Story by Ember
MAID or PRINCESS?Part The Second
CONTINUING the story [[ find the first part HERE ]]
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . N i n e t e e n t h ::/
When I came to Master’s rooms today, he was nowhere to be seen, and I was able to work normally, without distraction. But he was on my mind nonetheless.
Prince Mark did not come to get me for any of the three meals, and he never started my lesson. I know he told me I’d done nothing wrong, but I couldn’t help thinking again that I had.
And I knew I had done wrong, in thinking that my feelings might have been returned. I hoped that he was not merely toying with me again, as he seems to enjoy doing, but I knew that any other scenario would have been forbidden.
I was just about to leave Prince Mark’s rooms for the night when the door to his bedroom, the last room I clean usually, opened and he walked in, looking worn.
“M-master? Are you alright?” I asked and took his gloves from the table where he’d tossed them and moved them to where they belonged.
I think that he was too tired to be awkward or tease me, and he said, “No, I am exhausted. I had to run an urgent errand for father, and I’ve only just gotten back.” He made his way to the bed and fell onto it with a huge sigh.
I looked down and made for the door. “Then, I will leave you to rest now, Master. Get some rest, please.”
“Wait, Maid. Stay with me a bit longer. I enjoy the company.”
I stopped, and I know I blushed for I could feel it in my cheeks. I could not disobey though, and pulled a chair to the edge of the bed and sat. “I will stay if you tell me to…”
He turned over to face me, and sighed, looking so tired. “I am not ordering you to stay… I’m asking you to stay, Elane. I do not want you to stay if you do not wish to.”
I looked down. “I do want to stay, Master.”
Prince Mark sat up and swung his legs over the edge of the bed so that he was suddenly sitting right in front of me. “…Elane. There is something else I wish you to do for me. But only if you want to.”
I could only stare ahead of me at him and say, “What is it, Master?”
“Would you let me kiss you, Elane?” He was moving closer as he spoke, and I could not refuse. I nodded slowly, and he reached for my cheek. If he was still only teasing me, he was doing a fine job of acting, because I could see in his eyes the way he felt in that moment.
I think he noticed my brief look of fear as I thought rationally for a second or two. He said, “Do not worry, Elane,” and kissed my cheek.
“I won’t do anything you do not want me to…” He pulled away and looked down, as if ashamed. “I must apologize, Elane. My behavior has been unacceptable. I will let it be known right now that I have never meant to hurt you. I have always only sought to get an embarrassed red tint in your cheeks, or to see you smile…” He held my hand, and looked at me with the most sincere eyes I’ve seen in a long while.
Suddenly he stood and pulled my hand toward the door. “Go and rest now, Elane…”
I was about to leave with a flurry of thoughts, when he took my shoulder and made me pause. He said, close to my ear, “And know that… every time I said ‘you missed a spot,’ or ‘that was wrong,’ what I really wanted to say was… I love you…”
He gave me a gentle nudge out of his bedroom and the door clicked shut behind me.
I skipped dinner again and went straight to bed to write in my journal before the others got here. I pretended to be asleep when they came in, and when they had all fallen asleep I finished writing by the light of my single candle.
I didn’t sleep that night, and could not think of anything but Prince Mark’s words.
“I love you.”
S e p t e m b e r . 1 9 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
I have decided to take the risks, and be with Elane.
If she wants it. I wish not to force her into anything, but if she feels for me the same things I feel for her, I do not think she will object after a certain amount of time. I will try to keep it secret for as long as I can… but if people find out, I will not deny my feelings, and will only try to protect her.
If it comes down to it, I will be ready to run away with her, and throw away my name.
I have decided, and she is the most important. She is my favorite, and I only want to make her happy.
S e p t e m b e r . t h e . T w e n t y - f i f t h ::/
Every day since that night has been somewhat of a whirlwind of emotions. Now, every time Master appears behind me and points at a spot I’ve missed (and I am missing more and more these days as I lose track of thought) my heart skips a beat or two.
Sometimes he just points and mumbles in my ear, “You missed a spot, Elane.”
Sometimes he hugs me from behind as he says it.
Sometimes he looks me in the eyes as he tells me I’ve written a letter wrong.
And every time, there is nothing I can do aside from stare back at him or let myself lean into his embrace. Any way to convey my feelings without voicing them.
And then, today, he did something very risky.
I was walking with him to lunch, and suddenly he pulled me toward a corner, where no people walked most of the time. The corridor was old and the only thing it lead to was a closet nobody used. In that secluded hall, he hugged me against the wall.
“M-master… what if someone comes?” I whispered, wanting to get away while still wanting to be held by him. He has been busier lately with things for his father, so I have not seen him as much as either of us would have wished.
“They will not,” he whispered as he held me close. I could feel his heartbeat against my hand, and hugged him back.
And then he kissed me. He leaned down and brushed my hair back from my face, and his lips pressed to mine. The fluttering in my heart turned to a rapid galloping and my eyes widened for a moment. When I did close them and could respond to the kiss, the beating of my heart remained excited.
Our lips parted, but my eyes staid closed for a bit longer.
It was then that I realized just how forbidden this love was. If it had been bad when all it was, was a feeling, it was a million times worse now that we had acted on said feelings. I was suddenly painfully aware of the situation, and just how important it was that no one knew of this.
O c t o b e r . t h e . F i r s t ::/
I think I have finally gotten used to Prince Mark’s affections.
I know it is wrong but I am so happy. Every time he hugs me I feel like the world cannot stop us. Every time he kisses me I never want to leave his side.
I do not clean his rooms anymore. After he kissed me in the halls last time, he decided that I would be his personal attendant. That way, I would have an excuse to always be at his side.
It means getting up a little earlier to be ready to be of service when he wakes, but that is a paltry price to pay. To be by his side almost every hour of the waking day, I have never been happier with my job.
We have been very good about keeping it secret. Outside of the privacy of his rooms or abandoned halls, we show none of the feelings in our hearts. It is a little harder for me than it is for him, I believe, because he seems to do it so well. Sometimes he does it so well that I doubt his feelings. Until we are alone again, at which point I cannot be mistaken about his feelings.
To love someone who loves you back… it is a very amazing feeling. Frightful for us at the same time, but amazing.
Everyone in the castle seems to recognize me as “Mark’s favorite.” I am almost positive that they do not know to what extent I am his favorite, but they know that as a maid at least, he likes me best. Even Suzie and Leah seem to know it. I think they may resent me a little for it.
Where they used to get his things ready and accompany him across the castle, I now stand, and they clean his rooms. I almost never see them aside from at meals.
Prince Mark’s brother, the Crown Prince, seems to acknowledge me as a good maid, for he once called me over –though I am sure he used the name Ellen- and said that I was a good servant to his dear brother and that he hoped I would continue to make life easier for Prince Mark.
I cannot say that it is not true; even though we both know I am only his ‘maid’ so that we can be together without drawing the attention of others, I still feel that I must perform my duties as a maid. Prince Mark does not ask for things, but I get them anyways. It is more habit than anything that compels me to do this, but also the small bit of pride that I have for my work.
I sometimes think that things, as they are, are too good to be true. It feels like I’m the center of one of the princess stories my mother told to me as a child, when I couldn’t get to sleep.
I used to always dream about princesses and love on those nights, but I would wake up knowing in my heart that I could never be like that.
And hear I am, in love with a Prince!
Surely it’s all a dream; I’ll wake up any day now. But I don’t want to wake up.
O c t o b e r . t h e . T h i r d ::/
I think I may have jinxed myself.
I have been aware of some of the other maids whispering things about me when I passed with Prince Mark, but I never thought they were to this extent.
They are saying that I am pretentious. I came here as a nobody, and rose to be the Prince’s favorite in a month. Anna tells me they are just jealous but it still hurts when they say things about me; things that aren’t true.
For now they are just saying things like “What’s so great about her?” and “She’ll mess up in a week or two and be fired, most likely.”
But I get the uneasy feeling that things will only get worse…
And I cannot tell Prince Mark about this. I don’t want him to worry about it, and if I tell him, I know he will.
All I can do for no is bear it and act normal.
O c t o b e r . t h e . F o u r t h ::/
Everything… everything is ruined.
It started this morning. I heard one of the maids in my room whispering while she folded her bedsheets. She was saying that she’d heard Prince Mark and I were involved.
The maid talking to her said it was impossible, which set my heart at ease, and at the same time, oddly made me feel reproached. It was as if they were saying someone like me could never get the Prince’s attention.
I pretended not to hear them, but it was hard.
I think that Mark noticed that I was off today; once he was dressed and ready to go to an important meeting, he paused at the door before leaving his room, so that I bumped into his back. I hadn’t been paying attention.
“Is something the matter, Elane?” He put his hands on my shoulders.
I forced a smile and shook my head in answer to his question as well as to clear my thoughts. “No, I’m fine, Master,” I said with that forced smile.
He frowned, and held my chin. “I told you… call me Mark when we’re alone…”
“M…Mark…” Just saying it brought a blush to my cheeks still. It was so hard to get used to not calling him Master.
He smiled, but only half. “Are you sure there’s nothing wrong, Elane?” He lowered his head and tilted it to look up into my eyes.
I hesitated but nodded, and he kissed me gently before we went to the meeting.
All I could do was stand in the background with the other personal attendants, and wait to be alone with Prince Mark again.
That happened while we were on the way back to his rooms so that he could ready himself for supper. I’ve gotten used to being pulled away from the busy halls when no one is looking, pulled into some secret place where Prince Mark could steal a quick kiss.
I admit that I may have become too fond of kissing him. It is almost like an addiction. To know that in that moment, there is no space between us is something that I need.
When we arrived back at Prince Mark’s rooms, Leah and Suzie were cleaning. I took his things and put them away, and then accompanied him to his bedroom to help him get ready for supper.
I couldn’t help noticing that Leah and Suzie cast glances our way. I felt that they were specifically glaring my way.
We were alone again in his room, and I went to get the clothes he would wear to supper from the closet.
Though he sometimes joked that I should help him dress, I always waited outside the door until he knocked twice, signaling it was safe to enter. Suzie and Leah passed me once as I stood by the door, and they did not even attempt to hide the contempt they felt for me. When I heard the knocks, I slipped into the room to make sure his hair and face were ready as well.
I was pulling a comb through his hair when he reached up and took my hand. I blushed, and almost let the comb slip from my hand.
Then, there was a knock at the door and it opened, and I felt Prince Mark hastily let go of my hand and look at who entered. Leah walked in with a pile of folded sheets in her arms, to place on his bed, and I just knew she had seen something. I was so flustered that I couldn’t continue combing. When Leah had left, casting one last glance at Prince Mark and me, I let out the breath I’d been holding.
“Elane, are you alright?” Prince Mark asked me again. He turned so that he faced me, and put his hand to my cheek. He didn’t seem to be worried at all.
I shook my head. It was no use lying to him any longer.
I told him about what the other maids had been saying and the glances Leah and Suzie had cast me. He stood before me, silent the whole time until I had finished, and listened intently.
When I’d finished, he took my cheeks gently in his hands, and looked me in the eyes. “Elane, I promise you… If anyone should find out about us, I will protect you. Even if it means throwing away my name. You, alone, are what I need to be happy. Do not let what anyone says about you make you falter.”
I nodded slowly, and I know tears were threatening. Prince Mark kissed me once again, and things were better for that moment.
But the whole rest of the day, I was sure that Leah had seen something, or that she suspected something.
I just know that everything will be revealed, and Prince Mark and I will be forced apart…
O c t o b e r . 5 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
Elane was worried today. I could tell she was, the moment I saw her this morning. But she denied it, and tried to look happy.
It hurt to see her that way, and it was not until after an encounter with Leah that she told me. I am sure that Leah saw nothing, and even if she did, I would simply order her to keep silent. But Elane was so worried. She was on the verge of tears.
I would not be able to handle seeing her tears.
I will be more careful in the future. I do not want Elane to worry, and I wish to end the rumors about her amongst the maids. If they continue to speak ill of her, I will be inclined to take action. And I feel I will be unable to hold Leah and Suzie in the same light, if they look on Elane the way she says they do. And I do not doubt Elane’s word.
With luck, it will blow over and Elane will be fine in a few days.
But I know that we must stop hiding eventually. There is no way that we can keep this love a secret without causing more damage. It WILL be known eventually, whether we wish it to be or not. I just hope that we can be happy. I know it is a lot to ask for, with our situation, but I still wish for it.
O c t o b e r . t h e . S e v e n t h ::/
Leah has not shown any signs of having seen anything. There are still rumors about me though.
I even found soiled laundry in my bed last night. Anna helped me get rid of it, thankfully.
The other maids make snide comments to me when I pass, and jeer at me now. They still think that I am an upstart girl who is only a maid to get close to the Prince.
One of them, an older maid, said, “Are you happy now? You get to be by the Prince’s side every day, now!”
But Anna has been defending me this whole time.
“Don’t listen to them, Elane. I know you would never do something like that.”
But I could only nod half-heartedly because I knew I had done something foolish like that. While my intent hadn’t been to get close to Prince Mark, his interest in me had never been as a maid. They were all right.
I was pretentious to think I could have all of this without suffering.
But Prince Mark can always quell my fears.
I only need to hear his voice to feel better, and when he holds me close I forget all my worries. He has even gone to the trouble to make sure I do not see Leah and Suzie while I am accompanying him.
My mind would have been at ease tonight, had I not stepped from the maids’ dining room by the kitchens with paint smeared on the backside of my skirts.
It took me nearly an hour to get the stains out, and by the time I got back to my bed, Anna was asleep and my pillow was missing. There were a few feathers scattered around my bed.
It will be a hard night…
O c t o b e r . 8 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
Elane’s journal has its home in my bedroom now. Today, she told me about what happened last night, and even she could barely keep my temper from boiling. I wish I could storm in during the next meal and lay down the facts. To clear Elane’s name is all I wished for at that moment.
Then she took the journal out of a fold in her skirt and asked if it would be alright to leave it here, in case the others found it in the midst of another prank.
I could not refuse, and now it sits in a drawer next to my bed. I am constantly tempted to read what she has written, but I know that it would be a grave invasion of her privacy.
I just can’t stop wondering what she says about me in the privacy of her journal. Does she think as highly of me in the privacy of her own mind as she does in the open?
But I shall not open it. I trust her feelings.
Elane can write in it whenever she feels the need to. I will let her use my room to write in.
And in light of recent events, I am tempted to bring another bed to my rooms and have her sleep here. But that would be crossing the line. What we are doing is already improper. If she were to sleep in the same room as me… that would be far too much. And we would have evidence against us if anyone were to accuse us.
I can feel it, as well as she can, that things may be taking a turn for the worse quite soon.
O c t o b e r . t h e . T e n t h ::/
Each day, the other maids treat me worse and worse. I am trying to grin and bear it, but it is so hard.
Anna still defends me, but I dare not tell her about Mark and me (I have only just gotten used to calling him by his name alone, without any honorifics).
It feels odd, sitting in Mark’s rooms to write in my journal. My own room is no longer safe for it to be there. If anyone found it, we could be in great danger of being found out. At least here, in Mark’s bedroom, it will be safe.
Right now I am sitting at the writing desk in his bedroom, and he is sitting on the edge of his bed. I feel self conscious with him here as I write. But this is the only way that I can continue to write.
Today, and yesterday, when Mark kisses me it feels more… more urgent. I know that he feels it too, that our time together could be short…
O c t o b e r . t h e . E l e v e n t h ::/
Last night was a whirlwind…
As I was writing, he came up behind me and hugged me.
I put the pen down and turned to face him, welcoming his embrace like a flower welcomes the sun.
And then suddenly he was on one knee in front of me, holding my hand.
“Elane,” he said, looking up at me. “Elane, I love you. So much. If you do not walk beside me, I do not think I could walk; I would be a cripple.” His fingers traced my thumb’s form, and my fingers unconsciously tightened around his. “Elane, will you always walk beside me? No matter what anyone says, will you always give me, and me alone, your love?”
I nodded with tears in my eyes. They were happy tears, but there was a deep sadness in them too. That the person I love could feel so strongly back for me, I was happy. But to think that this feeling could not last long because of the expectations of others filled me with sadness.
“You will be my wife, Elane?” His fingers tightened around mine as I tightened my own grip on his.
I nodded again, unable to speak any more, and reached my arms up and around his neck, and we held each other close.
We held each other close all night.
I woke up in his arms this morning, and knew that nothing could undo what had happened between us two. No person could pull us apart after sharing such an intimate night together.
But as I lay there, still in his arms as he still slept, I knew also that we would be exposed. We would be exposed very soon.
He drew a deep breath as he awoke, and his arms around me tightened. He seemed to suddenly remember last night, after the momentary forgetfulness of waking, and kissed the back of my head.
I am writing now as Mark dresses, and I only hope that what we have done will not condemn us. I am not sure if my absence was noticed or not, but surely if it was not noticed last night, my roommates will know I never went back last night when the first girl awakes.
O c t o b e r . t h e . E l e v e n t h ::/
Just as I had thought, as I slipped into the maids’ mess hall, I was met with questions.
“Where were you, Elane?” Anna asked, concerned.
I tried to think of an answer for her that would not sound suspicious. “I needed some air… so I slept outside…” It was a warm night, so that would be believable, right?
Anna frowned, and looked at me with concern. “You could have just opened the window if you needed air…“ She sighed though, and seemed to dismiss it.
The others were harder to convince.
“Lisa said she saw you go back to the Prince’s rooms after dinner, and she didn’t see you leave!” One of them, a short girl with blond braids.
“I’d forgotten something in his room, so I had to get it…. I left once I’d gotten it.” I must have sounded too defensive though.
“Lisa said she was in that area for a while, and she never saw you leave!”
All I did was frown and walk away. Anna fell into step with me, frowning. “It’s okay… they’re out to get you so they’ll take anything you do as a suspicion.” She paused though, and looked over at me. “But you know… you should try not to do things that will look bad… You going to his rooms so late at night does seem like it’s a bad thing…” She looked away, and I knew that she could not help the suspicion that entered her mind.
I nodded and looked down. “I… need to get to my duties now…” I mumbled, and turned down the hallway toward Mark’s rooms.
The moment I knocked and slipped into the main room with the fireplace, I leaned against the door and closed my eyes to keep from crying.
I’ve been more emotional since last night. The small things trigger responses, and the things the other maids say about me make me want to cry for some reason.
I think it may be because they are all true…
And the fact that someone saw me enter Mark’s rooms was bad as well.
We need to be more careful… Or let it be found out. He promised he would protect me… Why not let it be known…?
I sighed and opened my eyes again, to see Mark standing in front of me a few feet away. He looked sad, upon seeing me that way, and I rushed into his arms, letting out the tears that had been on the verge of falling.
He stroked my hair and soothed me with his gentle voice. He told me it was going to be okay; that we would be married and no one could say that I was not good enough.
“If this -our love- becomes known, I swear I will do everything I can to make it right.”
I nodded slowly, and let my forehead just rest against his chest for a moment.
I wiped away the tears, with his help, and redid my hair, so that I would look normal when I accompanied him to breakfast.
The rest of the day seemed to go normally.
As I stood at his door, about to leave for the night, he whisked me into his arms, and hugged me tight for a few seconds. He raised his hand to my cheek, and kissed me gently, but with that same sense of urgency he had before.
“Goodnight, Elane…” He said, hugging me again. “Sleep well.”
I nodded and once he let go, I slipped out of his rooms, making my way back to the maids’ quarters, before I forgot about my journal, and came back to write in it. Mark smiled and nodded, understanding.
He'd said to sleep well, but I think that after last night, I will not be able to sleep so far away from him.
D a t e // O c t o b e r . 1 2 t h .... T i m e // 1 0 : 4 7 ::/
My, do I have a lot to write about today!
There was quite an upsetting event at supper today. It has taken the rest of the night to determine what has been going on.
I daresay, I have quite misjudged that maid, Ellen.
She had been pouring some wine for Mark, and another maid was nearby.
Suddenly, Ellen froze, and the wine spilled over in the glass. When she realized this was happening, she jerked the bottle away, and knocked over the glass.
Mark jumped up, surprised, to escape the wine that was about to fall over the edge of the table into his lap.
Ellen was rapidly apologizing, and the other maid was smirking.
“What in the name of God is going on?” Father bellowed. I daresay, he was quite upset. He pointed at the maid who’d been smirking, and said, “You, what is it? Why is she in such a state?” He pointed at Ellen, who was hastening to clean up the mess. I glanced at her, and then at Mark. He was looking worried about something.
The maid bowed low, and said in a most humble voice, “I am very sorry, Your Majesty. I merely pointed out to her that I’d seen her two nights ago.”
Father looked puzzled, and waved his hand at the girl. “Well? And what did you see her do, if it made her react so violently?”
The maid paused, looked at Ellen, and then toward father again. “I saw her go into His Highness Prince Mark’s rooms and not come out…”
Needless to say, the rest was all quite disturbing.
It seems that my brother and the maid, Ellen, have been having an affair this whole time! Mark was quite gallant about it all, defending the girl’s honor.
And it appears he made a vow of marriage to her!
I had a serious talk with him, and got the whole story. Or, what I believe to be the whole story.
I do doubt that this will simply blow over with time. I am quite disappointed in my brother, lowering his standards so much that he would consent to have a maid as his partner.
O c t o b e r . t h e . T w e l f t h ::/
I never should have left myself so open to threat…
We have been found out. It is likely all over the palace now; news that the Second Prince and a Maid had been involved.
When Mark and I arrived at the dining hall for supper, I noticed that Lisa was one of the maids on dinner duty tonight. I felt the dread rising in my stomach.
And then as I was pouring Mark’s wine, she whispered for my ears alone, “I saw you two nights ago. I saw you go in, and I know you did not come out.”
I froze. I couldn’t move.
I didn’t realize I’d frozen until the wine started to spill over the edges of the glass, and I jerked the wine away, but in the process, knocked over the glass.
As I was trying to clean it up, the King demanded what was wrong. Lisa bowed and said, “I was merely telling her that I’d seen her two nights ago, Your Majesty.”
I froze again, and it took all of my will not to glance at Mark to see how he’d reacted.
“I saw her go into His Highness Prince Mark’s rooms, and not come out…” I heard clanks as Vanessa dropped her fork, and multiple gasps. I knew that if I’d looked over at the maids, I would see sneering faces. “I didn’t see her again until morning the next day.” Lisa continued.
The King sounded enraged as he turned on me. I could feel his eyes burning into the top of my skull, since my head was down so low. “Is this true, maid? Have you been seducing my son?”
Before I could say anything, Mark had stood in front of me; was standing between his father and me. “Father, Elane is not to blame.”
The King eyed his son critically. “And how is that so, Mark? Has she not cast some spell on you to get into high society?” The accusations fell like arrows in my heart, and I could hear in Mark’s voice that he was angry.
“Father! I will not have anyone insult Elane. I love her. I will not hide it now that it is out.” There were gasps from the line of maids standing at the side of the room. I realized with dread that Anna was there as well. She would know I’d lied to her this whole time…
“Mark…” I said, reaching for his hand. But there was an outraged cry from the other side of the table.
“You beast! How dare you seduce a Prince, and then call his name alone!” Vanessa had stood up, and was fuming, I could tell. She picked up a piece of bread and threw it at me. I raised my hands to block it before it hit me in the face. “You, nothing more than a maid, do not have the right to have a Prince to defend you!” She threw more bread.
But instead of hitting my held up arms again, it hit Mark in the chest.
“Vanessa! If you hurt her I will disown you as my family. I will not forgive you!”
The princess scoffed. “And what family are we now? We share the same father, but you have never been family to me.”
The Crown Prince looked at his sister, shocked.
This had the King angry again. “Vanessa! You are out of line. Mark is as much your family as anyone!” But he turned to Mark. “You. Back away from the maid, this instant. End this relationship now and I may still forgive you!”
But Mark stood firm. I love him even more for it. “Father, I cannot do that. I’ve asked her to marry me, and we WILL be together, whether you like it or not.”
The King looked aghast, and was shouting more. “Mark, you are MY son. You will do what I tell you to!”
There was a long, heavy pause. I almost didn’t dare to look up, but I looked at Mark and saw such absolute resolution. I felt almost safe. “Then I am not your son…” The Queen gasped, and Vanessa looked triumphant, and crossed her arms. The Crown Prince looked distressed. “If you will have me abandon the one I love, I will be forced to give up my name…”
I looked at him, wanting to cry. For my troubles and for the pain this decision must be bringing to Mark.
And then I looked up at the King, who was hesitating. After another long pause, he said, “Let us not be hasty here…” I could see that he cared a great deal for his youngest child. I saw the Queen breath again. Mark was still staring at his father. “We will discuss this issue promptly.” The King declared, and stood up. “Mark, James; come with me.”
Mark reached for my hand and said, “Just a moment, Father. I will be there in a moment.”
The King looked at his son with a mixture of vexation and concern, and waved him off. Mark pulled me by the hand out of the dining hall and to his rooms. Once the door had shut, he wrapped me up in his arms. He could tell I was so close to tears.
“I will talk to my Father now… Stay in my room, Elane. Lock the door from the inside and do not leave until I am back. I am the only one who has the key.” I nodded. He was concerned for my safety; having been revealed, I was likely the target of many people.
He walked me to the door of his bedroom, and kissed me once before he left. I did as he’d said, and locked the door after I was in. I leaned against it for some time before I could move again. When I did move, it was to bring the chair at his writing desk to the window and sit down as I watched the sun setting in the sky.
O c t o b e r . t h e . T w e l f t h ::/
I was sitting at the window again after writing in my journal, when there was a gentle knock at the door.
“W… Who is it…?” I called softly, not wanting to say anything at all, and remain silent.
“Elane… it’s me. Open the door, won’t you?” It was Anna. I stood up hastily and went to the door. But I didn’t open it.
“Anna…. I’m sorry…” I couldn’t open the door and face her.
“Is it true? Is it really true, Elane?” She asked, thought I know she knew it made sense now. It explained all my odd behavior.
I nodded and said, “Yes,” through the door. “All of it…” I leaned my forehead on the door.
I heard Anna sigh, and respond with, “You… could have told me, you know…”
“But I could not tell a soul! If anyone knew, this sort of thing would have happened sooner.”
Anna must have been shaking her head; I heard rustles on the other side of the door. “But I would have helped you, Elane!”
I frowned and looked down. “I wanted to tell you… I really did. But I was so afraid you would condemn me like the rest of them… I’m sorry for not trusting you…”
There was a long silence on the other side, and I thought she might have gone. “What about what the others are saying…? That you only came here to get close to the Prince… and that you were saying things about me behind my back?” I could hear that she was upset.
“What? No, neither of those are true! Anna, you can’t honestly believe that, can you?”
There was another long pause, and I felt bile rising in my throat. “I honestly don’t know what to believe anymore, Elane… You lied about this… how can I be sure you weren’t pretending to be my friend?”
I couldn’t say anything, and she must have taken the silence as confirmation of what she’d said. I heard the rustling of her dress and the soft thuds of her feet as she left, probably upset.
I slid down the door, and pulled my legs up to me, holding myself in a ball. The one friend I had here had just left me, probably for good.
O c t o b e r . 1 2 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
The talk with my father and James went better than I had expected. Nothing is final yet, but it seems that my father loves me much more than I had thought.
I convinced them to allow Elane to sleep in my rooms, to keep her away from the other maids, who would taunt and most likely hurt her. She is asleep now, in my bed. I will sleep on the couch in front of the fire in the main room.
When I came into my room, Elane looked like she had been crying, and when I asked her, she told me everything that had happened while I was gone. All I could do to comfort her was wrap her in a warm hug and offer my shoulder for her to cry on.
She calmed down after a half-hour, and fell asleep in my arms. I lifted her up and put her in my bed to sleep, and kissed her forehead before I opened the door and sat on the couch outside.
I hope with all my being that things will turn out for the better.
Dear M o t h e r
I miss you so much!
You may be surprised to see a letter from me… I have learned to write!
I have so much news for the both of you that I am not sure if I can fit it all into one letter.
I had settled into the palace long ago; I made friends with one of the maids, and the Second Prince took a liking to me, so I was his personal maid for a time.
But I’ve done something bad.
Before I’d been Prince Mark’s maid for long, he revealed to me that he had strong feelings for me. I couldn’t lie to him and say that I felt nothing for him…
That was nearly a month and a half ago. We have been in a secret relationship since then, and we were very happy for that time, though I was worrying about it almost constantly when he was not around.
A few days ago, Prince Mark asked me to marry him… and one of the other maids saw me enter his rooms and not leave… she told the other maids about it, and at Supper two days ago, she revealed it to the King.
Prince Mark is fighting for us to be allowed to be together, but I do not know whether things will go well or not.
Meanwhile, I am hated by all of the other maids. Even the one actual friend I’d made, Anna, seems to be estranged with me now. She thinks I was lying to her when I called her my friend, and doesn’t know whether to trust me or not.
Mother, I do not know what to do right now! I would write more, but it appears I am short on time…
I hope to hear from you soon… I will write again when I know what is going on.
Give my love to the others, especially Lord Beckole. I miss you all so much.
With love, Elane.
O c t o b e r . t h e . S i x t e e n t h ::/
It has been four days since we were found out. I am surprised they have not yet kicked me out of the castle, and that they let me stay with Mark when he is free. It’s all because Mark is fighting for me, and for us.
I wrote a letter to my mother two days ago, telling her about my situation. I know she cannot read, but I do not doubt that Lord Beckole will read it to her.
In fact, I wanted him to read it as well. I am sure he has been worried about my well being since I left.
I await her reply eagerly while I also wait to find out what will happen to me because of the forbidden love I share with Mark.
Every day, Mark comes back from talking with his family looking more and more worn. He says things are going better than he thought they would, but I think the situation is turning for the worse.
I do think the other maids have calmed down a little though. I think they feel sorry for me now. But I still stay in Mark’s rooms; I am still afraid that there will be too much hostility if I go back to the maids’ quarters….
O c t o b e r . t h e . E i g h t t e e n t h ::/
The letter from mother came today! It took much less time than I thought it would to arrive!
Lord Beckole must have sent it out on the overnight mail carriage.
I opened it hastily and read through it, three times, before I realized that there was a second, thicker, envelope along with my mother’s letter. It was addressed to Prince Mark, and had Lord Beckole’s seal on it.
It has been puzzling me thoroughly the whole day. I wondered what Lord Beckole could need to say to just Mark…
But either way, my mother’s words are a pleasing sight for my eyes. It was in Lord Beckole’s neat, elegant script, which made me happy as well. It meant that he had written it while my mother dictated to him.
I hear footsteps outside the door now, so I will stop writing for today.
O c t o b e r . 1 8 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
My father has not relented in his resolve yet. He is convinced that I am under some sort of curse, and that Elane must leave at once.
Every time he says that, I tell him how it was I who made the first move, and that the only curse I am under is the curse of love, and that she did not cast it upon me on purpose.
But when I got back to my rooms, Elane was asleep already in my bed. I sighed and smiled, then spotted some papers on the desk. There was a sealed letter addressed to me, from Lord Beckole. I took it to the couch in the main room, and opened it, wondering what he could have to say to me.
I wondered for a moment whether he was going to scold me, or tell me that I should let her go, as everyone else has said.
When I had finished reading the letter, I could not think what to do. My first thought was to rush to my father, and show him this letter.
And then I thought whether Elane knew about what the letter said. I doubt that she does. She’s never mentioned anything of the sort to me.
I’ve finally decided that I will take this letter to my father first thing tomorrow morning, after I’ve asked Elane about it.
O c t o b e r . 1 9 t h ::/
A f t e r W a k i n g
When I woke up this morning and checked on Elane, I was surprised to find her still in bed so late in the morning.
I went to get a closer look at her… it wasn’t her at all!
Merely clothes piled up under the covers of the bed to look like a person.
Elane hasn’t been in my room since last night.
I do not know where she is…. She left no message about where she was going.
But I do know that she would not have run away.
She may be in danger!
M i d A f t e r n o o n
I searched all day for Elane, but there was no sign of her. My father said he knew nothing of any plans to kidnap her, and so did James. I highly suspect Vanessa though. She has never loved me much, and she detests Elane even more.
I do not plan on sleeping until I have found her.
O c t o b e r . t h e . T w e n t i e t h ::/
So much has happened in these past two days.
When I went to the door to see who was there, I heard the voices of two maids.
“Elane… We’re sorry!” They said.
I was silent for a moment, and wondered how they’d known I was there. Perhaps Anna had told them…? Or was it common knowledge by then?
"Elane, we want to help you. We know someone who can actually help. She said that if we take you to her, she can do something to help you and Prince Mark!”
I was hesitant to answer, but when I did answer with a soft, “Really…?” I felt like tearing up.
I was a fool, and unlocked the door to let them in. But instead of coming in when I opened the door, they pulled me out, and held a rag over my mouth and nose. There was something in the rag that made me sleep, and when I woke up it was already morning again, I assumed.
I knew that Mark would be worried about me. But I didn’t know where I was or how I’d gotten there. It was dark wherever I was, and I don’t know how long I’d been sitting there before a door opened and light spilled into the room. A lantern was lit, and placed above my face.
Then I saw a face I knew approach me. It was the Princess.
“I see you’ve woken up, then.” She sat down in a chair that was pulled up by one of the maids that had been at my door.
“W-why have you taken me here…?” I asked, forgetting in my fear to use honorifics when addressing her.
“To keep you out of sight and sound! Sooner or later Mark will forget about you and you’ll be fired!”
I shook my head. “He won’t…”
Vanessa just laughed, and slapped me across the cheek.
“I couldn’t do that before, with my stupid little brother defending you. Too bad, now there is no one to protect you!” She slapped me again, and then left the room again, laughing.
Some time later, I was getting very hungry. I didn’t know how long I’d been there, or how long it had been since I ate. A plate of bread and water was brought to me not too long after I realized I was hungry, but by no means did it satisfy my hunger, and it was hard to eat it with my hands bound as they were.
I fell asleep again, I think. Then again, it was so dark that I could not be sure whether my eyes were opened or closed at any given time.
All I know is that the next time the door opened, Mark was the one who rushed into the room.
“Mark!” I nearly screamed it out, lurching forward and stretching my arms out to get hold of him sooner.
He came at me and his arms wrapped around me, tighter than they had ever been before.
I buried my face in his shirt, and cried. “I… I should never have opened the door, Mark… I should have been more on guard…!”
Mark shushed me and rubbed my back. “It’s not your fault, Elane… shhh.” He pulled away just long enough to loosen the bindings on my hands so that I could slip out of them. As soon as my hands were free, they were around Mark.
He stood up, and helped me up with him. He walked with me out of that dark little room, to another room where Vanessa and James stood. Vanessa looked upset, and James looked disappointed.
Mark stared at his sister, and said in a tone of voice I have never heard him use before, “If you ever do anything to her again….” He didn’t finish the sentence. I’m glad he didn’t, because I could hear the cold rage in his voice.
Just then, the King stormed into the room. “Mark, why have you called me here so suddenly?” He demanded. But he stopped short when he took in the whole scene.
“What is the meaning of this?”
O c t o b e r . t h e . T w e n t i e t h ::/
Mark looked from his father to his sister, and to his brother. Then he looked at me.
“Father, Vanessa kidnapped Elane and held her in that room,” he pointed behind us at the door we’d just entered from. “She has been locked up in there for at least 24 hours!”
Vanessa mumbled something from where she sat.
I saw Prince James cast a warning glance at his sister, and then look at Mark.
“Mark, how do you know it was Vanessa who did it…?”
At that, Mark turned to me, and pointed at the two maids who stood near Vanessa. “Elane, are those the ones that took you here?” He must have known that Vanessa wouldn’t actually do any dirty work herself. I nodded.
Mark turned to his brother again. “Those are our sister’s personal maids, James.”
Vanessa stood up, enraged. “That could very well be a coincidence!” She shouted. I winced at the sound of her voice, and Mark glanced at me again. He took my hand and held it fast.
“Elane, did Vanessa do anything to you while you were locked in there?”
I reached up to my cheek unconsciously. Was it still red…?
“She… slapped me… twice….” I felt like a snitch, and I didn’t look at Vanessa, because I knew she would be glaring at me.
Mark was the one glaring next though, and Vanessa shrunk back in her chair a little.
“Is this true, Sister?” Mark asked, glaring arrows at her.
She was silent for the longest time, and then, all of a sudden, she blurted, “And so what if I did?! She is nothing more than a maid! Does she deserve anything more?”
I heard James gasp, and when I looked up at him, he was shaking his head, as if embarrassed by his beloved younger sister.
I looked over at Mark, and he was grinning. It confused me.
“You are wrong, Sister.” He pulled out what looked like that letter from Lord Beckole, and brought it, and me, to his Father.
“This is a letter from Elane’s previous master, Lord Beckole, addressed to me two days ago.”
His father took the letter, and mused, “Beckole? I know him well. Great chess player…” The King started to read the letter, while Mark continued to speak.
“In that letter is proof that Elane is of noble blood.”
I almost didn’t think I had heard him correctly. “W-What?” I looked over at him, puzzled and thinking that he was bluffing, and doing it well.
Mark looked at me, and sighed with a small smile. “It is true, Elane…”
P r i n c e M a r k D o m i n ,
I would like to first say that I will be coming to see you quite soon. I’ve no doubt your father has kept you up to date with affairs of State, so you know who I am. Aside from my official titles though, I am the one in charge of Elane Rockell’s well being. You may say that I have taken the place of her father in his absence.
The truth is that Elane is the daughter of my brother; you probably know of his death 19 years ago.
He and his wife died, and one of my maids had recently lost her own child. She took young Elane in lovingly, and both I and she agreed that Elane should grow up thinking that she was her mother. We never found the will to tell her the truth…
I know now that this will be shocking news for her, and so I will come to see her soon, and I shall bring her mother with me. No matter who her birth parents are, Elane still has a mother in her, and I will always look after her as if she were my own. It is the least I can do for my lost brother…
But it seems that there may be some trouble at the palace because of Elane. I understand that things probably do not look well for either of you…
But I assure you, Elane is of noble blood. My family was once on the thrown, years ago, as I’m sure you now. She will be as good a choice as any to be the spouse of a Prince.
I do hope that I find you both in better spirits when I see you next, and I am sorry for all of this confusion.
And more than that, I want to thank you for everything you have done for my precious Elane. I was foolish not to teach her all the things she should have known, but you can imagine I was scared and confused… I want to make up for all the lost time by encouraging my niece and you to be happy. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for making Elane so happy. Hopefully I can properly convey my thanks when I see you and Elane in person. Please give my regards to you father.
---- Lord Beckole
O c t o b e r . t h e . T w e n t i e t h ::/
I was so shocked when I read Lord Beckole’s letter that I almost lost my footing; Mark supported me though. I looked up at him, and he sighed, probably hoping I was alright.
He turned to his father, who had been brooding as I read the letter he’d just handed me. “So, father? Will you consent to our marriage?” This was our last chance, I could tell. If his father still did not approve, I am sure Mark would take me away and we would make our own lives.
His father, the King, was silent for a long time, while Vanessa just looked horrified and James looked quite confused. From what I could see, Mark’s mother was the only one who seemed to know what she thought. She was gazing at me with a smile; it gave me strength and I stood a little taller because of it.
I still cannot believe that I am not a peasant. I feel no different than I did before…
And would this mean I would have to go to lessons to learn about all the things a Noble has to know?
When The King finally did speak, what he said sent my heart into a violent spiral. “We will see.” He turned to head for the door, and called back, “I will speak with Beckole when he comes. Until then, the girl can have one of the guest rooms. I will not have her sleeping in your room anymore, at the very least.”
It was true; my sleeping in Mark’s room was scandalous. If it were to become widely known, not only would Mark and I be shamed, but his father as well. Even if he slept on the couch every single night.
The King left the room, and Vanessa stormed out after him.
James strode past, glancing at me momentarily before following his sister and father out.
Now, it was just me, Mark and his mother left in the room.
What she did next surprised me immensely. She came up to me and took my hand with a silent smile before leaving. It was such a kind smile. It was Mark’s smile.
Mark and I were silent for some time when we were alone. I stared at my hand, where the Queen had touched my hand, and then I looked at Mark. He looked so hopeful.
“Elane… it’s going to work!” He said, suddenly hugging me and lifting me up while spinning in circles. He looked like a child!
When he stopped spinning and put me back on my feet, he took my face in his hands and kissed me once. “My father won’t object anymore, I can feel it! We can live happily ever after now…” His smile was warm and gentle; I could see that he was thinking of the future. I wondered if it was the same future I dreamed of.
O c t o b e r . t h e . T w e n t y - s e c o n d ::/
Lord Beckole arrived today! Mother was with him, and though our reunion was awkward at first, it was easy to slip back into the way it used to be. It doesn’t matter that she is not my birth mother; she will always be my mother.
We hugged warmly, and then Lord Beckole –Uncle approached me, and apologized for keeping my past a secret.
“It’s alright Lor-… Uncle…” I knew he would like being called Uncle, and I could see it in his eyes that I was right in the assumption. We hugged briefly, and then he excused himself to go meet with the King.
Mark would be there too, so he had to wait until he could meet my mother. I spent the afternoon with my mother, and helping her settle into the guest room she’d been given while she stays here. It is close to mine.
While I was sitting with my mother and talking, I thought about everything that had happened, and told her in full detail. When I got to the part about Anna’s confusion, my mother looked downcast. I asked her what was wrong.
“I was happy to hear you’d made friends here, darling,” she reached for my hand and took it gently. “It pains me that your one good friend here is so confused. You should sort things out with her.”
I nodded, but decided to go to her after we found out the results of Lord Beckole’s and the King’s talk.
It was just before suppertime when Mark came back to me. And I could see it in his eyes right away; we could be together!
I rushed into his arms as soon as I saw the look in his eyes, and he spun me around, just like he had before. I’m not sure if he realized my mother was in the room, because he took me up in his arms and kissed me many times before my mother coughed gently from where she sat.
Mark let me go, a little awkwardly, and I introduced him to my mother, who was curtsying every five seconds.
I cannot imagine a more perfect day than today.
O c t o b e r . 2 4 t h ::/
B e f o r e B e d
We’ve already started planning the wedding. Elane is so excited, so happy…! It makes my heart skip beats, seeing her so happy!
Her mother and Lord Beckole will remain at the palace until the wedding, and Lord Beckole will take the place of Elane’s father and give her off to me. She asked him herself if he would do it.
I have been thinking a lot about the events leading to this. I’ve looked through my journal and nearly everything in it is about Elane…. I can only smile at the memories as I read it.
I most definitely do see the advantages of keeping a journal now.
Vanessa has let up on Elane. She still dislikes her, and me, but it has always been that way. It only means things are back to normal. James is very friendly to Elane though; he recognizes her noble blood and that she will soon be family, and so he has taken to her as a good brother should.
My mother positively dotes on Elane. Already she has had Elane have tea with her three times, and given her a necklace from the Family Chest. She told me that she always knew there had been something between Elane and I. She said she was just happy that I’d found someone I loved with all my heart.
I look forward to the date; November 16th, so soon and yet so far away.
In the time between now and the wedding, I will not be able to see Elane much; she has to learn the basic movements before she can appear as the Second Princess to the public.
I may just die of waiting before we are wed!
O c t o b e r . t h e . T h i r t i e t h ::/
I have had no time to write lately, and it upsets me!
But how could anything upset me now? There are only 16 days until Mark and I will be joined forever.
I blush when I remember that we have… already been joined in one sense….
But it will be official. I can be recognized as a Princess, recognized, as the one Mark loves.
I went to see Anna long ago, and we made quick work of forgiving each other. She had been worrying about it just as much as I had, and we didn’t even say words before we had hugged.
She comes to see me every day, when I have time.
But I do not have much time these days; I am learning so many things! How to walk, how to speak, how to be perfectly still even.
Because of it, I only get to see Mark for an hour each day, and it is torture on my soul! But I can endure it when I think of what’s to come.
N o v e m b e r . t h e . S i x t e e n t h ::/
I have not been able to pick up my pen and journal; not because I had no time but because I could think of nothing to write aside from counting the days!
And finally the day has come!
I am in the dress now, even; I think it looks ridiculously over-done, for someone like me... The maids are telling me I need to leave soon, but I just had to write something.
Anna is my Maid Of Honor; I think the name is oddly ironic.
And now I am off to become a Princess! My fairytale ending is coming.
N o v e m b e r . t h e . T w e n t i e t h ::/
These past few days have seemed more like a dream than reality.
Even being allowed to love a Prince is, for me, still shocking.
But enough of that! The wedding was amazing!
There were so many people there; half the Kingdom must have come to witness the Second Prince’s marriage. We had a whole kingdom wishing us well; so much the opposite of what it was like before!
Lord Beckole (calling him Uncle is still a little odd for me) walked me down the aisle and I could have sworn there was a little tear in the corner of his eyes. I could tell that he was happy to see me happy. When I glanced at my mother, sitting in the front and dressed so extravagantly, she looked so beautiful, and so happy.
The days since then have been honey-sweet, and Mark and I are quite happy.
But I did overhear him and James speaking about the conflict with the neighboring country; this conflict has been pending for quite a while as I gather.
Mark and James and my new Father-in-law have been deciding what to do, so he comes back to me stressed on some evenings. I am doing my best to make him happy, and I do not doubt that he is; I can see it in his eyes.
~ More Soon ~
[[ Find the rest of the story HERE ]]
OH MY GOSH OoO EPIC EPIC EPIC O_O i need more =w=...but i can wait.
School kills trees, untill they use online textbooks. D|
awwwwwwwww yayyayay OwO
Thanks guys X3
I'll add more soon :3
I needa write moremore though D: Only have... *counts* like 2 and a half chapter-thingies written after this DX
The DRAMA is going to come real soon O___O
Gonna be like in the mangas when the other girls put tacks in the "girl-who's-dating-the-popular-guy"'s shoes =w= And put garbage all over her desk T__T
MAIDS IS VICIOUS MAN O__O
HE KISSSEDDD HERRRR >W<
"You missed a spot,"
REALLY MEANS.... >w< well im sure you all know if you've read XD
aww i love forbideness like this <3
so...so... [wats teh word?] FORBIDDEN. LOL AND... forbidden?
LOL i got teh feeling someone would just POP outta no where and be like, "GOTCHAAAAA MWAHAHA!"
"YOUR FIRED ELANE. WAHAHA."
dont mind meh XD
lol no it won't be QUITE like that XDD
I was writing more last night too OwO
I'm getting closer-ISH to finishing XD
KIDDIES ISH IN LOVE <3
good for them XD
and lol i never heard of that tackputtinginshoe and garbageondesk owo
maybe cusz i dont read mangaa?/ XD
or maybe i have, teh garbage thingy onlie omo just cant remember...ithink. LOL OMO idk why...but that face cracks meh up XD]
LOLLLLLLZZ . im having too much fun here............omo
You needa read more shoujo manga then XD
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MUCH FUN!
AHAHAHA that face is AWESOME XD
it's hilarious, it SHOULD crack you up XD
looks like a... like a vampire-beaver-thing OwO
vampire beaver thing XD
maybe i should use it for BH??
"I VANT TO SUCK JOOHR BLOOD OmO Please?"
I would crack up if you did that, right on the spot XD
like in one of the fillersz i think XD
.....trying not to spoil Dx...
IMA DO IT.
I WILL~ ! XD
you'll seeeeeeeee! YOU'LL ALL SEEE
OMG he kissed her this is becoming more FORBIDDEN!!
DUN DUN DUN
MAN PPL DONT START DRAMA!!!!!!
YES, YES IT IS OwO
I'mma be writing more today >:D
LOL meaning: "WAAH POOR ELAINE GONNA GET ALL CAUGHT IN FORBIDDNESSNESS AND STUFF </3
DO SOMETHING PRINCE RETARDDDDDDDDD
lol I think he shall be forever known as Prince RETARDDDDD
Dun worry though ;D He gonna do SOMETHING alright ;D IT'S GONNA BE KAWAII >w<
I have yet to write that part though =w=