Chapter Five (Edited)

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“I’m Prince Noah Beckett.”

I automatically look down as my heart drops down to my stomach. I don’t know if he will punish me for being in his room, even though I’m technically supposed to be here. Or beat me because he may have caught my eye looKing at him. I can’t trust any of the upper class.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. What’s your name?”

I stay silent, knowing that this may be a test. If I answer without his permission, he could present me to the King for “disrespecting” someone of the higher class.

After a while of waiting I hear him say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot about this rule. You may speak.”

I take a small breath before I say, “I’m Seraphina Lyton. I’m just a maid and I was just cleaning your room, your majesty. I can come back later to finish.” I end with dipping into a quick curtsey.

I hear him walk by me, setting his bag onto the freshly made bed while saying, “Please. It is I who is in your way. I know I am a day earlier, but I felt it best to return home. SpeaKing of which, I must talk to my father about my return. It was nice to meet you Seraphina. Please do not worry about unpacKing my suitcase. I’ll get to that later.” With that Price Noah walks out of the room, shutting the door quietly behind him.

I stand looKing at the door, stunned in silence. Did the Prince just talk to me like I’m a real person and not like a piece of meat? He actually gave me some respect and not just hand me his list of demands that the other royals would.

I have never heard of a person of the royal class to treat people who are not equal to them with respect. In any other place it would be considered bad manners if one did not, but in the Kingdom of Ostium, if someone of the upper class talked to someone of the lower class with respect, it makes them look weak. I don’t know if this is a reason we don’t have great alliances with other Kingdoms or if it’s because we can’t use our money for anything except parties.

I hurry to finish cleaning, so I don’t have to run into Prince Noah again when his mind is clear and treat me like I’m dust on his designer shoes.

***

I knock on the Kings study at precisely four o’clock, with his afternoon tea in hand. I made sure that all the cups were perfectly polished and clean, so I were to not get in trouble for not doing my job.

I hear a deep growl coming from behind the door, “Come in.”

I enter the room to see the Queen, the King, and the Prince standing around the desk that sits in the center of the room. The Queen moves behind the desk to where her son and husband stands talKing in hushed voices. I quickly drop my eyes to only stare at the bottom of the desk, so I can see where to place my tray.

I hurry and place the tea tray on the desk and start to arrange the cups, so I can start pouring the tea.

“One sugar. Dash of cream,” the Queen calls over her shoulder, sounding annoyed at having to even address my presence in the room.

“Two sugars. No cream,” the King calls after.

“Black, please,” the Prince says with a soft voice, while looKing in my direction.

I hurry and make all of their teas, not wanting them to be waiting longer than necessary.

I give the Queen her tea first, with her ripping it out of my hands. I hand over the Kings tea, him taking it with no acknowledgement of me. Lastly, I hand over the Princes tea, him taking it with a bold, “Thank you.” The Queen hearing it and clearly being irritated by it.

The Queen coughs aggressively, while fuming. “Dismissed!” she yells at me.

I dip into a curtsey, before leaving them with their tea and their discussion. I’m off to start polishing the stairs.

***

My back and arms are aching, but luckily I am almost done with the grand staircase. I feel as though I have been worKing for hours, but as I look at the stairs sparkle I can’t help but feel some pride for my hard work.

I hear the chattering of other females and look up to see a group of girls with silk dresses and low necklines walKing in my direction. Immediately I put my head down, trying to finish before I am noticed.

But sadly, I hear one of the girls say, “See girls, here’s another one.” I hear the rustling of dresses get closer to me and all I can do is hope that the floor will swallow me whole.

“They have help everywhere! I can’t wait to marry into a family where I can spend as much money as I want and not have to lift a finger.”

“Now Jessica, you don’t know if you will be chosen to be the Princes bride, yet”, another girl says sounding only half agitated.

“We all know who the Prince will choose. Who has the most to offer. Who will show the peasants their place,” she says while walKing over to me and kicKing the bucket of dirty water down the stairs almost as if she was proving her point by doing so. All the work that I have done has been erased and now I must start all over.

“You best clean this up. You don’t want the Queen to see this,” the girl named Jessica whispers into my ear with a sadistic laugh.

I waste no time into cleaning the stairs after hearing them walk away. Leaving me to deal with the mess they made for me.

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