Royal Pain

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lillian Gray, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Royal Pain, #b8a32c
    Royal Pain

    The life of a highborn is not a hard one. Servants do most of the work, the country is ripe for the taking if only your hands are strong enough to rule. Most days one is able to lounge about, because they are above the cares and concerns of the lower classes. Wine is common enough to be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late in the evening when all others have gone off to bed. Or really, at any time at all. A royal does as a royal wishes.

    There are things though, which even at the most humble of requests, which a royal could never have. They are hard concepts, difficult for even the utmost important citizens to understand. Pain, suffering, all the difficulties in life will never reach their ears, and they will never know the pain of being without love or fortune.

    The year is 1392 in the city of Asellus. The good King Nicoli and his wife, Anne, have been trying to conceive a child for some years after the birth of their son, Marcellus, who is full grown into adulthood. At the age of 24, he is soon to be married, as is his cousin, Audrey Adoire. They are the only living decedents of the old Audoire lineage. If anything were to happen to Marcellus, the King's line would shift to the King's brother, Anton, Audrey's father.

    While Audrey is set to marry a nobleman out of another town, Marcellus has still been searching for the perfect wife, the one who'd make his eyes light up, sparkle at a mention of even the ends of her golden hair. A fairy tale ending for the Prince.

    A romance has been brewing, a long standing friendship will be tested, and the final fates of the Audoire families will be sealed.

    Bits of Code:

    [fieldset=King's Brother, #10381e][imga=left][/imga]
    [fieldset=Prim and Proper, #6cb031][imga=left][/imga]
    [fieldset=The Nobleman, #29062e][imga=left][/imga]
    [fieldset=Deceptive, #077d4e][imga=right][/imga]
    Sir Humphrey:
    [fieldset=The Old Soldier, #826505][imga=left][/imga]
    [fieldset=Royal Cousin, #9e2515][imga=left][/imga]
    [fieldset=Underdog, #dark blue][imga=left][/imga]
    #1 Lillian Gray, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
    • Love Love x 1
  2. Prim and Proper, #6cb031 Name: Audrey Audoire


    Age: 22
    Height: 5'9"
    Eye Color: Blue
    Hair Color: Chesnut

    Personality: Audrey is always proper when she can be, at least around other members of nobility. She has to be. In her spare time she loves wandering outside the castle grounds to get a feel for what her life would be like otherwise. Seeing as she's not actually the King's daughter, she's still allowed certain permissions her cousin is not. It gives her a good sense of how the region is doing as a whole. The girl tries to stay positive, and always looks out for others before worrying about herself.

    Audrey loves simple things like wildflowers, and dislikes anything overly extravagant. Balls and large parties have never been in her taste. However, she does still enjoy certain elegant taste that comes with being a Lady, but prefers to not look gaudy. After the King's son, she is next in line for the throne, due to the Queen's inability to produce another child.
    The Audoire house crest is a golden laurel.

    Audrey was born to the brother of the King, which made her fairly important in relation to the royal name Audoire. She was raised to be a proper lady, with the intent to marry her off if something were to happen to the King's child. It brings her no joy to know she's a back up of sorts to the family, when she wants to live a normal life as a court lady.

    Her mother died giving birth to her younger brother, Peter, but it brings no sadness to her life. Her brother is now 11 years old, and loves his older sister dearly. Technically, he is put in line at third to the throne, just behind Audrey. She has no desire to be Queen, and hopes to one day find a life of her own outside the royal one.

    The names of her family are as follows, her father Anton, mother Helen, and younger brother Peter.

    [fieldset=Prim and Proper, #6cb031][imga=left][/imga]
    #2 Lillian Gray, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  3. Under Dog, #2B3856

    Vale Foyer


    Age: 24

    Height: 6'2

    Bio/History: Vale's parents died when he was only five. He can't really remember that day, it had blurred and become faded images, so he can't say for sure what happened. The last clear memory he had was of being picked up by a strange man who wore fine clothing, and he brought Vale to a large mansion where he met a young girl near his age. He remembered being told that he was to be her loyal servant from now on, and he has known nothing else since.

    Personality: Vale takes his duties seriously and doesn't make much eye contact with anyone, nor does he hardly speak to them. The only one he will ever look at and speak to is his mistress, secretly his friend. When it's just the two of them, it's like he becomes an entirely different person. Smiling and even laughing, he will share her his stories and thoughts, and listens to her own. Whenever she talks of her problems, he does his very best to help her by giving her advice or simply cheering her up. There is no one more important to him than her.

    Other: He has a long scar going over his left ear down to his cheek, then right along his lower jaw and down his neck, finally ending at his right shoulder. He's had it since he was only five, so it's believed to be from the day when his parents were killed.
  4. Prim and Proper, #6cb031 She had bounds of patience, fields and oceans deep filled with all the politeness she could offer to the men and women around her. It was the life of a noblewoman to sit with other Lords and Ladies, but it didn't mean she enjoyed the atmosphere one bit. To her immediate left was her cousin, Prince Macrellus, and her right was an odd old man named Sir Humphrey. He was knighted some time ago, but his age had caught up with him. His status as such allowed him to join in on the otherwise closed group of high born men and women. Other than his few quirks, Audrey rather liked his company. He was above all the posh behaviors of her other relatives. Besides the two, there was a Lord from a nearing town, whose name she'd forgotten, and two Ladies from their town, Asellus. Lady Mia Thraine, and Lady Nicole Bethany.

    They dragged on about raising taxes and talking about their estates in other cities, ones such as Pellae in the very Nothern tips of the continent. They boasted about the mountain views of their villas and manses alike, and all Audrey could do was smile and nod, she pretended to be excited when they mentioned the snow. Every once in a while, Sir Humphrey would catch her in an artificial laugh, and he'd join her with a mailed hand on her knee.

    Audrey was a taller girl, standing a good few inches above her high born friends. It was said she gained her height from her mother, and from the few years she remembered of her, the girl would have had to agree. Her hair cascaded around her in a golden silhouette, and she twirled it in her finger as the Lords and Ladies rambled on about their homes. It was a common habit of hers which showed she was either annoyed or bored. She sat back in the small iron chair, slipping her feet from her high heeled shoes and running them against the grass of the lawn the small group occupied. They were white, to match with the dress her father had brought home from one of his many tours.

    Audrey watched the clock, it was nearing two in the afternoon, and there were other places she'd rather be. With Vale, that was the one place she really wanted to be. He was an honest, good man, who didn't care about the high life as her current crowd did.

    "Why are you so anxious, cousin?" Marcellus chuckled. He reached a hand out from his place at her side and gently squeezed her arm. "I swear, every time I look over, you're staring at that old clock."

    "It's nothing, I just have other appointments as well, I'd rather not be late." She giggled a reply, and once again felt the hand of Humphrey reminding her she was being too false. "Lord Taylor..."

    "Oh, yes! Lord Benjamin Taylor." Lady Nicole giggled behind a white gloved hand. Lady Mia was soon to join in . "You've been spending quite a bit of time with him lately."

    "Yes, yes, they're almost inseparable." Lady Mia perked up.

    Audrey looked back at the clock. It wasn't as if she wanted to spend so much time with Benjamin. Her father had been pushing them together for quite some time, and she had started to fear for the worst. An arranged marriage was on the horizon, and Audrey was less than pleased with the prospect. Marcellus still wasn't married, thus the forced social time with her most likely to be fiancee.

    "Why don't you run along then?" Sir Humphrey laid a gentle hand on the girl's shoulder, and she was up faster than she would've liked. It was so obvious how she wanted to get away.

    Only, it wasn't for the reason anyone thought.

    Audrey said her farewells, waved pleasantly enough, and hoped that was good enough for the group. It must have been. They quickly turned back to their conversation about the mountains and left the poor girl alone, all but Sir Humphrey, who winked at Audrey before she scampered off.

    When she was out of sight, she pulled up her trailing white skirts and broke out into a run, half forgetting her shoes were still underneath the tea table in the garden. She ran to the kitchens, her go to spot to find Vale above all else. If that failed, it was somewhere on the grounds, and by then, the word was out that Lady Audrey was looking for him. So if she was unable to find Vale on her own, he always turned up a step or two behind her. It brought Audrey the utmost joy to be able to see him. They'd been friends for, well, she wanted to say all her life. From the last she could remember, Vale was the only friend she'd truly known. Society separated them though. He was nothing more than a low born slave, raised to serve her when he couldn't be claimed by anyone. It was said his parents died.

    She peeked around doors, her glee turning sour once she couldn't find him.

    Maybe another room.
    #4 Lillian Gray, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  5. Underdog, #2B3856

    Vale's knees were starting to become sore as he stayed kneeling down on them while scrubbing the hallway floor, cursing under his breath when a stubborn stain refused to be scrubbed away by the brush he held in his hand. He had been cleaning these floors for hours, and he wanted to be finished already, but he spent the last half hour scrubbing this same spot! Finally he sat up and waved his hands in the air before dropping them to his side, letting the brush drop to the floor, lifting a hand to rub his temple. Maybe if he just let it soak for a minute... He reached over for the bucket of soapy water, lifting it and let it hover over the stain, slowly tipping it so that the water poured over it a bit. He only let a little fall out, then stopped and set the bucket back down and waited.

    This was so unfair... While he was stuck in these gloomy halls, all of the nobles were outside. The day was nice and fresh, the air cool but the sun kept the day warm, a perfect weather. While they get to chatter away and enjoy themselves, Vale was forced to slave away, doing whatever chores that needed to be done. Normally he was by Audrey's side, a place he would much rather be, but this was a special occasion and no servants or peasants were allowed. Instead he had been given orders to scrub the floors, which he had been at since early this morning...

    He smiled as he imagined Audrey sitting there, listening to boring conversations about the weather and how much stuff and land everyone had, forced to speak mannerly and politely. He could already see the bored expression behind her fake smiles, and even see her constantly glance at the clock for the time, wanting to be anywhere than there. Hmm, perhaps he was the one in a better position than she. He certaintly wouldn't be able to last through such an ordeal without breaking away to go enjoy the lovely day instead of sitting on his ass, listening to old people talk their lives away.

    He bent over once again and worked on the stubborn stain, and at last, he got rid of the blasted thing. Sighing in relief, he dumped his brush back into the bucket and grabbed the handle, lifting it as he stood up and headed for the kitchens. Finally done. Now he'll be ready to meet with Audrey once her little 'picnic' was over. Once again, he smiled to himself at the thought, looking forward to some time with her before some other 'duties' risked her away from him.

    Upon entering the kitchens, he went straight for the sink, dumping out the dirty water from his bucket and began to scrub.

    "Ah Vale." The cook spoke up, looking up from dicing some carrots and tomatoes. "Audrey was here just moments ago looking for you."

    Vale paused in his washing and looked over to the cook, a look of surprise crossing his features. "She was? Already?" He looked towards the clock. "It's early...."

    The cook shrugged, going back to his dicing. "I'm only telling you what I saw and heard. Best be off, lest you two keep missing each other."

    Vale quickly finished washing his bucket and brush, putting them away before running out of the kitchen and down the hall to search for Audrey. Lets see... She would have already checked the common places by now, so she must be wandering aimlessly around the castle. Doing a quick map in his head, and judging the time Audrey had been looking for him, and just going by the base facts of what he knew about her, he turned off a corner and ran up some steps. If he was right, she might be on the second floor, looking through rooms...

    He walked out into the second floor hallway, and sure enough, he saw her looking into a room. He grinned. Perfect. He walked up right behind her, looking passed her into the room, slowly leaning in till his lips were near her ear but not an inch of him was touching her.

    "What are we looking for?" He whispered, planning to startle her.
    #5 DracoGale4, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  6. Prim and Proper, #6cb031
    Audrey had almost given up her search when she heard footsteps behind her. She kept walking and assumed that the presence behind her was nothing more than a servant rushing to their next chore. Technically, she wasn't wrong when Vale came up from behind, whispering in her ear without so much as touching her. She jumped in surprise, and whirled around to either hit him or hug him, not entirely sure which felt more right in the moment.

    "Vale!" She squealed in anger. "You have to stop doing that, I swear! You'll ruin me if you keep scaring me like that."

    With a playful hand, she pushed him lightly on the shoulder. Vale had snuck on her a thousand times in the past, and would continue to do so until Audrey stopped reacting, that much she could be sure of. When she stepped forward, she felt the cold marble floor beneath her feet and she jumped again. Her shoes were outside, she'd completely forgotten about them yet again. Instead of going to look for them, she'd gone looking for Vale.

    "I forgot my shoes, but, I must commend you on the floors. you were scrubbing them weren't you?" She commented on the shine and gloss around her. The floors on the first floor had looked similar. Audrey grasped for his hands and twirled them around a moment, humming a tuneless song as they went. No one saw them dancing there, and she slipped on the damp floors. "Now, take me away from the parties would you? They're ever so boring, Lady Nicole wouldn't stop boasting about her parents' villa. It was absolutely dreadful."

    Audrey stopped their little dance and pulled her hands away, albeit somewhat shyly. There had always been something stirring beneath the face of their friendship, but it wasn't something she could readily acknowledge without great anger from her family. More than friendship, attraction really, but again, admitting it was dangerous so she simply didn't. It was easier for the both of them.

    That didn't mean she was happy about it.

    "Somewhere outside, it's so nice out isn't it?" Audrey mused, mimicking his earlier thoughts without knowing.
    #6 Lillian Gray, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  7. Underdog, #2B3856 Vale released a playful laughed as he quickly jumped back when she whirled around, not sure if she was about to hit him or not, but no. He was given a playful shove instead, and he grinned at her little comment. "I can't help it, you're just too easy. To still be startled after so many years, it's your fault for being so skittish."

    When she took his hands and began to dance, he made no protest, instead began to dance with her. "I'm glad you noticed." He said, keeping in step with her while keeping a good grip of her hands incase she slipped on the clean floors. "You're the only one that notices. Anyone else just walks all over my clean floors without the glance, as if they think it just magically cleans itself and they show no gratitude. Hmph. It probably is what they think happens, they are pretty clueless when it comes to labor."

    When she stopped in their dance and slipped, he quickly caught her, straightening her back on her feet. He was a bit disappointed when she pulled away, having enjoyed having her so close. But no... Such thoughts were forbidden to him. They weren't even supposed to be acting this way with each other. But he couldn't help it. Lately, he had started feeling so much closer to her, wanting to hold her more, but it was wrong. It would cause too much disorder and chaos in the family... It was best to push such thoughts aside.

    "Outside? Hmm... Yes, I believe it's a wonderful day to go out. I've been dying to breath in some of that fresh air. Come, let me whisk you away from these foul parties and dreadful guests." With that, he took hold of her hand and ran down the hall, though he made sure that she wouldn't slip on his nicely clean floors.

    He lead her down to the first floor and through the kitchens, sneaking out the back door and ran through the stables, all places he could sneak them pass by without encountering any of her family members-there were way too many for him to keep track of for names. He went towards the gardens, the place really just for show for the nobles, since they never really even went into their own gardens. Something about 'allergies'. Once there, he released her hand and turned to face her, grinning as he folded his hands behind his back and took a few steps back.

    "Here we are." He said, waving his arms around him. "A nice beautiful garden for a nice beautiful day. It's the perfect place to spend the day, no?"
  8. Prim and Proper, #6cb031
    Audrey beamed at the sight of the gardens. It was true, no one really went to them any more. They were kept clean and trimmed by the groundskeepers, many of them were responsible for how it looked, and they changed it according to the season. Seeing as it was approaching the end of Summer, many of the flowers were in full bloom or just about to lose their petals. She leaned down into a patch of roses, they weren't her taste, but what was hidden just on the edge of the bush was.

    It was a purple wildflower, something which seemed to have no name to anyone but peasants. They called it foxglove. It grew in odd looking pods, thick at the base with rings of the purple flowers, growing thin towards the top. Audrey noted how difficult they were to keep in vases.

    "It's perfect, thank you, Vale." She smiled, an honest one where her cheeks didn't puff up too high, her eyes remained sweet and calm instead of bulging out of her head. Vale must have been the only one in Asellus who'd seen her smile so genuinely.

    Her mind was quickly clouded over by less welcome thoughts. What she was to do with this Benjamin character, what her father would say about their pairing, that is if they were to be paired together. Nothing had been set in stone, yet Audrey was bothered by the thought of being forced to spend more time with the fool. He was pompous, everything a royal should be, he was. When he walked, his nose stuck up in the air to avoid having to acknowledge the scent of the poor. He was handsome, well groomed that was for sure, but his personality didn't match at all. The words that came out of his mouth were vile, and disregarded the struggle of the common class. In a nutshell, she hated him.

    "My father requests my presence later." Audrey said absentmindedly. "What do you think he wants?"
    #8 Lillian Gray, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  9. Underdog, #2B3856 Vale was delighted to hear her so pleased with his choice, watching her kneel by some roses. He had expected her to be admiring, well, the roses but noticed that it was something else that caught her eye. He took a couple steps to the side, changing his angle of view to see that there was actually a purple flower, what he knew it as the foxglove, and he smiled. It seemed a lot more like her kind of flower than the rose. To be honest, he didn't like roses. Sure they were beautiful, but they were also dangerous, their stems covered in thorns. To him it reminded him that sometimes things disguise themselves in beauty, when beneath that beauty was something vile or harmful, waiting to stab you in the back...or your thumb.

    "I thought you would like it." He responded to her earlier comment, his eyes not really looking at the flowers, but at her.

    Her face seemed to glow whenever he looked at her, her smile even brighter while her eyes seemed to dance. What made it so special, was that only he could see it. Yes, he knew that around her family, all her proper manners was just acting. She was never happy around them, but with him, she always gave him her real smiles. Perhaps that's why they seemed so wonderful to him... No, that probably wasn't it. He also noticed how shiney her hair was, the way it blew gently in the breeze, only complimenting her face even more.

    While she was still turned away from him, he allowed his eyes to scale over her body. Should he even dare to begin? Who wouldn't notice the fine frame she carried, but he doubted that any of them saw her the way he did. She was so beautiful... Her body finely curved and slender, and when she moved, it was with such divine grace. He shuddered. Oh if only....

    He immediately stopped, mentally kicking himself in the shin. These thoughts were wrong, and they had no place inside his head. With all of his admiration, he had just noticed that her expression changed, and something seemed to be troubling her. Before he could say anything about it, she had spoken up with her question, catching him a bit off guard.

    "Hmm..." He began. "I wouldn't be able to tell you... It could be a number of things." He walked over beside her, kneeling down so that he was at the same level as her. "It can't be all that bad, I'm sure. Perhaps he wants you to sit through more boring conversations."
  10. Prim and Proper, #6cb031
    "You're probably right." Audrey smiled somewhat sadly.

    It felt more important than that though. That morning, he'd made sure she wore the white dress. It was backed with lace, draping down around her ankles, just enough so that the shoes she'd had on could be seen. She felt almost as if she were fit to be a bride, the way she looked, and that's what worried her most. Audrey picked up the edges of her skirt, knelt on the ground carefully so as not to stain the dress, it was all too much.

    "Yes." Audrey said with a bit more assurance. "It couldn't be that bad."

    Could it?

    She sat in the dirt with the foxglove in her hands. Vale always had a soothing tone about him, even now, when she was so sure that a meeting was nothing but trouble Vale was there. His voice eased her concerns and calmed her entire body. She knelt against Vale, her head tucked against his shoulder. It wasn't uncommon for her to do so in the privacy of just the other. Audrey liked being able to be close to him without worrying about consequences or what was deemed acceptable.

    "I suppose we'll find out later then." Audrey sighed. "Just stay with me a while, why don't you?"

    Audrey tiled her head so her blue eyes could see his face. The scar he'd earned as a child marked his face, but she'd grown used to it. It was nothing more than a part of who he was at that point, and she didn't feel so shocked when she looked at it any more. Compared to when she was a child, it was much more normal to simply bypass the looks of horror.

    "Just a little while." She repeated.
    #10 Lillian Gray, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  11. Underdog, #2B3856 Vale listened to her calmly as she spoke, seeing that she was struggling to convince herself that there was nothing to worry about. He had to admit, despite his earlier confident answer, he was a bit nervous as well. Normally he wouldn't be, but the instant he saw her dress... He had a strange feeling that something was up. He didn't pay much notice to it before, but now that she had mentioned that her father wished to see her, that worried him even more. What could her father want? She already had the meeting outside in the lawn... What else could there be?

    He didn't dare allow his feelings to show, however, lest he worry her more. When she sat down and leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder, he remained perfectly still. Bracing her against him. He always liked it when she moved close to him like this, and just like the other times, he lifted his arm and moved it around her. Keeping her to him. If they were ever caught like this, hell would be raised and they would be in all kinds of trouble, him especially. But he was confident that they wouldn't be caught, and even if they were, they always moved quickly enough and would come up with a good excuse. He wasn't worried.

    When she asked her question, he turned his head to look into her blue eyes. He grew very much aware of how close their lips were... He smiled down at her, giving her a gentle squeeze with his arm. "I'll do you one better." He said, a playful glint in his eye. "I'll stay with you forever and always."
  12. Prim and Proper, #6cb031 Audrey and Vale spent a good portion of the afternoon there, her resting content on his shoulder while they admired the groundskeepers' work. Although neither of them were fond of the roses, there were patches of wildflowers and various leafy plants which sprouted around them. These were the kinds of things Audrey was most fond of. The many pale varieties of wildflower mingled in with the roses and chrysanthemums. The latter she was not pleased to see littering the yard.

    "Lady Audoire?" Called a familiar voice.

    The girl sat up straight and brushed off her dress before standing. Various petals fell from her lap where she'd been toying with them, and they fluttered lazily down to the earth. It was only Sir Humphrey, but it was still someone who might have caught her mingling with Vale. He'd never betray her. She knew that in her heart, but that didn't mean he wouldn't share the knowledge if he thought it was for her own good. His bald head was shining with sweat, and his clothes looked somewhat damp. It had certainly gotten warm but not enough to justify the moisture in his tunic.

    "Lady Audoire, I've found you." He huffed. "It has taken me all day, is this where you've run off to then? The gardens?"

    "My apologies, good Sir." The proper facade was back, and Audrey had to all but ignore Vale for the time being. In the presence of two nobles, it was best he kept his mouth shut unless spoken to directly. She giggled, a false one, but both the men in her presence were able to tell. "Why, might I ask, are you covered in so much sweat?"

    "I've been looking for you, my Lady." He explained with another huff of air. "Your father has been looking for you, please, follow after me. You too, Vale."

    He placed a pair of heels on the ground, the same ones she'd left beneath the table.

    Audrey gave one last look towards Vale, of pure desperation before Sir Humphrey turned and led her off. Her hand shot out to keep Vale at her side. It wasn't unusual to see them close together, and the action could be considered nothing more as a wave forward. However, it was more than that. She was scared to know the truth. In the depths of her heart she knew what this was about and suddenly she was terrified.

    They entered a small council room. The walls were adorned with thick carpets donning the Audoire family crest, a golden laurel. Pale green outlined the otherwise white tapestries, leaving little of the room without one of the three royal colors. It was reserved during wartime for strategy meetings, but currently it was being used as a small meeting room between royals. There were ten seats at a long dining table, one at each head, and four on the two respective sides. It still served its original purpose, Audrey thought, for less serious matters. This is certainly serious enough, she found herself mumbling.

    Already seated was her father, Lord Anton. He was alone at the head of the table, the right side reserved for his daughter and Sir Humphrey. Already at his immediate right was Marcellus, acting the part of his brother when the arrangements were being made. He bade both of them to sit, even motioning for Vale to take a seat next to Sir Humphrey. On the other side was Lord Benjamin Taylor and his mother and father. Dianne and Matthew, respectively. Already Audrey could feel her heart sinking at the sight of them all there together, and her father placed a large hand over her own. It used to be warm, a comfort in the dark when she was alone after her mother had passed, now it only felt cold and betraying.

    It wasn't long before the exchange began. Benjamin was to extend his hand in marriage to Audrey, and they'd bind their houses. Taylor and Audoire. The Taylors were thrilled to be able to join such nobility, the Audoire's ranked highest amongst all the nobles. Anton seemed to be handling the situation well, speaking for his speechless daughter.


    "We will find a time for a wedding, as soon as the matter of living quarters are arranged. Surely Marcellus won't mind another guest?" Everyone in the room laughed but Audrey.

    No, no, no!

    "Audrey, you're being awfully quiet? Aren't you happy?" Anton squeezed her small hand, she gave no response but a small smile and a nod of her head.

    "She's just nervous, such a polite thing she is." Lady Taylor waved her hand, dismissing the girl's behavior. "Niw, the date then..."

    Audrey had to wait. The Lords and Ladies continued to speak about the arrangement and Audrey found the time to stand. Sir Humphrey and Benjamin stood just as she did, and she could only assume that Vale would be up shortly after. No one said anything as she left, finding that there would be ample time to speak. It was more of a formality that she was invited there, to find out about about the engagement without it being a complete surprise. There would be a more formal proposal sometime in the future, and there was talk of children, all this before she could escape down the hall with the three men in tow.

    Gods no. No!

    The moment she turned the corner she was running, tears streaming down her face.
    #12 Lillian Gray, Nov 9, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  13. Underdog, #2B3856 Vale nearly jumped when he heard someone calling out for Audrey, as if he had just been caught stealing a priceless jewel, but he had to force his nerves down and remain calm. He stood up as Sir Humphrey addressed Audrey, casually dusting petals and dust off of him while they spoke. It's ok, he didn't see anything. He had to hide a smile when Sir Humphrey set Audrey's shoes down, lifting a hand to his mouth and pretended to cove to cover a laugh. However, it soon died short when he saw the look of slight panic cross Audrey's face when she looked at him, before having to walk off with Humphrey with her shoes now in their proper place. He saw the urgent movement of her hand and he was by her side in seconds, following her and Humphrey to the meeting room.

    Aftera quick glance at Humphrey, Vale risked sliding his hand into Audrey's, giving it a faint squeeze in comfort before letting it go. Once in the meeting room, he took his seat beside Humphrey and kept his gaze low, such was the rule the servants were given. They could not look their nobles in the eye, always keeping their gaze to the ground, only to look up when spoken to. However he would steal glances towards Audrey, hoping she knew that he was here for her, no matter what happened. However, his own confidence began to die down by how everyone was acting in the room, his heart slowly starting to beat fast in his chest as color began to drain from his face.

    Then the news came to light.

    Vale couldn't believe his ears. All color had completely drain from his face now, his heart dropping in the pit of his stomach and left a sickening feeling, the world feeling as if it was crashing around him. What? No... This couldn't be happening!

    But it was. Everyone was excited, talking cheerfully amongst themselves, everyone but one. Vale stole a glance up, looking towards Audrey, and could see that she looked pretty much what he felt. She couldn't speak, yet everyone was dismissing it, still talking happily about the marriage. Couldn't they see? Were they really that blind? Could they not see that she wasn't happy with this at all? Didn't they know what they were doing to her? It wasn't fair... Was he the only one who saw her pain?

    Vale stood instantly once Audrey did, wanting to reach for her, but he didn't dare move a muscle towards her. Not in the presence of so many nobles. He followed her down the hall with the two other men, wanting to talk to Audrey, to comfort and sooth the turmoil he knew that she must be feeling. However she suddenly dashed away once they rounded the corner, and he blinked in surprise, but he was after her in the next instant.

    "Audrey! Wait!" He called to her, at this point not caring at all what the others might think, or if the other two men were following. All he knew was that he had to reach her, to try to take away the pain. That was all that mattered to him right now as he followed her down the hall, running with all his might.
  14. Prim and Proper, #6cb031
    Sir Humphrey was fast to cut off Benjamin with a flat hand. He caught him in casual conversation, giving Vale the ample time he needed to chase after Audrey. The boy was closest to her, and she seemed close to tears. Who was the knight to keep them from comfort? Although, too much time, and he would start to be wary. Benjamin was none the wiser, and happily chatted with the odd knight.

    Audrey didn't stop, even as Vale chased her far down the hall. She had no advantage in her heels, and she stopped for a brief moment to kick them off before starting up her sprint once more. Damn the shoes, she didn't want to be slowed down with the clack of heels. She was barefoot again and she raced through the halls with no particular destination in mind. Servants and maids ducked out of her way as Vale came closer and closer, until she threw open a door and shut herself inside.

    This wasn't supposed to happen. No one needed to marry her off, yet it was being done. All those years had passed, her mother telling her about true love, and her father chiming in his values. All of that was for nothing. Alone, she let herself wail. No one could hear her cries when she was shut inside the room. It appeared to be some unused guest room, and the surrounding tapestries and carpets served to swallow every gasp and cry. She wanted to bar the door shut so no one would get inside. If she was lucky, maybe Vale would find her, then she could truly be alone.

    It wasn't fair.

    She wanted something to hit, but it wasn't in her nature to be violent. The rest of her life was going to be spent with the arrogant Lord Benjamin Taylor, and she was expected to sit pretty at his side. He'd shower her with roses and she'd merely prick her fingers, yet what would he know? The blood on her hands would be a victory, a reminder that she would be there to accept his affections whether she wanted it or not. There'd be no armor she could don herself in, there was no one left to protect her after her father. He was the only one to shield her from men like Benjamin, the truly unkind, and he'd failed.

    "Go away!" Audrey screamed to Vale.

    Of all those though, it was him she wanted most. His words were soothing as she'd said many times. His arms were always there for a warm embrace from the days of her childhood, when her mother died, he'd been there for her and he asked nothing in return. Vale Foyer was the last true gentleman it seemed, but all because of his class, the scar on his face, he was deemed inferior. Audrey wanted him at her side, but she couldn't stomach it either. If he came in she would break, the reality would set in, and that wasn't something she could handle.

    "Don't come in!" She cried, much more quietly than before.
    #14 Lillian Gray, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  15. Underdog, #2B3856 Vale did his best to keep up with her, only nearly catching up because of her heels, the blasted things. He never understood how women could wear such uncomfortable looking things, though he knew that Audrey didn't like them much, but as for all the other noble women... He just had no idea. He was nearly on her when she paused to kick the things off, but once they were, it was like she had turned into some super speed woman. She was off in a flash, and Vale cursed to himself as he ran after her. He wasn't going to stop, wasn't going to give up. He would chase her to the ends of the world if he had to.

    He was getting closer and closer, his speed picking up bit by bit, his breathing hard as his feet pounded the ground. Almost...almost.... Suddenly he ran straight into a door, hitting it so hard that he fell flat on his back, pain surging through his face. He covered it with his hands, letting out a long hiss in pain, feeling blood drip from his nose. Damn it... It seemed like she had slammed a door on him. He waited for the pain to pass, then pushed himself up onto his feet, ignoring the blood that spilled from his nose. It wasn't that bad anyway. Behind the door he could hear the faint sobs of her cries, and his heart ached with every one, a powerful urge running through him to be there by her side.

    "Audrey! Let me in!" He called to her, slamming a fist against the door. "It's me!"

    But instead of opening the door like he hoped, she only screamed at him for him to go away. Her words did not hurt him, he knew that she was in pain and was only speaking out of that. He wouldn't give up. His place right now was with her, to be there for her and dry away those tears and hide her from the world, to block anything away that will harm her. He kept knocking on the door, begging repeatedly for her to let him in.

    "Please Audrey, let me in there with you.... Open the door."

    But still, she would not let him in, and he barely heard her last reply through the thick oak door. He stopped pounding then, hearing the near breaking tone of her voice. He understood. If he were to go in there, then she might not be able to handle it. No matter what he did, Vale knew that he could not stop this marriage. Could not change anything about it and save her. No amount of comfort or soothing words will change the pure reality of the situation, no matter how badly he may want it to.

    He turned away from the door, gently pressing his back to it and slid to the floor, sitting there with his legs stretched out before him and his arms resting on his lap. Still... He will not leave her. Ever. He will stay beside her, whether in thoughts or physically, he will never abandon her, even if she did not want him there. He was silent for a moment, still wanting to cheer her up. So, after a long moment, he opened his mouth and began to sing.

    "Down in the meadow there's a tree I know
    Whose branches grow and grow
    With every good deed done
    From every daughter and son,

    This tree do I know.

    It's branches stretch to the heavens above
    It reminds me of the ones I love
    It's bark is pure as can be
    Oh won't you sing with me,
    Of this tree that I know.

    It bears the greatest fruits
    It's like a beautiful flute
    When the wind blows through it's leaves
    It will never decieve,
    Not this tree that I know."

    He let the song continue on pretty much like that. It was pretty simple and did not require a magnificent voice, which he didn't really have, but it was a song from their childhood. They would always sing it together, whether one of them was afraid or upset. It was their way of fending off any worries or pain, a song that they had come to know by heart. So since Audrey wouldn't let him in, he will offer her his support through his words and from the other side of the door.

    #15 DracoGale4, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
    • Love Love x 1
  16. Prim and Proper, #6cb031 For a time she listened to him sing. He was flat against the door, she heard him sit there, heard it in the hum of the wood as his voice wove through the familiar lyrics. She closed her eyes and imagined herself there, sitting up by the tree beneath the shade of it's branches. Even they seemed to extend, on and on, they provided her with the safety she wanted and the distance between herself and this new marriage. The wind whistled through her hair, shining golden through the trickled bits of light from above. All was well here. Deep in the meadow, she had no problems, they all vanished with the wind as she spoke them.

    Audrey scooted from her spot against the wall until she, too, sat with her back against the hard wood door. Her voice was much quieter than Vale's, but if he was quiet he could hear her singsong voice. It was full of sorrow and misery, not in tune to the happy lyrics of the song.

    When she was a child, no more than nine years of age, her mother had once told her that love always found a way. She truly believed it. After all, her mother and father had found each other, and were happy to have married and had a child. There was no falsehood surrounding their sacred oaths, they loved each other through and through. Audrey would look up at her, their matching blue eyes would meet and her mother would smile. Someday that would be her, grown tall and generous just like her mother, and find someone to love just as she'd done. Helen, that was her name, and she felt more like a distant memory as the days passed by. Her mother taught her that good things came to those who waited, and that if Audrey truly wanted to be happy, she had to be kind to everyone, not just to the upper class. To truly achieve inner peace, Audrey had to first love herself. Then, Helen would always say, after you love yourself, you may learn to love everyone else, but you are the most important. You always come first my little daisy, and you will never forget that.

    She had died during childbirth when Audrey turned eleven, and she would never know any more of love and its mysterious inner workings. While she'd lost a mother that day, she'd gained a brother, and it was Vale who'd sat with her as she cried. For days and nights, she refused to leave her room, and Vale sat outside the door singing that same song.

    Audrey's cries turned to smaller sobs and hiccups, until her voice was more clear than before as she sang. "Down in the meadow there's a tree I know..." She let out a shaky breath, it was accompanied by a short cry before she began again. "Whose branches grow and grow." She mimicked him as he sang until they were somewhat in tune. His voice was low, much deeper than hers, which still sounded as soft as when she was but a child. Wispy and gentle, the song came out in tiny whispers which were still thick with sorrow. Her life was about to turn into a nightmare, and there was no avoiding what was set in stone for her.

    "With every good deed done
    From every daughter and son,
    This tree do I know."
    The girl stood to face the door. Even if she opened it, the reality of the situation would only crash back down, another wave of tears and heartbreak would come forth. She did not love Lord Taylor, she couldn't even find it in her heart to like the man. He was cruel. Subjecting her to a fate of unhappiness went against the principles her mother taught her, and if she were still alive Audrey felt no arrangement would have been made. Audrey would've found peace in her own time. Her father must have forgotten what it was like, to truly want someone for themselves.

    "It's branches stretch to the heavens above, it reminds me of the ones I love." Audrey's voice grew quiet. Perhaps she loved someone else, she thought, someone no one would approve but herself. She reached out and pulled the door open carefully so Vale wouldn't fall inward. It was no more than a crack into the room, she hesitated to allow any more of the outside in. "It's bark is pure as can be, oh won't you sing with me, of this tree that I know."

    She supposed though, that sometime soon she would have to let him in.​
    #16 Lillian Gray, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  17. Underdog, #2B3856 Vale could hear the faint words behind the door of Audrey's song, hearing the sorrow and grief behind them, the words weighing heavily. He could almost feel the great wave of pain and sadness from behind that door... But he didn't let his words falter, continuing to sing the song. As they sang, their words eventually met, their tones matching and creating a beautiful melony, her soft sweet voice riding over his deeper one, somehow uniting them both into a more tuneful melody. He felt the door suddenly begin to open, and he quickly got up before he could fall over, though luckily it had only opened a crack. He turned to see her peeking through the crack, still singing the song, and he grew instantly relieved to see her. But he could still see tears falling for her face, and his own grew soft as he looked at her, taking a small step forward and pressed a hand to the wooden door.

    "It bears the greatest fruits
    It's like a beautiful flute
    When the wind blows through it's leaves
    It will never decieve,
    Not this tree that I know."
    He didn't go any further, not wanting to force himself into the room. He would only enter when she wanted him to, though in all honesty, he wanted to rush in and take her in his arms. He let the song repeat again, singing softly with her, and let the song continue.
    "Leaves that are emerald green
    It's a full beautiful scene

    Standing right there on the tallest hill
    It has the strongest will,
    This tree that I know.

    Caressing the wind
    Golden sap within
    I'll base nothing but a whim
    That this tree is free of sin,
    Oh this tree that I know...."

    He let the last word trail off, looking deep into her blue eyes as he remained still by the door, letting their song fade away between them. He was waiting on held breath, seeing what she would do, whether she would turn away and slam the door on him again or let him in. He really hoped it was the latter. He hated waiting out of her reach, where he was unable to touch her or comfort her. Even if he couldn't stop this, he at least wanted to try to block away all her burdens and sorrows, however way possible. What else could he do? He was powerless... All he could do was give her his support.
  18. Prim and Proper, #6cb031 Audrey was caught in his gaze, not knowing where else to go. She found relief in the sweet meadow he spoke of. The winds held her up, whistling their sweet melody while she danced among the leaves. Just like Vale said, they were emerald in color, shining bright as gems she'd had the privilege of holding before. She didn't feel so bad there, so she let him sing while she let herself dream of a better place. A place with no sin, no fear of what had come or passed. Audrey was Audrey there, and nothing more beneath the shade of the tree.

    She stopped singing, her voice faltered when she saw his face, and just as she'd suspected she lost all control. Audrey threw herself at Vale and pressed her head into his neck, her sobs came forth in a bubble of hiccups and tears. All of it was beyond her control. She shouldn't have been so full of grief, but the more she tried to reason with herself, the more complicated the solution was. She didn't love Benjamin, something about staying at his side screamed about horrors to come. There was the sinking feeling she'd never see her family again. Audrey would be whisked away, given new servants to learn the names of. Her father, her little brother, Vale, none of them would be able to see her if she married Benjamin.

    You're jumping to conclusions. Audrey scolded herself. Give the man a chance.

    "I don't want to marry him." She sniffled. The tears never stopped. "I don't love him."

    She thought again of what her mother had told her. It all went to waste with her passing. Whatever ideals she'd once shared with Anton, they were clouded now, where they used to tell stories of knights and kings marrying the poor girl in the story, down to the lowest peasant turning into a beautiful princess overnight, he now forced her hand to some cruel Lord. Stories like Cinderella came to mind. Audrey wanted to be whisked away in a carriage of gold, off to the man who really loved her. Who did she really love though? Who loved her?

    Audrey's hold on him tightened, her arms wrapped around his back dug into his shirt. He still smelled like soap from the morning he'd spent on his hands and knees as he scrubbed away at the palace tiles. The scent of roses mingled in with the rest of him from their time outside. All of it was so familiar, it was Vale. It wasn't any fragrance from a far off land, no perfume to mask him, Vale smelled like home. The very place she'd been born and raised.

    "I-I have to reason with my father." Audrey stuttered. "He can't send me away. I don't want to leave." You.

    It dawned on her like the sun at first rise. That was the real reason. If Audrey was married off there was on thing she could never have. The taboo thought intruded her mind as she held on to Vale. He was the reason she didn't want to leave. He was there at every morning when she needed, and there each night to wish her sweet dreams. Vale was always there like a shadow of herself, whether so always wanted him or not, he never said no.

    But such thoughts were not for nobles
    #18 Lillian Gray, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  19. Underdog, #2B3856 The instant Audrey threw herself into his arms, he had her, holding her tightly against his body as if he were her anchor. That if he loosened his hold at all, then she would be whisked away from him, or she would fall into a bottomless pit she could never escape from, which was probably true at the moment. He wouldn't dare let go, feeling her tears fall down onto his neck and shoulder, not moving to wipe them away. He buried his nose into her hair, catching the scent of flowers from the garden, despite the perfume she was always forced to wear. He knew what her true scents were, not the fake auroma of nobles, for she was nothing like them. She was different, someone so much better than the richest noble, and that's what he loved about her.

    She was the only one who treated him differently than anyone else did. While all other nobles hardly glanced at him as if he were nothing more than a bag of dirt, she gave him all her attention and saw him as an actual person, perhaps even more. She always acknowledged the work he did, would spend countless hours treating his bloody hands after working all day with an ax or some other tool that had badly blistered them, or massage his aching muscles or place icepack over bruises and bumps. The thought of possibly never having that again... It caused his heart to shatter. To never see her smiling face or hear her beautiful voice. It all seemed to much.

    When she spoke, it stabbed at his heart, hearing the sorrow in her words. He could clearly hear the struggle she was having, trying to cease her sobs that were forced out of her. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't contain them. He began to gently stroke her hair, holding her tighter against him. "Shh..." He would whisper. "I know... I know..."

    He didn't want her to go. A tear had slipped from his own eye, and he hadn't even been aware that they had begun to water. He felt like his chest was being crushed, feeling it tighten more and more that it hurt, and he thought it was going to break. He could feel his heart beat against it, like a sad drum beating the same tune over and over. When she spoke of reasoning with her father, some hope sparked inside him. Maybe, just maybe, her father won't go through with it if she was against it. He had to care for his daughter's happiness after all, right?

    "I don't want you going anywhere." He whispered to her. "No matter what happens, I won't be left behind. I will find my way to you, whether they forbid me to or not. I'll walk there if I need to, and disguise myself in order to say in the new manor. Nobles are so oblivious, I doubt they'd notice anyway."
  20. Prim and Proper, #6cb031 Audrey listened to the beat of his heart, the steady rhythm of each bump in his chest like a beacon for her grief. It pulled away the pain, it let her know that Vale was alive and well, listening to her cries. Someone cared enough to beat ever on so that she might have a place to turn to, the constant thrum of his heart in his chest. She turned her face so that her ear rested just above the beat, listening to the flow and rhyme of his body's heart.

    "You can't leave me." She demanded sternly, still the image of pain with her reddened eyes. "You can't, Vale, that's an order."

    From the window came the last vibrant beams of the day, the sun began its slow decent into the hillsides over the horizon. Audrey didn't pause to lift her head, she could feel the warmth leaving the room as they stood there in the doorway. No one had bothered to disturb them, and Audrey had half a mind to finally shut the door before anyone made up a false rumor about the coupled pair. Her arms kept around him, her head never lifted from his chest. She would have been content to stand there until the light faded for the night, but Vale probably had other chores he needed to get done. A slave's work was never done, much to her chagrin.

    It had been quite a while, it dawned on Audrey, and someone was likely looking for her. Be it her father, or Lord Taylor, Sir Humphrey seemed the most obvious choice, but he was better at tracking her down than all the rest. He knew that her heart was different from most nobles, and looked in the odd places first. It still took him a while, his noble nature came first, and he'd often try the library at the wrong hours of the day. If she wasn't there, it was with Vale in the kitchens. Sir Humphrey knew how she liked to mingle with the commoners, and while he'd never be one to argue, he still had to reprimand her in her father's place. Peasant work was best left for the servants, he'd say, a direct line from Anton no doubt.

    Audrey pulled away from Vale only to drag herself over to the bed and flop down face first. Her feel dangled in open air, covered in dirt after having run around most of the day without a stocking in sight. She rolled onto her side and disregarded the awkward angle she lay. Instead of using the head of the mattress as where her own head might lay, she found her back facing it, and her arms stretched towards the foot. She reached an innocent hand out to Vale, not wanting him to leave her side in a moment of weakness. He wouldn't do something to upset her, not when it was so blatantly obvious how miserable she was.

    "You told me you'd stay." She whispered into the thick down sheets which covered the bed. Her finger drew patterns across its surface, pressing down into the fluff of the thing. "Forever and always." She pulled up both her hands now, still resting comfortably on her side. "Don't leave me here alone."
    #20 Lillian Gray, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014