Chapter One: The New Girl In Town
Odette stared out her window. It had been days since she last saw Derek, always out with the knights, dealing with public affairs. She knew he meant well, and promised to spend more time with her, but was still waiting for life to become more exciting, and more … well more how she thought it would be being married. That is when she heard a knock on the palace door interrupting her thoughts about her so called boring life.
Derek was out in the forest, with his knights searching for the thieves that seemed to be all too often robbing the kingdom. However they were allusive, and only once or twice had they actually caught one. Their band must be dwindling in numbers now. He heard a snap in the nearby woods that made his head turn, as his horse's ears perked up. He left Bromley to investigate, and saw a girl with a hood around her face. She pulled it down and said to him. "You must be Prince Derek."
He looked at the girl. She was about Odette's age, maybe in her early twenties, had long black hair that was tucked into her cape, and a crimson red dress underneath the brown woolen cape. Her eyes were big, with dark irises, and her lips a similar crimson. Beside her was a black cat that purred at her feet.
"You know me?"
"I do not know you my Prince, but I do know of you. I am what you might call a traveler. I lost my steed back in the woods when a pack of wolves scared him off. Call it luck that they went after the horse and not me, but I really am in quite desperate need of assistance."
"Hey Derek what are you doing over there?" Bromley was on his horse galloping over to him, spotting the lady in front of him. "Ah, rescuing fair maidens I see." He said laughing nudging him in the shoulder.
"More than you could ever do." Said Rodgers, who was sitting on the back of a white steed.
"What are you doing here Rogers?" Derek asked.
"The robbers were back while you left. It seems they struck while you were away sire."
"So they've alluded us again?"
"You seem busy, I better be on my way." The woman said turning to leave.
"Wait, where are you going?"
"To the closest neighboring kingdom I suppose. My real home is many kingdoms away."
"That would make it Prince Derek's kingdom." Bromley pointed out. "We'll see you there."
"Well you cant leave a fair maiden in the middle of thief infested woods now can we?" Rogers said giving Bromley an
"Oh well…oh…of course not."
"Especially if there are really wolves about." Derek said. "Here, we will give you a ride to our kingdom."
"If you are sure it is no burden?" She asked.
"Of course not young lady." Rogers said, as Derek helped her to the back of Roger's steed.
She looked expectantly to Derek's steed. She wished she had been placed on the back of his, but no matter, with
some time, it wouldn't be a problem.
Odette went to the palace doors and opened it to see Roger, Derek, Bromley and another maiden at the door.
"Back so soon?" Odette asked teasingly at Derek, raising an eyebrow.
"Of course Odette, with the robbers striking at every moment, I had to have them return." Rogers said.
"Yea plus there were wolves in the forest…not that I couldn't handle them." Bromley said.
"If they were wolf cubs maybe…" Rogers said rolling his eyes.
"And we brought back a guest." Derek said motioning to the woman behind him.
"A guest?" The woman repeated, acting surprised.
"Her name is Lady Veronica …"
"Harttrob." She finished for the prince.
"She left her own kingdom as a traveler."
"A traveler?" Odette looked at the girl. She looked about her age, and she didn't seem very strong or adventurous, but I guess she even was one with a fond heart for adventure, and either was she.
"She lost her steed in the woods by some of those awful wolves." Bromley further explained, trying to act noble again.
"Well we will get you a room prepared then, the wolves must have been frightening?" Odette asked.
"They were. I've been nothing but lucky. And even more so now that I am residing in the castle of the famed Swan Princess."
"The Swan Princess?" They all asked.
"Yes, haven't you heard? The story of a princess who was bewitched by a sorcerer and ultimately undid the evil man to his doom? The story has been passed down kingdom to kingdom within the last few years. I've traveled through enough to know most lies from the fiction. You're kingdom is well known."
"Well I don't know if I actually defeated Rothbart…" Odette said, looking hard.
"Well of course not, the strong Prince in the story did that. But without your bravery you'd probably still be a little swan and he'd be at large." Veronica said shrugging. Derek looked slightly flattered by the words brave prince, but went to Odette's side.
"She was brave." He said embracing Odette with his right arm. Odette smiled at him warmly.
"Follow me Madam; I'll bring you to your room." Roger said.
She followed the old man to a room on the second floor of the castle. She passed by an older lady, small and hunched over who stared at her for just a moment too long. Eventually they got to the room, which contained a large bed, a writing desk, a small balcony and an armoire. "Perfect." She thought as she sat herself down on the bed.
"Dinner will be later on, I'll get someone to bring you down."
"Thank you." She said shortly before closing the door. Good, she had her own privacy now. She looked inside her cape and pulled out a pile of papers. Now she could finish writing.