Serefina - 2
I was running again, this time towards the maze. “Going somewhere Princess?” a voice surprised me.
Turning a corner, I ran straight into something solid. Looking up, I huffed as I realized what I ran into was my bodyguard’s chest. “****** Brooks. Why do you always have to do that?”
“Do what?” he asked innocently.
I scowled. “You know perfectly well what mister. Now get out of my way. I need to go…” I trailed off, not wanting to give away my new hiding spot.
“Need to go where? The maze? You should know better than that Princess. You could get lost in there.” He smirked, knowing I hated being called “Princess”, even if I was one. But even more than that, I hated how he always knew where I was, or where my new hiding place would be.
I snorted. “I know my way around the maze perfectly fine, thank you very much! Besides, why do you care? The only reason you follow me around is because of…” I trailed off again, realizing I didn’t actually know why he followed me around. “Come to think of it, why do you follow me?”
He smirked at me again. “Wouldn’t you like to know? Of course it is because I am your personal bodyguard. It would be a shame if I did not know where own charge is.”
I growled, frustrated. “Yes, of course I know that! But isn’t there another reason? I feel like you are doing more than just protecting me. You always-.”
“M’lady Serefina, where are you?” A voice called from the distance. It was getting closer to where we were.
“Shoot,” I muttered. “****** Brooks, get out the way! Let me pass! I can’t let them see me.”
“Running away again Princess?” he asked. “Not something you should be doing, especially tonight.” Brooks took my hand and dragged me toward the maze.
“What are you doing? I thought your job was to turn me in, not help me out,” I asked curiously. “And what’s so special about tonight? Besides the obvious, I mean.”
He did not answer me, but instead continued pulling me along. His eyes scanned the walls before he suddenly shoved me through a hidden doorway. “Who said I was helping you? Better luck next time, Princess.” His voice faded as he walked away, a hint of a smirk evident in his voice.
“Mistress Serefina, there you are. We’ve been searching all over. We wanted to tell you but you disappeared again,” someone spoke behind me.
I turned around and saw Tris, a maid with short, maroon-colored and somewhat spiky hair, who was rather new to the estate. “Come along now.”
She took my arm and tugged, leading me down a passageway that I had never seen before. It was dim but dry, meaning it was another servants’ pass I had yet to discover. She pushed an unlit torch to the right, and suddenly we were in my dressing room.
So that’s how all my stuff gets here. I had never known how they had transported my things from one place to another without me seeing.
Secret passageways and servant passes ran all along the castle, and underneath as well. From what I had explored, there were countless numbers of them, and they led everywhere. They took you around the castle grounds. Some led out to the kitchen, others to the servants’ quarters, and some dumped you in the hedge maze outside.
I wondered if maybe some even led to the town near Liamsalt Tower, my home.
“Mistress Serefina? This way please.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah. I’m coming.” Tris led me to my rarely used makeup desk and at me down. Frowning, I asked, “What are you doing? I have no duties tonight.”
She smiled mysteriously. “On the contrary Mistress. You have a very important meeting tonight with… Ah, I should not say much more. If they haven’t told you, they must not want you to know just yet. You will find out later tonight.” She gave me that mysterious smile again.
“With whom? My parents? Tom or Margarette? Please tell me,” I begged. But Tris shook her head and continued putting on makeup before starting on my hair. I groaned internally. I could tolerate light makeup, but I was never fond of it. I preferred a more natural look.
“Mistress, I’m done. Please take a look.” I turned to the mirror, and thought, “Wow. I actually look a bit pretty.”
“There is a dress waiting for you on your bed. If you need any help putting it on, please inform me,” Tris informed me before bowing. She then left, closing the door behind her.
I sighed as I walked to my bedchambers. Like Tris said, on my bed lay a beautiful blue dress. It was all silk trim and fancy embroidery; a cold shoulder dress with a princess seam. How appropriate.
The dress was a stunning royal blue, with an icy periwinkle blue strip running down the middle from the bodice to the end of the full-bodied skirt. Along the edge of this light blue strip was an embroidered line of deep, midnight blue. Lace adorned the periwinkle-colored fabric, stretching across its span. Though it seemed elaborate, its design was simple yet elegant.
Exhaling, I fingered the soft fabric. Not much else to do but do as they say for now. I slipped on the dress, feeling the cool silk and lace slide smoothly over my body.
I must not have out it on quite right, because I could not find the hole for my head. As I carefully pulled it off, I felt a cold, hard object hit my chest. Looking down, I smiled when I saw what it was. It was the amulet my mother gave me when I was four.
Phoenix-shaped, it was a warm amber-colored thing. For some strange reason, the amulet seemed to get warm whenever I thought of my parents. Or anything else that stirred up strong emotions. It helped me to calm down and relax, something that was hard to do whenever my thoughts took a pessimistic turn.
“Is everything okay in there Miss?” Tris knocked on the door, scaring me.
“Yeah, I’m fine. I’ll be out in a minute,” I called back, breathing in deeply. I yanked the dress back on properly this time, attentive to my hair and makeup so they would not become ruined.
Tris knocked on the door again. “I will be out, give me a second. Please, Tris!” after struggling to zip myself up, I rushed to the door, yanking it open just as Tris started pounding on it once more.
“Alright! Could you please help me-.” I stopped short. I was going the maid to zip me up, but it was not Tris outside my door.
“Brooks?” I questioned, staring up at him. “What are you doing here?” The shock of seeing him had me temporarily forget the fact that I was not fully dressed.
The man took a step back, bowing stiffly at the waist. “Your father, His Highness, wishes to see you. He told me to come and fetch you, but seeing as you weren’t quite yet ready, I was forced to wait. I do hope that you won’t be in any trouble because of it.”
I frowned at his formalities. “You know you don’t have to speak like that. It’s just you and me.”
At this he smirked, returning briefly to his old self. “They have eyes everywhere Princess. They are always watching. Come,” he grinned, “Let us be off.”
“Um, about that…” I trailed off, blushing like mad. “I haven’t quite finished getting, err, dressed.” Gesturing to myself, with my bare feet, and the front of my dress that I had to hold up to prevent it from falling. “I-I don’t suppose you could help?”
Brooks’ face reddened, almost imperceptibly. For a moment we just stared at each other. Eventually, he coughed, and the both of us came back to our senses.
Another stiff bow as he replied, “Of course, Princess,” and he was back to his stoic façade. I turned around, holding my hair off my back as he tugged on the zipper.
When he stepped back and announced he was done, I let out a breath I did not know I was holding. “T-thanks,” I mumbled, shy. He nodded before exiting the room. “I will be waiting for you, Your Majesty. Please hurry.”
The door was shut in my face before I realized what was happening. I stood in a daze before bringing myself back to reality. That had never occurred before. Another shaky breath later, I had my matching shoes on, and was entering the hallway.
Giving me a brief once-over, Brooks grinned charmingly. “I believe you are ready. If you would be so kind…?” He offered me his arm, which I hooked mine over without hesitation. “Of course.”