Story by Ember
MAID or PRINCESS?Part The First
Whewt, got a sudden and unexplained plot bunny for this one ^^
**Warning /// Sad Ending Alert
~ Elane Rockell (20) :: A quiet maid all her life, she doesn't know what to do aside from cook and clean. She was recently let go from her job, and seeks a new one at the Castle. She might be getting more than she bargained for, though...
~ Mrs. Dianne Jones (57) :: The head maid at the Castle. She is a stern woman but kind hearted when she can afford to be.
~ Anna Prath (32) :: A maid at the castle, and has been there for five years (a long time in Maid Job History; most maids only keep a job for a year at a time), so she has seniority among the other maids. She is assigned to show Elane around the place and help her get used to the way things work.
~ Lord Beckole (53) :: Elane's previous master. He was forced to let her go when he needed to fix his budget and spendings, but gave her a letter of recommendation to help her get a job at the Castle. A very kind master and a happy person, Elane thought of him as a sort of father.
~ King Domin (65) :: King of this land. He looks jolly, but he's very serious and does not tolerate silliness or any breaches in the code of social law.
~ Queen Domin (42) :: The King's second wife, after his first Queen died giving birth to the Princess. She is much younger than the King but loves him deeply. She knows that her two adopted children do not love her very much, but she is content with the love of her husband.
~ Crown Prince James Domin (25) :: The eldest son of the King and the heir to the thrown. He is expecting his father to retire any day now, and takes his job just as seriously as his father. He can not wait to be king, and hopes to use the power to do good in the land. He dislikes his step mother but does not wish her harm, and will take care of her when his father dies, like any son should do.
~ Princess Vanessa Domin (22) :: The middle child of the King, and 'spoilt rotten.' She knows she can get almost anything she wants if she asks her father enough. She adores her older brother, but shuns her younger, hating how he looks so much like their father but having his mother's black hair instead of the blond the rest of them have.
~ Prince Mark Domin (21) :: The youngest and most aloof child of the King, and the only child of the Queen (though he could have had a younger sibling, five years back; the Queen unfortunately had a miscarriage). He sometimes wishes he were the eldest, but most of the time he is glad he does not have to be King some day, and hopes to keep it that way.
P r o l o g u e ::/Elane sat in her room, writing in her journal. Her wavy brown hair was tucked behind her ear, but still managed to fall in front of her face. Every few minutes she reached her hand up to tuck it back, willing it to behave.
A few times she sighed and looked up, possibly remembering something from her childhood, or pondering what someone had said in passing during the day. There was no sound aside from the gentle hiss of the candle illuminating the large room, the sound of the other maids’ breathing, and the gentle yet persistent scritching and scratching of Elane’s pencil.
When she was done recording what had happened during that day in the somewhat unsteady hand of one only just learning to write, she sat back against the backboard of the bed and sighed, then blew out the candle.
A u g u s t . t h e . T h i r d ::/
P a r t O n e ~~ A . N e w . J o b
I woke up today with a sore neck. Today, I needed to look and act my best. I needed to get this job, or I didn’t know what I’d do.
I got dressed quickly and headed out of the little hotel room I was staying in. The owner was a really kind woman, but I just couldn’t afford to stay there.
This was my last chance. My past job… it would help with what I needed to do. And I held the letter in my hand tightly, valuing it above all else. It was my key to a new job that would provide well for me.
I needed to get to the Castle. That was where I would find a job.
Before I knew it, it loomed before me, and I could do nothing but stare up at the gates for a long time, until a guard called out to me.
“Who goes there?” He asked, raising the rim of the cap that was part of his uniform.
I know I hesitated for too long when he looked annoyed. “M-my name’s Elane Rockell. I… I was hoping to get an interview… for a job as a maid…”
The guard scoffed. “You think you can just get in, just like that?”
I looked down at my shoes, and was going to turn and give up. But I needed to get this job! I looked back up. “I-I have a letter… from Lord Beckole…” I held up the letter carefully, enough for the guard to see Lord Beckole’s official seal. “It’s for the head maid here…”
The guard caught sight of the seal, and hastily apologized. “I’ll send for Mrs. Jones right away…” He mumbled.
I waited for about ten minutes before she stood before me. It was a good thing it was a warm day. There were even birds to keep me company, chirping as they sat on the fences, and on the posts of the stairs leading up to the main doors of the Castle Gate.
I’ve always admired the Castle from afar. It was so beautiful, sitting on the hill as it did. You couldn’t get in without going through that gate I stood in front of. There were always four guards stationed there. The whole Castle was enclosed by the wall, and raised on the hill.
It was as if they were saying, ‘look, I am above you.’
I'd only ever seen it in pictures before. It was even more beautiful in person.
Mrs. Jones was an older woman, I would guess in her mid 50’s. Her hair was more than a little gray, and she wore small half-rimmed spectacles that rested low on her nose. She peered at me over them.
“You have a letter?” She asked. I nodded and handed it to her timidly.
She read it in less than a minute, looked at me critically, and nodded slowly. “Come in, Miss Elane.”
I followed her, not knowing whether to be elated or terrified. I didn’t know what was in the letter… All Lord Beckole had said was to give it to Mrs. Jones… Even if I had looked, I can't read...
I still wish I had my old job. I used to be a maid in Lord Beckole’s household. I’m the daughter of a maid that was already there, so I’ve been working there since I was old enough to. Unfortunately, Lord Beckole has been going through a time of financial staggering and needed to let me go. He is a kind man though, and wrote this letter for me. That was two days ago. It took me all of the first day and half of yesterday to come here.
I didn’t know what to think as Mrs. Jones lead me to a room with a wide desk and one chair on the other side of it. Mrs. Jones went to it and sat down, looking at me over those half-rim spectacles. I felt like I was being weighed on the golden scale of Egyptian lore.
“You have been a maid for how long?” She asked, though I’m certain she knew the answer.
“Ten years, Missus; since I was ten.”
“And what kinds of duties did you have?”
“Cleaning, cooking and house-care Missus.” Was that enough? I’d been washing floors and shining silver for so long. I hate to brag, but I could do most of my previous duties with my eyes closed. “And I attended to the Lord Beckole’s wife, Missus.”
Mrs. Jones nodded slowly and looked back down at the letter.
“Well then, you’re in luck. We just lost one of our maids, so we were going to start looking for a suitable one. It seems we’ll not have to look any longer. You will start today.”
I blinked, and there was such a rush of feeling. I was going to get a job. I would be a maid… at the Castle. A maid for the King a Queen!
“I assume you have belongings that you will need to get and bring here?” She was putting the letter in a drawer in the desk.
I shook my head and looked down. I had all of my possessions on me at the moment. The one outfit I owned, the picture of Mother that Lord Beckole had been kind enough to lend me an unused frame for, and the bracelet Mother gave me when I was ten and started working.
Mrs. Jones watched me after that for a few seconds, and then nodded. “Then come with me to meet the others on the Castle staff.”
P a r t T w o ~~ M y . N e w . B o s s e s
The first thing that really hit me about the castle’s underground, it’s back hallways and the places people never saw…
Was that they were huge. The halls were so tall, but still narrow and managed to be hard to maneuver. We passed one of the kitchens, and I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when I peeked inside through the door and saw how many stoves were burning, already preparing lunch.
And it was so busy. It seemed, as Mrs. Jones led me to meet my new coworkers, that there was always somebody doing something in the Castle. The work was never done.
Before I knew it, Mrs. Jones had taken me to a large room where easily over 100 other maids had gathered. The room was buzzing with the low murmurs, gossip about a new face coming. Word spread fast here, I guess.
Mrs. Jones tapped a slim metal stick on the edge of a table and the room was silenced right away. “Ladies, you have a new member of your ranks starting today. Her name is Elane Rockell; make her feel at home here.” The maids all stared at me; probably at my hair. I knew it was unusual hair for someone with such a plain job to have. It was long and wavy and brown, and always managed to get in the way. It wasn’t good maid hair.
“You may go back to your duties now. Anna!” As the others dispersed and the hum of voices met my ears again, one of the girls made her way toward us from somewhere in the middle of the crowd.
“Yes, Missus?” She looked like she was in her mid-thirties. Her hair was blond and short, and straight as a pencil. Her eyes were a striking blue, and I found myself pulled to them.
“Anna, you’re going to show Elane the ropes. Show her around the place and answer any questions she has. She’ll be shadowing you for the next week or so, until I decide on a specific task for her.”
Anna nodded, and Mrs. Jones took her leave, having business to attend to elsewhere.
I looked over at Anna and curtsied politely. “Hello, Anna. Please take care of me…” I mumbled it; I was never that good at meeting new faces. I’d known almost all of the ones I saw every day since I was born, so when a new one came I feel out of place and uncomfortable.
Anna eyed me with something like trepidation. She was probably annoyed at having to look after some newbie like me. But then she shrugged and turned. “Come on, I’ll show you around first, then we’ll start on general duties.” She seemed so… to the point. She was getting right to business, and I liked that.
I followed her around the huge place, and when we ended up in a large room with ten bunk beds, I looked around as Anna handed me a uniform, which I was to change into immediately.
“This is where you’ll be sleeping,” Anna indicated a vacant bunk. The bottom bunk somewhere in the middle of the room. There was a small table next to it, and I looked around the room again. There was one window, two beds down from my bottom bunk. I pointed at the top bunk.
“Who sleeps in this one?”
Anna grinned and pointed at herself with her thumb. “That’s where I sleep. The girl you’re replacing, Lucy, used to sleep in that bed,” she added, pointing at my new bunk. “I don’t even know why she suddenly up and left.” She was silent for a few seconds, and then shrugged. “Ah, well. Anyways, you’ve seen the place now. Let’s get to work.”
I spent the rest of the day working with Anna. It was so different from working at Lord Beckole’s manor. Jobs that would have taken me ten minutes on my own there took Anna and I, plus two other girls, half an hour here. There was just so much more of the work to be done.
One of the last jobs of Anna’s day was to wait on the Royal Family as they ate dinner. She was warning me as we made our way to the dining hall.
“Now, be sure not to mess up here. It’ll be my butt on the line as well as yours, but mostly yours.” She pushed open a door. “Don’t speak unless you are spoken to, and even if you are spoken to, keep your reply short. Don’t make eye contact with the King or the Queen, and if you can, don’t show emotion. Our job is not to make their meal enjoyable; it’s to be indifferent and do what they tell us, when they tell us to.”
I nodded hastily as we picked up the pace, lest we arrive late. This would be hard to get used to as well. At Lord Beckole’s manor, meals were always very social. I was still a maid, and not allowed to participate, but Lord Beckole sometimes urged me to smile at least. I missed Lord Beckole; he was always such a kind-hearted man, and like the father I’d never known.
And then, before I knew it, I was standing in line with the other maids and curtsying as the Royal Family entered.
First, the King; large and round and jolly looking, but serious to the core. The crown on his head was shining and bejeweled, and underneath it, his hairs were graying.
Next, the Queen entered. She looked very kind. She had a pleasant smile that reached up to her hazel eyes, and her hair was done so beautifully, held in a bun at the top with a sapphire clip.
The Crown Prince entered next, his golden locks almost glistening in the light of the room. The eldest son of the King and his previous wife, he was the heir to the thrown and took his position very seriously, like his father.
Behind him, his younger sister, the Princess, strode in. I could tell she had been spoilt rotten, though I would never admit to the thought. Saying that sort of thing would have me hanged.
And then, the youngest royal child, the second Prince. He was the only child of the King and his current wife, after the death of the previous Queen; the Crown Prince and Princess’s mother. He was looking around the room, scanning it with his blue eyes like his brother’s. Though their eyes were the same -their father’s- the youngest Prince had his mothers raven black hair.
I quickly looked down before the roaming eyes caught mine and I got myself -and Anna- in trouble.
P a r t T h r e e ~~ M y . F i r s t . M i s t a k e
I’m not sure, but I think I made a good impression on at least some of the Royal Family. I’m used to waiting on Lord Beckole and his family, so every time one of the royal family called for something and I was sent to do the task, I preformed favorably, I think.
Except one time…. And one mistake seems to be enough to condemn a person here.
The Princess asked for a fresh napkin to wipe her hands with, and I didn’t know that she liked them to be hot.
“What, do you call yourself a maid fit to work in the Castle? I dare say, you would struggle to make it in a simple town house with a single master!” It stung, but I knew it wasn’t true. I’d been a very good maid at Lord Beckole’s and his home was not small.
So I bowed low and took the insult as I should, like a maid. “I’m very sorry, Your Highness. I’ll be sure to not do it aga-” But she cut me off.
“You are quite certain you shall not do it again, for you’ll not be working here any longer!” She turned to the King. “Papa, have her fired.”
The cold dread began to creep up my spine. I’d just gotten this job… I couldn’t lose it already!
The King was eying me sternly, I just know it, though I could not confirm it with my eyes; Anna’s warning was still with me, and I kept my eyes downcast.
“Father, let her be. I haven’t seen her around, she must be new.” I didn’t dare look up to see who had spoken.
The King must have nodded slowly and shrugged. “Vanessa, this girl is new, so we’ shall give her a second chance.”
I heard Vanessa shuffle in her seat, curtsied quickly and went to stand back in line, next to Anna. She was bristling, and I could tell I was in for it tonight. I could also feel the steam in my cheeks at my mess up. This was the first time I’d been scolded by a master… Before, it had always been my mother or one of the other maids scolding me when I needed scolding… never the master.
The rest of the meal went without incident, and I may have even redeemed myself when the Second Prince asked me specifically to get him the decanter of wine to refill his glass.
Conscious of my last mistake still, I couldn’t help but be nervous as I picked up the decanter and steadied my hand as I poured. I placed the glass back in front of him and curtsied hastily, then made my way back to the line.
Anna seemed to have settled down as well, and I think I even saw the Prince give an approving nod in my direction.
Before too long, the meal was over and we maids were cleaning up. Free of the oppressing family’s presence, we were chatting quietly to ourselves as we worked. I stuck close to Anna, and once or twice glanced at her to see her calmly working. I tried to copy her, but the mistake I’d made earlier was still with me.
I almost dropped a spoon and Anna looked over at me. “Don’t worry. The Princess is…” she lowered her voice. “Well, she’s like that. You’ll get used to her soon. She’ll get easier to handle with time.” She shrugged. “And besides, you might not be on dinner duty for long, it all depends on where Mrs. Jones decides to put you.”
I couldn’t say whether I was relieved or disappointed. I wanted to be good at what I did…
When we were done clearing the table, we were free to eat our own dinners, down in the kitchens. As Anna led me there, I wondered who I would be meeting and working with from now on.
A u g u s t . t h e . T e n t h ::/
The week of trailing Anna went without any more incidents. That first night, Anna stayed up a little later with me telling me about how to deal with the Princess so I wouldn’t do anything wrong the next day.
She told me how the Princess liked her towels, how she liked her wine poured, how she liked her chair pushed in. There were too many things to remember. But somehow I did it; I didn’t make any more mistakes with the Princess from then on. There were a few noticeably different times during those meals that week.
One of them happened on the Wednesday of that week. I was standing in line with the others just as before, and then the Crown Prince asked me to come over. He looked me right in the eye and I flinched my gaze away. It would be rude for me to hold his gaze, as if I were his equal. Maybe he was testing my humility.
“Maid, fetch a new bottle of wine for me; this one is not to my tastes anymore.”
I curtsied again and went out of the room. I was glad to have gotten used to the workings of the Castle Undergrounds; I knew where the wine was kept, and was able to find it on my own.
“Excuse me, I need a new bottle of wine for the Crown Prince,” I said as I walked into the cellar.
“Did he ask for something in particular?” A young man with curly brown hair and hazel eyes met me at the door. If I remember correctly, his name was Allan Role.
I paused and shook my head, worried. “No, he didn’t… is that a problem?”
Allan beamed brightly and shook his head. “Nah, I know what he likes.” He disappeared for a few seconds, and came back with a bottle of wine and held it out to me. “Number 237 Chateau, Vintage.” I took it gratefully and he nodded. “He’ll like that one.”
“Thanks Allan,” I said, hoping that actually was his name. I would feel horrible if I got it wrong.
“Anytime, Miss Elane,” he said with a slight bow.
I hurried back up to the dining hall and poured the Crown Prince a new glass of the 237, and waited anxiously for his approval. He nodded after a few seconds and excused me. “Good choice, Maid,” he said, and I was just about to leave the table when he stopped me with, “What is your name, Maid?”
I was puzzled, but answered anyways. “E-Elane Rockell, Your Highness,” and I curtsied as was habit when I introduced myself.
The Crown Prince smiled and nodded. “Thank you, Elane, for the help, then.” I curtsied again and hastened back to the line. Anna glanced at me for half a second, a little puzzled as well at the look on my face, I suppose. She wouldn’t have been able to hear what the Prince had said from here.
Another interesting thing happened when I was dusting in one of the many personal quarters. I was in the Second Prince’s quarters with Anna, and I was dusting some things that were on the mantelpiece in one of the rooms.
We’d been assured that the Prince was away for now, which is the only reason we were there then. But then, he came in, and we both stopped our work to hastily curtsy and apologize.
We were on our way out so as to not disturb him, but he called us back. “Go ahead and do your work. I don’t mind.”
We reluctantly went back to work, and hastened to finish. It was odd, working with the Prince just in the next room. A few times he came into the room we were in to get something.
One time, he even needed to get something that was only a few feet from where I was dusting. He came over and got it, but paused. He pointed at a spot I’d just dusted and whispered, “Missed a spot.”
I nearly jumped two feet in the air, I was so startled, and ashamed as well. “A-Ah, I-I’m sorry!” I hurriedly reached over to get the spot I’d somehow missed, and he just laughed.
“It’s alright,” he said with a smile. “It’s so small, you can barely even see it.”
I dusted it anyways, not able to let go of my duties. I bowed. “I won’t miss any more, Your Highness.”
He just nodded and left the room, tossing the item he’d come to grab up and down.
Anna shuffled over to me. “What was that about, Elane?” She looked shocked, and I was shocked as well. “What did he say to you?”
I shook my head. “He pointed out a spot I’d missed…” I hung my head in shame. “I can’t ever let that happen again!”
Anna nodded gravely. “A maid who misses a spot won’t last long. You watch out, now. This is the last day and Mrs. Jones will place you somewhere for good. You want it to be a good place.”
All I could do was nod and follow her out of the Second Prince’s private quarters.
F r o m . t h e . D i a r y . o f . P r i n c e s s . V a n e s s a // A u g u s t . 9 t h ::/
I do not know what my younger brother is thinking. He must have been dropped by one of the nannies when he was a baby.
And that new maid is beginning to get too good at what she does.
I haven’t been able to get on her for messing up at all since the first time.
I want her gone, but Papa will not fire her unless she really messes up.
It doesn’t help that both James and Mark seem to have taken a liking to her.
It’s all too frustrating!
I would be just fine with it… if James didn’t mind her being fired! If he was just on my side, I could deal with the rest of it.
But he’s on her side. He thinks she will be a good maid and that we should keep her.
Mark agrees. But he’s always wrong, so it’s not surprising.
Today, my favorite maid told me that the new girl is going to get assigned an official post today. I hope that it is something horrible, where she will have to do a lot of work that will be hard.
If I can just get James to see her faults and agree that she needs to be fired, I am positive that Papa will consent to firing her.
Really, it is only a matter of time.
D a t e // A u g u s t . 1 0 t h .... T i m e // 1 0 : 0 4 ::/
Today was a pleasant, if not rather normal day. Vanessa and I took a pleasant stroll in the gardens, and I was able to excel in my training as well.
Vanessa was acting a bit odd though; she kept bringing up the new maid. I forget her name, wasn’t it Ellen? Something of the sort.
Vanessa was saying that Ellen cast her rude looks when no body else was looking. Odd, I have not seen that maid do anything unsatisfactory, aside from her mix up on her first day. I think myself a rather good judge of character, and I pride myself in my ability to tell whether one is lying or not, whether they are worthy or not.
I had thought that maid to be a good one. She does her job, and she could be a very valuable asset in the future, with training and sophistication. I assume that her time at what ever jobs she’s had before have made her lazy to a point, and unused to sophistication, as maids here should be.
But with time, she may even be Head Maid quality; and a Castle is defined by how it is run behind the scenes, how things in the back hallways are managed.
I believe that Vanessa is merely acting out again. I shall take her some place nice tomorrow to let her be spoiled and return to her pleasant self.
I shall have to reschedule a meeting or two, though. I regret that deeply, but the well being of my dear sister is at stake.
A u g u s t . 1 0 t h ::/
M i d - A f t e r n o o n
I find myself with more to write about each day. I see why James and Vanessa insist on my keeping a journal each night, now.
The new maid is very interesting indeed. Elane, with the long brown hair…
Every night at dinner, she does such a splendid job, even when Vanessa tries to make her mess up. I cannot help but admire her willpower in the face of my sister.
I understand that today, the Head Maid is assigning Elane to a permanent post. It will sadden me if I do not see her around any more. I feel as if I need to tease her more and more, because of that flustered look she gets when she realizes she’s made a mistake.
I think perhaps my interest in her is not entirely healthy, but I have decided. I shall have her as a personal maid. I have two, and they are very fine maids, but I am certain that life will be much more… exciting with Elane around me.
I am going to Mother and Father first, and then to Mrs. Jones to put in a request for Elane’s post. I am sure I shall get my way; Father thinks I should be more Princely, and what is more Princely than having another personal maid on a whim? And Mrs. Jones knows her place. If I request it, I shall get it.
When I think about teasing her, I get a feeling of a joy of sorts.
Like two days ago, when I found her and another maid in my rooms. I shall not forget how she worried over that little speck…
I shall go to Mother and Father now, in fact.
A f t e r D i n n e r
It is settled. Mother and Father were both agreeable to the idea, and Mrs. Jones gave her consent.
“Though, I had been hoping to put her somewhere else…” She had mumbled, but she did not go against me.
I have told her to send Elane to me first thing in the morning.
I feel as if I shall have a lot to write about from now on, and I can not shake the feeling.
A u g u s t . t h e . E l e v e n t h ::/
I didn’t know what to think the night before, when Mrs. Jones called me to her. I was up in nerves, worrying about what post I would get. I was also realizing that I would miss working with Anna. I had grown to like her very much, and would miss her as I dusted, or shined, or served.
So when Mrs. Jones told me that I would be one of Prince Mark’s personal maids, I was really stunned.
I stared at her for a few seconds. “Are you sure there’s not a mistake? Why would you put me there, Mrs. Jones?”
I didn’t not want the spot, exactly. But I hadn’t even considered it.
Mrs. Jones merely shook her head, gravely. “No, Elane. There is no mistake. The Prince requested that you be his personal maid. To refuse would mean instant loss of your job, and possibly more than that.”
I didn’t want that… I nodded, but I was so worried. What if I messed up more than I had before, when I missed the speck of dust?
Mrs. Jones must have sensed my apprehension, for she smiled warmly, and put her hand on my shoulder. “You will do wonderfully, Elane. You needn’t worry about performing well. In fact, I was sorry to let you go. I could well use your work ethic and skill elsewhere.” She sighed. “But I can not go against the Family.”
I nodded. I knew how things went in the world of those who work for others. Especially for maids.
“You are to report to him first thing tomorrow morning, alright, Elane?”
I nodded again, curtsied and left Mrs. Jones, to head to my room. Anna met me at the door.
“So, where are you, Elane?”
“… I’m supposed to be Prince Mark’s personal maid. I’m to report to him first thing in the morning.”
“Really?!” Anna seemed intrigued. “That’s strange, he almost never gats a new personal maid.”
“How many does he have now?” I was at least glad to know I would not be the only one.
“Two right now. Suzie and Leah.” I’d seen the two before; they stuck together most of the time and didn’t seem to like any of the other maids… They slept in the room next door to this one.
I Hoped I wouldn’t become like they were...
When I woke up the next morning, I was nervous. I must have adjusted the apron of my uniform at least ten times before I stepped out of the room I shared with Anna and the others.
When I found myself standing in front of the large doors that led to Prince Mark’s private quarters, I was more nervous than I’d ever been. I just knew I would mess something up.
I waited until someone got the door; it was Leah.
She eyed me calculatingly for a few seconds, and then nodded at me. “Come this way. Master is waiting for you.”
I was silent as she led me to the same room I had been dusting that time. He was sitting in one of the chairs, reading a book.
Leah curtsied, and said, “Master, the new Maid is here.” The Prince nodded, and Leah left, looking a little sour. I think she may resent me for being here. And then it was just me and my new Master in the room.
He stood up, and I curtsied again.
“I will do my best to serve you, as my Master, well.”
He nodded and smiled. “Yes, yes. Do you fully understand what your duties will be?”
I wanted to nod, but I wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted me to DO as his personal maid. So I shook my head. “No, Master… Not exactly.”
He smiled again and sat back down, picking up a book. “You will be cleaning my quarters. The other two take care of everything else for me. All you need to do is spend your day here, making sure everything is clean.”
I curtsied again and looked up at him when he didn’t say anything. He was supposed to dismiss me wasn’t he?
“Shall I… start now, Master?” I asked, unsure.
Prince Mark nodded and smiled, staying where he was. “I’ll inspect your work every day the first week, then I’ll trust you to do it well. You can start with this room.”
But he was staying in the room?
I was worried and nervous, but I nodded and started to clean the room. Dusting and shining, cleaning the floors. After a while, I forgot that the Prince was there. When I finished the room, I looked at the Prince and asked, “Which room shall I clean next, Master…?”
He looked at me and pointed to the door to his left. “Just work your way around in which ever way is most convenient for you.”
I nodded and left him, wondering what this job would mean for me. It was such an odd post; I was a personal maid for the Prince, but only cleaned his rooms.
A few hours later, I had almost finished cleaning another room, when the Prince came in. I fumbled with my duster and curtsied sloppily, and he laughed. This brought the blood to my cheeks. I didn’t like to be laughed at…
“Don’t mind me, please,” he said as he moved to get something from some shelf.
I tried to ignore him and continued dusting.
I must have gone into the past because, just like before, he came up behind me and pointed. “You missed that,” he said casually.
I couldn’t believe it. I would surely be fired this time. I had missed another spot…
“Ah… I-I’m sorry, Master….” I dusted the spot I’d missed and turned to leave. I was done with that room anyways.
I didn’t see my Master again until it was time for dinner. He came to me as I was tidying up his bedroom, and told me that I was done for the day.
“You can go now. From now on, when it’s time for dinner, you can go.” He took off the gloves he was wearing –he must have been riding just now- and threw them onto the bed.
I nodded and curtsied. “Thank you, Master.”
He smiled and said, “See you tomorrow morning.”
A u g u s t . t h e . F o u r t e e n t h ::/
The second day of my work in Prince Mark’s rooms was a little less awkward than the first. He still was able to find fault with my performance, though!
I had been wiping a mirror, and suddenly he was standing behind me.
And again, he pointed out where I’d missed something.
“There’s a smudge here, Maid.” He wiped his hand down the surface of the mirror, exposing the spot I’d missed with the cloth.
“I-I’m sorry, Master! I don’t know what’s come over me… all these mistakes…”
My Master smiled, and laughed. I looked up suddenly, embarrassed and feeling the center of a comedy. I did not think it was funny. “Honestly, Maid, I have to doubt your skill in this,” he said, and tisked.
I felt as if I’d been slapped, and only just managed to keep my composure. “I-I promise… I will not let it happen again, Master…” I turned from my Master to rub at the smudge, not knowing if I would still have a job in the morning.
My Master has found fault with something each day since then. Every day, at some point, he appears behind me, ready to point out a spot where I hadn’t done my job correctly.
All of these mistakes, and yet I have not been fired.
Each new mistake, I meet with dread. I never know where he will appear behind me, as if from thin air, and point out where I missed a spot, or where I needed to work harder.
Meanwhile, Anna and the others ask too many questions of me.
Every night during meals, after all duties are done, they bombard me with questions about the Prince and about my work.
“Is it hard?”
“Does he treat you well as a Master?”
“What exactly do you do?”
I don’t know how much more of the questions I can take… But I will work hard.
I need to keep this job, or I don’t know what I’ll do.
A u g u s t . 1 5 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
Elane seems to have gotten used to her work. But she still does not smile often. If I can not see her smile, I will see her embarrassed. It is getting harder to tease her. She works with such precision now; I fear I have frightened her too much. But I can never help myself. I know now that my interest in her has become… unorthodox to say the least.
But I do believe that the same old, “You missed a spot,” is getting to be too light a comment. She still gets pink, and flusters over the mistake, but it is not the same. I have confused her sufficiently I believe. I am quite sure she expects to be fired each day. But I do not intend to lose her any time soon.
I may have her attend to me at meal times.
I may write in this journal more in a few days. Until then.
A u g u s t . t h e . T w e n t i e t h ::/
I have almost gotten used to my Master’s comments. I feel like my job is safe now. I’ve made so many mistakes already, and he has not fired me, and I’m getting better at not messing up.
When he cannot find fault with what I’m doing at the time, he appears behind me -and that’s the hardest to get used to- and tells me to move something. It seems that every day he gives me a special, sometimes pointless, task if he cannot find fault.
Just yesterday, for instance, he asked me to move the trinkets on the mantel of the fireplace to a table in his bedroom. He watched me as I lifted each thing and carried them two rooms over to his bedroom.
As I put the first one down on the table, he shook his head. “No, I want that there,” he pointed to a spot on the table, and I moved the item, and then looked to him for approval. He nodded.
The rest of the items’ placement went this way. In about half an hour, each item had a home on the table, and it was time for dinner. I was just about to leave, when the Prince called me back.
“Wait, Maid. I’d like you to, in addition to your current jobs, serve me at meals from now on.”
I was stunned for a while, and didn’t move for a few seconds. When I could think again, I curtsied and mumbled, “Yes, Master,” and walked to stand by his side, slightly behind him and to the left.
“I will come and get you every day at Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, so you just do your work until I come for you.” He was still smiling, like always.
“Y-you mean to say, you want me to walk with you?” I blurted, flustered. It was so improper for a maid to walk with the Royal Family!
He smiled and nodded. “That is exactly what I want, Maid.” He even held out his arm to me.
I backed up a step and shook my head. “I… I must insist, Master… It’s not proper!” I winced, half expecting to be slapped. I’d just, in essence, refused an order from my Master. He tilted his head, and nodded.
“Yes, I suppose that’s true. All right then, walk behind me if you must.”
I silently let out the air I’d been holding in my lungs, and followed him to the dining hall. With any luck, Anna would be there and I wouldn’t make any mistakes.
D a t e // A u g u s t . 2 3 r d .... T i m e // 0 9 : 4 2 ::/
Today has been lovely as well. Vanessa seems to have gotten into a mood though. Since yesterday, she has not wanted to speak with me as much as he normally does. I am worried about her health, but she insists that she is perfectly well.
Mark is acting strange as well. He’s made the new maid, Ellen, attend to him at meals. And might I say that she is doing quite well. Mark seems to be very pleased with her; I can see it in his eyes.
But I fear he may be too lenient with her. She has none of the awkward stiffness she had before. He must be letting her get off with too many slip-ups, and she knows she can slack.
I will ask him about it tomorrow, and make sure that he disciplines Ellen properly. Without discipline, she will never reach her full potential and become head maid.
Today’s meeting with father went well. Action in response to the neighboring country’s hostility has been decided upon, and we will finally get somewhere with this whole mess.
I have nothing else to report today.
A u g u s t . t h e . T w e n t y - f o u r t h ::/
There have only been a few incidents lately, but the gravity of them is severe. I made one mistake today, when Master asked me to move something for him. I picked it up and, I must have been spacing out, it slipped from my hands and broke.
Master wasn’t in the room at the time, but I could almost see him standing behind me and telling me I’d dropped something.
He was just in the other room though, and the crash must have reached his ears. He rushed into the room just as I was picking up the broken pieces, and I slit my finger on one of the sharp edges.
Prince Mark looked worried, and I bowed my head. “I-I… I’m terribly… sorry…” My voice was barely above a whisper; I was so frightened that I would be fired.
But my Master kneeled down and looked at me. “Are you alright, Maid?” He asked. He didn’t say a word about the shattered trinket.
“I’m… fine, Master…” I looked down again and took out a cloth to wipe my finger and applied pressure to it to stop the bleeding.
“Let me see that, Maid.” Prince Mark reached for my hand, but I flinched away. “… Elane. Let me see it.”
I hadn’t thought he’d known my name, so I was startled into submission. He inspected my finger, and told me to stay where I was while he got something. I stayed.
When he came back with a wet cloth and a bandage, I looked down, ashamed. I was the one who was supposed to be doing work, not my Master, let alone the Prince!
“Ah.. it’s alright, Master, I will be fine-!” I made to stand up, but Prince Mark forced me to stay down, and sat down in front of me to silently fix my finger. I kept my eyes down the whole time.
He patted my head when he was done, and smiled. “There we are. Now, clean this up and think nothing more of it, Maid.”
He left the room, and I was in such a daze that I could not move for quite a few minutes. Prince Mark had held my hand so gently… he’d not seemed to care that I had broken something of his. He was only worried about my safety.
I looked down at my hand, and couldn’t help thinking that my Master was a very kind man, no matter how much he criticized me.
A u g u s t . 2 4 t h ::/
M i d A f t e r n o o n
I have done something very foolish. But now that I have, I feel as if I cannot resist doing it again.
I touched Elane just now. She was hurt, and I could not leave her in that state. But I did not need to personally treat her cut. I should not have touched her.
Because now I have found a way to see that expression even more. I fear I am addicted to that expression now. I need more of that expression.
But I do not want to ever see her get hurt again.
I am on very dangerous ground here. I cannot let anyone know of these things I’m thinking. They are forbidden, and will only cause trouble.
A f t e r D i n n e r
I have informed Elane that I will teach her to read and write. I had asked her to write down what I was saying, but she kept her eyes downcast, and told me she was illiterate.
From now on, an hour from each of her days will be spent with me, learning letters, and she will stay in my rooms cleaning after dinner for an hour or so.
I know that, when I get down to the bottom of it, it is nothing more than an excuse for me to see her every day for such a long time. During that time, I will have Suzie and Leah do errands away from my rooms, so this can remain a secret between my Favorite Maid and I.
A u g u s t . t h e . T h i r t i e t h ::/
My lessons with letters are going rather slowly.
I know that Prince Mark is only trying to help me to learn, but his presence is becoming more and more imposing on my senses. I noticed this a long time ago, but Prince Mark really is quite handsome. He stands so close to me when he shows me each letter, and repeats the sounds they make. I find it hard to concentrate on the letters and not on his movements, his scent, his eyes.
These feelings… they are forbidden. I must never let them be known.
It does not help that the other maids have noticed me walking with him to meals. I tell them that it is strictly so that I can be of service if he needs it. They accept that answer as reasonable; they all know what it is like to attend to someone.
Now, instead of finding fault with my work as a maid, Prince Mark takes every opportunity during my letters lessons to scold my lack of knowledge.
I find myself singing the song he taught me to remember the letters and the sounds as I work. I do not want to disappoint him, so I am trying hard to remember them, and learn how to use them. He made me a set of square cards that have each letter printed neatly on them. I flip through them every night by the light of the last candle still lit in my room.
I feel as if I don’t deserve all of this. I am actually happy… I make all these mistakes, and I have to work all day. But I am happy!
A u g u s t . 3 1 s t ::/
B e f o r e B e d
Elane smiled today!
Finally, the smile I have been trying to coax out of her was spotted.
She was humming the children’s letter song as she worked, and there was a smile on her face.
I feel like a young boy; I do not think I will ever get to sleep!
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . F i f t h ::/
I am getting much better at letters. Master says that soon I will be able to start writing sentences. I know some basic words, and I’m able to sound out most other short ones.
But, the times when I learn writing are especially hard for me to concentrate through. Master shows me how to hold the pen with his own hand, and then hands it to me. I try, I really do. But I can never get it right, and he has to adjust parts of my hand by taking my fingers in his and moving them. I seem to always have something wrong when I hold the pen! I was so sure I’d gotten it right, and still Prince Mark had to reach in and fix something.
It is too hard to concentrate while he is touching my hand.
I think that even though it is so hard to concentrate when he’s there, I must be happy.
A few of the maids have asked me if good things have happened. They say I look happier.
That is good I suppose. I have been feeling happy lately.
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . E l e v e n t h ::/
Starting today, I am going to be keeping a journal. Master gave me a little book to write things in!
I was so flustered when he handed it to me.
He’d said, “Maid, I have something for you.”
And I was not expecting that at all!
I do not know what to put in this journal at the moment, aside that I want to thank Master for all he has done for me.
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . T h i r t e e n t h ::/
Today, Prince Mark praised my work!
He found fault in other areas, but he praised me nonetheless. I was writing letters in order as an exercise and he was inspecting them.
He pointed at one of my A’s and told me it was a good one. I couldn’t help smiling at the praise, and I thanked him.
“No need to thank me, Maid,” he said.
But I shook my head. “No, I must thank you! You do not need to do… any of this for me.”
He smiled, and looked away for a few seconds, and shook his head, mumbling something that I couldn’t hear. But the expression on his face said that he was… almost sad? But happy at the same time. I do not know a word to describe the look on his face.
My lesson was almost over at that point, and Prince Mark decided to cut it off then, and stood up. “Get back to work,” he said as he left the room.
I felt like I had done something wrong. I must have been speaking too freely by thanking him. I wish he hadn’t cut my lesson short though. I enjoy the lessons and learning letters.
I have been sighing a lot since then. I sighed just now even.
It is so hard to find time to write in my journal, because I share a room with so many other maids, and it is a secret.
I have to blow out the candle now, so until the next time I am able to write, goodbye.
[[ If you can't tell, this is the scene from the prologue, when she is writing this ]]
S e p t e m b e r . 1 3 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
I almost embraced Elane today. The lessons are becoming too dangerous.
But I do not think Elane knows anything of the way I feel. After the lesson today when I left early, she behaved much more reservedly. And I had worked so hard to make her feel comfortable in my presence…
But it must be better this way. If I were to act on these feelings that make each day harder to bear, I would be ruined. And I would not even bear the worst of it. If people were to find out, Elane would bear the most weight.
I do not want to do that to her, so I must keep my distance.
But she enjoys the lessons so much. I can’t take that joy away from her either.
God, give me strength.
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . F i f t e e n t h ::/
I do hope that Prince Mark is not angry at me. He has been speaking less at my lessons, and he cuts them off shorter. I will try and find what I have done wrong, so that he will be his normal self again.
It is also odd that he has not found fault with me lately. I do not miss him telling me where I’ve gone wrong, but it is odd. I feel like I’ve done something wrong, and so he’s acting strangely…
I will ask him tomorrow if I have done something unsatisfactory.
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . S i x t e e n t h ::/
I do not even know where to start my journal today!
My hand shakes as I write, even so long after the actual events of today.
It started out just like the other days. I did my duties and during the lessons, I wrote the letters. Prince Mark was still acting strange, but I didn’t say anything.
I stood behind him while he ate, like I do each day, but he asked the other maids to do things for him, instead of me.
I was convinced that I had done something wrong, for him not to ask for my assistance.
After dinner, I was working in the room with the large fireplace, and he sat in the chair next to the table.
I paused, and looked at him uncertainly, not knowing whether to say anything or not.
And then I said it. “Master… have I done something wrong…?” I looked down as he looked up at me.
There was a pause before he answered. “No… you’ve done nothing wrong, Maid.” He went back to reading.
I wasn’t satisfied with that answer though. I wasn’t assured that I hadn’t done anything.
“A-are you… sure?” I must have looked nervous, because I was very nervous.
He looked up at me and our eyes locked for about five seconds, before I remembered to look away, having the lower status.
I sighed and looked down, and turned back to the spot I was dusting in when he didn’t say anything else.
The rest happened so fast that it is hard to recall.
I was dusting on the mantelpiece, and then I could hear Prince Mark stand up, and walk over toward me. For a moment, I thought he was going to point out a spot where I’d missed a speck of dust, and so I searched for where he would point. His hand went past my face, and he pointed to a spot where there was a black spot on the brick of the mantel. But I knew of that spot; it was permanent, a defect in the brick when the Palace was built.
“You missed a spot,” he said. His voice seemed to come from right behind me.
“B-but, Master, that spot has always been there…”
His palm went flat against the mantel, and I felt trapped between him and the wall. His other hand rested on the mantel at my other side, and I froze. I really was trapped between his arms.
My back was so hot that I might have been standing with my back to the fire rather than my front.
“M-master…?” I was cautious, and tried not to move at all.
I felt something against the back of my neck, and jumped slightly. Why did I have to have my hair pulled up as a maid, exposing my neck?
“Elane…” Prince Mark whispered my name, and I wished I could escape. With him that close to me and whispering my name like that, I could not help thinking of him as a man rather than as my Master.
And those thoughts were forbidden.
Prince Mark was too close for me to think straight. “Elane… I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind these past weeks. You’ve done nothing wrong.” He paused, and I felt a puff of air when he chuckled. “If anything, I am the one doing something wrong.” He took one of my shoulders and gently turned me to face him, and pulled me away from the heat of the fire. But it made no difference, my cheeks were still red.
“M-master, what are you doing?” He still held my shoulders.
He chuckled again and looked down, leaning his forehead on my shoulder, on top of his hand. “I have no idea, Elane. No idea at all.” He kissed my forehead, and let me go. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Elane…”
I hastily left his rooms and made my way to my own room. I skipped dinner today. Anna was worried about me; I told her I was fine. But I am not fine. I will not be able to look at my Master without thinking about his hands on my shoulders, and his lips to my forehead.
S e p t e m b e r . 1 6 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
I have done it now.
I really could not help myself today. I even embraced Elane today.
How could I not, when she stood before me asking if she’d done something wrong? Elane, who has never done anything wrong to me. Even when I tease her, she does her job well. I do not want her to really think she is in the wrong.
But what have I done?
How can I ignore my heart when it will beat so fast at the mere thought of her?
I believe that people have been noticing changes in my behavior, for James has asked me if I was feeling alright yesterday. I’ll need to start acting normal.
I need to be more careful from this day on, but I do not know how I can.
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . E i g h t e e n t h ::/
Work has been very awkward. I have not looked my Master in the eyes since two days ago. I do not know if things will ever mend now…
And I find it harder and harder to ignore his closeness when he does get closer. I find myself wanting to reach out to touch him, but I know that I must not.
At dinner today, Mandi asked me about work, and I jumped because I had been thinking about the Prince.
If I cannot act normally, I am sure that some one will say something that will reveal my feelings, and I will have to leave.
~ More Soon ~[[ omg BIG developments coming soon OwO ]]
Find the rest of the story HERE
IS THERE ROMANCE??
AND TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, SHES A PRINCESS! ♥
likey it sooo farr <3 ^^
SO not even close to how meh action-y w/o romance-y will be xD
PSH what do YOU think? XD
There SHALL be romance <3
It's going to be BAAAADDD though D:
likely to end in ruin....
she will have hell to pay for it D:
BUT I might be able to end it happy >w< doubt it though D:
I typed Beckole's name wrong once DX
I fixed it >:3
with meh typo zappers >3
Lol didnt you say FORBIDDEN DUN DUN DUN for TCI2?? XD
you like FORBIDDEDNESS HUH? =3
and lol ,xD reminds meh of teh new stori im writing =w= ON PAPER. only have prologue .but its AWWWWWWWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.
you'll see XDd oh, YOU WILL!
*goes read next chap of MoP*
Go sweep the floor wiff a mop Elaine!!
You spelled ELANE'S name wrong XDDD
lol but IT FITS OMG XDDD
a MOP for a MAID =w=
AHAHA and yeah, I like FORBIDDENNESS owo
Makes things exciting >:3
and allows for drama of the bad sorts =w=
I'mma be switching perspectives throughout the story, too >:3
Ooh oh oh ho oh oh oh!
The SECOND prince is gonna be teh GUY of teh story am i correct??
oh jeez, Maid and Prince...
YOUR RIGHT XD
Seen that coming tho 83
How do you know it's gonna be the Second Prince, hmmm? ;D
NEXT CHAPTERRRRRRR NAOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
WHAAHH JUST A MINUTE XDDD
I don't have anything written past this pont DX
If I go write more I'll haveta poof for a bit =w=
WHEWT wrote the chapter in less than half an hour >:D
reads pretty good!
I Reject Your Reality and Substitute in My Own!
Thanks Bob :3
SP is nice (:
I dont like teh Princess tho D:
idc if it IS her job to be snobby & stuck up and mean, still dont like herr =w=
And like wth, HOT napkin? ._.;; -shoots the Princess-
lol I don't think ANYBODY will like her =w=
She's SUPPOSED to be hated =w=