Chapter Ten, Season One - Unexpected (b)
I poked her nose to prevent her from being sad. “Don’t think about it. They do deserve it, after all.”
She nodded. “You have a point there. The people were the ones who put your parents there. If they had a monarch they don’t like, civil war is a possibility.”
“You’re quite smart, Laura. How do you know that a civil war will happen?” I answered, looking at her with an expression of shock and confusion.
Her eyes widened for a while and she stayed quiet for a few seconds. “Well… from hearing stories from Grandpa Ben, he said that usually happens when the people aren’t satisfied with the current monarch,” she explained.
I smirked. “Grandpa Ben must’ve worked for a royal family before, huh?”
“He did work for a rich family who acted like royalty,” she quickly answered.
“Really?” I asked in enthusiasm. “Mind telling me the story?”
“Well, it all started--”
“Laura,” Ronald peaked out to us from the entrance. “I hope your short time with your friend over here is enough because you’re needed back inside,” he snapped.
“Oh, of course,” she nodded. “Tell Grandpa Ben that I’ll be right there.”
He scoffed as he entered the bakery.
“Why do you always have to put up with him?” I asked as she turned back to me, annoyed.
“Robert, I have no other choice but to bear with him,” she grinned after a sigh. “And I can’t remove him, only Grandpa Ben can make that decision.
“Then why does he let you work with a person like that? He has no respect for you,” I continued my complaint.
She giggled and cupped my face with her hand. “Would you calm down, Robert? You mustn’t be bothered by this because you don’t even work here.”
I held her hands caressing them with my thumbs, “I’m just worried that he might do something to you. It’s something I will never forgive.”
She sighed and shook her head, still smiling at me. “You are impossible,” she remarked, shaking my face slowly before letting it go. “I better get going,” she stood up. “I don’t want to have another confrontation with Ronald.”
I moved closer to her, holding her hands. “If he does that again, you tell me the next time I visit you, okay?”
She nodded with a smile, hugging me without warning.
At that moment, I was frozen. I didn’t hug her back, I didn’t push her away. My arms were just hanging in the air and my mind was blank. I didn’t know how to react to what she just did.
She then pulled away, smiled, and went back inside.
And I was still standing in the same position, trying to process what just happened. Mixed emotions started messing with my body. I was shaking on the inside, my heart was racing, my brain was still in a blur and my legs didn’t want to move.
I was removed from this state because someone suddenly pushed me from behind, causing me to have a bit of stumble. I turned to see Lady behind me. She whinnied after I gave her a “What was that?” look.
“You had to do that to wake me up, Lady?” I talked to her.
She shook her head and started counting.
I shook my head and walked to her, jumping on and started riding back to the castle.
Walking down the hallway, I saw my sister reading a book as she’s walking. I slowly crept behind her and screamed, causing her to shriek and drop her book.
I laughed at her, losing my breath in the process.
“Robert, don’t do that!” she hit me twice on the arm.
“I’m sorry,” I continued to laugh. “Your expression was just priceless.”
She picked up her book with a sigh. “Why do you always have to scare me when you know I’m in the middle of doing something?” she asked with utter frustration.
“I don’t know, I just really want to see how you react when you get scared,” I said, snickering as I tried my best to suppress my laughter.
“Oh, go ahead, laugh all you want. I’ll get you back one way or another,” she rolled her eyes.
“Of course, you will,” I put my arm on her shoulders, pulling her closer to me. “Where’s Mother?”
“She’s taking a nap. We read too many books today,” she replied.
“Taking a nap? It’s almost lunch. Shouldn’t she have waited for lunch to end?”
She shrugged. “I’m not sure but she said she’ll take a nap first. I’m sure she’ll have her lunch once she wakes up.”
“If she says so,” I sighed, nodding hesitantly.
“Well, if you don’t need anything else, I’m going back to my room,” she removed my arm from her. “As you can see,” she raised the book to my face. “I still have some reading to do.”
I smiled once more at the sight of it. “Oh, have you seen James?”
Her face suddenly made an expression of shock. “Why are you all of a sudden looking for James?”
“I have something to talk to tell him,” I answered, putting my hands in my pocket. “I’m not sure if he’s still in his study so I’m asking if you have seen him anywhere in the castle.”
She nodded and responded, “Unfortunately, I just left the library so I haven’t seen him all morning after he left.”
“You didn’t have breakfast with him and Mother?”
“No, we didn’t,” she shook her head, putting the book behind her back. “James headed directly to his meeting, Mother had tea in the library and I had my breakfast in my study.”
“Ah, I understand.”
“Is there anything else you’d like to ask me?” she questioned.
“No, that is all. Thank you, Elizabeth,” I kissed her cheek. “I’m sorry if I bothered you on your reading.”
She smiled, punching me on the cheek. “I don’t mind but what I do mind is you scaring me. Please, don’t do that.”
I giggled and nodded. “For you, I’ll stop… until you get back at me.”
She shook her head and went on her way.
I took a deep breath in and started heading to James’ study.
Arriving at the door of James’ study, I put my ear by the door, trying to hear if there’s anyone inside.
“Your Highness?” someone suddenly spoke from behind me, making me jump. I turned around and it was James’ page. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“Is my father inside?” I asked after catching my breath.
“His Majesty is currently in the dining hall, having lunch with his visitors,” he informed. “He’s waiting for you. He would like for you to join them.”
Join them for lunch? Aside from the fact that I don’t want to be around James most of the time, I also don’t want to be at the same table as his visitors because I’ll never understand whatever it is they will talk about.
“Should I have a place in the dining table prepared for you?” the page asked.
“There’s no need. I’ll have lunch in my study,” I said. “Although, I would love to have a quick word with His Majesty. Could you accompany me and excuse him for a little while?”
“Of course, Your Highness. Right this way, please,” he started walking before me, heading to the dining hall.
As we got closer to the door of the dining hall, I could hear laughter and loud talking inside. They sure are enjoying their time together.
“Your Highness,” the guards bowed at the very sight of me. “Should we announce you?”
“There’s no need for that. The prince is just here to have a word with His Majesty,” the page answered.
The guards nodded and went back to their positions.
James’ page turned around to face me. “I’ll excuse His Majesty from the table. Can I ask for a few seconds?”
I nodded with my lips in a tight line.
He bowed to excuse himself and went inside. As the door closed behind him, the loud conversations diminished into silence in a snap. After a few seconds, James finally came out of the room.
“Robert,” he greeted as he closed the door, walking towards me. “Why didn’t you come inside? We’re all waiting for you to join us.”
“I still have a lot of things to take care of. I’ll have my lunch in my study,” I replied, my hands behind my back.
“If that’s what you want, I’ll have the maids deliver your meal for you,” he nodded. “My page said you wanted to have a word with me. Is there something wrong?”
“Regarding the fishing trip that you want to have today,” I started. As I uttered those words, I could see his eyes widened, and right through them, I could see that he suddenly had hope. Hope that I will agree to what he requested. I planned to refuse him but seeing that he’s enthusiastic about it, I think I have to change my decision.
I took a deep breath in, “If you want, we can go later in the afternoon. I have nothing else to do so why don’t we have our fishing trip then?”
“Really? You would go on a fishing trip with me?” he replied with a smile.
“I was planning to do it after Mother and I return from Middle Earth because this morning, my schedule was full,” I answered. “However, I’m close to finishing my work for the day so I have a lot of spare time this afternoon.”
“Oh, that would be perfect, Robert!” he exclaimed. “I’ll have all of my meetings this afternoon postponed as we could go.”
“Wonderful,” I smiled firmly because I’m not too enthusiastic about this decision.
“Well then, I’ll see you later,” he answered, nodding.
I bowed in respect and he went back inside the dining hall.
I sighed and started walking back to my room. I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where I have to be alone with James but as I promised the women in my life, I have to give him a chance to prove himself.
And I pray that he will prove himself to me this time.
The afternoon has arrived and still, I’ve received no word from James.
I was expecting that he would send his page to inform me if we’re still going through with our plans of going on a fishing trip or not. Although in the very back of my head, I have a feeling that we’re not pushing through today, I’m trying to keep my thoughts positive to give him a chance.
A knock came upon my door and the door creaked open. It was my mother, holding a small tray with a small bowl.
“Mother,” I greeted, preparing myself to stand from my bed.
“No need to stand, son,” she said as she walked towards me. “Allow me.” As she reached me, she sat down beside me, revealing a bowl of cookies.
“Who made these?” I asked, getting one.
“I did,” she answered. “I had a lot of spare time so I decided to bake some cookies. After all, I haven’t baked in a while because of royal duties,” she also grabbed one and took a bite.
I closed my eyes as I took a bite of the cookie in my hand. Mother’s cookies are always my perfect kind of cookies. A bit chewy on the inside and crunchy on the outside, something that I like. When I taste Mother’s cookies, I can taste the love that she puts into them which makes them special.
“I’m surprised you’re not in your study, handling reports,” she continued the conversation. “During this time, I could never disturb you.”
“I’m waiting for James,” I answered, getting another cookie.
“Why are you waiting for your father? Did he assign anything to you?”
“Oh, he said we’d go on a fishing trip today,” I explained, finishing the cookie that’s in my hand. “I’m just waiting for his signal to prepare.”
“Well, that’s odd,” Mother remarked as she took another cookie, her brows furrowed. “Your father said he’s going on a quick trip with the lords right now.”
“Yes, he’s currently in his study, preparing for the trip.”
I stood up and started heading to the door, my hands clenched into fists as I took another step forward.
“Robert, please,” I heard my mother call out to me before I shut the door behind me.