The Duchess and The Saintess.
A romance book of middling popularity, it was a story of friendship, betrayal and fantasy where two girls fight to get to the top in a world that wanted to see them fail. The Duchess otherwise known as Delilah De Luca and the ‘Saintess’ Estrella Manchester are 2 young women who live different lives!
Delilah De Luca the only eldest daughter of the venerated Dukes bloodline and heir to the seat of Luna. The duchy known as the guard dogs of Calliope, and most loyal members of the royal court entrusted with the protection and upkeep of the militia and borders.
She had her life planned out for her the moment she was born into the world, her suitors chosen and her husband promised. She was strong, talented, smart, she had the hand of the future king, she was to be queen, leader of the people and to hold their trust, she worked for it, she wanted to be everything they wanted her to be.
Estrella Manchester the youngest middle daughter of the Earl of Stars they were a noble and lauded bloodline from the east, she was someone who had no expectations.
Their household was one of the oldest and most noble, their bloodlines intersecting with many other other noble bloodlines. She was a girl whose only expectation was to marry well and live happily, naively, and charmingly. She wanted more though, she wanted purpose, something greater than what was expected of her, a legacy something that would outlive her.
She had freedom and dreams, but no support. When she debuted in the capital she was disappointed, she thought since she was an adult as long as she showed dignity and elegance she would at least have her family's support in her dreams.
They laughed and said, in a rather babying tone as her father patted her head to not worry so much, to find a good man, to live a good and easy life. She’s sure they weren’t being cruel, not on purpose, they couldn’t be they were good parents, kind siblings, the kind of family people dreamed of, but when they spoke to her like that it made her feel small and useless and terrible.
She met him.
She met him.
The heir apparent, and the queen to be, a couple who could change a country, both brilliant and bright and strong and smart, she had heard about the De Luca heir. A true lady, a genius, brilliant she shined like a star, that’s what she wanted to be like, if she had her on her side-
“Yeah, yeah I know I get how the story goes, we read the book together,” A young man laid in a hospital bed and his sister pouted on the chair beside him, he rolled his eyes, “Look it was good, the concept was pretty fucking decent it was just shit that by the end the good story that the author had kinda turned into girls fighting a pretty shitty prince.”
She looked close to tears and he paused as he sighed, rubbing his head as he barely even noticed the tugging of the i.v., “Sorry… sorry ducky.”
“Don’t call me that. I just wanted to take your mind off things… I know it’s been a pain, but-”
A hand landed on her hand, he smiled kindly, eyes crinkly and eyes sparkling, “Thank you ducky, but I promise I’m doing okay this… this isn’t anything I can’t handle, besides I don’t think shitty romance stories are gonna magically heal me.”
He smirked and she huffed slapping his hand off her head, patting the book in her lap as she gestured to herself grandly, “Oh please you just have terrible taste, this is a story about romance, fantasy, rivalry-”
“A shitty male lead who was engaged and still cheated on his promised-”
“About two ladies going head to head in a world who wants them to play only certain parts or too fail! It’s about growth and fighting against the man, you love that!”
He looked at her with a deadpan expression, unimpressed, but he just shook his head, “Look, I do like it, like 80% of it is really, really, good but even you have to agree that it has a shit ending.”
At that she winced, there was a contemplative silence, before she sighed and nodded, “Yeah… okay, but you don’t have to bring it up all the time! It’s supposed to be a fun read! Yeah the prince was kind of a shit choice for the male lead especially since sexy, dumb Joshua was there,” she sighed sitting back and he joined her as he thought about him, “I fucking love that guy.”
“Yeah, himbos are the best.”
They spoke simultaneously and then turned to one another and laughed, “Jeez, we really have way too similar taste-”
Then he coughed and the atmosphere went stale, she worried over him and he waved her off, “I’m fine, I’m fine geez… hah, hows the little gremlin? Ma and Pops still not letting him come see me?”
She winced and he peered closer at her crossing his arms as he glared in disapproval, “Did you come here without their permission! You’ll get in trouble! No wait… more importantly I’LL GET IN TROUBLE!!!”
She looked down in shame biting her lip in held back anger, “Really, you know how pissed they’ll get if they find out you're seeing me. Please-”
She snapped, “WHO GIVES A DAMN WHAT THEY THINK! They’re just a bunch of assholes who think they can tell me what I can do now because they’re paying attention! Please, as if they actually care, they can’t decide to be parents now!”
“You know I’m right! They kicked you out, because they felt ,what?! Jealous, inadequate all because we listened to you better than we did them! Of course we did! They weren’t there… they were never there…”
She looked down as her lips wobbled and he sighed, rubbing the furrow between his brows, “Maria, they're trying now… I know they can’t make up for shit they didn’t do back then, but-”
“But nothing! Don’t make excuses for them, I’m old enough to know right from wrong, hell I’m old enough to understand that sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to. I get that they were working for a better life, I get that they had jobs and responsibilities beyond us… but it’s like we didn’t even matter, what’s the point of having all that money if they were never there.”
A heavy hand fell on her head and she looked up, but he pushed her head back down and ruffled her hair, “Yeah… they ain’t shit, but you should always remember to give people second chances, you know I left because I wanted to, go home Maria, give Manolo a hug for me, and talk this out alright. Don’t be like your idiot older brother who always got into fights, I’m trusting you take care of the both of you.”
She frowned and sighed, “You idiot… just get better and you can come back and talk it out… you fucking sap when did you get.”
He grinned a chuckled escaping and she hugged him and kissed his forehead, he patted her back as he waved goodbye to her.
He sighed as she left.
Looking to the door with pain in his gaze as the smile fell from his face, looking to his hand in regret he sighed, “Too fucking prideful I can’t even talk it out, and here I am dying, what a fucking joke I am…”
The next night he passed in his sleep.
That was the end of his story.
Or was it?