Elias smiled for her as they dance. He was grateful it wasn’t a complex dance at least and he chuckled softly at her question as he leaned in slightly as they turned.
[+green “They are staring at you, My Lady Adelaide.”] He said to her, hushing his tone. Perhaps she had not been to many social events since growing up and with good reason. Every man would want to place his hands upon her.
[+green “You are radiant this evening, My Lady, if you do it mind me being so forthcoming.”] He said as the song finished and he bowed to her. He kissed the back of her hand in gratitude for the dance and looked around the room.
[+green “Perhaps a walk around the grounds, My Lady?”] He offered her his arm and kept a close eye on the others around them. Adelaide truly was a jewel, she was rain in the middle of a drought and he was fascinated by her. Of course he had his choice of ladies of the court but many of them were stuck up, born vain and egotistical. Adelaide was not like them, she was reserved and did not know her own beauty.
Elias of course nodded to Adelaide’s father. He was a good man who had evidently raised his daughter well and with respect. He wanted the man to know that even if the two did fall hopelessly in love, that he would look after his daughter as his wife. The grounds were beautiful this time of year, bursting with colours and the fountains casting a wonderful mist over the area.
Jinny looked Lawrence as he spoke and she smiled a little.
[+red “I should hope so. I trust her with almost everything, almost.”] She said to him quietly. Adelaide truly was her most trusted friend and the only thing she could not gift her was her heart, that would remain hers to give to whoever she did choose in the future. It was such an exciting time for Adelaide and Jinny wanted to be sure she was loved by this Prince.
Jinny could see the jealousy also from the onlookers and it was quite the sight. She could see why there was such jealousy.
[+red “Of course, I like to think she cares the same about me. And you about His Highness.”] She said to him and clasped her hands on her lap. She tucked some stray hairs that had escaped her pins and such. She looked back to Lawrence. A servant approached and bowed to Jinny who looked a little flustered.
[+red “Ah, no please do not- I’m not a Lady.”] Jinny said and the servant leaned forwards.
[i “Ma’am. You have a new room. His Highness has ordered you sleep in your own chambers and not the servants quarters.”] The man remarked with a smile.
Jinny looked bewildered and nodded. She smiled a little and figured Adelaide was already calling the shots. Jinny looked to Lawrence, honestly she would have rested anywhere she was put.
[+red “These events are rather loud are they not?”] She remarked to Lawrence at the band and the chattering among the many guests.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence eyed Jinny for a moment, almost ready to remind her to call him by his name but she corrected herself quickly and he couldn't help but smile towards the woman. She was enchanting and he did not find it a chore to speak to her like he did many of the ladies of court. Some were born with an ego that no man could tame and he liked that Jinny was sweet and also well looked after when it came to her Lady.
[B "Well your Lady seems kinder than most, I'm sure that should you happen to fall in love she would all such a union to take place."] He wondered if Jinny ever felt constricted but she seemed content enough with her mistress.
He looked towards the pair dancing and he nodded in agreement. [B "They are certainly a breathtaking couple to look at. I can already see the jealously of every other man and woman around them."] He smiled and looked back towards Jinny. [B "It's nice to see how much you care about her."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide could not hide her happiness when Elias made the arrangements for Jinny to be moved closer to her. Knowing that she would be in the room next to her made her feel so much better and it was testament to the kind if man that he was. She glanced over towards Jinny then, sure that she would be happy when she told her that Elias had agreed to move her closer so that she didn't have to be in the servants quarters.
Adelaide looked back towards Elias when he offered her his hand and she took it with a smile. She could learn to love this man so long as this was what he was really like. She tried to avoid the looks of the other people on the dance floor, far to self conscious to know how to properly interact with any of them at this stage. Instead she focused on Elias and the music and began to dance with him. Luckily her father taught her enough to get by and as she placed a hand on his shoulder so saw him looking at her from the corner of the room. He nodded towards her as if to tell her that she was doing fine and then she looked back to Elias as he took hold of her hand and they moved to the music.
[B "I have someone well versed in dancing leading me it seems. You move with such grace."] She said as she moved with him, catching sight of some of the people watching them. She lowered her voice so only he could hear. [B "What is everyone staring at?"]
Elias watched the woman and was glad she seemed agreeable with him, at least enough to want to do things together. He looked to her and nodded,
[+green “Of course, of course. I can certainly see to it that she has her own chambers, I believe the room next to your own is free.”] Elias said as he glanced to a servant and ushered them over, whispering some commands. The servant gave a bright smile and bustled off.
[+green “Consider it done.”] Elias said to Adelaide and nodded graciously. He bowed his head. It was still strange to him but of course he could understand it as she had only had limited contact s it was sweet.
Elias looked to her and stood, offering his hand.
[+green “I would be a fool to decline such an offer.”] He said to her as he swept her off to the dance floor. Of course he had been taught how to dance, it was only right for a man of his standing. And he did enjoy it for the part as he went through the steps. He was careful to guide Adelaide if she needed it.
Elias looked to the others on the floor with them and gave a nod to a few. The woman looked at Adelaide in shock at her beauty and the men watched longingly as Elias danced with her. Of course none of them said a word. It would be disrespectful but he did know people of the upper class enjoyed to gossip and wag their tongues about matters. It was important he was polite at all times and did not disgrace the family name. He looked to Adelaide as they joined hands,
[+green “You are a fine dancer, My Lady.”]
Jinny watched Lawrence’s mannerisms. He certainly gave off the impression he was of the upper class but the way he spoke made him seem somehow much kinder. It was nice. It was good not to be judged for simply being of a different ‘breed’. However it was more surprising to her to find that the man was not betrothed for anyone, apparently even not having a lady in waiting.
[+red “Ah, I understand, My- Lawrence.”] She said almost forgetting his request.
[+red “My Lady deals with all my proposals. I have no father to ask permission from and I suppose, when my Lady has children and such, that is when she would expect me to marry.”] The ins and outs of such things confused her. She knew Adelaide would never palm her off to the richest bidder but it was a rather worrying thought to be by herself, especially when Adelaide had her own life to lead, as Elias’ Princess no doubt.
[+red “I think they make a fine pair. And My Lady looks genuinely content with things.”] Jinny said quietly as she watched the Prince and his partner dance. It was nice to see them getting along although she supposed there was a long time for things to go wrong but Jinny hoped not. She reminded herself to thank Lawrence later, for being so kind to her.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence wasn't surprised to hear that the woman couldn't ride. It was common for a handmaiden to be expected to walk next to their Ladys but it appeared that not even Adelaide had ridden a horse for many years. They would correct that of course. Why not have a little bit of adventure in their lives?
Lawrence looked towards Adelaide as Jinny spoke and he seemed to be getting more of a picture of the kind of woman she was. [B "Then I can assure you that you will remain as such here in these grounds. Elias will not take anything from your Lady that she needs and it seems that she needs you. She looks at you with a respect that is very rare here. It is rather refreshing."] He smiled and took a sip from his cup of wine and then laughed a little at her next question.
[B "I do not have a wife or a Lady waiting to become so. I am lucky in that I have that freedom. Perhaps it is strange for a man to wish for a woman to choose to be my wife but that is how I would hope for things to unfold if the moment would ever arise."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide blinked a few times when he made the suggestion that she could select a horse of her own. She could hardly believe that he would offer her such a gift already. [B "That is very kind of you my Prince. I will endeavour to show you my gratitude in any way that I can."] She smiled and glanced down at her plate as he watched her, almost too shy to meet his eyes in that moment. This was far more than she could have hoped for and she was already feeling hopeful that their relationship could blossom into something wonderful.
When he mentioned Jinny she wondered for a moment if she was about to be chastised for the way she almost treated her like an equal. He had likely seen the way they shared an affectionate smile but that wasn't what he was asking. [B "I am very close with her Your Highness. We were practically raised together. She is the only friend that I have and I couldn't imagine being apart from her. Would you really make alternative sleeping arrangements for her?"] He was turning out to be quite the gentleman it seemed.
She glanced towards Jinny once more and then heard the band slow down the music slightly. Adelaide looked towards Elias then. [B "Would you care to dance with me?"] She hadn't danced at a place like this before and the idea of doing so was exciting to her.
[+green “Horseback riding is quite popular here. Perhaps before we go hunting I will take you to the stables, let you select a horse. We could claim it an early wedding gift.”] Elias said as he watched her. It seemed only right that she had her own horse after all. Horse back riding was the only thing she knew she enjoyed, he would encourage it as much as he could. Of course it was also his duty to keep the woman safe.
[+green “Your handmaiden?”] Elias asked and glanced to the woman with her.
[+green “Of course, we would welcome you both on such an adventure! But, forgive my asking, you seek very close to the woman. Not that I have any problem with it, and of course if you wish to make different arrangements for her sleeping quarters or anything I can do to make you both comfortable here, please just say the word.”] Elias said. No one had mentioned she was close with her hand maiden and so he had thought she would be as any other servant.
He treated the servants well, but the same could not be said for every guest that came through the doors. There were still those who treated their servants like animals. It did not sit well with him but he could not stop what others treated their servants like that but his family were very firm on servants being treated fairly and like people. However, Elias’ brother was not of the same mind. He was cruel at times to servants but Elias had learnt humility and patience and kindness.
Jinny looked forwards to seeing the wedding, she just hoped that Elias and Adelaide would at least share some common ground and find their own happiness in it. She looked to Lawrence when he mentioned taking her on a hunting trip and she was not sure if such a thing would be allowed.
[+red “I cannot ride, My Lady received some basic training as a child but her father insisted her handmaiden should always walk. I should like to learn though and a hunting trip sounds very adventurous.”] She agreed. If she was permitted to go, then of course she would gladly go along.
Jinny looked utterly relieved at Lawrence’s opinion on Elias and she caught Adelaide smiling at her and she smiled back.
[+red “That is a relief to hear. My Lady is as a sister to me, we have been together since we were little. She is the only family I ever knew.”] She explained quietly. She would never do anything to ruin Adelaide’s name or disrespect her.
[+red “Is your own wife not here this evening?”] She asked him, not wishing to speak on herself so much, it was unbecoming of a woman. Part of her hoped the man was not married but then to what end? He was a Lord and she was a handmaiden, but perhaps she could at least hope and experience some sort of affection as a woman. Lawrence would no doubt have his own arranged marriage in the future.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence could tell that the woman felt uncomfortable calling him by his first name but all the servants in this grounds did so. He insisted. He was not their master of course and here the only master Jinny had was Adelaide and since she was alkaied to accompany her to such an event it was clear what kind of relationship the two had.
[B "Beautiful affairs indeed and a royal wedding is so much more lavish. There will be rich foods stretched across tables as far as the eyes can see and perhaps twice as many people as there are now. I imagine they will want the heir of the throne to be here to witness his brother's marriage too and he usually brings esteemed guests from across the lands."]
He ate a piece of the meat and chuckled a little at Jinny's curiosity. [B "All creatures are difficult if you don't know how to handle them properly. Perhaps next time you will accompany us and see for yourself."] He smiled towards her, charming as always and then glanced towards Elias and Adelaide as Jinny asked her question.
[B "You are worried about what kind of man your mistress will be married to. I can assure you that there is no man across the land that is more suited to be her husband than Elias. He treats all people with kindness and if he can learn to leave your Lady, she will be treated better than any other woman in court. That I can promise you."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] So far Elias seemed like a good man. He seemed to want to share experiences with her, at least that is what she gathered by the way he spoke to her. However, she was well aware of the difference in status between men and women. While she was a Lady by blood she was a woman and they were mostly seen as possessions by whichever man had successfully courted her, or in this case, the man she had been promised to for years.
She still didn't quite understand why her father insisted that they waited until now to meet. There was no set date for the wedding yet and that would be entirely up to Elias and his family but she had imagined that if they were promised to each other they could have met years ago so they could learn more of each other. Perhaps he didn't want that. Perhaps he didn't want them to have the time together in case they didn't connect and the marriage wouldn't go forward.
[B "I look forward to seeing the grounds with you."] She smiled towards him once more and allowed her eyes to linger on his face for a moment. Adelaide had heard of his handsome looks from stories that reached her and she was well aware of the amount of women to swoon over him but nothing could have truly prepared her for meeting him.
[B "I cannot say what I do and do not enjoy. As you are aware my experiences are limited but there are many things I wish to try. I have not been on horseback since I was a little girl. I remember how much I loved that. I suppose you could say that I enjoy horse riding based on that fact."]
Adelaide went back to eating the food and listened to a story about him and his friend Lawrence. She glanced over as him then, noticing that he was keeping Jinny company and she couldn't help but smile towards the woman. [B "I'm sure it was more than luck Your Highness. Perhaps you would allow me and my handmaiden to accompany you both on your next hunt?"]
Elias looked to Adelaide and seemed relieved when she said she would be glad to partake in activities with him. He was sure there was so much the woman had not seen in her life, her father keeping her quite confined and no doubt with good reason. Elias did want her to see everything.
[+green “Ah, the grounds are beautiful this time of year and we always have many a celebration out in them.”] Perhaps, later on, would entice her for a short walk around them. He looked to the food and began to eat some himself, keeping his manners in check as he glanced to Adelaide. He wanted to get beneath her surface and see what she enjoyed.
[+green “What do you enjoy, My Lady?”] He asked her, curiously. He supposed most ladies were taught needlework and reading and such but he had met women who enjoyed hunting and riding too. He wondered which Adelaide was, if she was either because no doubt she had yet to experience such things. He would be pleased to show her for the first time.
[+green “The servants here do a wonderful job. When I was a mere child I used to creep out of my bed and down to the cool, she used to sneak me some extra cheese and even some bread.”] He chuckled a little,
[+green “My faithful friend, Lawrence and I, downed the boar earlier today on a hunt. A stroke of luck that we happened upon it.”] He said as he drank some wine.
Jinny looked to Lawrence and immediately looked unsure. To call a Lord by his first name only could be frowned upon but she supposed he had asked her. She nodded to him and looked to Adelaide and Elias. Elias was trying very hard and it made Jinny smile softly. She looked to Lawrence when he mentioned the wedding.
[+red “I have never been to a wedding, I have heard they are beautiful affairs.”] She said to him and glanced to the boar when he pointed it out.
She supposed he must have been quite the hunter. Boar was not something she had sampled before and she investigated a piece of meat wondering if that was what she was eating.
[+red “Are they difficult creatures?”] She asked him. A hunt sounded like such a thrilling endeavour but Jinny was very careful not to let her hopes rise. She did not know what Elias’ treatment of servants was and he was tolerating her sitting with Adelaide but she was aware that could change and if it did then Adelaide could not command a Prince.
[+red “Forgive me, but what like is Prince Elias?”] She asked him, curious on whether they would be a good match. Adelaide was gentle, soft in nature and Elias was a Prince. Jinny was worried in case Elias turned out to be a brute or ruffian who would raise his hand to Adelaide. It wasn’t uncommon for such things to happen and it was not something greatly spoken about so she was very careful in how she worded her questions.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence didn't necessarily care about titles and who they were reserved for. In his mind Jinny was a woman, therefore she was a Lady. He smiled widely at her words and shook his head slightly. [B "Well if you prefer I simply call you Jinny then I insist that you stop with this Lord nonsense and simply call me Lawrence."] He offered her a kind smile momentarily and then food was being served.
Once again the feast was indulgent like most things here. The royal family liked to show off their wealth and would often find any excuse to throw a party so that they could show their kingdom the extent if their power and influence.
Lawrence watched Jinny for a moment as she sipped the wine and nibbled on a bit of cheese. Maybe she did not bear the title of a lady but she certainly behaved like one which went some way to suggesting what kind of woman Adelaide was. He would assume that her handmaiden was more if a confident and a friend, not simply a servant.
[B "This is nothing compared to his grand the wedding will be I am sure, but I can assure you that things are always this grand."] He smiled and took some food and placed it on his plate. [B "We caught him fresh this afternoon."] He said pointing towards the boar that was beautifully decorated in the middle of the table.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] It was true that she found a lot of this event rather overwhelming but she did not let it show. She behaved calmly and just took in the sights around her, telling herself that if she was to be wed to a member of the royal family then she would have to get used to such lavish events.
She rose an eyebrow a little when Elias spoke of a personality. Her father had told her to be reserved, to ensure that she pleased her husband by remaining quiet but this didn't appear to be what Elias wanted in a wife. He was then offering to show her so many things and she couldn't help but smile.
[B "I would be delighting to partake in any if those activities with you. I would certainly like to see more of the grounds."] Adelaide couldn't deny that she was nervous about dancing but her father had taught her how to do so, it was just the fact that she would have so many eyes on her, judging her poise and grace. [B "It would be my pleasure to share a dance with you."]
She sipped on her wine and reached for some of the meat and cheese and started to eat, doing so in a very lady-like manner. [B "This is such a wonderful spread."]
Elias watched her as she spoke. He imagined this was quite the event for her given she had never been out her own premises. There was so much for her to see and he wanted to show her whatever she wanted to see. He glanced to Lawrence and her haindmaiden and tutted slightly. Lawrence was a charming man and Elias has told him it would get him into trouble one day. He nodded to Adelaide.
[+green “Well I should like my future wife to have some personality past satisfying me and fulfilling duties.”] He explained as he looked her over.
[+green “If it would so please you, should there be anything n to wish to see, wish to do, then you need only ask me. I can imagine there must be so much you wish to see and do.”] Elias said to her. He would have to explain to her not to call him ‘your highness’ because it sounded so formal.
[+green “Perhaps we could go hunting, riding to the surrounding lakes… however, I would be most honoured if you would give me the first dance after we have sated your hunger.”] He did not want to come across as so forwards with her but he had every intention of winning this woman’s heart.
She was charming and dutiful but he felt there was more to the woman than first met the eye which seemed strange because she was such a dazzling beauty already. He nodded to one of the servants who went to tell the kitchens to bring out the food. The boar they had killed earlier in the day was served, along with platters of fruits and cheeses, only the best for the esteemed guests and the celebrations.
Jinny looked to the man before her.
[+red “This is new territory for me, My Lord. Myself and My Lady have rarely left the confines of her home.”] She said and looked to She said and looked to Lawrence as he kissed the back of her hand and she hid her blush rather well.
[+red “Ah, I am no lady, My Lord. Such titles are saved for women of standing.”] She said to him with a nod. The entertainment was sure to be festive and grand due to the nature of the celebrations.
She looked around as food was served, a boar with an apple placed neatly in its mouth was of course the centrepiece and Jinny looked to the others. Of course they had been fortunate to have good food before but this was very grand, more than anyone could eat, she was sure. She looked to the cheeses and then to Lawrence. She thanked the servant who had placed the silver plate down in front of her.
She took a very small sip of wine, she would not overdo anything as she was still there to serve Adelaide. She tried a piece of the cheese, careful to be delicate and ladylike of course. She could not falter and give her Lady a bad name. It was good! She smiled a little to herself and glanced up as the band began to play some music.
[+red “Are events always this grand?”] She asked Lawrence. Of course she would not get used to this because when Adelaide married it was possible Elias would not wish her handmaiden present at every event.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] [b "Well that is wonderful news and I am glad that you are not yet weary. I tire of the same company at these events so it will be nice to spend some time with someone a little more interesting."] He smiled a little and offered to pour her a goblet of wine. [B "I suspect this all seems very grand. It is arrogant and its showy but it's also a lot of fun. You just wait until everyone starts to dance later. Of course they will all look to your mistress but I do hope you might join me in enjoying the festivities later."] He didn't want her to feel uncomfortable in any way and he wanted to include her, especially since it was clear that Adelaide held her in high esteem because she had entered the hall with her rather than being sent to the servants quarters like most of the other Lady's who had brought their Handmaiden.
[B "How terribly rude of me."] He said as he took her hand and brought it to his lips. [B "M'Lady, my name is Lawrence."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide couldn't deny that it felt so much better now that she met him. Upon first impression he seemed like a nice gentleman but she knew that she couldn't always go on first impressions. Regardless of that fact, this man was to be her husband regardless of how pleasant it unpleasant he was. She was glad though, that he too felt like this was all a little strange to him. It wasn't every day you would meet the person you were supposed to marry as such a lavish party.
She smiled a beautiful and genuine smile and nodded in agreement. [B "It is wonderful to finally meet you after I have heard so much about you. Your reputation precedes you Your Highness."] He was asking her about herself then and honestly she didn't really know what to say. She took a sip from her cup of wine and then met his gaze.
[B "You would be surprised at how little there is to know about me. This is the first time I have set foot outside of the premises of my home. I'm afraid that there is nothing exciting about me. I'm sorry to disappoint that I can not tell you more besides the fact that I have been raised with the purpose of being your wife. I have learned the the languages you speak, I have memorised your family tree and I know how to behave like a dutiful wife. I will endeavour not to disappoint you."]
Elias knee he had to be careful. Words were such powerful things. He nodded to Adelaide graciously.
[+green “But of course, Lady Adelaide. This is in our honour after all.”] It still felt strange to him somehow. They didn’t even know each other, and yet they were to be married to benefit the kingdoms and their houses alliances. He took a small drink of wine if only to settle his nerves.
[+green “This is all very strange. I have to say, but I am very pleased to finally meet you.”] Elias said to her, not wishing to sound impolite because he truly was glad to meet her, despite it being long overdue. He supposed regardless of what happened, they were tied together now. Elias just wanted her not to hate him, if they could not bring themselves to love one another then he did not wish there to be hate between them.
[+green “Perhaps you could tell me about yourself? I am sure there is much to know.”] He said to her. He had to admit she was enticing. She seemed soft, unmarked by the world and he had to admit she was different from any other woman he had ever met. Most women fawned over him and cooked and paid him sweet compliments, but Adelaide seemed more respectfully reserved. She was a woman of renown and the way she held herself was quite something to see.
Jinny watched Elias and
Jinny watched Elias and Adelaide and the sight of them both at least talking seemed to me her heart swell. She looked to Elias’ companion and gave a small smile to him. She wasn’t sure if his name or his bloodlines but he was certainly of a higher status than she was. She remembered her proper way of speaking and the respect for the man higher than her.
[+red “The journey was bumpy, my Lord.”] Jinny said with a smile to him as she looked back to the entertainment.
[+red “I am not yet weary, I am very much looking forwards to the entertainment. It is very different from home.”] She said to him and it was true, she was very excited to see what the night would hold.
[+red “My name is Jinny, my lord.”] She said as she bowed her head to him respectfully. Everything seemed more colourful here for some reason. She wasn’t overly sure why, perhaps it was just a new place.
[+red “Forgive me, My Lord, but I do not believe to have caught your name?”] She asked and hoped it didn’t sound rude or in any way offensive. The stories that reached her were usually about Elias, given that was who Adelaide was destined to marry.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence chuckled towards his friend when he joked about arranging a marriage for him. [b "I'm not convinced that there is a woman alive who might be able to deal with my wit dear friend. I'm destined to be alone for the rest of my life."] He didn't mind that. Honestly, he didn't really care all that much about love and marriage but he supposed that was because there wasn't any pressure for him to settle with a woman from a good bloodline.
He rose with Elias and glanced towards the entrance and his eyes fell upon the woman as she was announced into the room. He raised his eyebrow and looked towards Elias when he spoke. [B "At least we know that she is not ghastly to look at now."] He nudged him a little and then looked back to her. [B "She is beautiful Elias. I don't think there is a single woman who had ever graced your presence who could compare to her. I hope she had a personality to match. Now close that mouth of yours, you look like you are catching flies."]
Lawrence bowed, similarly to Elias and then allowed his eyes to fall upon her handmaiden. She too was a beautiful woman and captured his attention. He sat down and decided to entertain the woman so that Adelaide could converse with Elias without too much attention on them.
[B "My lady, I trust that your journey was comfortable? I hope you are not too tired to enjoy the entertainment."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide laughed softly and shook her head. [B "Men do not look at me in any sort of way Jinny, that must be your imagination again."] Soon enough she was arriving at the Great Hall and her father met her just outside and reached out for her.
[I "My dear Adelaide."] He kissed her cheek and looked her over as if to ensure that she looked appropriate. [I "You look like a bride-to-be."] He said with a satisfied smile before nodding towards Jinny is greeting. [I "Go on in. They will announce your arrival and he will come to you."]
Adelaide nodded and took a deep breath before she stepped into the hall and as promised Elias made his way towards her and she smiled as best as she could considering her nerves. [B "Prince Alias. Thank you for hosting us."] She followed him and lowered herself into a chair and then nodded. [B "I'm sure everything will be just fine. You have a fine feast I see."]
Elias shook his head at Lawrence. It was little matter who swooned over him, he didn’t have to spend the rest of his days with random women who clawed in the crowds.
[+green “Perhaps I should arrange your marriage. Heavens bless whatever woman has to endure your wit, Lawrence.”] she remarked with a small laugh of his own as he looked to the servant and nodded to them in thanks. He sighed as he stood, looking to the entrance of the hall.
There, entering upon the Great Hall as she was announced, was a jewel.
[+green “I think I know why her father keeps her shut away.”] Elias said quietly to Lawrence. Rightly so, her father kept her shut away. He could t imagine any father would want to let such beauty roam freely and draw the attentions of men. He had never set his gaze upon anything quite like her. He was lost for words. And quite honestly he was relieved because despite what Lawrence has said being harsh, he did hope the girl would be without disease or disfigurement. And he was fortunate.
[+green “My Lady Adelaide.”] He of course has gotten to at least know her name over the years. He bowed to her, respectfully, offering her a seat at the table, pulling it out for her as he nodded to a servant to pour some wine. He glanced to her handmaiden who looked like a frightened fawn.
[+green “Please, join us.”] He said, nodding to them both. He sat back in his place and glanced over the festivities. He did not know what to say to Adelaide, lost for how to start a conversation.
[+green “I hope you find everything to your liking. We have of course seen to it that adequate chambers have been prepared for you and for your handmaiden, we have made sure there is room in the servants quarters.”] No one had ever prepared him to deal with this sort of thing. It was new, and it was terrifying.
Jinny smiled a little to Adelaide. She was such a gentle soul, so sweet natured and she was almost sure her father would make sure she had a fit match, despite dowry and bloodlines. At least she liked to think so but these were trying times.
[+red “My Lady, I am sure Prince Elias will look upon you as all other men do.”] She remarked encouragingly. Adelaide was a beautiful woman with good standing and status, Jinny knew the woman would melt hearts.
Jinny stepped into the great hall and she had to admit it was all rather grand and vibrant. This was incredible. She looked around the Hall and then to Prince Elias and his companion. Prince Elias was certainly a fine man and the way he looked at Adelaide told her that he was very pleased with what he saw. Jinny watched and she was unsure of the customs here for servants such as herself, although a more privileged servant, she was a servant still.
Jinny was quiet as the Prince spoke, of course curtsying to him as she clasped her hands and followed Adelaide. She sat in the chair and eyed the wine in her cup. She looked out into the crowds and then back to Elias and Adelaide. She knew it was nerve wrecking for them both but they were both of age and the promises of their families had to be upheld. At the mention of slave quarters, she didn’t seem to be too phased by the subject. She would do as commanded.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence enjoyed the hunt and when it came to doing with do with his best friend, there was nothing he enjoyed more. He figured that the man chose to go hunting before the festivities of the evening to try and soothe his nerves. After all, tonight he would be meeting the woman who would become his wife. She was of good blood and the dowry was attractive for that reason and the house she was aligned with held a lot of power in the courts of Elias' father so it was a marriage for political gain. He himself would never have to face such a predicament. He was from a family of Lords but he was not in line for the throne like his friend.
Soon enough, they were heading back inside to prepare for their evening. The King would have both their heads if they were to turn up covered in the blood of a boar. They went their separate ways and reconviened in the Grand Hall where there were guests a plenty to witness the meeting of the King's son and the mystery woman. They knew of the family but the woman in question had never been seen since her father rarely allowed her out of the house. Perhaps it was because she had been promised to Elias and he didn't want the girl to fall for anyone else or maybe it was for another reason entirely but it wasn't important.
He looked towards Elias as he spoke and pat him on the shoulder when he sat down. [B "Nonesense! Woman swoon over you on a daily basis. You could have any of these women warming your bed. Why would this woman be any different?"] He smiled widely and then they were approached by one of the staff.
[I "I believe your guest as arrived my Prince.] Lawrence nodded towards Elias.
[B "Well, let us meet your bride! Perhaps you should be more worried about why her father keeps her shut away. Maybe you won't find her pleasing."] He chuckled a little and rose to his feet.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide stared out of the window of the carriage, trying not to allow the motion of it to make her feel sick. This was the first time she had been allowed to travel more than a two minute walk from their home. She was the only daughter of her parents and her father had been in negotiations with the king for years to ensure this marriage and she wanted to ensure that she remained pure for Elias. Luckily she had her handmaiden with her and it did go some way to make her feel less nervous. They were relatively close and she spoke to her about most things. Neither one of them really having anyone else so they formed a bond that many failed to understand. She trusted Jinny entirely and she treated her well. She had no reason no to. Besides, Adelaide was kind natured and could never see herself hurting another.
They had spent much of the day preparing for the evening. Jinny ensured that she was dressed in the most lavish dress she owned and made sure her hair looked exquisite, although she much preferred the simplicity but such an occasion didn't call for it. Her father was already at the gathering waiting for her to arrive. Jinny's voice broke through and she pulled her gaze from the passing trees and nodded.
[B "Very much so. I fear I might find my stomach purging itself of breakfast soon."] She chuckled a little. [B "I've known for a long time that I am meant to marry him but...meeting him...I know nothing about him. This is a political marriage and you know men are not held to the same expectations as women. He can take any woman he wants..."] She sighed and shook her head as the carriage came to a stop. The driver helped her out and she allowed her eyes to take in the scenery. This would become her home so long as Elias still agreed to the marriage after meeting her.
[I "Your father is waiting for you inside. I have sent word of your arrival."] She couldn't hear what he was saying over the beating of her heart though. He led her inside and her nerves only grew.
The thunder of horses hooves clattered on the cobblestone as the group rode back to the elegant castle, through the surrounding town. It seemed they were popular with the small folk. A dead boar was sling over one of the ponies as they road with played armour. Elias glanced for the other men who were merrily singing, chanting songs. Elias chuckled slightly as he slowed his horse to a trot, looking to the man at his side. It was to be quite the evening with festivities as the man was about to meet his arranges wife.
Elias sighed out softly, it wasn’t that he didn’t like the idea. And they needed the strong alliance with the other family but it did seem rather impersonal.
[+green “See yourselves to baths. You there, take the boar to the kitchen to be prepared for tonight.”] He gestured to a stable boy and laughed a little as he dismounted his black steed, it had been a successful hunt but Elias knew he had to prepare for the evening of feasting and drinking and keeping up appearances.
Elias started up the steps and nodded the soldiers that guarded the halls. He was popular amongst most people but he knew he would never take the main mantle of his home, his older brother Francis already married and an infant son put him long down the list. Elias did not mind so much but their father still insisted he must marry as was proper and had arranged to be wed to the daughter of a good and long acquainted allied house. It was the way of things and he seemed to take it in his stride.
He washed, and then changed into a less rugged apparel, already guests were arriving and Elias made his way down to the Great Hall. He looked around the crowds and nodded to a few familiars before taking his seat at the top table where his mother and father were chatting and overseeing events already. His brother was on a long trip to the northern lands so he was absent but Elias was grateful to have a close friend at his side, one he trusted as a brother and kept no secrets from.
[+green “What would I do if she doesn’t find me pleasing?”] He murmured as he took a seat to his trust companion. He supposed it sounded ridiculous, he was a man of position and pride and status. Still, insecurities never faded.
The carriage trundled along, bumpy and made the blond a little queasy. Travel was not her favourite thing as she peeled out the small slatted gaps to see what was happening. The town had come into view along with the fort and castle. It looked beautiful and she looked to her Lady. She had served the woman for some years, originally she had been brought up in a Nunnery, an orphan who didn’t know her past but it was not uncommon. She certainly had gotten lucky with her placement, her Lady was kind and sweet. She had never raised a hand to strike her and she knew it was common practice.
She was dressed in her finest, a dark green and plain dress. She would not be expected to dress as grandly as the Lords and Ladies that she served but she did rather like this dress. Her hair was neatly tied back, again not as lovely as other ladies but given the occasion, she had been allowed a small amount of grandeur.
[+red “Are you nervous, my Lady?”] Jinny finally asked, breaking the silence as they approached. She would stick at her side regardless. She had to, it was her duty and she had grown close to her over the years.
Crystal clear and vibrant green eyes peeked once more as she looked to the crowds forming. Evidently this Elias Fellwood and his engagement had drawn attention but she expected nothing else. She had heard stories of him. Everyone had. She looked back to the other woman. The carriage door was swung open and the driver of the horses offered her Lady a hand out of the carriage and Jinny followed closely behind. This town was very different from home and it wasn’t too often she got to get out and about. She smoothed her dress and kept close to her Lady, hoping that all went well.
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