“Mother!” I shouted down the long hall of the castle, “I’m going for a walk in the gardens.”
“Come here before you go Isabella, we have things to discuss.”
“Oh alright.” I groaned, hoisting myself up off the bed and walking down the corridor towards my parent’s chambers. I was about five steps away from the door when I was barrelled over by a large white animal. Hitting the floor with a thud I looked up to see my gorgeous golden retriever, “Bailey!”
He scurried over towards me and sat in front of me cocking his head to the side. His ears were doing that cute thing as if to say I didn’t do anything. Shaking my head, I scowled at him while he gave me his best puppy dog eyes and eventually, I gave in to his apology. Scratching him behind the ears I used the wall to guide me back up into a standing position but was pushed over again.
“Oh, my dear lord Thomas, I am going to brutally murder you.” I gasped as he ran into my parent’s room giggling. The breath that was knocked out of me slowly returned to my body and I stood up steadily and cautiously this time. To be honest if Bailey could speak or laugh, he’d be telling me how much of an idiot I was, while laughing.
Making my way into the large chambers with Bailey hot on my heels, I saw Thomas climbing all over my parent’s bed. I laughed at the sight of the two most respected people in England being trampled by a ten-year-old.
My father picked Tom up by the sides and had him flying in the air like a plane, “Are you sure you’re my son Thomas, or do you secretly belong to the monkey’s?”
A hearty laugh escaped my brother’s lips, “Don’t be stupid dad.”
“Woah," he paused, Thomas dangling in mid air, "did I just hear you accusing me of being stupid? Did you hear that girls?”
I leant against the bed frame and nodded my head, a small smirk tugging on the side of my lips. A mischievous glint appeared in my father’s eyes and before I knew it, Thomas was in the large en-suite under a cold shower, shrieking loud enough for the God’s above to hear him.
Welcome to my family.
Turning to my mother I studied her tired face, “What did you want to talk to me about mother?”
“Well it was more what you had brought up the other day that I thought you might want to discuss with me and organise?”
“Oh yes.” I said gruffly, smoothing the creases on my gown.
“Both your father and I are leaning towards saying no because of how unsafe it is for you.”
“But mother that’s not fair, you must let me go back once summer is over in America. I miss learning and I miss Claire terribly. I just want to finish high school.” I huffed with a stamp of my foot. Just like an eight-year-old but hey, I needed to go back, particularly to see Ash.
“Princesses don’t stomp their feet Isabella or use foul language. Stop acting like a filthy common child and talk about this sensibly.” She sighed slightly.
The tired look on her face told me more than enough. She spent most of her days in bed and although nothing health wise was wrong with her currently, something was bound to come up. With all the stress running the Kingdom put her under, I was surprised she hadn’t just quit and given up.
I was worried about her, yes. Sighing inwardly, I realised what I had to do, “Look just please speak to father about it, I’m happy to take however many staff or guards, enough that will make you feel confident to leave me. I’ll wear a disguise and I’ll also have Claire staying in the same house as me. I just want to finish my schooling and then I can come back for coronation.” I dipped my head at her and walked slowly out of the room.
The surprise in her face had been evident, there’s only been a few times where I’ve been able to control my childish temper at the age of seventeen and since I wasn’t eighteen till December I was nowhere near a mature adult age; yet what everyone expected of me was, maturity. “Take the people you listed with you please.” She murmured out of nowhere.
I reached the door, turned around and nodded my head before walking out into the long hallways again, locating the doors for the front gardens. The gardeners had done a fine job designing what my mother and I had sketched up when I was younger. The garden was stunning and I loved walking through it, morning and night. Finally reaching the doors to the garden I wrenched them open, a cool but slightly warm breeze hit my face causing goose bumps on my skin. The white and pink lace dress I was wearing swept the sidewalk and caused leaves to twirl into the air before falling gently back onto the ground. Guards that stood either side of the door acknowledged my presence with a nod before standing tall again and resuming their post. A maid I had brought with me told me she would wait for me by the door and if I had not returned in an hour she would come to retrieve me.
The night sky twinkled as I walked down the pebbled path that led to the rose side of the garden. This was further to the side of the castle and only illuminated by fairy lights. The gorgeous design was mine and I would love to come dance here with the love of my life one day. My bare feet in the lush grass made me feel content with where I was. A slight breeze caused a loud rustle in the leaves behind me.
A hand wrapped around my wrist, the other covering my mouth, stopping me from being able to scream. I was dragged to the back of the castle into the far corner where there was minimal light and no guards. My attackers face lit up and I was struck by how frightening this man looked.
“Hello Princess.” He slurred in my ear, I squirmed against his grasp which didn't turn out to be a smart idea, since a hand clamped around my throat, “Keep moving darling and I’ll crush your windpipe.”
Ceasing my movements, he let go of my throat but didn’t remove his hand from my skin. Shivers of fear caused more goose bumps to rise on my olive complexion. His hand slid down my neck towards the sleeves of my gown. Tonight, had been a bad night to wear such a revealing dress.
His breathing got heavier as his roaming hands caught hold of my exposed chest area and the other slid up the back of my dress. Closing my eyes, I willed myself the power to fight back. I could feel him getting closer to the point of where I wasn’t going to be able to return from this. I frantically searched for a way to escape while his eyes were preoccupied with other things.
His hand wasn’t on my left leg which meant I was free to move there. Raising my leg, I kicked him hard, right where the sun doesn’t shine. His hand which had made its way to my undergarments abruptly let go and he stumbled backwards. I took this time to run and I'd never run so fast before.
Tears were falling freely down my face and I could hear heavy footsteps behind me, he was chasing after me. The light of the castle doors hit my eyes and I scurried towards it as quick as I could, tripping just as I reached the steps where the guards were situated. I heard no footsteps anymore but a voice that felt like it was right beside my ear spoke.
“I’ll find you Princess, no matter where you are and I’ll kill you for what your daddy did.”
I whipped my head around but saw nothing and before I knew it my maid was beside me assessing the situation I was in. The gorgeous dress I has been in was ripped to shreds and was hanging off my shoulder. The guards were now standing below me swords out, scanning the garden for the intruder that just threatened me.
“What happened to you sweetheart?” Martha asked, her eyebrows were creased in worry and she looked unsettled.
“I can’t Martha, I just can’t.”
“Hush now, we won’t speak of it. Let’s get you cleaned up.”
Martha guided me all the way into my chambers and ran me a bath, she told me to sit on my bed while she grabbed me a few necessities and went to speak to my parents. I begged her not too but she wasn’t taking no for an answer.
It didn’t take long but William was in my room within five minutes, with my mother Esmerelda following suite trying to calm him down. He walked towards me and the moment he did, flashes of the man who grabbed me forced their way back into my mind and I backed away onto the other side of the bed.
My father’s eyes were ablaze with fury and sadness, “What happened Isabella?”
Shaking my head, I looked down at my trembling hands trying to think about what I would tell my parents. I looked up and saw my parents exchange something between themselves before William stepped away and my mother came slowly towards me. She stopped about a metre away from me, sat down on the end of the bed and tucked her hands neatly in her lap. The small movement caused creasing the pencil skirt she was wearing, but it looked like she didn’t mind. “Would you like to tell me what happened Isabella?”
Edging closer to her I sat on the bed, still a good ruler length away. “He came out of nowhere, I mistook the bushes rustling as the wind but it turned out to be this man stalking me. He gripped me around the wrist and dragged me towards the south end of the gardens, where there was no light and no guards.” I sighed softly and whispered, “He tried to rape me.”
A gasp came from everyone in the room. “He didn’t succeed,” I smiled lightly, but it dropped away quickly, “What stumped me was his threat, and reference about you.” I said, my voice confused and shaking as I looked over towards my father.
“What did he say exactly sweetheart?”
“’I’ll find you Princess, no matter where you are and I’ll kill you for what your daddy did.” I reiterated as violent sobs started to take over my body. My mother didn’t care about how I felt by this point because she took me into her arms and cradled me while I cried into her shoulder.
I wasn’t paying much attention but William, Esmerelda and Martha were all discussing who it could be over my shoulder and my father was barking orders to the guards outside my doors.
Two months until Summer was over in America. Two months to convince myself, along with my father that I could still attend school over there. Two months for them to find, catch and put the perpetrator on death sentence. Eight months until I’m crowned Queen.
My life starts now.