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

  1. #481
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    Often times, Alice noted, it seemed like Arthur and Alexandra lived apart from the rest of the world. In there time and place there was just the two of them. The room could be crowded with people but for the two of them... none of that existed. Could she someday feel that way too? It was sweet, it was romantic. It almost made one feel like an intruder when watching them this way. Like you were the one who did not belong, the one who was witnessing something that should have been a private moment. Not that it was necessarily a private moment, but it simply had that feeling. It wasn't until the door opened and the footman called out did the two seem to snap back to reality.

    Arthur had more or less allowed his figure to collapse and simply melt into the affections of his wife. A small shift in his face when the moment was over indicated a hint of sadness. Alice imagined the Prince would have rather remained in his little bubble. There was never a man more in love, that Alice felt certain of.

    The young maid could feel the blush creeping along her cheeks as the Duke was mentioned and of course that the letter was for her. Rather sheepishly, she extended a hand and took the letter into her own. Alice simply stared at it, allowing the letter to rest somewhat weightly on her own palms, as though it were the smallest silver tray in the world. It was like Alice had never seen a letter before, despite having delivered countless hundreds of them to the Princess and the Queen, then Duchess.

    "He has such lovely penmanship." Alice uttered, she seemed to have no idea of what one said in these contexts. Alice did not look up or back at the Princess and Prince, she stared only at the letter, after some time had passed she turned the envelope over, her fingers began to trace every facet of the wax seal. Even through gloved hands she could feel the ridges, the rises and falls, it was delicate. Somehow this item was even more precious to her than all of the finery she had worn the night she met Thomas.

    It was an odd thing, to feel guilty about breaking a seal, but Alice did. It was beautiful, though only wax, it was wax poured for her, meant to end up in her hands bearing his personal seal. Alice very rarely got anything that was just for her, but this, this meant the world. "I wonder what he's written." Alice commented out loud but really for any particular person, carefully she worked her finger about the bottom of the seal, slightly separating it from the paper of the envelope so she could open it without breaking it. It took time and effort but it would be worth it. Alice opened the envelope and carefully extracted the paper inside.

    Unfolding it, Alice began to read it. She read in complete silence, her face however, though angled downward was rife with a series of expressions, all positive, some of surprise. When she had finished, she read it again, and when she finished the second time, she allowed her hand, still holding the letter to drop before her. "It would appear that he wishes to see me again... but as he has been away, he does not know how to arrange such a thing... he would ask your assistance."

    "I don't know what to say... do I reply? Do you? I don't even know how things should be done myself." Arthur and Alice were something of an anomaly, they met, they fell in love, but everything didn't happen as it was meant to. It was controversial. "I'll need to buy clothes or something... I can't meet him like this." Alice had precious little in the way of clothing that was not her uniform. In reality, she had very few days off, her entire life was in service to the Princess. Something she enjoyed quite dearly but kept her out of the way of other girls her age, save for other maids.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  2. #482
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    Alexandra smiled and watched, hands clasped under her chin as her friend read, and then re-read the letter. She was dying to know what it said but did not wish to intrude. It was, naturally, a private thing; especially for a young woman who had never had a letter before! Alex would have guarded it closely herself, if she was Alice.

    "Oh, Alice," she said softly, beaming. It was clear that the Princess was treating this as how she would have treated her sister's prospects, and championing it the whole way! "Of course, I shall write to him today, along with the ladies, but you should send your reply first so we can delay my letter for whenever you are ready. As for rules," she looked at Arthur and smiled. "If my husband gives me permission...And also gives you permission to reply to the gentleman, I see no reason for anyone else to have anything to say."

    She laughed again. "And clothes, oh Alice, do you really think myself and Bella would allow you to go without? I will take that in hand. You will not go to anything in your uniform, I promise. I have my privy purse, that I can use as I wish," she glanced again at Arthur and winked, "With, again, my husband's permission and within reason. It's for my own dress bills and such, as well as charitable affairs. So if myself and the Queen, who I am sure will be happy to help, pool our resources, you can be fashioned with a complete trusseau."

    It would have been very easy for Alice, or anyone really, to think and feel that these two great ladies, with little of substance to occupy their time, or at least as far as society was aware, had taken this topic of a possible romance as a chance to have amusement. A game almost. To dress up one's maid as a lady, and trot her out like an exotic pet you had found, to be shown off until one grew bored.

    Luckily, Alice knew her mistress -perhaps not so much the Queen- better than that and Alexandra would have done none of this had she not truly wished to see her friend happy. She was not the type to make fun at another's expense, having for so long -and even now- been the butt of everyone's amusements. The court ladies, naturally, were exempt from this. They, not the Princess, had set the bar on that score and she saw no reason not to amuse herself where they were concerned.
    "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. #483
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    Arthur picked up his eyes at the mention of 'permission' and 'husband.' Giving his permission was something he generally refrained from for two primary reasons. The first being the most important was simply that Alexandra did not need it. In his eyes she was a free woman, free to live her life as she saw fit. Second, no matter what Alexandra did, she did so with complete trust and support in all things. "You aren't actually going to make me say it are you?" Alex enjoyed the occasional tease of Arthur. Jokes about society were often included.

    "I refuse. I shan't stoop to my Father's level and grant you permission or any such nonsense, do as you please the both of you." Arthur smiled and laughed kindly, softly, but genuinely. "If anyone now has access to more than we do, it would be Arabella. I can't imagine she'd say no to helping. In fact, she'd probably be rather offended if she was left out." Though how exactly this could be accomplished, given that he would sooner die than see his beloved wife get anywhere near his father or Windsor at all.

    Alice shook her head. "I would not want to be an inconvenience. Surely there are charities more deserve of such generosity than a simple maid." Alice did not want these women to further think she would be taking advantage of them. In reality, Alice was just grateful that someone actually cared about her and her well being.

    "If you would be so kind as to excuse me, I shall take my leave and write my reply." Alice probably could have turned and left knowing Alex would in fact allow her. But she did not, she remained in her position, in this moment not wanting to appear too comfortable with this generosity.

    To say that the Princess' Household staff was more relaxed and comfortable than that of the Suffolks would be something of an understatement. Arabella's staff lived in abject fear. Those here though enjoyed great comfort, ease in their work and more often than not generally got along. But of course there is always a little feeling of petty jealousy. Alice had somehow won in this game, she befriended the Princess, before she was a Princess, and now was given the opportunity to potentially become a very great lady, a Duchess. Where were there opportunities?
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

  4. #484
    Member DuchessLivilla's Avatar
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    Alexandra looked at her husband and smirked, her eyes full of amusement. The dimples in her cheeks, which suited her very well, were back as she smiled. "Arthur," she said fondly, shaking her head and laughing. "It is a dangerous thing to grant a lady the will do 'to as she pleases' is it not? Imagine what the world would be if we ladies could do as we wished."

    "What a world indeed," she thought briefly before turning to her maid.

    "Alice, you are the only true friend I have. You saved my life from John, I may owe my marriage to you in that regard, and as such, my happiness and family. If not for you, I would not be standing here, in a home, a proper home, with the man I love, expecting my first child with him, and hoping for the future. No one is more deserving than you of happiness, nor of the trappings of wealth."

    She came over and kissed Alice's cheek, "Of course. Take your time, as long as you wish. I am sure I can cope a day without help," she smiled. "If you need anything, just let me know."

    The Princess watched Alice take her leave then turned back to her husband, coming over and taking his hand, as if she could not bear to be apart from him. She smiled happily. "It's all so sweet, is it not? Oh, I remember my feelings at your first letter. I felt so foolish for it but it made my heart burst. I must have worn the words thin by reading them over and over. I so want that for her."
    "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

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