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Money, Royalty...Love

In the year 2004, when people get what they want with a flip of their wallets; when social status become the measure of individuality and life is being referred to be money, a traditional love story began…down in an unexpected moment in an unexpected place.

Spring, 2004. This is when it all started. Bevar, an island located in south most part of a wealthy country becomes the perfect place of lovebirds. Bevar is a land anybody dreamed of. It is a world on its own. The island is glittered by spring flowers blossoming in middle of April, beaches with pure sand resembling talcum powder being washed away by fresh blue waves of the southern sea and Corinthian-inspired manors, mansions and palaces resembling Rome’s Renaissance Period filled the island’s neighborhood. Tourists coming all over the world never forget to dip their bodies to Bevar’s grand spas and baths and meeting millionaires’ and royals’ daughters living in Bevar. No one can ever picture the island in reality. It is a complete and ideal atmosphere in the eyes of new comers. In a spring day of April, Erick, son of a simple tenant of Ricardo Alfonso, one of Bevar’s plutocrats is hired to look out his Ludwig II-inspired sea-overlooking castle situated on the western part of the island. It is filled with antiques and historical relics bought for billions of dollars which needs a man to guard it from burglars. Erich agreed to Lord Rick, as the millionaire is often called despite the fact that dealing with things much valuable than your life is a gigantic responsibility, but the fact that it deals with money, he has no choice. Erick Fredrich Veumar, Erick, as he is known to many, ages in early twenties, stands out among other tenant sons with his tall and firm body, shining eyes like the once owned by medieval princes and hair as black as the clear evening sky of the island. All the beautiful ladies in the Tourist Prohibited Area of Bevar, TPA or commonly known as the Untouchable Village follows the pathways of this guy next door looking lad which he courteously acknowledge with a humble smile . Erich is a person every girl has been looking for: with looks, with physique, with virtue. The afternoon of that day, Erick began to unpack his luggage in his new home, the Lord Rick Castle. He was accommodated in one of the 30 huge guestrooms of the castle. The room is bigger than the house Erick had been living since he was born: it has a four-poled bed with expensive looking sheets; a personalized cabinet made from finest wood and sculptured by Europe’s well-known sculptors; carpeted floor and stained windows. His room lies beneath the Masters’ Bedroom and in front of Lord Rick’s youngest daughter’s room but fortunately, the Alfonso’s are not living there. They only remember the castle every autumn when birds begin to fly towards south, which is very clear if seen from the topmost tower of the chateau. Erick feels that he owns the whole place for he has been instructed by Lord Rick to feel the royalty, which he awfully enjoys. The monotony of Erick life in that grand castle in Bevar is much boring. He is not allowed to go out unless, otherwise, he is being sent to fetch some new antiques to be placed in the living area from the city. He spent many nights longing for the world outside the castle’s marble gates, behind its marvelous stonewalls and manmade enchanted forest.

Two long weeks of monotony was broken by a noisy horn outside the castle’s skyscraping doors. Erick quickly formulated the conclusion that the Alfonsos have thought of a surprise visit or planning to hold a grand ball but then, he never panicked. Erick has just finished fixing the castle with ten house cleaners and male servants. When he opened the castle doors, a long, wavy haired lass, with eyes like diamonds, lips as red as roses and skin as white as clouds stared at him closely as if they are just waiting for them to touch each other’s lips. Erick, returning to his own self shake his head twice to feel reality and stared back to the lady, now, not been carried away. “Good Afternoon, Madame. What can I do for you?” as he darted his pair of humble beautiful eyes to the lady at the doorstep. “Oh, accept my apologies!” as the lady realize that she is still in the state of shock. “I am Lord Rick’s youngest daughter, Stella Vanessa Alfonso. I came here to stay for spring and summer before I get back to school in Europe. Who are you, by the way? Why are staying in our castle?” as the young lady ask Erick with sweet smile, soft voice and glowing eyes obviously, looking mesmerized by the beauty of the lad. “Sorry, Madame! I’m Erick. I am new here. I just moved in a couple of weeks ago to guard your father’s collection. Welcome, Madame Stella.” as he open the castle doors in full and give way to his maiden master with red cheeks and a simper. “Call me Stella. I am too young to be a Madame and in fact it’s 2004, we must live in the modern world and not in Madams and Lords. Furthermore, I hate social gaps so please, live like a master here and I will be your lady. Understand?” as Stella smiles with the inner thought of having Erick as his man will be an achievement. He finds Erick so cute and gentle which is very much true. Erick on the other hand, still acted awkwardly having her young maiden acting so normal and modern despite the fact that she just see him a couple of minutes ago. That night, “Ma’am, dinner is ready.” as he knocks on Stella’s door to invite her for dinner. “I told you not to call me ma’am. Stella will do, and please join me for dinner.” as the Lord’s lass run down the stairs for dinner still wearing her meaningful smile. “Just eat first, Ma…Stella. I will just have mine in the kitchen.” Erick slowly drifted away still shaking and ashamed for calling her master in her name. “No, you won’t! Eat here or I will be the one to eat with you in the kitchen.” as Stella depicted a child ready to cry loudly with turned lips and sharp eyes which is just of course, a false imitation. The not-so-concerned helpers in the castle began to clear throat and chat softly as if they smell some unusual understanding between their master and the young helper. “Are you sure? I am not worthy to eat with my master. I respect you Stella as my master. I must learn to put myself in my own standing. I am very sorry.” as he turned towards Stella with an irritated look yet still reflects his gentleness and then turned away and move towards the kitchen door. “Okay, fine. Let’s put it this way. Don’t treat me as your master; treat me as your friend, so now sit here and eat. Or, you will eat there and I will bring my food there and eat with you. Be my friend or I’ll eat as you do?” holding her plate ready for transfer. “Okay, I’ll eat with you!” Erick take a deep breath as a sign of refusal but then deep inside, he liked it too. The two young people begin eating and talking until they ended in talking, talking, talking and talking.

Stella, Lord Rick’s daughter has same age as Erick do. She studied her primary years in Paris, Secondary at London, and Tertiary still in London. She is considered the different one among the Alfonso Daughters. She is modern, yet conservative; talkative, yet gentle and probably has the most expressively molded physique, face and values. Stella is the most charming among the daughters of Lord Rick not to mention her equal views between servants and masters. To cut it short, she is a real person. After a long talk in front of the table, Erick felt comfort talking to Stella, which on the lass’s side is probably a blessing to have a talk with the cutest guy she ever met. As they leave the table, “Stella, want to have a walk under the moonlight? The weather is fine and I think the stars are clear this time of the night.” “Oh, sure, I love to!”. They both headed for the castle grounds and lay down under the star-filled heavens. They continue talking while taking rest down in the romantic place of the castle. It was nearly midnight when Stella finds herself sleeping under that dark night sky and in her amusement, Erich is actually staring at her straight to her eyes, which he quickly turned to the first thing he sees when Stella woke up. She slowly get into her feet after stretching her body still tired but yet fulfilled with her first goal and ride the stairs to the room. Erick is also on his feet and followed Stella to the stairs to take a long sleep in his den after staring the young maiden for a couple of hours.

The first week of Stella in the castle goes very well: Usual talks with Erick; frequent visits to other manors with Erick; Horseback riding in the Alfonso’s Ranch still with Erich. All Stella’s appointments are set with Erick. The lad has also enjoyed the company of her best friend, which he finally considers himself for Stella. They treated each other as close friends. They have picnics every other day and movies in the castle’s theater everyday. The servants enjoy making gossips between Erick and Stella, which sometimes, Stella, make her own stories and being told to the house cleaners to make Erick make a move towards her. Two weeks later, God answered Stella’s begging prayers. Erick woke up so early that morning and prepared a very special meal not to mention the fresh red roses in the vase. He called up for Stella who is still in her royal bed that morning. Stella takes a dip in her bubble tub to refresh herself and goes down to the dining area. “Oh, what is this mess so early in the morning?” as she sees petals of variety of roses settled on the floor: white, red, blue and yellow. She started to gargle some messy words when she realize Erick stands far across the table carrying a bouquet of different-colored roses like the ones on the floor and walking towards her. “ Oh, forgive me Stella. I have something to ask you. It is something that concerns you and me. Us. I felt this beat the first time I saw you but I hesitated to make a move because… because you’re my master. I think I am falling for you. I am ready to take a chance, whatever it takes. Would you be my girl?” as Erick speaks straight to the eyes of Stella showing his sincerity and respect to the young lady. The lady in her shocked, sweet and amused face answered his prince charming, “I do want to be your lady, young man of Bevar.” embracing Erick with her smooth, delicate skin. This scene is being witnessed by more than twenty housecleaners and male servants of the castle. They begin to look at each other’s face as Erick gently kiss Stella’s sweet lips. After a month, a big problem arouses. It happened a night before Stella’s plan to call her parents to tell them about her relationship with Erick. It was late midnight. All were in deep sleep including Erick when out from nowhere a masked man entered the castle’s tower and stole one of the antiques, one of the queen’s favorite rings. It was made up of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and gold. The ring was considered the most expensive ring in a world-renowned valuable things magazine. It was gone with a split of a second and in a wrong time.

The next day, before Stella get into the phone, a noisy beep outside the castle stopped her in her moves and run towards the door. “ Oh, my dear Stella. When did you get home? How are you? Where are the servants?” Madame Clara Devian Alfonso, wife of Lord Rick showed up in front of Stella talking again in her nasty rich-sounding accent. “Oh, Mom. I thought you are not going home yet. So soo…on, huh?” she asked with shaking voice. “Oh, yes. We did plan to get home early because we are planning to fly to New York to sell the Queen’s Ring.” answered Madame Claire, as she calls her name. Lord Rick on the other hand, runs towards the castle tower to get the queen’s ring when, “Where is the queen’s ring? You dumb pigeon! I hired you to check and guard my valuables. You are not paid to be me!” as Erick’s master shouted in front of his face, never showing a signal before doing it. “That ring costs more than your life!!! Do you understand? ” as he shrieks louder. “ I…I am very sorry my Lord. The ring was just there yesterday.” Erick reasoned with frightened voice. “No more reasons, reasons, reasons. Get your things and leave the castle right away. I don’t need some useless underdogs in my house. There you go! Shhh!!” as he pushed away Erick away throwing an envelope with money from the tower room. “No, I will not let you take us apart!!” shouted Stella with sparkling tears and wet eyes. “ I love your underdog. I love that irresponsible guy, you call.” “ He will leave this castle for once and now that you admitted your feelings for him, I guess I need to fly you back to Europe.” Lord Rick threatened Stella with his sharp rich eyes. “When did this happen? You fall in love with an ‘untouchable’? You are disgraced to this family.” as Madame Claire slaps Stella in the face, a slap of disgust and rejection. Erick left the castle for hundreds of meters away but not far away. He gets into one’s house as a servant paid with a house nearest to his love. He manages to satisfy his new master with his performance which latter, he was paid for his job. Erick stays in that house for nearly a month until he had his money saved for Stella and him, and ready to take Stella away from the Alfonsos. Stella, on the other hand, is locked away in her room and is only allowed to go out if its mealtime. She cries night and day. No minute in the castle, that Stella smiled. It is like mourning for a dead loved one. This life of Stella took place while Erick is away. The first night of Erick’s appearance after a month of vanish took place in Stella’s window in her room. It is a dark, rainy night. “Stella. Stella!” as Erick softly called for her name in her windows. “Erick!!! What are you doing there? Mom and Dad might see you.” she answered with softer voice. “I don’t care. Stella, prepare your things tomorrow night, we will be leaving. Ok. I will be back, same time.” he instructed. Stella kissed Erick on his red lips and waved a sweet smile on her beloved young man. The night of the escape come. Stella dressed up for her escape, she already has her bags packed and ready to leave the luxury of life just for the man she loves. Erick reach her windows, Stella quickly opened it and pushed her delicate self outside that little stone window. Suddenly, the door of the room opened. It is Lord Rick carrying a gun. He quickly pointed the gun towards his daughter when out from nowhere before he fired the gun, Madame Claire pushed herself to the mouth of the weapon and BANG!!! She released a piece of jewelry from her hands, the Queen’s Ring. The gunshot was heard clearly all over the castle. Blood covered the whole circle of Madame Claire. Her majestic white gown suddenly turned to blood red. The usual elegance of her beauty shifted to sleepy eyes and boneless fall. She slowly hold the most painful part of her with her left and used her other hand in pulling her husband’s lips and kiss him with tenderness, the last kiss she could ever give to the person she loves and the person who ended her life. Stella, blanked, run to her blood-bathed mother, “Mom, don’t die. I beg you. Call for an ambulance!!! Now!!!” Stella shouted with grief. “Ste…ella, I… I dddid steal thhe ringgg. I knnnew about wwhat’s happennning herre. The hhelpers tolld me. Forgggive me, my Stttellla” Madame Claire take a deep breath and leave in the hands of her daughter and in the mistake of his greedy husband. After the incident, Erick and Stella flee from the castle, leaving Lord Rick in that gigantic fairy-tale house. Stella, returned back to London to finish her studies after that huge tragedy in her life. Erick was given by Lord Rick a mansion and a wide plantation of grapes for wine as a payment for what he had done. The Untouchable Villagers are hired to work for the plantation of the vines. The lad works hard for his lady’s return. Bevar, a place of fantasy, a place of perfection, a place of harmony, and a place of an equal standing of masters and servants in the view of love. This is a story of a traditional love built against the walls of money, greed and luxury; a story that happens everytime; the story of his, your, or my love…
Tristan Val Leonida
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