Remy is a vagabond traveling town to town with her friends. She didn't know she was part of a royal bloodline, and certainly didn't expect being captured and taken to her estranged family in Britain where everyone is expecting so much from her.

The Embroidered Night

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."
—Kurt Vonnegut

The wind was warm tonight—the first real warm evening of the coming summer. It was only early May, and I hadn't been expecting it. And standing on the rooftop was nice, just letting the air sift through my hair and fingers as I spread my hands out wider.

The wind wasn't just warm, but fast, too. I pulled the elastic from my hair and the breeze lifted the locks up, thrashing them freely around my face. Eyes closed, I felt like I might be at the edge of the world instead of the edge of some dilapidated, abandoned old warehouse's roof. That I might be someone other than who I was, in some alternate world where everything was perfect and beautiful.

In the next instant, I was thrown backwards, landing with a painful thud on the hard ground.

"Fucking fuck!" I exclaimed, ever eloquently. Well, there went the peaceful moment. My cigarette had fallen from my lips and it was the first thing I paid attention to, quickly recovering it from the ground—(which, actually, was the rooftop)—and dusting it off before restoring it to my lips. I angrily yanked my hair back into a ponytail again, glaring up at the boy who'd jumped me. He was on his hands and knees—He'd been prepared for the fall.

"God damn it Rem, don't do that!" Grant scolded, sitting up so he was just on his knees. He ran his hand through his hair aggressively as if I had been up to no good and he was in charge of babysitting me. I exhaled the smoke and cast him a bitter glare.

"Do what?" I groaned, balancing the cigarette between my fingers. I eyed it carefully, focusing on the slow burn of the ember. My momentary anger at my friend had faded quickly. There were few people I could hold grudges against, and Grant wasn't one of them.

"You were going to jump!" He exclaimed frantically. This earned my attention to return once more to him.

"What?" I couldn't help but smirk in amusement. "You thought I was going to jump? Really?"

He frowned at me, eyebrows lowered. His handsome face was suddenly upset with me, like I'd tricked him into his foolish behaviour. I laughed outwardly, lying flat back down on the rooftop again, chuckling up at the stars.

"I promise you, Grant, I'm not going to be jumping off rooftops any time soon," I told him once my giggling had ceased. To be honest, I was a bit drunk. Tipsy at most. Maybe it was a good thing he pulled me away from that edge. A sobering frown met my face and I registered the grim outcome if it had ended with one careless misstep on my part…

"Actually, thanks. Seriously." I looked at him straight in the eyes, hopefully conveying how thankful I really was. He cared for me. That wasn't something easy to find in our line of business.

And by 'line of business', of course I mean being homeless, though I don't like regarding it in such a blunt term. We're more like vagabonds, or gypsies traveling from place to place, staying in neat old buildings and only taking the necessities. I didn't particularly like to steal, but some things were must-haves, and we rarely had money to spare.

And I sure as hell try my hardest not to look like a hobo. I was, in fact, wearing my nice pair of jeans and boots, along with my sleek black leather motorcycle jacket. (Not real leather).

"Let's get back inside," Grant half-groaned. He didn't look nearly as humiliated as he had a moment before upon finding out I truly wasn't attempting suicide, but he still looked a little upset with me. He was probably trying to make me feel bad, I reasoned. Teach me a lesson. And it was working. I felt sort of guilty for my careless actions. I mean, if someone else had spotted me up there, the cops could've come. And squatting like we were wasn't exactly legal…

Inside, after two quick trips down rusty old ladders, we found the rest of our group huddled around their little homemade fire. Our sleeping bags had already been laid out, near enough for warmth but far enough for some privacy.

Facing me, I could make out the shadowy features of Aria—Grant's younger sister—and Mason, a boy my age with thick, outgrown brown hair and mischievous features. He had a long nose and plenty of freckles, and his dark eyes were always darting around in a way that made me worry he was going to steal something. Anything. I hated stealing, but he loved it. That's what got him in trouble with the law in the first place. Then he dropped out of school and…well, now he's here.

Aria was a pretty girl, eighteen but appearing much younger. Her light brown, wavy hair was cut to just past her earlobes, and her kind eyes were putting up with Mason's antics. She had her knees pulled to her chest and arms wrapped around them though, in a kind gesture that made it clear she wasn't interested in Mason pulling any moves on her. Next to me, I sensed Grant tense up. He clearly didn't notice his sister's "no thank you" attitude towards our other companion.

"Cool your jets, bud," I scoffed at my friend, shaking my hand through his hair quickly. He eyed me and patted his hair down again. Grant was much like his sister in appearances—younger looking than his twenty years, light brown hair with a slight wave to it, and quiet in the general sense. I'd already dealt with Mason coming on to me much like Aria was doing now, so I naturally felt for the girl. Mason was just a typical guy, and was oh-so terrible at attracting any girls.

And of course, sitting with his back to us was Evan. I could only make out his silhouette from where we stood, but that quickly changed as I tackled him from the side. He saw me coming, but I also made sure not to push him into the fire. That could never end well.

I planted kisses on his face, wherever I could get them, really. His cheekbone, then his jaw, then I managed the corner of his mouth. It took him a moment to counter-balance me, but was soon enough kissing me back. I sunk into position on his lap, him holding me something like a groom might hold his new wife. I chuckled to myself at that thought. God, that idea seemed so impossible. Besides our state of homelessness, we'd only been together for something like five months. Hardly enough to get married anyway!

I looked up at him and couldn't help but grin. The light was dim and flickering, but he was still handsome: short black hair, happy eyes, big smile. He hadn't shaved in a few days, and I snuggled myself into his warm chest doing my best to avoid the little pokes and stabs from his cheeks and neck.

"Get a room," Mason groaned at us. I grinned mockingly back at him and kissed my boyfriend a few more times. Evan tasted like alcohol and cigarettes, but so did I. We were a drunken bunch, really, and it was terrible. Actually, scratch that. Evan and I were the only drunks here. The others were good. But at the same time, I drank to numb out thoughts; forget things. I think Evan drank because he could and because he was addicted. Did that make me better than him? I didn't know, and I didn't have the time to consider it.

"Have I told you that you look absolutely ravishing this evening?" He asked me like a true southern gentlemen. We were in Louisiana, and while I was from here, he wasn't, and the accent sounded ridiculous. I giggled and wrapped my arms around his neck, throwing my head back like I'd received the biggest compliment of my life.

"Well I do declare!" I exclaimed, mustering up the best, thickest southern drawl I could. It wasn't too hard for me to execute flawlessly (if I do say so myself).

"Seriously, get a room," Mason repeated. Grant was sitting next to his sister now, looking at us with an exasperated expression. Aria's features were half-obscured behind her pulled up legs, but she seemed to be restraining a bit of laughter.

"Maybe we will," Evan declared, getting up. I followed suite, feeling the buzz of alcohol and being madly entranced by him all of a sudden. I traced my fingers along his collar and down his chest, eyeing him with some suspect as to his thoughts. He glanced down my body. "Come on, darlin'," He half-growled to me, and I was quite eager to chase him. The others were quite eager to have us leave.

He led me to the next floor up, the highest level of this old building (other than the roof, of course).

Our lips crashed together as we frantically began, well, throwing ourselves at each other. Where all this came from I couldn't say, but I didn't necessarily discourage it from happening. It wasn't like it was the first time.

He propped me up on a large wooden crate. It was old, but sturdy. Our lips hardly broke apart as we each worked on pulling the each other's clothing off. He had my jacket on the ground in a second flat, and was already on my shirt while I still fumbled on the first few buttons of his.

Would my mother be happy with my choice in men? Probably not. Evan wasn't exactly the ideal type of match, what with him being in trouble with the law and, at twenty-two, three years older than me. Not to mention he was a heavy drinker and an expert thief…But guess what? My mother wasn't around, and I had never even met my father. So I had nothing to worry about!

Our tops were off. After getting me into just my bra, Evan kindly helped with his own shirt. And in moments, our skin was pressed together.

With the warmth of his skin and the air outside, I was hot. Or maybe it was just the situation I was finding myself in…

"Remy…" He growled my name.

Evan slid me back onto the crate, tracing his expert fingers down my torso. He kissed my stomach a few times, moving his way up towards my lips again. My neck and collarbone area was my most sensitive, and that was enough to have me breathing heavily and eagerly begging him…

He slid my bra strap off and grinned at me. My fly was undone. So was his. But…the way he suddenly looked up at me like that. The way he grinned…

He sensed me freeze up.

"You okay, babe?" He asked in that sexy, husky voice of his. But it didn't sound so sexy this time. A crease formed between my brows as I found myself suddenly and completely turned off. What the hell?

"I—yeah," I sat myself up, forcing a very disappointed Evan off me. He frowned, but didn't force me back. The frown was still clear on my face.

"Seriously, you alright?" He asked me again, tone quickly returning to normal.

I looked at him with narrowed eyes, assessing him. He hadn't changed. He still looked the same as always—muscular but not in an overly developed way, pale in the moonlight, the same old tattoos spaced out over his torso and arms. His hair was messed up—my doing—and I came to the realization that his appearance was…the same as always. Nothing had changed. So why did I stop? That was weird of me.

Nothing was different. This was the same as it always was. We got drunk and had sex regularly. And I don't mean to say we had to be drunk to have sex, that's just usually how it happened. We both needed alcohol to loosen us up.

And a few hours later, after we dressed and returned to the group, I found myself alone, in my own sleeping bag instead of Evan's, pouring over my strange reaction.

A/N: I promise this story gets so much better! I love it and can't stop writing. Hopefully you guys like it, too :) Let me know what you think--please review!