Marian opened her eyes. She could hear the birds twitching outside her window. She pulled the sheets aside and crossed the large room to her closet. She pulled open the doors and frowned at the dresses. Most of them were hideous. She moaned and glanced at the doors. Marian carefully peeked outside the doors and quickly slid out of the room. She could feel the carpet beneath her feet as she hurried through the hall and turned a corner where she ducked into a room. Marian could hear her bare feet against the wooden floor as she passed the dusty white sheets covering the old furniture and paintings. She couldn't understand why it was there. They were so beautiful and she dearly wished her father would put them to use again. A sheet slid of a portrait as Marian passed. It was the portrait of a beautiful woman. Her hair was brown as milk chocolate and fell gracefully down on her shoulders. Her eyes shine with the same beautiful colour. She looked happy. Her skin was pale white and her lips somewhere between red and orange. She was wearing a stunning orange evening dress and white pearls. Placed carefully on her head was a small tiara with small light green jewels. Marian kissed two of her fingers and pressed them against the woman's lips, and then proceeded to the back of the room, where there was a large wooden closet with spirals carved into it. Marian pulled open the doors and let her fingers slide across the dresses. She pulled one out. It was green and gold and had a light green ribbon folded many times across the chest and around the shoulders. On the golden silk in the middle of the dress where small flowers, and on the side was a dark green ribbon ending at about 2 inches under the knee and splitting in two. Under the golden silk was grass green cotton which reached all the way to the floor, and a gold ribbon was fastened around the waist. Marian hang the dress over her arm and hurried back to her room, where she slid out of her night gown and carefully pulled on the dress and matching shoes which she had found in the closet. She put on the same bronze locket she had been wearing everyday since she was 13 years old. She closed her hand around the locker and closed her eyes. She stood there for a while. Eventually she walked down the stairs and out in the garden. Marian sat down at the white table by the pond. Kathy the maid came down the path from the castle holding a tray in her hands. She placed the tray on the table.
'Lovely dress m'lady,' said Kathy
'Thank you Kathy,' said Marian
'Of course m'lady,' said Kathy. Marian took a sip of her tea.
'Are you excited to meet your fiancées?' Asked Kathy. Marian dropped the cup and it shattered real easing the hot tea.
'Pardon me?' Asked Marian feeling the anger boiling up inside her.
'Your fiancées. You know, the two princes from- for you and princess Rosanne' Kathy stopped when she realised that Marian didn't have the slightest idea what she was talking about. 'Surely the King must have told you, I-' Marian stood up and burst through the doors to the throne room where her father was sitting playing chess with one of the servants.
'This is absurd!' Said Marian outraged
'What is absurd?' Asked the King staring at her
'You can't marry us away like this!' Especially not Rosanne! She is only 10! What on earth has gotten into you?!' Said Marian feeling angry as ever
'I am your father and the King and I will do with you what I want when I want and I most certainly will NOT tolerate you speaking to me like this!' Said the King standing up angrily.
'Exactly! You are supposed to be our father, you call yourself out father! Yes I am old enough but you can't marry away a ten year old!' Said Marian.
'Well King Ramiro wanted a bride for each of his sons or none at all!' Said the King his face turning red 'Now go to your room! I don't want to see you out of there until this evening when prince Luca and prince Pedro arrive! And if you should decide not to come and not to behave you are no longer my daughter! And why are you wearing your mothers dress?!' Said the King the last question weaker. Marian turned and ran outside to the stables not answering his question. She saddled a horse and pulled on a black cape with which she covered most of her face. She rode into the city. The tears where blurring her eye sight and she could barely see where she was going. She strode past the people crowding the market. Marian stopped by one of the booths and pulled a small leather bag with money out of the bags she had fastened to the horse. She tied the horse to a pole and took the hood off. No one could possibly recognise her she was almost never outside the castle for her father wouldn't let her.
'Don't go anywhere,' she whispered to the horse. An apple rolled over the ground and stopped in front of Marian's foot. Marian picked up the apple and looked up. A little boy was standing embarrassed a few metres away from her. She walked over to the boy and gave him the apple.
'Sorry,' said the boy
'Don't worry about it,' said Marian and smiled. She walked into a café and ordered a tea. She sat in the café for a long time she heard a carriage and she hurried to the door. A black carriage with silver features and six black horses accompanied by sixteen guards was riding past the café. Marian hurried over to Gladys and galloped past the carriage and up to the castle. She jumped off Gladys and handed her to one of the maidens coming out of the castle, she handed her cape to Kathy.
'Your father is expecting you m'lady,' said Kathy and Marian hurried into the throne room.
'Good, you are here,' said the King as Marian entered. 'Go get changed. Look presentable.' Marian turned and picked out a dress from the same closet as the one from earlier. It was a pure silver and blue dress. It had two blue ribbons tied across the chest in an X shape and was serrate at the bottom. Under the blue by the serrate it was silver. The dress was a bit longer at the back than at the front and the sleeves only covered the edges of her shoulders and continued down one inch of her arm. Kathy helped her do the rest. Her chestnut hair was tied up in all kinds of braids, and Kathy had stuck some white pearls into her hair. Marian walked gracefully down the stairs and into the throne room. She picked Constance up and bent down to Rosanne and took her hand.
'Don't worry it's all going to be alright,' said Marian and stood back up again. The doors opened and two men enetered.