A.N.- Important, please read.
First of all, this is a work in progress (WIP) so it means that I'm writing this as I go, so sometimes up-dates may be a bit slow. But rest assured I have a full plot and storyline, so this isn't going to be some aimless story that never gets finished, it will.
Second, I like Monroe and Nick as a pairing, but I haven't decided if I should do them as a potential couple or as buddies in this. Therefore, I'll let you guys decide. Monroe won't even appear until the third chapter, so let me know what you would like anytime, and I'll go with whatever people want the most.
Also I have no beta (not for want of asking) so if anyone reading this is a beta and interested in beta-ing this, please let me know. My weaknesses are grammar and sentence structure.
This is my first Grimm fic, I hope it's in character and I hope you enjoy it.
"You summoned me, Your Majesty?"
King Renard, the young and daring stand-in for the true king of the land, turned away from staring out his castle window to see a handsome yet dangerous woman dressed in furs and tight leather standing before him.
"My dear Juliet," he said without feeling, "I have a job for you."
"What would you have me hunt?" she asked, her red hair shining like wildfire lighting up the gloomy, dark room they stood in.
"I want you to take the Prince out into the forests. Once concealed from sight, you are to kill him." He spoke bluntly on purpose, watching the red-head carefully for a reaction, but she gave none. Satisfied that his huntress was as remorseless as ever, he continued, "I want you to cut out his heart and to return it to me as evidence of his demise. You shall be paid handsomely for this job."
'I should hope so,' she thought to herself, 'this is an act of treason that he wants me to carry out, after all.'
However she wisely kept her thoughts to herself and bowed before exiting the King's chamber.
King Renard was a widower, and ruled over the wealthy seaside province of Portland. He had never entertained any hopes of becoming the king after his brother, the old king, had a son called Nick. But, when Nick had only been ten years old Nick's father and mother had both been killed, and Renard, as Nick's uncle, took over reigning the kingdom while Nick's aunt on his mother's side raised the child as her own.
Renard was supposed to give up the throne as soon as Nick was old enough to rule alone. That day was fast approaching, Nick was already a young man who lived away from his aunt, and Renard assumed that though the man had made no play for the kingship, that he would want it back soon.
Things were changing, and Renard recognised that he had the change with them. There was no way that Nick could rule; he was still too young and too wide-eyed and innocent. He wouldn't be able to handle the vicious neighbouring kingdoms who wanted the wealthy sea-side kingdom for their own nefarious reasons. Nick's parents had been much stronger than their son was now, and even they hadn't survived. Really, it was a kindness that Renard would have Nick killed painlessly and quickly than let him rule and fail and surrendering the kingdom to their enemies.
"I don't see why I need a protector," complained Nick, looking over his shoulder at the stalwart Huntress.
"The woods are dangerous my lord," she answered vaguely.
Nick, a handsome young prince of nineteen, pouted slightly. "I'm a grown man," he complained, "and I've been trained in swordplay since I was seven years old. I'm sure I can take a walk in the woods alone. It's ridiculous."
Juliette fixed him with a cold look, "you have no real experience. You've never been in battle and you've never been in a fight. Besides, that pretty little sword on your side is more for show than anything; it would be no god against a hoard of thieves, or a bear, or even a wolf. Trust me, you are safe with me."
Nick smiled slightly before continuing to walk, "you remind me of my aunt."
"I should hope so," Juliette returned his smile, "she was a great warrior. They still sing songs of her in the taverns, and they probably will till the end of time."
"It's not my fault that the Kingdom has been at peace. I might forge a great reputation for myself if war happened, not that I'm wishing for trouble," Nick added quickly, "I don't want war or anything like that."
"You don't speak much like a king."
"Really? Well, no I guess I don't. I'll do my duty of course, and take over whenever my uncle cannot continue, but I'm happy for him to rule for now..."
As Nick had been grumbling on, Juliette checked the surroundings. They were completely covered by the thick oaks of the royal forest and they were far away from the castle and anyone who worked there; no one would hear screams or shouts or the scuffles of a fight.
"Some worry that war will return to our land," she said cryptically, reaching slyly to her hidden dagger. "Some believe that the Royal Houses are plotting against one another; that there are even betrayals within people's own home among their own kinsmen."
Nick stopped walking, "what do you mean?"
"I mean to say that you seem like a good man who may have been a good, if unwilling, king, and so I am sorry," Nick whirled round to see Juliette holding the dagger, "and trust me," she continued, "I am seldom sorry for anything, especially when it's just part of my job."
Before Nick could even pull out his sword, she had fallen upon him, her dagger raised high above his heart. Nick froze when he saw the cold steel blade glint against the light of a white-hot sun. But then, something inside of him screamed at him to move, and with a hidden well of strength he never realised he had, Nick beat Juliette around the head, throwing her off him. Then he climbed on to her, wrestling her the entire time for the dagger. It stayed safely in her iron grip, but he managed to push both her hands down above her head. He knelt over her, his knees either side of her body.
"Maybe there is a bit of your aunt in you," she said with a hint of resentful admiration.
"Why have you done this?" he demanded, all humour gone, "who set you on me?"
"You already know," she sneered, "I made it clear enough. Not to mention that you know very well who my employer is. Your uncle ordered me to kill you. You are a threat to him."
"How am I a threat?" asked Nick genuinely puzzled, "he's been like a father to me. I thought...he cares for me...he's protected me before. What you say makes no sense!"
Nick didn't want to believe her, but he knew she was telling the truth. Juliette had been the Renard's Royal Huntress and most loyal servant as soon as he had first arrived in the castle all those years ago to take over the role of king. Juliette had only been a teenager then, only a few years older than Nick had been, but she was already highly respected. In Nick's mind it made no sense for his uncle to order an assassination attempt on him, but it made even less sense for Juliette to lie about her esteemed employer.
She shrugged the best she could being covered by Nick. "I don't ask my King questions, I just obey him."
"Well not this time." Nick looked at her closely. "I know you people. Your tribe, the Hunters of Beasts, you believe in honour and battle only. Whoever bests you in battle is your superior, am I right? And if I let you live, you owe me."
"Essentially," she grimaced, "you did beat me, though I think it was dumb luck more than anything else, your majesty. So are you going to try to kill me?" She smirked at her last comment.
"I'm going to let you go."
He got off her, watching her as warily as one would watch a loose lioness.
She got to her feet and put her dagger away.
"You will have to run," she said, "he'll send more after you, realising that his huntress has failed him. He'll send worse than me, he'll send Reapers."
"Lie, say that you killed me. That is an order; that is the price you must pay for me letting you go with your life."
"I doubt you could have killed me," she retorted, smirking slightly and putting her hand on one hip, "you are too clumsy with that sword boy. However I shall do as you ask. From then on, I owe you nothing."
She looked behind him to the deep, dark forest that stretched for miles and was full of wild and strange creatures.
"Good luck out there. I don't think you'll survive more than a week little Prince."
Nick glowered at her, but wisely chose to stay silent.
Without a parting comment, h turned and walked into the forest, with no idea of where he would go, how he would survive, or why his life had changed so much within a few minutes.