Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 3, 2014 0:50:06 GMT -6
Hannah rushed from the room, every servant seemingly vanished from the space to give the two their privacy. That they would need, but not for the reasons they imagined.
Alexander trailed his fingertips along her arm, the dust was wiped away and he was able to see the porcelain skin beneath it. Such fine color in a young woman was worthy of a royal title on it's own, her beauty would be duly noted. His other hand pressed below her chin, pushing her lightly so she might meet his eyes.
"You look so very beautiful, my lady."
As a sign of respect for the new royal, the Prince himself got down on one knee and bowed to her. He had no ring, no proposal to make. It wouldn't mean anything to her, not that he knew. She didn't love him, and he only wanted to make sure she was comfortable if anything else.
He took hold of her hand and kissed the back. Honor prevented him from slurring a slave for wearing garments fit for a queen, he was too pleased with the steps he was making to change the city. With her, they just might pull it off.
The girl couldn't help but bite her lower lip, looking down at him nervously, resisting a shiver at his touch. She was thankful that he was pleased with her appearance, so much that her shoulders visibly relaxed, and though she still didn't trust this prince or his plans Jocelyn had to admit he would be sacrificing much for the small gain of putting her to the sword.
"Thank you, my lord--uh...mm. Alexander. Apologies." He had held her hand for too long. She withdrew it from his hold and hugged her arms close, removing her gaze from him and looking around the large library. Books had never interested her. She had seen misused ones be burned to fuel fires, but what were they doing on shelves? Were they decorations?
"Lady Hannah said I was to meet the public today. I...uhm, how do I do that?" She curled her hair behind her ear nervously.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 3, 2014 1:24:15 GMT -6
Alexander lifted himself from the ground and looked her over carefully. Her hair was curled into little ringlets around her shoulders, dark in color, it contrasted wonderfully with her pale skin. Although rather short, it didn't detract from her appearance at all. Soft features and voluptuous curves, if the public didn't react well to her, he didn't know what else would please them. First appearances meant everything.
"You follow my lead." Alexander held out his arm for her to take. They'd only have to take the elevator down a few floors, and they'd be on a plaza floor. A small balcony would be before them, ready for Alexander to introduce his bride to the world.
It would be hard for her no doubt, her family was worried sick and then they'd see her next to the Prince. This was no trick though, it was an honest to goodness proposal, and he'd go through with it. All to save one girl's eyes. In the future it wouldn't work again, but he'd gladly fight his brother to save another.
Cautiously, she took his arm, noting that at least twelve inches of height stood between the top of her head and the top of his. She almost had to hold up her arm to slip through his, though thankfully the heels accommodated her shortness somewhat, and she was able to comfortably link with him and walk at his side.
Her posture was a bit hunched and her walk was less than graceful, but she tried to hide it by mimicking the way a princess might walk in the stories her father used to tell her as a girl. It helped, if only minimally. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest to the beat of some distant drum, one of fear that struck sensations of terror into the hearts of those who listened.
"Who am I facing?" she asked, shaking, suddenly terrified. "Nobles?" She feared them almost as much as she feared the king.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 3, 2014 1:53:36 GMT -6
"Mainly nobles, yes. There will probably be pictures in the papers soon, then others will see you." He meant for his words to be reassuring, but when they were out in the open he realized the fear it might bring her. Knowing every person in the city would see her face by tomorrow morning. Everyone would know who she is.
Her shaking intensified, and he stopped them both before the elevator doors. She was so fragile, terrified beyond measure.
Come on, Alexander. Help her out.
The Prince lowered his arm and side stepped his way in front of her, the only thing standing between her and the elevator now. He reached out to give her a light pat on her shoulder, lingering as he tried to calm her frayed nerves.
"You don't have to do it now. We can wait a while, if that makes it easier." He said it quietly. "But we will have to face them. Best be brave, I'm here if it's any consolation."
Post by Sansa Stark on Jul 3, 2014 22:27:11 GMT -6
"Pictures?" she questioned. "Why would someone put pictures in papers...?"
I'm a fool. An act in a circus. A spectacle for laughter, nothing more.
Jocelyn knew this was unavoidable. As a future princess she supposed such actions were expected of her, but the warnings in her mind of noblewomen prodding her with questions and unintentional insults made her feel sick to her stomach. It was a sudden tightness in her chest that brought further panic, and she clutched it in attempt to control her breathing.
"P...please...as long as I don't have to speak, I should be alright." Jocelyn craned her neck to meet his eyes. "We go, we leave. Is that alright? Will my family be there? I want to see them, it's been a year..."
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 3, 2014 22:43:51 GMT -6
"It'll only take a few minutes, no more, no less." Alexander promised.
As he looked down at her with his shadowed blue eyes, the scent of vanilla rose up in the air. One of his favorites, by far, in both desserts and scents. Was it Hannah's doing? Even if it was, the pleasant aroma put him in a relaxed state of mind.
"Here, if you absolutely cannot handle any more I want you to do this." Alexander lifted her hand and covered it with his own, enclosing the pale thing between his. He squeezed, three times. "I'll take your hand before we go outside to introduce you, and if you cannot take the crowds, just squeeze three times, and we can go. Arthur has gone to get your family, they'll be here soon."
He didn't drop her hand as he stepped towards the elevator and selected to go down. The small button lit up, gears shifting behind thick metal doors.
Post by Sansa Stark on Jul 3, 2014 22:56:03 GMT -6
"Three times," she repeated. "Okay. Okay."
Jocelyn held tight to his hand as he led her into the mechanical elevator, not because she thought he would keep her safe or protect her from prying eyes, but only because physical contact would help loosen the growing pain in her chest. She could feel the shortness of breath and desperately tried to hide how hard it was to get oxygen
It's okay, came Jonathan's voice in her head, her calming brother, ever-generous. Breathe. You'll make it through.
Will I? she wanted to ask in return, but the voice was all in her head, and soon it would fall silent for a royal decree.
Post by Lillian Gray on Jul 3, 2014 23:04:33 GMT -6
The elevator clicked with the coming of every floor, gears locked into place and the sound of chains rising and falling with other people inside their own personal space. Alexander gave her one last squeeze before they exited onto a small floor.
The tile was a fine white marble, shining with how clean it was. It was a private floor reserved for royal meetings and decrees, no one else could get here. Not a single person. His steps echoed against the tile, followed by Jocelyn's click of a heel after the other. Could she even walk in them? It hadn't occurred to the Prince to ask.
He pressed through a set of double doors onto a balcony where two guards stood post. The flashes of light from various cameras hit them first, a blinding white light which moved through the crowd on the ground below. Screams reached his ears, some were positive, others, not so much.
The King stood, just one balcony over with his wife, and he shot his brother a disgusted look before addressing his people with a practiced smile.
"Citizens, today, my brother has found a bride!" Again the mixed cheers came forth.
Alexander wanted to hide the resentment from her ears. Few understood that all men and women were equal, from the lowliest slave to the highest of Kings. She didn't deserve it, after all, it was the Prince who had chosen her. He picked her from a lineup and forced her into royalty. Not all women would appreciate the title.
Post by Sansa Stark on Jul 3, 2014 23:29:53 GMT -6
She cringed at the first flash of light, immediately moving her free hand to shield her eyes from the invasion, but when Jocelyn realized the source of the beams--small boxes in the hands of many onlookers--her hand slowly lowered. Jocelyn didn't feel any pain. Her skin didn't change color, like a rumor some of the miners talked about when the flash of a camera strikes you. Was this what it was to be in a picture?
The king seemed unsettled, seeing his brother's bride clad like a princess, no longer covered in dirt and soot as a woman befitting her status. Jocelyn couldn't tell if the queen's smile was mocking or genuine, or if the shouts of the crowd were praise or disdain. It didn't matter to her. She just wanted to see her family.
"What is your name?!" one of the men holding a small box shouted from the crowd. "Tell us who you are! Where are you from?! What is it like to be the chosen bride of a prince?!"
Jocelyn turned to Alexander to search his face. "Do I answer them?" she asked softly, and her voice cracked.