|Fighting For Freedom
Author: KnifeInTheCrayonBox PM
She was born a princess, and being one, her only purpose in life is to marry a prince and produce an heir. Too bad Lydia only has eyes for one man. Too bad this man isn't a prince. Too bad her dad told all the princes she's looking for a husband.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 10 - Words: 24,735 - Reviews: 28 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 09-26-12 - Published: 05-27-12 - id: 3026352
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As I walked back to my room I thought about what my father had just told me. I knew he did this because he was hoping I would choose Prince Landon before the time was up, or any one of the other princes for that matter, but I could tell he thought highly of Landon.
I walked into my room and sat down on my bed. I knew that if I chose a husband before the allotted time was up the other princes would feel cheated, but then I would finally be rid of Sir William forever. I ran my fingers over the silk bed sheets that came from his country. Such a fine match it would have been, if only he had manners. My father would definitely approve, but then again, my father would approve of my marrying any of the princes here. He would not approve, I knew, of the one I wanted the most.
I suddenly heard yelling and shouts of joy from outside. I hurried over to my window and looked outside to see Dawson standing there playing with a young servant boy. He tossed him a round metal ball, which the boy caught, then threw back to him. I watched them toss the ball back and forth, both of them laughing and Dawson giving the little boy advice on how to catch better. I smiled to myself as I rested my chin in my hand and watched them play for a few minutes.
"Henry!" a voice rang out from somewhere down below in the castle. The little boy turned and called back,
"I'm coming, mother." His smile faltered a little, but Dawson said something that made him smile before he ran off inside the castle. Dawson stood there for a few seconds, watching the boy disappear inside.
Suddenly a strange look came over Dawson's face as he looked around before his eyes rose up to my window and met mine. I jumped back a bit, startled that he had discovered me watching them. I could feel my face turning red when Dawson smiled and waved at me. I smiled and waved back as he motioned with his hand for me to come down there. A few minutes later I was in the garden walking towards Dawson.
"So Lydia, how is the husband-picking business going? Has your father brought in a good harvest?" he teased, and I laughed at his silly analogy, but I decided to play along.
"I do not know. I cannot decided whether it is a good bunch or not," I said, shrugging. "But really, I have not had enough time to get to know them all. All I know is that there is one I do not like, and one I do."
Dawson smiled. "Hm, well I do not think it is hard to guess the one you dislike: Sir William. But which is the one you like?"
"Is he the one with the curly blonde hair and dark blue eyes?"
I nodded in confirmation. "Yes, why?"
"I ran into the fellow on my way out here. He said he was looking for you," he said with a shrug. My eyes widened when I realized that I'd forgotten all about Landon.
"Well, it was nice talking to you, Dawson, but I must be off to find Landon," I said with a smile.
"Likewise, Lydia," he said with a slight bow. I turned and walked back through the main entrance. If I followed the way Dawson came out here then I should run into Landon sooner or later. When I saw him standing at the end of the hall of the west wing I smiled and walked over to him.
"Dawson told me you were looking for me."
"Yes," he said with a nod, "You took quite a while. I was worried about you." I felt myself blush at this comment, despite the fact that I felt no romantic feelings towards Landon.
"What did your father wish to discuss with you?"
"As always, he is eager to marry me off, so he told me I am allowed to choose a husband before the allotted time is up, if I so please," I explained.
"Ah, he probably did that because of what happened this morning," Landon said with an amused smile.
"Yes…" I agree, trailing off. I suddenly remembered what father said before I left his presence. "But he also said something else."
"And what was that?"
"He reminded me that there are still things I do not about you."
"You can ask me any question and I will give you an answer."
"Where are you from? Your country, I mean," I asked. Landon looked away and smiled.
"I should have known you would ask that sooner or later," he chuckled to himself. "I would like to hear your guesses first."
"Lympulia?" I guessed. It was a very rich and well-off kingdom that wasn't too far from our own kingdom. Landon shook his head.
"Nomdaly?" It was another prosperous kingdom that was doing well, only it was far away. Surely my father's messengers did not go far that.
Landon shook his head again. "I can not guess," I finally said.
"Does the name Paris ring a bell?" he asked. My mouth dropped open with the revelation.
"You are the future king of France?" I gasped. Landon smiled at my reaction.
"I was fearful you would react like that," he said quietly.
"Why? What is disagreeable about being the future king of France? As I'm sure you know, France is one of the most powerful nations in the world right now," I reminded him. I suddenly felt like a small child that had just been invited to play with the older children.
"Because, when I came here I wanted you to come to know me as Landon, not the title that every other nobility and peasant knows me by. I wanted you to know me as a real person, not someone who is out of your reach," he clarified. I thought for a second.
"Do you think that's what the peasants think about us? That we're out of their reach?" I pondered.
"Why shouldn't they? We live in castles that they are not allowed to come in to, we have food brought to us whenever we hunger, while they work just to get food enough so they don't starve."
"You have a heart for the people," I stated, and he nodded in agreement.
"I've seen their poverty and when I take over the throne from my father I want to help them," he said, looking out a nearby window and putting his hands on the stone.
"I think that is a noble cause," I said, placing a hand on top Landon's. He turned from the window he was looking out and smiled at me.
"I'm glad you think so princess, because you would make a most gracious and excellent queen of France."
I woke up the next morning in a most agreeable mood. I was looking forward to seeing Landon again today. He had found his own special place in my heart, and I loved him like a brother. I wondered if that love would grow into something more. I hoped it would, because I was considering choosing Landon. He had already become one of my dearest friends, and it would also put a stop to Sir William's constant chasing after my affection. I still wasn't sure about my decision though. I would wait a couple days until I made my decision.
I got up and walked up to the tower Landon and I visited yesterday. We had agreed to meet there, so I was surprised when I arrived and Landon was not there. Had Sir William tricked him again?
I walked over to the window and looked at the sun rising slowly over the horizon. Villagers were already making their way to the market to get the best food, while a steady line of miners headed from their village to the mines off in the distance, ready for a long day's work. I propped my chin up on my hand as I gazed out at the world I'd never known. It felt so silly to be royalty and wish to see the village, when I'm sure any one of the villagers would gladly leave their home to live here and never look back.
The sun had already covered a good amount of distance in the sky when I heard someone clear their throat behind me. I turned around to see Landon standing there, a guilty look on his face.
"I am sorry for my tardiness, Lydia. I got caught up talking to someone on my way here and lost track of the time."
"It's quite fine. I was just admiring the village in the meantime." Landon walked over and stood beside me.
"You really want to visit the village," he stated, and I nodded.
"What is it like in the village?" I asked, "You must have traveled through it when you first came here. Tell me what it is like?"
"Well, I didn't see much from my carriage…" he started, but when he saw the pleading look on my face he cleared his throat. "but I guess I could tell you what I did see. Well, first of all there was the smell. It was a mixture of pastries and cooked meat, but it blended well…"
Landon spent the next ten minutes describing the villages, the market place, everything to me; all the smells, sounds and the way everything seemed to blend together in a beautiful way. It only increased my desire to visit the village and I hoped that one day I would be allowed to visit it. I knew that if I married Landon it would be expected of me, and the only made him look more desirable to me as a suitor.
I would still take a couple more days to decide, although I was fairly certain of my choice. I was waiting for the grand ball that was to my thrown in my father's honor to announce my intention to marry Landon. It would be one of the biggest balls in our small kingdom's history, with nobility from all around coming to bring gifts to my father and pay him a visit to celebrate the 500th year of my family's reign over our kingdom. It was going to be a grand celebration, with people from all over, and it was for this reason I would announce Landon as my choice. No doubt the other princes would be disappointed by the news, but I knew I would never meet someone like Landon, or at least, not from this group of princes. I'd met another prince last night at dinner named Anthony, and although he had better manners than Sir William, I knew I would never feel the way about him that I did about Landon. But then again, I knew I would never feel for Landon what I felt for Dawson.
Prince Landon wasn't plain by any means. He was quite handsome with dark blue eyes and tight curly hair that went past his shoulders and was pulled back with a black ribbon at the back of his neck. He was tall and well-built; the dream of any woman…but he wasn't for me. There was no imperfection I could point out, but I didn't love him in a romantic sense, only as a friend. He just simply wasn't Dawson, and that made a world of difference to me. Dawson was the one I loved, even if Landon was more handsome and stronger than he. He had a wonderful sense of humor and just something about him that I couldn't name, but loved nonetheless. It was found in the simple things he did; the way he laughed, the way he talked, and even the way he walked around. Every little thing about him that made him special, but would take far too long to name or even count. Dawson was the man I loved, not Landon, and yet…I was set on marrying Landon.
I shook my head and tried to let go of the notion of marrying for love. It was only a thing for peasants, not royalty. And thinking about how things could be different would only cause me more agony; I had to be happy that at least I would be marrying someone I got along with and loved as a friend. Landon would make a good husband, father and king.
"Landon, I must go now," I said after a few minutes of silence after he had finished describing the village to me.
"May I see you later?" he asked, and I nodded.
After I had a brief lunch I decided to take a stroll through the garden. I ventured out into the outer part and spotted Dawson sitting on a marble bench with a few pieces of parchment and an ink quill. I could hear him humming from a distance away and realized he must be writing a song. Maybe it was for the ball in a few days. I frowned when I realized that would be the last day as a free woman; after that I would be engaged and it would no longer be appropriate for me to be around Dawson. I knew how the kitchen maids and other castle staff loved to gossip, and if someone saw us together while I as betrothed to Landon rumors would run rampant about a 'forbidden love' between us.
I walked over to Dawson with a new determination. If I only had two days as a free woman I would make the most of them, and before I announced my engagement at the ball I would have one last dance with Dawson. When I got close Dawson looked up and maybe it was my imagination, but I could have sworn that his eyes lit up.
"Hello, Dawson," I said with a smile.
"Hello, Lydia," he said, setting aside his parchment and quill.
"Is that a new song?" I asked, glancing at the paper.
"Is it for the celebration of the 500th year of my family's reign?" I asked, and Dawson shook his head.
"No, I already have a routine planned for that," he said.
"It is in only two days' time," I reminded Dawson, and he smiled.
"Yes, I know. I am to perform at the ball to entertain the guests for the whole evening," he told me, and my smile faltered.
"You mean you will not have time to dance?" I asked softly, and he frowned a little.
"I am afraid not, Lydia. I am sorry to disappoint you."
I looked away and Dawson turned around and walked away. I walked over to a nearby bench and sat down. I knew I could dance with Landon the whole evening, but I was hoping to get one last chance to dance with Dawson before I was to be married off. Suddenly a shadow covered me and I looked up to see Dawson standing in front of me, smiling and holding a rose in his outstretched hand.
"Would you like to dance right now, pretty lady?" he asked. I couldn't help but blush at his comment and took the rose from his hand, setting it down on the bench beside me then taking his outstretched hand.
He led me under a tree so we would have some shade then put his hand around my waist and gave my hand a light squeeze.
"How can we dance without music?" I suddenly asked. It was the music that guided me through the dance steps and let me know when to turn and spin, how could I dance without so much as the strum of a lyre?
"My darling takes me hand and we dance across the room
I think that I love her, but maybe my feelings are too soon
I know I am not the first nor will I be the last to gain her attention
I just wish I was the only one to win her undying affection
But with such a beauty as hers, how could ever notice me?
My life goes on without her, and my feelings remain unseen,"
Dawson sang as we danced under a large oak tree nearby. The song went on, but all I could do was stare into Dawson's eyes and the sounds of the world seemed to die down. I did not need the music anymore; my feet seemed to have a life of their own as they moved in time with Dawson's.
A few minutes later it seemed that the dance ended too soon. Dawson led me over to the bench and let me sit down.
"Oh, I almost forgot. I have been meaning to give you something for a couple days now," he started. He reached in a pocket of his breeches and pulled out a large, silver colored band.
"I had this made for your birthday and I meant to give it to you after my song, but um…well…" I blushed when I remembered what I'd said to him that night. Dawson held out his hand I gave him mine. He took the band and slipped it on my hand.
"I know it is not as elegant as what you are probably used too-" he started to say, but I cut him off.
"I love it Dawson," I said with a smile. I look down at it and admired all the intertwining patterns on the cold metal.
"Are you sure?" he asked uncertainly. I stood up and leaned forward, giving Dawson a kiss on the cheek.
"I am sure," I said. Dawson looked away with a small smile before walked over to his parchment and quill and gathering it up.
"Well, I should go and finish this song…" he said before bowing slightly and walking off. I could feel a blush creeping onto my cheeks when I remembered how we danced.