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Old 11-19-2014, 04:48 PM   #1
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For you, my Lady (closed for heartofcourage)

Aidan was a peasant. That title defined him, from the moment he was born to this moment. His father was a baker and his mother was a cheese maker. Aidan’s grandparents had been peasants. No member of his family had ever had more than a few shillings to their name at any point in their lives.
In the early years of his life, Aidan spent most of his time helping his father in the bakery. Education was something his family could not afford. The region king had deemed this a luxury, which only the children of the earls and lords should be able to afford. However, little did he know at the time, but the hours he spent observing his father going about his business would serve him greatly later in life.

Upon reaching eighteen, Aidan made the decision to search for employment in the capital. He needed to escape the rural life, when opportunities were non-existent. He made the 200 hundred mile on the back of a cart, after pleading with a passing trader for a lift. It had cost him a large portion of his life savings, but he knew it would be worth it. Upon arriving in the capital, he quickly found himself a job as a servant in one the many mansions in the capital. It belonged to Countess Blackmore, a distant relative to reigning king, James VI. He began as a porter, lugging luggage for the Countess and her visitors.

Two years later, Aidan found himself as head waiter. He was in charge of twelve waiters, whom served the main dining room three times a day. But he was under the house manager, a particularly mean man by the name of Mr. Parsons. Pushing sixty, a life of misery seemed to have taken its toll on the house manager. He seemed to pleasure in taking his anger out on the staff below him. This was beginning to annoy Aidan quite a bit, and close to considering quitting. But when he felt he couldn't take any more, she arrived.

She was Princess Olivia. She was breathtaking. She had arrived from the county next to where Aidan had grown up. Rumours had been rife for over a week that her arrival was imminent. Rumour also had it, now that she was of age, that she was here to meet her future husband. The next few weeks saw a large increase in the number of social gatherings hosted by the Countess. They were attended by the capital’s wealthiest bachelors. Some of these men were twice the age of Princess Olivia. Very early on, he could tell that the Princess was not interested in these men. Aidan saw something in her eye, a sparkle of wildness. But this was dimming every day she spent here.

As head waiter, Aidan was responsible for running food and drink orders to the bed chambers. One particularly cold night, the Princess had requested hot cocoa. Aidan arrived and knocked on the door. He entered after he heard her grant his appearance.

“Princess here is your cocoa.”

Last edited by ASTV19 : 11-24-2014 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:54 PM   #2
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Olivia Clarissa Elizabeth Jenette, Princess of Downmire had been born into the lap of luxury. The youngest child of the Archduke and Archduchess of Downmire, she had been given everything that she could have possibly wanted in her life. She had a good education that had been provided by the best tutors that the realm had to spare. Her older brothers had also been educated at the same table and many people suggested that this education had contributed to the wild streak that had sprung up in the youngest Downmire child.

When Olivia had been younger, her bouncy red curls and twinkling green eyes had enchanted everyone around her, allowing her to get away with a lot. As she had grown into the lithe and stunning beauty that stopped men in their tracks, she found herself being watched closer by chaperons and governesses. The thing she loved above all else were her horses. Her favorite was a bay stallion, one she had named Zeus after he was gifted to her by her uncle the king on her 14th birthday. She loved to ride him through her family's orchards, her hair flying in the wind without a care in the world. Those rides were becoming less and less as her 18th birthday had approached.

Her days had been filled with dress fittings and etiquette lessons. Her mother dreamed of a good marriage for her daughter, elevating her higher in society than the Downmire's had ever been before. That was how she had found herself with the Countess, groomed like a peacock on display for all of society. She had met men twice her age, everyone clamoring for her hand and trying to present their suit to her.

She had always dreamed of marrying for love. When she was small, she could imagine the man that she would marry as being kind and loving, never clipping her wings, letting her live how she wanted. She could see now though that her life would be far different in this glittering world of cold jewels and even colder relationships. Worst of all, she was separated from Zeus, who had remained at Downmire Manor. Her heart ached painfully for her beautiful horse, but there was no place for him there in the city.

It had also turned brutally cold since she had arrived. She was not use to the cold that was there in the city and she was wrapped in her thickest dress, a cloak about her shoulders as she tried to stoke her fire higher in the hearth. When the knock sounded at her door, she turned to look at the man that entered, a steaming mug of cocoa in his hands.

"Oh, thank you." She murmured in her soft and airy voice, putting the poker away to take it from him. "You are my savior right now."
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Old 11-19-2014, 04:58 PM   #3
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Aidan offered the princess a warm smile, something he didn't give much to the visitors at the mansion. None were as beautiful as the princess, and none seemed as kind as her either.

He took the stoker and built up the fire. He added more coals and wood to the burning pile. In minutes, it was a mini bonfire.

"Is there anything else I can help you with, Miss?"
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:30 PM   #4
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Olivia took the cocoa and brought it to her lips, wrapping her fridged fingers around it as she watched the man get her fire up to a roaring inferno. She let out a sigh as the warmth finally flooded the richly appointed room. She gave him a grateful smile as he asked if there were anything more that he could do for her.

"No, I don't think so." She said as she finally pulled off her cloak and placed it on the chair before the fire. "How in the world do you deal with the cold here in the city? It has never been this cold in my home town before."
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Old 11-19-2014, 05:41 PM   #5
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Aidan smiled,

"Believe it or not, I am from the same region as yourself. But I have been living here for two years, it gets easier with time".

He went to the chest in the corner of the room. He took out a very heavy throw, and placed it on the princess' bed.

"When the fire burns out, use this. It is made with duck feathers, extremely comfy and warm. Other visitors have used it in their first few days here in the capital."

He smiled again,

"I bid you goodnight, Miss", turning to leave.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #6
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"Wait!" Olivia called as he went to leave. "Don't be in such a rush to leave. I cannot tell you how lonely it has been here so far away from home."

She sat back down in her chair by the fire and then motioned for him to take the other, a smile on her lips as she continued to cradle the hot cocoa in her fingers. She waited patiently for him to take his seat and she didn't speak again until he did just that.

"What city did you come from? Downmire is in the center of everything and I traveled through the region with my father from time to time." Olivia was never a stranger to others, enjoying talking to people who were interesting and warm.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:18 PM   #7
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Aidan took the seat,

"I come from the small town of West Passage. My father was the town baker, and my mother the local cheese maker.

I grew up helping my father, but I decided to leave upon coming of age. I needed to expand my horizions, and experience the capital. After two years, I can safely conclude that it is not all it is cracked up to be", he said with a smile.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:48 PM   #8
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"Can I confess something?" Olivia murmured, giving him a sly little smile. "I've only been here for two weeks, but I absolutely detest this city."

She laughed softly and looked at him with a warm smile on her face. "My uncle is a dear man and I am happy that he wanted me to come to the city to be introduced to society, but I miss my apple orchards and my horse. I miss all the green wide open spaces and fresh air."
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:57 AM   #9
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Aidan afforded himself a small laugh.

"It's not for everyone. But you better get used to it if you are to marry one of this city's many bachelors. Just make sure you pick the right one.

I better leave before I am caught. I don't think the Countess would be too pleased to find one of her servants in the bed chambers of the city's most beautiful princess, especially when my duty has long been finished."

He got up from the chair and made his way to the door.

"If you ever need anything brought here, just ask and I'm the man who will bring it. Goodnight Miss".

He left and made his way back to the servant quarters. He finished off his duties for the night and turned in. The next morning, he woke at 5am. As head waiter, he had to oversee the setup of the dining room for breakfast, which was served at 8am sharp. He met with the head cook to know the menu for the morning and organised the dining room to meet those requirements.

At exactly eight o' clock, the Countess arrived downstairs with the princess. He smiled at the princess a little more than he should have, but maintained his composure.He served breakfast with his band of waiters.

After breakfast, he began preparing for lunch. It was the middle of the harshest winter for years, so he had to get the mansions fires going.In every single room.

Every day was the same here for Aidan. The monotony of it had begun to take its toll on him. But the arrival of the princess had snapped him out of his rut. Her pure and natural beauty was something to behold. Their meeting the night before had awoken something inside him. Of course, he wouldn't never be able to be with her. She was destined to be the trophy wife of some middle aged lord. This thought saddened him greatly. She deserved so much more.

His day passed without incidence. Night fell, and Aidan was back to porter duties. He wished he would have another chance to see the princess.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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"Good night." Olivia whispered as he left and the door clicked shut on her solitary life yet again.

The next morning, she was prepared for breakfast at 8am sharp. She met the Countess outside the dining hall as the rules of her position demanded. She was pleased that there was no one else at the breakfast. It was a leisurely meal with conversation only with her eccentric aunt. There were no men to talk to and charm and it took a great deal of weight off her shoulders.

The day itself was bitter cold, but there was a ball that evening in the spacious ballroom on the upper floor. Another dance to show her off to the eligible men of the kingdom. She was grateful for her place in society, one that had given her so much, but she was incredibly saddened at the prospect of marrying someone that she didn't love.

Her ballgown was a beautiful blue, one that reminded her of the ocean. Her wild curls had been tamed into a simple style studded with diamond pins. She barely recognized herself as she looked in the mirror. It all brought tears to her eyes as she sank down in her armchair by the fire, sobbing into her hands as she wished for someone or something to come along to make everything better.

Ballgown: http://www.dressmini.com/pic/max/puf...s-qd0c4f-3.jpg
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:32 AM   #11
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Aidan went for a walk around the mansion, making sure everything was in order. He stoked and rebuilt a few fires. He checked on the main ball room, which was hosting one of the many social events held at the mansion. He checked the fires, leaving the one at the back of the room to last. It was a quiet corner of the room, and rarely did anyone venture here in the middle of a social event.

Yet, when he rounded the corner to check this fire, he found the princess seated in a plush armchair beside the fire. She seemed to be sobbing.

"Miss, is everything alright?"
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #12
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Olivia glanced up as a voice sounded and she was almost ashamed that she had been caught crying. Her green eyes were dull, listless without the spark that had made her seem so wild and vivacious. She quickly wiped her eyes with the backs of her hands, looking at him with a distraught sigh.

"I just want to go home." She murmured softly, a miserable look on her face as she resigned herself to the fact that would probably never happen.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:03 PM   #13
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It broke Aidan's heart to see her like this. She truly deserve better. He put his hand on his shoulder, and opened his mouth to offer words of comfort. But before he could speak, the Countess rounded the corner,

"Olivia, what are you doi-"

The Countess saw the pair, focusing on Aidan's hand on the princess' shoulder.

"You! Get away from her!"

Aidan stood up straight away The Countess stooped to Olivia's level.

"Are you crying child? Did he hurt you?!"

Before Olivia could protest, the Countess turned on Aidan.

"You, young man, are in serious trouble. Get your stuff and get out of this house!"

The Countess was now shouting, and the attention of the room was now on the trio. Aidan couldn't protest, he knew it would be pointless. He silently walked from the room. A short stop in the servant quarters for his belongings and he was gone.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:25 PM   #14
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"Auntie, no." Olivia murmured as she turned towards Aidan and told her to get out of her home. "No, please listen to me. He didn't do anything."

"Please listen to me!" Olivia cried, looking at the Countess as she continued to make a scene.

It was apparent that she wouldn't listen to reason and Olivia stood, pushing past her and running out of the ballroom in a flurry of silk skirts.
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:03 PM   #15
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It had been three days since Aidan had been unceremoniously removed from the Backmore mansion. What little savings he had were spent on a week's lodging at a house in a rough area of the capital. He had to get out, and fast. By day, he was frantically searching for a job. By night, he rested as much as he could, while keeping an eye out for danger. It was getting to him.

On his sixth day, he was walking past one of the larger markets. The larger markets were where producers came to buy grain in bulk. He thought back to his days with his father, whom with argue with grain sellers. This was on a much bigger scale, but the same principles applied. An idea struck Aidan. He approached a seller and offered his services. Before long, he was beside a trailer full of grain sacks. His new boss looked in amazement as he began selling sacks for almost double the market value. By the end of the day, the trailer was empty. The seller told Aidan it usually took him three days to empty his trailer. He handed Aidan a cut of his takings as thanks for his amazing work.

A month later, Aidan was the new director of selling at the largest market in the capital. His prowess for selling had elevated him in the market trading world. He was awarded a cut of all trades made in the market. His salary was one of the highest in the capital. The former peasant was now part of the elite class. He had bought a townhouse in the affluent area of the capital, coincidentally quite close to Blackmore mansion. He had furnished it lavishly. His new life was exciting, but it somehow felt empty.

A few days later, Aidan was out buying new clothes when a poster caught his eye. It was advertising the first spring ball, to be held at Blackmore mansion. His new elevated level should grant him access to the ball. Deciding to go, he bought a new suit. He also restyled his hair at the barbers, just in case he was recognised.

The question was now: was Princess Olivia married yet?
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:21 PM   #16
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Olivia stared into the mirror of her vanity as the maid finished dressing her hair for the first ball of the season. She had grown thinner though the winter, not suited for the cold temperatures and dreary days there in the city. It would also be her first ball as a woman betrothed to her future husband.

The Duke of Rothsay was a handsome man, in his 50s and needing an heir. He was the wealthiest of her suitors and her family had grown tired of waiting for her to choose someone on her own. After he had presented himself at Downmire, her parents had insisted that she had no choice but to accept him. She didn't love him. She wasn't really sure that he loved her either. She was pretty, she looked good on his arm, and she could only hope that he treated her well when they were married that summer.

She sighed as she looked down at the ring on her finger. It was gaudy and she hated it. She had taken to leaving it off her hand until the Countess had given her a dressing down one day about how a dutiful fiancee should have acted. It all served to make her misery just that deeper.

When the maid had finished, she stood, looking over the gown that had been a gift from the duke. It wasn't her style at all, too flashy for her tastes, but she wore it to at least make an effort. Shortly after the ball had begun, she made her apperance on the arm of her duke, a forced smile on her face not quite reaching her sparkling green eyes.

"Announcing the Princess Olivia, Lady of Downmire and Victor, the Duke of Rothsay." The footman announced and all eyes turned towards the couple.


Dress: http://cf067b.medialib.glogster.com/...-opera-jpg.jpg

Ring: http://bestvintageengagementrings.co...nt-rings-2.jpg
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:02 PM   #17
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Aidan arrived by carriage, like most of the guests that evening. He was nervous about returning to the Blackmore mansion. There was no way he would be recognised. His outward appearance had changed dramatically, but he was still the young, charming man on the inside. He took a deep breath and exited the carriage.

Inside, nothing had changed. It was surreal being on the other side of one of these balls. For two years, he had served the snobby aristocrats. Now they were his peers. He made a mental note to be kind to the servants.

Thanking the maid that brought him a drink, his attention was brought to the main door of the room. In entered Princess Olivia. She looked breath-taking. However, what Aidan saw next was like a punch to the stomach. She was on the arm of some middle aged lord. He couldn't believe she had caved. She seemed so strong in the face of the many unsuitable bachelors.

He made his way through the crowd. A line had formed to offer congratulations to new couple. Once he reached the top of the line, his heart was in his mouth.

"Sir, congratulations. May I introduce myself, I am Sir Lotherian, of Dover County. I am the director of trading at the Capital National Market. If I can help you in your business, please stop by."

Then he moved on to Olivia. Their eyes met. He desperately wanted to tell her the truth, but he couldn't. He kept his composure.

"My lady, congratulation on your pending nuptials. I hope you are happy for life."

He held her stare for a moment, then moved away.
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:25 PM   #18
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The line of people wanting to congratulate her seemed impossibly long. She kept the smile on her lips and she hoped that the distress and sadness didn't show on her face too much. Her betrothed kept a watchful eye on her as the people made their way past, their hands taking hers and squeezing them in congratulations and hopes that they would be invited to the nuptials in the summer.

Then came a familiar face. His eyes were the same, even if his hair had changed. He looked good in his new suit and his voice was just as soft and warm as it had been when he brought her that first cup of hot cocoa. She said nothing as he passed through the line and she turned back to her task.

When that was finished, she excused herself from Victor's side to make her way to the refreshment table. A cup of punch in her hands, she then entered the large balcony that was mostly empty. She saw him there though and she felt that little spark of a life that she had long since left behind.

"It's good to see you again, Aidan." She said softly so not to startle him.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:50 PM   #19
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From his position on the balcony, Aidan looked up. The princess stood in front of him. Unfortunately, she had recognised him.

"You too, my lady. I was hoping to keep my anyonomity for the evening."

He eyed the ghastly ring on her finger.

"So who choose your suitor? Your aunt or his checkbook?"

He tried to hide the anger in his voice.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:55 PM   #20
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Olivia was a little taken back by the tone in his voice as he asked her just who had chosen her suitor for her. She lowered her gaze to the oversized ring and let out a soft sigh before she glanced back at him.

"My family decided that I had taken too long to choose. He was the best suitor for my hand in their opinion." She said softly as she stepped towards him, keeping a respectful distance.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:04 PM   #21
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Aidan let out a sight of his own.

"And I suppose that, just like the night I left here, your opinion was not valued?"

He watched her step towards him. Even up close, he could not see a single fault in her alabaster skin. He fiery red hair was the perfect compliment, and her sparkling green eyes just seemed to bore into his soul.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:11 PM   #22
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"My opinion is not valued most of the time." Olivia said softly as he stepped towards her.

He was a handsome man, she thought to herself as they both sized one another up. There was something warm about him that made her want to smile. He was completely unlike the man whose ring she now wore on her finger.
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:14 PM   #23
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Their proximity was leading to heightened tension between them, but in a good way.

"Such a shame that you are now spoken for. You will be a beautiful trophy wife for Mr. Pretentious in there. I can only imagine what you could be for a man that would not restrain your spirit."
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:19 PM   #24
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"Do not be cruel, Aidan." Olivia said softly. "I will marry who my father approves. Victor is who was chosen and I have no say in the matter."

She was quiet for a long moment as he talked about not retraining her spirit. There was no man in this city that she could have chosen that would have allowed her to live as she wished.

"Perhaps one day I can retire to a country estate and live how I want. For now, I simply have to make the best of a bad situation."
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Old 11-20-2014, 04:25 PM   #25
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Aidan sighed again,

"I'm sorry, but I cannot understand how a man can impose himself on a woman, especially one of your beauty and spirit."

He went silent too for a long moment.

"When I marry, my wife will have the life she chooses, not what is acceptable to society and the wishes of parents.

I just hope to meet such a woman".

His eyes did not leave hers while he was talking.
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