Chapter 6Maxon and I looked , and then again to the rebels . You heard me right . I am a Illéa . And by birth , too. This will be through marriage , sooner or later , in August said , nodding to the girl . Georgia Whitaker, she said. And of course, we know all about you , America . She gave me another smile , and I returned it . I did not know that I trusted him , but I ‘m certainly not hate .So Father was right. Maxon sighed. I looked at him, confused. Maxon knew there were direct descendants of Gregory Illéa walk ? He said you’d come to the crown one day. “” I do not want your crown, August assured us . Good, because I intend to lead this country , Maxon shot back . “I was bred for it, and if you think you can come here pretending to be great-great – grand-son of Gregory – I do not want your crown, Maxon ! Destroy the monarchy is more up the alley of the southern rebels .We have other goals. August at the table , leaning back in his seat. Then, as if she was his house we entered , he swept his arm chairs , inviting us to sit down. Maxon and I looked at each other again and joined him , Georgia quickly follows . August looked at us a while either studying or we try to decide where to start. Maxon perhaps remember who was in charge , broke the tension.Do you want tea or coffee? Georgia turned on . Coffee? Despite himself, Maxon smiled at his enthusiasm and looked behind him to get the attention of a guard . Could you have one of the maids bring coffee, please ? For God’s sake , make sure it is strong. As he focused again on August I can not begin to imagine what you want of me. It seems you made a point to come while the palace was asleep , and I guess you want to keep this as secret visit as possible.Say what you need . I can not promise to give you what you want , but I’ll listen . August nodded and leaned forward . We looked for Gregory newspapers for decades. We knew they existed long ago and has been a recent confirmation from a source that I can not reveal . August looked at me . It was not your presentation on the report that gave it away, if you know . I sigh with relief.Second , he mentioned the newspapers, I started cursing myself silently and bracing for later when Maxon would add to the list of stupid things I ‘d done . “We never wanted to take down the monarchy, he told Maxon . Although she was born in a very corrupt way , we have no problem with a sovereign leader , particularly if that leader is you. Maxon was still , but I could feel his pride. Thank you .What we want are other things , specific liberties. We want the designated officials , and we want to end caste . August said all this as if it were easy. If he had seen my presentation is cut on the report , you must know better. You act like I’m already the king, Maxon replied in frustration . Even if it were possible, I can not just give you what you ask . “” But you are open to the idea? Maxon raised his hands and placed them on the table.”What I am open to relevant at the moment. I’m not king. August sighed, looking over to Georgia. They seemed to communicate without a word , and I was impressed by their easy intimacy. They were there in a very tense situation and they may come to suspect they would not be able to get out of and feelings for each other were so close to the surface . Speaking of kings, ” said Maxon , why not explain to America who you are.I’m sure you would do a better job than I would. ” I knew this was a way to stall Maxon , think of a way to take control of this situation , but I did not mind . I was dying to understand. August smiled without humor. That’s an interesting story , he promised , the dynamism of his voice hinting at how exciting his story would be. As you know , Gregory had three children : Katherine Spencer and Damon.Katherine was married to a prince, Spencer is dead, and Damon was the one who inherited the throne . Then, when the son of Damon, Justin , died , his cousin Porter Schreave become prince, marry young widow of Justin, who won the selection just three years earlier . And now Schreaves are the royal family. No more Illéas must exist. But we do. “” We ? ” Asked Maxon , his tone calculated , as he hoped for numbers . August nodded.The click of heels announced that the maid came . Maxon put a finger to his lips as August dare to say more with it in hearing distance . The maid set the tray down and poured coffee for us all. The hands of Georgia were immediately on her cup , waiting to be filled . I do not really care for coffee – it was too bitter for my tastes , but I knew it would help wake me , I was preparing to have a drink.Before I could not even sip , Maxon slipped sugar bowl in front of me . As he knew . You said? Maxon prompted , taking his coffee black . Spencer did not die , said categorically August . He knew what his father had done to take the country , he knew that his older sister had been sold primarily in marriage, and he even knew was expected of him . He could not do it, then he ran . Where did he go? “I asked , speaking for the first time.He hid with relatives and friends, eventually making a camp with like-minded people in the north. It’s colder up there, more humid, and so difficult to navigate that no tent. We live there quietly most of the time . Georgia nudged him , his face a little shocked . August came to his senses. I guess I have now given you directions to invade yourself. I remind you that we have never killed one of your officers or personnel , and we avoid hurting at all costs.All we wanted was to end caste . To do this, we need a proof that Gregory was the man we always said it was . We have now, and America has suggested that enough that we feel we could use if we wanted. We really do not do well. No, if we do not have to. Maxon took a deep sip and set his cup . “I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to do with that information .You are a direct descendant of Gregory Illéa but you do not want the crown. You are looking for things that the king could make , but you asked an audience with me and one of the Elite . My father is not even there . We know , said in August This moment was deliberate. Maxon whispered. If you do not want the crown and want things I can not give you , why are you here ? August and Georgia looked perhaps prepare for their greater demand again.”We came to ask you these things because we know that you are a reasonable man. We ‘ve looked all your life, and we can see it in your eyes . I can see it now. “I tried to be discreet as I studied Maxon reaction to those words. You do not like it either castes . You do not want the way your father holds the country under his control. You do not want to wage war you know are nothing more than a distraction.More than anything, you want peace in your life. We ‘re guessing that once you are a king , things could really change . And we waited a long time for this. We are willing to wait longer . The northern rebels are ready to give you our word to never again attack the palace and do our best to stop or slow the southern rebels . We see so much that you can not behind these walls . We swear our allegiance to you , no doubt , if you would be willing to give us a sign of your willingness to work with us towards a future that would finally give the people of Illéa a chance to live their own lives.Maxon does not seem to know what to say , so I spoke. What is the southern rebels want anyway? Just to kill us all? August moved his head in a movement that is neither a shock nor a nod. This is part of it , of course , but only if they have no one to fight . Too many people are oppressed, and the growing cell has bought the idea that they could govern the country themselves. America , you’re a Five ; I know you’ve seen your share of people who hate the monarchy.Maxon quietly moved his eyes my way. I gave a brief nod. Sure you have. Because when you’re on the bottom, your only choice is to blame up. In this case , they have a good reason , after all , he was a one who sentenced them to their real life without hope for improvement . South rebel officials have convinced their followers that the way to get back what they think is theirs is to take it to the monarchy.But I ‘ve had people defection of the rebellious southern direction, and end with me. I know for a fact that once the Southerners get control , they have no intention of sharing the wealth. When in history that ever happened ? Their plan is to erase what has Illéa , take charge, make a bunch of promises, and leave everyone in the same place where they are now. For most people, I ‘m sure it will get worse. Le Vau will not go up, except for a privileged few rebels handle for fun entertainment .Two or three will have everything robbed from them. It will make a lot of people feel confirmed, but it will not solve anything . If there are no pop stars mindless churning these songs, so there are no musicians in the cabins to save , not commit racing back and forth with bands , no shop owners selling music . Taking a person atop destroyed thousands at the bottom. August paused , looking consumed by worry .This will be Gregory all over again, only worse . Southerners are willing to be much fiercer than you could ever be , and the chances of the country to bounce back are slim. It will be the same old oppression under a new brand name. . . and your people will suffer like never before. He looked into the eyes of Maxon . They seemed to have some understanding between them, something that may have come to be born to lead. All we need is a sign, and we will do our best to help you change things, peaceful and equitable .Your people deserve a chance . Maxon looked at the table. I could not imagine the debate in his head. What kind of sign ? He asked hesitantly. “Money ?” “No ,” said August , almost laughing . “We have more money than you can guess . How is this possible? Donations , he simply replied . Maxon nodded, but I was surprised . Donations meant that there were people who knew about them a lot of support.What was the rebel force North when these supporters were taken into account? How many countries asking exactly what these two men had come to ask here? If no money, Maxon said finally, what do you want ? August shook his head at me. Pick it up . “I buried my face in my hands , knowing it would take Maxon . There was a long silence before he lost his nerve . “I ‘m not going to have someone else tell me who I can and can not get married! This is my life you play games with ! I looked up in time to see in August based on the table.And the palace was playing with the lives of others for years. Grow up , Maxon . You are the prince. You want your fucking crown, then keep it. But with that privilege come responsibilities . Guards were cautiously walked our way , alerted by the tone of Maxon and aggressive attitude of August Certainly , they could hear everything now . Maxon was standing at the counter . You do not get to choose my wife. End of story.August completely discouraged, stepped back and folded his arms. Very good! We have another option if it is not working. Who? August rolled his eyes. As if I wanted to say , considering how you reacted calmly the first time. “” Nonsense . “” This one or that one does not really matter. We just need to know that you will have a partner who will be on the same page for that plan. My name is America, I said fiercely , standing and looking him straight in the eyes, not this one .I’m not a toy in your revolution . You talk about everyone in Illéa having a chance at the life they want . And me? What about my future ? Do I not included in this plan? I searched their faces , waiting for a response. They were silent. I noticed the guards around us, on the edge. I lowered my voice. I’m all for killing castes , but I ‘m not something to be played with . If you are looking for a pawn , he is a top girl so in love with him, she would do anything you asked if this meant a proposal at the end of the day.And the other two . . . between duty and prestige , they would play, too. Go get one of them . Without waiting to be excused , I turned to leave, storming far better than I could in a bathrobe and slippers. America ! Wait ! Called Georgia. I walked out the door before she caught me . Stop for a minute. What? We are sorry. We thought you were both in love. We did not know we were asking something he would have opposed .We were sure it would be on board. You do not understand. He is so tired of being bullied and bossed around . You have no idea what he went through. “I felt the tears rising , and I blinked their eyes away , focusing on the design of the jacket of Georgia. “I know more than you think , she said. Maybe not all, but many . We found the selection very closely, and it seems you two get along so well .It seems so happy unlock her legs
around you. And. . . we know how you saved your maidservants . It took me a second to realize what it meant . Watching us on their behalf? And we saw what you did for Marlee . We have seen you fight . And your presentation a few days ago. She stopped laughing . It took some courage . We could use a girl with guts. I shook my head . “I do not want to be a hero.Most of the time , I feel nothing about brave. Then? It does not really matter how you feel about your character ; it is important what you do with it . You, more than others, act on what is right before you think about what this means for yourself . Maxon has some great candidates there, but they will not get their hands dirty to make things better . Not like you. ” ” A lot of that was selfish. Marlee was important to me , and so are my servants.She moved closer . But do not these actions come with consequences? Yes I Do. “” And you knew they probably would. But have done for those who could not speak for themselves . That special , America . “That was the praise different from what I ‘m used to. I could handle my father told me that I am a beautiful singer or Aspen says I’m the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. . . but this? It was almost overwhelming. Honestly, with some of the things you did, I can not believe that the King let you stay .All on the report. . . She let out a whistle. I laughed . He was so angry. “” I am shocked that you made it out alive ! “” It was by the skin of my teeth , let me tell you. And most days I feel like I’m seconds away from being deported. But Maxon love you , right? The way he keeps you . . . “I shrugged. There are days when I feel so safe , then others where I have no idea .Today is not a good day . Neither was yesterday. Or the day before, if I’m honest . She nodded . Well, we’ll get to you, nonetheless. ” ” I and someone else, I corrected . True. Again , she gave no indication of his other favorite. What was the problem with reverence in the woods? Just play with me? I asked. She smiled . I know this may not sound the way we act sometimes, but we really care of the royal family.If we lose , southern rebels will win. If they get real control . . . well , you’ve heard in August She shook her head . Anyway , I felt certain that I watched my future queen , so I thought the least you deserved was a reverence. His reasoning was so silly , it made me laugh again. I can not tell you how nice it is to talk to a girl I ‘m not competing .Getting a little old? She said with a sympathetic expression. As got smaller, it got worse . I mean, I knew it would , but . . . it feels like it moves away from trying to be the girl that Maxon was taking to ensure that other girls will not be the one he chooses . I do not know if that makes sense . She nodded . This makes . But , hey , this is what you signed up for . I laugh. In fact, I do not have it .I ‘m sort . . . encouraged to my name. I do not want to be a princess . Really Really. She smiled . Not wanting the crown means you ‘re probably the best person to do it. ” I looked at her , convinced by his eyes that she believed without question. I hoped to ask more, but Maxon in August and got out of the Grand Chamber, the surprisingly quiet research. One guard followed at a distance. Georgia in August looked like it had hurt him to be away from her for even a few minutes.Maybe that was the only reason she was here today. “Are you okay, America? Maxon asked . Yes I Do. My ability to look into his eyes was gone again. You should go get ready for the day, he commented . The guards were sworn to secrecy , and I would appreciate the same from you . Of course. He seemed displeased with my temper , but how could I act now ? Mr .Illéa , it was a pleasure . We’ll talk soon. Maxon offered his hand . August took easily. If there is anything you need , do not hesitate to ask. We are really on your side, your Majesty. Thank you . Georgia will . Some of these guards look a little too trigger. She laughs. See you around , America . “I nodded, I had never seen him again and sad because of that. She passed Maxon and slid his hand in AugustWith a guard in tow , they left the gaping doors of the palace , leaving Maxon and I alone in the lobby . His eyes rose to mine. I mumbled something and pointed upstairs , moving as I did. Its rapid objection to choose me only drove home the pain of his words yesterday in the library . I thought after the fort there was a kind of agreement between us. But it seemed that everything had gotten even more confusing than it had been when I’m still trying to decide how much I loved Maxon first.I did not know what that meant to us. Or if there was still a worry about it. Chapter 7To as fast as I was getting into my room , Aspen was faster . I should not have been surprised . Aspen was so good at the palace , it was probably nothing to him now. Hey, I started a little unsure of what to say. He quickly put his arms around me and stepped back. This is my daughter . I smiled . Yeah ? You put ’em in their place, Wed.Risking his life, Aspen ran a thumb over my cheek. You deserve to be happy unlock her legs
. We all do . Thank you . ” Smiling, he dropped his hand to move the Maxon bracelet I had brought from New Asia and reached below the touch that I had done of a button it gives me. His eyes were sad as he watched our little souvenir. We’ll talk soon. Talking really . There is a lot we need to work . With this, Aspen moved down the hall.I sighed and put my head in my hands. Did he take my rejection meant that I pushed Maxon for good? Did he think I wanted to rekindle things with him? Again, -I had not just pushed away Maxon ? Had I not thought yesterday that Aspen needed to stay in my life? So why feel just awful? The atmosphere in the women’s room was dark . Queen Amberly sat to write his letters and from time to time, I would notice his look to take the four of us .After yesterday, we avoid doing anything that would force us to interact with each other. Celeste had a stack of magazines and was lying on the couch. In a very wise move , Kriss took his diary and settled to write, once again position itself near the queen. Why had I not thought of? Elise had released a collection of crayons and was working on something out the window. I’m in a big chair near the door , reading a book.As it was , we did not even have to make eye contact . I tried to focus on the words in front of me , but mostly I was wondering who the northern rebels wanted the princess if they could not do it. Celeste was very popular, and it would be easy to get people to follow. I wondered if they were aware of how it could be manipulative. If they knew things about me , maybe they did. He was more Celeste that I had guessed ? Kriss was soft, and according to this survey a while , she was one of the favorites of the population.His family did not have much grip , but it was more of a princess than the rest of us . She looked about her. Maybe it was the big draw ; it has not been perfect, but she was so kind . There were even days when I wanted to follow Kriss . The one I was least suspected Elise . She admitted she did not like Maxon and was here because of duty. I really thought when she spoke of duty she meant to his family or his new Asian roots , not the northern rebels.On top of that , she was so stoic and calm. There was nothing close to rebel about him. And that is why I suddenly positive that she was their favorite. It seemed the least competition and had openly admitted his coldness towards Maxon . Maybe she did not have to try because , at the end of the day, she had a quiet partisan army to put under the crown anyway. “This is it , the queen said suddenly .All of you , come here . She pushed his little table away and we walked all over nervously. Something is wrong. What is it ? -she Asked . We looked at each other , none of us want to explain . Finally too perfect Kriss adds . Your Majesty , we just suddenly realized how much this competition is intense. We are a little more aware of where we are with each of the prince, and it’s hard to let it flow and still want to chat .The queen nodded. “How often do you all think of Natalie ? ” She asked . Natalie had been gone for only a week . I thought of her almost every day . I also thought Marlee all the time, and some of the other girls would pop into my head at random as well . Still , said Elise quietly . “She was so light . A smile came to his lips as he said this . I had always assumed that Natalie got on the nerves of Elise since it was so reserved and Natalie was so spacious .But maybe he was one of those opposites attract – types of friendships. “Sometimes she laughed on the smallest thing , said Kriss . It was contagious . “” Exactly , “said the queen. I’ve been where you are , and I know how difficult it is . You guess the second things you do ; you guess what it does. Wondering about every conversation , trying to read in the breaths between sentences . It is exhausting.It was as if I could see a weight lifting everyone . Someone us . But know this : so much tension that you feel with each other now , you will be wrong every time one of you leaves . No one will ever understand this experience as the other girls who have been through it, the Elite in particular. You can fight , but is what sisters. These girls , she said , pointing to each of us will be those you call most days for the first year , terrified of making a mistake and need their support.When you’re gone, what are the names that you will put in the top of your guest lists , just under the names of your family members . Because what you are now. You will never lose those relationships. We looked at each other . If I was the princess and was something where I need a rational point of view , I would say first Elise . If I fought with Maxon , Kriss remember all the good things about him. And Celeste , . Well, I ‘m not so sure , but if anyone ever going to tell me to harden about something, this would be it . So take your time, she advised . Adjust to where you are. And let it go . You do not choose ; it chooses you . It is useless to hate others for it. “” Do you know who he wants most? Asked Celeste . And for the first time , I heard the concern in his voice. I do not know , Queen Amberly confessed .”Sometimes I think I could guess, but I do not pretend to understand all Maxon feels . I know who is the king to choose, but that is all. “” Who would you choose? “I asked , and I cursed myself for being so brutal. She smiled sweetly. “I really did not let me think . It would break my heart to start love each of you as a girl and then you lose . I could not bear it. I looked down , do not know if these words were meant to be comforting or not.”I will say that I would be happy unlock her legs
to have one of you in my family. I looked up and watched as she took the time to meet each pair of eyes. For now, there is work to do. We were there in silence , soaking in his wisdom. I had never taken the time to watch the competitors in the final selection, f ind their pictures or anything . I knew a handful of names, mostly because older women would drop in conversations when I was singing in the evenings.It has never been so important to me ; we already had a queen, and even as a girl, the possibility of becoming a princess never crossed my mind. But now I wondered how many women who came to the queen came for Halloween or were his former competition, now his closest friends . Celeste departed first , back to sofa comfort. It does not appear that the words of Queen Amberly meant a lot to her.For some reason that was the tipping point for me. Everything from the last few days crashed back on my heart , and I could feel that he was seconds away from cracking. I reverence. Excuse me, please , I muttered , before quickly moving to the door. I did not plan. Maybe I could go sit in the bathroom for a minute or place myself in one of the many lounges downstairs. Maybe I should just go to my room and cry my eyes.Unfortunately, it looked like the world was conspiring against me. Just outside the women’s room, Maxon has been up and down, looking as if he was trying to solve a puzzle . Before I could hide somewhere , he saw me . From everything I wanted to do right now, that was the last thing on my list. “I wondered , asking you to come out, he said . What do you need ? I answered shortly. Maxon stood there, still working the courage to say something that was obviously made him mad.So there is a girl who loves me beyond reason? I crossed my arms . After the last few days , I would have seen her change of heart to come. Yes I Do. Not both? ” I looked up at him, almost irritated that he needed me to explain. Do you already know how I feel ? I wanted to scream . Can not remember the safe ? But, honestly , I had confirmation at this time, too. What happened to make me so sure so fast? The king.Its insinuations about what other girls had praised him of their merits made me feel small . And it was compounded by my missteps with Maxon this week. The only way we have ever been together was because of the selection; but it seems that as he passed , there was no way for anything to feel certain. You told me you do not trust me , I am accused. “The other day , you made a point to humiliate me , and yesterday you basically said that I am an embarrassment .And there are not a few hours , the suggestion to marry you sent in a rage. Forgive me for not feeling so secure in our relationship right now. “” You forget that I ever made in America , “he said with passion, but without anger . You have someone to compare me to . I do not even know how to have a typical relationship , and I only get a chance. You had at least two. I’ll make mistakes. “” I do not mind mistakes, I turned back .”I mind the uncertainty . Most of the time I can not say what happens . He was silent for a while, and I realize that we would come to a very serious crossroads. We had understood so much, but we could not go on like this for much longer . Although we ended up together these moments of insecurity would haunt us. We continue to do that, I breathed , exhausted with this game. “We get close and then something happens and it falls apart , and you never seem to be able to make a decision.If you want me as much as you have always claimed , why not more ? Even if I had accused of not caring about me at all, his frustration melted into sadness . Because half the time , I ‘m sure you loved someone else and the other half I suspected you might like me at all, “he replied , making me feel positively terrible . As I have not had my own reasons for doubting ? You treat Kriss as it is heaven on earth , and then I catch you with Celeste – I explained that .”” Yes , but it still hurt to see. “” Well, it hurts me to see how quickly you stop . Where did that even come from? “” I do not know, but maybe you should stop thinking about me for a while . The silence was abrupt. What does that mean? I shrugged . There are three other girls here . If you’re so worried about your stroke, you may want to make sure you are not wasting on me. “I left angry with Maxon to make me feel this way, . and angry against myself to make things much worse . . .