Chapter 5

The next morning when she went into work again, like the first day, she was assigned to clean Prince Alec's room while he was at breakfast and doing whatever he and his father did after it. However, when she arrived he was still sitting in his room and turned to look at her. She curtsied.

'Sorry, your highness,' she spoke quietly. 'I'll come back later,'

'No, you're fine,' the prince replied sounding weary so that Isabella almost felt drawn to - she had always had a need to make someone feel better - but she remembered what happen last time that she tried to speak civilly with him. There was also the fast that she wasn't allowed to talk to them unless they asked her a question. 'I just didn't feel up to breakfast this morning.'

'Is there any specific reason, your highness, you're not ill I hope,' Isabella said, trying to make her voice as obedient as possible because technically she had just broken the rules of not speaking to Royalty unless they asked her a question - twice actually.

'I'm fine,' he snapped and she clenched her jaw slightly: you'd think the boy knew nothing of pleasant conversation.

'I'm sorry,' Isabella told him and then feel into silence as she began to clean up, blatantly ignoring that he was in the room until he spoke to her.

'Did you have a nice day off?' he asked and Isabella looked over at him sharply at his civil question but was quick to reply.

'Yes, thank you, your highness,' she smiled though silently wondering what was wrong with him. 'It was nice spending some time with my family.'

He actually smiled and Isabella's breath caught in her throat, 'I'm sure they miss you greatly.'

Isabella's eyebrows rose, surprised that he paid enough attention to his servants to know the long hours they worked. He was staring at her, waiting for her to say something, and she realised just how blue his eyes were - they seemed to burn. Not wanting to be caught looking at him, she turned to table and sprayed it with polish while speaking.

'It has been a while since I've spent any time with them,' she admitted sadly.

'Family's important to you,' he observed though it was clear he couldn't understand why about this as well.

Isabella spoke without thinking, 'I wouldn't be here if it wasn't.'

As soon as the words where out of her mouth she cringed lightly: not exactly the sort of thing you want to say to your employing family even if it was completely true. The prince pressed his lips together and decided to ignore that comment apart from the fact he stood with the clear intention to leave.

'It was nice speaking to you but I best go meet my father,' he told her making his way to the door and she curtsied. 'I'll let you work in peace.'

'Have a nice day, your highness,' she spoke as he opened the door, he inclined his head slightly to her leaving her surprised at his sudden manners.

Over the next few days when it was just Prince Alec and Princess Jane in the palace - they're parents were travelling, leaving their two nineteen year olds alone - the prince seemed to develop a habit of speaking to Isabella and soon stopped insulting her family or anything she cared about and though she hated to admit it she was starting to fall for him because when he was talking to her, he was now no longer the rude prince with no manners but he seemed kind and caring. She couldn't keep up with him.

'He didn't do it, you know,' she said one time when she was sat with him by the fireplace in his fire - she wasn't even working while she spoke to him now. 'My father. He didn't kill Royce.'

'You're his daughter,' Alec sighed sadly, almost pityingly as though she was some victim of abuse that couldn't understand that she didn't deserve what was happening to her. 'You have to believe that despite all the evidence. You'd be a terrible daughter if you didn't.'

'I know my father - he hates violence,' she said imploringly and he turned to look at her calculatingly.

'Why are we talking about this?' he asked, a snappish tone entering his voice on a minute scale. 'What do you want me to do?'

'I want you to stop believing my father's a murderer, that's what I want you to do!' Isabella answered desperately, she wanted him to do something to help her but she wasn't going to tell him that.

'I can't do that,' he said, rising from his seat and then moving to lean over her, placing his hands on the arms on her chair trapping her in, 'because, even if you can, I can't ignore the evidence, the mountains of evidence, that's pointing directly to him.'

'Please,' she whispered and he sighed, shutting his eyes for a second before looking at her sadly.

'Don't kill me for trying this,' he said causing her to frown in confusion but he didn't give her time to ask as he leant forward a little more and pressed a soft kiss to her lips.

She jumped up as soon as his lips left hers, slipping under his arm and out of the chair as she felt tingles spread through her body. She backed away. Falling for him she might be but doing something about it was completely different: he was a prince. She shook her head softly as she continued moving back away from him and he followed her.

'We can't do this,' she told him gasping when her back hit the wall meaning she was trapped. Her words caused his eyes to sparkle a bit and a smile to twitch on his lips as he realised that she didn't hate him and she did want this, she just thought they couldn't. 'It's wrong. It's one thing talking' - he placed his hands either side of her head trapping her in front of him - 'but this would be disastrous for the both of us -'

Her words were cut of as he kiss her again just as gently and she tried to control the warm feeling that flared up inside her at the feeling of his lips on hers and the desire for more that she felt. He continued kissing her though she didn't respond her thoughts in a flutter. Half of her yearning to kiss him back but the other half ordering her to stay strong and stick with what she had just said - Alec was a prince he had to marry a princess, if she let herself get involved with him, it would simply end in heartbreak. Slowly but successfully, her resolve weakened and weakened until she slowly raised her hands from the wall to rest them on his sides, drifting them up until the tangled in his shaggy hair.

His hands moved, as her lips began to, to wrap tightly around her, pulling her off the wall and closer to him until they were pressed flush against each other. Isabella gasped against his lips and … they froze. Footsteps were coming down the corridor at an alarming pace but Alec still took the time to kiss her another time before turning away. Isabella looked after him, her breathing heavy, and she could tell from the way his shoulders were moving that his was too. The doors flung open as soon as Isabella dropped to her knees to look busy.

'Leave, Maid,' the King snapped with even glancing at her but Alec's eyes looked sorry as Isabella gathered her stuff and left as quickly as she could.

She hurried downstairs and stared at herself in the mirror of the servant's bathroom, trying to calm her panicked thoughts.

'What am I going to do?' she whispered to no one.

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