((Skipping to move on. Apologies.))
Anastasia said nothing as Seb replied. She just kept smiling, smiled at Jackson, smiled at Shawn, smiled for the cameras.
No words, only thoughts. Thoughts most definitely undeserving of a smile.
She hated it. Having to lie about what she was really feeling. What Seb did was more than stupid. It undermined her authority. Undermined the core of her philosophy. The only thing that could have been worse is if he had backed up that threat. Or one of the others joined in the insubordination.
She had declared herself an exalt and a queen. That boy reminded her that she was just a girl. The reality was she was no greater than anyone else.
Her declaration wasn't going to remain a joke. Not here. Reality could bite her. Out here, in the lawless world of SOTF, she would be a queen. An empress, a goddess, whatever she wanted.
And everyone would have to listen to and obey her.
Because if they didn't, then they would certainly come to regret it.
She was trying to save as many people as she could.
But if they didn't follow her, they wouldn't be going home.
None of them would be leaving her world without her permission. Everyone else could delude themselves into thinking they had control of their lives here. That was false. There was only one source of control here. One authority.
And people had better start following it. Because there wasn't a refusal option to her utopia.
She smiled at Shawn and blew him a kiss. "Come on babe, let's go out there and expand our kingdom!"
((Anastasia Arcadia continued in Bitter Dream