Royal Entanglement

A Little Bait

Lady Sophia woke up to the loud chirping of birds outside the small window of her chamber. She furrowed her brows as she straightened, covering herself up in the bundles of silk sheets that had kept her warm all night.

But it turns out there was a reason behind the uproar of the birds, as Paul came running into her chambers, only barely managing to stop himself by the door.

”My lady. There is… ”

”I am not properly dressed, Paul! How could you come here without seeking permission? ”

He visibly recoiled, then immediately took a step back, bowing his head. ”I apologize, your highness. It was a dire matter and I thought about telling you. ”

Lady Sophia waved him away, then pulled at the gown that hung a little to the right. She wore it a little thoughtfully, and once she felt she looked presentable enough, she called him back in.

”What is it? ”

”What? ” His Majesty, King Owen Einar said, his eyes wide, yet the beautiful teacup balanced on his right palm staying intact.

”Yes, your highness. we got the news this morning. Lady Lisette, along with the handmaiden she was with at the time…they both have gone missing. Lord Jillian did not want to draw the royal courts attention until it was sure that she was missing. ”

King Owen kept the teacup, and turned a little. ”How can a maiden who is about to become queen do such a thing? Running away from her home just a month to the royal wedding… ”

”Your highness! Please forgive me for not taking care of my daughter. ” Lord Jillian said, bowing to the floor. He had been standing to the side for a long time, listening with a heavy heart as the Kings personal servant related the news to him.

It had happened beneath their noses, in broad daylight, and the little letter had said it all.

”Do not look for me. ”

It was absurd. Lisette had been ecstatic about marrying Prince Xander.

King Owen said nothing to the bowing man, and he turned to his servant again. ”Has Prince Xander heard the news? ”

”No, your highness. I was wondering whether to tell him, or let Your majesty take care of the matter first. ”

King Owen nodded. ”Organize a search party immediately and find her. If that fails, we might have to forget about her and find a more suitable queen. ”

”Your highness… ” Lord Jillian said, his voice loud and pleading.

King Owen did not reply, as he picked up his cup again, then brought it to his lips.

”That is unprecedented. What is the royal court doing about it? ”

Paul shook his head. ”I am not sure, my lady. I will find out for you as soon as possible. ”

Lady Sophia nodded. ”Do that. By the way, has Prince Xander done anything regarding my proposal? ”

Paul shook his head. ”He has been scarce ever since then. Except, he did meet with the Minister of Justice around sunset. ”

She smiled, her head slowly nodding as she assimilated that information. She had already prepared well enough for that. If anything happened to her, Paul would take Charlotte and force her to admit to their relationship. It would be a win for her, regardless of where she was.

”He is trying to get me locked up in order for him to have more time. I bet he will try to take her out of the palace. ”

Paul said nothing and only listened, his eyes trained on the floor. She turned to him, then gave a small wave of her hand. ”You are dismissed. I will go about my normal activities today and see what happens with Lady Lisette. ”

Paul nodded, then slowly walked out of the room. Lady Sophia watched his back, a little bit of pity clouding her light brown eyes. She had known of his deep affection for her sister, Diana, possibly ever since he was brought to their household to tend to their stables. She could only imagine how much despair he felt, knowing she had not only gone for another man, but also died for him.

Charlotte smoothened the dark grey pinafore she was wearing as she balanced the tray of brunch on her hands. Last night, she had waited all through to see Prince Xander, but he had been scarce. She decided to see if he was feeling under the weather, or if he needed her help.

”Your highness, ” she said in her soft, beautiful voice. ”I brought your brunch. ”

There was no reply, and she cleared her throat again. ”Your highness, I… ”

A small groan interrupted her announcement, and she smiled a little. It seemed he was still asleep. That probably meant he had a long day, and that could be the reason he had not come to her.

Slowly, she let herself in through the door and the heavy royal curtains, and she slowly walked to the large rug in the center of the room. In the middle of it was a short table mainly used for brunch and tea, and she settled the tray on it.

She could not see Prince Xander as the curtains that surrounded his royal canopy bed were lowered, and she took a few steps, hoping to catch a glimpse of him.

There was none.

She turned around, making sure no one was coming, and she tiptoed to his side, then lifted the curtains, enough for her to slide in.

He was lying upwards, the robe around him a little loose, his hair sprawled on the deep red silk sheets on the bed.

She smiled a little, admiring his features. It always baffled her that someone as perfect as he could even find her attractive. She leaned forward, then moved his hair slowly out of his face.

He gave a low grunt, then stirred again, turning to face her. His lashes fluttered open, and he caught sight of the dress. He immediately came alert as he sat up, his eyes wide.

”Your highness, Tis I. ” she said softly, trying to calm him down.

”Why have you come, Charlotte? ” he asked, feeling even more irritated by how reckless she could be some times. He was already in trouble for sneaking to her, imagine the trouble if someone found them this way.

”Your highness, I was…last night you did not… ”

”I will come to you tonight, ” he said without thinking, his mind only occupied with having her leave his personal chambers. She read the atmosphere and nodded with a sweet smile.

”Is that a promise, your highness? ”

He nodded. ”I promise. ”

She smiled sweetly, then slowly stood and walked away, leaving him half breathless from his disrupted sleep.

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