Angelica turned her attention back to the vanity, looking at a tiara that perflected complimented her gown sitting on top of a velvet pillow. The tiara was one that sat across the forehead, rather than on top of the head. She slid it on and gazed in awe at its beauty in the lit mirror before her. “I would say my outfit is complete.”
“Oh, but princess! Your shoes!” exclaimed Natalia, caring heals from behind the changing partition.
“Thank you, Natalia,” said Princess Angelica as the servant woman knelt down and began to slide on her shoes.
Bedelia crossed her arms and frowned. “You are lucky that we have such efficient staff. Now, put on your gloves. We best be going.”
Princess Angelica grabbed the pair off from the vanity table and slipped them on. She grabbed her fan once more, spread it out, and waved towards Bendelia. “You and Natalia are dismissed.”
“Yes, Princess,” replied Natalia, bowing.
“Thank you for all your help.”
“You are too kind.”
Natalia slipped past Brent and Bedelia and out into the hallway.
Princess Angelica stared at Bedelia who seemed like an unmovable wall. “I dismissed you as well.”
Bedelia turned to Brent. “You are to head to the kitchen next.”
“Yes, ma’am,” replied Brent. His face seemed emotionless.
Princess Angelica walked up to both of them, standing into proximety to Brent. “Bedelia, I dismissed you, not Brent. I understand that you are head of all servants as appointed by my parents, but I am second to my parents in terms of final say. He is to stay with me until I dismiss him.”
“Princess Angelica, the cooks need help preparing the feast for tonight.”
Princess Angelica folded her hands and elevated her chest. She tilted her head back, appearing even more regal. “Brent is to stay with me until I dismiss him.”
Bedelia narrowed her gaze at the princess. “…as you wish. But please be aware, I shall bring this up to your parents.”
Princess Angelica stared Bedelia as she walked out from the room and disappeared into the hallway.
Brent and Princess Angelica stood in silence, listening to the disapeparing footsteps.
After a long moment, Princess Angelica whispered loudly, “is she gone?”
Brent peered out into the hallway both ways before stepping back inside. “Yes. No other servants besides from myself in sight.”
Princess Angelica grabbed both of Brent’s hands and looked deeply into his eyes. “How do I look?”
Brent looked over all of Angelica. The ballroom gown appeeared as if it had stepped right out of children’s fairytale. Her overall gown’s colour scheme was baby pink, complimented by dark pink sparkles scattered throughout the many layers of tulle. The top half of the gown was boned like a corset, with ruffles running down along the seams, making them a visual part of the dress. Her sleeves rested off her shoulders. While opaque fabric made up the upper part of the sleeves, the parts hanging off and cascading like a waterfall were made of more transluscent fabric. The skirt of her gown was round and multi-layered to an almost ridiclious degree. It was difficult to tell just how many layers there was. Don’t ask the dressmaker either – they don’t know how many layers either! However, the overall look was a very bubbly gown.
Brent smiled gently. He firmly grasped her glove-covered hands. “You are the most beautiful lady in all the land as always, Princess Angelica. It’s a shame I could not accompany you.”
Angelica sighed, casting her gaze off to the side. “Such a shame, indeed.”
“I am sure there will be many fine gentlemen there to your liking.”
“There may be,” Angelica returned her gaze to Brent’s eyes. “but not as fine a gentleman as you.”
Angelica and Brent both tightened their grip on each other’s hands. Brent then released his hand and gently carrassed Angelica’s cheek, who leaned into it. “I’ll still be there if you get bored, a’right? I’m still going to be there.” His voice was low and gentle, as if trying to hide the words from the walls.
Princess Angelica grabbed his arm and nodded, looking as if she was about to cry. “Yes, of course.” She bit her lip.
Brent’s eyes suddenly snapped open. “Oh, yes! I almost forgot!” He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small, blue velvet bag. “A gift for you, Princess Angelica.”
Angelica took it with both hands. “Oh?” She peered inside and pulled out a choker made of tumbled rose quartz. “Brent!” she gasped.
“I have been slowly working on it during my downtime when I could not spend it with you. Once I knew the colour of your dress, I could not help but make you something that would compliment it.”
“You didn’t need to do this! You should have saved your money!”
“Perhaps, but I wanted to shower you with a gift.”
Princess Angelica held up the rose quartz choker, observing it closely. “Are you aware rose quartz is associated with love?”
Brent smirked. Angelica smirked back.
The princess then held out the choker to Brent. “Please, assist me with putting this on around my neck.”
Brent took it in his hands and walked around to the back of Princess Angelica. “As you wish.”
Princess Angelica brushed her glove-covered fingers against the rose quartz choker as she felt the warmth of Brent’s hands close to her bare skin. Her heart seemed to be anticipating something more, although she wasn’t expecting anything herself. The quiet clanking of the rose quartz beads did not help her either. They seemed to countdown towards whatever her heart was antcipating.
After a moment of silence, after the choker was placed around Angelica’s neck, Brent requested her to turn around. Princess Angelica fulfilled that request and faced Brent with slightly flushed cheeks.
“As I suspected – it looks stunning around you.”
“Thank you, Brent, for the kind gift.”
Brent grabbed Angelica’s left hand, got down on one knee, and smiled. “It was my pleasure.” He then kissed her hand.
Princess Angelica whipped out her fan from a hidden pocket, flicked it open, and started fanning herself, looking away from Brent with a face that was now a few shades off from being beet red.
The ball was in full swing. The orchaestra played loudly and harmously inside with the chatter of the party guests. Dozens of suitors for Princess Angelica were mingingly with the crowd, awaiting a chance to court the princess.
The Princess herself?
She was out on the balcony, leaning over the banister.
Angelica let out a rather irritated sigh. Out of mindless habit, she was fanning herself. Her eyes looked out past the castle walls through a window and out into the glittering fields of grass that looked just like the nighttime sky. Her shoulders dropped and she let the banister support her as she brooded.
“I thought you might be out here.”
Angelica turned over her shoulder to see Brent behind her. Even though he was there, the smile still did not return to her face. Instead, she looked back forward and let her head fall into her folded arms. She groaned.
Brent walked closer to her, careful not to touch her with the other guest around (unless absolutely necessary, of course). “The King and Queen requested I come find you. You have been missing for a long while and they are becoming worried.”
“…I hate these kinds of parties.”
Brent stood next to her and looked up to the sky. After a moment’s pause, he said, “Is that something a Princess should be saying?”
“Do not judge me, Brent.”
Brent laughed. “As you command, Princess.”
Princess Angelica huffed. She pushed herself up from the banister and turned to Brent. “Why can’t a Princess complain about something so…shallow?”
Brent gently smiled at her. He took a step forward and entered into her personal space, still retaining an acceptable distance away from her. “It is because you are a Princess. Princess Angelica, Lady of Astral Isles.”
“Yes, and a fine one at that.”
Princess Angelica covered face with her fan. “Oh, you flatter me!”
“But it’s true! Having known you since we were 6, I can assure you that it is not just flattery.”