” Queen Alexandria set her mouth and glared furiously at Elizabeth. “We have planned their union to maintain the proud lineage of the royal beasts for the next generation,” she hissed. “Yet it has come to our attention that your wayward son has not only mated a she-wolf but has had the audacity to have offspring with her! A tainted bloodline! Disgusting! Despicable! Degrading!” Alexandria continued a barrage of insults while John and Elizabeth stood silently at the receiving end of them. When the Queen finally finished her vitriol, John sent her his own glare. “You dare to come into my home uninvited and insult my family based on what you believe is a rumor? You forget your place, your majesties. You may have claimed a kingly title, but that does not mean your strength has exceeded my own. If you wish to challenge our alliance, then I accept,” John bared his teeth and assumed an attacking stance. Elizabeth found her strength and also assumed a stance. “I did not come here for lives to end, only to verify the truth of a rumor. It seems I have received my answer,” Aurel said calmly. “That being said, we made an unbreakable blood pact that our offspring would become mates and continue the line of the royal beasts. Should I take this dispute to our masters, I am certain I know on whom their favor would rest.” John relaxed his stance and grimaced at Aurel. It was true. The pact was binding and absolute, a promise made in blood, and yet it was now impossible to fulfill. It could only be broken upon the agreement of both parties, but it seemed that Aurel did not come with the intention of breaking it. “What do you want from me, Aurel? If you did not come for a fight, you must have something else in mind?” John set his lips in a grim line, waiting to hear the verdict. “I only wish for my dearest only daughter to be the queen she is meant to be. She is beautiful and powerful, a true goddess of our kind, and yet your son threw her away as if she was nothing. I come for justice to be served!” “You come for justice, and yet your tone speaks of revenge. You speak of a promise to be fulfilled, yet you do not speak of the desires of your daughter’s heart. You speak of power and prestige, and yet you fail to acknowledge the opportunities that stand before you.” Another voice rang out in the room. Elizabeth paled, and John looked panicked. A young, handsome man who looked almost exactly like a young Brandon except for his golden eyes stepped around the King and Queen and turned to face them. “For ones who have lived so long and claim to be so wise, you are belligerent rulers indeed,” he decided with a smirk. “And who is this sharp-tongued child who has such courage to stand before his elders in such a bold way?” Aurel demanded, though he couldn’t hide his interest in the boy who looked so much like Brandon. “No!” Elizabeth gasped. “Roscoe, this isn’t your fight! Return to your room.” “Son, we will discuss this later,” John began. “Son?” Alexandria interrupted. “What is this? You have given birth to another son? Why were we not informed of this joyous occasion?” Her eyes brightened as she looked the handsome youth up and down. She could not hide her expression of satisfaction over his form and figure. “Why, he can’t be much older than 16 years of age. A young a vibrant youth he is! Bright eyes and quick-witted indeed. Indeed…” she mused, looking pleased for the first time since she arrived. “Roscoe, I believe your father called you, boy?” King Aurelius asked, also looking pleased as he observed the youth. “Indeed, sir. That is my name. Lord Roscoe Alexander Brandon Fairchilde,” the youth responded. “Roscoe!” Elizabeth cried harshly. “Leave immediately! You are not needed here!” “On the contrary, beloved lady, I do believe my presence here is most necessary. Now, it is my understanding that there has been a slight misunderstanding?” Roscoe smiled politely at the vampire royalty and bowed slightly to them. “Hm. I already prefer him to Brandon, anyway,” Alexandria murmured to her husband, though everyone could hear her. “As do I. Brandon was wild with his big dreams and unconventional aspirations. Hardly material for a decent husband, but this lad. Hm. Brandon’s handsome face on a stronger build and with a steadier mind…” the king smiled wickedly. “Very well, John, our promise still stands, but this lad will be the one to fulfill the deal.” “Now hold on. You don’t know all the facts…” “I accept,” Roscoe interrupted. “What?!” Elizabeth and John gasped. “I shall fulfill the pact that my f….predecessor did not. It would be an honor,” Roscoe bowed to the king and queen, who both beamed at him. “We are quite pleased with this surprising development. Though you are much too young for our daughter at the moment…” King Aurelius paused and sized up the youth standing confidently before him. “To avoid a repeat of the past, we will take our leave and bring this youth with us,” the King decided. “No!” Elizabeth protested. “You will not withhold another son from our daughter, or so help me, it means war, Elizabeth,” threatened Alexandria. “If you take him, you are no longer our friends and allies. We will cut you off from our blood banks and no longer offer you our support,” John growled. “Ha! Like I care! You wouldn’t dare to threaten the well-being of your precious son, I am sure, and he will be living with us.” King Aurel sneered. John looked at Elizabeth. Tears were rolling down her cheeks. Could they reveal the truth? Would Roscoe be in danger if they did? “I have made my own choice. I will go in place of Lord Brandon Fairchilde. He has gotten the life he wanted to live by chance. Perhaps fate will also smile upon me by my willingly making right what was done wrong.” Roscoe smiled encouragingly and winked at his grandparents with his back to the king and queen. “Well, now that the lad has made the advantageous decision of acknowledging the necessary fulfillment of a long-made promise, we will take our leave. My Queen and I will be staying in town. We will be back tomorrow night at sunset at this same time to bring Roscoe home to our darling daughter. We trust that will be enough time for well wishes and farewells?” The king did not wait for an answer but rather offered his arm to his queen and turned to leave. As soon as the doors closed, Elizabeth burst into tears. “Roscoe! What do you think you are doing?!” Demanded John angrily. “I’ve never had many wild dreams or ambitions. I've always lived in the shadows. Liz and Teddy had their own adventures. I want one of my own as well. What a perfect opportunity! Plus, Prince Roscoe has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?” Roscoe smiled playfully. “Nobody expects this of you, son! Nobody! In fact, your mother and father might declare war over this. You know they won’t take this lying down,” John paced the room agitatedly. How did this happen? “It’s not a big deal, Grandfather John. Really. This will be my adventure. They don’t seem very smart anyway. I stated my whole name to them, and they didn’t catch on that you named both your ‘sons’ Brandon.” Roscoe chuckled. He enjoyed a good joke, and he felt like the joke was on the royals. “I’ll see to it that they release you from whatever pact you made, and then they’ll probably choose to dump me on their own once those snooty bigots find out I’m not a thorough-bred. Everyone wins.” “And if they don’t decide to get rid of you? If they make you honor the pact and marry their daughter?” Elizabeth pushed worriedly. “Then I’ll marry the girl, and we’ll have a miserable life together,” Roscoe joked. His grandmother’s face fell, and his grandfather shook his head. “We can’t allow this, and we won’t allow this. I’d rather go to war than see my grandson make this unnecessary sacrifice!” John declared. “What if I told you I want to do this? I’m curious and interested, you know. Vampires have been around a long time. Teddy married a human and Liz married a werewolf, so the line is further diluted away from the royal beasts. Delilah and Johnny may also decide to marry non-vampires, and here I have the opportunity to have children who possess the royal beasts dropped in my lap. Why would I not? People used to marry based on wealth or title. How is this any different? I see an advantageous marriage and the possibility to secure my own line of vampire royals, so why would I not?” Roscoe’s reasoning made sense. After all, John and Elizabeth joined in a union under similar circumstances and were blessed with mutual love and happiness. “Sleep on your decision, my boy. If you feel the least bit hesitant or want to change your mind, tell me immediately. I have no problem going to war over this.” John said firmly. “No need,” Roscoe replied with a grin. “I’m going to go pack. Don’t tell my mom and dad until I’ve left with the royal snoots.”

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