|Series||RECKLESS by Pixichi|
|Previous||RECKLESS, Chapter 3|
|Next||RECKLESS, Chapter 5|
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Victoria muttered as Andrea helped her with her gown. It was a beautiful soft blue gown with a deep blue bow around the waist. There were dark blue pumps to match as well as the dainty princess crown that glimmered in light silver. Victoria had never wished that she could run away as much as she did right now. Andrea carefully tied the dark blue bow around Victoria's waist. Then she stepped back and marveled at her friend.
"You look so beautiful with your hair down like that. Not to mention the dress." Andrea complemented. Victoria just gave her a sour look. The princess looked at herself in the mirror. Her long blonde locks fell to right below her shoulders, and against the blue gown, the light hair was especially lovely. Victoria knew that she was indeed pretty. There wasn't a man around who hadn't stared at her from afar or tried to court her in some way, though usually both. She remembered the strange young man that she had bumped into in Bowerstone Industrial that morning. The way he hadn't bowed before her, nor flattered her with gifts and overheated flattery. He had instead, treated her as a normal woman, and although it had only been because he didn't know her true identity, it was refreshing for her. Victoria turned her attention back to her groveling maidservant.
"I'm only wearing this stuff because I have to. You know that I hate dresses."
"I understand, but you have to admit, it is nice that you get to go to a ball for a change, considering all the other punishments that you've gotten before." Andrea added. Victoria gave herself a once over in the mirror again and then scoffed at her dainty appearance.
"You know what he's up to don't you? He's trying to make me presentable. At a ball. That can only mean one thing Andrea. He wants me to find a husband. Someone to teach me how to be a "refined" lady." Victoria plopped onto her bed, her arms folded. Andrea walked over and sat next to her.
"You really think that's your brothers plan?"
"Yes. There are a lot of nobles who seize every chance to come and court me when I go into the royal foyer. That's why I stopped going." Victoria sighed heavily. "I loved that place, my mother used to play with me and Logan there when we were kids." Victoria shook her head violently, the memories of her mother were painful. Andrea put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"She would be so proud of you if she could see you now Torri." Andrea comforted. Victoria patted Daisy who had laid down beside her on the bed. She took time to let the dogs fur fall slowly away from her hands as she stroked.
"Walter came by earlier. He told me something that sorta surprised me. He said that mother didn't want to be the queen of Albion at first." Victoria looked off out through her stained glass window and into the darkness below. Andrea sat up.
"Really? But from his stories, I thought that she loved her job." Victoria stood up and smoothed her dress.
"I dunno, that's just what he told me. Maybe she got used to it or something? When I tried to ask him about it, he got all weird with me."
"Kinda like how he did when you used to ask him about your father right?" Andrea asked. Victoria paused and then replied.
"Yeah." The silence was long and cold before Victoria spoke again.
"So, were your parents angry when you got home?"
"No, they were all over me, kissing me and telling me how they were so worried and stuff." Andrea replied.
"So you didn't even get grounded then?" Victoria asked. Andrea shook her head.
"No, they said that they knew that it was your fault." Andrea laughed. Victoria pushed her in the arm.
"Gee thanks. I'm sure that you can guess how Logan reacted." Victoria bounced up and down on the bed. Andrea looked up at the chandelier and pretended to be thinking before replying.
"Did he treat you like a child and send you to your room then?" Andrea asked matter-of-facty like. Victoria stared at her.
"You can be a real brat you know that Andrea?"
"Your one to talk." Andrea snickered. The two girls exchanged a laugh and then continued to wile away the time. Daisy huffed as she changed positions on the bed. Andrea twisted a piece of her black hair around her fingers and began to hum an old tune. Victoria watched her, trying to recall the melody.
"What is that song called again?" Victoria finally asked.
"Oh. Its called the Rogue and the Lady. A lovely tune." Andrea replied.
"How does it go again?" Victoria asked her friend. Andrea started to sing the song:
There once was a woman, so lovely and kind
With beautiful heart and body and mind
She carried a pistol of pure silver white
And helped many people with many a plight
There once was a man, so proud and so vain
With a terrible heart who loved causing pain
He brandished a pistol of crimson and gold
And from its gold bullets much blood had flowed
The Rogue and the Lady were different indeed
And yet through their differences, they came to be
Why did the Lady run off with the Rouge?
Because love knows no boundaries, that's what I'm told.
Andrea finished the song and then opened her eyes and looked at Victoria.
"It was very pretty. But kinda strange too." Victoria commented
"Why? I think that its lovely. It shows what lengths love can go in order to make two people find it." Andrea replied.
"No, not that. It's just, it seems kinda odd to me is all. It's certainly not your stereotypical romance is it? Songs like that are usually all mushy and the characters are sooo totally fake. Is it maybe based off of real life?" Victoria asked again. Andrea thought hard before answering.
"Hmmm. I think that it was one of those old hero hymns. I remember hearing that the two were actually heros from long ago or something like that. It sounds like they might have both been skill users or something though doesn't it?" Andrea replied.
"Yeah it does, if heros did indeed exist at all. But honestly, what a stupid thought. I guess that's why its called a fairy tale and not a fact. A relationship like that would never work out." Victoria commented gruffly.
"Yeah. Come to think of it, your right."
Within the hour, Jasper came back and escorted Victoria down into the ballroom. Victoria muttered and cursed under her breath as she walked into the ballroom, bathed in the luminous golden light of the chandeliers and the bright candles. Logan was talking to some noblewomen, a glass of wine in his hand. He turned as he heard Victoria come in. A smile parted across his lips as he approached his sister.
"Ahh, nice of you to join us sister. You look exquisite." Logan greeted Victoria. She in turn rolled her eyes and just groaned.
"Its not like I actually want to be here you know." Victoria looked around at all the nobles and huffed. "I don't exactly fit in."
"That's preposterous! You are a princess, and its high time that you start acting like it. I will not allow you to ruin this ball Victoria, your image is very important to this country and that is exactly what I intend to shape, a better image for the future queen of Albion." Logan responded sharply. Victoria scoffed at his words.
"You're going to try and marry me off." She snapped. Logan looked shocked.
"Who told you?!" He demanded.
"No one. Your just so predictable Logan. You've been trying to control me and force me to become refined since you took the throne. It was bound to happen sooner than later, and its an excellent plan to get someone else to do it for you." Victoria laughed. Logan looked over his shoulder to the two noblewomen, and then smiled at Victoria.
"I have some important people who I need to speak with. Again, it is so nice to have you here Victoria. Farewell." Logan waved as he turned on his heel and walked over to the two beautiful woman and continued to converse. Victoria hated it when he blew her off like she was a child. She was clearly winning the argument, and that was when he always walked away. Logan knew that Victoria was clever, and would always have the last word. It made the princess angry that everyone kept secrets from her and treated her like a child, even though she was really twenty. Victoria looked down at her blue gown and sighed.
"Excuse me? Madam Victoria Remswood?" A male voice called from behind. Victoria whirled around and came face to face with a tall brown-haired young man. He wore a yellow and green fancy suit, which marked him as a noble. He had a face that looked too young to be an adults, and sad brown puppy dog eyes to match.
"Who wants to know?" She snapped. The young man took an intimidated step back and then took a breath and announced himself.
"My name is Frederick Hamilton. I have been promised your hand in marriage by your brother, King Logan. I came to court you." He replied.
"Do you really think that matters to me? I don't even know you, and if you don't sod off, I'm going to hurt you. Badly." Victoria threatened.
"You look beautiful in that dress madam." Frederick complemented, ignoring her threat. Victoria knew that Logan had probably warned the noble about her attitude and he was well prepared for it. But she had given him a warning too. Without a second thought, she socked Frederick in the face, and he fell to the ballroom floor. The minstrels stopped playing, and the nobles stopped dancing. Woman shrieked and began to whisper amounst themselves. Some fainted. Logan looked to the scene and immediately snapped his fingers. The guards came and took hold of Victoria, whom was still standing over her most recent suitor.
"Lets go princess." The guard instructed. Victoria fought him off with little effort, and then rushed to the nearby window and ripped the sash of her dress right off and held it high for all to see. A gasp rose from the crowd.
"I am no longer your princess! I am my own person. I relinquish the powers of the crown and surrender my title, forever!" Victoria cried. Logan ran forward, accompanied by six top guards.
"Victoria! Stop this nonsense immediately!" He raised his arm and the guards advanced. Victoria backed up to the stained glass window.
"No, not this time. I'm serious brother, you and I both knew that I was always different. I have every right to do this!" Victoria replied.
"Do this and the crown will no longer protect you, you'll be hung for murder!" Logan threatened. Several gasps rose from the crowd again. Victoria smiled her simple smile.
"I would rather die than be your sister." She calmly replied. Logan glared at her.
"Is that so?" He asked, with a strange sadness in his voice. Victoria looked at her older brother, and for the first time in years, he was that happy young prince that she had grown up with. Before the throne had corrupted him. Victoria looked once more, but then she shook off her feelings, and stepped backward. She looked down onto the balcony below and then threw herself out the window, the glass shattering in all directions as she did so. She landed with a thud on the stone balcony below, a sharp pain ignited in her left arm. She looked to find a shard of glass lodged inside her arm. Victoria winced as she pulled the large shard from it. She tore her dress and wrapped her wound tightly. Then, she limped off the balcony and into her bedroom. Andrea was still there, quietly reading a book. She jumped at the sight of her bloodied up friend and let out a shriek.
"Torri? Is the castle under attack?!" Andrea asked afraid. Victoria quickly grabbed her satchel, lute, and weapons from the table. Daisy barked and greeted her.
"No, but I am. I crashed the royal ball and now I'm leaving again. Come on Daisy!" Victoria called to her fateful friend. Andrea looked puzzled at her.
"You act as if their trying to kill you! Will you just calm down for a second Torri?" Andrea pleaded an explanation.
"Andrea? I have to go soon, so listen well ok? I have surrendered my title as princess. Logan has threatened to have me hung as a common murderer for those men back at the Mistpeak station. I have to go. Farewell." Victoria patted her thigh for Daisy. She started down the vines and out into the courtyard. Daisy leapt down with ease after her mistress.
"Victoria!" Andrea cried for her to stop, but Victoria ran off and disappeared into the night. As soon as she was far enough away and knew that no one would hear her, the rogue princess let go of bitter tears. Daisy laid a comforting head on Victoria's lap. The tightly wrapped wound hurt badly, but at least it had stopped bleeding. Victoria sat alone in the dark alleys of Bowerstone, a place where she had been hiding before too many times to count. She was a wanted fugitive now, as far as she could guess. She was no longer a princess of the realm. She no longer had a family, or a future. She continued to cry, completely alone.
"Why?" Victoria yelled harshly though her tears. "Why does my life have to be this way? I don't want to be alone like this, I just want answers!" She stood and kicked a pebble across the cobblestone streets. Daisy woofed at the rolling rock.
"It's not fair is it girl? We had to leave Andrea and all of my family, just because stupid Logan wanted to make me into something that I'm not, and never ever going to be! What is with that guy? Just as I am about to jump out of a window, he shows the first emotion that I've seen from him in years?! He's completely crazy!" Victoria screeched. The loudness of her rant surprised Daisy, and the wolfdog cowered at her mistresses rage. Victoria noticed the trembling animal and calmed down enough to reach out for her.
"I'm sorry Daisy, its just too bloody frustrating any more. But everything happens for a reason right? It'll be ok, I promise." Victoria told her pet, but in her heart, she wasn't so sure.