“You make that sound like a bad thing,” Max said with a chuckle, raising his arm as Melanie spun beneath him. “You’re a real piece of work, you know that?” He asked, laughing at her. He knew that the thing that Melanie hated wouldn’t be anything too terrible. At first. “I think every royal kid here hates it. That’s what it seems like. Except for Charming, I’d bet,” He said, coughing awkwardly. He didn’t understand why it felt like he couldn’t escape that prince. “But Mel—” Max inserted quietly. “You’re always needed,” Max knew that he always needed Melanie, his shoulder, his rock, his laughter, all of it came from his best friend. He knew what she meant, he knew it too well. “I’m sorry,” He said quietly. Part of him felt utterly disgusting because he wasn’t sure if he meant it. Was he sorry for the drugs? For fighting? He didn’t believe it. He wondered if he’d even sounded like he’d meant it. “It’s just who I am, Melanie. Always have been,” He shrugged. “As long as I can remember, at least.”
“You tell me that often enough so I think I know by now. I still hope it’s a good thing.” She said with a wink, the corners of her lips turning up. “Well being a royal is dreadful. It’s full of big ball gowns and corsets, pointy, uncomfortable shoes and fake friends. No one gave me the time of day until I had a crown on my head. It was… frustrating to say the least. That’s why I love this place, this is where everything changed.” She explained. “Charming? You mean Everett. Hmm… know quite about this boy don’t you, Maxy?” She teased. “Well thank you. It just… I don’t always feel needed…” Melanie admitted softly, still looking at the ground below her feet. “And don’t lie to yourself. What you do is not who you are. Because I like who you are, in fact I love who you are. You’re kind to me, you can always make me laugh, you’re caring and fun and everything wonderful a person can be. I just don’t like what you do.At all.”
Max chuckled, shrugging his shoulders. He knew what he was doing, but he couldn’t tell Melanie. Well, most days I’m too high to move out of my bed. Other times, I’m too hungover to see broad daylight. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to stumble my ass out the door when you showed up. “You know I’m a bum, so unless your ass is coming to spring mine, it’s not going anywhere,” He lied, simple and coolly. “That’s because you’re the definition of a princess, like, you know how the dictionaries have pictures?” He asked quirking an eyebrow. “Next to princess, I would put down money that there’s a picture of you,” He laughed. “Fine, fine,” He shook his head slowly. “Name me three things that you hate, that make you so angry that you could just, I dunno, hit them, break them, whatever,” He slowed down his pace, crossing his arms in front of his chest as a smug look spread across his face. “You can’t, can you?”
“Guess I’m going to have to visit a lot more often then! I can’t let you pass this summer by, this place is wonderful!” She told him, taking his hand and spinning herself under his arm. Melanie began walking backwards, leading him forward. “Ugh, mon dieu, please don’t say that!” Melanie said, rolling her eyes at the idea. She bit her lip, trying to think as hard as she could to something she didn’t like. “Hey, give me a minute!” She insisted, giggling softly. “Well I hate royal balls, royal anything really. They just make me so mad! They’re awful.” She said, sticking her tongue out in disgust. “I hate not being needed.” Melanie said, her expression becoming more solemn. “I hate when you hurt yourself, when you get yourself in trouble. That makes me angry. It makes me really angry.” Her voice was soft, looking only at the ground as her walk slowed.
Max looked around at the camp grounds as they walked. It seemed almost laughable, the way that Max could navigate this place in the thick of the night, still stoned, and find his way into his own bed. But out here, almost sober and in enough daylight, he didn’t have the slightest clue where they were. “I haven’t seen much of it honestly,” Max said, shrugging his shoulders. “It sort of reminds me of home, you know, with the way the trails and stuff are laid out,” Max had yet to determine whether the familiarity was a good thing or a bad one. “I’m sure you love it here, though. In the same way you love everything.”
“You haven’t seen much of it? Well what have you been doing?” She questioned as she swiftly navigated them through the grounds. Having been at camp last year truly helped her find things come this year. It was beautiful, to return to the camp exactly how she had left it. It was reassuring. “Ah, my home is mostly gardens onto open fields. Nothing exciting.” She said with a small shrug. “I’d love to see your home one day, though, I’m sure it’s beautiful.” Melanie expressed with another smile. “Hey! You make it sound like I don’t hate anything. Well sir, I’ll have you know I don’t just love it here for no reason. This places has a lot of memories for me, good ones!” She protested, fighting off as many giggles as she could from erupting from her lips.
“Sounds interesting,” Max said, chuckling. Truth be told, he’d have done whatever she wanted. He was just happy she wasn’t still mad at him for his arrest. He knew she couldn’t hold a grudge, but still. She seemed pretty upset for a long time, more so than when he’d kissed her brother. “Kinda like a little town or something,” He commented lightly. In a strange sort of a way, it sounded like where his house in Andalasia was. Of course his was actually home sized, but Max found himself thinking more and more on it. He thought he might like to take Melanie there one day. He could already hear her chastising him for being such a mess. “Of course I still want to go,” He laughed, throwing his arm around her shoulders. “Lead the way.”
“Aha, yeah sort of! Just small her, more spaced out, and lots and lots of dirt!” She exclaimed, giggling softly. “You’ll see what I mean when we get there.” Melanie said, leaning into Max’s chest as they began to walk towards the fort. She led the way, walking slowly and relaxed. She had missed Max and was in no rush to get anywhere. Walking with him was nice. “So, how are you liking camp so far?” She asked with a gently smile, looking up at him with her bright, kind eyes.
“What about all three?” Max asked with a chuckle. “A sort of menage a trois of camp activities,” He added, reaching for the door. “But first, I’d like to see this fort,” He requested with a sideways sort of a smile. he wondered if it would look similar to the fort that he and Alaina used to play in when they were kids. Maybe it could be his new little place of refuge when all of this mothering became too much. “Is it like, an abandoned cabin, or what?”
“Well, someone’s feeling adventurous then! Alright! All three it shall be!’ Melanie happily agreed. They were all fun things to do, and it would be even more fun with Max. He simply had that personality. “Aha, unfortunately no. It’s kind of like a great big, tall, wooden wall that makes this giant perimeter. And inside are little huts and stuff and you have a lot of options. I personally always have water gun fights there. But it’s really cool no matter what you do.” She explained brightly. “You still want to go?”
Valerie huffed breathy chuckles as Melanie complimented her, bringing her hand up to brush hair from out of her face. Mel’s weight was warm beneath her, and it was comforting in a way that also made heat pool at the base of her belly. When their eyes met again, that something tip-toed back into Valerie’s drunken mind, and on that impulse, she leaned down and pressed her mouth to Melanie’s, kissing her more languidly than the last two times, and bringing a hand up to cup the other girl’s face. She pulled away, their lips only inches apart. “God, Mel.” Valerie breathed.
Melanie moaned softly when their lips were once again reconnected. There was something, a burning something that coursed through her veins. Whether it be the alochol or the warmth of her best friend being pressed against her, Melanie wasn’t going to deny it. She held Valerie close, her hand moving into the girl’s raven locks and tangling her fingers there. “Val.” She mumbled softly in response, her eyes closed as she pulled their lips together again, loving the sensation it gave her. As the kiss deepened Melanie even began slowly moving her hips, gently rolling them up and crashing them against Valerie’s. It was addictive.