( WARNING: hottyjessy will thoroughly disapprove contains kitchen hottyjessy, you are forewarned. Everybody else read on… also there is a bit of violence, dw nothing goring but a bit scary...)

Never presume you can dictate anybody but yourself…


Over the next few days a darkness seemed to consume Stephanie's mind and although Christian was near she could feel the conflict growing ever closer. She hardly saw Christian and although she was sure she had done nothing to offend him she was quiet distraught at being left alone in her chambers.

After four days she felt horrible, not being able to go outside and being a hermit crab she finally cracked and at about four in the morning, picked the lock, and walked down to the gardens in the early morning light.

She sat down on the ground next to a stone bench, on the grass next to the flowerbeds. Suddenly on a strange whim, she raked her hands through the dirt.

"What in gods name are you doing?"

Looking behind her she saw Peter standing behind her, anger looming across his handsome features.

"I'm so sorry, I just couldn't stay cooped up in that room any longer."

"No I don't mean going outside. Who would think to be out here this early, Why are you on the ground? You have MUD on you." He stated incredulously.

"Mud never hurt anybody."

"It relates you to a common peasant."

"And what is wrong with peasants, they are what your kingdom is comprised of. Have you even ever spoken to one."

"But why would I wish to communicate with peasants?"

"You are a monarch! How could you not? What has happened to you? Now you wont even look at someone of a lower class or get dirty, you are not the same."

"I am a prince, I can do what I want. I am allowed to change."

"But look how you turned out! Take this." She picked up a handful of dirt and threw it at his face, stood up and walked huffily off.

"Come back here this instant!" he yelled after her. She only picked up her pace in response, he quickly walked after her, "Do not dare to disobey me! I am the prince." He started to run after her as she entered the entrance hall, she ran and the game began. Sprinting down corridors, he was gaining and she slowly losing speed. Panting she looked behind her and he was no more than a foot behind her. She suddenly dodged into a different corridor. The hall of paintings. She stopped and hid behind the door, carefully not breathing. A second later her entered, slamming the door, and she retracing her steps walked back out the door, he realized what she had done a second too early for her and grabbed her arm.

"How dare you." His eyes glinted as he pushed her against the wall.

"This isn't funny anymore Peter." She was afraid to breath and could not look him in the eye. His arm snaked its way around her petite waist.

"My dearest, it wasn't funny to begin with, you are mine."

"I beg to differ."

"You are my property now. You shall do as I wish from now on." Her knees gave way from beneath her and she leant her full weight onto his arm and started to shake slightly.

"Look at me." She shook her head slightly, "LOOK AT ME!" his arm that was grasping her arm let go, slapped her lightly across the face.

"Never." Her defiant streak coming through, she raised her chin and looked above his head. She breathed in deeply.

"You insolent little…." His voice was cut off by another deep masculine one from behind them.

"Prince Peter Jacob, I think that I quite enough." A hand was placed upon Peters shoulder and he instantly dropped her, she slid to the ground. The mans hard voiced softened as he knelt beside her shaking form, "Are you alright?"

"Perfect." Her eyes glazed over as she put her head in her hands and began to shake more violently.

"We must get you out of here. Would you mind going to my parlor or yours?" his deep voice tenderly asked, his almost black eyes looked into her far away ones.

She was still in shock from what had almost happened, and nodded distantly, he was unsure of whether she had heard him or not. But regardless, pulled her up and, carefully avoiding her waist where Peter had held her, led her into her chambers and into a chair. She soon had a cup of tea in her hand but her eyes had a far away glaze still too them.

"Who are you?" he asked quietly from next to her.

"No one of consequence." She seemed to come out of her daze, looking at him she sighed. "Who are you?"

"Just a man wanting to help a lady."

"Do you have a name?"

"Yes, why don't you?"

"Of course I do, just tell me your name, then maybe I will consider telling you mine."

"Viscount Ralph Louis Halston, of the Halston house. Now your turn."

"Technically I am not supposed to tell anyone my name, so I shall only give you my first name."

"So…?"

"Stephanie."

"I always said if I had a girl child I would name her Stephanie."

"Glad to know you approve."

"Of course my lady Stephanie. Stephanie, Steph'nie, Stephie, Steph…" he had black hair to match his eyes and it came out of his low ponytail as he shook his head laughing. She laughed back and soon they were laughing so out of control that the servants looked on, shaking their heads.

"so are you friends with the prince?"

"Peter and my relationship is a bit odd right now."

"So I can tell."

"My whole life is pretty messed up right now."

"Then I will help you straighten it out! Right now!" he looked at her enthusiastically, retying his hair, with its purple ribbon.

"Right now?"

"Yes! Lets start now, straighten up all the quarrels you've had in the past. Renovate your life! We shall be sure to Rebuild your burnt bridges, so to speak."

"I can think of many people I've quarreled with. Most of whom are either far too hard to get to or far too important to confront. And I like my bridges burnt, that way the other cannot cross it while my back is turned."

"Yes but I still believe you should build, not destroy. Let us start then, how about everybody dislikes and is of no particular station, Lady Alexis Daryl of Bathroom."

"I think you mean Kitchen." She stated skeptically.

"Hardly." He winked. And grabbed her hand, pulling her towards lady Alexis's quarters.

"Now?"

"There is no time like the present."

"Touché."

"I have one question before I go inside. Purple is illegal, unless you have permission to wear it. Why purple?"

"I never said I wasn't one speaking terms with the royal family, the Queen and I are friendly and she requests I wear at least one thing purple each day."

"Intersing.." They were rightoutside her quarters.

"I am right here behind the door alright? Good. And one more thing, there is a quote you should be aware of, before you go inside, it is very famous and by a man named Virgil. 'Fortune favors the brave'." Smiling even wider he opened the door for her, pushed her in and the door clunked shut behind her.

"I dislike you immensely." Alexis spoke as soon as Stephanie walked inside. Lady Alexis was sitting at a desk.

"Pray, tell me why, if I may be so bold as to inquire?" Steph spoke in a cocky, confident manner.

"You bewitch all men that are around you." She simply said, cleaning under her nails.

"Hardly." I scoffed back.

"Dare you speak so to me!" she said, becoming flustered.

"And have you any power of me?" Stephanie simply shrugged coolly.

"Of course I do!" Standing suddenly, the chair falling from behind Alexis's chubby, well built body she was becoming more ill at ease.

"That was a rhetorical question. You don't." she raised her eyebrows and shoulders simultaneously.

"I am favored by the Queen. I could squash you like a bug."

"Go ahead."

"I will! And I shall both princes running after me."

Stephanie bowed mockingly, "Be my guest." She smiled and left out of a side door.

She smiled and under her breath added And so the bridges burn. Trumpets blared loudly from somewhere outside, resounding off the walls of the stone castle. Walking to a window she glanced outside to see who was arriving, it was almost ten o'clock. Familiar colors met her eyes and she rushed downstairs where she would hopefully see her brother for the first time in weeks.

Rushing forward towards the huge carriage she stopped at one side of the long red carpet, her problems ebbing away at the thought of William. The carriage door opened.

Her smile fell and her blood ran cold, the adrenaline from telling Alexis off was seeping from her veins at who stepped out of the carriage.

Father.


Thankyou to everybody! my schools out for ever so im extatic. this chapter is rather cynical but i guess its better than nothing, bear with me, hope shall glimmer in the next few chaps. i wrote this in one night so there may be a few errors i oversaw.

Thanks to my reviewers! its easier for me to thank you in my stories than reply to each individually if you would like me to thank you again in a personal reply i shall but i truely hope this is good enough.

WildPixieChild- thanks! your soo sweet

Masked Dragonfly 0926- well now its closer to merry christmas! thanks and did i mention ADD ME ON HOTMAIL awesome cool. thnx ect ect

Lady Vampyre-this took ages, well i think it did neway, i mean to update, did i mention that... thanks for the review!

l'il bling bling