Entry Nickname: Fed to the Crocodiles
Title: The Second King
Word count: 84K
Genre: YA Contemporary
Sixteen-year-old Prince Alexander spends his time planning his future reign the way others might plan their wedding day. He knows he'll never have a dream wedding of his own. Although twenty-first century princes have the luxury of marrying commoners, there's a catch. Said commoner is expected to be female.
Hard working but poor Declan Blythe is the polar opposite of Alex. Where Alex is labelled as a bad boy by the media, Declan's never so much as failed an exam. While Alex's future is bound by rigid expectations, Declan is determined to use his musical talent to claw his way out of the working class. So when Declan receives a scholarship to attend the country's most prestigious boarding school, he expects to spend his days hunched over a piano, a pariah amongst the precious spawn of society's elite. Instead, he meets Alex.
Hopelessly taken with one another, reality sets in for the pair when Alex's father gives him an ultimatum: keep their romance a secret, or give up the throne. But staying out of the tabloids is easier said than done - particularly after a paparazzo photo of Declan goes viral and he becomes a celebrity in his own right. With cameras recording each glance he and Alex share, and a devoted fan base analyzing their every word, Alex finds himself under increasing pressure to choose responsibility and propriety over love.
When Declan begins to receive anonymous threats, Alex realizes that someone is willing to harm his boyfriend to protect the reputation of the royal family. Alex could never imagine a future where he wasn't king. But he's starting to wonder if a future without Declan is any future at all.
The soldiers stood silently, one eyeing me through the window, the other monitoring the front yard. Their breaths came out in almost opaque puffs of mist. I frowned and averted my eyes, succumbing to a pang of guilt for causing them to stand out there, stranded on the front porch of Zane's mansion. They were sheltered from the heavy snowfall, at least, but not from the bitter cold.
If Zane's parents had been home I would've insisted the soldiers come inside in shifts to watch from the warmth of the kitchen, perhaps with a cup of coffee. I'd done it before; it's what my parents would have wanted. Around them I was ever the hospitable, thoughtful role model.
Today was different, though. Today was a gathering of sixty or so Bramppath College students. A select group of girls from our sister school, Ashford Academy, had also been invited. Although the room was filled with, for the most part, the precious offspring of the upper class, none of them needed armed guards to follow them between various appointments. If downplaying that meant not inviting the security inside, well, so be it.
That, and I was a little bit too high to be bothered making coffee.
Rohan, son of a prominent business lawyer, and one of my closest friends, draped himself over the top of my armchair. He dangled a half-smoked joint in front of my face as though I were a horse he was enticing with a carrot. I snatched it from his loose grip with a grin.