The knight comes to her with a request, a wish to be fulfilled. His blonde hair is tucked into a silver helm, and he nobly bows before her, his blue eyes hidden through the guard. The queen is curious, but wary, and she tosses her blonde hair back with a petulant sniff before she listens.
"Come with me," says the knight, his voice steady and calm, but trembling beneath the surface with desire. "Come with me, my queen, and I'll teach you to be free." Reverence drips from his tone, and yet still he is bowed before her, respectful as ever.
The queen fixes her crown. She doesn't know if she quite wants to be free, with the world stretched out before her. It is hers for the taking, after all; she must be mad not to want it. And so, with her head held high and her chin lifted stubbornly, she declares, "Remove this knight from my presence."
The guards, dressed in Prada and designer heels, march importantly to the knight and drag him away. He does not fight, yet his voice is raised into an eerily calm wail as he is thrown outside to the commons:
"We would be great together, my queen. Beautiful and great."
"Jenny?" Nate's eyes are blue as the sea. "I need to ask you something."
Jenny says nothing; she remembers not to fall for Nate's silly words, because they mean nothing. Nate will say things, many things, to get people to believe him, and she doesn't want to be yet another girl to fall into this metaphorical trap. She regards him with a cool, collected gaze, even when her eyes must give away her desperation to be just a hairbreadth closer to him.
Nate moistens his lips; he is nervous, Jenny can see. She inspires nervousness in the great Nathaniel Archibald. She feels as if she must gloat, but words refuse to form in her throat.
"Maybe... we could..." Sweat glistens imperceptibly on his brow; if Jenny had not been looking for it, she would not have seen it. A stretching sensation tugs in her heart, and she swallows down the excitement and forces herself to remain unfazed. "Maybe we could start over, Jenny. From the beginning."
Jenny glances at her minions, who are silent, yet expectant. Their eyes shine, betraying the happiness they feel for her, to finally have her knight at last. But Jenny only blinks casually. She must not fall prey to his lies.
"Rachel?" The short brunette one with hopeful green eyes stands a little taller at the mention of her name. "Show Mr. Archibald the door." Jenny refuses to catch his expression, and she turns away with a cold shoulder.
Rachel, bewildered yet obedient, takes Nate by the arm and slams the door after him. Jenny stands just a bit straighter after that. She has a kingdom to rule, as all know; she can't waste her time with a petty boy.
"One day, my queen. It will only be one day." The knight bows before her once more, all traces of nervousness gone as her calmly stares at her. "The kingdom will still be in tact when we come back."
The queen drums her ringed fingers idly on the throne, her cold eyes bearing down upon him with no hint of warmth. She pauses dramatically and hums a short, sad tune. "And where will we go, little knight?" she asks carefully, a bark of bitter laughter escaping her lips. "Where is this magical place you wish to take me?"
The knight, hopeful now, glances up, breaking posture. The guards gasp at his disrespect, and one lurches forward as if to harm him. The queen waves them off with a breezy toss of her hand.
"Wherever you wish, my queen," says the knight. He slowly removes his helm and blinks up at her with brilliantly blue eyes. "We could go into the mystical meadow, you and I; we could go whenever it pleases you." The knight stands taller, his shoulders level now and his head lifted.
The queen frowns. "There is no such place," she objects, "as a mystical meadow." She has never heard such an absurd thing.
"There is," the knight promises. His eyes shine once more. "Come with me, and I'll show you." With a final twitch of his lips, he adds, "And we would be great together. So great. You only have to come with me." He looks at the guards. "And leave your guards here."
The queen removes her crown at once, placing it delicately on the table beside her. She is no longer a queen now. Without her crown, she is only Jennifer Humphrey in the presence of a handsome knight.
"We will go," says the queen. "For one day."
"Just give me one date," Nate sighs. He is older now; more mature. He sees Jenny as less of a child and more as an adult, and he wants her.
"Just give me one date," he repeats, attempting a smile. "It'll be for one night. And if you don't like it... I'll leave you alone. Promise." His eyes are excited and full of childish thrill, as if Jenny as already agreed to the terms, even though words have yet to leave her lips.
Jenny rolls her eyes subtly, lips curling into a displeased frown. The one thing that has yet to change is her desire to have Nate Archibald; yet, she should not give in to his demands. He, Jenny rationalizes, is a liar and a cheat. He wouldn't ask her on an actual date if he was on gunpoint. Perhaps it was one of Blair's evil plans.
"Oh?" Jenny decides to humor him. Her frown upturns into a malicious grin, and she rolls her shoulders into a shrug. "Where would we go, then?" It was Valentine's Day, she recalled idly, and all the best resturants were booked.
Nate blinks at her. "We don't have to go to a resturant," he objects with a slight hint of a smile. "I only said a date, not a reservation."
Jenny's heart thumps wildly. "Then what do you have in mind?"
"I can cook," Nate offers. His eyes are downcast, sheepish, as if he's almost ashamed of the fact. There is still, Jenny notes, a small smile curving his lips, and despite herself, Jenny wants to smile, too. "I am, in fact, a great cook."
"You're lying," Jenny laughs, covering her mouth immediately with one palm to stop herself. "You haven't cooked a day in your life."
Nate looks up. He seems to have caught her in a trap once more. "Why don't you let me show you?" he asks. He is still smiling, Jenny sees. He's always smiling lately. "If I can't cook for you... we'll stay as friends. How's that?"
Jenny watches her minions, yet still standing their, listening though not saying a word. Their eyes urge her to make a move, to go with her beautiful knight and love him as she's always wanted.
"Rachel, Yasmine, Abigail." The three minions stand at attention, soldiers ready to carry out her bidding. This time, however, Jenny only sends them off with a curt, "You can go."
As they scurry away, Jenny turns to Nate. He is smiling, still, and his blue eyes are wide as lakes, apprehensive and anticipating her answer.
"If you can cook," Jenny says, "I'd like to see it for myself."