King Ivan blinked, then smiled "Good" he said "you are no longer a servant, I will see what else you can do, I will get someone to make some clothes for you" he stood up.
(Name) didn’t know what to expect. She didn’t know what she was feeling. Some weird, warm, glowy feeling had settled itself inside her stomach which made her jump in happiness every few minutes. Now what? Now what? She didn’t know. But still she couldn’t believe it. She was not a romantic girly girl but...the thought of the evening before made her face turn red.
She looked around her new room. It was much bigger than her first one, the bed was deliciously comfy and there was a balcony overlooking the...sunflower fields. Some things never changed. There was a soft orange glow in the room due to the early morning sun. (Name) sat on her bed in a new dress, a bit tight for her liking but fresh and pretty. It made her feel like a girl. Now that hardly happened.
She slipped into her slippers and shuffled to the door, suddenly smiling, an evil, sly smile which could have made snakes look innocent She peeked outside at the guard half awake outside her door.
“Hey sir!” she called. The guard jumped in shock, then his expression turned to surprise. He was confused, had a lady called him sir? No...maybe he was just dreaming.
He wanted to go back to sleep, but he had been positioned outside her room as a personal guard. He rubbed his eyes sleepily, staring curiously at the young woman in front of him. She looked dainty and graceful but it was obvious from the way she was now knocking at her door for his attention that she was neither of those two. In fact it looked like she was holding up her dress to prevent herself from tripping. And apart from that her hair was all over the place, but in a nice way. It made her look human, someone with a personality unlike all those women who he saw every day, who looked like they had fallen into a bag of flour. She stared at him for a while.
“Yes I’m talking to you” she said grumpily. He half gaped at her before quickly closing his mouth.
“yes ma’am” he mumbled half bowing and nearly knocking the armour at the side of him over.
She blinked, looked confused for a second, turning around to see if anyone was behind before finally realizing he was talking to her. He suddenly realized who she was and grinned, amusement flickering on his face. Ivan’s sweetheart. That’s what everyone in the kitchens had been calling her, their noses wrinkling in annoyance and distaste at her mention. Especially that head cook that looked like a man and had many times creeped him out by flickering her eyelashes at him. Something he had been told was ‘flirting’ he shuddered at the thought.
“Could you call Hilda please? I need her to do a job for me” The girl said, a sly smile forming on her face. Aah! He got it now. She must have once upon a time worked under Hilda and now she wanted a taste of revenge.
“Sue I can” He smiled brightly. He wanted to watch what happened to that head cook. God at girl looked strange and stiff in a sophisticated dress. She pulled her sleeves down before nodding at him grandly, her nose in the air. He raised his eyebrow, she turned around and tripped over her dress, with a high pitched squeak she fell backwards onto her back. She blinked, once, twice, before the blurred object in front of her turned into someone’s face.
“Alright ma’am?” the guard asked, clearly holding back laughter.
(Name) growled. “Don’t call me that” she scowled “and you never saw that”
He shook his head solemnly “I didn’t see anything” he promised, a smile twitching on his face.
She grumbled, glaring at him and folding her arms in a not so lady like way. He walked off, half whistling to himself.
“Ma’am?” The guard knocked on the kitchen door and Hilda walked out, squinting at him as she stepped into the light of the corridor.
“What is it?” she snapped. She seemed to have stopped with all that flirting. Not that he minded, but now he was curious, why? Did she like someone else? She had been even snappier for the last few days.
“Someone’s calling for you” the guard mumbled, tying not to laugh. She glared at him as he started walking away, and followed after him.
“I’ll have you know that no ordinary man can boss me around, I work for the King not anyone, and you, have no right to come barging into my kitchen and tell me what to do or where to go” she spat.
He ignored her. She was lying to herself, he was only doing his job and she knew that. She could open her mouth all she wanted but at the end of the day if he called her she’d have to come.
They finally reached (Name)’s room and Hilda stared suspiciously at the young guard next to her.
“Who’s room is this?” she demanded “This isn’t his majesty’s room”
He tried not to smile before knocking on the door, there was a breathless ‘come in’ and he opened the door. (Name) was sitting on her bed as if she hadn’t just been jumping around her bed.
He watched Hilda’s face turn from one colour to the other, first green. red, then purple. It was funny to say the least. He couldn’t keep in the grin which had been threatening to come out.
“What is it (last name)” Hilda growled, and her voice was pure venom, her eyes darkened. The guard blinked, she must hate (Name) more than he had thought.
“I have a little work for you” (Name) said sweetly but it wasn’t hard to miss the coldness in her voice. “Remember when you made me scrub all the tiles outside the castle? I was down on my knees for what, 3 hours? No? Well I remember quite clearly” she said standing up. “You said the floor was ‘dusty’” she said bluntly, the smile no longer on her face. Instead there was a sort of anger in her voice. The guard glanced at Hilda. The floor was dusty? Maybe it was because it was the floor, and outside as well! What a witch!
“Well” (Name) knelt down and rang her finger across the floor board. She stood up and smiled brightly “tell me Hilda” she said and let the name roll around in her mouth for a while “what is this?” she asked. There was a silence. “I asked you a question” (Name) said coldly.
“Dust” came Hilda’s short reply.
“I want these floorboards squeaky clean, I want to be able to see my face by the end” (Name) said, she gave a dramatic sigh “This is hard for me as well Hilda” she explained “I don’t really want your hands touching my floor but...alas...I was given no choice” she said dramatically, waving her arms around.
There was a silence, the guard shuffled uncomfortably in the tension clouding the room. Another guard knocked on the door, and poked his head in.
“Ma’am!” he said, Hilda looked over; the guard shook his head and pointed at (Name) who turned to the door. “His Highness wants you to have breakfast with him”
Hilda growled to herself.
“Oh” (Name) mumbled turning red in the face. The guard grinned. AAaaaw, how adorable.
The guard at the doorway walked away, giving Hilda a surprised look.
“Let’s go” (Name)’s guard said brightly. (Name) nodded ad shuffled forward nearly tripping on her dress again. She caught herself just in time and glanced at Hilda. “You can work now” she said.
The two walked out, the guard in the lead; he slowed down letting (Name) catch up to him. “Good luck” he grinned, giving a small wink as he opened the door. (Name) nodded quickly and walked inside. The guard closed the door behind her.
(Name) sat down quickly, staring at the plate in front of her. There was a silence.
“Did you have a good sleep?” Ivan asked finally, breaking the silence.
“Yeah...” (Name) said fiddling with her hands.
“Good...” there was a silence.
“You look nice” Ivan commented. (Name) squeaked something in reply, her face heating up.
“Well let us eat” Ivan said, a half smile on his face. He pulled his chair closer to her and smiled. She stared back at him, her face turning more and more red as each second passed.
Before anything else could be said, the door opened,
“I heard what happened” somebody said, striding over. He pushed Ivan’s chair away and sat down in the middle. “Did I interrupt anything?” he asked innocently at the look on Ivan’s face.
“I was sitting there” Ivan mumbled, deflating slightly. He should’ve known they wouldn’t get much privacy with his guardian around.
“It’s much too early on to sit so close” Czar said bluntly “or hold hands or anything like that”
“We’ve already held hands” Ivan grumbled.
Czar narrowed his eyes. He turned to (Name), a smile stretching on his face. “Guess what I saw on the way here” he said tilting his head slightly.
“What?” (Name) grumbled, she already knew what he had seen.
“Hilda scrubbing your floor” The Guardian’s smile only widened.
“I still don’t understand” Ivan cut in “why are the two of you such enemies anyway?” he asked.
“You’re clueless Ivan, even I know that no guard or maid in this entire castle would care if she fell into the soup pan one day” Czar said, he thought for a while “and then we’d all have Hilda soup” he said looking rather disgusted at the thought. He glanced at the two sitting on either side of him. “Why so glum?” he asked innocently “let’s eat!”
“That (Name)” Hilda growled, her voice cold. She was sitting in the infirmary, next to someone who was still in bandages. “She had me scrub her bedroom floor today” she said.
“Don’t worry, dear we’ll sort something out” Came the reply. The General sat up.
“And how are we going to do that?” Hilda asked, irritated. “We can’t get rid of her now, she’s-“ she paused and took a deep breath
“And why is that” The General asked bluntly “she is only a maid”
“Not any longer General” Hilda said.
The General stopped and turned to her. “And what does that mean?” he asked.
“She is in...a relationship with his Highness”
“What!” The General yelled, jumping up. The action made him wince and he quickly sat back down. “What do you mean?” he said breathlessly.
“I mean what I said” Hilda said bitterly “that wretched peasant” she growled
The general was quiet for a while, his face twisted into a cold, hateful look. Why that little scum! Had she no shame that she was in a relationship when she was already engaged to him?
“Fine” he said coldly after a few minutes of silence “We will get rid of her” he stared blankly at Hilda “she will have to go, get out of the picture”
“Are you suggesting-” Hilda started gleefully,
“-yes, she has to die” The General growled. Hilda let out a squeal of happiness.
“Oh I knew you’d come up with something General” she swooned, fluttering her eyelashes, her arm coiling around his.
“Call me Arnold dear” The General smirked to himself. Hilda giggled.
The scene would’ve made an army of battle hardened soldiers vomit and cry in horror.
After breakfast Czar was forced to go and finish his paperwork, Ivan took (Name)’s hand quickly and led her out to the gardens before his Guardian could make an excuse.
“I have the day off today (Name)” he explained. God her hand was so small! He smiled slightly “any plans?”
(Name) thought for a while, very well aware of the contact they were making. It was distracting her thoughts.
“Err” she said dummly. She thought for a while. “Ooh! I know” she said her face lighting up “we can go to town! There’s always something happening there”
Ivan blinked and sighed “yes, like the King making an appearance” he said.
“Wait, aren’t you the King?” (Name) asked, confused. “Oh” she said getting what he meant. Her eyes lit up again “you don’t have to go as the King” she said grinning.
“What...do you mean?” Ivan asked, nervous inside.
“Time to play dress up” (Name) explained, her eyes glinting mischievously.