The Prince's Love [Mature]

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Abigail walked around the castle. She had finished all her chores very early this morning and so had nothing to really do at the moment until she needed, which doesn't exactly happen too often, which she liked. She was looking for something, the cat that the royals had. The cat usually was always around her when she was working, and so now that she had free time she figured she'd spend some time with it. Maybe take it out into the garden.

Either way it'd give her something to do. As Abigail walked she took a black ribbon out of the pocket of her maid's outfit. With the ribbon she tied back her crimson hair. "Now, where is that cat..." she said quietly to herself as she looked around more, trying to remember where it liked to hid. The cat was small enough to hid anywhere and it loved small places.

It didn't take as long as she had expected it to have taken before she found the small white and orange cat hiding beneath the couch down in the main waiting room. She smiled as knelt down to get it, gently picking it up with her pale, slender hands. The cat started to purr as soon as she touched it, and that made her smile once more. After that she sat up. "I was wondering where you were." she said to it softly. "Let's go out into the garden today." she then added as she left the room they were in and started to head for the large garden..
A somber expression seems carved into the face of the young prince Desmond Lachlan. For generations, his family had remained prestigious and powerful. They owned a massive fief of land, and maintained a strong and dedicated military, while keeping a relatively friendly stance amongst the fellow neighboring kingdoms. However, a long winter and badly timed drought had cursed the kingdom, as well as the neighboring ones with a poor harvest, which was only the opening act to the ill-omened decline of the small Lachlan kingdom. As the neighboring kingdoms suffered from the winter and drought, they began to encroach on others territory to scrape up whatever land or resources they could find. Soon, the doomed kingdom was being invaded by those it once considered its allies. Now, it has been reduced to one small field and its last grand bastion, the castle in which the prince resided.

However, it was not the unfortunate circumstances of his birth that troubled the prince today. It was how his besieged and desperate king had intended to save his home. As a political tool, he would be married off to the young princess of the neighboring country in order to form an alliance, so they could at least survive another winter. While he argued that it was not his fathers choice, nor did he have any interest in the woman he was to be wedded to, his fathers and kingdoms needs apparently outweighed his, and it pained him that he felt even more selfish for refusing to go through with such a marriage.

In an attempt to find some sort of serenity in the ever increasing state of turmoil his kingdom, and his own life was being put into, Desmond made his way to the royal gardens, sitting to marvel in the majestic flora that had been planted there. "If only the rest of the world could be this calm..." he said softly, almost under his breath, supporting his chin with his right hand. The rest of the world seemed invisible as he gazed out into space, almost entering a trance-like state as he sat in the garden. He let out a sigh before rubbing his weary eyes. He had not slept well in days, due to the ever-looming dilemma and pressure he was faced with, and he did not assume tonight would be an exception.
​Abigail's attention was mainly on the small cat the whole way to the garden. She didn't even notice the prince sitting in it already. When she comes out here during her breaks she rarely ever sees anyone else in the garden. She actually found that to be quite relaxing really.
With the cat still in her arms she went over to one of the fountains at the other end of the garden and sat down on the edge of it. The cat was then placed in her lap where she continued to pet it as it laid down and closed its eyes. She wondered how long her break may be this time. Usually it's for most of the day before she has to do anything. She hoped it was for that long this time, for she would love to just be able to sit out in the garden all day.
As the prince opened his eyes, before him was one of the handmaids that had served the castle, sitting across from him in the gardens. From his understanding, rarely anybody came to these gardens, aside from those who tended it. Perhaps she was there for the same reason he was. The pressure and hardship I face in these dark times must be tenfold for the common folk... Desmond pondered to himself, watching the plants sway in a gentle breeze, while beginning to focus his stare on the maid. While it was not his place to speak with a commoner, Desmond found himself questioning the rules and principles that his kingdom was founded on at this point. Taking a deep breath, he stood, and made a slow stride towards the girl.

A soft smile crossed his face when he saw the cat that his family owned on her lap. Before sitting down next to her, he said, "So that's where that cat ran off to. I was worried for a bit there." As he found a seat next to her, he caught a glimpse of the girl. Despite her lower class, she had a very much natural beauty about her. She was unlike the women of his stature, who were groomed to the point of perfection and basked in make up to the point where one could not determine what they actually looked like. However, to him, it seemed like that natural beauty about her was more immaculate than any amount of pampering could produce. Yet, it was considered wrong of him to be thinking like this. If he confessed to his father of what he was thinking at that moment, he would be deemed mad, and an unworthy heir. Be that as it may, he didn't mind the idea of being considered mad if he could appreciate a beauty such as hers. It seemed unbelievable that a man of his stature had to summon all the courage he had to simply speak to her.

"P-pardon my rudeness.... but I do not seem to recall your name, miss handmaiden." He states, trying to break the no doubt awkward silence.
A light blush started to form on Abigail's cheeks when she heard the prince's voice when he spoke to her. "It really likes being around me it seems.." she said quietly. She's always noticed it be around her more than it was around anyone else in the castle. Might have been due to how much she spoils it by giving it treats and attention.
The prince was a very charming man to her, and made it difficult for her to look at him, especially when he was close to her like this and actually sitting beside her. Her attention remained on the cat as she tried to rid herself of the blush, disparately hoping he didn't notice it. It's be embarrassing if he did.

"It's Abigail.." she then told him, her voice still soft and quiet like always when the shyness hits her.
"Ah... yes! How shameful of me to have forgotten..." He says, bowing his head a little. He reaches his hand out to pet the cat on her lap. "And it looks like that cat's got very good taste!" He laughs a bit, running a hand over the soft back of the cat. For some, reason, in spite of the fact that he hadn't slept well in many days, he felt very much more awake and alert now than he'd felt in years. For a reason beyond his control, he felt his heart racing at the notion of him taking such a liking to one of the handmaidens. It was against the will of his father.... no, the will of his kingdom for him to be lusting after what they deemed a 'peon.' But then, what did the rules of his mighty 'kingdom' mean to him, if they couldn't even hold their own territory?

"You know, Abigail..... I get a feeling that perhaps you and the very garden we sit in share much more in common than most people think... If my eyes don't deceive me, both are the most beautiful things I have seen in this kingdom.... and yet, nobody seems to really appreciate either these days..."
Abigail watched as he reached out and started petting the cat. She started to pet its tail as it purred some more, a bit louder than it had before. it made her smile. Out of a lot of things, the sound of a purring cat and the sight of the garden, were the only things that could make her smile. Soon she started blushing, hearing the prince's compliment to her. That was the first time she's ever been complimented about anything. "Thank you." she then said to him.
Desmond stops petting the cat as his hand meets the hand of the maid. Her hand is soft and warm to the touch. It feels... comforting. He looks up, perhaps a little startled to see her blushing face. He returned a smile, forgetting in the midst of his somewhat lovestruck awe, he'd forgotten to move his hand from hers. While he felt a certain exhilaration, he also felt quite tranquil upon looking at the beautiful young woman. "I'm sorry.... it must be a shock hearing something like that....... but I really do feel like people like you.... no.... especially you, haven't been earning the respect and thanks they deserve..... a prince like me is just some glorified puppet, the real wonders are the beautiful people like yourself that work so hard to keep everything together..." He begins to speak, not realizing that he'd started to ramble, trying to cover up his slightly flustered state. Of course, his hand still remained where it was.
Abigail had stopped petting the cat as well. She felt their hands meet and wasn't sure if she move hers away or not. Her blush came back and she was really starting to dislike that. It was so embarrassing. Surprisingly though, when she closed her eyes and just listened, relaxing herself, she was able to calm herself down enough to stop the blushing. She then looked down at the cat who seemed to be asleep. "I am quite surprised that you think way." she said. And she was. Hearing such a thing from the prince, isn't something one would expect.
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