Chapter Five

Chapter Five

A Chapter by Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Chapter Five

 


          I lost track of time as I sat there, talking to him.   He was quite charming, telling me stories of his experiences as Prince and even what he was like before he became an Otherkind.  I wondered to myself what about me made him think that I was trustworthy enough to know everything that he was telling me.  I felt bad that I wasn’t responding or anything.  I just sat there, listening, smiling.  I probably looked like a stupid fool.  I certainly felt like one.

          At last, a question came to me.

          “Your majesty, perhaps this is none of my business, and you certainly don’t have to tell me, of course, but--what happened at the court that made you so angry?”  The Prince looked at me, a gleam to his eyes that made my stomach turn over.  He reverted his eyes and sighed heavily.

          “People.  Grown-ups.  They don’t approve of my decisions though I am Prince.  It’s ridiculous.”  He paused.  “We were discussing what to do with an Ancanthia soldier who has been accused of murdering several of his fellows.  They have no definite proof, however, that this man committed the crime.  The Epsilian nobles want him dead.  I told them no, he would be kept in the dungeons until we can find proof.  They were outraged, and I haven’t the slightest idea why.  Politicians.  They’re such…idiots.”

          “Hmm.  That doesn’t make much sense to me.  You cannot execute someone unless you have proof that they absolutely committed the crime.  It quite simply follows to reason…”  I said.

          “Yeah.  Lady Felicity?”

          “Yes, your majesty?”

          “You may call me Sebastian.  If you don’t mind me asking, what do you intend to do with the rest of your life?”

          I thought for a moment, slightly bewildered by the fact that the Prince wanted me to call him by his first name.  And I was even more bewildered by his question, which I had never considered an answer to before, oddly enough.

“Well, as I said earlier, I just had my armoring.  It’s a traditional Araelian ceremony in which a child reaches the age of fifteen and is armored, fit and ready to begin their lives outside of the family home.  I suppose I will just travel and look for something to do.”  I said with a shrug.

          “Fifteen, wow.  That’s pretty young to leave the nest.  Although I guess I shouldn’t be the one to talk…”

          “And how old are you then, your majesty?”

          “Sebastian.”  he said, a little firmer than last time.  “Seventeen.  Eighteen in six months.”

          I was slightly taken aback.  “Seventeen! You can’t possibly! You seem so much older…”

          “My air of maturity, perhaps.”  he said, with an amused tone.  He looked at me with a less-than-intelligent face and I laughed.

          “This might sound rather silly, but…” he said afterwards, “…do you like to dance?”

          “Oh, yes!”

          He stood up and held out his hand.  I took it immediately, without thinking.  “Waltz?”

          I nodded.

          He led me out into the thin wood that surrounded the city.  Fireflies bigger than any I had ever seen were flying about; casting a gorgeous golden glow. 

He began the waltz.  I followed easily.  We were a good couple, he and I.  We moved flawlessly, effortlessly.  Despite his masculine build, Sebastian was gifted with natural grace.

          He began to sing the notes of a song, one that was unfamiliar to my ears.  I listened, my feet and body moving sub-consciously to the sway of his melody.


Felicity,

Girl of the golden forest

She took my hand and my heart

And made them her harp strings

 

Felicity,

She wore a long white dress

That sang with the western wind

Like a kindly old friend

 

Felicity,

Her body’s song sings sweetly

As it plays along with mine

Keeping the infinite time

 

Felicity,

Autumn’s child

A beautiful melody

 

He stopped.  Stopped singing, stopped dancing.  He looked me straight in the eye.  I held his gaze, something that I never seemed to be able to do.

“I’m sorry.  I’m a poet.”  he said with a laugh.  “And you, you…are such…inspiration.”

I smiled.  “Thank you.”  He smiled back, and began dancing again.  He twirled me.  I loved the feel of his hands in mine or around my waist.  The feel of his taut muscles through his silk tunic.  I was falling for him, the Prince of Ancantha, and I knew it at that moment.  And he too, was falling for me.  What a wonderful joy…and fear…that bubbled inside of me during that moment.

For whatever reason, the image of my family portrait came to my mind.

“So tell me, Sebastian, have you a family? Tell me about them.”  I said.  I realized what I had said the second I finished saying it.  I was so stupid and distracted! How could I ask an Otherkind such a heartless question?

A shadow passed over Sebastian’s face.  He looked down at the dirt under our feet and swallowed hard.  My heart sank down to the pit of my stomach.

“Sebastian, I’m so sorry.  I can’t believe I just asked that.”  I was at a loss for words.  “Please, I--“

He looked back at me and shook his head.  “No, no.  It’s fine.  Really.”  It was clear that we were finished dancing, though he still held my right hand.  With his left he retrieved a watch from his vest pocket.

“Goodness, it’s nearly mid-night.  We’ve been out here for four hours!  I’d better go in, before my attendants come looking for me.”

“Yes, my father and brother will wonder where I have disappeared to.  I left them at the pub.”

Sebastian laughed.  “Indeed.  I don’t care how classy or upscale a pub in Epsilia is, it’s still unsuited for a lady like you.  Well then, my sincerest of gratitude, Lady Felicity.  It has been a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”  He bowed and kissed my hand before letting it go.

I curtsied.  “Good heavens, no, the pleasure was all mine, Prince Sebastian.  Thank you so much for…everything.  Not every girl can say that she has danced with the Prince.”   I laughed slightly.

Sebastian reached out and tucked a loose strand of hair behind my ear.  His expression was soft and somewhat tired.  His touch made me feel warm from the top of my head to the tips of my toes.

“Lady Felicity, I hope to dance with you again.”  he said, very quietly.

“I will be here…for a week.”  I said, reassuringly. 

“Lovely.  Then--“

Your majesty?”  called a voice from inside the tower.

“Come back here tomorrow night.”  he said, excitedly.  As if that was forbidden.  Was it?  “The twentieth hour.  Good night, good night.”  And he went in, shutting the door behind him.

Thus he left me there at his doorstep, with my heart pitter-pattering like a child’s footsteps upon a blanket of just-fallen leaves.


~*~


          I changed back into my previous outfit, stuffing my new dress and shoes into my rucksack.  I hurried back to the pub.

          The place was swamped with quite an amalgamation of people, all shapes and sizes and colors and races.  I saw faeries with their bright hair and decorated faces, dwarves with braided beards, and of course the humans.  I even sensed the aura of two elves, but I couldn’t spot them in the crowd.

          I made my way through to the bartender.  “Hello.  Do you know where my companions went?

          “Ah yes, they decided to lodge here for tonight.  They’re upstairs, missy.  Rooms four and five.”

          “Thank you.”  I headed upstairs, wondering if they were still awake.  Door four was locked, as expected.  I knocked sharply.  No answer, so I knocked again.  I heard something crash inside the room.  I waited for a minute, but still no one answered the door.  Annoyed, I knocked on door five.  Within ten seconds Sean opened the door.

          “Hey.” he said.  “There’s a bed in here for you.”

          “Where’s Isaiah and my father?”

          “They’re in the other room.  Wasted.  I had to carry them up here.”

          I shook my head.  “You seem fine.”

          “Yeah.  Come in.”  he moved aside and I walked in.  The room was larger than I expected.  It looked considerably clean, but smelled damp and slightly like rotting wood.

          “There’s a bathroom over there.”  said Sean.  “I’m going to go to sleep now.”

          “Oh, you weren’t waiting for me, were you?”

          “Yeah.  How else would you get in?”  he said, no anger to his voice.  Just tired matter-of-factness.

          “I’m so sorry--“

          “Don’t worry about it.  Get some sleep.  G’night.”

          I went into the bathroom.  It smelled even more damp and rotten than the room.  I grimaced.  I didn’t really want to shower or even change into my bedclothes in that room.  I took off my jacket and riding skirt, leaving my shirt and knickers on.  I managed to wash my face and use my jacket as a towel.  I quickly pulled my hair up into a messy roll.  At that moment, a waft of Sebastian’s cologne reached my nostrils.  I closed my eyes and relished in that scent.  It took me back to that moment when he and I were dancing in the woods.  A moment that had occurred just an hour before and yet now felt so far away.

          I got into bed; thankfully, the sheets were quite clean.  I pulled the blankets up to my face, trying to drown out the moldy smell of the air.  I closed my eyes and imagined that I was in Sebastian’s arms again.  That place where I felt warm and happy and free.

          Sure enough, I fell asleep quickly, comforted as I was.


~*~


I woke up feeling quite uncomfortable.  The room was hot and stuffy, and my hair was everywhere.  I groaned as I threw off the covers.  I felt dirty and gross, having slept in my riding clothes.  I strained my still half-asleep eyes to see the clock.  Five-thirty.  What on earth was I awake already?  I was not accustomed to going to bed so late, but I suppose my internal clock still wanted me up early.

          Well, there was no way I could go back to sleep now.  I looked over at Sean.  He was still sound asleep.  I got out of bed silently and tip-toed to the bathroom, where I washed up and changed back into my dress and slippers.  The dress still smelled of Sebastian, which delighted me so that I forgot all of my previous annoyances.  I smiled in the mirror as I did my hair into a neat bundle of braids. I wished that I had some flowers to put in, but alas.

          I went downstairs and ordered a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll for breakfast.  The restaurant was wonderfully empty and quiet.  The bartender was wiping down tables, whistling as he did so.

          “Did you sleep well, my lady?”  asked the bartender’s wife.

          “Oh yes, thank you.”  I said around a mouthful.  I hadn’t realized how hungry I was until I began eating.  After a moment we began to hear a commotion coming from outside.

          “All hail the Prince! He comes!”  Someone announced.  The bartender and his wife quickly made their way outside.  I followed suit, nearly stumbling over a stool as I went out.

          I pushed through the crowd, wanting ever so much to catch a glimpse of Sebastian’s face before he passed by.  He was still a ways up the road, on a beautiful brown horse.  He had two companions with him.  The city dwellers bowed and curtsied as he passed by, some even falling to their knees.  Sebastian looked tired and solemn, but he reached out and touched the hands of his people.  I couldn’t help but notice that there was a certain sorrow to the whole scene.  What exactly was going on?

          Sebastian’s eyes locked on mine, his expression unchanging.  I shoved my way to the front of the crowd and grasped his arm for a brief moment before he continued on his way.

 


I ran as fast as I could up to the castle.  I was intercepted by a guard.

          “Excuse me, my lady, what business do you have at the castle?” he asked.

          I curtsied.  “I must know.  Where is the Prince going?”

          He hesitated.  “I’m afraid that it isn’t my place to answer that question…”

          “Well then, can you direct me to someone who can?”

          He nodded and led me inside, past the throne room and to a pair of closed doors.

          “Lord Jasper’s office, my lady.” said the guard, standing aside.  “Officer of Public Relations.”

I knocked on the door.

          “Come in.”  said a rather lofty voice from inside.  I swallowed before opening the door and letting myself in.  I immediately walked up to his desk and curtsied.  The dark-browed man looked up expectantly.

          “Lord Jasper.  My name is Felicity Delacourte.  I am an acquaintance of the Prince.”  I took a much needed breath before I continued, “Is it possible for me to know where the Prince is going and why?”

          “Oh, most certainly, my lady.  The Prince is going to Marrowÿn to investigate a fledgling sighting.  According to my records, two people were injured very early this morning.”

          “Fledglings! Are the people quite sure?”

          “They say they are certain.  Myself?  I believe it.  They couldn’t all have been wiped out during the war.”  He didn’t look at me when he said this.  Instead, he scribbled his signature on a sheet of parchment.  And there was something odd in his tone, though I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I subconsciously wondered if he had anything to do with the war, though he looked far too young to have fought in it.

          “If I might make a request?” I continued.  Lord Jasper searched his desk for something, still not looking at me.

          “Certainly.”

          “I am an Araelian warrioress.  I have been training since I was barely five years old.  I request permission to ride to Marrowÿn and accompany the Prince in his endeavors and then his return journey.”

          He looked up at me then.  I realized that I probably didn’t look like an Araelian warrioress in my dress and with my hair fixed so daintily.  I felt embarrassed for half a second before he spoke.

          “Prince Sebastian has two of our finest soldiers with him, my lady.  If it is his safety you are concerned about, you need not worry.”

          My eyes fell to the floor.  I didn’t know what to say next that would convince him to let me go.

          Lord Jasper cleared his throat. “Although, this might just be the first mission as an Armored that you need…”  he said distantly, and my heart skipped a beat.  “…Very well then, Lady Felicity, here.”--He handed me a small rolled-up piece of paper--“You have my consent to accompany the Prince’s party.  Be careful, Mira Pass is dangerous nowadays.”



© 2012 Aianarie (INACTIVE)


Author's Note

Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Just finished writing this last night, so it's fresh stuff. :-) Because of so many requests to put this up, I haven't edited this very much, so if you see any grammar or spelling mistakes PLEASE LET ME KNOW so I can fix them. Thank you and enjoy!

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Featured Review

Just as I suspected--romance! Very chaste and modest, yes, but romance nonetheless. Heh, I'm just teasing. You keep a very lofty, sophisticated tone, and even the romance follows suit. It's very well written, fits the characters. I like the song/poem too.

I caught the sinister undertone there at the end. Judging from what I know about Jasper in OK, it got me thinking...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Just as I suspected--romance! Very chaste and modest, yes, but romance nonetheless. Heh, I'm just teasing. You keep a very lofty, sophisticated tone, and even the romance follows suit. It's very well written, fits the characters. I like the song/poem too.

I caught the sinister undertone there at the end. Judging from what I know about Jasper in OK, it got me thinking...

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

good job i liked it

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A very good chapter. I like the poem and the dance. The prince seem like a good guy. I like how you ended the chapter. Thank you for the excellent chapter.
Coyote

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

love love LOVE!! The dancing scene was so cute and unique. amazing! This whole chapter!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I didn't notice mistakes, but then I am too fast of a reader so I may have missed it.
I love how the world is some mix of the renaissance and present day, or at least that is how it seems to me. Nice chapter. (:

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

very good cant wait for the next one :) my favorite part was Felicity,
Girl of the golden forest
She took my hand and my heart
And made them her harp strings

Felicity,
She wore a long white dress
That sang with the western wind
Like a kindly old friend

Felicity,
Her body’s song sings sweetly
As it plays along with mine
Keeping the infinite time

Felicity,
Autumn’s child
A beautiful melody

great job :)

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You were right I did love it!!!! Prince Sebastion is so cool!!!! I love the dancing scene!!! Put the next chapter up soon!!!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on March 23, 2012
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Aianarie (INACTIVE)
Aianarie (INACTIVE)

Eugene, OR



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