Chapter Eight (Edited)

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It has been a few days since I talked to Noah. After thinKing back, I know that it was wrong of me to converse with the Prince like that. Let alone hug him! But something about the conversation made me feel comfortable. Made me feel heard. Made me feel like a real person.

I know I could get in huge trouble for having that conversation, but it was for the good of the Kingdom. For everyone to have a better life and not have to worry about what could happen tomorrow.

I have a feeling that Noah genuinely wants to help instead of wanting to take all the money that we earn.

But, only time will tell.

Today, I am helping organize the first event of the social season, where all the nobel women will be outside playing croquet with the King and Queen and other people of the court. And then after playing out in the hot sun, everyone will sit down and have some tea and finger sandwiches outside.

My job is to hold the equipment of the Prince as he plays, and then help serve the tea. The job is not hard, but the most excruciating part will be having to listen to the best gossip that is passed across the Kingdoms.

I stand out on the warm lawn  with the other maids and the nobel women as we wait for the royal family to present themselves.

The nobel women stand in a huge circle, conversing amongst each other on what they would consider the obligations of being queen.

“Think about all the traveling. I’ll never have time to relax in my own bed. My feet are going to get so sore from all the traveling.”

“And all the foreign foods. Ugh, it’s all going to be so disgusting. Plus, there’s the chance of being poisoned. I’m going to have someone have to try all my food just so I know I won’t die.”

“The food isn’t even the worst part. Dealing with the Kingdom will be horrible. There will be times when I will have to visit and just seeing them in their filth is going to make me barf.”

All the ladies chuckle to themselves as I bite my tongue, trying not to attack those girls with words that would hurt more than just their ego. All these so called “problems” are nothing compared to what really needs to be done.

Suddenly, the doors open and out walks the King, Queen, and the Prince.

The King and Prince keep their face mutual as they look over all the women who now have their eyes all over the Prince. But the Queen is giving the girls an evil type of smile. Sinister enough that snakes would slither away in fear.

The women line up and show off their best smiles. Hoping that that will be enough to impress Noah.

“Good day, ladies,” the Queen says, maKing all the women’s attention direct back to her.

Each one of them drop in a curtsey. Giving respect that I wouldn’t think they could manage having.

“I do not have much to say besides, let’s play. Girls, follow me.”

The women rush behind the Queen as she makes her way to the croquet equipment and begins to explain how to properly play the game.

“Good day, Sera.”

I turn suddenly and see the Prince standing in the sunlight, looKing at me.

I immediately put my head down, so as not to show my disrespect while everyone is staring. This is definitely not the time to be seen conversing with the Prince.

“I thought that we agreed that you didn’t need to have permission to talk to me?” He asks, while leaning closer to me almost as if he is trying to find my eyes.

“I think it would be best if, while we are in public, we keep appearances. We don’t want people questioning your role as a leader… Or, of course, beheading me,” I whisper up to him as quietly as I can, while I keep my head down.

Noah straightens up a bit, but still keeping his head close to mine. He whispers, “Smart idea. We can keep this between us.”

I allow a small smile to form, but continue to keep my head lowered. I hear the women coming closer, so I hurry to grab Noah's equipment and make it look as though I am busy.

The women, once again, have got in to a line, but before it is Noah’s turn to address the girls he whispers down to me, “By the way, I would never allow you be to beheaded.”

***

The game ends with Noah winning by a landslide. The nobel women seem to have took the strategy of being a maid in distress, probably hoping that the Prince would step in and show them how to swing. But the Prince took no mind to them and focused on his own progress, maKing the girls look foolish.

Now that the game is finished, everyone gathers around the table to sip their tea and make “polite” conversation amongst themselves.

“I’m so glad I do not associate with the women from the Kingdom over. I would never dare to allow my name to be uttered from her lips,” the Queen says harshly, while taking a sip from her tea.

“Oh, my Queen, she could never hold a candle to you. I mean, have you seen the cheap material she wears?” the women who I recognize as the girl who knocked my water bucket over. Jessica, I believe her name is.

The Queen smiles while smoothing out her dress, “You are quite right, my dear. Smart to point that out.”

Jessica smiles, and moves her eyes over to the Prince. Almost as if she just won a prize and wanted to make sure he noticed. The Prince looks up and finds her staring and the look that crosses his face is surely nothing positive. But Jessica doesn’t seem to mind this as she continued to smile and raise a single eyebrow at him.

Again, the Prince doesn’t seem to like this motion as he raises from his seat, “It has been nice, ladies. Now, if you will excuse me.”

Noah leaves without another word, maKing his way back inside the palace doors as his guards follow him obediently. I stand there with the other women as the Queen tries apologizes for her son’s rudeness, but the disappointment on each girls face is noticeable.

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