Maddy's eyes latched on the endless expanse of books surrounding her. The isles of wooden shelves appeared to go infinitely in all directions, up and down. Never in her life had she seen so many books in one place. The largest collection of books she had gazed upon prior was through the window of the library next to a store she would steal some food from for lunch.
The dusty covers, although writhing with age, make her feel as if she were a scholar. She had always wondered what it would have been like to be a scholar at some prestigious institution meant solely for the rich and noble.
"Stop staring, this is not Wonderland. This is just a dusty old library," Lily scoffed at the curious human's wonder.
Maddy just rolled her eyes in turn. Xavier wanted the two to at least bear each other's presence. Even if she really really just wanted to spite him, she knew it would be in her best interest to get along with the female lycan. After all, according to Xavier at least, the bite mark he had left on her would greatly extend her life expectancy. She would be stuck with the guard for a long long time.
"Not all of us are born into royalty princess."
"So what you're unable to even read? Your tutor will have their hands full with you."
"I never said I was unable to read but then I guess it's common knowledge that humans can't read, right? By the way I can read. The closest thing I had to a mother taught me that."
"I thought you said that you all fended for yourself?"
"Of course because you cannot trust anyone who has been exposed to the wonders of the streets. See the woman was my mother's closest friend. They escaped from slavery together, until my mother died in childbirth. It was her dying wish for her friend to raise me."
"And where is this woman now?" Lily scoffed.
"Not sure. Honestly I don't care. She was a great person, taught me valuable skills but then again she also vanished in the night leaving but a note when I was five. She only taught me what I needed, before teaching me the most important lesson of all. Every human for themself. Wasn't the nicest lesson. I cried a bit but then it hardened me. Besides having others only slows you down and makes you stick out. You can't read their minds and it's just so hard don't you think. Although if they are slower than you then at least they can be a decoy," Maddy said as her eyes drifted over the titles before her, her fingers sliding over the dusty covers.
"But groups are far stronger together," Lily argued.
"Why? A single person can quickly steal an apple but a group would need more than one item of food. The shop owner would try apprehend them. They would move slower together. Every person has their own weakness and poof it fails," Maddy said.
"But a group is stronger together—"
"Yeah if you're a group of supernatural maybe. Do you know what they do when they catch groups, for just sick, demented fun. They make them all fight against each other to the death and we fight. I've heard rumours, not facts from those that worked there or were lined up to fight and escaped."
"You are to be Queen don't speak so harshly about your subjects," Lily reprimanded.
"You may be my guard but like I said you are still a princess. A girl born into royalty, nobility. You've never had to work for anything. Maybe you tried to work for your position but who would not put you in authority. Would it not be treason to have royalty as some ordinary guard. You've never had to go to bed with your stomach paining and growling with hunger. Not knowing whether you will even get food the next day or be killed or enslaved. The times I actually wanted to kill myself to escape from the cruelty of my reality."
"Its all better now. You'll never go to bed hungry again. You are most dearly loved by your mate. You have no idea how much my cousin adores you. He only wants to give you the world."
"You know I'm curious. Why is a princess a royal guard. I've seen some noble women before with their large oversized dresses, decorated fans, long elaborately done hair and ridiculous laughs. They relish in luxury, flaunting all they have, yet you, you wear this uniform," Maddy said deciding to change the topic just to prevent herself getting too fed up with the royal royal guard.
"It was not my scene. Those women are the most cold and heartless things to walk the Earth. Backstabbing schemers," Lily said, hate dripping off her tongue.
"Let me guess one of them stole your boyfriend?" Maddy said with sweet sarcasm as she gave another deliberate roll of her eyes.
"Drugged me actually and tried to get me to sleep with my slave."
"Aww you poor poor thing sleeping with a human how horrible. I am human. You think I want to hear how you have one of my kind serving you and not willingly—"
"I got drugged at my birthday ball. They deliberately got people to watch. Do you know how cruel that was! I could not go anywhere without ladies of the court snickering about me. Rumours spreading. Lies. They got nothing out of it but a good laugh and status. The guard was the best way to abandon that mess. Don't think you would understand."
"Doubt I would but you see why I don't want to be Queen," Maddy said shaking her head.
"Doubt they would do anything to hurt you. It would be treasonous, it could incite their deaths."
"As if. The kingdom would be in outrage if a King killed his kind for a little human street rat."
"Calling yourself a rat, isn't that low."
"It depends on how you see it. See a rat has to take what it can, hide and not get killed. It sneaks around through sewers and abandoned places. I find it more befitting than anything else," Maddy said.
"The Queen refers to herself as a rat. How ironic. Now please do refrain from acting like this street rat around the ladies of court. Like I said, cruel cut throat monsters," Lily said.
"Not your exact words."
"Practically the same thing but trust me. Around them it must be as if you are wearing a mask. Act like a refined lady and don't flinch or glare at the mention of slavery. They will bring it up, just to spite you," Lily said seriously, her tone being that of a warning.
"And you see why I prefer the streets. All I have now is a gilded cage with some beautiful decorations and mean little birds flying around me," Maddy sighed.