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James cares for his country. But he worries about Isobel and that stirred something inside of him which could stir something bigger in the country.


(It is set in the olden days incase that isn't clear in my writing haha, not quite sure what year, but somewhere waaaaay far back like in the 1400s :D)

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2. 2.

We arrive at the palace an hour later and my hair is already coming loose, even though everyone else looks perfect still.

"Are the bruises showing?" I whisper to Ezra.

"Hardly." he promises, squeezing my hand.

We make our way to the centre of the palace where there are more people gathered than I expected. The royal family is right there, infront of us and I am slightly starstruck. There is the queen, right before our eyes. Her husband, the old king Patrick died a few years back and she is soon to be handing the throne over to her son James. Nobody knows why.

Prince Jasper is also there, stood behind the queen. He looks like his father must have when he was younger. Dark curly hair, pale blue eyes, handsome. I am in a daze when suddenly Matilda is pulling on my dress. I realise that Ezra is already kneeling before the queen and I suddenly courtesy, realising. I am proud of Ezra. He did a heroic thing and really deserves this. He looks happy as it is happening and so does my mother and Matilda. None of us are thinking about what happened with Father right now; it doesn't matter.

After the knighting, we all join together to eat. I am not very hungry, but all of this food looks so grand I have to eat my fair share. I am being catious, not wanting to seem ill mannered infront of the prince and the queen and everybody else here. Matilda chats away, charming them all, my mother discussed adult things and they all like her and of course, Ezra is the hero so they all ask him about his life. I stay quiet so not to disrupt.

However, halfway through my meal, I see Prince James looking at me. I would usually be offended by this, but it is the prince, he can do whatever he likes. I smile polietely and look back down at the table. I try to think nothing of it, but I can't help blushing a little. I tell myself I am being stupid, but James interupts his mother as if that is okay to do.

"Excuse me, Mother." he smiles apologetically at her and she nods. "But the dear young lady here looks as though she could use some air."

I frown. "Me, your grace?"

He smiles arrogantly. "You, my lady."

"I am perfectly comfortable, thank you sir."

"I insist."

I can't really deny this, so I allow James to take my arm and we walk outside to the gardens. I have to admit, I am uncomfortable but on top of the world. I am in the royal gardens with the prince, his arm through mine. I am not in love with him in the slightest, but every girl, even young Tilly has a slight fancy for him.

"May I ask, miss, how did those marks come upon your face?" he stops and stands facing me, one of his hands in mine.

I force a smile. "No you may not ask, your grace." I have to say, I am shocked with myself!

He chuckles, amused. "Wow, my lady, you are something else! That is fine, I will not pry any further."

I smile. "Thank you, sir."

We continue walking, just listening to the birds and the breeze in the trees when suddenly, James stops walking again.

"If it is due to an abusive relationship between a suitor, please, do not feel forced to stay with the man, or boy at your age."

I laugh, genuinely amused. "At my age? Prince James, you are two years older than me, there is no need to patronise. Anyway, there is no abusive relationship in my life. It is just rather rough working down on the farm."

"Please, Isobel is it? Do not try and fool me. You may or may not be getting harmed at your home and until I am sure that you will be safe at the farm, I am not letting you leave this palace."

His tone is light but the message is heavier. I want to tell him that I am not okay at home, that I need his help, but I have too much pride. I just shake my head and glance at the ground.

"I am perfectly safe. Thank you for your concern, your grace."

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