Elias wasn’t sure exactly what to think or what to do. He was not born to be king, that honour had been his brothers. He had loved his brother, their early years spent docilely playing in the grounds of the castle and running rampant. The past few years they had barely seen one another. He looked to Lawrence as the women left and they were alone.
[+green “This is not the way of things. I was not born to be King and I knew that fool was going to get himself killed.”] He muttered with a frustrated sigh escaping his lips. Things would go much quicker now. The Council would push for him to marry with haste and produce an heir lest the line be wiped out entirely.
[+green “How do I tell Lady Adelaide that we no longer have the pleasure of patience and time on our side?”] He said although the question was rhetorical.
[+green “The woman is new here, her servant in her shadow wherever she goes.”] Not that he had anything against Jinny, but his frustrations were showing in different ways.
[+green “They’re bringing him home, he and his wife. They’ll be cremated on the lake like our fathers before us.”] Elias murmured in defeat as he looked to Lawrence. Lawrence has been his one true friend these past few summers, at his side regardless and Elias wouldn’t have it any other way.
Elias finally seemed to take a breath.
[+green “This is going to take much organising.”] He remarked and watched Lawrence and realised he may have been sharp with Adelaide and Jinny earlier.
[+green I will extend the invitation to dinner to Jinny and yourself. There will be much to discuss.”] He murmured, raking a hand through his hair.
Jinny looked to Adelaide and she could tell the woman was stressed. She let her speak, letting her vent and get her questions out there because Jinny didn’t have the answers this time.
[+red “Adelaide, you will make a fine Queen and as for the Prince, I am sure he simply wants someone to listen to him, be with him. This is a difficult time for any man, but he is fond of you, Adelaide. I think you are just what he needs.”] Jinny murmured as she took out a gown for the woman.
She assisted Adelaide to dress and fixed her hair, stepping back and smiling softly at her.
[+red “The people here love you, my lady. You are kind and generous, you will be a fine Queen when the time comes.”] She assured her friend as she added some final touches. This would be a very important dinner where much would be discussed and Jinny wanted to make sure Adelaide was comfortable. She glanced to the door as it was knocked upon and a messenger explained dinner would now include Jinny too. Jinny looked down at herself and nodded, going and changing. Of course she was not nearly as grand as Adelaide, a plain maroon dress and her hair fastened up and out of her face.
She awaited Adelaide before accompanying her down to the grand dining room where Elias was waiting on them and there was a good meal prepared. Jinny seated herself when Elias gestured it was fine and he assisted Adelaide.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence had expected su y a story and a part of him wished that he hadn't asked the question in case it was something she found upsetting but it appeared as though their time simply enjoying each other's company and enjoying the outdoors was coming to an end with the arrival of a scout who was clearly looking for Elias. He didn't hear everything that was said but he heard that he was expected back at the castle because of something to do with his brother. This meant that they would have to get back quickly and so without much more conversation they made their way back to the castle and into the room where the news of his brother's death was told. He wished that Jinny and Adelaide hadn't have been here for this, that way perhaps Elias could react in the way that he wanted to rather than the way that he felt like he should.
He looked towards Jinny and nodded when it appeared they were being dismissed and he offered her a reassuring smile before he turned to Elias and placed a hand on his shoulder. [B "My dear friend..."] he looked around the room and encouraged everyone else to leave them alone to which they complied to very quickly.
[B "Elias, I am so very sorry about your brother. You should know that you don't have to put an act in around me."] He said encouragingly. If he wanted to get angry he should. If he wanted to cry he should. Emotions were meant to come out in a healthy way and he certainly didn't want him dining alone with Adelaide without emotions kept locked inside.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide didn't know what trouble he expected her to get in should she ever be left alone and she wasn't quite sure whether to be happy he was willing to teach her, or scared that he felt as though he must. However, their time together was interrupted and she found herself being led back to the castle.
[B "No need to apologise."] When they got back to the castle it was made very clear that she shouldn't be there and she was about to step out until Elias seemed to give a look that told them her presence was not something they needed to care about all that much but when the news was delivered she didn't know what to say. What could she possibly say? She didn't know him well enough to offer him affection and he was clearly trying to remain business like because he was giving orders and telling her to prepare for a dinner alone.
All she could do was nod before Jinny led her back to her chambers where she sat upon the bed looking rather forlorn. [B "Jinny, I'm not made to be the Queen. I'm...supposed to simply be the dutiful wife of a prince. A queen. What on Earth am I supposed to do with that? And...poor Elias...his brother! What do I say to him?"]
Elias looked good Adelaide and how well she seemed to fit with the people. He smirked a little at her words,
[+green “Ah, of course. But it is not uncommon that men go off to wars and leave their women unprotected. I will teach you a little amount, enough to get you out of trouble.”] He explained with a small nod to some of the towns folks who waved. He knew his brother was not popular, he preferred gold and blood over the quieter life but Elias was content with the quiet life of this place.
[+green “However, I Wilkie endeavour to be at your side as best I can be, Lady Adelaide.”] He said to her and it was rare he ever got the chance to simply relax with others in such a way as this.
[b “My liege, your highness.”] A scout on a chestnut horse thundered up and skidded to a halt.
[b “Your highness, I apologise for my presence but I must summon you back to the castle immediately. News of your brother.”] He said, breathless and Elias rolled his eyes.
[+green “What war has he started this time?”] He tutted before looking to Adelaide.
[+green “Apologies, my lady.”] He apologised as he started off back towards the castle at a slower place and seemingly much less bothered. It wasn’t uncommon for matters to take precedence over social scenes. He sighed as he dismounted and let the stable hand see to his horse, with his thanks. He stepped into the private room to the side of the Throne and eyed his council.
[b “Your lady should not be present for this, your highness.”] One man said but was silenced with a stern look from Elias.
[+green “Someone explain to me why I was interrupted.”] He prompted and an elderly man stepped forwards, handing him a letter.
[b “Your brother was set upon in the night, he and his wife slaughtered for the trinkets the had.”] The man explained and Elias was stoic, shocked and silent. He looked to the Council. He was a Prince, and his duties came before everything.
[+green “Very well. See the news to the kingdom.”] He murmured and dismissed the Council.
[+green “I will see you at dinner, leave the handmaiden alone for it.”] He muttered, the news settling and making him sharp.
Jinny looked to Lawrence and have a small smile,
[+red “No. I was chosen by Lady Adelaide’s father from an orphanage to serve her and only her.”] It wasn’t so bad and Jinny knew she was luckier than most, orphanages and nunneries were odd places riddled with sickness and poverty and she had been for to Nate to be plucked up by Adelaide’s father. She was distracted by the squire sent as a messenger.
She looked perplexed and let the horse follow the Prince’s lead, back to the castle. She was helped down and did her best to remain graceful as she looked to Lawrence,
[+red “Thank you.”] She murmured to him quietly before returning to Adelaide’s side, smoothing down her dress and fixing her hair as she eyed the Council room. She listened to everything go on and was shocked. She did not know Elias’ brother or their relationship but she knew this meant Elias would be King, and Adelaide his Queen.
Jinny watched Elias, somewhat wary because men could react in a strange way during grief. She bowed her head at his request that he and Adelaide have dinner alone and she looked to Adelaide, giving her an assuring look that she would be fine.
[+red “Come my lady, I will get you ready for dinner.”] She said and escorted her back to Adelaide’s room.
[+red “This means you are to be Queen one day, Adelaide.”] She said and looked to her as she went through the fine gowns she had, wanting to find something fitting for dinner.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] [b “They may not be mine to apologise for, but I truly feel like [I someone] should apologise for it. You do not deserve to be treated that way, especially if your own lady does not treat you with such attitude.”] He smiled a little although he knew that she was busy watching Adelaide and Elias. It made sense of course because should Adelaide need anything, she would be expected to be there for her but it seemed that she was right and that they were, indeed, smitten with each other.
[b “I think that they are both equally as smitten, don’t you? Look at the way they look at each other. I think they are a good match.”] He too, watched as the people of the town greeted them with fondness. Of course, Elias was not in line for the throne but there were many who would have preferred him over his brother, simply because of how much he seemed to care about the people and their well-being.
He looked back to Jinny when he heard her voice once more and he grinned widely. [b “I do. My parents had three children. Two boys, and a girl. We are all a bit of a handful really. I’m the eldest and the younger two are twins. Still young. This year to pass would be their twelfth year of life. They are inseparable too. What about your family Jinny?”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] There was something about riding her new horse and being in the open like this that was rather freeing. Having spent so long cooped up in the house because her father was frightened something might happen to the promised wife of a prince, it was nice to finally get out and explore some of the things that she had been missing out on and it was clear that he had no intention of making her miss out of anything. He wanted her to feel free, which was new.
Adelaide blushed some as he teased her and she looked away from him, although a faint smile played upon her lips. [b “It’s not that…I just…my father did not really tell me much other than the fact that I was expected to marry. I didn’t know if there was more to the plan.”] She smiled and followed him towards the beautiful waterfall, and she found herself awestruck for a moment before she noticed people waving in their direction. She smiled and waved back to the small children who seemed excited.
[b “No…he didn’t. [I ‘A woman should not fight. She should not need to protect herself because a man should be there to protect her.’] His words not mine.”] She chuckled.
Elias was enjoying the scenery with the fine woman at his side, keeping to the trails he knew were safe in the thick forest. It didn’t matter where he went, he was still a Prince. His father had not been in the best health and it wouldn’t be long until his brother took up the throne but his wife had failed to produce an heir, it wasn’t something he was worried about. Some things took time. He looked to Adelaide and thought for a while.
[+green “I don’t believe there is any rush.”] He remarked thoughtfully which was true. His elder brother had been rushed due to his fathers ill health and Elias was grateful he had more time.
[+green “Or are you that keen?”] He said with a small smile and teasing tone before chuckling and looking around the forest. It was entirely at their leisure. Although a question came to mind as he realised that even though he was a prince, there were still dangers out there.
[+green “Did your father ever teach you to defend yourself?”] He asked. It was knowledge that would serve her well, just in case. She was a free spirit, much like a caged bird who had suddenly been set free.
Elias lead them down to a lake with a waterfall at one end as it tippled off to a river that ran by. Villagers fished with nets and children played in the shallows on the other side and Elias watched them for a while. These people were in his care, every decision he made and every act he enacted would have an effect on them and sometimes it was daunting but Adelaide had made a wonderful impression on them thus far.
[+red “The mistakes of others are not yours to apologise for.”] Jinny reminded him as she did her best atop the horse. She felt his hands correct her and blushed but was rather glad he couldn’t see her as she only gave a small smile and thanks for his help. She watched the forest go by and looked to Elias and Adelaide up ahead. She had to say they made a handsome couple. She watched as they rode up to a lake with a stunning waterfall and she watched the villagers and townspeople as they fished and played in the water.
[+red “I do believe my lady is smitten with his highness.”] Jinny said with a small laugh, out of earshot. She fixed some of her hair as she watched the towns people waving in greeting across the water to Elias and Adelaide. They seemed happy, at least. It seemed Lawrence was popular as some waves to him in greeting too. She knew it was important that to outside eyes, Jinny was just a servant to a Adelaide and a handmaiden. It didn’t matter how Adelaide or anyone else treated her behind closed doors.
[+red “Do you have family, Lawrence?”] She asked the man as she looked over her shoulder at him. She did wonder what kind of man he was, what his goals were. He had a Prince for a friend and was evidently fiercely loyal to him but did Lawrence ever think of himself as a servant or did he have dreams of being a Duke one day, perhaps, or someone with a title.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence mounted the horse and offered Jinny his hand in encouragement. He didn’t mind riding with the lady, and she hoped that she wouldn’t feel too uncomfortable, although she did doubt whether she would have told him so if that were the case. She seemed like an obedient handmaiden and probably saw herself as going against a Lord’s wishes if she asked that they did not ride together. However, he was careful to keep his arms from being too close to the woman, letting them rest at his side.
He glanced up and nodded. [b “That she does, perhaps the party in her honour was not something she was comfortable being greeted with. I cannot blame her as it must have been overwhelming. Same for you though really. The women in court were far from kind and I must apologise for that.”] he said, although he had no control over their treatment of the woman.
[b “It is very beautiful.”] He said returning the smile but noticed that her attention on his had caused her balance to waiver a little and he used his arms to correct her posture. [b “I’m sorry, but I do not want you to fall and hurt yourself.”] He said as he brought his hands back from her.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide watched as Elias mounted his horse and she smiled towards him when he offered his patience and kind words. She spent a couple more minutes running her hand over the horse so that she could familiarise herself with the kind beast before deciding it was time to mount her. She climbed upon the horse carefully and took some time to ride her in the proximity of the stables, sparing a glance towards Jinny and Lawrence who were seemingly sharing a horse on this occasion. She did have to wonder if there was something between them and she would have to take the time to warn Jinny against the looks and words she might receive if she was seen with a Lord. Of course, Adelaide did not care too much herself, but she knew how cruel other people could be and she had already seen the people at court were not exactly kind to her.
[b “I think I am used to her now.”] She said towards him with a warm smile and as if in reply he started towards the path, leaving a bit of distance between them and Lawrence’s horse so that they might talk more privately.
It was still rather strange for her to think about the fact that she would be married to Elias, but she was glad to hear that he had no intentions of restricting where she went, not that it would be something she was not accustomed to since her father restricted her most of the time.
[B “Do you know when we might be expected to marry?”] She asked as she glanced towards him. She could see herself being happy with him and he seemed to want to make sure they had a good marriage.
Elias watched Adelaide for a while as she spoke about tearing everyone with kindness and he wished the rest of the world was like her, but then if it was she wouldn’t have seemed so enticing. He watched her with the mare she had chosen, glad at least she seemed to have found her confidence. He had brought his own stallion out as she spoke and he mounted it, with ease because he enjoyed the hunt. Although he had a feeling there would not be as much thrill for hunting animals today.
[+green “Take all the time you need, my lady.”] He assured her. They were in no hurry and quite frankly he didn’t care if he was out all day and all night with such a beautiful woman. He waited for her, letting her get used to riding once more before he looked to Lawrence and Jinny, raising an eyebrow at Lawrence but not saying a word in front of the women as he started off down towards a bridle path which let to the wooded area.
[+green “When we are married, you will be able to come and go as you please. I’ve no thoughts for keeping you prisoner, Adelaide.”] Elias said as he rode beside her, more enjoying simply being out with her in the fresh air than actually paying attention to a hunt. Her handmaiden was looked after so they could allow themselves some form of privacy like this.
Seeing such a beautiful creature up close was different from riding it and she cast a look to Lawrence, a fleeting moment of nerves before finally nodding at his request. She couldn’t go against a lord of such standing anyway. She mounted the horse and hesitantly patted it. She looked to Lawrence as they set off and she watched Elias and Adelaide up ahead. They made such a handsome couple, powerful and she truly did believe they would make each other happy.
[+red “My lady is more at ease around the Prince.”] Jinny remarked quietly in observation at the two. The way Elias looked at Adelaide, Jinny had noticed he looked at her as if she was a fey creature, fantastical and unearthly. Jinny was wary being stop Storm as she held onto whatever she could for support. She highly doubted anyone wanted this trip ruined by her falling off the horse.
[+red “It is beautiful out here.”] Jinny murmured like it was a secret. She glanced over her shoulder at Lawrence and shared a quiet smile with him, forgetting for just a moment about Adelaide and Elias.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence could tell that Jinny had some concerns about what the future held for her. Of course because of her birth right she would most likely become a Governess for the children of Adelaide and the Prince if she was allowed but he wondered whether the woman would have to sacrifice a life of her own for others.
He nodded and joined her, standing close enough to the horse to stroke him, but not too close to Jinny that she would feel uncomfortable. [b “I did and he has been loyal ever since. He is very strong.”] He said as he ran his hand over his side. [b “Would you like to ride him? Of course I will steady him for you and join you as long as you do not mind of course?”]
He glanced towards Adelaide and Elias who both seemed to be ready to leave themselves. [b “I think you will both enjoy yourselves today.”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide was trying not to seem so timid and tense but the fact of the matter was, she had been struggling to let her nerves fall away from her but like this, she could see that Elias wanted her to be comfortable and without everyone’s eyes on them she allowed herself to relax a little.
[b “I try to treat everyone and everything with kindness. I see no reason for anything else.”] She said simply as she looked up to him before petting Sophia once more. She smiled widely as she looked back at her and she was truly comfortable and settled since the first time she arrived here.
[b “I am ready to ride her. I think we have a mutual trust already. But please, remember that I have not been able to ride for some time so you might need to give me a moment to adjust.”]
Elias watched the woman with the mare, he had to admit it was the first time she had been calm since getting here. He supposed she had every right to be tense and on edge in such a new place but it didn’t make anything easier and he was glad to see the creature calmed her nerves.
[+green “Sophia is a fine name.”] Elias said quietly, not wanting to break the spell the woman had created with her gift. It seemed she was even kind to animals and he wondered what would make her angry, what made her tick. He nodded to her with a small smile, looking to Jinny and Lawrence who had since vanished to see Storm.
[+green “You have a way with animals, the same as people.”] Elias remarked to Adelaide with a soft tone. She seemed like she would be the sort to be easily spooked somehow, like a deer on a hunt.
[+green “We should prepare for the hunt. What do you think, you can take Sophia?”] He pointed out.
Jinny gave Lawrence a small smile when he mentioned having children to look after in a year. And she supposed she did want that for Adelaide and she would be more than honoured to look after her children in time. But she didn’t want to become a spinster. She looked to the magnificently beautiful horse that Lawrence showed her.
A glimmer of tenderness from Lawrence was quite the sight as he spoke of Storm’s beginnings and she smiled gently at him.
[+red “You rescued him.”] She murmured and ran a hand down the creature’s face, feelings it’s hot exhale on her palm from his nostrils. She smiled a little, it was quite the story and she figured Lawrence should be proud of himself for looking after Storm and tearing him to become the beautiful beast he was now.
[+red “He is strong.”] She said to him fondly and let her guard down a little, there was no one around to judge whether she was acting as a dutiful servant or not so it was easy to forget her place like that. It was a nice day, bright and sunny and it did feel good to be out with the sun on her face like this, instead of cooped up in dull rooms.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence smiled a little. [B "All being well I'm sure there may be a little human for you to take care of within a year."] He said kindly before their attention turned to that of his horse Storm. He nodded and he led her towards the other horses where his was. He pointed out a stunning grey stead and looked towards him with such pride.
[B "I rescued him. When he was younger I came across him in the woods during a terrible storm and he was scared. He didn't know where to go or what to do and anyone who came near him, he would kick out at hug for some reason, he calmed down when I approached him. I think he knew that I had the intention of helping him. I managed to bring him back here and he has been with me ever since."]
He smiled and ran a hand over his back. [B "He is my best friend."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide stepped closer to the horse and held her hand out to the beast so that she could familiarise herself with her scent. The horse took to her well and after a moment of smelling her she pressed her nose into her hand, almost permitting her to run it up the side of her face in greeting.
When Adeliade heard his words she blushed slightly and focused on the horse before she felt that the flushing of her cheeks had disappeared somewhat. She smiled then and looked up at Elias. [B "Thank you for your kind words."] She stepped back a little so that the stable master could tend to the horse and she thought about a name for a moment as he did but it became apparent that the stable master was now gifting the horse to the couple as a wedding present and she couldn't help but wonder how many more people would act this way around them. Soon enough she wouldn't be an invisible woman anymore, she would be the wife of the Prince and she was slightly terrified about that.
Once they were left alone she turned to Elias and nodded. [B "I think I will name her Sophia."]
Elias watched Adelaide and she was like a curious little nymph as she moved and watched the creatures. He watched as she was entranced by a snowy white mare and grinned to himself as he looked to the stable master and gave a small nod.
[+green “A beautiful horse for a beautiful woman. She is yours.”] He said to her. He supposed being a prince had its own sway and perks.
Elias glanced to Lawrence and Jinny and then back to Adelaide.
[+green “You will have to choose a name for her.”] He said to her with a smile and he at least hoped he was doing not so bad on this whole courting front. He watched as the stable master brought the mare out of the stall to stand before Adelaide.
[b “She’s a fine hunting horse, still young too.”] He said to Adelaide and the man clearly knew his way around horses. Elias nodded to him and would sort payment for the horse later but before he could give the man a word the stable master held up a hand.
[b “Call her an early wedding gift, Your Majesty. God knows I have seen you fall from a horse as a boy enough times.”] He chuckled and looked to Adelaide as he handed her the reigns of the horse.
[b “My lady.”] she gave a curt bow before leaving them to their own devices.
Elias chuckled a little at the stable master and nodded.
[+green “Thank you.”] she said to the man and looked to Adelaide.
[+green “Have you thought of a name?”] He asked her as he ran his hand along the white neck of the mare.
Jinny smiled rose Lawrence and nodded,
[+red “I would like that. My lady will have a lot of time to spend with the Prince, it would be nice to have something little to take care of.”] She said to Lawrence and watched him when he mentioned his own horse.
[+red “Storm?”] She was curious, eyes darting over him.
Storm was a strong name for a horse and she supposed Lawrence must have been just as good a rider as Prince Elias, most men were these days. It would only be fitting he had a magnificent horse and she scanned the horses in the stables,
[+red “Why did you name him Storm?”] She asked and she had to admit the large horses were somewhat intimidating to her and she glanced over to Elias and Adelaide, looking at the beautiful white mare Adelaide has evidently chosen. She grinned a little and she figured The Prince was doing a grand job of courting Adelaide.
Jinny turned her attention back to Lawrence and followed him towards his own horse. She shifted some hair from her face and she had to admit Adelaide was going to have a wonderful life here. She figured she would as well, there was so much to explore and discover and she was excited to see what would happen.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence cared about his friend a lot and wanted what was best for him and at the moment he was satisfied that Adelaid was right for him and that they would love each other well enough in time. He smiled and nodded towards Jinny. [B "That's good to know."] He said before looking up to find that Elias and Adelaide were heading out. [B "Shall we?"] He asked as he gestured towards the exit but kept his distance so that he didn't make her feel uncomfortable. However, as they walked he found they he was watching her carefully. Even when they arrived at the stables and watched her with the younger horse.
He chuckled to himself when he watched her speak to the horse. He could tell that she was a kind natured woman much like her Lady and even though he shouldn't be so fascinated by her, he was. [B "Perhaps the stablemaster would appreciate your help in raising this young one."] He said as he reached out and stroked the horse. [B "Do you want to meet Storm? He is my horse."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide's nerves were mostly a result of how much pressure her father had been putting on her to be the perfect woman. She had been taught etiquette that would have sufficed for royalty and she had been taught how to look in order to best please a man and she had been kept away from those who might taint her innocence but the person she was...her kindness... that was not something had learned or been taught. It was just who she was.
She looked up at him as he spoke, blushing slightly at his complimentary words, not really expecting him to say such kind things. Adelaide smiled and looked back to the food, taking one more mouthful before she felt as though she had eaten sufficiently. [B "I appreciate your kind words Your... Elias."] She corrected before she rose from her seat and took hold of his arm so that he could lead her to the stables.
Once they arrived she was thrilled at the sight of all the horses, never having seen so many in one place before. She marvelled over the horses for a moment before Elias made it clear that she could have her pick. Adelaide's lips parted and she smiled as she found herself drawn to a beautiful horse, white in coat with the kindest eyes she had ever seen in such a beast.
[B "She is beautiful."]
Elias watched Adelaide and he noticed how nervous she seemed despite the fact she was positively the most alluring woman he had ever laid eyes upon.
[+green "Please me?"] Elias looked confused for a moment.
[+green "Forgive me, Adelaide, if I might be a little forwards, but you do more than please me. It is so incredibly rare to meet such a kind woman, in such trying times."] He remarked. Women tended t be snobby, with poor manners for those beneath them. Adeliade was not like that.
[+green "Everyone simply adores you, it is a wonder you do not see such things yourself."] Elias smiled a little then. He supposed it was very rare anyone saw their own worth most of the time, women especially. He sighed out quietly and finished up, awaiting the others as he stood.
[+green "Come, I'll show you to the stablemaster."] He explained and offered Adelaide his arm.
The stables itself was secluded towards the back of the castle, many stalls housing magnificent stallions and mares. The Prince's own stallion was jet black, tall and of course strong from the hunting trips.
[b "Your Majesty, My lady."] A portly man with a beard greeted as he bowed to them both.
[b "My latest stock is sure to make fine hunting horses."] He said and Elias smirked a little as he followed the man.
[b "Here we are."] The man said as he gestured to the newest horses in the stalls.
[+green "Whichever you like, Adelaide."] Elias said to her and looked to the Stable master.
Jinny had to think for a while upon Lawrence's question. Of course it was entirely possible that her lady would fall for the Prince.
[+red "I think, given time, and when she relaxes and such, it is very possible they could love one another."] She knew both parties were nervous and trying to do their very best but Jinny knew when they relaxed and were more themselves, that was when the first glimmers of love would show. She looked to Elias and Adelaide as they headed to the stables and she was very curious about the majestic creatures herself.
She stood and followed them, hanging back some paces as was her teachings. She watched as the prince and Her Lady were shown to the newest stock and she glanced in one of the stalls, curiously as a foal popped his head over. She giggled softly and ran a hand over his face.
[b "He's just weaned, poor lads mother didn't quite make it."] The Stable master said from where he stood between them all.
[b "I'll raise 'im up good and proper."] The man said and Jinny felt sorry for the poor animal.
He was bound to make a handsome horse when he grew to full size but for now he was adorable and so curious. He wouldn't be much of a hunting horse given his young age but he was beautiful none the less.
[+red "Hello."] She greeted the animal, his ears flicking towards her and she smiled a little. She realised she must have looked a little odd speaking with a baby horse under such circumstances and she lowered her hand from his face and looked back to Elias and Adelaide.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence was amused by the look on Jinny's face. It was astonishing to see how amazed she was by the supply of food that had been placed in front of her. [B "I hope that I get to see that look on your face again. I wonder if you will show such bewilderment when I teach you to ride a horse?"] He chuckled and then glanced towards Adelaide and Elias who were conversing politely.
[B "He is trying hard. He does not wish for your Lady to feel uncomfortable. Even though this marriage is arranged he would like this to develop into love. He has little experience with women in this respect but he knows that he wants to love his wife and have his wife love her."] He smiled and took some bread. [B "Do you think she will love him one day?"]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide couldn't imagine a time that she would ever treat someone differently simply because of their standing in society. She would be kind to those who were kind to her and she knew that she could never be one of those women who raised a hand to her handmaiden or any servants that might be associated with her. She remembered how Elias had told her that the servants would listen to her but she couldn't imagine giving orders to anyone really. She barely did with Jinny. She asked politely and that was all she ever knew.
[B "It is indeed."] She said with a smile as she reach out for some fruit when he encouraged her to help herself to the pleasure of the food before her. As she took a bite of the apple she looked up at Elias and smiled. [B "Is that so? I can understand why one might be worried. I have seen some of the women at court and how they treat people...I could never."] Adelaide shook her head. She lowered her voice a little then.
[B "I do hope that I please you."]
Elias looked to Adelaide and smiled a little. She seemed so gentle, so sweet when it came to others. It was a remarkable trait to have and one he greatly admired in her. He nodded to her when she seemed pleased with the plans and he glanced to Lawrence at his suggestion regarding Jinny. A small part of him wanted to warn the man that getting close to a hand maiden would set tongues wagging but he didn’t speak on it.
[+green “Ah, it’s very important to have a good meal before a busy day, is it not?”] Elias smiled to Adelaide and watched her.
[+green “Please, help yourselves.”] He said to them and noted Adelaide was not used to such things. He chuckled a little.
[+green “The servants like you, Adelaide.”] He said to her. Of course they did.
[+green “I think they were slightly worried that you would be of a different standing with servants.”] He explained as he ate a little.
[+green “As was I.”] He added.
He supposed it must have been a relief, to have a sweet hearted lady come into the house who didn’t treat others unkindly as opposed to a snobby woman who treated those beneath her like dirt.
Jinny looked to Lawrence and gave a ghost of a smile. She did however look a little bewildered at his suggestion, looking to Adelaide as she gave permission for Lawrence to teach her how to ride and to ride with her on the hunt. She wouldn’t dare protest and she supposed she didn’t want to, in a way. She looked to breakfast and looked slightly puzzled at some things.
Eventually she settled on some fresh fruit because it seemed like a lifetime ago she had been blessed with fresh fruit. She looked to Lawrence, thinking for a while.
[+red “Thank you.”] She said to him quietly and watched Adelaide and Elias speak between one another. It was nice to see, that was for sure.
[+red “The Prince is really trying with my Lady.”] She said quietly and giggled a little, for a brief moment forgetting she was just a glorified slave.
Jinny had to admit it was much nicer in the palace when it wasn’t busy and loud, or perhaps it was just the fact that there wasn’t so many judgemental eyes on her. Then again, whenever she was around Adelaide all eyes were always on her. Her father had done well to keep her shut away from the prying eyes of men.
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