Chapter 1

"Avonelle, time to get up!" My mother yelled from the kitchen of our two-room cottage. "Coming mother!" I yelled back at her.

I got up from my bed and once I was standing yawned and stretched a bit, after that was done I headed to take a shower and wake me up fully. Once I got out of the shower I headed to my closet and picked out a shirt and pants that were identical to the rest of my clothing in my closet. Once I was dressed I walked towards the kitchen and wasn't surprised to see my mother cooking with my younger brother, Julian, on her hip.

"Mother want me to feed Julian breakfast while you finish your own?" I asked my mother as I walked up to her. "That would be great dear" She said as she handed me Julian and gave me a kiss on the forehead.

As I walked with Julian on my hip to what we call our "dinner table" and I sat Julian on the edge of the table, then I sat in the chair in front of him. Julian is my 5 year old brother and has light green eyes with shaggy blonde hair. He is an exact replica of our father who died in an accident while on a trip back from the trading post, it happened right before Julian was born. I shook myself from my memories as I fed some eggs and toast to Julian, "Elle I don't feel to good..." Julian said before I could even react and then the next thing I knew I had puke all over me. My mother heard the sound and stopped what she was doing to come and take Julian from me.

"Avonelle sweetie go and clean yourself up, I can handle him." She said as she bounced Julian on her hip. I nodded and retreated to the bathroom to try and take this stench and barf off of me.

A few minutes later,
I stepped out of the shower happy to be clean again and wrapped a towel around myself, after arranging the towel on myself I walked over to the mirror and grabbed a brush to brush my hair. As I brushed my hair I took in my appearance, I was light-skinned but not pale white and had long wavy blonde hair that went to my waist like my mother, my eyes were a light green color and I was 5'5 or at least last time I checked. When I finished analyzing myself in the mirror and brushing my hair I put it in its custom hairstyle, a high poinytail, and stepped out of the bathroom ready to tackle the day...again.

As soon as I was in the kitchen I smelled what I had been to busy before to smell, my favorite food, bacon and pancakes.

"Mother how did we afford this?" I asked my mother shocked. We weren't poor but we rarely had anything but bread and eggs since my father died to cut costs for bills and such. "Avonelle, don't you remember that today is a special occasion." My mother replied as she smiled at me and it took me a moment to realize what today was, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks because it was the day that the lottery for the king's bride was to be drawn.

"O, I remember, but it's not like I will be chosen mother. A country girl hasn't been picked from the lottery in over a 100 years." I said as I quickly ate the rest of my pancakes and excused myself from the table with a huff and set out to complete the duties of the day.

My family and I live in the country in the kingdom of Fae, in Fae there aren't many traditions but there is one that has been around for hundreds of years and its the bridal lottery. How the lottery works is that every time a new king is crowned, all the girls names in the land that are 16-18 are put in a drawing and 3 are picked from it in front of a crowd to become the king's bride. The 3 girls are then taken to the palace and for a year try to win the heart of the king. Whenever the past few lotteries occurred the 3 girls have always been nobility so no one in the country has worried about it for the last few lotteries. My mother had to explain to me when I was younger so I would be ready for it when the time came and she would also tell a story on how during the last lottery my grandparents would pray that she would be chosen, I always laughed though when she told me the story because I couldnt picture my mother with anybody other than my father. As soon as I was thrown out of my memories I stood up and was hit by another wave of them, but this time they were of my older brother, Jeremy. Jeremy is 18 and is 3 years older than me, he was 16 when he enlisted in becoming part of the kings personal guard. My mother and I were terrified of him leaving and warned him of the dangers if he left, but in the end he left anyways. We assume that he is working for the royal family now and still worry about him , what we worry about the most is that Julian doesnt even remember him because Jeremy left when he was only 3 months old.
My mother came out of the house sometime when I was lost in my memories because I didn't even notice her till she was standing front of me.

"Avonelle Marks! Did you forget that today instead of doing your duties around he house that we are supposed to head to Esme and watch the lottery." I sighed and was disappointed that she remembered. Esme was the capital of the kingdom of Fae and also where the palace is, I had only been there once when I was a child with my dad for a trading market and I dreaded going back.

My mother dragged me back to the house and sat me in her bed in her room. "Mother, its not like I have any nice clothes to wear to this, so why do we even have to go?" I told my mother trying to convince her as she dug through some boxes in her closet.

"I have something if only I could...yes I found it!" My mother said as she turned around holding a big and old box. As my mother sat herself and the box on the bed I sneezed cause of all the dust. She opened the box and I swear the most gorgeous dress I have ever seen was preserved amazingly in the box. My mother saw me smiling and practically drooling over the dress.

"Go ahead and try it on sweetheart, im sure it will look gorgeous on you." She smiled at me when she finished and I grabbed the dress and headed towards the bathroom dying to try it on.

I twirled so many times that I lost count when I had that dress on, it was just so beautiful. The dress was made of satin and was a ruby red color, it looked like it came straight out of the Victorian era. It had a corset that had a black swirl design that ran all the way down the beautiful red laced sleeves that traced all the way to my palms. The dress was made from 3 layers from the waist down and was ruffled in the top layer and clipped up in certian places to make the dress look stunning.

My mother laughed and smiled as she walked into the bathroom while I was mid-twirl. I stopped twirling and when I saw her looked towards the ground to hide my blushing face from embarrassment at getting caught doing something childish.

"There's no need to be embarrassed Avonelle, I did the exact same thing when I wore that dress many years ago for the first time at the last lottery when I was your age." She told me as she gently walked behind me and lifted my head so that she could do my hair.

"Mother, what is the lottery like?" I asked her as she started to braid my hair and add ribbon in my hair from what I could tell because I had not looked in the mirror yet. "And mother where did you get that ribbon?" I added on.

"Well to answer your first question, the lottery is like a big party till the royalty walks out, then right before the names are drawn and it gets really quiet and there is more silence till the name is read, and then everyone erupts in cheers, and of course the girl walks up to the stage, and then it repeats that 2 more times, then everyone goes home. Then to answer your second question, this is a ribbon that like the dress you are wearing has been passed down from generation to generation of woman in our family, so treat it well." My mother replied as she told me I was finished with my hair and I looked in the mirror for the first time since I was twirling. The girl I saw in the mirror couldn't be me though, she no I was beautiful. The moment didn't last though as my mom asked me to go get Julian as she went to get the horses ready to go.

We rode to Esme on two horses and my mother amazed me by riding her horse with Julian in her lap. It only took us about an hour to get to Esme, and it was about mid-day by the time we tied our horses and walked into the center of the plaza where everyone was already starting to crowd.

The lottery started a few minutes after we got there and we had gotten good seats. It was exactly how mother had described it, there was laughter and lots of talking and it definitely seemed like a party. Then 4 people I didn't recognize walked out and they sat on some fancy chairs on the left side of the stage. The crowd went silent when they walked out and stayed silent as another person walked out and caught my attention. The person walked over to a big ball thing that had a lever attached to it.

"Mother who are those people on stage?" I whispered to my mother. "That is the old king and queen, and then next to them is the new king and his squire. And because I know you are curious about it, that big ball in the middle of the stage is what has all the girls names and the lever is what what spins it and then the man pulls out the names from it." She said to me as she pointed out what she was saying and then turned back front as the man next to the ball thing spoke.

"Welcome people of Fae to the plaza of Esme and without further adue let the lottery begin!" And the crowd erupted in cheers.

The man then pulled the lever on a circle and the ball spun in a circle for about a minute before he stopped it and pulled 3 pieces of paper from it. He slowly opened the first paper "The first candidate is Adrianna Adelle! The man said and dropped the first paper to the floor as the crowd erupted in cheers and the girl, Adrianna, stepped on stage and curtsied to the 4 people sitting on the chairs, shook hands with the ball man and then sat in one of the 3 chairs on the right side of the stage.

The crowd then went silent again as the man spoke "The second candidate is Gwendolyn Silvers!" And the crowd repeated what happened before. The man then spoke for the final time "And last but not least the last candidate is Avonelle Marks!"

When the crowd erupted in cheers I was frozen and didnt move till my mother pushed me and told me to go while sending me a smile.

"Bye Elle!" Julian yelled to me as I walked towards the stage. I teared up a bit after hearing Julian say that but walked up on stage and repeated what the other girls did anyways. Then the man spoke "That's the end of the lottery! Hope to see you all at the royal wedding in a year and you will see one of these girls get crowned queen! Goodnight!"

Then the man left and then the 4 figures left, and then us 3 girls were escorted into a door that would lead to the palace. I looked back before they shut the door and took one last glance at my mother knowing that was the last time I would see her till this all ends. Then the door closed and I walked onwards praying that I was strong enough to survive this.

A.N: Hope you guys enjoyed the first chapter of Hidden Love. If you don't understand the meaning of the name of the story then you will in the next two chapters. And how will Avonelle survive? Will she fit in? What awaits her in court?
Please vote and comment! Thanks ;)
xoxoxo
Meagan