Thank you for your support. This chapter didn't come easy but at the same time I enjoyed it very much. I hope you do too :)
So here's the big event
It had been beautiful, gentle, loving everything I ever imagined my first kiss to be until he took it all back. Now all that was left was burning embarrassment. How could I ever face him again? I washed myself quickly and went to bed. I could admit that it was stupid to think Edward would really want to kiss me but that little flicker of hope was still alight. Despite of the circumstances it was my most restful night in my new life so far.
The next day the whole castle seemed to be busy. They said it was to be the biggest feast the King Carlisle ever held. Guests were coming from all over. I heard some girls gossiping about the handsome gentleman that were supposed to come. I could only think about the reason they were coming. They were celebrating my father's death. It was when I was bringing in water from the well that the realization hit me and I ducked into an empty room to compose myself.
As I sat there in a corner I cried for my old life and for my father. It was sad that I seemed to be the only one to keep him in good memory.
Suddenly the door opened and a few women entered. They wore fine dresses and their hair was pulled up neatly. They didn't see me and I was at a loss for what to do so I just stood and hoped I could make a silent escape.
"… and when he's my husband I won't have a care in the world." One of them said. She was beautiful with blond hair, but her voice was piercing. All of them laughed at a joke I didn't get. I recognized the women as Tanya, Irina and Victoria Denali. It would be a lie to say that we got along well. I used to call them the wicked sisters.
"It's not even a huge sacrifice I mean he is nice to look at." Irina said and when she threw her head back to laugh again she caught sight of me.
"What are you doing here servant?" she sneered. I mumbled an apology and tried to leave the room with my head turned to the floor in hopes they wouldn't recognize me. Yes, because that always works.
"Oh, I didn't recognize it's you Isabella." Victoria spat out my name as if it was venom. "You did change though. With your nose down to the floor instead of high in the air… it suits you."
I knew it was better to say nothing at all. They could really get me in trouble now in my new life. They would never have had the courage to speak to me like that when my father was still alive.
"Oops." Tanya said suddenly and I watched her let her handkerchief tumble to the ground "I'm so clumsy. Isabella would you please pick it up." She said sweetly.
My face burned with humiliation but I obediently bent and picked it up all the time having to hear their laughter. When I handed it to her she snatched it away.
"Pray that you didn't get it dirty, little Isabella." With that the three women left the room.
The encounter distracted me from the feast's purpose because I realized what this could really mean for me. I'd know many of the guests. They were at my home on many occasions. More accurately there were there whenever my father snipped his fingers. I often watched them from afar and when they thought themselves unwatched they often complained about my father. When I was a child I didn't understand why they didn't like my kind father. Now I was scared that their hatred for him would be directed at me.
More and more people arrived at the castle and I was busy working in the kitchen. I was glad my mother taught me how to cook and I could be of help. Otherwise I would have had to do much heavier tasks. The other servants ignored me for the most part. Sometimes someone would bump into me but it was only occasionally so that it was easy to pretend it was accidental. Once I found Lauren in the progress of ruining my sauce, but I could still save it.
It was getting late and at some point a servant I hadn't met before hushed me out of the kitchen along with several others who would help serving dinner. We were given special uniforms to change into just for this occasion. As I checked my reflection in the mirror I tried to brace myself for what lay ahead of me. I would get through this day somehow.
I entered the great hall in line with the others to serve wine. It was beautifully decorated with flowers all around the room. There were three large tables forming a U in the middle the royal family was seated. King Carlisle was flanked by his wife, Queen Esme his oldest son Emmett. Edward sat beside his mother on his other side was Lady Tanya. She was talking animatedly to him and he was turned to her and listened intently.
Serving the wine went better than I would have thought. Nobody paid much attention to the servants and I felt myself relax. I should have known better. I was serving the soup to Edward. He smiled at me and whispered a thanks. When I turned to Tanya she tripped me and sent me – and the soup – to the floor. The hot liquid burned my skin and I could barely contain a cry of pain. I was lucky the soup wasn't that hot anymore. For long moments I sat on the floor frozen and tried to concentrate on the subsiding pain. Suddenly the whole room which had gone silent burst into a sea of laughter.
"You have to be careful, King Carlisle. She might do more damage than good as a servant." Someone yelled.
My face burned with shame.
Suddenly Edward kneeled by my side and brought a hand to my face.
"Are you ok?" he whispered, concern clearly written in his eyes.
I nodded not trusting my voice and gathered myself. Embaressment made it impossible to hold his gaze anylonger. So I hurried out the room accompanied by the ongoing laughter of the people who once sat on a table with me. I quickly ran to the room where I had changed into my uniform and was happy to find some spare ones I could change into.
I took another deep breath before I stepped back out and faced the rest of the evening. Unfortunately I got more attention than before. Nobel Lords and Ladies laughed in my face and insulated me as I walked by. Some of these people I had believed to be genuine friends. I guess now I knew what they really thought of me.
I came to the table were Lord James sat at. He had Lady Victoria on his lap. I blushed at their inappropriate closeness. With a flick of his hand he waved me over.
"You should have seen how he whimpered and begged." James said as I came nearer.
"Please don't kill my little girl. Please don't kill my Isabella." He said with a mockingly high voice and turned to look straight at me. The table erupted in laughter.
"More wine." James shouted "My throat is all dry after all the stories I told about my recent victories."
My hand shook and I forced my tears back as I poured wine to my father's murderer. Lady Victoria giggled into James' ear.
"Look at the pathetic little girl, too dumb to poor wine without spilling half."
I forced myself not to just run out of the room. Instead I slowly made my way to the big door that let to the gardens hoping nobody saw me. I pressed my back against the castle wall and let my tears run freely. How could I have thought I'd get through this night?
Memories flooded my mind. I saw my father playing hide and seek with me. I saw his happy smile when I gave him a picture I had drawn of the two of us. I saw him covered in blood. Where did it all go so wrong?
Suddenly I heard someone's footsteps coming nearer. I looked up and straight into James' eyes. He stopped when he stood so close to me that our chests nearly touched. I pressed my back into the wall but was trapped. He lifted his hand and tucked a strand of my hair back behind my ears.
"I love seeing your tears." He whispered his tone low as if he were my lover. "I love seeing your desperation." His hand dropped again and he let it rest on my waist. From there it travelled back up and rested just under my breasts. I was suddenly cold. Surely he couldn't want to do that.
He cupped my breast and lowered his mouth to my neck. "My sweet wife Elena should be here instead of you. She should be still alive and she would be if it weren't for you and your rotten family." He bit my neck and groped me more roughly than before.
I wanted to scream but my mind went back to the room full of people who hated me, who had laughed at me. Unbidden the vision of a crowd out here in the gardens laughing and pointing their fingers penetrated my mind and let the scream die on my tongue.
I tried to shove him off me but it was no use. He was just too strong for me so I couldn't do anything but hope he would come to his senses. James continued to kiss me. From time to time he whispered his dead wife's name. One of his hands made its way between my legs. I whimpered but he didn't falter. I closed my eyes and willed my mind to go blank.
"JAMES. Get away from her right now!" The voice that saved me was thick with authority and left no room for negotiations. Though James seemed to be too lost in his mind and didn't stop exploring my body.
Suddenly he was grabbed from behind and pushed away from me. I slid down the wall and hugged my legs. Vaguely I heard angry voices arguing but I couldn't process what they were saying. I just wished I could finally wake up from this nightmare that was my life.
Soooooooo? What do you think?