*The Next Morning*
“Princess, rise and shine.” I wake up to see the curtains drawn and Alice smiling at me.
“Uh, what time is it?” I ask groggily, rubbing my eyes.
“It’s eight a.m.”
“Eight a.m.?! Why am I up so early? Is there some type of engagement I didn’t know about?”
“You and Rupert have a very important engagement this morning.”
“I said we would hang out later on, not this morning, Alice,” I said and pulled the cover over my head.
“Come on now, Princess. Up, up, up,” she said and pulled the cover off of me.
“Come on, darling,” I finally get up and rub my eyes again. “Hmm. For bedhead, your hair looks rather nice,” Alice says and helps me up. I moan and walk slowly to the bathroom. “I got your bath ready. Nice and hot. Just like you like it,” she smiles and takes my robe off of me. After I get all my clothes off, I step into the hot bath. “Is it hot just like you like it?” Alice asks with a huge smile.
“Mmhm,” I say as I sink all the way under. I hear her speaking, but I don’t want to listen. I’m still puzzled about why she and Rupert were out talking last night. I get back on the surface and take a deep breath.
“…so, what do you think of that?” Alice smiles again.
“Think about what?” I ask and wipe my face.
“Of what I just told you.”
“I don’t know what you were talking about. Could you please repeat it?”
“Of course, Princess,” Alice sighed. “I planned a whole day for you and Rupert to quote unquote hand out. So, you’re eating breakfast this morning after your bath, going to the park, horseback riding and then another stroll around the park to watch the sunset then you come back here for dinner. How does that sound?”
“That sounds…great. I like it.”
“I’m glad. Now, hurry up. He’s awaiting your presence,” she says and closes the bath curtain fully now so I can wash.
After I finish washing, I reach out for my towel and Alice give it to me. I get out and dry off as she gets the pail to scoop out my dirty water and throw it out the window. As I’m drying off, I hear footsteps in my room. They most surely know I’m busy, so I continue drying before I wrap the whole towel around myself.
“Princess?” Someone asks and opens the door to peek their head in. I scream of embarrassment and slam the door shut. “I’m sorry, Princess!” They say.
“Who was that?” Alice asks angrily.
“I don’t know. How dare you open the door to my bathroom?” I shout from behind the door.
“I’m sorry, Princess. I’m sincerely sorry. I didn’t know you would be in there.”
“Well, the door was shut!”
“I’m sorry,” they laugh. Why does that voice and laugh sound so familiar?
“This is not a laugh matter!” Alice and I shout in unison.
“My apologies. I’ll be at the bottom of the steps,” they say and I hear them walk out of my room.
“Who does such a thing?” Alice asks and opens to the door to my room.
“I don’t know, but it was rather rude,” I said and walked in my room.
“Here’s your clothes for the day,” she said and handed me a casual pink dress to wear and pink heels.
“Alice, I don’t like wearing heels. Don’t I have pink slippers?”
“I knew you would say that. That’s why I got these for you,” she said and showed me pink slippers that matched.
“Why didn’t you give me these in the first place?” I mumble and put my corset and dress on. “Alice! This is the same corset I wore last night! Am I wearing this so my breasts will look bigger again?” I ask and hold my breasts in my hands indicating how big they look.
“Of course not, Princess, but Rupert would like it.”
“Oh, my goodness,” I sighed heavily and slipped on the slippers. “How do I look?” I huffed and put my hands on my hips. I could barely breathe. Men couldn’t possibly like it when a woman dresses like this. If men do like this, they are absolutely ruttish!
“You look perfect, now hurry alone. Don’t keep Rupert waiting,” Alice smiled and directed me down the stairs.
A man sat on the bottom step. He had long beautiful, black, curly hair, and by the way he sat his legs were long and toned like a dancers.
“Excuse me,” I raised and eyebrow as I stopped three steps behind him. He looked back in wonder and stood up immediately.
“I’m sorry, Princess,” he said and held a hand out for me to take it. I rolled my eyes and looked forward as I continued to walk down the stairs. “Okay…” I heard him mumble as he clapped his hands together.
“Why are you still standing there?” Alice asked and eyed him. I looked at him too, studying his mocha skin, beautiful brown eyes and soft lips. His eyes look so familiar. Why do I feel as though I knew this man.
“I’m to guard Princess Leah,” he said.
I studied him some more. “Do I know you?” I asked and walked closer to him.
He laughed and licked his lips. That’s when it hit me. Those gorgeous eyes, that breathtaking smile. “I’m Knight-”
“Michael,” I finished.
“Knight Michael?!” Alice shouted. “Oh, no. This is absurd! Who said you are to guard the Princess?” She demanded.
“What do you mean, ‘what King?’ The only King of this entire kingdom. King Horat-”
“No!!” Alice screamed. “He is mad! Mad, I tell you! Princess, you are not allowed to go with him. Come along,” she said and grabbed my hand as I studied Michael some more. He just smiled as I studied his gorgeous face. Is this why he didn’t off his mask last night? Cause he knew I would admire his sheer beauty? My gawd! “Princess, come on!” Alice tugged at me.
“No, Alice,” I said and wriggled out of her grip.
“What? Why not?! I told you royals are not allowed to speak with Knights.”
“My father said that’s a lie and you know it, Alice. My father also said Michael was supposed to guard me.”
“How do you know whether this is true or not?” She demanded.
“I was in the room when my father said it.”
“That’s absurd. You were asleep.”
“He said it to my mother and I last night.”
Alice opened her mouth to protest, but stopped, “fine. Come along then. Rupert is waiting for you,” she said and took my hand again. Michael followed as we went to the dining hall.
Rupert sat at the end of the tabled and stood when he saw my arrival. “Princess Leah,” he smiled.
I eyed him, not cracking a smile. He got cleaned up a bit. A nice shave, nice clothes, and his hair is cut.
“Hello, Rupert,” I said and stood at the seat I was to sit at.
He pulled the chair out for me, “here you are,” he smiled again as he looked in my eyes. His eyes were amazing. They were swirling blue and green and all I could do was swallow hard before I did anything stupid.
“Thank you,” I choked and immediately sat down. Michael and Alice stood far behind me, making sure not to interfere. “You may leave now, Alice,” I tell her.
“Oh, no, Princess, I-”
“I can take it from here,” Rupert chimed in. She nodded and began to walk out.
“Don’t you do a thing to mess the two of them up!” She hissed to Michael before she left. He clenched his jaws as she walked out.
“Well, Rupert, it ought to be a great day,” I fake smiled.