The Other Prince + A CS Modern Royal AU [Chapter 3]
Modern Royalty AU: HRH Prince Killian has grown up in the shadow of the crown while enduring tragedy and the burdens of being the spare to the heir. With a desire to escape his past, he agrees to play host to the visiting general’s daughter in exchange for an eventual life outside royal bounds. Moving on is never that easy though and he quickly learns that being the ‘other’ prince is even more difficult when you find yourself falling for the girl everyone wants your brother to marry.
Word Count: 5,064
Alright, here’s the next Killian chapter! Lots of backstory and setting the stage for what’s coming - I know a lot of you are anxious for Killian and Emma to meet and I promise, it’s coming! Stick with me :]
The route to the palace was a familiar one and Killian wagered little had changed since the first time a driver escorted him from Kensington to the heart of Westminster. The streets of metropolitan London were busily lined with citizens taking full advantage of the near noon bustle, scurrying along to various shops and pausing for late breakfasts at any one of the various cafes found in the downtown district. Their lives seemed casual and enviously simple, a fact that Killian tried not to harbor on as he stared out the window of the unmarked black car Liam had sent for him. It was highly likely that his dutiful brother was already well immersed in whatever task list a future king gets handed when he shows up at Her Majesty’s headquarters very bright and far too early.
Such a stubborn arse, Killian thought as he ran a hand over his unamused eyes. It was probably for the best that the Queen was part way around the globe for now. The absence of their lovable yet all too proper Gran and the steaming cup of coffee Marco had brought along were the only two things lending him luck at the moment.
“Around to the back gate, your highness?”
“Aye,” Killian nodded, glancing up toward the rear view mirror with an arched brow. “But are we ever going to agree on you calling me 'Killian’? I’d thought we were well beyond formalities by now, mate.”
He caught the humored smile of the man in the driver’s seat via the reflective overhead glass, accompanied with familiar eyes set in typical analysis and a beard almost all white as a reminder of just how long the loyal confidante had been chauffeuring the royal family around. Marco was a former carpenter and had come from Italy right around the time of the last elaborate royal wedding, beginning his work initially in one of the palace’s many gardens on instructed maintenance and upkeep. It hadn’t taken long for the flower loving and recently wed princess to prod him into an unlikely friendship, one that was built around what blossomed on royal grounds but eventually extended into a bond akin to family.
Killian had heard many tales of those simpler times from Marco on their countless drives together, his favorite including a time when building a royal crib suddenly became a request for the man who was more accustomed to being asked to pull weeds. He had told Killian so much about his mother over the years - how she lovingly bossed him around when it was time to select what to plant for spring, how she’d all but demanded that he attend every holiday banquet as an esteemed guest of their family, and how he’d helped her learn bits of conversational Italian while escorting her between the regal grounds and whatever location she was destined for. It was this kindly man who’d migrated to London only a few decades earlier who had been instrumental in their lives for a number of critical years, certainly long enough to see the high points and the extremely low ones. He’d claimed teasingly several times that there were very few rides more unpleasant than the time he drove the royal couple and their second newborn baby boy - one with 'strong lungs and even stronger opinions on London traffic’ - home from St. Mary’s on a very snowy January morning.