Elena truly loved James, she really did. But as she stood there, watching how he smothered her stepsister with kisses, she was surprised at the fact that she did not feel even an ounce of pain. It was so much so, that she stood there, studying the complexities on the way he kissed her; it almost seemed as if he was swallowing her whole face.
James had never kissed her like that. The highest he had ever done was to give her a featherlight kiss on her lips, one she doubts she even felt. She supposed she should have seen it coming; the betrayal that is. Nothing had been going right for her ever since the death of her beloved Queen Mother. And her father the King did not waste his time in replacing her.
She doubts that her father ever loved her mother. As soon as she had reached the age where she could understand her surroundings, She realized that the marriage between her parents was just a a farce. Oh, her mother loved her father, but the king never even as glanced at her.
She had heard the gossip between her mother's maid, on the day of her mother's death, that the only reason her existence came to fruition was as a result of a drunken stupor her father had fallen into. He slept with her mother, mistaking her for one of his lovers.
Her mother, being her mother, as her naive and stupid self, laid with her father, even though she knew he thought she was another person.
Her father woke up the next day, and realizing what he had done, he spat on her and left the room in disgust. He never saw her again till her death.
Her mother was abandoned in her quarters, and as time flew, even the palace servants lost their respect for her. She gave birth, with the help of a village mid wife, and not the palace midwives because for some reason, they were 'busy' and couldn't attend to her.
Elena grew up with only the presence of her mother. Despite being a royal princess, her childhood was no less than a commoner. The kingdom was not informed of her birth, and even if anyone in the palace wasn't in support of the way she was treated, no one said a word.
She remembered always asking her mother of her father, but as she grew up, she came to realize that her father never acknowledged her. So she stopped asking.
When she was fifteen, her mother was poisoned. Her death was recorded as a natural cause, and no one cared to investigate. That same day, she was buried as a commoner. Two days later, the king remarried.
If Elena had any hope before of her father finally acknowledging her, it was crushed when she saw the vast difference between the way he treated her and her step sister. They were both of the same age, and her step sister looked a lot like their father, so obviously her father had been with another woman even before she had been conceived.
Elena was finally turned into a palace clown. She was laughed at, sneered at, spat at, beaten, and had almost been raped. Her hope dwindled everyday, and her heart turned colder, but all the same, she still had hope.
She had met James, a prince of the nearby kingdom, and at first had thought him to be genuinely concerned for her. She took him as a friend and even told the most embarrassing secrets she had of herself. There was finally someone she could converse with, and she was happy about that.
But she started to realize, that she had never been his goal in the first place. She realized through his subtle behavior, that all his kindness towards her were all really for show. His main target had been her step sister.
Knowing that her step sister had made it her goal to take everything that even created a spark of interest in her, she was not surprised that they finally ended up together.
She left them in the hallway and made her way down to her quarters. Fortunately, no one resided where her mother had previously been, so that was her safe haven.
As she walked towards it, she changed her mind and decided to go to the throne room. Using the secret passages she had found in the palace, not only had she been able to discover so many palace secrets, but she had even been present in all the throne room meetings.
She made her way to the corner of the wall directly behind the throne seat. As she was on the other side of the wall, the holes on the wall in front of her made it visible for her to view the back of the throne seat. She could see that, but not the throne room. That though, did not prevent her from hearing what was being discussed.
"Your majesty, how about we offer Elena as a bride to the Blood king? She is a princess also." That was the new queen, her step mother.
She wanted her to be offered to the Blood King?
No! Her father would never agree to it!
Even though she had lost all hope in him, he couldn't be that evil.
"That's a great idea!" He finally replied. Then to the scribes, he said;
"Let it be known, from this day hence forth, Princess Elena," the 'Princess' was said with a sneer,
"...would be given as a tribute to the Blood King as a sign of peace between the two kingdoms."