Oh Tempest knew all too well what that was like. Only it wasn’t her mother doing it…it was her grandfather. She had to reign in her temper quickly before she did something stupid…like set the throne room on fire.
“You wouldn’t understand.”
Her eyebrows rose. She wouldn’t understand? She understood plenty!
“I do understand, believe it or not. It is the reason I am here and not back home. My grandfather would do the same to me if I had remained. I do not want to be forced to marry some stranger I’ve never met and have my life dictated to me. That is not who I am.” she stated, wondering why she had revealed so much. She could have kicked herself.
Well, too late for it.
He started for the door, and then looked back at her and said. “Come on, might as well get a grip on this teaching thing. No offence, I am sure you are a really nice girl, but I really got out of bed on the wrong side today.”
She nodded and moved to follow him. “I’m sorry you were saddled with me, Your Highness.” she apologized, feeling it was needed.
Everantha strode down the hallway elegantly, her dark green gown flowing gracefully off of her statuesque form. It held her curves just right and any inch of skin of skin revealed was adorned with vine-like jewelry. Her dark brown hair fell in loose waves around her and a throne of thorns and roses was perched on her head. While she was walking, her herd of ladies-in-waiting were crowded around her loyally. If she so much as sniffled, they were there with a handkerchief. It was actually quite bothersome to her as she found herself to be more independent than that. Still, she played the part of a royal well, and she would continue to be the princess she was raised. Her hands were folded in front of her as she walked, and her dark brown eyes were cold and calculating as she surveyed the throne room door she soon appeared in front of. Turning to one of the heralds, she nodded once to inform him she was ready to be announced. He hastily yanked the door open and announced “Presenting the Royal Princess Everantha Laegess.” She cringed as he yelled her whole name, but she didn’t bother to correct him.
But just as she was about to enter the throne room to greet her mother, she saw her brother standing there with a strange woman she did not recognize. Pursing her lips in her assessing manner, she turned to look at Sirius with a pointed look“Kidnapping women, are we? Seems a bit early for your pursuits, brother.” Her dark eyes looked towards Tempest, and they gave the blonde a complete look over from head to toe. Her face didn’t reveal any emotions, but when her eyes fell back on the stranger’s, they flashed briefly. Soon, as if her assessment was complete, a slow smile curved her dark lips “Brother dear…you must introduce me your lovely friend.”
She remained silent as brother and sister spoke to one another. She could not interpret the look she was given, but all her senses were telling her to be very vigilant in the near future.
“Presenting the Royal Princess Everantha Laegess.” The herald sang out..to a room that only had the Prince and the new charge Tempest. Just when the day couldn’t have gotten any worse, Sirus’s sister decided to finally grace all with her presence. Pity she couldn’t have been there a good hour before. And naturally, she brought with her a cast of thousands, to pick up her train, blow her nose, read her horoscope, tell her how beautiful she is, and basically pet and preen her like she was the top dog at the local county fair. Sirus didn’t know who was worse; Eve or his Mother for pomp and ceremony.
“Oi vey.” The Prince said under his breath, realizing there was no where to hide.
Course, the Princess was witty this early in the morning. “Kidnapping women, are we? Seems a bit early for your pursuits, brother.”
Folding his arms, the Prince replied. “Only thing I wanted this morning was my waffles.” He was being honest on that count. “Oh…you think I kidnapped this young lady. Errr no. Sorry to disappoint. Mother had asked me to come fetch you, but I knew you were probably off sleeping…somewhere.”
Giving Tempest a sideways glance, he could see that the girl was being given the once over by his inquisitive sister.
Brother dear…you must introduce me your lovely friend.”
“Her name is Tempest and she sought sanctuary here from her cruel family. She is under my care….since, I was the first royal to arrive ON TIME. If you want her under you, you need to get up earlier and roll that kitchen hand out from under your skirts.”
Eve had heard her brother’s mutterings, and it took a lot of her self-composure to keep a straight face. More often than not, she found her brother to be a mamma’s boy so when he actually showed just an inch of back-bone, the princess was pleased. The kingdom, herhome, was to be left with this boy, she at least wanted a man to take control of it. Tilting her head a bit with a surprised look of glee on her face, Eve couldn’t help but smile at his wit“My my…are you peacocking in front of the poor girl? Honestly, try not to suffocate her with your feathers.” Glancing at Tempest, she searched her face before murmuring“Tempest…” A flicker of recognition flashed in her eyes, but no other emotions were given away on the rest of her face.
Nodding once as if finding that a suitable enough name, she turned to laugh at her brother’s exclamations about the kitchen boys “Oh my darling brother…someone has to treat the staff right. We wouldn’t want anyone to spit in your food, would we?” Whipping away from her brother, clearly bored with their conversation, she looped her arm through Tempest and spun her around. Leading her back down the carpet that led towards the throne, she strolled leisurely as she patted the girl’s arm “You must tell me all about your homeland…” Looking towards Tempest with a wicked glint in her eyes, she smiled as though she held a thousand secrets and asked “Where did you say you were from again?”
That was until Eve turned toward her and grabbed her arm, leading her toward the thrones.
“You must tell me all about your homeland…Where did you say you were from again?” Eve asked her. Tempest stared at the Princess in surprise.
“I…didn’t, Your Highness.” Tempest stammered, unsure how to handle the situation. “And if it’s all the same, I wish for that to remain my secret.” she added for good measure. It wouldn’t do for anyone to know who she really was and the news to get back to her family. She’d be dragged back, kicking and screaming of course, and married off before the ink was dry on the announcement.
She was amused, however, of the fact that the Princess pretty much just snatched Tempest from the Prince’s hands. She looked at him and gave him a tentative smile.
“My my…are you peacocking in front of the poor girl? Honestly, try not to suffocate her with your feathers.” ~Peacocking?!~ Why that stuck up jeezebel! The Prince thought. There was no way he thought of himself as a peacock, or anything with feathers. “Not like I tried to shove a chicken up her ass.” The Prince was now all out of sorts, and watched with a grim look as Eve took the girl by the arm and led her away. Great…What on earth was his sister up to now? He narrowed his gaze as he watched the pair intently. He could be off doing other things, not standing around in the Throne room, while the Princess played a game of Twenty questions.
Off the cuff comments about how the Princess’s dalliances with the kitchen staff meant he didn’t have to worry about them spitting into his food, brought such vulgar thoughts to his mind of just what went on behind the kitchen doors, he was almost gagging at the prospect. Clearly annoyed, he exhaled loudly and clapped his hands together.
“Well, while the two of you get acquainted, I’m going off riding. Too roo.” And with that he marched out of the Throne room, slamming the door behind him.
Listening to the girl stammer, Eve openly rolled her eyes. She hated when the servants and subjects got nervous around her, and she assumed it was because of her title. After getting her frustrations out with her eye roll, the princess turned to look at her with a slight smile“Speak with conviction. You are in the Fae realm, and we will eat you alive if we see any signs of weakness.” Leaning in closer to whisper in her ear, she purred secretively “Look around you and tell me what you see…pretty faces in pretty clothes. But we are monsters within…the creatures that haunt nightmares.”Straightening up again, she smiled warmly once more and released Tempest’s arm to all but prance to her throne.
As Eve took her seat, she glanced over to Tempest. She didn’t like secrets being kept from her, but she had a few of her own to work with. As a servant brought her a glass of wine, she swiveled it around in her goblet with a malicious smile. It was, of course, too early for wine…but that did not stop Eve from indulging in her fancies. After taking a sip, she leaned back against her throne to sigh contently “Oh I do love a good wine from the Nightlands…don’t you, Lady Tempest?” Grinning wickedly, she tilted her head to stare her down with her dark eyes before she heard her brother’s voice. Tearing her eyes off the poor girl, she looked at Sirius with a raced eyebrow “You are a sore loser, dearest brother. But I imagine it would be more beneficial for you to ride that horse rather than ride our guest.” Watching him march away, she laughed softly, a sound that sounded like tittering bells. Fixing her eyes back on Tempest, she smiled sweetly “I don’t suppose you would like to go see his stallion?”
“Oh I do love a good wine from the Nightlands…don’t you, Lady Tempest?”
Tempest had to clamp down really hard on the urge to flinch. Instead she kept her face blank and her emotions locked down.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness. I do not know to what you are referring to.” Tempest was regretting the fact that she had given the Prince her true name. It seemed the Princess knew who exactly she was facing. Again, she watched Eve tear into her brother as he strode from the room, Eve laughing softly before her gaze landed back on Tempest.
“I don’t suppose you would like to go see his stallion?”
At that, Tempest smiled, showing some form of emotion since she’d first arrived. She did love horses.
“I would be honored to, Your Highness.”
By now, the Prince had reached the stables, and his face was ashen, like a dark storm had hit his mood. If it was one thing to be told to be a teacher guardian by his Mother, that was one thing, but then to be undermined by his sister in front of the said charge, that was something else. Women…they were all out to get him. No waffles…no damn student….no damn respect!
He charged into the stables as one of the young stable boys ran out.
“Sire…you wish to ride Scorn?” Scorn being the name of his black stallion. The Prince was busy fitting his gloves and gave a wordless nod, rather than start raving about how whacked his morning had been thus far. Maybe out on his horse, could he feel the freedom he so craved. The boy quickly went into Scorn’s stall, and led him out, while another stable hand helped put on the saddle and fit up the bridle. The horse was simply remarkable, a pure bred to boot. It nudged the Prince’s back with its head, trying to get some sort of response from the Prince, who was not normally like this. Turning, he patted the horse’s neck, and took up the reigns, before mounting the horse in one quick movement. The stable hands stood back, as the Prince walked the horse out into the courtyard, ready to ride him out into the fields.
Everantha raised an eyebrow as the stranger blatantly lied to her. Lying she did not take kindly to, but she was curious as to what this girl had to hide. The princess would have to keep a watchful eye on her and remain pleasant for the time being. Taking another sip of her wine, she stared down the thrones towards the doors her brother had disappeared through with a thoughtful look on her face. Her black-manicured nails tapped against her goblet as she pondered what she would do with the information she had on their guest. As Tempest expressed interest in going to the stables as well, Eve rolled her eyes and shrugged with an amiable smile “Dear me, it seems he has suckered you in…”
Nodding once as if excusing the blonde girl, Eve reclined on her throne and watched her leave. Interesting plots were developing in her mind, but the princess did not trust a soul to reveal such plans. Instead, she decided she would bide her time until it was the right moment to watch her ideas unfold. Taking a sip of her wine again, she turned her eyes to focus on members of the court.
It seemed she would have to keep an eye on the young woman before all her secrets could be unravelled.
After asking someone the directions, she found her way to the stables in time to see Sirus leading a gorgeous black stallion from the stables. She was instantly captivated with the majestic animal and it showed in her eyes as she looked him over.
“He is absolutely beautiful, Your Highness!” Tempest exclaimed, awe coloring her voice and making her eyes sparkle with joy. “What’s his name?” she wondered.
Sirus was certain that his sister Eve would be keeping the new charge under her wing, and prodding her for details of her home life. So as he took Scorn out of the stable, he was surprised to hear Tempest call out, especially with such enthusiasm.
“He is absolutely beautiful, Your Highness!”
The Fae prince glanced over his shoulder, and saw her exiting the Castle proper, her fingers catching her skirts as she made her way across the cobble stoned courtyard.
“What’s his name?”
“Scorn.” The Prince replied as he reigned him up and the horse pawed at the stones, eager to take off. Its large tail swishing out behind it. Steadying the horse with a light pat to the neck, the Prince noted that the girl’s eyes sparkled with delight at seeing the beautiful animal.
“Do you ride at all?” Sirus asked, as the stable hands all came out to watch what was going on. Regardless of whether she did or not, the Prince snapped his fingers, and gestured a horse be brought out for her.
“I’d help you up on my horse, but he is a bit skittish with strangers.”
The stable hands brought out a white horse, a mare called Jasmine, and the stable boy offered to help the young girl up onto the white horse’s back.
Sirus leaned forward in his saddle, and watched with marked interest if she even knew how to mount a horse.
“He’s gorgeous.” Tempest was in awe of the magnificent animal and wanted to rub her hand along his muzzle.
“Do you ride at all?” he wondered, signaling that another horse be brought to him. “I’d help you up on my horse, but he’s a bit skittish with strangers.”
“I wouldn’t dream of disturbing him in such a way, Your Highness.” Tempest allowed, respect coloring her tone. “And I do ride. It’s relaxing for me.” she added as the stablehand brought out a white horse.
“This is Jasmine, m’lady. She’s very gentle.” the man stated. Tempest was already moving forward, hand stretched out for Jasmine to get a whiff of her scent. It seemed as though Jasmine knew she would do her no harm for she immediately pressed her nose into Tempest’s hand. Laughing, Tempest obliged, stroking the smooth skin gently and murmuring little cooing sounds at Jasmine. The stableman held her steady as Tempest moved to the side. She slipped her foot into the stirrup and easily mounted the mare, sitting comfortably sidesaddle as she was taught to do.