The night was cold. I could hear my footsteps echo on the cobblestone as I walked back to my room. I was tying my cloak when I saw a lantern in the distance approaching me. Fearing that is was Sarah, one of the queen’s lady-in-waiting’s, here to punish me for something I did wrong, I hid against a wall. I was hoping that it was just Allie, my friend, to walk back with me. But the lantern was coming from the Parlor and the Ballroom, and she works in the kitchens. As it came closer, I could hear two people talking. Arguing. Who would it be, at this hour? I figured that if they saw me, I would be accused of spying, or lurking around when I should be in my room. I quickly picked up my lantern, blew out the candle, and pressed myself against the wall. As they came closer I saw Prince Ashton, with a girl who was wearing a light blue dress, the color that all the maidservants wore.
I knew exactly what was going on now. You see, Price Ashton had a bad reputation among the ladies in the castle. From what I have heard he uses them for his own sinful purposes. Prince Ashton was walking over to the spot where I stood practically dragging the girl behind him. Sinking farther back into the shadows so I would not be seen, I nearly knocked over the lantern. I stopped just far enough away to be able to see them clearly, in between the wall and a pillar. I carefully turned my head so I was looking directly at them, and inched my way forward as far as I dared. The girl was leaning against the wall, and her hands were clenched in fists. Prince Ashton had one hand around her wrist, and the other leaning against the wall. He was talking in a low voice, barley audible for me let alone the girl. She twisted her head away from the wall, and looked at where I was hidden. Her eyes locked with mine, and she instantly tried to twist away, but he was too strong. Her red hair was unmistakable. It was Allie. “Leave her alone!” I shouted, jumping out of the shadows. Prince Ashton leaped back in surprise, loosening his grip on Allie, giving her just enough time break free firm his grasp and run away. By the look in his eyes, I could see that he was very upset. His eyes were shining with an unforgiving glare, but I was too focused on my victory of freeing my friend to pay attention to anything else. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed his hand, coming towards my face, and smack my cheek before I had time to move. Restraining my hand touching where he hit, I stared him down with defiance in my eye, for I did not want to appear weak. Just as he was raising his hand to hit me once more I heard a voice. “And now what? Are you going to hit her again? How will that help?” said Prince Ezra, or rather his voice drifting down the corridor. He was still standing too far down the hall for me to see his face. Prince Ezra had just returned from a trip to the north, and I do believe he was searching for his betrothed’s alleged hunter. “I was just disciplining her, that’s all.”
“For what reason Ash?”
“For, well…. Umm, never mind.” He walked away, but not before giving Prince Ezra a dirty look.
“Pardon me, Your Grace. I was just trying to help my friend. I was overstepping my authority. Forgive me.”
“I understand what you were trying to do. You may return to your room.”
“Thank you, Your Grace.”
I curtsied gracefully and began to walk back to my room. As I entered, I couldn’t help but to scorn my actions. I was so foolish! I still couldn’t believe that I got away with only a hit to the face, I was expecting so much worse. I saw that the candle was already lit and Allie was lying on her bed, crying. I sat down by her to try to comfort her. “You shouldn’t have done that Victoria, now we both going to be punished.” She mumbled into her pillow.
“It’s fine Allie, besides it is much better to get more work than to be one of Prince Ashton’s dolls. I would hate that to happen to you.”
“I know, but I can’t help but fear- ” “It will be fine! Besides do you know who came to help me?” I interrupted her.
“Oh looks like the king’s son finally noticed you!” “Allie! You know just as well as me that he can’t court, or rather marry me, he’s betrothed!”
“Well, it was just a thought, I mean you are quite pretty Vic. I wish I had curly hair” She ran a hand through her own frizzy, red hair. “Am not!” I made a face just to prove my point. “Besides I highly doubt that he would fall for a lady-in-waiting, for his sister.” “I was just telling you the truth.” “The ‘truth’ is not what matters. What matters is that we get some sleep so we are not late in the morning and don’t get in even more trouble.” “Fine. Don’t listen to me. But I know I’m right.” She lay down on her bed, pulling the blankets over her head. “Good Night.” She mumbled a reply but I couldn’t understand it.
Why do you care about the wait staff so much? They are here to serve, to take here of our needs.” Ashton was pouring some brandy into a glass that tinkled with ice cubes. I hovering over the bookshelves, looking for a particular leather bound book. “You shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. It’s against their will.” I gave up the search and turned to look at him. “Do you know where father keeps his records?” He was sitting on a couch, with the bottle of brandy sitting next to him. I sighed loudly.
“What? I was just trying to have a little fun. And No, I don’t. Why would I?” He picked up the bottle, ignoring the cup I was holding up, and took several swigs. “Put the bottle down. I’m trying to talk to you about something more important, than using the servants for your own purposes. It disgraces our family, and don’t even think about doing anything wrong with the Christmas season coming. The word will get around and- Will you please put that down! I am talking to you!” Ashton, suddenly sober, put the bottle down on the table with a soft thud. “Thank you. You should probably start thinking about becoming a proper gentleman. You know, you might find someone you love someday, but she won’t love you back, because you are too eccentric.” I said, turning back to the desk, and sitting down.
“Do you think that will happen?” I could hear the stab in Ash’s voice.
“It’s quite possible. I’d have to say though, that maid who rescued her friend was very brave. But that’s beside the point.” I turned back to the desk, pulling several of the drawers open, finally finding the book. I set it on the top, opened a bottle of ink, and flipped next clean page. Ashton was making some odd noises on the couch, and I believe he dropped his bottle of brandy, because there was a smash, and glass skidded across the floor. “Could you be any louder? Father has asked me to do some work on court affairs, and I plan on doing it correctly.”