‘We shouldn’t be here – Ah… Ah… Ah!’

‘Here!’ Lottie held out a tissue for Ellie just as she let out a huge sneeze.

‘Atchoo!’ Ellie hid her face in the handkerchief and noisily blew her nose, before lifting her head, eyes streaming as they took in Rosewood.

At the end of the rose-lined path stood the home to the righteous, resolute and resourceful. It towered over them, sunlight glowing around its edges like rays from the face of an ancient god and demanding just as much respect. Every step up the path felt like a step closer to safety.

Only something was off. It wasn’t just her fall and the ravenous glances that followed her, but for a second the scents that usually felt like home had turned sour. She was glad Ellie couldn’t smell it.

Handing her another tissue, Lottie noticed her friend’s eyes. Darker, deeper, a midnight ocean that might pull her down. The two of them were almost the same height now, the distance closing in as Lottie grew taller. She could look straight into her now, falling fast into those dark pools whenever their gazes met.

‘Thanks,’ Ellie grumbled, blowing her nose again, the moment swiftly over. ‘We should have got our results sent to us at the palace. Then we’d be safe.’ Hesitating, just long enough for Lottie to notice, her princess added, ‘Safe from those reporters. Look what they did to you.’ Her face darkened. ‘I should teach them a lesson.’

The Lost Princess by Connie Glynn

Dressed in an oversized black band sweater and ripped fishnets, Ellie was neither dressed for the warm British summer nor for a common cold. Lottie had to assume she was delirious if she thought she’d be able to take on anyone in her current state.

She was right about one thing though. Coming back to Rosewood was starting to feel like a bad idea.

Rosewood Hall was Lottie’s home in more ways than one, or so she’d recently found out. She’d uncovered a secret to rival even her highly confidential Portman agreement. In an entirely unlikely turn of events, it had become apparent that the founder of the school was the runaway Princess Liliana Mayfutt, and that same princess just happened to be Lottie’s ancestor. She had passed down her tiara like a shining puzzle waiting to be solved by none other than Lottie.

All her life Lottie had dreamed of being a princess. She’d thought they were the childish fantasies of an ordinary girl obsessed with fairy tales. When the opportunity had arisen to play the part of a princess on a professional level, in order to protect Ellie’s identity and give her the freedom denied to most of the royal blood, none of them had imagined Lottie might actually have a real royal connection. This school was in her blood.

 

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