January 13th 
Banks of flowers begin to pile outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. The king has been officially declared dead and the ascension of King Edward will take place soon. No one shall be there for the ascension, save for the king and those involved in the ceremony. Funeral arrangements have begun for the King and the Royal family must gather together to make decisions regarding such. In the evenings, a quiet dinner with family and friends will be hosted.

January 13th 
Banks of flowers begin to pile outside the gates of Buckingham Palace. The king has been officially declared dead and the ascension of King Edward will take place soon. No one shall be there for the ascension, save for the king and those involved in the ceremony. Funeral arrangements have begun for the King and the Royal family must gather together to make decisions regarding such. In the evenings, a quiet dinner with family and friends will be hosted.

I am trapped. I am trapped and I cannot get out. I take lots of deep breaths, and I take them very slowly, but I still jolt myself awake in bed. It's just after three in the morning. I can't help myself. Next to me, Eddie's arm twitches. Maybe he's dreaming about his father. I can't imagine, can't even begin to wonder what he's feeling right now. Even in dreams, it must follow him. After all, it followed me there, chased me and cornered me and made me scream inside my head, choking on the silence that drowned me.

Rolling off the bed slowly, I make my way out, trying to avoid notice from the guards that are now stationed around the palace. But I am not the only one awake. Not tonight. I hear some chatting - someone sounds unusually comfortable here - and I put my ear to a door surreptitiously. It's not my place to eavesdrop, but I do anyways.

"No, I swear, he's really dead!"

I have never met Adelaide before, but I know that this is her from the way she's been described to me - from the accent to the over-casual, insensitive attitude. I wonder if she's on the phone right now gossiping with one of her friends. This is all so detached for her - even though the King was her uncle, his death does not affect her the same way it does me. I resist the urge to push open her door and snap at her.

As I keep going, I pass the library, where I see Mags curled up in a chair. She's lit a fire, but she doesn't seem to notice - she's still shivering. Beside her, her brother Max is seated, and they aren't speaking. But I can feel the emotions running high in the room. I take a step into the room - I need some human company. Any human company.

"Hello," I say quietly.

Max and Mags's heads whirl around, and they stare at me. "Couldn't sleep?" Mags asks finally.

Unable to find the words, I shake my head, pulling my bathrobe tighter around me. I lick my lips nervously. "You either?"

Mags bites a lip, then she is the one who seems paralyzed and silent. Max finally answers for her. "No."

We stand there, prisoners in this beautiful, gilded cage, caught in this one moment, until I sense their need for privacy. I break away slowly and awkwardly, and drift back onto my own course, back out into the hallways.

I decide I need a cigarette. I really want to be out of here, but I don't think that's allowed - nor is it proper - and the last thing I want is to bring the press down on Eddie. For anything. He doesn't need any pressure added right now. What he has is already unbearable.

"Hi?"

I turn. It's Lydia, looking glamorous and well-rested as always, her beautiful long hair flowing down her silk pajamas. Even suffering from insomnia, she is perfect. But that's how everything seems here - perfect. But broken on the inside, far away and hidden so no one else will see it.

"I was going to have a smoke," I say slowly. "Want to come?"

"I've got nothing better to do," she replies flatly. We walk slowly to a patio - silent, but a companionable silence. I've read about Lydia's escapades in the papers before - back when she was younger and more irresponsible - and I'd developed a bit of an admiration for her rebellious side. Now, she seems every bit the lady, but that doesn't quell my admiration one bit.

"So how are you doing?" she asks. Always one to be blunt. "Are you going to marry Edward?"

I pull out a cigarette, hand shaking. "I had always planned on it..." I trail off.

"But now, plans have changed, right?"

I nod. "A lot of things have changed. Just like that. And I don't know if I want to be anything but me." I take a drag off my cigarette.

Lydia nods appreciatively. "This is where everything starts," she says, "and this is where everything ends."

-

Story up @roses-are-roses @ohofkors @high-fashionista hope i did your characters justice!
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