I don't want to be your Princess

“You seem angry.” The low voice I had grown so accustomed too rose a blush to my cheeks. "You’re late and you expect me to be sprightly when you finally grace me with your presence." He chuckled softly, coming closer until the sparkle in his bright blue eyes became all I could see anymore. "I'm sorry Princess, what do you want me to do about it?" The red returned to my cheeks, but this time in irritation. I gathered the fabric of his kilt in my hands and pulled him infinitely closer. My lips grazed his just slightly as I growled, "I don't want to be your Princess."

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2. Fog

Down in the courtyard the three clans stood mighty and strong. There weren’t nearly as many people as when the suitor competition was going on, which I was thankful for. I don’t think I could handle hoards of people at the moment. My dad, King Fergus took the post at the front of the mob gathered to represent DunBroch, and waved his arms to stop the chattering people.

“Clans Macintosh, MacGuffin and Dingwall, we welcome you with open arms to the humble estate of DunBroch.”

Dad stopped talking long enough for the cheers of the crowd to stop. He grabbed my mum’s hand and let her say the rest. “Now may we have the young lords’ step forward and introduce themselves properly to princess Merida, in a showing of peace and solidarity.”

Mum turned to me, motioning with her head for me to walk to the front and meet my so-called suitors. I did as I was told, discreetly rolling my eyes in one of the last acts of rebellion I had.

The boys I had met three months before stepped forward. They all looked practically the same as they had before. They were all the same height, same build, and same background; but there was something different about them. I couldn’t quite put my finger on how though.

Wee Dingwall was the first to kneel in front of me. “Callum Dingwall ready to serve you Princess Merida,” he whispered, kissing my hand a little too generously. I patted his spiky blonde head, letting him know that he needed to stop.

I moved toward young MacGuffin, internally grimacing in preparation for his thick accent. He kneeled in front of me, like Callum had before. “Broderick MacGuffin, Princess, at your service.” I genuinely smiled down at Broderick, happy that I was able to understand everything that came out of his mouth. He stood proudly, probably happy that he made me smile, as I turned to the last and probably worst suitor.

The last time I saw young Macintosh he was being bombarded by a mob of girls, and loving every second of it. He had been pompous and arrogant, and a bit of a sore loser if you ask me. I stood in front of the boy standing straight as a pin and ready to get this all over with.

I looked over the young man, silently realizing that he was quite nice to look at. The hair that used to hide most of his face had been cut slightly, revealing his strong jaw.

His eyes were a rich blue, but also laced with a grey that radiated sadness and sorrow. “Aiden Macintosh. It is a pleasure to properly meet you, Merida.” He bowed to me, taking my hand and brushing his lips to my knuckles lightly.

He was what was different. It seemed as if he had grown up considerably since last I’d seen him. I stood with my hand still in his, astounded with his greeting. He had talked to me as if I was a person, not a princess. It was greatly refreshing.

The silence rode on until I heard someone clear their throat. Physically shaking my head, I step back to address the crowd.

“Thank you to all three clans for coming to DunBroch. And a special thank you to Callum, Broderick, and Aiden for their promise of service and for agreeing to stay at DunBroch. Welcome!”

Cheers broke out again, even louder than before. A hand softly squeezed my shoulder. My mum pulled me back into her side, silently thanking me for being cooperative. She led the three lords and their respective clansmen to the throne room, promising food and ale, leaving me and my suitors alone.

The wind whipping through the leaves littering the ground was all that sounded as we stood in the courtyard. I didn’t dare start any kind of conversation, better not to get any of their hopes up.

Broderick walked toward me, stopping at an appropriate distance before bowing deeply. “Princess, I wish to join the others in the throne room. I am famished from the long trip.”

I smiled tightly, desperately trying to keep my voice low and polite. “I’m not your Mum, Broderick; you don’t have to ask my permission. Do what you want.”

He stuttered at my forward response and walked quickly to the throne room. Great, I hurt his feelings. I roll my eyes and start to catch up with young MacGuffin, when my hand was pulled back.

Wee Dingwall had his lips attached to my hand, and he was traveling up a little too quickly. He looked up at me with a sick gleam in his eyes. “How about me and you take a little private time… to get to know each other a little better, Princess?” He made a sound that resembled a purr and continued with his traveling lips.

I pushed him off of me, holding his weak frame at arm’s length. “Excuse me… Callum is it? I just met you, and I think you’re being a tad bit forward with your approach.” He stared at me with that blank expression on his face, the one that’s usually there. “Ugh,” I groaned. “Leave,” I explained plainly.

He shrugged and walked off in the same direction Broderick had before. I tugged at my hair turning toward Aiden. He stood there staring off at the loch, the wind whipping through his hair.

Clearing my throat I begin to walk slowly toward him. “I suppose you want to leave too? Or make some sort of advance on me, like your friends?”

He shrugged. “I’m fine wherever.” He turned back toward the loch, blocking my view of his face.

I clasp my hands in front of me. “Alrighty then. I’m gonna go, feel free to do… whatever.” I start to walk backwards slowly, planning how to reach Angus’s stable without any interruptions, but stop when Aiden’s head turns slightly.

“G’bye Merida,” he said before striding toward the loch.

He hadn’t called me Princess. Just like before he had called me Merida, like a normal person.

I start to sprint toward Angus, hoping a good ride would shake to fog out of my head that was Aiden Macintosh. 

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