The stroll to the garden was a bit faster at this time of the day; the warmth of the sun shone, my brown hair refreshed my white skin, and in my light purple dress, I enjoyed my joyful day after the father asked to advise the King today. I decided to go for a stroll; I knew Jannet would be here; it was her month in the kitchen. Jannet is my childhood friend who was born and raised in the castle to take over as head maid once of age, we played a lot as children, now we are inseparable, but I can't say I love her just for her, after all, she makes the most delicious potato soup in the entire kingdom. Hopefully, she was here so I could help her with the picking of herbs, yet as I was walking halfway to the farmer's land when I heard something move near around me. Seeing a tall, dark shadow that seemed to be lurking around the Dark Forest scared me enough to gasp; I speeded myself to get to the farm. Fearing creatures of that forest would go after me to be their sacrifice. I have yet to be wed; I have yet to have a dowry of any proper family name. In my run I felt as if whatever was moving was right along side me. I'm a frightful lady, yet the guards constantly at my disposal are nowhere to be seen. Running, I shouted, “Help! There's a beast following me!” the nun Natasha of the leading Catholic church was standing out to see that the orphans were in safety. Hearing my plead, she took steps closer to me; grabbing my hand, she reassured me with her kind words, “child, what has frightened you?” her confusion was evident, yet my shaking hands couldn't hide my fear. Taking control of my breathing, my voice did not defy me as I spoke to her with modesty, “I fear the monsters of the dark forest.” Nun Natasha smiled at my worried state; caressing my hand together, she spoke in sympathy, “you are to be a lady within a weak child; you should not be fearful of children's stories.” she took my hand and she placed it on her arm, leading me inside the church.
I glanced to see her facial expressions more comfortable; another nun walked to her side, “get a horse carriage for the young lady,” she turned to me, “where would you like me, Lady Stephanie?” I smiled kindly “the farmers' land for the kitchen staff of the king? I was to visit it, help maid Jannet, till im reunited with my father.” she nods as the other nun goes on her way, I assumed to get my horse carriage. Nun Natasha had me take a seat, and with this, I took my time to give my gracious thanks; my fears of what is withing that forest came to leave my mind for the briefest moment of after a few minutes of my prayers, Nun Natasha came to let me know of the arrival. I took my leave after my prayer, once in the carriage my fears took me once more into what could be behind the trees of that dark forest. My mind wondered what could be there. Have I angered a witch? Have I taken a liking to a sinister ruler? I arrived, the carriage stopped abruptly, and my head went forcefully forward, taking my mind away from the thoughts that desired to devour my mind. Nun Natasha was seated in front of, she held me till the door opened to a now joyful Jannet, “Stesha! You are here!” she exclaims in joy. She extended her hand and took mine to pull. I landed my chest on hers as I embraced my friend, much to my surprise I wasn't aware to be in the presence of Prince Jeffery was staring behind Jannet. My face heated when I realized my display was not of proper conduct in front of royalty. Stepping out of my embrace I moved to the side to take my bow in giving the Prince his honor of my company, “good morning Prince Jeffery, please excuse my outbursts of affection to a low maiden of your staff.” Jannet must have heard my words as she moved a bit behind me, “pardon my Prince.” she expressed with the best of her maiden training. My eyes didn't wander as I could see from the shadows his movements surrounding me, “Lady Stephanie, I have been hopping to have some time together; may we have a walk?” I rose to his own eyes. Prince Jeffery is a healthy-fit prince, always in decorated a tire, his brown curls flow naturally with the sweet breeze of the day. As I inset my eyes above his cute smile fills me with the kindness I swear to see as I look into his bright brown eyes, “I would love to.” he extends his hand, and I take it. Walking to the end of the farm towards the barn, he went to pet his horse. As he did, he spoke fondly, ”it seems father has grown to like our company so much so that I would be honored to have your birthday celebration at the castle?” to my surprise, I exclaimed in joy to his father's proposal. I stood straight in his direction as I replied, “oh, Prince Jeffery, I would be honored!” I exclaimed in joy and clapped my hands in joy. My well developed body captured his sight as he walked from his horse to hold my arms. Calming down, I could feel my breasts stop their movements from jumping from this wonderful news he gave me.
Pressing his fingers, he spoke tentatively, “I will see to it, but you must give me your word that I will be your escort for the entire month of your birthday. Agreed?” his words confused me. Holding his hands, I replied, “Prince Jeffery, im not sure why you ask such a silly favor. We grew up together, after all,” my words made his hands roam down then he held my waist, lowering his face and reaching my lips. I tried to move back from him, yet he had me firmly to whisper, “in a week, you will be a full-grown twenty-one-year-old woman Stephanie. I intend to make you my bride.” he spoke in a sexual manner that made me fear being held by him. I started to move my arms to free myself from him, “let me go, your grace.” he kept me in place as I tried to leave his presence, “calm down, my wife-to-be, I have done nothing wrong, but you will keep behaving as the refined noble lady that you have always been, for once we are wed, you will keep my needs at bay and provide me of an heir that is all you woman are worth after all.” his words drifted away, the ones compassion have now been turned into possessive, bringing me fear. “I'm a lady, not a breeding property, your grace; you cannot make this choice for me if I am a lady of nobility. Does not that include my feelings redeem importance?” My words might have triggered his anger as he took my hips and slammed me against the wall. I tried to shout as the impact hurt me, yet he placed his hand on top of my mouth to quiet me, “you will keep being yourself, nothing will change, and you will accept my marriage proposal willingly,” he demanded of me. Breathing became difficult as he wouldn't allow me to take the air; I became lightheaded; before I could lose my sight, the Prince guard, Tristan, appeared as I was fainting away, “Lady Stephanie!” I heard him shout last. Waking up, I seem to be in the main guest room of the castle; the doors to my room must have closed as they were heard just as I opened my eyes to my side; my mother was seated; as she saw my eyes open, she took my hand “oh Stesha! My little Stesha, you have scared me so; father has been worried sick of you since Prince Jeffery told us that you have fainted from the news of your birthday celebration here in the castle. How are you feeling, darling?” Mother spoke nervously. Confused, I asked, “the news was why I fainted? But I,” my words did not follow as a knock on the door was heard. Mother moved to open the door only for maids to enter with faces filled with lilies and Hibiscus in them. My eyes grew as I saw the maids filling the entire waiting room, "mommy help me sit, please? I feel better.” mother helps me sit in the bed, and just as she does, the mother gives me a robe to cover myself. I had not noticed that my clothes were removed; before I could ask my mother, I heard the voice of Prince Jeffery after he knocked on the door, “I hope not to be interrupting you both, Stesha. How are you feeling?” he asked me caring for my wellbeing when he suffocated me. Mother gasped at the charming words the Prince had told me. I moved to be a bit distant, “your grace,” I bowed a bit, and my mother moved to bow entirely for us both. Once the Prince saw us both submit, he changed his approach to us yet became more affectionate to my mother. “Madam Soffia, have you been well? It seems your being here has helped Stesha recover quickly from earlier.” he smiled kindly to mother; her hands were captured in his, “I would appreciate it if you could please let my father, the King, know Stesha has woken up. I will make sure she is safe until he reaches us, I’m sure father would want to see her well, as would your husband.” mother bowed at his request, “yes your grace,” she turned to me and kissed the top of my head, then took her leave.