Soon the masses were thinned and Leianna nudged Tempest with her elbow, pushing her forward.
Taking a deep breath, Tempest moved forward and curtsied at the feet of the Royal Family.
“Your Majesty, I come seeking Sanctuary within your House.” Tempest announced, causing the room to go silent. Nervous, she waited for the Queen to reply.
Arianna was looking slightly bored by the proceedings, until a young blonde woman stepped forward. She was not of the Fae, that much she could see…but there was something about her that called to the Queen. She sat up straighter in her seat.
“You are not of Fae. Why do you seek Sanctuary among us?” Arianna wondered. Tempest looked up at the Queen, and Arianna was struck by how young the girl was…and by how beautiful. She was no ordinary peasant woman.
Tempest took a deep breath. “You are correct that I am not of Fae. I am from a faraway land, a refugee if you will. My family…hurt me…and I ran away. If I am found, I will be worse off than I was when I left. If I claim Sanctuary among your people, I will do my utmost best to bring no harm to you and yours.” Tempest stated in a clear voice. The court looked toward the Queen and the Prince, awaiting the verdict.
Arianna leaned toward her son. “What do you think?” she whispered.
“Your Majesty, I come seeking Sanctuary within your House.”
Now that was a new one. The Prince had heard all manner of requests, but one of sanctuary, even he pricked his ears at this. The girl who presented herself, had her hair fashioned in a style that he was unfamiliar with, and clearly she was not at all fae. He noted his mother sitting straighter in her seat. The Queen was quite taken and then spoke as the Prince expected. Nothing in this life was free.
“You are not of Fae. Why do you seek Sanctuary among us?” The Prince was wondering this too. Was the girl persecuted in her lands for crimes against the crown? He himself still had those heavy thoughts about the whole arranged marriage thing, and so he was still not his bouncy self as it were.
“You are correct that I am not of Fae. I am from a faraway land, a refugee if you will. My family…hurt me…and I ran away. If I am found, I will be worse off than I was when I left. If I claim Sanctuary among your people, I will do my utmost best to bring no harm to you and yours.”
This part made the Prince curious. Now why would her family do worse to her, if she was found? Also she was not fae, so how would she fit in to their ways and customs. They were very different from those of the surface. While the Prince considered this, the Queen asked him in a whisper;
“What do you think?”
A reasonable question. The Prince then lent back and whispered. “Maybe her parents were trying to marry her off too.”This was a stab at the breakfast mess, then the Prince thought better of it, and said. “I say give her a trial. Say…sixty days, and if none come to find her and she has not brought drama to our lands, then she can stay on a long term basis.”
It seemed fair to him.
“It seems the young girl has not done much hard work in her young life. But she is very strong in will and mind. Yes…perhaps a trial period. And you, my son, shall be her teacher.”
Arianna was captivated by Tempest. The girl’s mannerisms and demeanor spoke of great intelligence and breeding. Mayhaps she could curb her son’s more wild tendencies.
“Yes…teach her our ways. She will come work here at the castle under your command.” she smiled, pleased with her own decision.
Did he hear that right? He..the Crown Prince, the Regent heir and all that fancy royal stuff was going to be this wayward girl’s teacher? Again…that look, which quickly vanished when he realized he was in front of the entire court.
“Yes…teach her our ways. She will come work here at the castle under your command.”
The Prince could only come up with the answer, but. She had made up her mind, smiling happily with herself for it too. Great. he was going to be shackled to this girl, WHILE his mother was still out to get him hitched to the next contestant on the New Bride is right game.
“….is sixty days enough time to teach her..our ways. Took me a good..how old am I now?”
Again, the artful dodger was coming into view. Fight as he may, there was no way he was going to beat the Queen this time. Least he didn’t have a mouth full of waffles.
“Very well.” The Prince finally relented and gave the girl a half smile. He really was spoilt at times. But in the end, he always agreed.
“I grant you Sanctuary. You will come to work here at the castle. My son will teach you our ways and you would do well to obey. You would be wise to never raise a hand against us in anger or your life will be forfeit. Is that understood?” she announced. Tempest curtsied once more.
“I understand, I thank you for your regard, Your Majesty, Your Highness.” Tempest stated.
“May I have your name?” Arianna wondered. Tempest wondered if she should give a false name, but in the end decided against it as her honor would not allow her to.
“I am called…Tempest, Your Majesty.”
“Interesting name, for an interesting young woman. I bid you welcome, Lady Tempest.” Arianna stated. She looked at Sirus. “Please see to it she is settled in your wing of the castle with the rest of your servants. And please…see if you can locate your sister.” Arianna announced, getting to her feet. The court bowed as she swept from the room.
Leiana gave Tempest a smile as she too left to return to her cottage. Soon the throne room was empty of all but Tempest and Sirus. She eyed him warily.
“You don’t like this, do you?” she announced, keenly aware of his thoughts.
It was almost like he wasn’t even there. Being that he was getting clearly annoyed by this situation, he started to fidget and pick at his sash, as the Queen got better acquainted and did the usual introductions.
The girl’s name was Tempest. That was it. But the Queen called her Lady Tempest, and the Prince rolled his eyes. She could be some out back water pig farmer’s daughter where cousins all intermarry and they have children with webbed feet.
Finally, when the pleasantries were done, the Queen finally addressed Sirus.
“Please see to it she is settled in your wing of the castle with the rest of your servants. And please…see if you can locate your sister.”
Sirus had no idea where his sister was. He thought for a moment about having a fox hunt and have them chase his sister instead, but then he blinked to find his mother had just swanned out of the room, and left him alone with …Tempest.
The girl eyed him warily….and he did the same thing back.
“You don’t like this, do you?”
The Prince rose up out of his throne and adjusted his jacket, walking down the two steps and striding up to the young Lady. He thought for a moment, and then said simply.
“No…I don’t.” Least he was honest. Pursing his lips, he folded his arms, and tapped his foot. “You have no idea…what it is like, to have your Mother on your case, telling you to do this and to do that. All for the crown. What would the people think if the Prince didn’t sire an heir. Apparently, that is all I am good for. Getting some princess up the duff, and handing over the next poor sod that is to rule this…this….Kingdom.”
He snorted and then lowered his arms.
“You wouldn’t understand.” He started for the door, and then looked back at her and said. “Come on, might as well get a grip on this teaching thing. No offence, I am sure you are a really nice girl, but I really got out of bed on the wrong side today.”