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Old 11-13-2012, 02:28 PM   #1
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The Price of Ransom

Prince Beoulve stood, leaning against the tentpost. He was tired of his generals telling him this plan would fail. Either he would be captured, or killed, and the whole war would be lost. He shook his head and stormed out, walking to where his select group of men stood. He had trained them and trained with them for over 6 years. They were completely familiar with each others' fighting styles. He knew they could get the job done.

"Boys, wear dark cloth over your armour, and keep your weapons quiet," he warned, his steel grey eyes framed by his long auburn locks. He quickly pulled his hair into a ponytail, wrapping the special ribbon his young sister had given him. She was the only woman in the world who mattered to him. Unfortunately, she was several day's travel away.

He quickly regrouped his thoughts, making sure the cloak he had was pulled tightly around his armour, disguising it. He quickly left the camp with his men, easily making it to the city before nightfall. From there, the men waited.

Once night had fallen, the men slipped into the city, "shutting down" any of the beacons that would alert the rest of the city of the attack. Within an hour, the great city of Rengor had fallen to the people of Cragmore.

As Prince Beoulve was walking the streets, making sure there were no guards who hadn't surrendered, he saw a cloaked figure walking away. He quickly took chase. As she tried to disappear into allies, he easily pursued her, before finally capturing her.

Prince Beoulve pulled her into his tent, where his general was ready to reprimand him. When the general saw the prisoner, he gasped. He then looked at his Prince and chuckled. "Well, you not only captured the city, but you also just captured Princess Cecilia. If you don't believe me, search her for a pendant, although her beauty far exceeds the description I was told, but the features do match up," the grizzled old veteran said.

Prince Beoulve looked at this woman and then smiled tightly. "You are now a prisoner of mine. I am Prince Beoulve. If your father meets the ransom we put up for you, you will be free to go. Until that time, you are not to leave my side," he said, pulling the ribbon out of his hair and binding her wrists with it. He knew the ribbon would not be able to be broken, nor could she cut it. His sister had made it for her brother, knowing he would be in battle, and as such, wove thin, strong strands of metal into the ribbon. He shook his head, wondering what his good fortune was to take a city and the princess as his captives.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #2
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The castle was being invaded and Princess Cecilia wanted to stay. It made no sense to her to have her castle fall into the enemy's hands and her not being there to help defend it. Not there was much a princess could do, but she sure could try. She could help throw hot water buckets at the men who were trying to invade the castle, she could fetch more arms for the guards if need be! All Cecilia wanted to do was participate and help defend what was hers.

The King, her father, asked her to go, however, and as the obedient daughter she was, she had no option. Her lady's maid helped her with her dark blue cloak and with a brown leather bag with some food and coins. She hid her pendant, the symbol of her royal blood, in the bag as well. Her disguise would be completely useless if someone saw her pendant. Cecilia was to go hide at her uncle's summer house, a three hours walk north from the palace. She would go alone, an entourage would be too obvious and the more people from the castle were with her, the more chances of one of them being recognized.

She felt someone follow her. She looked back, trying to see who was running behind her. She tried to run faster, allies she knew since she was a child provided a way out, a way to distract whoever it was that was following her. However, the man eventually caught up with her and took her prisoner. What would she do, now that she was in the hands of the enemy? Her only hope was that they wouldn't know who she was. Otherwise, she would be completely damned.

The man, who Cecilia found out to be the feared Prince Beoulve, took her to a tent. An old man, pulling back the hood of her cloak, told the Prince who she was. She didn't know what to do, she didn't know where she was and if there was any way to escape! What now? Cecilia wanted to weep - for all she knew, her parents and all of the people she knew could be dead, her house could now be little more than a ruin and there she was, in the hands of the enemy. The Prince bound her hands with a strong ribbon that he previously worn to tie his auburn hair. Cecilia wondered what the ribbon was made of, for it was very strong.

While she was talked to, she thought it better to keep her mouth shut and to look down. Answering back, making any attempts could anger her captors, thus making it only harder to escape, but also giving them further excuse to treat her violently. Scared, she whispered. "What will happen to me now, Prince Beoulve? I am sure my father will send someone to my rescue..."

Her wavy chestnut hair framed her beautiful face as she finally looked into the Prince's icy eyes. Her high cheekbones and full lips made her the most beautiful woman in Regnor, and her greenish blue eyes, framed by long, black, thick lashes, were quite unique.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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Prince Beoulve tried to smile kindly to her, but knew it wouldn't really work. He had seen too many battles, and had suffered a scar over his left eye, cutting across his eye, and down to the corner of his mouth. It was criss-crossed by two scars running above his eyebrow and below his eye. Both connected at his temple. He was still one of the most handsome men in Cragmore, and had many fathers trying to show off their daughters.

He didn't want to be mean to Cecilia, and knew that she had to stay by his side, or become a common whore among the army. Everyone knew his ribbon, and would know she was off limits. He looked at his general, jerking his head towards the opening. After the general left, he beckoned for Cecilia to sit, and sat next to her when she did.

"Your father, the king, escaped. He should be able to pay a ransom for you. Until such a time, remain by my side. I'm withdrawing my presence from the battles for this reason. If you leave me, or remove that ribbon, or any other insignia I give you, the men around you will take you and use you like a common whore. I say this not to scare you, but to make sure you understand that I am trying to protect you, not harm you," he said, surprising even himself with his soft tone.

"As such, if you try to escape, it will mean your death. There will be little I can do to stop it from happening. Please remain by my side until your father can pay your ransom. I promise you won't be without," he said quietly.

Beoulve was true to his word. He announced his intent to leave the city intact, with a garrison of his own hand picked men. He knew they would be fair to the townspeople, and that they wouldn't rape, pillage, or plunder. The rest of his forces moved back. He knew the war was now over. It was just a matter of peace.

Beoulve tried his best to stay by Cecilia's side. He wanted it to be easy for her, as well as give her a comforting, or at least steadfast presence. His presence also kept the hounds at bay. They wanted to make an example of her, but he put an end to it, actually ordering the execution of five men who tried to take her, the rest being slaughtered at his hand when they came.

That month was spent much like he thought. He managed affairs of state, knowing his father delegated much more than was needed to him. Still, he knew it was best to learn as much as he could, for he knew the throne would be his. He paid especial attention to the goings on that concerned Cecilia's family.

Beoulve was in his study when he met the courier with news of Cecilia's ransom. They had set a modest, yet still large sum, for her release, as was custom. The courier came with a letter, and nothing else. After excusing him, Beoulve turned to Cecilia, walking up to her quietly, before saying, "They won't be able to pay the ransom. The courier told me that, and left me this letter from your mother and father." He stepped back, moving to his chair as he left her with some space, still in his study. Without meaning to, his eyes always sought her, trying to see how she was taking the news.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Despite the scar over Prince's Beoulve eye, he was still one of the most handsome men she Cecilia had ever seen. She listened carefully as he explained what was going to happen to her. She sighed in relief when he told her her father had managed to run away.

Cecilia and Beoulve spent a lot of time together during that month. Some men had tried to attack her, but he saved her. She was grateful that he had, but she wept tears of sadness for every life taken because of her. She never spoke to the Prince much, she didn't think it wise to become friends with the enemy. Cecilia filled her days embroidering the hem of a pink veil, it was the only thing around to keep her occupied.

Cecilia took the letter in her hand. She had begged her father to learn how to read, something so uncommon even for Princes and Princesses.

"Our dearest daughter Cecilia,

It is with broken hearts that we tell you the kingdom cannot afford the ransom that was requested for you. Our souls weep, but we have no money nor richness to pay your kidnapper with for your life. We were assured you would be treated like the Princess that you are, and thought that is of little comfort to us, it is all that we have to hold on to."

The letter went on and on, explaining how they would try to gather the sum and ask other kingdoms for help. Cecilia couldn't read anymore, she felt nauseous, abandoned, lost, left behind. What was to become of her?

Wordlessly, she got up and put the unfolded letter down in the Prince's desk for him to read. She stood in front of him, waiting.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #5
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Beoulve could see the deep sorrow in Cecilia's face. He had honestly hoped that her ransom would be paid. He had told his father, the king, to lessen it since he didn't want her to be a prisoner. He wanted her free, but knew that he could never just release her. Her kingdom would never look at her the same, thinking that she had been used, or been broken, or betrayed them to gain her freedom.

He stood up and walked to her. He put his arms around this poor girl and held her. He tilted her face up and then softly kissed her forehead, hoping she wouldn't flinch or misinterpret his actions. He stepped back and looked at her, his eyes piercing into her.

"I can't begin to understand what you are going through. You won't be my prisoner though. You might be viewed as that, but you won't be my prisoner. You'll be restricted to the castle, simply for your own safety. I understand you need some time alone, but think that you might want her around you from now on," he said, ushering his younger sister, Cordelia, in. He quickly excused himself.

"I'm sorry for my brother. He means well, but at times, fails to hit the mark. He wants you to be comfortable here until your parents can pay your ransom. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask either of us. My brother might seem distant and unattached, but he cares for the well-being of those in his care. If you need to talk, please don't hesitate to find me either," Cordelia said, then smiled as she saw her ribbon in Cecilia's hair.

She walked over to it, gently touching the soft band. "My ribbon. That will provide you more protection than anything my brother could have given you. Everyone knows who it belongs to, and who protects you now. He does want you to be happy here, or as happy as you can," she said to Cecilia, then left the room, and the girl, to her own thoughts.

Beoulve paced his private chambers, trying to figure out what he could do. He quickly sat down and wrote to his father. He wanted to be apprised of the situation as often as he could.

What he didn't know was that the two kings, his father and Cecilia's father, had already reached a mutual agreement for peace to be reached between the two kingdoms.
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
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Prince Beoulve took Cecilia in his arms and kissed her forehead. She wanted to push him away, tell him she wouldn't tolerate such intimacy, tell him that her honor was still important to her. She couldn't muster the strength to push him, however, nor could she find the words to tell him she didn't wish his nearness. Her body went stiff as he kissed her gently, in an almost brotherly manner. She was devastated, heartbroken, confused and lonely, but even so, she later admitted that the kiss had helped her a little. His words also helped to comfort her and though the month they had spent together had been mostly comprised of silence, Cecilia had liked to hear his voice.

The Prince introduced his sister, Cordelia, a petite girl about the same age as Cecilia. Cordelia looked a lot like her brother, same icy grey eyes, same auburn hair. However, Cordelia's smile and expression were warmer, peaceful. Cecilia nodded as Cordelia put her at ease, a sort of welcome to a new life.

Princess Cecilia had supper in her chamber, even though Princess Cordelia told her that was welcome at their table since she was not a prisoner anymore. Cecilia needed the night to set her thoughts straight, to know what to do from now on. She decided that dawn would indeed bring a new life and a new attitude for her. Sure that her parents would pay fro her ransom some day, she tried to sleep.

At dawn the next day, Cecilia was awoken by a ladies maid. "M'Lady, Prince Beoulve sent me. The Prince says I'm to be your personal maid, should you approve of me." The girl said as she curtsied.

Cecilia nodded and thanked the girl, letting her know she appreciated the help. Cecilia had only three dresses: the blue one she had been wearing when she was caught by the Prince, a green one she wore on Sundays and a new one to match the veil she had been embroidering. To mark her new life, Cecilia decided to wear her new pink dress, as a symbol of a new beginning.

Princess Cecilia showed up to Mass that morning with her new dress and veil, both of a light pink that contrasted with her chestnut hair and blue eyes. She stood next to Princess Cordelia, whispering a good morning salutation to the person she hoped would become a new friend.

After Mass, Cecilia and Cordelia left to break fast. They sat side by side at the Prince's dinner table, bread and watered down wine, as well as smoked fish at their disposal. People in Regnor didn't break their overnight fast, the priests considered it to be a part of the sin of gluttony. However, if people in Cragmore ate after Mass, then so did Cecilia.

The two Princesses chatter merrily all morning, exchanging stories of their homelands. They walked all over the palace, Cordelia showing her new friend all of her favorite places. It wasn't until the mid-day meal that they had a chance to sit again at the table.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Beoulve saw the women leave to go to Mass. He never attended Mass. His sister had argued with him for years about his decision to deny organized religion in his life, but after all that Beoulve had seen in war, he was tired of it. He had seen the struggles brought about by organized religion. He believed in something higher, but decided he didn't need someone else to tell him that.

He did eat with the women when they came back. His people never really adapted to not breaking their fast. He ate rather quickly, feeling like the outsider now. He knew that Cordelia and Cecilia were already starting to get along, and didn't want to intrude. he bowed to both women as he left, then proceeded to the training room.

Beoulve's father thought that he should not train as much as he did, but it was one of the few things in life he genuinely enjoyed. Give him a pen, and he was slightly out of his element. Give him a blade, and he could conduct a performance with it. He had started training with the broadsword, short sword, dagger, throwing knives, claymore, and bow. After those martial exercises, he also practiced more mundane arts, like hand to hand combat. He knew there would be times where he didn't have armour or a weapon, and he wanted to be able to protect himself even then.

Unfortunately, he also had to deal with matters of state. Those often took great lengths of time, and left him in a foul mood from time to time. He tried to keep it contained, and usually seeing Cecilia helped with that. He had slowly begun to realize that having her at his side, or at least around him, had a calming presence. It helped him stay grounded when he needed it most.

The only problem was that he didn't speak very much. He was a man of few words, often delivering words he meant, and had thought about. He was a man of action, and knew that Cecilia didn't really like him. He wasn't fully sure if he liked Cecilia, but knew that she had a calming effect.

After Beolve finished training and some of the more pressing issues, he went down to the dining hall, taking his seat and waiting for dinner to be served. He wasn't sure if Cecilia or Cordelia would join him, but knew that he was starving from his exertions today. He had toweled off, but there was still a light sheen of sweat, and his hair was in disarray from the sparring he had just done. Sometimes he had to train twice a day to make sure he was able to let out the pent up energy he had.

Beoulve sat in a high backed chair, at the head of the table. This afforded him the view of the whole table, but unfortunately blocked others from seeing him until they sat down. He took a goblet of wine and slowly sipped on it, waiting for the food, and also thinking he heard footsteps approaching. He wasn't sure, since the castle halls echoed.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:16 PM   #8
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Cecilia knocked on Cornelia's door. A maid answered, saying that her mistress was very tired and indisposed, so she could go down for dinner. Cecilia pondered not going down either, but she was also tired and starving from running around the palace all day and knew it would take too long for food to be sent to her room if she chose to have dinner there.

She walked to the dinning hall, her wooden heels echoing in the cold stone floors and walls of the Palace. Nightfall had brought the cool air of the end of Summer in the Northern Lands. She decided to ask Cornelia to borrow some warmer clothes the next day.

Walking in the dinning hall, she made her way to the table, not noticing the Prince until she was closer to the table. "Prince Beoulve" She acknowledged. She sat at the other side of the table, right in front of him. It was usually Cordelia's place but she wasn't coming down, she took that spot. "Your sister will not be coming down, we spent perhaps too much time on our feet today. I'm afraid your sister isn't used to so much activity. I thank you very much for having arranged a maid for me, it is very kind of you."
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:30 PM   #9
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Beoulve nodded coolly to Cecilia. "You are very welcome. As for my sister, she is normally used to much more activity than this, but I'm afraid she hasn't been feeling as well as she normally does. From what she told me today, she was afraid she was coming down with something. The royal physician is taking a look now," he said, watching as food was brought in. He started to eat quietly, not knowing what to say.

As he took a bite of the roast that had been prepared, an idea struck him. He quickly swallowed that mouthful of food, then looked at Cecilia. "My lady, would it please you to have some activities you can partake in? If you would tell me what you are interested in, I can arrange to have those activities present so you can have something to do. They will stay here at the palace so you are safe, but will give you something to do. My only request is that when there are guests at the palace, or when I'm handling state affairs, you are present at my side in case I find any information on your ransom payment," he said, taking a sip of his wine and waiting for an answer.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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Cecilia wanted to talk to the Prince. She knew he was quiet and reserved and not a person of many words, but still, she didn't dislike him and wanted to be viewed as someone who could entertain others in conversation.

"Thank you for asking, Prince." She looked straight into his cloudy grey eyes. "I do not wish to be a nuisance, but, as a matter of fact, me and your sister were commenting early that it would be lovely to host a feast for your court. She has told me many stories from your kingdom and she showed me maps and painting of beautiful places. If I cannot see them, at least I would love to hear more about them. Maybe we could have dancing and jugglers! This palace seems to sad without a permanent court..." She felt like she was talking too much, telling a Prince his castle was sad wasn't very polite.

This had been perhaps the longest conversation she and the Prince had had, despite being in each other's company for over a month. He wasn't as rude as some warriors she had met in the past, but wasn't as cheerful and the court men she had met in Rengor.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:45 PM   #11
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Beoulve actually smiled at the idea. "One condition, my lady. You must remain at my side throughout the whole feast. Unfortunately, the dancing will only be with me. I assure you I am more than formidable as a dancing partner," he said, a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, a gleam in his eyes.

Beoulve knew he wasn't the type of person to host a party, but he did enjoy attending them. He did like to be an animated person, and not just on the battlefield. He smiled without realizing it, happy to have the idea of a party in his palace. He looked at Cecilia and then nodded to her. "Please talk with my sister about planning this feast. Anything you need, you'll have. That, I promise," he said. He didn't go into anything on the half, so this feast was going to be done right.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:41 PM   #12
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Cecilia noticed the Prince's smile. It was a beautiful smile and it made her wish he smiled more often. The Prince was a handsome man, but a smile from him made the world around them stop completely.

"But, M'Lord, in my homeland is not proper for an unmarried woman such as myself to grant all the dances to a man who isn't her betrothed! What will your people think of me, my Prince? I do not wish to offend your Lordship's court." She said, looking down as she spoke the last sentence. Though dancing only with the Prince could prove boring despite his reassurances, not wanting to hurt people's feelings was an excellent excuse for trying to convince the Prince to give her a little more freedom. "Yes, Prince Beoulve, I will arrange everything with your sister so the feast can take place soon."

They ate the rest of their meal in silence. Cecilia was very happy that a feast was to happen soon, there was nothing better to fill one's day than dreaming of the future.

The next day came and Cecilia and Cordelia attended Mass again. After their first meal they sat down choosing the food that was to be served. They decided a week should be enough for them to have a dress made for Cordelia, for sending men out to hunt and fish and for allowing people the time to travel for such an event. Cecilia learned that Beoulve hadn't hosted a banquet since the war has started, four years ago. As such, this could very well be the event of the year.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:04 PM   #13
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Beoulve thought about what she said. He knew he could probably get a few of his men to dance with her. They weren't as high in stature as he was, but if she wanted others to dance with, they could do that. They were loyal to him, and would not harm her.

After dinner, Beoulve went back to training. He had too much energy now, and needed to relax, or he wouldn't be able to do anything. He quickly went through his regimen, twice, due to his energy. After taking a quick bath to get most of the grime and sweat off, he laid down, thinking about what this party would be like.

Beoulve woke up before the girls went to Mass. He took the list Cordelia handed him, and went to his office. He started ordering everything that would be needed for the feast, as well as many dresses for Cecilia to pick out. He also picked up some winter clothes for her, since he knew she had none. That took up more time than he realized, and it actually hadn't put him in a bad mood. He was very happy with how his day was going, and waited to see what Cordelia and Cecilia needed from him.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:38 PM   #14
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Cordelia burst in her brother's office, Cecilia close behind her new friend.

"Brother, brother, we're so happy you're throwing a feast!" The young girl almost squeaked. "Have you ordered what we will need? And would you please, please go try and hunt some pheasants? Please?" Cordelia batted her lashes, sure her brother would never refuse anything she asked.

Cecilia smiled a tender smile. Being an only child, she always wished she had an older brother. Someone to care for her and protect her, someone to rely on and talk to. An older brother would also take the burden of succession away from her, but that wasn't the main issue.

A few days passed and three days before the big feast, Cecilia found her maid in her room, trying to fit many new winter dresses into a closed frankly too small.

"Say, what is this?" Cecilia asked. The maid explained they were winter clothes Prince Beoulve had chosen for her himself. The girl pointed to another corner where beautiful dresses were laid for her to choose one for the banquet. She caressed the fabric of two dresses, one in white and gold brocade and another that matched her eye color perfectly. Cordelia came into the room letting a out an appreciative sigh. Cecilia looked back and explained what the maid had explained to her.

Cecilia told Cordelia she couldn't accept the gift and ran through the castle, to the Prince's training quarters. Her steps echoing, as well as Cordelia's, who was right behind her. She entered the Prince's quarters, realizing too late that no woman should be there. Cecilia was out of breath, flushed, her corset keeping her breath shallow.

"My Lord, I thank you for your presents but I cannot accept. I have nothing to repay you with. Your generosity will not go unnoticed, but I cannot accept. I sincerely hope you don't take offence." She said, all in one breath.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:54 PM   #15
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Beoulve's eyes seemed to flash dangerously. No woman was allowed in his quarters without his say. Even his sister hadn't entered without at least knocking. He rounded on Cecilia. "I bought you those to chose a dress or two for the feast. If you want to dance with more than me, you'll need another dress. Otherwise we may as well call this whole thing off," he said, walking past the two girls as he grabbed his bow and throwing knives.

Beoulve quickly left his palace. He wasn't angry with Cecilia and Cordelia too much. He was just angry for being interrupted with his meditations. When that happened, his day felt out of harmony. He took a deep breath and started hunting pheasants like his sister had asked him.

Cordelia turned to Cecilia after her brother stormed out. "I'm sorry about that. He isn't mad at you. He's mad that his meditations were interrupted. I found out several years ago that Beoulve meditates. Whenever he can't, or is interrupted, it throws the rest of his day off. He'll be better by supper tonight," she said quietly, hoping it was true.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:53 AM   #16
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"Did your brother just say this dress I am wearing is not beautiful enough to be seen in when by his side?" Cecilia looked sideways at her friend, more concerned that the Price didn't feel that she was pretty enough.

As they made their way back to their rooms, Cecilia asked Cordelia something she had been meaning to ask ever since she was captured: what was the Prince's ribbon made of. Cordelia smiled and explained that it was made from tightly wet spun silk, which was extremely strong, along with the thinnest metal threads. With the promise that Cordelia would teach Cecilia how to spin the silk and weave a similar ribbon, the two girls parted and went back to their rooms.

The three days passed, Cecilia going out of her way to avoid Prince Beoulve. Cecilia spent time in the kitchen, making sure the cook prepared the feast conveniently. Her free time was spent with Cordelia, either practicing new dances and teaching each other dances from their homelands or spinning and weaving.

The night of the feast was upon them, and Cecilia took the extra time to be ready. She bathed in rosewater, had the maid braid her hair and help her with a few jewels she borrowed from Cordelia. The maid then dressed her in the white and gold dress the Prince had bought for her. It was a very heavy dress, the brocade was very rich. The cotehardie had long, tight sleeves closed with golden laces. Golden laces also closed the back of the dress and the low waist and hem were also embellished with golden details.

Cecilia knocked on Cordelia's door. She was also wearing a cotehardie, made of dark blue velvet embellished with silver details. The two friends made her way to the Prince's office, to wait for him - two maidens arriving at a feast alone would surely raise many eyebrows and make way for a lot of unwelcome gossip.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:24 PM   #17
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Prince Beoulve noticed that Cecilia was leery of him and avoided him. It did hurt him, but there wasn't a whole lot he could do about it. Instead he just went about his business in a sullen mood. He hadn't meant to offend her, but he had told her he would buy her new dresses to pick from to wear to this feast, as well as knowing she needed winter clothes. Payment didn't matter. She was a guest, and as such, that wasn't an issue.

The Prince finally couldn't take it anymore and locked himself in the training room. He spent countless hours training and physically exerting himself to near exhaustion. Yet still, his mind focused back on how Cecilia was avoiding him. He ended up having his meals brought to him, such was his bad mood.

The day of the feast finally arrived. Beoulve made his way back to his room, quickly shedding the training clothes. He slid into his large stone tub and scrubbed all of the sweat and grime from his body. He added just a hint of citrus to make sure he was clean and wouldn't smell of sweat.

Beoulve had his servants braid his hair. He had a longer braid and then a shorter braid over part of his scar. He wanted to try to hid some of it, so that it wouldn't stand out nearly as much when his hair was pulled back. His other braid sat atop the rest of his hair, flowing down his back. He wore a simple tunic and pants, along with new boots. They were very elegant, but not gaudy or over the top. It fit his style. The tunic was a maroon, while the pants and boots were a black. He wore a cloak, as was fitting of his stature. It was very plain, the only decoration being the metal clasp.

Beoulve waited for the ladies, twisting a strand of ribbon in his hands, matching the ribbons in his hair. He heard the knock on his door and opened it. Cordelia and Cecilia blew him away with how stunningly beautiful they were. Cordelia just smiled at him and slightly inclined her hear towards Cecilia.

The Prince smiled and then softly said, "You're very beautiful tonight, Lady Cecilia. I'm sorry I've offended you, and hope that this feast will lift your spirits." He waited for them to arrange themselves around him before they headed off to the feast.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #18
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"Thank you for the compliment, my Prince." Cecilia said, ask she curtsied. "I bring you a gift, as a sign of peace between us both. I made it myself, your kind sister taught me her art." She handed him a ribbon like the one had given her, but in white and gold, the colors of her dress. It was customary for the man accompanying a lady to a feast or banquet to wear her colors as a sign of companionship or friendship. It told the world they were together and not sitting side by side by chance.

Cecilia didn't fail to notice how handsome the Prince was that night and how the color a simplicity of his attire became him. She also noticed his hair, they way it was styled to disguise his scar. In that moment, all she wanted to do was caress his face and tell him he was the most handsome man she had ever seen, and that the scar should be displayed proudly, as a symbol of his strength and courage. The thought scared her, this was the man who had captured her and that wound that left the scar had probably happen when he was capturing some poor soul like her.

The three nobles walked to the feast, hearing loud music and laughter even through the heavy wooden doors. Torches burned, lighting the room with an almost magical glow. The decoration was simple and the coat of arms of Craigmore was displayed proudly for everyone to see upon entrance. The walls of the majestic hall had been covered with dark red cloths, food and wine were already being served.

Beoulve, Cecilia and Cordelia sat at the table, the Prince's sister to his right as was customary. They ate meat and fish, drank wine and ale like the rest of the guests. Everyone was in a good mood, jugglers and jesters presented their numbers making everyone laugh. Cecilia found herself looking to her left, towards the Prince, often, to make sure he was enjoying the banquet she and his sister had devoted so much time and effort to. Cecilia wanted to please the Prince as a thank you for being generous to her and keeping her safe.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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Beoulve smiled as he pulled the ribbon out of his braid by his scar, quickly securing the new ribbon that Cecilia had given him. He wasn't sure she knew what she had just done, but she had just signified that they were more than just simple friends. They were now special friends. He knew it didn't mean they were lovers, or anything like that, but it meant that they thought of each other as more than just friends.

The Prince smiled at the gift, and took the arms of his two lovely ladies. As they sat down to feast, following proper tradition, Beoulve couldn't help but relax and enjoy himself. The jugglers and jesters had everyone smiling and laughing, and the food was excellently prepared. The feast was turning into a huge success, and Beoulve was happy to see his sister's and Cecilia's hard work.

Throughout the feast, Beoulve kept absently playing with the new ribbon he had. He also couldn't help but glance at Cecilia from time to time. She really was breathtakingly gorgeous in her dress. He wanted to be able to hug her and tell her how much of a pleasure it was to have her here, but knew that wouldn't be allowed, or the proper thing to do. He also knew that she would never be interested in him like that.

As the music played, the tables were cleared away against the walls, with food still stacked along them. The Prince turned to Cecilia and smiled at her before holding out his hand. "May I have this first dance with you, my lady?" he asked softly, hoping she'd say yes, but knowing she could dance with any one of the men here now.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:58 PM   #20
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She was pleased that the Prince couldn't take his hands off the ribbon she had offered him. His big, strong, manly hands hypnotized her, reminding her of the day when she had that heartbreaking letter from her parents that still kept her awake, crying. In that day, the Prince had touched her, held her and tilted her face up, just to kiss her forehead. It had been an act of compassion, of friendship, but still, he had held her in his arms. She didn't value it then as much as she should have and she regretted it.

"Nothing would give me greatest pleasure, my Lord." Cecilia answered sweetly, resting her hand on top of his. She couldn't help but notice how odd it was that the ring Cordelia had lent her had a stone to match the Prince's tunic. Cecilia stood and made her way to the middle of the floor. The music started and the pair started to dance. Others followed, trying to copy their moves. Cordelia joined the dance as well, accompanied by one of Beoulve's generals, a handsome man, looking every inch like a Viking. The general was indeed good looking, but, in Cecilia's eyes, not half as good looking as her Prince.

Together they danced dance after dance, disregarding the rule that forbade unmarried maidens to dance more than three dances with any unmarried man, least people assumed there was some kind of more intimate relationship. When the music and dancing allowed Cecilia and Beoulve to be closer, she said in appreciation "My Prince, you were true in your words. You do dance in a most formidable way and it pleases me very much it is so."

Cecilia grew tired, not due to the dance, but due to the late hour. It would soon be dawn. She went to Cordelia and kissed her cheek tenderly, the two young maidens congratulating one another for the success the feast had been. Cecilia wished Cordelia a good night and said her goodbyes to the General who was still at her friend's side.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:10 PM   #21
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Beoulve enjoyed the dances more than he should have. He wanted to hold Cecilia closer, but knew that they were already stretching old rules by only dancing together. He could play that off as her protection, but not holding her closer. He sighed as the dancing came to an end.

He saw Cecilia walk over and kiss his sister goodnight, then make her way upstairs. The guests were already leaving, and Beoulve was similarly feeling exhausted. He walked over to his sister and kissed her cheek and then forehead, as was his custom. He shook his general's hand, knowing that he had already asked the king for permission to court Cordelia. The man had Beoulve's blessings, as well as knowing that if he did anything even slightly wrong, he would answer to the Prince.

Beoulve was walking upstairs when he heard footsteps in the hall behind him. He turned, expecting to see either Cordelia or Cecilia, but found himself looking at someone dressed in black. He quickly slid out of sight, heading towards the wing where Cecilia was staying. Beoulve quickly followed, after grabbing a knife from one of the weapon racks in his hall.

The man in black quickly and surely made his way to the room Cecilia was staying in. As he got to the door, he pulled out a key and serrated knife. Beoulve moved to act, throwing his knife, pinning the would be assassin's hand to the door. He hoped he hadn't disturbed Cecilia, but when the man cried out in pain, he knew it was too late.

The assailant ripped the knife out of his hand, throwing it back at Beoulve. The move surprised Beoulve slightly. He was able to deflect the blade, but received a nasty gash along his upper arm. He moved forward and lashed out quickly, his foot, or more accurately his steel toed boot, connecting with the man's jaw. The man in black dropped like a stone as the door to Cecilia's room opened.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:47 PM   #22
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Cecilia heard a thump on her door closely followed by a scream and wrapped her shawl around her to see what was happening. She had undressed, wearing now only her long under tunic which was almost sheer and her chestnut hair loose around her face. As soon as she opened the door, a man fell at her feet, possibly dead or inanimated. It took her a second to react, and only then did she realize Prince Beoulve was standing nearby.

Princess Cecilia didn't come in full contact with reality until the Prince called for the guards and moved to grasp his injured arm. She ran to him, jumping over the man on the floor and positioning herself at his left so that he would have his dominant arm free, should the man awake or attempt anything before the guards arrived. His left side was also the side that had been injured.

"My Lord, is he... is this man... dead? And who was he?" She held on to him, on impulse, hiding her face on his chest, thinking that the man could be dead and avoiding the sight at all costs.

The guards came and the Prince had a few words with them. Once they removed the limp body from Cecilia's door way, she begged Beoulve to go into her room so she could tend to his arm which had been hurt in her defense. There was no one around, no one to gossip or to remark that the Prince had been seen entering the maiden Princess' room. She urged Prince Beoulve to sit on her bed while she gathered water and cloth to tend to him.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:51 PM   #23
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Beoulve held Cecilia with his good arm as he told the guard to lock the assassin up for questioning. He knew his men would search the guard thoroughly and make sure there was no way for him to kill himself or do anymore harm. He followed Cecilia into her room, shutting the door quietly. He could tell she wouldn't take no for an answer, so quickly shrugged out of his tunic.

"The man was an assassin. the serrated blade he carried made sure that the kill was quick and clean. No noise, no blood spray. Just death," Beoulve said as he saw Cecilia get water and rags. He sat on the bed and looked at his arm. He realized it was a bit deeper than he thought.

"You'll need to get a needle and thread. This cut is a little bit deeper than I thought it was, and you're going to need to close the wound, else risk infection," Beoulve said with practiced ease. He had seen this before. He had had stitches in the cuts on his face, and knew that it was needed to ensure there would be no infection.

He sat on the bed, watching Cecilia work as she gathered what would be needed. He had set his tunic under his arm, and rested his arm on his leg. Beoulve didn't want to bloody up Cecilia's bed, and could ruin a tunic without any issue. He waited patiently for Cecilia to relax a little and then take care of his wound like she clearly felt she needed to.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:05 AM   #24
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"But, my Lord, who would want to kill me? I did no harm to other souls, I try to never be mean to other people." Cecilia wondered who could want her dead. Surely not her parents, they couldn't pay her ransom but loved her very much and wouldn't rather have her dead than a prisoner; surely not their ministers, who were faithful and wouldn't try to do such a thing without their permission. Maybe someone who wanted to revenge the men Beoulve had killed for trying to assault her in her first few weeks in his protection.

"I've seen it being done before, Prince Beoulve." She said, as he told her she would have to stitch the wound closed. "I... I will try and do by best, I hope it doesn't leave too visible of a mark." Cecilia took several deep breaths to try and steady herself - it wasn't the blood or the wound that made her tremble, it was the thought that he could harm Beoulve further or in any way make it hurt more.

She approached him and threaded a needle. She knotted the tread and as gently as she could, she started to close Beoulve's wound, with stitches as even and as even spaced as she could: she had always prided herself of being a good seamstress and so she knew what it took to make the stitches look perfect. When she finished, she dressed his wound in white rags, making sure there was enough protection around his torn flesh. Only then did Cecilia's eyes met Beoulve's, blue and grey meeting, her hands refusing to leave his arms. She knew she shouldn't be touching him, yet her body wanted to, no matter what her mind said. She felt the strong need to take care of him, to make sure no more harm would come to him, especially when that harm had been brought by her presence.

With a tear in her eye, Cecilia leaned forward, the side of her face on his strong shoulder. "My Prince, I am so sorry this has happened. Now you're hurt because of me. I can't begin to let you know how much pain that brings upon my immortal soul."
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #25
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Beoulve looked down at Cecilia on his shoulder. The wound that he had received had not been a big deal to him. Stitching the wound up didn't really bother him. It was just another part of his life, yet here she was. She looked to be almost on the edge of losing it all. Beoulve quickly wrapped his arms around Cecilia, holding her close as he felt her tears.

"Please do not worry for me, my fair Princess. You live in my palace, and as such, you are my responsibility. If need be, my life is yours to sacrifice. Please do not dwell on this. Dwell on the fact that we are both alive, and we are both safe now," Beoulve said, gently rubbing her back. He saw Cecilia's serving maid appear, and motioned her away. He knew that there could be rumors, but she was a maiden who had just witnessed bloodshed.

As Beoulve held Cecilia, he felt her slowly wearing out. He gently guided her to her bed and then stood before her. "I will be here through the night. Please sleep and do not worry," Beoulve said as he sat down in a chair right next to the bed, looking on Cecilia. He would be here as long as she needed.
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