Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 2, 2014 22:05:57 GMT -6
Hannah silently approached from behind, kneeling behind the girl and setting the clothes to the side. She leaned her head next to Jocelyn's ear and whispered. "You could start by being a little less tense." Her hands slipped onto her shoulders, massaging them gently for a while before moving to the new Princess' hair.
"Do you not like Alexander?" The maid asked, pulling Jocelyn's hair into a loose braid to keep it clean now that it had been washed. "Most girls dream of being a princess. Didn't you when you were younger?"
Post by Sansa Stark on Jul 2, 2014 22:17:56 GMT -6
Less tense? It was worth a try. Jocelyn jumped, not expecting the hands on her shoulders in the slightest, but knowing it was Hannah helped to ease the fears bubbling in her stomach.
"He is very handsome," Jocelyn admitted, "but...it's so hard to explain. Only another slave would understand. Growing up, I only ever dreamed of having enough food to eat and praying I didn't end up in the Pleasure District..."
Her brother had not been so lucky. She hadn't even gotten to see her reunited family for Peace Week before she was dragged before king, queen and prince.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 2, 2014 22:40:18 GMT -6
"I don't understand, you're right." Hannah waved her fingers along Jocelyn's soft hair, trying to relax the young girl. She wasn't very old, but the Prince was experienced in matters of love and war, and their differences were sure to set them worlds apart. "Tell that to Alexander."
If the girl was confused, it didn't surprise Hannah. The Prince wanted to know everything he could about the different castes, because he'd been born a royal, and he would never know what it was like to starve.
"He tries very hard to understand the lower castes you know. Make him understand, you can help him change the world." She wasn't exaggerating. "I'm on your side, I want to see you happy right at the top, okay?"
Post by Sansa Stark on Jul 2, 2014 22:56:26 GMT -6
She sighed. Jocelyn hoped this naive woman wasn't exaggerating in her offer for assistance, or in her praise for the stranger prince. Marrying a monster would drive her right off the edge of the castle walls, to be sure. She couldn't handle that. Not with her family on the line.
"Thank you, Hannah. For your words." The slave hugged her knees close. "Uhm. I think I'd like to get out now."
She looked nervously over to the blue piece of the clothing on the counter, unsure of what it was, though she was still worried that everything around her was some sort of trick. A prank. A lie. The king was known for such displays of power, after all. Jocelyn could only hope she hadn't become the next victim.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 2, 2014 23:18:24 GMT -6
"Alright." Hannah said weakly, her feet lightly tapping against the floor as she fetched a fresh towel off the rack. It was steaming hot, having been prepared over a heater for the very purpose of keeping it warm.
The maid held it out for Jocelyn. As a common maid, she'd bathed other people before. A naked body didn't bother her, man or woman. She held the towel at an angle that was still polite, her eyes blocked off from seeing anything too private.
"You may not love him, but he'll treat you and your family with kindness. I promise." Hannah nodded her head, the towel still in front of her.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 2, 2014 23:40:31 GMT -6
"Of course." Hannah assured her. Alexander was no William. Though brothers, they were polar opposites when it came to their opinions. Where William was cruel, his younger brother was gentle. One hated slaves, the other wanted to know everything. It was hard to believe the same woman gave birth to them.
She nudged the girl lightly towards the dress. "Go on, I bet you'll look just adorable."
Jocelyn cautiously padded forward to take the soft fabric in her roughened hands, lifting it from the marble countertop--a dress, it was--and carefully stepped into it. The material itself was beyond comfortable and seemed to fit her perfectly as she draped it over her thin frame, complimenting her slight curves, though the ends of the dress draped along the floor as she was too short to fill it to it's true height. The periwinkle complimented her eyes moreso now that the dress was on. Never had Jocelyn laid eyes on such a dress, even in her dreams. She pulled her light brown hair over her shoulder and let it hang, curled naturally though a bit frizzy from the soap, and noticed a pair of gold earrings sitting beside where the dress had been set out for her.
Gold, she thought. From a mine, no doubt.
She picked up each earring individually, wondering which particular mine the gold had been harvested from. Jocelyn had seen such priceless ores before. Miners were rewarded with an extra loaf of bread upon the discovery of something so valuable, sometimes two loaves depending on how prosperous the strain was. She thought of her three brothers and their discovery of an entirely separate mine that branched off east from the one they were ordered to work, and the food they received as a reward lasted them until her fourteenth birthday. It was more of a present than any slave could hope for.
Jocelyn didn't notice the tears in her eyes until one of them had fallen.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 3, 2014 0:24:34 GMT -6
Hannah stood outside, and Alexander saw her from a small sitting space. He put down the book he was reading, nothing more than a series of journals and articles. What hid behind the bathroom door was more curious than a study by some old man. There was his princess, clad in new clothes and cleaned.
"Alexander, play nice now." Hannah smiled at him. She was always grinning from ear to ear, it didn't matter what she said.
"Of course I will." The Prince said seriously. This was the first impression for the rest of their lives. In this moment she wasn't the coal covered slave, and he wasn't the royal Prince. They were nothing, just a man and a woman betrothed.
"Jocelyn!" Hanna sang, twirling towards the door happily. Her knuckles rapped against the smooth surface. "Come meet your Prince!"
Upon hearing the sing-song voice from behind the door, Jocelyn quickly wiped the tear from her cheek and put the earrings in. They dangled and brushed cold against the side of her neck. She hardly recognized the pampered girl staring back at her in the mirror, a miner no more, but a princess to be.
God grant me strength, Goddess give me peace.
Slipping her feet into the low white heels, Jocelyn slowly opened the door to present herself to Prince Alexander, keeping her eyes fixed on a spot on the floor. She was far too ashamed to look up at him in case he was displeased, or if he changed his mind and decided to punish her for dressing above her status.
There were too many variables here. She controlled nothing. At least in the mines, she had three of her brothers there to watch out for her and guide her from right and wrong.