Page 41 of 43 FirstFirst ... 3940414243 LastLast
Results 401 to 410 of 427

Thread: The Appalling Strangeness of the Mercy of God [M - Hannelorian x DuchessLivilla]

  1. #401
    Member
    Hannelorian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Mare Marginus
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Sci-Fi, all the things.
    Posts
    928
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    53

    Default

    "But where do we draw the line, dear sister?" Arabella spoke, feeling nothing but in conflict. On one hand, her own sister had subjected herself to abuse, to unfit behavior. Once, perhaps this would have brought her joy or been seen as some sort of challenge. Yes, yes, how much damage could she do? But no, that was gone now, leaving her nothing but confronted by the cruel reality of their positions.

    "Alice?" Arabella had almost forgotten, it all seemed so long ago, though it was a matter of hours. "I've had something sent for her..." It was as though the memories came slowly crawling back. If she, the very Queen could not be happy, someone should be. Her sister, yes. The maid she all but frightened off, absolutely. It had long overdue to demonstrate some degree of kindness.

    "If God does not preserve us, no one will. We can only pray for His mercy, for I fear we shall all need it." Arabella found herself speaking somewhat cryptically, but this could not be helped. Instead of dwelling on it, she forced a smile, finally and departed the room to prepare for the evening's festivities. However painful they would be.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  2. #402
    Member DuchessLivilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Scotland
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Historical 1x1, Sci-fi, Horror, AU
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Alexandra smiled sadly at her sister as they parted at the door; one walking left, the other right, away from each other, when all they wanted to do was be together, perhaps as they once had as little girls. But now, as grown women, their lives were pulling them apart always...It was as if they were now on opposite sides of a chessboard, sometimes coming near to one another in the course of a game, and then always banished back to their own sides to begin again.

    It was not a comforting thought.

    The Princess walked down the opulent corridors, making for the small suit of rooms she and Arthur had been assigned in order to change or take rest. It was meant to be a slight, that said apartment was the furthest from the Royal ones, but in reality, both and and Arthur had been happy enough to know they were away from the King's rooms.

    Especially tonight," she thought sadly, closing her eyes briefly. "If I heard what is to happen tonight, I fear I should not be able to lie still and silent next door."

    A heavy tread made her look up and she cringed to see, at the end of the corridor, the King, his stumbling gait telling her plainly that he had had a great deal of brandy. Knowing she could not turn and flee, else the man would see and it would cause issues, Alexandra kept pace and dropped a curtsy as the King lurched towards her. She kept her eyes glued to the carpet, praying the man ignored her...or else was too drunk to even notice her!

    Unfortunately for her, he happened to look up and spot her; a rather cruel grin spread across his once handsome face as he took in the sight before him. Alex knew when he noticed her too and inwardly cringed though she remained in her lowered position, eyes down, as she had done with the Queen earlier.

    The King stood for almost a full minute, toying with various ideas. Perhaps he was not as drunk as he had seemed...or maybe the idea of cruelty and amusement -the same thing for him- had the ability to render him sober in an instant! Finally he lowered his hand and beckoned the Princess to rise with two fingers. "Stand up, girl, you and I both know you mean me no respect," he quipped, just a slight slur in his voice. "And look at me while you're about it. I cannot stand the vaux innocent look."

    Alexandra swallowed then rose and, slowly, raised her gaze until she was looking at the King. She kept her eyes neutral, but even so, there was a spark of contempt that could not be hidden.

    Christian looked at her, their eyes locked on one another. He found her gaze rather unsettling -not that he would ever admit it aloud- and the fact she was the only woman he had seen, or noticed in any case, that did not look at him with admiration and a deep respect, was rather irksome, if not downright unacceptable. Once again, the King found himself at a loss about Alexandra. He did not trust her but also...he could not work her out.

    His hand shot out and gripped her throat, tightly, but not tight enough -yet- to leave a mark. "You vex me greatly, witch..." The King walked them backwards until Alex's back struck the wall and she let out a soft gasp. He leant in, close enough that she could feel his breath, foetid with drink, gust over her face. She turned her head to the side and closed her eyes in disgust. "Look at me, witch!" He snapped, the second she did, and tightened his grip until she turned back to face him. "Yes..." he slurred, his face a mere inch or two from hers. "You vex me greatly...And what to do with you vexes me more. You...you are sister to my beloved heart, the Queen, and...rather unfortunately, bound to my blood in marriage to my fool of a son...I take comfort in the fact that witches cannot have children...At least we shall be spared that fate...Though it would be poetic if you died during childbirth. It would prove your unfitness."

    He chuckled, thinking this would hurt her.

    Alexandra drew in a ragged breath and stared back at him. She supposed she ought to be scared and yet she was not. This was not, she was sure, any great feat of bravery or perhaps stupidity on her part. On the other hand, she wasn't entirely sure what it was that caused her to be unafraid. Maybe it was simply the fact that all she felt when she looked at the King, was disgust and hatred...there was no room in her heart for fear after that.

    "Nothing to say, witch?" He slurred, thumb pressing hard into her jaw. "You had plenty to say that night...all those pretty lies and simpering words...How innocent you looked. I confess, I almost bought it...You dear sister did, poor heart that she is. She has too much love in her heart to see you for what you are...She claims to, and sometimes I think she does...but I still think she believes you can be saved...that you have not joined the Devil in his hellish crusade..."

    He gave a soft laugh and glanced sideways briefly. They were still alone in the corridor; everyone else was preparing for the ball, servants and guests included.

    "He may have been a heretic Protestant but my ancestor, King James, had some fine ideas about witches and how to find them out...perhaps I should employ some of them..." The King's free hand -the one not about her throat- strayed downwards to her exposed shoulders and teased at the edging of her gown where it met her decolletage. "There will be a mark on you...His Mark...gifted when you signed his Book and sold your soul to him, witch...All I need do is find it and pick it and you shall feel no pain...then I shall have all the proof I need...Maybe, when my beloved delivers a son, I shall do it, and gift her your head as a thank you..."

    Alexandra, who had lowered her eyes once again, suddenly looked up and stared at him. It occurred to her that, in that moment, the King was actually afraid of her, even if he could not admit it. He really and truly thought she was a witch, or some such, and he did not know how much of what was said about them was real and true...how much she could do against him. It might be her only protection for now.

    Her gaze glued to his, she lifted her hand and held onto his and said, her voice soft and just above a whisper, forcing him to listen closely, "Or maybe she'll give me yours." She then tugged his hand, which had gone slack in his shock, from her skin and pushed away from him and the wall. Alex dropped a neat curtsy, "Majesty, by your leave," she added and turned, walking away down the corridor.

    The King, an icy feeling spreading through him, stared at the wall for a second then down at his hand and finally to the side to watch her go. He swallowed and wiped his mouth, his hand visibly shaking. The King, the brandy finally having it's way, slumped forward and slid down the wall to land, rather undignified, in a heap under -ironically- a portrait of Saint Matthias, who was thought to guide and look favourably upon those suffering with addictions to illicite things, drink being one of them.

    A footman found him there twenty-minutes later, in trousers wet from his own urine. Servants, being what they are and trained to not see and certainly not to judge, the King was quickly taken to his room, stripped, washed and changed, then placed on his bed to sober-up before the ball.

    -

    Meanwhile Alexandra, still a little shaken herself, made her way to her room to change and, she hoped, find Arthur and Alice; she needed their sobering presence to calm down. The rooms were empty though when she first arrived but she smiled to see two boxes rather than one waiting on the chaise in the dressing room; one, she knew, contained her own gown, the other, with a note written in Bella's hand, was for Alice.

    She crossed to it and gently touched the ribbon with a gentle hand. "The King was right on that account, sister. You do have a good heart, even if you hide it."

    -

    Arabella, in her own rooms with her gaggle of maids, getting ready to re-appear, was interrupted when the outer door was knocked. A maid crossed to it and spoke to the person outwith then returned and curtsied, "Majesty, the King is a little indisposed but will be at the ball later, he promises...You are to host it until he arrives."
    "Ye mustn't be afraid to ask for help. Pride is a good thing, my girl, but it will kill you in time." - Granny Weatherwax

  3. #403
    Member
    Hannelorian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Mare Marginus
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Sci-Fi, all the things.
    Posts
    928
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    53

    Default

    "Indisposed?" Arabella asked in a rather hushed tone. She took a moment to think on it, and then her mind settled on the answer. Drunk. He's absolutely drunk. Bastard fucks me and then he fucks me again. Outwardly, of course, Arabella smiled and nodded. "Very well. Thank you dear girl." The maid was unfamiliar, then again almost the entirety of the staff here was. They were her watchers, just like every noble woman in this room with her. They didn't miss a thing. Granted, Arabella had begun work to paint a very specific narrative, in this event, her watchers saw only what she wanted them to see. Everything was a careful, and sometimes clever, deception.

    "In that event, ladies. The time for dawdling and delighting in one another is over. Let us all prepare, if I am to host, I shall have none disappoint." Arabella rose from her seat, her makeup had privately been adjusted, and now she wore an elegant navy gown. To hell with white, everyone knew she was no virgin. She had birthed a daughter after all. But the gown itself was perfectly hand made, embroidered with delicate gold threads the symbols of state and her power, no matter how imaginary that truly was. Her hair done now in an elegant but relaxed up do, a crown exchanged for a more practical tiara, platinum and white gold, dripping with diamonds. Christian was anything but cheap. Arabella believed more than anything that appearance was key. He needed her to look the part.

    "Line up, no one leaves until I've given my blessing." Arabella wielded what authority she did have with an iron fist. The Queen would personally inspect every lady before they left for the festivities. None could go unchecked. Everything must be exactly as she intended.

    --

    Arthur, meanwhile had returned shortly after his wife with Alice in tow. Arthur in an effort to distract himself would take the maid, and a few other servants under his employ through the grand galleries of the palace. It was during this time he would point out the paintings of his ancestors, or great works of art that were simply part of the palace's significant collection. Arthur realized he always felt at his best when he had something to do. He wasn't one to be idle, he had to be busy. Perhaps it was for genuine love of his position, to serve the people, or perhaps because now more than ever, he felt not the need to let himself stop and think.

    "Alex?" Arthur called into the set of rooms which were perfectly quiet. It was a funny thing about Alex, Arthur thought, she had the lightest of tread, even on bare marble floor one couldn't hear her coming. It was always something of a surprise, a most delightful one, but a surprise never the less. When the Prince found his wife, she was standing above two boxes, and reading a note. He gingerly strode behind her and placed his hands upon her hips, bringing her closer to him. "A gift from my mother?" Arthur was somewhat sarcastic in that last bit, he was not resentful of Arabella, but rather the position his father had placed them all into.

    To the maid who withstood the hurricane that dared strip Spain bare. May it bring you the happiest of unions.
    - Arabella R.

    p.s. If you don't let Alex and I plan your wedding, well then, we'll just have to rebel!


    Arthur, upon reading the small note, actually smiled. It appeared Arabella had something of a sense of humor after all. "You feel tense... are you alright my darling?" Arthur asked gently. He knew she had just come from Arabella's company, which depending on the mood of the room could have been disastrous. He did not count on Alex having run into the King in the halls. An encounter he would be infuriated to learn of.

    Alice, of course, remained somewhat oblivious and simply kept her distance, but could not help but wonder if that second box was a gift from the Princess. It was not lost on her that Alex was nothing but generosity, love and kindness. "I don't mean to pry, but we should hurry along. It would be best if we arrive a bit early." When Alice said 'we' of course she meant her employers, dare she say, her friends.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  4. #404
    Member DuchessLivilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Scotland
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Historical 1x1, Sci-fi, Horror, AU
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Alexandra smiled and leant back against her husband. For now, no mark was on her skin from the episode with the King; though tomorrow a single thumb-shaped bruise would bloom on her jaw. "I am fine, it is nothing," she said softly. She did not wish to worry Arthur by mentioning what had happened, not yet, anyway, if she could get away with it. He had enough worries without her adding to them right now.

    She turned to Alice and held out the note, "From the Queen, for you, my dear friend," she said, smiling. "You are to be, as much as possible, a Lady tonight! Come, open the box, I cannot wait to see what my sister has picked for you. Her faults aside, she has a gift for well chosen fabrics and colours to suit all complexions."

    The Princess winked at her husband, "And you, go and get ready and leave us ladies to dress in peace! You can stare later to your heart's content, I promise." As Arthur departed to find his own servant nextdoor, Alexandra rang the little bell to summoned her maid in to help her, and Alice, dress. She then went to her little jewel case and brought it over to lend Alice some matching gems, whatever colour gown had been chosen.

    "Now I shall be the ladies maid," she smiled, eager to help her friend in this matter.
    "Ye mustn't be afraid to ask for help. Pride is a good thing, my girl, but it will kill you in time." - Granny Weatherwax

  5. #405
    Member
    Hannelorian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Mare Marginus
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Sci-Fi, all the things.
    Posts
    928
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    53

    Default

    Alice approached the box as though it were a wild animal. There was a great care, or perhaps apprehension taken when reaching down and placing her delicate hands upon the white object. Alice allowed her fingertips to gently hook under the edges and slowly lift upward, sliding the top off and casting it aside. "Are... you... sure?" She asked as though still somewhat in disbelief that such a gift would be bestowed upon her.

    Arthur at this point had made himself scarce. In this case, perhaps ignorance was bliss, for if he had only known about what his father had done to his wife, he would have killed him in anger.

    Alice now felt her hands tremble as she reached into the box, fingers casting aside the tissue paper that cover the dress within. To think her gown had been picked by the Queen, and what's more, that she would not attend the event this evening as a servant, but as a guest. The dress itself was exquisite, white silk corseted bodice, whale bone from the feel of it. The skirt itself was lush with layers of tulle topped with the same white silk, though this had lavishly embroidered with lush green and yellow florals. While the pattern was simple, it was inlaid with diamond and pearl.

    The dress was reminiscent of something Arabella had worn upon her first meeting Richard, not as Duke of Suffolk, but as her husband-to-be. Arabella had a fondness for florals, likely due to her father thinking she looked best in them. Accompanying the dress were white silken gloves, a diamond necklace (a gift from the Duke upon his first martial anniversary) and matching bracelet. It was meant to emphasize the virginal aspect of the woman, thus ensuring their endless desirability.

    "I can't... I couldn't possibly." Alice had recognized the jewelry immediately and understood what this meant. Of course they were simple loans, but these pieces meant ever so much to the Queen. They were emblems of her love with Richard. Alice had never seen such love until Alexandra wed the Prince. But this was here for her now, in this moment. Her hands ran along the fabric of the dress. "Is this what it feels like to be you?" Alice asked in all earnestness. Never in her life had she expected to wear such finery. These were clothes for ladies, real, proper ladies. The kinds you see at all of the balls she'd ever watched from the shadows.

    Arabella, all the while had arrived in the state dining room. Taking a ruler right from the hands of a servant she set quickly about to work, measuring each place setting, and examining every bit of glassware for prints. All she need do was raise her hand when something did not pass muster, and it would be corrected. In a word, it was perfect.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  6. #406
    Member DuchessLivilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Scotland
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Historical 1x1, Sci-fi, Horror, AU
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Alexandra smiled and watched as her friend took in the gown and jewels; her sister had been beyond generous! She had not expected so much! And to loan Alice those gems too. Gems that meant the world to her. Truly Arabella was trying to make up for everything and anything.

    "I confess, even though I am used to such finery, it still takes my breath away when I receive similar things. There is so much beauty we humans can create in our fabrics and jewels," she smiled again and reached out to touch the gown also. "You will look beautiful, Alice; a real Lady, I promise. And," she winked, "As a Duchess, such things can be yours daily!"

    The Princess embraced her friend and said softly, "Bella has chosen well though; the colours suit you perfectly. She always had the best taste, even as a child. She always knew what colours to wear and what not to, to avoid clashing or bringing out unseemly tones in her skin." She pulled back and clasped her hands together under her chin. "Oh, I am so excited for you! Let's change and see how it looks on you..."

    She plucked the gown from the box and laid it upon the chaise then drew out the mass of petticoats and underlayers. "Ah!" Alex laughed softly. "The corset too, she thinks of everything...Now this, and the gown, shall grip very tightly, far more than your own gown does now, but it will give you a lady's figure. Do not try and take deep breaths, you will be unable to. Little breaths and often, alright? And if you feel faint, we can loosen it a little. Oh," Alexandra stepped back, "You may not need to sit, but it's best you learn to with the crinoline..."

    Maids, even ladies maids, wore similar gowns to ladies but their gowns were less elaborate and their skirts spread by underlayers, to help them work more easily. Ladies wore 'cages' that took more time and effort, and also made movement harder!

    "It's easy once you have the trick," Alexandra assured her, her eyes bright, face flushed with happiness. It was clear she was greatly enjoying this. Perhaps, for her, it was like having her sister back...doing what she and Bella could have done in times gone by before balls and parties.

    -

    Alice and her mistress spent nearly an hour getting ready, much of it taken with the Princess showing her friend how to move and sit and walk in her new constrictive gown and attire! The rest was spent in pleasant happiness; both enjoying themselves to the fullest as they talked and joked while dressing.

    For both girls it was a rare chance to just be young women; not maid and Princess, or anything else they were expected to be.

    Alexandra smiled as she fastened the diamond necklace around her friend's neck and rested her hands on her shoulders. "Oh, Alice, you look beautiful..." she whispered, gazing over at the mirror before them. "Not that you are not normally, but..." she bit her lip and smiled, genuinely so happy for her friend. Alex kissed her cheek and laughed, "You shall be the very Belle of the ball!"

    She stepped back and smoothed her own skirts down, blushing a little as she did. She had chosen red, despite the possible risks; Arthur liked her in red and it suited her skin and black hair, making a nice contrast. Plus, the rubies at her throat and on her tiara were highlighted by the gown, not overshadowed. She liked blue, for herself, but Bella had chosen blue and it would not do to clash...And while she had every right to wear Royal Purple at such an event, she thought it best to save that for a time when Bella also was wearing it; that way the Queen and Princess might be seen to match, and it would not be taken that the Princess had worn purple to upstage the Queen, who had not.

    -

    The Head of the King's Household, who was in over-all charge of such matters, watched the Queen work, a rye smile on his lips before he came over and bowed. "Majesty, I just all is to your standards? If not, do tell me and I shall have those who have displeased you punished, at once!"

    He shot an icy look around at the servants who all, rather visibly, shrank back and watched, terrified that the Queen, who they had had things about concerning her treatment of servants, would damn one or more of them for a smudge on a glass or such things.

    "I was just informed," he added softly, "That His Majesty shall be a little late in arriving and you are to be in his place," he smiled. "That does leave us with some changes...It was to be that everyone would arrive and be gathered, and then the Prince of Wales and his entourage would arrive, and then you and His Majesty would be announced...It would not do to arrive alone, so perhaps you might arrive on His Royal Highness's arm instead. A charming image of a united son and mother," he added, smiling.

    While leaving the Princess to trail behind... was left unsaid.
    "Ye mustn't be afraid to ask for help. Pride is a good thing, my girl, but it will kill you in time." - Granny Weatherwax

  7. #407
    Member
    Hannelorian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Mare Marginus
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Sci-Fi, all the things.
    Posts
    928
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    53

    Default

    The Queen stood straight and turned her attention to Maxwell, the Head of the King's Household. He was a thin lipped man, tall, older. He was a man who if you were a servant, you would do well to avoid at all costs. Arabella had seen him ever so briefly during her many visits to the Palaces, either Windsor or here at Buckingham. Then again, that was the idea that he was seldom seen, one was meant to appreciate the work of a good servant, not watch them do it. Arabella only smiled as he made his comments, asked his questions. It was in his best interest to keep her happy, at least for now.

    "You've outdone yourself Maxwell. I'm thoroughly impressed." Arabella made no mention of issues, she too had seen the servants reaction to the question and the threat that followed it. "As for the entrances, you are absolutely correct. I shall enter with His Highness." Arabella too, made no mention of her sister, though she did think on her. Here she was, not even a day into her marriage and she'd already stolen her sister's date. "Please send word of this change to the Prince at once. I should imagine he will need time to prepare." For what exactly, she didn't know... but being deferential where she needed to be was a good thing.

    The Queen nodded and handed the ruler back to the rather abrasive man. "Just one small change... You must forgive me, I hadn't thought of it earlier." Another smile, as though she were asking for a favor, when in reality he could not deny her, not now. "Change the flowers, please." Those damn lilies, she thought. The King would never notice, and if he did, she'll simply say she wanted fresh flowers as a symbol of their new love. Arabella said please, but rather she would have wished to repeat the sentence with a bit more force, perhaps something rude tacked on. "As you were."

    Arabella returned to her inspections, quite pleased with the result.

    --

    Alice, having taken her time to learn the particulars of crinoline now found herself sat across from a mirror. It was difficult to tear her gaze away. The girl that looked back at her seemed so foreign, so different. The face staring seemed familiar, the bone structure, the eyes, but everything else felt different, glorious in some ways, terrifying in others. This was the world she served, not the world she belonged to. "But they'll know... the truth that is." Alice worried. As a servant to the Princess of Wales her face, whether she liked it or not was recognizable.

    Alexandra did not belong, Alice understood this. By virtue of Alexandra's wisdom and fortitude she was made an outsider, one to be looked upon with suspicion. The Queen had no small part in that perception. But she, Alice, was a mere servant, lower than low, what need would people find to respect her? To value her? To look her in the eyes.

    "I do not belong. I wasn't born into any of this... If they would not accept me, how possibly could a Duke?" Alice more often than not, allowed her self doubt to consume her. "Spoiled, that's all I am. Quite spoiled." But the worst part, perhaps for Alice, was that she liked it. She enjoyed these clothes, pretending to be something greater than she was born to be. It felt impossibly right. "I do not deserve such kindness from your Highness or from Her Majesty." It was amazing, how quickly the tongue adapted to changed titles.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  8. #408
    Member DuchessLivilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Scotland
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Historical 1x1, Sci-fi, Horror, AU
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Alexandra smiled gently and cupped her friend's face, making her look at her, "Alice, you are right...most, if not all but a few of those fools downstairs would accept you as you are, sadly. You could be the most beautiful creature on this earth, the most talented, everything anyone could wish for but being 'just a servant' as they would think, would mean it was all for nought. But," she added, seeing Alice looking rather crestfallen at her confirmation of how things were, "Not everyone. For some this," she gestured to the gown and gems, "Will be enough for them not to care for a brief time that you are not what you seem. But for those that matter, the genuine people among the fool, none of it but your heart will matter."

    She smiled again gently. "I hope, and pray, that His Grace is one of those people. He has travelled widely, Arthur tells me, and that should bode well for a more enlightened man. But also," the Princess kissed her cheek and stepped back, "If he does not value you as you are, then he is not worthy of you in anycase, Duke or not!"

    "As I told Arthur before we wed...When you know, you know, Alice, and rank, wealth, none of it means anything if they are your twin soul. Both myself and the Prince would have been genuinely content -had I not been concerned for Bella and my niece- to marry and give it all up if needed and have gone abroad, to live in a quiet, unknown, even poverty stricken life. It would not have mattered to either of us."

    Alex blushed then, "No doubt, to you, that sounds naive. I know full well that neither Arthur nor I have ever had to really struggle for anything, aside perhaps love and affection. But in any case, this is not about me. It's about you, and I want you to have what I have, in all things of the heart, as well as material, if I can ensure it. And," she winked, "If someone like myself can become a Princess, then why should you not become a Duchess?"

    -

    "Of course, Majesty, they shall be changed at once," he clicked his fingers and the footmen hopped to it, removing, within moments it seemed and with speed and deftness, every current flower and arrangement from the ballroom and tables.

    By the time the ball would begin, fresh ones would be in their place and no one would be any the wiser...certainly not to the King, who in his current state would likely not have noticed if severed heads had been displayed rather than flowers.
    "Ye mustn't be afraid to ask for help. Pride is a good thing, my girl, but it will kill you in time." - Granny Weatherwax

  9. #409
    Member
    Hannelorian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Mare Marginus
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Fantasy, Sci-Fi, all the things.
    Posts
    928
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    53

    Default

    "You were born into the aristocracy..." Alice began, these were thoughts she never truly thought she would express, or perhaps didn't realize she even had. "Nobility is in your blood." The idea that Alice would ever be in the situation had never truly settled in as a reality. Thus there were no need for such thoughts. "My father makes hats, and my mother cleans homes." Alice sighed as she very gently rose from her seat using her new skills to do so with a relative degree of grace. "You had a mother to teach you, you had a sister who was trained like a knife to dominate her environment." That was putting it all rather politely, or at least she thought so.

    "But a Duke? And a commoner? These things happy in fairy stories... not in our world." There were long held traditions and rules, and while there wasn't exactly any written law forbidding such things from occurring, it was generally felt that if one wanted to keep their positions, it was best to marry one of their own. "And love... what even is that?" Alice was the proper girl she was raised to be, although she questioned more of the world than either of her parents had. And while her parents were indeed happy, could she ever say they truly loved each other? How would she even know it if she found herself there.

    "I dare say, I don't know at all what I'm doing. A part of me feels like some play toy, wheeled out for a good laugh. But I know... I know I'm not." Alice hardly wanted to seem ungrateful. "I know what these jewels mean to the Queen and that she would not offer them if I were to simply be made fun of for sport." Though some time ago, this would have been in question. "I want to make everyone proud of me... and maybe find my own happiness. Outside of a servants hall." Alice perked up a bit toward the end, just as the doors to the bed chamber had opened and Arthur had returned -of course had been assured the ladies were prepared before entering-

    "Radiant as always my darling." Arthur did appreciate his wife in red. In red she was a vision, more so than usual even. In red she was confident, and in red, she drew the stares of everyone else... reminding them all that he, the Prince of Wales, had chosen the boldest and most beautiful woman in the world. They were meant for one another. "And if that isn't Alice, look at you. Every bit the lady you deserve to be." Arthur smiled and shook his head, he laughed ever so gently, no not at Alice, but at how impressed his was.

    "Unfortunately there has been a change of plan." Arthur sighed, rather heavily and looked upon his wife, reassured only by her beauty and grace. "As it would turn out, my father, if you can believe it is too drunk to attend his own party on time. They have asked the Queen to step in as hostess." This particular thought was entirely shocking, it was after all, the woman's job according to their societal rules that the woman was the homemaker, the domestic Goddess, even in a home this size. "Which means, I will have to escort her in. To project a unified family image." Of course, less nice words were exchanged among those in servants corridors.

    --

    Arabella, contented with all the preparations turned to her cadre of ladies. "I suppose I shall leave you now, and see you once the festivities have begun. It is my greatest honor to have you all grace my home and my table on such a joyous occasion." Arabella got the words out, she forced them, but she smiled anyway. Besides, with the Queen and the Prince being last to enter, with her sister in tow, it would give the group a small moment alone together. Something she rather looked forward to now.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  10. #410
    Member DuchessLivilla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
    Location
    Scotland
    Favourite Roleplay Genres
    Historical 1x1, Sci-fi, Horror, AU
    Posts
    320
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    Alexandra smiled sadly at Alice as she spoke. She realised, rather belatedly, that to her maid, she no doubt sounded like a spoilt fool, living in a dream world, saying things that to Alice were impossible...and to everyone else too, most likely but the Princess was yet young enough that she had not, entirely, given up on such fairytale things. Either that or reality had not yet knocked her back enough to see how the world was.

    She didn't have the chance to reply to that before Arthur came but she felt the need to say, "If I thought for a second Bella, or anyone else, was doing this at your expense for a jest, I should never have helped along, I swear," she squeezed Alice's hand then turned to her husband.

    It was something to see the way that they looked at one another. Even the most cynical courtier or outright enemy of the Royal pair had to admit that each was devoted to the other in every way one could be to another person. When one was without the other, they were each less for it; together, a perfect whole. It was, to many, rather enviable, especially many a noble lady who had had an arranged marriage and now found herself bound to a tedious many who cared little for her beyond the production of heirs and something pretty on his arm.

    Beyond all that though, there was something else. As seperate people, one got the impression that each was capable of something else, something great, together, it was almost assured. It was just a matter of seeing what form said great act took; and, depending on the viewpoint, if it was a great and good act, or something great and terrible...

    Alexandra sighed and rested a hand on her husband's chest, just below his collarbone. "Is it wrong to say I am pleased about it? At least she shall be spared his company for a time, and might even be allowed to enjoy herself a little. She can, after all, dance with you if no one else at the least. And," she smiled at Alice, "I shall walk behind with Alice. It will be a fine way to introduce her anyway, at my side, not behind me like a servant."

    She turned back to Arthur, clearly taking strength from his presence after what had occurred earlier. She was not scared of anyone knowing; they had not been observed, nor would anyone suspect she had been there. Why would she have been? In any event, the King passing out drunk could hardly be the fault of his daughter-in-law when numerous men would have seen him drinking in the billard room moments before.

    No.

    The Princess was more concerned that the King, having sobered up, would come to the party in annoyed mood, not remembering who he was annoyed at, and take it out on Bella...either there, or upstairs.

    "Please God, let him pass out and remain so, or else start drinking and collapse again. Spare my sister him tonight, please...I beg you."
    "Ye mustn't be afraid to ask for help. Pride is a good thing, my girl, but it will kill you in time." - Granny Weatherwax

Page 41 of 43 FirstFirst ... 3940414243 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •