Elsa Winters was the daughter of Agnarr and Iduna Winters, owners of Winters Enterprises. This was the largest tech company in the world, ensuring Elsa was in the spotlight from the moment she was born. As their daughter, she would be the one to take over the company.
It was interesting to have a multimillion-dollar corporation handed to you on a silver platter. Elsa knew she was the envy of many. They didn't see everything though. They didn't realize the girl had had a series of tutors since the approximate age of three. They didn't know she spoke 7 different languages before the age of 8. They didn't know how exhausting it was to be a Winters.
The girl's fate had been decided before she was even born. Elsa Winters would take over the company; there was never even a question about that. Furthermore, she had to be the perfect daughter, maintaining the image her parents had carefully crafted. That was why Elsa had developed a series of rules she always had to follow.
1. Winters have impeccable speaking skills
Elsa gave speech after speech, stunning her audiences with the eloquence she possessed. The girl had only been six when she gave her first speech in front of a live audience, not stumbling over a single word. There was no room for failure when one was a Winters.
"What are you working on?" The girl turned around to see Jack Frost leaning over her shoulder, staring at the speech she was writing. He frowned in confusion. "I don't even know what half of those words mean."
Resisting the urge to laugh, Elsa settled for a smile. That smile grew when Jack took the seat beside her. "It's my speech for an upcoming gala." This was her fifth draft. A few more and she'd be ready to start rehearsing.
"Ah, well, I'm sure it'll be great. All your speeches are." Jack seemed to notice the confusion on Elsa's face and continued. "I watched your speech from last night on tv. A thirty-minute speech with no notes nor hesitation. Honestly, Els, you're amazing!" He gave the girl a proud smile and Elsa felt her face flush.
"T-thank you." Elsa gasped in surprise. She had just stuttered, hadn't she? Never in the seventeen years she had been alive could Elsa recall ever stuttering. However, the look of admiration on Jack's face made it hard to apply her speech skills. "I, um, going now! I'm going now!" She shot up from her seat, nearly knocking the chair over. What the heck was happening? "Bye!" Elsa dashed out of the library, her face burning hot.
She didn't see the fact Jack was watching her leave, a dazed smile on his face. "Adorable," he whispered.
2. Winters conceal their emotions
Conceal, don't feel. Conceal, don't feel. Conceal, don't-
Elsa's pencil broke in her hand and it was mechanical. She groaned slightly, cleaning up the pieces and grabbing a new pencil. She was working on her Calculus homework, and she just needed to focus on it again. For some reason, she couldn't.
She and Jack had been working on school together when a girl had come up and asked if she could talk to Jack. The girl had silky black hair and ruby red lips. Her perfect figure was being shown off with her skin-tight jeans and black crop top. The girl was undeniably gorgeous.
It was no surprise that Jack had followed the girl, letting her flirt with him for the past ten minutes. At least, it definitely looked like flirting, with the way the girl kept lightly hitting his shoulder and dramatically laughing at every word he said. What was wrong with this girl?
The blonde wanted to punch her for coming across as so desperate, so needy. Why had she felt the need to interrupt their studies just to flirt with Jack? The library was hardly the place for this. She needed to understand boundaries.
The girl dropped her pencil as she heard a slight cracking sound; she was about to break another pencil. Elsa just needed to take deep breaths and focus on keeping her emotions under control. Who cared that this girl was flirting with Jack? Who cared that she was leaning in to kiss-
Before the blonde even knew what had happened, Elsa was beside the pair, stopping her from kissing Jack. She must have looked angry because the girl was staring at Elsa with fear in her eyes. The blonde tried to make her face neutral but she couldn't seem to get rid of her glare.
"Shit, are you guys dating? I just thought he was cute and wanted to get his number." The girl backed away slightly, one hand gripping her bag tight enough to make her knuckles white. "I'll, um, leave you alone. Sorry."
Elsa felt herself calming down as she watched the girl walk away. Her fist had unclenched, though the blonde hadn't even realized she was clenching them before. Not to mention, her face finally seemed neutral again.
Jack looked at her in amusement, raising a brow. "Do I dare ask what the heck just happened?" He chuckled slightly as they went back to their table.
The girl honestly couldn't explain what had happened; she never lost control of her emotions before. No one could see the fear that consumed Elsa each time she gave a speech. No one saw the hurt Elsa felt when her parents missed her birthday due to a business trip. No one ever had a clue what Elsa was feeling, until now.
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but, well, you seemed a little jealous." Jack was studying her carefully and Elsa felt her face flush. He seemed to sense she was uncomfortable and brushed the topic aside. "Nevermind, time to do some calculus; think you could help me with number 12?"
Elsa didn't miss the strange looks Jack was giving her throughout the rest of the time at the library. Had she really been jealous? Was that the feeling that finally broke her facade?
3. Winters are never childish
Jack raised a brow at his friend. "Please tell me that was a joke."
The blonde shook her head, staying put where she was. Staying where she would remain dry. "Only kids play in the rain," She repeated. Still, the girl had to admit it looked fun what Jack was doing, the way he was twirling around like he didn't have a care in the world.
Not to mention, the boy looked beautiful as he danced around. His shirt was clinging to his skin, revealing his lean yet surprisingly muscular body. His messy white hair was sticking slightly to his face, water flinging from the rest of his hair as he moved his head around. Elsa felt she could watch this forever.
Then the boy approached her, a mischievous glint in his eye. He reached out, grabbing the girl and pulling her out into the rain. "Rain is not just for kids and it's sad you think that." He smiled at her, using her hand to twirl her around.
Elsa felt herself go from dry to soaked in a matter of seconds, her clothes now hugging her body. There weren't any people left in the park, but they were still in public. Anyone could see what Elsa was about to do.
The girl laughed, spinning around as she looked up at the sky. For the first time in a long time, the girl felt weightless; she felt free. She ran around the park, loving the coolness as the rain hit her skin.
She was too busy laughing and enjoying the rain to notice Jack was staring at her with a smile on his face. "I love you," he whispered to himself before running over to the blonde.
The two danced in the rain until all their energy left them.
4. Winters always obey
Elsa sat on her best friend's porch, feeling the tears in her eyes. It was her eighteenth birthday and never before had the girl felt so broken. "Marriage, Jack." She shook her head, the tears beginning to fall. "They said I have to marry Liam Quarters so that our companies can merge. They're giving me away like some kind of pawn."
They had raised the girl to take over the company from the moment she was born, something that made her sick now. This had always been her parent's plan. She wasn't meant to run the business; Elsa was meant to be a trophy wife. She would marry Liam and he would run their merged companies. All Elsa did was keep a Winters as part of the business.
"Are you going to do it?" Jack's voice was soft and sounded nearly as broken as Elsa's own.
Elsa sobbed miserably, forcing herself to take deep breaths. "I have to!" Came her miserable reply. "This is what I have to do. It's what it means to be Elsa Winters."
The girl wanted to run away, to leave her parents and never look back. She didn't care about the company or the money. She just wanted to have a say in her own life. Why was she born a Winters? Why was her future sealed for her?
Jack gently rubbed the girl's back, holding her close to him. "You don't have to, Els. My parents love you; you can come live here." His voice was still strained but now there was some optimism in it, and the sound made Elsa want to die. She couldn't leave. The girl was a puppet who would forever be in her parent's hands.
"Els, look at me." His eyes were intense, a determination in them that Elsa hadn't seen before. "This might be the worst possible time for me to say this but, fuck it, I need to say it before you get married. You're so much more than Elsa Winters. You're passionate, funny, and inspiring. You sacrificed your childhood to be what your parents wanted; actually, you sacrifice more than that. You're not just amazing at speeches. You're not just a perfect student. You're not just a pawn in some twisted game your parents are playing."
He grabbed her hands, his eyes still locked on hers. "You're a girl who goes out of her way to make people smile. A girl who helps me with my homework without ever complaining. A girl who loves to dance and sing." He took a deep breath. "You're a girl I'm in love with. I love you, Els. I love Elsa, not the Elsa Winters everyone sees."
That day Jack helped Elsa change the future she once thought was set in stone. She grabbed her stuff from her parent's house and left without looking back, not even when her father called out to her.
"Elsa Winters, come back inside this instance!"
The blonde smiled even though she knew her father couldn't see it. "No." With that word, the girl was finally free.
5. Winters are always Winters
"I now pronounce you husband and wife."
Elsa smiled widely at her husband, feeling more joy than she ever felt possible. Ever since that night that Jack had confessed his love and the pair shared their first kiss, the blonde had been able to feel things she had never felt before.
Jack's parents treated her like a daughter, throwing her a small birthday party after she moved in. It was the first one she had ever had. They didn't try to use Elsa to their advantage. They didn't care when she tripped and spilled her drink all over the kitchen floor. They forgave her flaws and praised her strengths. They loved her.
"You know what this means, right?" Jack leaned forward to whisper to his wife. She raised a brow in response. "You've been a Frost for years, but now it's legal. You're Elsa Frost."
The girl would admit she was still saddened by the fact her birth parents cared very little for her. She had cried the night she watched them merge with the Quarter family and her dad had looked right at the camera and pointed to Liam while saying, "This boy is like a son to me."
Still, despite the pain she felt from losing them, she still loved the fact she was no longer Elsa Winters. The girl had never known how to escape her last name but now she had done it. "That has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Elsa Frost." The girl tasted the name on her lips. "Yes, I quite like that."
"Good, because it's yours for life." Jack smiled lopsidedly at her and Elsa couldn't help the affection that swelled up within her. Elsa Frost was finally living a life that made her happy.