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REIGN OF BETRAYAL

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Red is always symbolizing love. But for Rose it was never love. It was blood. Even her name has a red on it. Blood that she hates. If she will have the time to turn things back on, she will never ever tie herself to the man that she once loved. The blood that she doesn’t need is the one that can keep her alive. She doesn’t know that love is going to do its way to get rid of the love she is thrown at. She doesn’t know that once in her life… Red will always be love and Rose will always be red.

Chapter 1

CHAPTER ONE: THE YOUNG LADY RUINED THE MEETING

ROSE AMARA'S POV

Kingdom, throne, blood, gold, and power. You have nothing if you don't have any of these. It involves more than just being at the top. No one can touch you or others nearby if you are high enough. Nobody looks at you because they are afraid of being blinded by the non-negotiability you reflect back at them when they do.

That’s why I don’t and will never stop.

They respect me more as I rise through the ranks, and one day they will all submit to Grandpa's family name.

The Amber of the West

“We’re Amber, especially you… You’re The Rose Amara…We don’t bend knees. Everyone else does.”

With my mother's words engraved deep in my heart, I took the stairs.

To be anticipated from the East Fortress, the mansion is enormous. The great hallway features light marble flooring and is reached by sweeping marble staircases. The central Chesterfield sofa, the pillars, and even the carpet are all rimmed in gold. There is a picture depicting angels and demons engaged in combat in the center of the vaulted ceiling. That generally causes people to pause and gaze at the fine detail that was added to the picture.

However, it's also frequently the last thing they see before being "taken care of." We not only invite our friends here, but also our rivals.

Heaven and hell. Angels and demons.

River Amber, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that my father was lyrical in that sense given his upbringing. His ancestry dates back to the beginning, commencing at the end of World War II with my grandparents; he was not just the ruler of one of the most prosperous kings in London and Russia.

I am part of that bloodline.

In fact, I’m the only one who can protect it anymore.

I chose the red dress that gives me a strong edge today. I don't even have to put on my beige coat; it just hangs there. It's a habit I inherited from my dad. My ginger hair is styled in a sophisticated bun. I don't have a lot of makeup on, but it's many layers thick, giving me a thirty-year-old appearance rather than a twenty-eight-year-old one.

In this realm of monarchy, being young is a vulnerability, and there is no way I will allow them to take advantage of any of my flaws.

At the foot of the steps, a glowing face abruptly stops me. My great-cousin Bella, who is completely straight and little, grins at me when she sees me. In fact, her entire body is, including her frame, lips, and nose. Her enormous blue eyes are the only thing that are large.

It’s like staring straight into the calm of the tropical ocean.

She is dressed modestly in a long-sleeved garment that falls just above her knees. Her orange hair is pulled back in a low, tidy ponytail by a long ribbon and is a few shades lighter than mine. She wears no makeup at all, as usual. Her grin wavers momentarily, and all of a sudden, my alarm bells sound. I unleashed the ravenous mama bear on me.

“What is it, Bella?” I asked.

“It’s…” She shakes her head. “Nothing, Rose. Have a nice day.”

“Bella.” I spoke in my no-nonsense tone that she knows no one should challenge. “You can either tell me now, or we can stand here all day until you do.”

She bites her bottom lip, peeking up at me from underneath her naturally thick lashes. That should mean she’s close to letting it out.

Ever since I was brought into the royal world, I always thought I only had my father, and that was enough considering he was the stronger King in this place...

Then, though, Bella came to live with us thanks to my great-uncle Raven, River's youngest brother. I was thirteen when I first met her. She had just turned five. She used to gaze up at me as if she could see the entire world and as if I were going to save her from whatever life she was living at the time.

We instantly became best friends—or more like I became her protector, as she’s too fragile to be out there in the world.

Fifteen years later, she still considers me the same way she did before. I step closer to her, lower my bag to my side, and try to remove the sternness from my tone. Bella trusts me, but she also told me I can be scary, not towards her, but scary in general.

I don't want my cousin to feel that way about me, but if it's necessary to keep her safe, I won't just be a threat; I'll blast the earth's surface to pieces.

I place a hand on her shoulder, stroking it gently. “You know you can tell me anything, right?” She nods twice.

“Then what aren’t you telling me?” Bella bites her lower lip again. “You won’t be mad?”

Unlike most of the royals who have a noticeable London accent, she speaks English in a perfect American accent, probably because I’ve been teaching her since we were young.

“I will never be mad at you.” I smiled at her, which is possibly the warmest type of smile I can offer to anyone.

“Papa said…he said…”

“What?”

She gulps. “He said I needed to get ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“You know.”

“Unless you tell me, I am not a mind reader.”

“F-for…marriage.”

“For what?” I snap, and she flinches, her shoulders turning rigid under my touch. I internally cursed myself for frightening her and took several seconds to calm down. “Did he mention who he’s marrying you off to?”

She shakes her head once while staring at her flat shoes. “He just said I need to get ready. Does…does this mean I can’t continue my studies?”

Her voice breaks with her last sentence. Few things affect me this deeply, and Bella is definitely at the top of the list. Seeing her in pain is like having one of my limbs cut off.

I lifted her chin and she stared up at me with a wretched expression. There are no tears because she was brought up to be the perfect royal daughter from a young age.

For her, crying isn’t a weakness like I consider it. In Bella’s dictionary, tears aren’t ladylike and shouldn’t be shown in public. The fact that she wants to express her sadness, but can’t, digs the knife deeper into me.

I forced a smile, stroking her hair back. “You don’t need to get ready for anything. I’ll talk to your father, and none of this will happen.”

Her expression lights up. “Really?”

“Have I ever made a promise and not kept it?” A gentle spark invades her expression.

“Never,” she answered with delight.

“Go study and don’t worry about this. Since you have exams coming up, you don’t need to come to the company.”

“I want to.”

Bella has been attending for about a year. She pursued an engineering job, which is considered to be worthless in our field of work by everyone. She selected it freely and without restraint, therefore I was the only one to support her. She is an expert at numbers, so it would have been a waste not to use it.

“As you wish. Where’s uncle?”

“He’s in the dining room…but you might not want to go in there. Uncle River is having a meeting with the rest of the royals.”

“Of course, he is, and let me guess, West, North and South Chambers are in there?”

“Umm…yes.”

Why am I not surprised that Uncle brought up the whole marriage thing when that pest was around?

“Go back to your studies, Bella. Don’t let any of this get to you.” She hesitates, then blurts, “Be careful. You know they don’t like you there.”

“They will dislike me more after today.”

“Rose…”

“Don’t worry. I’ll be careful,” I said to please her, even though I was already plotting a war. She steps forward and hugs me. “Stay safe, Amara.”

Then she takes moderate steps up the stairs.

Unless Bella says my second name, I've never liked it. When I moved in with him, he stated that my mother called me Rose because she loves a rose and that the Russian name Amara belonged to my late grandmother. Since her death, only Bella ever calls me that anymore. Father and Uncle Raven were too, when they were not mad at me. Let’s just say, he’ll have no names for me today, because I’m fully prepared to ruin his meeting.

The headline for tomorrow's news will be "The young lady ruined the meeting," as I wasn't invited to the meeting.

Chapter 2

CHAPTER 2: THE MARRIAGE I NEVER EXPECTED

ROSE AMARA’S POV

After the passing of my mom seven years ago. My parents have made a commitment. I have to be married down south. My mother and father met there. However, I have nothing to offer him, because I had had a romantic relationship with Ethan, the West Chamber's heir.

Working covertly and setting up meetings with the security group, the support group, and the four clans, the operational wing of the East fortress—I endured the worst of times. Even hiring the prominent leaders whom they trusted more than their own families was something I did.

My grandpa passed to me the black book, which details the contacts the royals have with powerful individuals. Whoever holds that book, he claimed, is destined to reign. It goes without saying that no one in the brotherhood would have tolerated a woman ruling over them without first killing me.

Although I didn't want to, my father has now given me the famil

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