“Come back soon darling, we’ll have your favorite pastries within the next few days” Anna, the village baker, called to the blonde girl as she made her way to the exit of the shop. The elderly woman turned away from the windows to pull a a braid of bread from the oven when the pan was grabbed from her hands. “You shouldn’t be bending over like that Mhamó. It isn’t good for your back.”
The girl moved the pan and set it on the counter across from the oven. “Bah, I may be old, but I’m not useless Katarina” Anna glared at the girl. Katarina, knowing there was no malice in the glare, grinned and stuck her hand out. “Would you like a hand up Mhamó?“
The baker swatted Katarina’s hand away, “You may be the princess, but not in my kitchen you brat. Now go. Shoo!” Giggling, Katarina ran out of the shop, nabbing a blueberry pastry along the way. “Goodbye Mhamó!” She called as she ran down the path to the forest, hearing the elderly woman’s growling all the way.
Chomping on the pastry, Katarina made her way down the worn path that led to the back of the stables. Once she realized the guard was out, she stuffed the bread into her mouth and quickly grabbed the edge of the stable’s roof. Reaching up, she managed to pull herself onto the roof, she saw her normal escape route; the ladge that was just a liiiiiittle to the left of her head. Slowly, oh so slowly, as to not gather the guard’s attention, she reached towards the stone ledge.
Katarina missed the ledge by an inch.
When her hand didn’t make contact like it was supposed to, she flailed about, dropping her pastry with a resounding thud onto the roof of the stable. The guards turned, weapons at the ready, she felt his approach.
The guards must have felt his presence too because they directed their presence towards the forest and away from her. Katarina scrambled up the stone ledge and in through the window of the servants’ quarters.
She quietly slipped past the people, nodding to some that she knows, and out past the big wooden door. She’s walking down the path through the gardens when she hears the clanking of metal on stone. She turns to see Austin, one of the older guards. He bows slightly before relaying his orders, ”My Lady, your mother wishes to see you”
“The exchange has already been made Katarina. You will travel northeast in two months’ time to become his bride.” The queen looked down at her daughter from her seat on the ivory throne. “You are expected to be the perfect wife. No more of your foolish adventures into town. No more of your childish games on the outskirts of our property. You will show the Northerners that we are civilized, that we deserve this alliance with them.”
Katarina gaped at the queen, the perfect, seemingly immortal queen that sat on the Silver Throne, the cold and icy queen that was supposedly her mother. The woman flicked her hand and Austin stepped forward, “Sorry Princess, but-“
Katarina sighed, “Yeah, I know. Thank you Austin.” She turns to the throne, curtseys, and walked out of the giant room.
Katarina waited until the guard had left his post on the other side of her door before kicking it. “Not this again, stupid castle, stupid silver throne, stupid freaking door.” Her foot slipped and she kicked the iron hinge of the giant door. The princess growled and hopped around her room as she clutched at her sore toes. Her growls turned to hiccups and her hiccups to sobs as she landed on her giant bed. “I can’t believe that mother is doing this to me again.” She flopped backwards on the bed and buried her face in the pillows. “It’ll all be okay tomorrow.”
The moon was high in the dark sky and cradled amongst the many stars when she woke. The blonde princess looked up at her open window and sighed. Katarina knew he was there. She always knew when he was there. She didn’t know how, but she did. The blonde princess threw off her covers and made her way to the arched window where his glowing green eyes bore into hers.
Her dragon always knew when she needed him.