It's all about Hate
As part of my activities in court, I was on my way to the Ambersite where the royal kitchen was situated to make breakfast with Echo of course.
Approaching the door, I heard a strange and hostile voice that was highly raised shouting "Discard this! Keep this! Trash this! Throw this away and all of that.
It was really commanding and authoritative. I stood there for few minutes trying to decipher whose voice it was before Echo decided to announce my presence which I usually dont like.
I preferred just walking into the kitchen silently without anyone noticing but then the deed has been done. The doors opened and we walked in.
To my greatest amazement standing there was Gemma in an apron. Only heaven knows what she was doing here yet she had the effontery to ask me.
"What are you doing here?" She asked with a frown as the kitchen staffs bowed acknowledging my presence.
"I should be asking you same" I said with a smirk. "Or are you now one of the kitchen staffs?" I teased her knowing fully well it will get under skin.
She chuckled lightly strolling toward me "Aris or whatever you call yourself, from today henceforth I'm in charge here"
I looked at her confused. "In charge! how do you mean?"
"The queen asked me to take over while you work directly under me?"
"That's what I dont understand?" I questioned. "When you say take over, as what? A maid or what?" I commented irritated.
The word 'maid' I used angered her so much that all her facial muscles stiffened and she was shaking.
"How dare you insult me?" She yelled at me wanting to raise her hands against my face when I held onto it intercepting her actions.
"What do you think you are doing! You want to slap me? You think i will let you do that or this?" I pointed to my apron she was putting on. "Look here Gemma, I have never had any problem with you before and I dont intend to. So I will plead with you to please leave my kitchen and return back to where you belong"
"Leave whose kitchen and return to where?" The queen's voice echoed loudly filtering into the kitchen terrifying most persons as the staffs head remained lowered throughout my confrontation with Gemma.
She walked in majestically and we all curtsied. "Have you gone crazy? Mad?" She asked me demonstrating with her hands. "This is my kitchen and if there is anyone who should be returning back to where they belong, it's you Aris. You!" she pointed at me sternly. "I asked Gemma to be in charge here because you're useless here. All the foods that was cooked last week was total rubbish. How can I feed that to the king? How?.....You good for nothing girl!" She shouted. "Is there anything you know how to do? Remember what I told you, very soon you will be kicked out of here. Now get lost!" She raised her voice louder again pointing toward the door for me.
Already tears has been running down my eyes continously. This was the height of it all! My chest was tightening itself. I felt a burning ache in my heart as I ran out of the kitchen that early morning crying profusely.
"Its okay my lady" Echo comforted me with tears also hanging in her eyes. This was torture! After recovering from the embarrassment, I thought to go see the king and maybe narrate all these to him but Echo advised me not to.
"If I may advise, my lady. I would suggest you look for ways to get back at Lady Gemma. She's not even the prince's bride yet she parades herself as though she is"
"That's because she's the choice of the crown" I sounded pathetically.
"But not the prince. I feel you're too peaceful my lady that's why they will keep taking you for a ride. No offence please, just my humble observation"
"None taken. You're absolutely right. I hate trouble and maybe it's become a weakness" I admitted sadly. "So what exactly should I do as I dont want to be kicked out of court" I asked her with a sad expression plastered all over my face.
She gave me a small smile and then we decided to draw and make our plans on counter attacks not to the queen but to Gemma.
Three days later! Once the car drove into the court compound, I hurriedly jumped out not waiting for them to announce my arrival nor acknowledging those who came out to welcome me.
I started toward the Rubysite where her chamber was but it was shocking to find out she wasnt there when I got there.
"She should be here!" I shouted. "Where the hell is she?" I yelled angrily at the gurads who were guarding the chamber.
"Your highness" one of them spoke up. "We've not seen her anywhere close here before" with the others nodding in agreement.
"What?" I asked again more curious this time. "Then where could she be?" I stood there running my hands through my hair, then over my face, it felt tiring.
Then walking toward me was Ianthe, one of my personal guards who obviously ran off with me because I wasnt shocked to find him there "Your highness, I think we should head back to Zirconsite. Besides the king awaits you" he spoke politely.
At that moment, I felt so weak and powerless taking in breaths to remain calm. "Ian, please ensure to find out where they're keeping my bride" I commanded him and walked away.
I headed back to my chambers to freshen up before reporting back to the king. Everything I returned with had been carefully arranged by the court lady Korina who waited on me.
"Good to have you back! Your highness" she greeted me expressing her joy.
"How have you been Korina?"
"Bored without your presence and disturbances" she smiled and I chuckled lightly at her words.
"Well I'm back now and dont intend to go away for a very long time" I commented and moved away from her into the bathroom.
I spent some hours inside the hot tub relaxing and lost in my imaginative world while the hot water and all the scented oils and soaps worked their magic on my body.
Stepping out of the bathroom much later with a towel tied around my waist, I walked into Gemma sitting on my bed with my shirt in her hands snuggled up her nostrils. She was inhaling my scents so vigorously with her eyes closed.
Honestly, I felt disgusted at the site that I kept chuckling. It was unbelievable.
"Gemma!" I called her bouncing her back to reality.
"Oh Troy!" She cried out softly approaching me. "I missed you ...... so much. Its so good to have you back home" she confessed trying to throw her hands around my neck as a tear dropped from her eyes. I stopped her and shoved her gently to the side drying my hair with a smaller towel.
"What are you doing here? How did you even...... even get in here?" I questioned stammering.
"I heard you were back, so I came to welcome you. You know like old times besides we are still best friends even though you didnt choose me, right?"
Seeing the way she stared at my face waiting for an answer. "I dont know about that Gemma. You make it almost impossible to relate with you again. I'm sorry that I dont find you attractive in that kind of way but as a friend, I expect you to respect my decision and accept it" I explained to her while putting on a cologne.
"I'm sorry Troy that I find it difficult to accept Aris as your choice. That's because I've longed and prepared for this for a very long time. Being rejected is not a good feeling at all....." she broke down in tears sniffling.
"Hey Gemma, c'mon dont do that. Please stop crying. I'm sorry but I understand how you feel because Aris was almost doing that to me" I pulled her into a hug as her tears soaked my bare chest. She wrapped her hands round my waist and that was when I realized I still had the towel on.
"You know how it feels, then you kept pushing till she accepted you and now I'm being crucified for doing the same thing" she mutterd in between hiccups.
"I dont know what to say again Gemma and I dont know what to do" I admittedly said stroking her hair gently.
"Marry me Troy! Let Aris go. Just come up with anything that you've changed your mind"
Exhaling deeply I pulled away from her cupping her face with my both hands. "You know I cant do that, i can't live without Aris. I love her! Yes i just realized that i really do love her"
Immediately i said those words, she pushed me away so hard. "You dont love her!" She yelled. "You barely even know her and yet you say you cant live without her? Troy..... why are you hurting me this way? If you dont marry me, I swear Troy.... I swear you will never marry her. Mark my words!" She warned and threatened fiercely with her eyes shooting fiery beams.
That was a threat I just received from Gemma! I did a mental playback of her words again in my head. It's just an empty threat, I dismissed it the warning after carefully analysing it. She just feels hurt and soon she will come over it.
I quickly dressed up and settled in to have lunch when Gaius came in with Ian.
"Your highness" they both bowed.
"Have you found her?" I asked Ian.
"Yes your highness. She is staying at..... at...." he swallowed hard like the words were heavy to say.
"At where?" I questioned back with my voice a little raised.
"At the Zoisite" he whispered.
"At the Zoisite?" I shouted angrily. "What the hell is my lady doing at the staff quarters?" I slammed my hands on the table so hard sending some of the silverwares to the floor.
"Take it easy your highness" Gaius fell to his knees with his face bent pleading. "Please! It was the queen's order"
Apparently if I spent one more second in that room, I would've probably done something I was going to later regret so instead I chose to go confront the queen right away.
Ian ran off after me again together with Gaius trying to pacify me but I refused to be. I needed the whole anger and energy for this.
"How dare you mother?" I shouted at her once I stepped into her chambers burning with fury and rage refusing them from following protocols.
"Oh Eridian, my precious boy" she said with all smiles when she saw me ignoring my actions and feelings. She tried to touch me but I shoved her away embarrassingly.
"Dont touch me!"
"Excuse us Eusebius" she called out to her adviser and all her court ladies who were in the living room.
"I would ignore your action just now but I will not condole any act of disrespect from you Eridian!" She warned sternly with a serious face. "I am the queen of the this kingdom. Always remember that!. Now come give your mother a hug" she smiled switching moods immediately with her arms open wide and stretched out.
I felt defeated at that instant. Why cant I ever win against this woman? It was like she knew me so very much and her influence over me was so strong.
She stood there smiling and waiting for me to walk into her embrace which I reluctantly did. "Oh! It's so good to have you back home?" She said softly patting my back. "How was your journey?"
"It was fine mother" I answered with a frown as she pulled away from the hug and offered me a seat.
"Your father awaits your presence. Now hurry up and tell me why you're so mad at your mother that made you almost act like an insane person?" She spoke softly and gently.
Tch! I gaped at her in disbelief. My mother just told me I looked like a mad person. Very funny!
"Eridian! I'm waiting"
Sighing deeply, I closed my eyes arranging the words in my head. By this time I was still very much angry within me but I just couldnt express it.
"Why did you order that Aris be taken to Zoisite rather than her chambers at Rubysite?"
She let out a small laugh. "And that was your reason for the uproar you just caused?"
"Mother, I'm sorry okay but I was so angry when I got there and couldn't find her. Only to later hear that she was staying at the maid's quarters"
"She's not a maid mother" I stared at her with my lips slightly parted.
"I know she's not but it's all part of the training process. She needs to learn and it must start from there to become a good queen"
Her defence was causing my head to spin. I wasn't buying this nonsense excuse.
"She doesnt have to stay there to learn all she needs to know. I know that because you didnt stay there. Besides Aris is a very smart lady. Shes intelligent and - "
She cut me off on my words. "I am the queen and she is under me and I have every right to keep her wherever I want even if it is the kitchen. I want you to get that into your head"
An angry frown creased my forehead that I couldnt utter any words yet. I just sat there with my head bent feeling ounces of pain all over my body.
"This is unfair mother. Your maltreating her and it is so unfair. She has done nothing wrong to deserve this"
"Oh darling, your little Aris has done everything wrong by choosing you" she smirked.
"No! She didnt choose me. I chose her! I made my decision and that is because I love her" I cried out in agony.
"Shhhh!" She hushed me. "She had the opportunity of rejecting your proposal but what did she do? She accepted it. And dont ever think you love her. I feel she's got a spell on you"
"Mother" I yelled at her rising to my feet. "Enough! That's the height of it. I can let you talk her down anyway you want but connecting her with dark magic. Nah" I shook my head disapprovingly. "I wont let you do that and tarnish her image" I cautioned her carefully and made my way out.
"Oh please very soon, you will find out that theres nothing worth protecting of her so called image" she said with a raised tone whilst I left.
I reported to the palace the moment I left my mother. Briefing him verbally about the outcome of my journey, I informed him that a written report will be prepared and submitted by Gaius soon.
"I heard you went to see your bride. How is she doing? Reports reaching me says she is been taken care of and treated well by your mother"
Smiling at his words, I remained silent because I knew it was going to play out this way.
"Yes she is fine so I heard too. But I haven't set my eyes on her yet because she's not at her chambers"
The king looked at me confused. "What do you mean, she's not at her chambers. Where is she then?" He asked.
"Zoisite" I responded bluntly.
"Where the maids stay?"
"Yes your majesty and it's all on the queen's order" I added.
"Why would your mother do something like that and why hasn't it brought to my notice"
"Still her orders I guess. Father you know that mother is not in support of my choice bride. So she is doing everything within her power to make court life unbearable for lady Aris with the hope she wont last long, she would give up and leave".
The king sat there mouth wide opened and dumbfounded. "Are you sure of all these things you just said?"
"Oh father, thses things are glaring all around you. You saw the way she reacted when I chose Aris. She didnt for once hide that Gemma was her choice. Even you supported her....."
"Well that's true" he said crossing his arms on his chest. "We wanted Gemma for you but seeing as you made a different choice, I gave up because I understand how these things work" he nodded in sync with his words. "They are matters of the heart son" he leaned forward whispering "and one must be extremely careful when dealing with such" he spoke smiling. "I respect your choice. Aris is a wonderful woman. I've read her profile. She would make a better queen than Gemma. Trust me! I've seen it all."
The kings word suddenly lighted up my mood and lifted my spirit. Finally I've got the support of the crown. But my fear was the queen was so powerful and had even a stronger influence over the king.
"So then are you going to help me again?" I asked him hoping he would.
"What do you want?"
"Aris should be relocated back to her rightful chambers. If she could stay anywhere then why was a bride in waiting quarters provided? Please father"
"Okay. I'll talk to your mother about it?"
"She doesnt have to know. Please just give a counter order" I pleaded while suggesting.