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From Princess to Queen

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Ever since Gabriella was a small child, she always looked up to her big brother, and his best friend Daniel Sullivan. To young Gabby, being Daniels princess was all that mattered. He was there to pick her up when she fell off her bike. As she got older he held her when her boyfriend upset her and broke her heart when he left for Italy the night before her eighteenth birthday, never to return. Gabriella is now twenty-two and no longer the young girl pining after her brothers best friend. Or so she thought. Until one night she bumps into Dan and realises her feelings for him may not be as dead and buried as she thought. Daniel always had a soft spot for Gabriella, she was like a little sister to him for years until suddenly she wasn’t. But Daniel was always destined to take over the family business and when his best friend begged him to leave his princess out of his world, he reluctantly agreed. But he always kept watch from a distance until he could bare it no more. He needs her in his life like she wants him in hers. “You deserve someone who treats you like a princess and wants to make you his queen, never settle for less.” This book is written in British English TRIGGER WARNING! This is a dark romance which touches on some sensitive subjects. Please check the Trigger warnings below and on my website. Your mental health matters! Stalking torture sexual assault physical assault Mafia Death

Prologue

Watching the last of my friends leave my party, I force a smile whilst waving.

They are all a little drunk and unsteady on their feet as they stumble down the street to their homes happily. They don’t have a care in the world and have no idea that mine’s falling apart.

“Did you have a good time?”

I turn to find Mum smiling, and I nod, not trusting myself to speak. Instead, I take a deep breath and look around at the mess left in the kitchen, desperate for something to take my mind off everything. 

“I’ll help you tidy up,” I whisper, reaching for the cupboard under the kitchen sink to grab the black bags. But Mum places her hand on my arm to stop me.

“It’s okay. I’ve got it. You shouldn’t be cleaning up after your own party. It’s not every day you turn eighteen.”

I force another smile.“I don’t mind,” I argue, but Mum shakes her head.

“Go to bed. As I said, I’ve got it.”

I know there’s no point in arguing, so I kiss her cheek and head to the kitchen door. I look back at her as she offers me a soft smile. She knows.

“Thank you for tonight, Mum,” I whisper, trying to hide the pain.

“You’re welcome, sweetheart. I’m sure there was a reason they didn’t come.”

I swallow the lump in my throat and try to ignore the burning in my eyes as I nod in forced agreement before walking from the kitchen. I don’t stop until I’m in my room, desperate for a few minutes alone to stop and think in peace.

Today, I turned eighteen, and I should be excited and drunk like my friends, but I’m not. I’ve been counting down the days for over a year, the whole day planned to the last detail. But the most important part of the night never happened, and I’ve spent the last few hours trying to hide how heartbroken I am.

Standing in front of my full-length mirror, I check out my outfit, hair, and make-up. All of it was planned and practised repeatedly over the last few weeks to ensure it was flawless. My short, black fitted dress hugs all the right parts of my curvy body, leaving little to the imagination. My hair and make-up, which took me hours to do, looks as perfect as I planned, but it was all for nothing because he never showed. By he, I mean Daniel Sullivan, my older brother’s best friend and the love of my life.

I first met Daniel when I was eight, and he came round to knock for my brother. They are four years older, and I was jealous they could go further from the house than me. I tried riding my bike after them and fell off. Daniel picked me up before carrying me back to the house. He held my hand as I cried whilst Mum cleaned my grazed knee and put a plaster on it.

“Don’t cry, Gabriella. Princesses don’t cry.”

“I’m not a princess,” I sobbed, but Daniel kissed my knuckles and winked at me.

“You look like a princess to me.”

From that day on, I was his princess, and he was my Danny. If he ever got sick of his friend’s little sister begging for his attention, he never once showed it. My brother Oliver may have told me to leave them alone, but Daniel never did.

When I turned fifteen, I tried to make him jealous and started dating a guy from school. I wanted Daniel to tell me he loved me like I loved him, but instead, he told me I was like his little sister.

That night, I’d gotten drunk and tried to sleep with my boyfriend. It didn’t go well, and I called my brother to collect me from the house party I was at. I was so humiliated when Daniel turned up instead.

On the way home, he pulled into a lay-by. Once the car was parked, he turned to look at me.“Want to talk about it?” he asked softly.“No,” I snapped, purposely not looking at him. My brother would have given up straight away and driven us home. But Daniel didn’t. Instead, he sat there watching me for a moment before reaching over and taking my chin between his forefinger and thumb to turn my head, so I had no choice but to look at him. 

“I can guess what happened tonight, princess. I can tell it didn’t go as planned, so can I give you some advice?” he asks.

“If you must.”

And he did.

I have held on to that advice every day since. After that night, I told myself that Daniel must feel something for me. These feelings are too real.

On my sixteenth, he gave me a small diamond ring, saying he saw it in the jewellery shop and knew I would love it. I fooled myself into believing that the fact that he saw a ring and thought of me was another sign that we were meant to be together. I figured he thought I was too young, so I decided to tell him how I felt the day I turned eighteen. I had the whole speech planned, but he never showed.

A knock at my door drags me from my thoughts, and my heart skips a beat. Is it him?

“Yeah?” My heart sinks when my brother walks into the room. “Where have you been? You promised you would be here tonight!” I snap, glaring at him. He runs his hands through his hair and sighs.

“Something came up, and we couldn’t make it, sorry.”

“What happened? Are you both okay?” I look behind him to see if Daniel’s there, but the hallway is empty and silent.

“I need to talk to you about something,” Oliver says sombrely.

“Why have I got a feeling I won’t like this?” I ask as he walks further into the room. Oliver sits on the bed next to me. He places something beside him and takes my hand.

“Daniel’s been called back to his fathers. He left an hour ago.”

“How long for?” I ask, hoping it’s not as long as last time. He was gone for two months, and it was the longest summer of my life.

“Gabby, I don’t think he’ll be coming back, not for a long time, at least.”

I stare at my brother, unable to process what he’s saying. Daniel would never leave, not without saying goodbye to me first. There must be some mistake.

“He made me promise to give you this.” Oliver places an envelope and a small gift box in my hand. “He’s sorry he missed the party and won’t be here when you graduate next month. He had no choice but to leave as quickly as possible.”

I look down at the gift and envelope whilst trying to process everything. I feel my brother kiss my head as he stands up.

“I’ll leave you alone. But if you need me, just come into my room, okay?”

I nod, unable to tear my eyes away from the gift in my hand. I hear the bedroom door being opened and my brother sighing.

“I’m sorry this didn’t go how you planned, Gabby. If it’s any consolation, so is he.” With that, he closes the door, and I’m left alone.

I place the box on my bed and slowly open the envelope. Inside is a card and a short message. 

Princess,

     I wish I could give this to you myself and wish you a happy 18th birthday, but family responsibilities have to come first. I don’t know when I’ll be back or if I ever will be. But I want you to know that you deserve the world handed to you on a golden platter. I hope you realise just how amazing you are and never forget it.

Remember what I told you. You deserve someone who treats you like a Princess until they make you their Queen; never settle for less.

All my love, always

Your Danny  Xxx 

I place the card on the bed and pick up the box before slowly opening it. Inside is the most beautiful necklace I have ever seen. The charm is a beautiful cut amethyst, my favourite stone. It is fit for a Princess.

I run my fingers over it before pulling it from the box and placing it around my neck. I lift the charm to my mouth and kiss it softly as a tear streaks down my cheek. Closing the box lid, I place it with the card on my chest of drawers.

I curl up on the bed and pull my pink teddy towards me. The same one Daniel won for me when I was twelve at the summer fair. I hold on to it tightly as the tears flow and fear I’ve lost my Prince, forever. 

Chapter 1 - Five years later

I sit back in the driver's seat, the tinted windows up, even though it’s a warm late summer evening.

I watch the flat above the little bookshop, needing just one glimpse of her to take some of the constant feelings of longing away, if only for a short while.

A light switches on in the front window, and I bolt upright, trying desperately to see her. That’s when she appears, the light behind her making her look like the angel I know she is.

Everything about this woman is pure, from her long brown hair to her smooth, flawless skin. My heart beats faster as she looks out of the window whilst talking on the phone. She looks straight at the car, and I panic for a moment that she can see me, but then she turns her attention to something else down the street. She continues to look around before closing the curtains and disappearing from view.

I sit and wait momentarily, wanting to be sure she won’t return. But after the light goes off, I know she’s heading to bed f

Heroes

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