It's All Just A Game

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I was very pleased to wake up alone. That heir from last week was just a snob. I hated meeting other heirs because I was pressured into getting married. My mother says that I'm too old to be unmarried. I pointed out that I was only 24 and that she was married at 24. My mother waved me off to go see the next pompous heir, dismissing me like a servant.
My parents were very proud that I had grown in intelligence, wisdom and most important of all, beauty. A princess has to have a fine figure my mom says. My skin was completely free of any blemishes, hair and anything else that would reduce my “luck”. I did have one scar that no one knew about, except for me. It was on the back of my neck hidden behind my hair. If I did tell my parents, they would go all rage on me and I didn't exactly enjoy that.
It was in the shape of a diamond and it was very small, which meant that it was very easy to conceal. I didn't know how I got it and didn't want to ask anyone in fear that they would tell my parents.
Their view of scars was one of disgust. I didn’t understand why. I thought that scars showed how brave you were or how stupid one person could possibly be. I still found the whole concept of the fascinating. Hiding one felt like I was concealing a scandal or something. It scared me sometimes, not that I would admit that.
I got up out of my bed and pulled back the curtains from the window. I had a perfect view of the moat outside of the castle walls which was surrounded by a beautiful garden. Farther out was a lush and beautiful forest that we never ventured into for some odd reason. I wanted to but I could never get past the garden without being seen. I tried venturing out during the night but the gate was closed at night. The changing of the guards was never a routine thing so I had no idea when the hall would be free for a moment or two for me to escape.
Farther than the forest was the mountains where at the base was another kingdom that none of their heirs ventured out to us because of some unknown reason and I was glad. I didn’t need another snobby and arrogant man ruining my life. My life was already ruined so a man adding to that was something that did not please me at all.
I despised heirs, every aspect of their being and existence. Some days I was convinced that they were only created to cast down annoyance on me. Or maybe God just has a cruel sense of humor.
I cracked open the windows a little to let a breeze in. I looked at the blue sky which had only a few puffy white clouds floating around aimlessly. I felt like this was going to be a good day but looks could be deceiving. It was rarely a good day for me anyways. Verity do this. Verity do that. Verity don’t scowl. Some days I felt like I was just a pack mule made just for ordering around. That’s probably how the servants felt about us.
I grabbed my blue satin robe from my stand and wrapped it around me. My black nightgown was very thin, hence the reason why I needed it. I did ask for something else to wear but I was rejected. I wasn't surprised. My mother thought that I should look regal when sleeping but the thought just creeped me out. I was certain that an heir or two had spied on me while I was sleeping which made my skin crawl just thinking about it. Besides, no one was going to be sleeping with me so what was the point in looking regal if it wasn’t for myself?
I opened the door and saw the halls were empty but I could hear chatter coming from downstairs. It was probably Mom and Dad debating on the next suitor for me. Lame. My footsteps echoed in the deserted halls as I descended down the steps to see my mother and father discussing something at the table. The cooks, maids, butlers were not in sight. Odd. Father looked up from reading something and beckoned for me to sit down at my spot.
“Come and sit down my daughter.”
He only called me my daughter when something important came up. I sat down cautiously while eyeing my parents warily.
“What is this about?” I ventured.
“Verity, the kingdom under the mountain has offered to introduce itself to us along with the king’s two heirs!”
I knew it. It always ended up with the topic of suitors. It was like a gossip thing for Mother mostly and for Dad to have a heart attack over the thought of his precious little girl being married off.
“This is intentional, isn’t it?”
“Verity, you are 24 for goodness sakes!”
I rolled my eyes internally.
“What are they like?”
“The eldest has earned quite a reputation.” She explained almost disgustedly.
I was now very interested in his “reputation”. The ones with the reputations made my life interesting but I’d never marry one of them. Maybe friends, maybe. Besides, the ones I met had no intention in falling in love. They just wanted to have a fling and then leave.
“Is it anything bad?”
“That boy has a record of breaking young girls hearts and doing horrid actions!”
“What type of horrid actions?”
“Verity, it is not wise to discuss this man while eating.” Father spoke.
“Were you going to go into detail then?”
“Of course not!” Mother exclaimed. “Details are not important.”
“Of course details are important. Did he kill someone? Sleep around?”
“Is he a bad boy then?”
“In a sense, yes.” Mother said cooly.
I had never met a bad boy before. This would certainly be interesting. But he would probably try way too hard. That’s what always made me turn away. When they try too hard, they come off as creepers or possibly stalkers. No one really cared about just me anyway. It was all about the power, the wealth or the beauty. My heart was just another conquest all together.
“Anyways, the youngest doesn’t have his reputation. He is said to be quite a gentlemen.”
Gentlemen always tried too hard to gain my affections. I wasn’t really willing to meet these two but the bad boy could be interesting, not that I would open up. I was just another conquest and I did my best to remember that.
“When are they arriving?” I asked.
“This afternoon. After you finish breakfast, Amelia will help you get ready.”
I liked Amelia. She was my mother's handmaiden and she was pretty much my only friend. The one person who didn’t care about my wealth or my power. She was always there to listen to me whine and complain about how much I despised being a princess. She told me that she would gladly take my place for a day and I’d wait on her. I thought it was a good idea but Mother, being the downer she is, said no.
“Give them a chance Verity. A small chance.”
“Maybe, if they can give me one.”

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