*Disclaimer: Twilight, and all likeness belong to Stephenie Meyer. It's not mine. :'(
WARNING: This story contains physical violence. Please read with caution if anything of that nature bothers you. For the chapters that contain questionable material, I will also restate this warning.
Summary: "'We are supposed to be together, Edward. I can feel it.' But how could that be true? I was nothing but a servant..." Edward has grown up an orphan, but Princess Isabella thinks there is more to him than meets the eye.
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Chapter 1 – Secrets
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I had been locked in my room. Again. This time, I didn't even know what I had done. I curled myself into a ball as I sat on the small cot in the corner of my tiny room, trying to be as small as possible. I knew what would happen if the Mistress heard me crying once more.
When I first learned that I would be taken to work at the Forcelle Palace, Alquavan, you could say that I was excited. Happy even. I had seen the outside of it on one of our trips to the market. It was grand with high stonewalls and beautiful gardens; it looked like a wonderful place to live. Little did I know of what it would actually be…
"Hey!" a voice whispered.
I froze. Someone was in my room.
"What is the matter?"
I looked up from where I had buried my head in my dingy pillow into two brown eyes that I had never seen this close before.
"Are you all right?" I didn't answer. My heart was suddenly pounding in my chest. What was she doing in here? How did she get in, when the door was locked from the outside? She seemed to be waiting for me to say something, but I knew that would be disobedient, since I was never allowed to talk to any of them, so I just nodded, wiping the tears from my face. She looked at me for a while before glancing around my room.
It is very small, smaller than the other servants' quarters are, dim and dirty as well because I was a kid and an orphan, so of course I didn't deserve any better. I didn't get any nice things since coming here from the workhouse. Not that I had any nice things there, either. I had nothing when they found me. I looked up and realized she was staring at me. She looked sad when she spoke again, "Is this cot your only furnishings? Where are your toys and clothes and things?"
I still didn't speak, I was afraid of what would happen, but this time she was getting an angry look on her face.
"Why don't you say something? Can't you speak?"
Again, I nodded.
"Why won't you answer me properly, then?"
I saw that she was getting madder, and I didn't want her to get angry and tell the Mistress, so I whispered, "I'm not allowed."
She chewed on her bottom lip for a second. Then her eyes sparkled. "Well, we can keep it a secret! Our very own secret!" She giggled. "What's your name?"
I smiled. Her laugh always sounded so pretty. Though, I had never heard it this closely before. "Edward."
She walked over to my bed and took my hand. "Come on, Edward! Let's go to my room!"
I didn't understand what she was saying, but since I was curious, I let her lead me to the wall next to my bed. She started to push on the bottom part of it, and suddenly a cluster of stones moved back, like a door! "Follow me!" She whispered, grabbing my hand again. And I did.
It was really cold and dark here in the wall, until she lit a small candle. It must have been how she saw to get to my room in the first place. As we walked, I noticed that there were different paths that we passed, as if we were in a maze, trying to find the way to the end. I got a little scared that we wouldn't find our way out again, but she seemed to know where she was going, and a few seconds later we came to a dead end with a small handle on it. She pulled on it and suddenly there was light and warmth coming through another opening, like in my room.
She blew out the candle, leaving it in the wall before pulling us inside her room and closing the door. It was so bright! And colorful! At first, my eyes hurt from all the colors. I looked around and couldn't believe what I saw.
Right next to where the secret door was in the corner of the room, there was a gigantic bed that was covered in thick, gold and deep blue-colored blankets and pillows, with a canopy that had billowing curtains in the gold color. The walls were a light blue, like the mid-day sky and the floors a warm brown wood. There were two large windows on the right, far wall, with a window seat in between them. A stone fireplace was on the opposite side of the bed, where two tall, wing-backed chairs and a table faced the hearth. A small bowl of water and a cloth sat just outside the fireside. Beyond that on the opposite wall was a grand shelf with many books lining its levels. To the right of the secret door stood a large vanity with a looking glass, wardrobe and dressing screen. Though all this was magnificent, it was the far corner that captured my attention. There was a small structure held up by several pieces of furniture, which were covered with many rich linens and other fabrics to create what looked like a kind of marquee or tent. To the left, closest to the real door to her room was a doll house and several toys and dolls, but to the right, a small upright pianoforte stood next to the far window, flooded with moonlight. I had always wanted to learn, though I couldn't understand why I was so drawn to the instrument when I knew that I would never play one.
I must have been dreaming, because I couldn't really be here… Could I? She ran across the room over to the wall by the real door to her room and switched off the lights, making the moonlight our only source to see by.
She pulled me over to the marquee of linens and crawled inside. I crawled in after her and watched as she lit a tiny lamp that brightened the small space. There were more big, soft linens and furs and pillows that were spread out below us. Suddenly, I realized how dirty I was, but she didn't seem to care.
She told me to sit down. I shook my head. She started to get that mad look on her face again and I remembered I didn't want to make her mad, so I sat as carefully as I could, touching as little as possible.
"Why were you crying, Edward?"
I pressed my lips together, wondering if I should tell her, but I didn't want to see her angry face again, so I answered, "I got in trouble."
"Is that why your back is red?"
I didn't realize she had seen my punishment. "Yes, Princess."
"Don't call me Princess. We're friends now," she said confidently, though I didn't see how we were. "Just call me Bella."
"Okay, …B-bella." It sounded so strange.
She smiled then. "Wait here. I'll be right back."
She crawled out of the tent and moved to the hearth where she retrieved a bowl and some cloth before coming back to where I was. "Lie down."
I laid down on my stomach - it hurt too much on my back – and turned to watch what she was going to do. She lifted my shirt up then, and began cleaning the blood off my back. I winced a few times, but she tried to distract me. "How old are you, Edward?"
"Wow! You're almost in the double numbers age! I'm only seven. Mother says I act much older though…" She kept talking and I realized that the Prin-er, uh, Bella, was really nice. And funny. She talked about playing jokes on her tutors, and how she would make faces at the men her father, King Charles, would meet with.
"Did you ever get in trouble?" I asked.
"Well, my maid, Mrs. Stanley, says that I should not do those things, but I don't listen to her. She doesn't even care about me." Then she giggled, "You should see her face when my father reprimands her! She turns purple! But she can't yell at me, cause then she wouldn't be able to stay at the palace, so she just talks to me about being a good girl, and says that I have to act like a lady, whatever that means." She laughed again, and I did, too. Her smile was really nice. I liked it.
"All right." She announced once she was finished with my mending. "All better! Now, it is time for bed," she said sternly. After she put the bowl and cloth back on the hearth, she crawled next to me, lying on her stomach facing me, and carefully wrapped one of her arms around my shoulders. "Goodnight Edward. I'm glad we're friends." She smiled then, and closed her eyes.
I didn't understand what was going on, but for some reason, I knew that I wanted to be her friend. But how could I when I wasn't supposed to even speak to her? Looking at what I knew from tonight, I guessed that I wouldn't have a choice about it. And I was glad.