I woke to Lily and Erica shaking me to get up. "Can I not have another 10 minutes?" I ask sleepily.
"We left it as late as we could but breakfast is in half an hour and we need to get you ready." Erica said smiling at me. Memories of last night flooded back into my mind and I pushed them back not wanting to cry at breakfast. Lily and Erica brought out a black gown that was a simple enough silky material and thin straps, Erica warned me that it was a bit cold outside today so she handed me a golden shawl made from a thicker silky material.
I slipped on the gown and I was allowed to let my hair hang down my back, Lily applied some makeup to make me look more awake and that was me ready for the day.
I wasn't sure which way to go to get to the dining room so I decided to ask Vale, I left my bedroom the door shutting loudly behind me and I walked up the hallway to the top and went to Vales bedroom.
I knocked and almost instantly I got a response. "Come in I will be a second." Slowly I pushed open the door allowing myself to enter the room. His room was a lot bigger than mine and much more cluttered with books and maps all around the room, random pieces of clothing were scattered across the floor. There was a sofa on the far side of the room with random documents scattered across one half of the seat. Vale came into view only half dressed and I immediately turned away from the sight flushing bright red.
"I'm so sorry." My voice full of embarrassment.
"No need to be sorry I invited you in," could tell that he wanted to laugh. I still refused to turn to face him. There was a rustling behind me. "You can turn around now." He chuckled, I turned around and he had a shirt on and was putting a blue jacket on that was a very similar colour to the one he had on last night. Last night, the thought made my stomach knot and my head hurt.
"I was wondering if you could show me where the dining room is," I stepped forward. "I didn't really get a map." Vale laughed at this.
"Yes I can see why you are confused." He moved towards the door opening it and ushering me out of his room and back into the corridor. "Once you get used to it this place isn't so hard to find your way around, after breakfast I will ask for Elias to show you around. I would do it myself but I have a meeting with the court about the attack last night." I flinched at the last bit but kept myself composed.
"Thank you Vale that's very thoughtful of you."
"To get to the dining room isn't very hard from here, we have to walk down these stairs and go along the corridor on the right and you will be able to see it." He said pointing to the stairs. Personally yesterday was such a blur I can't even remember walking back to the room.
The rest of the walk to the dining room was quiet every now and then Vale just reminded me of which direct I needed to go in. I knew that we had stopped at the dining room, with Vale guiding me into the grand room. It was double the size of my dining room at home but i suppose that with this being a palace it was expected to have everything a lot bigger.
Rayne and Elias were both seated at the table at the head of the room, Elias spotted us and beckoned us over. When we got to the table I didn't know where to sit so I just stood awkwardly at the edge waiting for someone to say something about where I should sit. Luckily Vale pointed at my seat which was sandwiched in between him and Rayne. I slowly took my place at the long table letting my fingers skim over the cold wood that sent a chill through my hand.
"I haven't had the pleasure of actually talking to you," Rayne turned to me smiling widely. "My brothers seem to have kept you to themselves which isn't fair I would like a turn." There was something in her voice, something I couldn't register and I felt embarrassed by this. Looking at Rayne up close she was a natural beauty she had hardly any makeup on today and she was more beautiful than I had ever been in my life even with makeup. Her hair even though it was dyed a sandy blonde looked soft and natural compared to my natural white mop that looked more fake than real. I looked to the side of me and saw Vale wide eyed at the conversation.
"Perhaps you would like to show our guest around the palace after breakfast then." I couldn't help but notice that he didn't call me by my name but Rayne's smile grew with this request from her older brother.
"I would love to! I never have anyone to talk to around here, everyone is always busy." She pouted jokingly. At that moment the King walked into the room looking like he had about 10 minutes sleep, he walked to the head of the table next to Vale and sat his gaze cold.
"Good morning Father." His children chimed, I felt like I needed to join in so I mumbled a good morning. The way they didn't know how it felt to lose someone in their family made me angry that they had the perfect lifestyle.
"Vale we can't spend long in here you are needed in the meeting," his blue eyes like a storm. "You too Elias, we need your opinions on some things." The King didn't seem to want to share too much but shared just enough for his sons to understand what he meant. He turned to me then. "Lady Estella I'm sure you had a comfortable sleep last night." My eyes momentarily flickered to Vale but his expression stayed collected.
"It was a wonderful sleep, the room is a lot bigger than my room at home." I forced a smile.
"Yes well your father never wanted to extend the manor," his brow furrowed. "There was so much potential there but he refused to change any of it." I knew that the King and my father had a bond so it must have made his passing hard on him but I couldn't make myself feel sorry for him.
"He liked the stability of it." I felt the pressure of tears behind my eyes.
"I suppose so." He was cut off by people bringing in the food.
"Where's mother?" This was the first thing I heard Elias say all morning.
"She has taken ill with a headache and sickness so she has opted to stay in bed and the doctors are looking into what's wrong." He answered coldly. Nobody seemed to reply to that instead they focused on the food In front of them. The food looked exceptionally good however, I could barely eat two mouthfuls before I got up and ran to my bathroom throwing up the contents of my stomach.
I quickly clean the toilet and rinse my mouth out, brushing my teeth. Usually when I'm sad I feel sick but the loss of my father was so raw I figured that it was just taking more of a toll on me than expected. I left the bathroom and opened the doors to the balcony sitting on the chair provided, Erica and Lily were right it was quite cool today but I savoured it. My skin was hot to the touch almost feverish but the cool air lapped over me making me feel better. I looked over the garden from my seat and it was the type of place that I could imagine myself in, in my view there was a small fountain then what I could only assume to be a maze of hedges that rose up so high you couldn't see any further and a lovely bed of flowers of all of the shades of blue that anyone could imagine.
What I was looking at was only a small section of the gardens I wanted to see more but I didn't want to move in the fear of being ill again. I sat there for a few more minutes and closed my eyes before I heard a familiar voice.
"Everyone left me after they had ate and I wasn't sure if you still wanted to be shown around." I looked up and Rayne was standing by the balcony doors.
"Yes of course I just wasn't feeling too good for a second," I smiled weakly. "Would you be able to show me around the gardens first at all?"
"Of course!" She seemed extremely excited about this. Rayne looked over my shoulder before pausing and saying something else. "Two of the families are arriving tonight before dinner and then tomorrow two more are arriving at breakfast."
"Oh." I had forgot about the other girls.
"You do realise that my father is making my brother chose on Wednesday," she took a deep breath in. "They have already chosen you, you do realise this don't you?"
"Why would they chose me?" This is something that I didn't feel comfortable about.
"Vale likes you that much is obvious and after you used your ability on the man who was suspected of killing your father my father knew that you were one of the greatest assets that this family could have," she thought for a second before continuing. "My mother was friends with your mother and she likes you and Elias thinks you are good company." The mention of my father and my mother in the same sentence hurt me more than I wanted it to.
"Why would you still let the other families stay here if that is what's happening?"
"My father wants to make it seem like they are still deciding but it is you they want. It has always been you." Rayne looked at me then, her crystal blue eyes sad but longing. I knew how it felt not having people close to your age to talk to about things.
"I don't know what to say." For once I felt speechless. "I still don't feel very well is it okay if we stay here for a little while longer?" I knew this was what my father wanted for me and i couldn't tell if I was here because it's what I wanted or what my family expected of me.