“You really think so?”
“Oh yes.” I grinned. “Are you ready to go down to dinner now?”
“Like this?” I watched as she swallowed hard and hid a smile. Yes, this was going to be very very enjoyable.
The room went silent as Xavier and I made our grand entrance. Unfortunately, I knew that the silence wasn’t because everyone was in awe of what a great couple we made. I knew people were staring at me and my cheap dress. Why had I chosen to wear it? I knew I looked like an idiot. The dress was short and red with big yellow polka dots. It had been a present from my grandma one Christmas and I’d packed it to remind myself of her. I’d never planned on wearing it. I would never willingly wear this dress, not even to my local grocery store back home, and Publix was certainly no gourmet market. I cringed as I realized that I was wearing the ugliest dress known to man in front of a bunch of Royals.
“This is your seat, Lola.” Xavier grinned at me as he pulled a chair out for me. “Next to me, of course.”
“Of course.” I wanted to roll my eyes and move away from him, but I already knew that I’d already made a spectacle of myself.
“Did you lose your keys?” Tarquin asked me curiously as I sat down. I could see everyone staring at me waiting for my response.
“My keys?” I looked at him curiously and I could see a bright light in his eyes as he laughed at me.
“Your padlock keys?”
“The padlock keys that open your suitcase.”
“My suitcase didn’t have a padlock.” I frowned and saw that Xavier’s lips were trembling. “Why did you ask that?”
“Oh, I figure you didn’t have access to most of your clothes.” He looked down at my polka-dot dress and I blushed.
“Tarquin.” Xavier’s mother cut him off. “Don’t be rude. I’m sure that must be the fashion in the United States, their styles are very different to us.”
“I thought the fashion there was short shorts and tight tops?” He grinned. “If it’s not, then I don’t want to go to the States next year after all. I’ll just go to St. Tropez instead.”
“It’s not the fashion in the States to wear dresses like this.” I mumbled, embarrassed.
“It’s just Lola’s style.” Xavier grabbed my hand. “She’s unique like that.”
“I’m just trying to express myself.” I smiled at everyone at the table, going around and making eye contact with each person. I realized that the only people at the table were Xavier’s parents, Tarquin and us. The table was so large and there was so much food on it, that I’d thought there were more people.
“It’s nice to express yourself.” Xavier’s father nodded. “Sebastian was like that when he was a teenager, always wearing those hippie clothes.” He smiled at me indulgently. “Now can we eat, I’m starved.”
“James.” Xavier’s mother pursed her lips. “You’re not starved or starving, you must stop saying that phrase.”
“No one cares, Henrietta.”
“We care.” She looked at him sternly. “And you never know when you might slip up and say it in public and then all the liberals will be on you and the family. The King says he’s starving, what about the rest of us?”
“Mother.” Xavier sighed. “Let’s leave politics for another day.”
“You know it’s true. Between you and your father, the press is all over us.”
“Mother, you know that I’m sorry for what happened. I can’t go back and change the fact that the paparazzi followed Lola and I. It’s not like we planned this.”
“But an engagement, Xavier, really?” She almost sobbed as she gazed at her son in disappointment. “You know that you were betrothed to...”
“Mother.” Xavier’s voice was sharp. “You’re being rude. Lola is sitting right next to me.”
“You’re breaking my heart.” She sighed melodramatically and I looked down at the table. I’d thought that Xavier was rude, but his mother was even worse. Did they think that the fact they were royalty meant they could speak as rudely as they wanted to people.
“I’m sorry, Lola. Would you like for us to go out to dinner instead?” Xavier gazed at me and I could see a look of concern in his eyes. I wasn’t sure if he felt bad for me or more annoyed at his mother. I was about to accept his offer when I realized just how bad that would look, Imagine going out to dinner on our first night. What would people think? What would his mother think? Yes, she’d been rude to me. But I knew I wasn’t going to be helping matters if I left now. A part of me didn’t care what she thought or what happened. This wasn’t real. We weren’t really getting married and I wasn’t going to have to put up with her in a week.
“Come.” Xavier grabbed my hand and attempted to pull me away from the table.
“No.” I said loudly and firmly. “This is fine. I don’t want to leave.”
The room was silent for a few minutes as we stood there and I wasn’t sure where to look. Tarquin’s expression had changed to one of admiration and I knew that he had expected me to leave. It was then that I realized that the servants were standing by the door and by the wall waiting for us to be finished.
“Mother, we’re staying. You can let Edith know that the dinner service may begin,”