I awoke to a grand room with a large bed elevated on a dais. I looked around seeing a changing screen, a dresser, a desk, and two sets of double doors. I carefully climbed out of the massive bed and walked towards the doors to the right. I opened them to find a large bathroom with a copper tub. As I gazed in one of the ceiling high mirrors, I realized someone had changed my cloths. I must have fallen asleep on Drakon's back before me reached the castle. I left the bathroom and tried the other set of doors in the front of the room. They led to a sitting room with a large royal blue and gold couch, a matching settee and two matching chairs before a large ornate fireplace. The walls of all three rooms were done in gold, making the entire set up seem like something from a fairy tale.
"You're awake." I turned to see Drakon at a small table with two chairs. Before him was a tray laden with food and juice.
"Are you hungry?" he asked. My stomach growled at the sight of the delicious smelling meal and I sat down across from him.
"You fell asleep and I didn't wish to wake you," he said. "Did you sleep well?" I nodded, reaching for the plate of bacon.
"We have a full schedule today, I'm afraid," Drakon went on, pouring coffee in my cup. "You have a dress fitting after we finish eating. Then there will be our crowning as the next heirs. Afterwords, if you wish, I can show you around." I nodded, showing that I was listening.
"You may want to hurry since the tailor will be here soon," he said. I groaned and put my head on the table.
"Can't I at least wake up?" I asked. He smirked and went back to his food.
I tried to eat quickly but before I was even halfway through my meal there was a knock at the door.
"Enter," Drakon said. The door opened and in walked three tall, slender women. One had shimmering onyx colored hair, one had ruby colored hair and the other had golden hair. The woman with onyx hair sashayed into the room and looked me up and down.
"This is the princess?" she asked, scorn in her voice.
"Yes," Drakon said. "Lady Andria, my wife." The woman sniffed at this, motioned for her servants to set up. They brought in a small stool, a large three sided mirror, a wooden box and rolls of fabric. The ruby haired woman smiled at me and offered her hand. I took it and she gently pulled me to my feet then removed my robe. She then walked around and began to pull off my night gown.
"Do I have to be naked?" I asked.
"Yes," the ruby haired woman said kindly. "The dress will be fitted and there will be no dressing gown worn beneath it." I nodded and allowed her to remove the gown. I stepped onto the stool and waited. The onyx haired woman walked around me, humming to herself. She snapped her fingers at the golden haired girl.
"Measure her," she ordered. The golden haired girl removed a measuring tape from the box and began taking my measurements. The Onyx haired woman wrote them down as they were called out.
"We will be going with the traditional gown," the woman said. "Since she is the…crown princess…" At this, she eyed me with contempt. I snapped. I had enough of her contempt, no one in my court would have ever treated me or anyone holding the crown in such a way. I drew myself up to my full height, sneered and said;
"Get out." She stopped and stared at me.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"I said, 'get out' and you are to address me and 'my lady'. I am your princess. Now get out of my rooms before I have you thrown out. Wait outside the door, when I am ready for you to return, I will call for you," I said in my most authorative voice. Drakon took a sip from his cup to hide his smirk. The woman turned towards him, a scandalized look on her face.
"Prince…" she began.
"Your Princess gave you an order," he said, glancing at her over the rim of his glass. The woman spun around on her heel and stormed out, her helpers following her. As the doors closed, I turned to look at Drakon. He had set his cup on the table, crossed his legs and was looking at me with amusement twinkling in his eyes.
"Well done," he said. "You were every inch a royal and did so stark naked to boot. I applaud you, my dear." He bowed his head and delicately clapped the fingertips of his one hand to the palm of his other hand.
"It's not just me, right?" I asked. "She was…"
"Condescending?" he finished. "Yes very, and out of line. You will encounter that a lot here I am afraid. As a human, many feel that you are not worthy of my hand or the throne. You must prove you are and always remind them that despite being human, you are their Princess and should be treated with respect." He uncrossed his legs and stood.
"But if you can do so stark naked, I have no worries that you will do fine," he teased. He leaned forward and gently kissed my lips, then stepped back and sat down.
I grinned and turned towards the door.
"You may re-enter," I called. The woman and her servants entered the room again.
"What is your name?" I asked.
"Tanis," she said, stiffly. I looked at the ruby haired girl.
"Belinda," she replied.
"And I am Chusi, my Lady," the golden haired woman said.
"It is a pleasure to meet you both," I said with a smile, then turned back to Tanis.
"The same cannot be said for you," I said. "It would do you well, Tanis, to remember the regardless of your feelings towards my heritage and the throne, I am your princess and will one day be your Queen. You will treat me with all the respect and reverence that position demands or you will be removed from employment as my tailor. Considering how often I am likely to need clothing, this would be a most unprofitable thing for you."
"Yes, your highness," she said. Belinda stepped up behind me and wrapped a length of fabric around my waist. As I met her eyes in the mirror, she grinned at me and winked.
The tailors worked at an astonishing rate and within an hour, the dress was ready. It was gold, with a wide boat neck that exposed my neck and shoulders. Long, flitted sleeves ended in points on the back of my hands, with small beaded loops around my middle fingers. A full skirt was studded with hundreds of glittering jewels and had a long, flowing train. My hair was curled and woven with jewels but left to cascade down my back. I wore a heavy diamond necklace with matching chandelier earrings and a thick diamond bracelet. As my lady in waiting stepped away from me to examine her work, there was a knock on the door.
"Enter," I said. Drakon walked into the room, and smiled at me.
He wore a high neck coat that was the same gold color as my dress. It had a curling design done in the same stones as my skirt and a heavy belt about his waist. White trousers were tucked in to golden boot and he wore white silk gloves. His long hair was not in its usual braid and spilled over his shoulders and down his back in a silken sheet.
"You look lovely," he complimented. I smiled and stepped forward, my golden heels clicking on the polished floor. He took my hand in his and turned, opening the door.
"It is time for the announcement," he said. "Mother will be waiting for us." As we made our way down the hall, Drakon moved closer to me and whispered;
"Many of these people will treat you as Tanis did," he warned. "Remember who you are."
The large double doors of the throne room where open and the room itself was crowded with people dressed in their best garbs, all looking towards the door. We walked to the dais where Hydra waited, dressed in all the grandeur that labeled her a queen. She wore a long golden dress, darker than mine, that had long sleeves like mine but a more narrow neck that plunged to show part of her breast. The back part of the collar was high and stiff, lined with pearls and jewels. She wore a large, webbed gold hood that pushed her white hair back from her face. Her skirt fell about her legs instead of flaring out at her hips as mine did. She smiled at us and bid us to sit in the large golden and jeweled thrones.
I faced the sea of unfriendly faces, reaching over to grip Drakon's hand. He squeezed it, kissed it and let it go. Hydra faced the crowd and raised her hands for silence.
"Today I make my son and his wife the official successors to my throne," she said in a loud voice. Some in the crowd cheered while others hissed their displeasure. Hydra ignored this and turned to a footman who held a large cushion with two heavily jeweled crowns upon it. She took the largest crown and stood in front of Drakon, placing it on his head. The crowd roared with applause and Drakon nodded his head in thanks. When Hydra placed the crown on my head, it was an entirely different reaction. Some cheered, while others hissed and booed. One man called out;
"The harlot doesn't deserve it." I met Hydra's eyes and she stared back at me, waiting for my reaction. I straightened by back and held my head high in the face of the jeers. Drakon took my hand and stood before the crowd. We bowed and moved back through the throng of people.
I sat heavily on the bed, throwing the crown onto the pillows. Drakon closed the door, quietly behind us, shooing away my lady in waiting. I put my head in my hands, careful of the delicately arranged curls and jewels.
"They hate me," I said.
"Not all of them," Drakon replied, moving to stand by the bed.
"Most of them," I said. He hummed in agreement.
"That is why you must be strong," he said, reaching over and retrieving my crown from where I had thrown it. He held it out to me.
"I can't win their love," I huffed, eyeing the jeweled piece.
"It is not a competition," he said, sitting next to me. "You must prove to them that you are one of them now. You are one of the Dragon kind and that you will be a good queen for them."
"How can I do that?" I asked, looking over at him.
"I don't know," he said, placing the crown in my hands. "Would you like me to show you around?"
"Should I change?" I asked.
"No," he said. "But do put your crown back on." I looked at him, puzzled.
"The people need to be reminded that despite their personal feelings, you are their Princess and their future Queen," he said. I smiled and placed it on my head. He held out his hand to me, nodding towards the door.
"Shall we go?"
DHMB: Hope you enjoyed, I don't have a beta, so I know there is probably some mistakes. I try my best but it's whatever. Thanks to everyone who reviewed and followed. Reviews make me write faster.