Maddy fiddled with the soft ribbon in her hair as she looked herself over in the mirror. She hated the fashion trends of the rich yet was still wearing them, the only reason being to try fit in.
She was not the type to try fit in. At least she had never been before but suddenly the prospect of having people accept her seemed nice. It was odd but good. Xavier had wanted her to make friends.
Anyway she would prove she was most definitely not a coward. She could face anything even a couple of entitled nobles who did not know what dirt looked like.
She had an idea of their type, slave owning rich girls. She was surprised they wanted to be seen with her but was not going to argue with it. If she could show them what her kind was truly like, maybe they would not be so hard on their slaves. It was wishful thinking. She herself was not going to advocate for anyone. Truly she just wanted to get back on the streets. She was just going to at least see if she could find some enjoyment in the life of a noble whilst she was there. It was not like she had anything to lose.
Maddy lifted an eyebrow as she saw the place that she was having tea or whatever at. It was pink, pink, pink and more pink with a dash of white. It was a stereotypical cake shop, a rather feminine looking place for women to gossip to each other over tea. That's what she could at the very least see.
They all looked like overdressed dolls lacking any sort of individuality and unique personality. They were all part of a matched set and it disturbed her. The same style dresses and hair and the way there was no difference between them other than whether they were lycan, vampire or werewolf.
She was starting to think that just maybe coming was a bad idea. She had not even told Lily or Xavier about it. She knew she probably should have but then Lily would come along to guard her and voice all her opinions. Maddy knew that she herself was opinionated at times but this was her life so she could be as opinionated as she wanted.
"Look who finally arrived. I'm so glad you came Lady Madeline or should I call you, your majesty?" A woman said at the table.
It was not anything personal but something about them and her especially was setting the human on edge. These were cutthroat women, as Lily had described them, she would not say that without reason. She was not trying to limit Maddy's connections or anything out of jealousy. She was Xavier's cousin. Maddy probably should have seen the red flags earlier.
"Oh it's fine. I just came to pop in. I should get going Xav— my mate probably won't want me staying away too long. He gets rather clingy from time to time," Maddy said, taking a step back.
Experience had taught her to run from uncomfortable situations. This was one of those instances. She was honestly really uncomfortable.
"Oh come on, don't be a scaredy cat. I do hate cats," one of them said.
Maddy was pretty confused about the tad extra information but she assumed it was a semi-threat?
"We don't bite, your highness. Come have a seat," another said, ironically since her fangs were visible in her smile.
Maddy felt cornered without being in a literal corner. Their eyes looked so sweet and innocent but at the same time she felt as if they were daggers piercing into her soul.
The deliberate use of a title by the women when speaking to her made her feel as if they were mocking her. She was used to being looked down on to a degree but they were a new low.
She slipped into a seat, internally defeated without any physical blows.
"So what hobbies do you have? Any talents?"
"Uh I like running?"
"Running? Ugh. What about the arts? Can you sing?"
"Ooh can you dance or paint? Maybe recite poetry or write?"
"No?" Maddy responded, internally wondering just how talentless and bland she was inside.
"Oh gosh. You must be good at something. It would look terrible for the King to have a low born, slave queen and worse with no education in the arts at all. How would you talk to other ladies whilst he discusses political meetings? I mean no offense of co—"
"Or at events. You must show your talent to give your mate some face. It would be certainly be a bore if you just sat there like a faceless old doll. Not a porcelain one of course. Your skin is a little too rough. Gosh how is this even possible. Even my slaves have better skin. It's so hard and not in the least but supple or smooth. What's your mate supposed to feel."
Maddy crept back into her seat. All of them were ganging up on her. Verbally attacking her in the sweetest and not so sweetest of ways. And she had thought that governess was bad. She may have been blunt but she would have taken her over these women anyday. Gladly.
"Oh look cake!" One of them exclaimed with moderate excitement and a wave of her fan because yes they actually carried fans and knew how to use them. Unlike her, the underdressed bore of them all.
Maddy thought them to be pointless. The less things she was carrying, the easier it was to scale a wall, was her motto in a sense.
Maddy gladly took a bite of the cake and immediately felt sick. It was so sweet that it made her nauseous. She grew up on stolen loaves of bread and apples. Never luxuries.
The feeling was horrid.
"E-excuse me," she said getting up from the table and running out of the shop and into a bathroom stall at the mall.
She threw up the cake into the toilet bowl in a random cubicle. She was a mess. Her nicely done hair was a total disaster and she just wanted to break down in tears, there where she sat on her knees.
She wiped her mouth clean and got up. She held her head up high. Nice and confident.
She fixed her hair up in the mirror. It did not look perfect but it was good enough. It was not as bad as it had been before.
She made her way back into the pretty little cake shop and she could hear the ladies. She could hear them laughing about her.
"Well done putting that stuff in her slice. That stuff is so disgusting, just like her. I wonder how long she will be in there spilling her guts out," one of them laughed so sweetly.
Yet the horrid words were like a knife to her heart. Her heart that had naively thought maybe friends could exist in such a cruel world. That maybe it would make him happy after all that he had done for her.
As much as she hated the lack of freedom a part of her did appreciate him and his efforts. He had taken her off the streets and had given her a place that was beginning to feel like she would have imagined a home might have felt.
She felt naive and hurt. She knew better than to trust people and yet that got her absolutely nowhere but getting hurt— yet again.
Maybe it was because she had always seen nobility as a safe, comfortable life, where there would be no backstabbing. She hated the women she was exposed to.
She turned and fled.
Without warning her arms were grabbed by multiple hands, all holding her in hard and tight grips.
"So this is the human."
"Who are you?! Let me go!"
"No can do rat. You've been sold to us for the games and it'll be fun to see you die."
The girl stared horrified as she realised her worst fear was about to come to pass.
A bat was lifted and it came down on her head.
The poor girl dropped to her knees in pain, her head thrust forward.
"Hit her again. Another go and it should certainly knock her out."
And it did.
A hard knock to her head had Maddy's vision invaded entirely by darkness and black. Just pure black nothingness.
The men dropped the young girl, seeing her knocked out and watched her head hit the floor before they dragged her into a closet and began to tie her up and put a bag over her, forcing her to tightly fit into it.