Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. I’m skipping a few pages ahead from the last snippet, where Arkadiya Gagarina discovered she’d been mistaken for a princess auditioning for the role of empress-consort. She’s explained she’s just an ordinary woman from Yekaterinburg, making a petition for a better hospital and school. Though her father is a prince, her mother is a commoner, and she’s never considered herself a princess.
Aleksey and Arkadiya’s conversation has completely turned from the reason she came there, as Arkadiya talks about her life and background, including the surprise revelation that she’s actually seven years older than Aleksey. He’d assumed she was a few years younger than he is. To try to find out if she’s married, he offers to create her husband and children princes and princesses of the House of Gagarin, or counts and countesses.
With his oldest sisters, Olga and Tatyana, who behaved like true princesses by becoming nurses to the war wounded.
“I’m an old maid, Your Majesty. Why do you think I came here alone instead of with a husband? If I had a husband, we would’ve come together to make our petition. And please, don’t refer to me as a princess. I never considered myself a princess, since my mother’s a commoner. My father just happens to have been born a prince.”
“I’m the Emperor, and I get to decide which titles to bestow upon people. I daresay you strike me as far more of a real princess than any of the women who just turned me down as a potential husband. Someone of true noble birth instinctively understands being a real princess is more about how you carry yourself, treat other people, and live your life, not parading about in expensive clothes and jewelry, looking down at others, and demanding perfection and conformism. Whether you agree with it or not, I’ll officially raise you and your mother to princesses of the House of Gagarin.”