BONUS CHAPTER! I did not expect to have this chapter out this soon, but I wanted to get at least a few more in before I head back to school. In case you missed the announcement before...I have started an instagram page for my fanfiction account! It will have sneak peeks and updates on future chapters and stories! So follow me at fanfiction_elking7541 if you so desire! I hope you're ready for this next chapter! Enjoy chapter 14 and I'll see you at the bottom of the page :)
Oh...one more thing. The gown that Charlotte describes in this chapter looks like the one from Season 3 in Episode 5. It's the one Mary is wearing when her and Francis go swimming in the lake. Just to help you imagine it better! On with the story!
Francis and I had been spending quite a bit of time together since I took up a love for archery. Most women of the court whispered to one another about my new hobby. I'm sure it must have appeared inappropriate for a young princess, but I could not give them an ounce of care. I grew up splashing in mud puddles and playing in dirt along the water's edge. My upbringing was not that of the princess that I am supposed to be. I was slowly learning as I grew more accustomed to the ways of royalty, but I still had a good ways to go.
"I think I am finally getting the hang of this, Francis." I said as I shot another arrow towards the target.
"I am very impressed with your perseverance. You have become quite skilled." He complimented. It was then that, in my peripheral vision, I saw Abigail running towards us with an eager look on her face.
"Pardon me your majesties, I was wondering if I may borrow the princess for a moment. I have some birthday planning to discuss." She said as she slowly curtsied to the both of us.
"May I be excused?" I asked as I looked to Francis.
"You may, darling. I have some matters to attend to as well. I shall you at dinner this evening." Abigail quickly grasped my hand as she pulled me towards the gardens. As we ran it reminded me of my days as a young child when Abigail and I would race each other to a certain point in the woods. Life is much simpler when you are a child, you are ignorant and naive to the real problems of the world, and that is something I could not understand until now.
We sat and talked for what seem like hours. Abigail had a whole list of things that needed my approval. Everything from the flowers to the food to the music and to the dancing were my decision. I had never had so much weight on my shoulders at one time. I guess I will one day have more responsibilities of heavier importance as the heir to the throne. I could already see from my short time here that my parents handled more than expected.
"How much more?" I asked as Abigail dipped her pen in ink and wrote down a few more notes. I was beginning to exhaust myself.
"There is one last thing we must decide. Your gown. Queen Mary has already said you may pick a new gown for this occasion. I just need kind of a basic design or color that you would prefer." She said. While this task may seem easy to most, it was the hardest decision of all. I knew very little of high fashion and one's regal appearance. Even in Abigail's posh lifestyle I had still not known high quality and beauty until now.
"I want it to reflect who I am. I am part peasant and part royalty. I have grown up in both ways. Maybe something with a brown tint to reflect my humble roots, but with a mix of purple to reflect my royal blood. Also a bit of decoration to enhance the gown itself and make it not so plain. I cannot exactly describe it perfectly, but something along those lines." I told her. She scribbled down some notes and made a small sketch on another sheet of paper.
"Maybe something like this?" She said as she passed me her small sketch.
The morning of my birthday I was woken with a large breakfast in bed; special request by my parents, of course. The sun was shining brightly, and a small breeze filled my bed chamber with a calming sensation.
"The Queen Mother wishes to you see your majesty." My page announced through the open door. I nodded to him and bid her to come in the room.
"Ahhh there is my granddaughter! Looking prettier by the day, my dear." Catherine said as she came closer to the bed. She sat down and draped her skirt along the edge of the bedding as to not wrinkle its fine fabric. "For your birthday present I decided to be a bit unconventional. Since you are getting older I am sure your parents will have you married off in no time." Well that was quite blunt. "So to maintain your beauty, I have prepared a set of essential oils and a bit of make up to enhance your features." The page brought in a large wooden trunk with bottles upon bottles of different colored liquids.
"How...thoughtful. Thank you very much." Those were the only words I could stand to muster.
"Well...I must be off. I haven't had my morning drink and there is plenty of new gossip to be heard of." And just like that...she was gone. Catherine's present was the least of my wonders at this moment, though. Would my parents really choose to marry me off this quickly? I had only been at the palace for a few months! I was not prepared for such a commitment.
"Happy birthday my dear Charlotte!" Abigail screamed as she came running into my bedchamber. She jumped on the bed and tackled me with a large hug.
"Thank you! It has already been quite an interesting one to say the least." I said eyeing the wooden box that Catherine had left. Abigail giggled and went to examine the bottles. After I had finished my breakfast, Abigail dressed me and gave me a present of her own. Her gift to me was a hair piece that contained all sorts of precious gems and the finest of silver. "It's beautiful! I shall wear it to the ball tonight." I told her. It was then that we heard the trumpets announce the arrival of a guest, very loudly might I add. Abigail ran to the window and pushed the glass outward to have a better look.
"Charlotte! There is a handsome young man arriving in a carriage at the front of the castle. They have turned the corner and I can no longer see!" I ran over to her and looked out the window.
"Let's try a bed chamber on the front of the castle. We must be able to see from there." Sure enough, Abigail told no lie. A young man, Abigail guessed to be 17 years old, climbed out of an ornately decorated carriage. We pressed our faces to the window to obtain the maximum view. Was Catherine hinting that this could be the man that my parents wanted me to marry? Surely not. Catherine was always filled with the most ridiculous of thoughts. They would never arrange such a thing without telling me.
"The King and Queen require your presence in the throne room your highness." A servant said as she poked her head into the room.
"Of course. Tell them I will be down momentarily." I said as I got down from the window sill and straightened the skirts of my dress.
I took a deep breath before entering in the throne room, my hands firmly folded and placed in front of me. My parents were seated on their thrones, and in front of them, was the young man in his bowed position.
"Lord Addington may we introduce you to our daughter, Princess Charlotte." Francis said as he held out his hand to turn the young man's attention to my entrance. I curtsied to him, getting a closer look at his face. His hair was a dark brown color and styled much like Francis' brother Bash. His eyes were a piercing green, and seemed to make my heart beat faster as they met my own.
"Your highness." He said in return.
"It's a pleasure my lord." I replied.
"Charlotte, this young man is to be a guest of the court. I expect you will make him feel welcome. Why don't you give him a tour of the palace grounds before we prepare for the ball." My mother said with a bright and welcoming smile.
"I look forward to the company." Lord Addington shot me an uneven smile. What was this feeling growing inside of me?
"I appreciate the grand tour your majesty. Especially since it is your birthday, it was kind of you to take time out of your day." He said as we walked down towards the water.
"It is no trouble, Lord Addington. My parents are very busy during the day time, so I have plenty of time to myself." I replied. We remained silent for some of the walk. I could not tell whether he was distracted by the pleasant view, or if he simply had nothing to say.
"Princess, I realize that it must be incredibly strange to associate with those of nobility, especially because of your background. So, to make this slightly less awkward, I insist you call me Rylan. That is my given first name." He said. I was not going to lie that this made me slightly more comfortable.
"I appreciate the thought. You are more than welcome to call me Charlotte." I said. We made small chit chat for some time, I was certain he could tell that I was nervous. The male species was not of my expertise. I had only had one encounter with feelings for a male about a year ago, but that was a story for another time. Our talk did not last long before it was time to get ready for my birthday ball. Of course I was informed that Rylan would be attending as a special guest.
"Don't think you can hide things from me, love. I haven't seen that face in a long time, but I would know it anywhere." Abigail said as she finished enhancing my face and began braiding my hair..
"I do not know what you are talking about." I replied sheepishly.
"Don't give me that. I know you think he is handsome." She said. My face turned rosy pink, and that was not from the make up. As Abigail finished putting my hair into a decorative braid, Mrs. Chatham came in with my completed gown. It was exactly as I had pictured. A beautiful shade of purple with a hint of brown color. There was a gold pattern and trim all over the dress. It was overwhelming how beautiful it really was. I stood in front of the mirror in my completed ensemble, not even fully processing that the beauty in front of me...was me. I looked older, more mature, prettier than I ever had before. Mrs. Chatham put her hands on my shoulders, and Abigail smiled in the background of the mirror.
"Go show these people what a real princess is."
Sooo now you have an introduction to Lord Addington...or Rylan as we know him! There is more to come so stay tuned! Don't forget to follow my instagram page at fanfiction_elking7541 for announcements and updates on future chapters and stories! Remember to R and R and follow/favorite as well!
Queen of Frary: Francis and Charlotte's relationship will be slow and gradual, so trust me when I say that it will get better and more involved! Thank you for another kind review! I am so glad you like this story so much! :)
Well, that is all for tonight! Until next time my dears! :)