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The Crown Prince's Thief- CLOSED

By SmileBright

Archive this RP

She wasn’t pretty,
she was otherworldly and vaguely threatening.

Rosalind, future heiress to the Fures Noctis Guild, has now taken on her biggest mission, the royal castle. Her plan, pretend to be just a guest to the Prince’s ball, collect as much information about layout and hideouts as she can, and get out. Easy, right? But when she and a man start to really hit it off, it’s hard to leave. She ends up staying the night, before leaving before he even wakes up the next morning.

Even with the excitement of last night still invading her mind, she heads off to complete her mission. Sneak in the castle undiscovered, get as many things as she can, and get out. When one mistake causes her to get caught, she is taken in front of the royal Prince to see out her punishment.

She was dragged across the throne room floor and thrown at someone’s feet. Lifting herself up, she looked into the face of the man she met last night. Not just a man, the Prince. The man she spent the night with last night. Instead of sending her to the dungeons, he sends her to be locked away in the tower of the castle, keeping her from getting back to anyone in her guild. The Prince begins visiting her daily, and the visits become longer and less hostile. A bond forming between the two.

Will the Thief and the Crown Prince ever be able to be together publicly? What happens when both of their father’s find out? Will their love withstand the war in their midst?

She wasn’t fragile like a flower,
She was fragile like a bomb.

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Smoothing her hands over her dress, she looked up at herself in the mirror.  She never wore stuff like this; she [i hated] wearing things like this.  But, it was the only way she was going to be allowed into the ball.  At least it wasn’t as terrible as some other dresses she had seen the royals wear.  [i “Rosalind?”] she heard from outside her tent, a male voice.  [b “Yes, father?”] Rosalind called, as he let himself in with a box in his hands. [i “Wow, you look…different.”] her father chuckled, as he approached her with the box.  He held the box out to her, and Rosalind opened the box.  A tiara, a silver tiara with a moonstone gem that rested in the middle.  [b “This is mothers.  From her wedding?”] Rosalind asked, and her father answered her with a nod.  He lifted it carefully out of the box, placing it on her head as Rosalind turned and looked in the mirror.  [i “You look like royalty.”] Her father replied, placing his hands on her shoulders giving them a quick squeeze. [b “I’d rather look like a guild member.”] she replied, rolling her eyes briefly.  Her father turned her to look at him in the eyes, [i “You are doing the biggest job we’ve ever done.  This means everything to us.  With this, we can make sure your mother gets the medicine she needs.  Make sure you see her before you leave with Pyrrhos.  I love you.”] her father finished, pressing a kiss to her forehead before heading out of her tent.

[+grey ||FLASHBACK|| [b “Me?  You want me to do it?”] Rosalind asked as she stood in front of the counsel.  Her father, the leader of the Fures Noctis Guild, stood in front of her alongside his right hand man and his second in command, Pyrrhos’s father.  [i “Yes.  You are the best thief we have.  This is a big job, and we need our best to complete it.  Besides, you’ve never even been near the castle. They know our faces, but not yours.  It has to be you.”] her father spoke.  Rosalind was nervous, she hadn’t done a job like this before.  She mostly did petty thefts; food from a stand or a drawstring bag of coins from a drunk in a bar, but the king? [i “We need the money to get the medicine your mother needs…”], Now that caught her attention.  [b “I’ll do it.”] she replied.  [i “The king is a power hungry monster. He has attacked our guild on multiple occasions, and he’s the reason we live on the outskirts of town, after his guards set fire to our last commune”] her father continued, clearly getting angrier as he spoke.  [b “I said I’ll do it.  I don’t like the royal family as much as you. I’ll do it.”] Rosalind spoke, looking toward the medical tent where her mother was.  [i “Wonderful. What size dress are you?”] She blinked, [b “What?”] ||END FLASHBACK||]

[i “You look like a pastry.”] Pyrrhos spoke behind her in the opening of her tent, breaking her out of her thoughts.  [b “Oh quiet.”] Rosalind smirked, throwing a shoe in his direction, as he caught it in his hand before it hit him.  Pyrrhos Micah; her father’s right hand man’s son, her best friend, and probably her future husband.  Did she love him?  Yes. Did he love her?  Yes.  Was that love romantic in either end?  Absolutely not.  But, as the children of the head’s of the Guild, it was expected.  [i “Are you ready to go?  I’m taking you most of the way in, before you head into the palace. Tonight, I am nothing but your humble guard.”] he teased, holding his hand out to her.  [b “Thanks, I just have to say goodbye to my mother first.”]

Entering the medical tent, Rosalind approached her mother, Meira. [i “Hello my warrior.”] her mother spoke softly, as Rosalind leaned down to her level.  [b “How are you doing?”] her daughter asked, taking her hand.  [i “Alri-”] she started, before she began coughing.  [i “I’m alright, I promise.  Your father told me of your assignment, I’m so proud of you.  Remember all the stories I told you.  They should help.”] Meira spoke.  Meira, more than most, despised the royal family.  She told Rosalind stories of the power hungry king, and how horrid he had been to her in their youth and into their adulthood.  She had been a worker for the family, and he had never treated her in a pleasant way, mean and ruthless.  Rosalind’s father met her at the market, and from then on, she vowed to run away from the castle and marry him, which is what she did.  [b “I will.  I love you.”] Rosalind smiled, which Meira returned.  [i “I love you more, my lovely rose.”].

Mounting the horse with Pyrrhos, Rosalind wrapped her arms around his waist as they made their way out of the forest from the commune.  [i “Are you nervous?”] Pyrrhos asked as they made their way out of the forest.  [b “No.  I never get nervous.”] she spoke, but she was lying.  If she appeared as strong as she knew she was, it always helped her.  [i “You know you don’t have to pretend around me.  You can tell me if you're nervous.”] he replied, kicking the horse to make him run a bit faster as the clearing appeared.  [b “I’m not lying. This is our job, I know I’ll do it.  I have to.”] she spoke, her heart beating a bit faster as the horse rode to the edge of the forest.  [i “Well, be careful, okay?  We all know you’re the reckless one.”] Pyrrhos teased.  Rosalind closed her eyes and just let him ride them to the edge of the kingdom.  

Pyrrhos hopped off the horse at the point, and led the horse slowly to the castle.  They did not have a carriage like most of the royalty coming did, but they did their best.  Rosalind even learned how to ride a side saddle for the occasion.  As they made their way to the gates of the palace, Rosalind had to keep calm. It was gorgeous, and massive in comparison to what she had imagined.  Pyrrhos handed off their forged invitation, done by himself, as he dropped off Rosalind. He squeezed her hand as he gave her a bow, before heading off.  She would be bringing herself home, so there was no need to wait up for her.  She was to stay as late as possible to survey the palace well enough, and extra people would make it suspicious. 

Walking into the palace felt like a dream.  Her uncomfortable heels clicked against the marble floors as she entered the ballroom.  [i Twelve doors, twenty five windows…] she thought to herself as she looked around.  The room was full of royalty, and she looked like a peasant.  Her dress was a lot smaller than everyone else's, and her tiara only had one moonstone unlike the diamond crested ones the women around her wore.  And then dancing began.  Rosalind didn’t dance, she never had except drunkenly around the fire on special occasions.  But this dance everyone already seems to know, that freaked her out the most.  She took this time to take three laps around the entirely too large ballroom, making a note of the entrances blocked by guards, and any other means of getting around; vents, etc.  She was able to make three full loops around when the dancing stopped for a moment.  To not get pulled into the dance, she found a door that seemed to lead to a balcony. 

The cool air was nice against her face, now warm from the dancing that happened inside.  She let out a soft sigh, it was nice to relax for a moment, even if this dress was not conducive to resting.  This time she had thought she was alone, before noticing a man next to her.  [b “Oh, I’m sorry. Am I intruding on something?”] she asked, straightening up to keep up her ‘royalty image’.

[ dress]
[ tiara]
KoozaArthur Robitaille   40d ago

[i Eyes forward. Back straight. Remain stoic above all else.]

His father's parting words echoed in Arthur's ears, even above the chattering noise of the ballroom. King Alistair had left two weeks prior yet the young prince felt his looming presence just over his shoulder at every moment. Or was that just Ellison again, keeping track of him to report back upon the king's return? The man was dedicated, that was to be certain, but for company the sixty-something year old man was not equipped to assist the prince in socializing practices with the princesses being paraded before him.

[b "And you...enjoy politics, yes?"] Arthur clutched his goblet nervously to his chest. 

[i "I have many interests, Your Royal Highness,"] Cosette - or was it Caroline? - bowed her head. [i "However politics are a man's world and I would not wish to presume to know better than the Crown Prince on matters of ruling a country."]

Arthur's smile was closer to a grimace as he excused himself. Goddesses above, he wasn't sure what would suffocate him first; the lack of intellectual compatibility anyone had shown or the ridiculous military formalwear he'd been instructed to wear. He wasn't even [i in] the king's army, yet he was donned in more gilded extravagance than the highest-ranking commander. It was all for show, yet he barely knew how to play his own role.

[i "You look pale, Your Royal Highness,"] Ellison followed closer than Arthur's own shadow. [i "You aren't unwell, are you? It is too early to retire for the evening, and there are quite a few young women for you to meet yet. Your father was quite clear on his instructions for how this evening would proceed."]

[b "Yes, I am aware,"] Arthur rubbed at his temple. [b "I've simply not found a suitable match. I can't be expected to marry someone for the sake of securing the future lineage if she cannot even carry a conversation on constitutional affairs!"]

Several more gala attendees curtsied and bowed, hoping to catch His Royal Highness's eye though he stared just over everyone's shoulder to avoid direct contact. [i "I can appreciate your hesitance, my prince, however I must remind you that marriage is not a matter of love or compatibility. At least not royal marriages. Your role is to marry for alliance and prestige gain, and to produce an heir to carry on the throne. Dare I say you have an admirable number of young ladies here who would give their hand to you without hesitation, and you're acting as though you've been sent to the trenches of battle."]

Arthur waved an arm. [b "Is this not the same as war? Kings and nobles trying to marry off their daughters as broodmares to gain the favour of my father? For added power?"]

Ellison clasped his hands behind his back. [i "Prince Arthur, you are the sole heir to your father's kingdom. You have a duty to not only this country, but to your family. He is to return in a week's time and he will expect you to have selected a bride by then. It is my advice to you that you cease making this any more difficult than it needs to be."]

Duty before all else. That was the beginning and end of it. [b "Excuse me,"] he pushed the goblet into Ellison's hand and brushed past him.

It wasn't until the fresh air hit his face that Arthur realized that it wasn't just his uniform that was stifling. With how crowded the ballroom was, it was a miracle one could turn around without completely knocking someone over. On the balcony he could still hear the dull roar of stringed music and elevated voices. Was there to be no peace and quiet, even outside?

“Oh, I’m sorry. Am I intruding on something?”

Arthur spun around, hand slamming down on the railing. [b "Did Ellison send you? For the love of all things holy, can you not respect a man's desire for privacy, even in his own home? How [i dare] you stalk me out of there!"]

The man in front of her was donned in gold and glitter, and it covered him from head to toe.  His getup was…a lot to say the least.  He must be a guard of some sort, so acting on her best behavior would be her best plan as of right now, painting a target on her back this early in the night would surely get her kicked out.  She needed to get more information on the palace before that, and so far she had only been able to secure how many windows and exits there were.  She needed more time.

But, when the man in front of her raised her voice, her blood boiled.  She would not let some [i man] yell at her.  Never in her life had somebody, let alone a man, treat her with such malice. She had not done a single thing wrong or against him, she didn’t even know who he was. And at this time, she didn’t care very much either.  [b “I don’t know who you are, and now, I don’t care very much to know at all.”] Rosalind kept her composure for now, but still held her ground.  [b “If you must know, the room was stifling me, and I needed some air.  But I have never been treated so rudely in my entire life, especially by someone in more glitter than myself.”] she looked him up and down before a small chuckle escaped her lips at the ridiculousness of his attire.

[b “I didn’t do [i anything] to you, whoever you are.  So I believe you should sort out your own problems before you shout at random people around you.  You, sir, should learn what respect means.”] Rosalind spoke, before turning her back to leave the balcony.  [b “And no, I will not dance with you.”] she spoke with distaste in her mouth before leaving the balcony completely.  He had not asked her to dance, but getting one last joke in against him gave her that little bit of joy she needed to be able to continue her mission.  It was more to get under his skin than anything else.  

As Rosalind began milling around the ballroom once more, she decided to see if she could catch and guards talking mindlessly about the palace.  She went off to the side of the ballroom by some guards whom she saw speaking.  [i “Do you know who is on duty tonight or tomorrow?”] one guard turned to the other to ask.  [i “I’m on tonight, I think the new guy is on tomorrow.  Shouldn’t be too hard, with the king away, not many people come to the castle. It’s not like the prince has many friends anyway”] the other man jokes, before noticing the girl leaning by the wall.  [i “My lady, please go back and join the party.  Or, if you haven’t met the prince, you should do that as well.”] the guard spoke kindly.  

Rosalind looked toward him, but smiled when he spoke.  [b “Oh, I was just taking a rest.  But you are right, I will return. Thank you.”] she spoke, before pushing herself from the wall, that was all the information she needed anyway.  A new guy, she could get through him easily.  She could probably sneak by him, get what she needed, and get out.  This would be easier than she thought, and considering what they said about the prince they had here, he probably wasn’t roaming around the castle.

As Rosalind went to get some punch for herself, an older man ran up to her.  [i “Miss, have you introduced yourself to the Royal Highness yet?  If not, you’d be next in line.”] He spoke, placing a hand to his chest.  Rosalind tried her best not to make a face, but mostly likely failed.  She hoped she would have been overlooked, as she looked older than most of the other princesses here, who looked about 18.  [b “Oh, actually, I am not interested in meeting the prince. Another princess can take my place.”] she smiled, before finishing filling her goblet.  Before she left, she patted the older one on the shoulder, [b “And please don’t ask me again.”]. 

Rosalind found herself a seat against the wall, clearly being judged by other princesses who were mostly conjugating in small circles.  She gave them her most intimidating look as she continued to drink.  She wished that something fun would happen, as she was told not to leave early for any reason.  Or at least that there would be at least someone interesting to talk to.
KoozaArthur Robitaille   38d ago

Profound apologies had been what Arthur was expecting. Groveling for forgiveness, or even an embarrassed curtsey to show at least [i some] contrition for her misguided attempt at getting a private moment alone with him. What he certainly hadn’t been anticipating was the torrent of hostility that he was met with, as though [i he] were the one in the wrong. This girl was fury in a ballgown, staring him dead in the eye for the duration of her tangent. 

[b “Excuse me but-”] The strange woman cut him off, shutting the prince down with a spin on her heel.

Arthur was baffled. Only one person had ever spoken to him with such disregard for his title of Crown Prince, and that was his father. Who did this girl think she was, acting as though she were his equal, and in his own home nonetheless! His heels scuffed against the floor, marching with determination to catch up and get his turn to rebuke her slanderous outburst yet among the density of the crowds, she was lost in the sea of people. It didn’t help that fathers were stopping him at every opportunity to introduce their daughters, all of whom insisted on a dance with the eligible prince. 

[i “Do you enjoy stage productions, Your Royal Highness?”] the latest dance partner asked. 

[b “Much too busy for leisure, I’m afraid,”] Arthur paid her little mind as his eyes scanned the room for Ellison. If anyone could track down the unwanted guest, it was the advisor. [b “If you’ll excuse me.”]

[i Finally]. Ellison was speaking to the girl from the balcony but by the time Arthur weaved his way through to them, she was gone once more. [b “Who was that?”]

[i “I’m terribly sorry my prince, I don’t know.”]

[b “I need you to find out. I’d like a dance.”]

Ellison’s eyes practically lit up. [i “This is exciting to hear! You have finally shown an interest in one of the debutants! Leave it with me, Your Royal Highness, I shall find her.”]

Arthur didn’t have the heart to tell him that the interest was purely bitterness - with a flair of curiosity - and revenge. She would have to agree to a dance. Surely? One doesn’t refuse a dance with the prince of the kingdom, especially when he specifically requests it. He would wait for Ellison to bring her to him, as long as he needed to. Except that moment of introduction never came. The advisor reported back twice that she refused a dance with Arthur, who immediately sent Ellison back out to find her once more. Like clockwork, he reappeared empty-handed again.

The prince would take matters into his own hands. She stuck close to the walls from what he could see but the girl moved with such graceful agility that it was near impossible to cut her off before she was gone again. Finally, when she paused momentarily for a drink, he cornered her. [b “You’ve refused me. Twice. A bit rude after your verbal assault on the balcony.”]

Arthur reached out a hand. [b “I’ll forgive the lack of decorum and etiquette if you join me for a dance. I have questions. And before you decline me again, take into consideration that you disrespected the Crown Prince of this kingdom and that doesn’t come without penalty.”]

Rosalind took another sip of her gauntlet, finishing off the liquid in the cup.  She closed her eyes as she tilted the cup completely upside down, before lowering the cup to her lap.  As she opened her eyes again, she was met with the gold and glitter she had already seen once before.  She let her eyes trail up the male before her eyes met with the man she met outside on the balcony.  The one who screamed at her for no reason.  All she could do was smirk, wondering what he could possibly want at this point.  She lifted one eyebrow, and before she could speak, he did.

“You’ve refused me. Twice. A bit rude after your verbal assault on the balcony.” The man reached out a hand. “I’ll forgive the lack of decorum and etiquette if you join me for a dance. I have questions. And before you decline me again, take into consideration that you disrespected the Crown Prince of this kingdom and that doesn’t come without penalty.”  

Ha!  Rosalind could have laughed in his face the way he spoke to her.  Clearly, he still hasn’t learned how to respect anyone.  No one in her guild would speak to anyone in this way, her mother was right.  Royals weren’t anyone she’d want to be associated with, and now her job felt more important than ever before.  [b “Actually, I rejected you five times.  You’re…uh friend, came over and attempted to coerce me for a dance too.  I thought your legs must have been injured if you were asking someone to do your bidding like that, but I guess you’re just lazy.”] Rosalind smirked, before she stood, pushing his hand to the side.  She placed her goblet on a tray that was collecting empty glasses, before turning back to him.

[b “Questions, hm? Well, I don’t see why we have to dance for you to ask me anything.”] Rosalind smirked, as she approached him.  She had been watching the dancing for 20 minutes at this point, and she was sure she got the basic steps at least.  As much as she wanted to steer clear of dancing, it would bring only more attention to herself if she didn’t dance.  Maybe she could even get some information out of this man anyway. 

[b “I guess I could indulge you in one dance.  Since you keep [i begging] me to…”] she took his hand in hers.  She pulled him in close, [b “I do [i love] to watch a man beg.”] she teased, before letting him lead her to the dancefloor.

As their pairs hands found their way to the dance positions, Rosalind tried to move in the way she remembered, but mostly let the man in front of her lead.  She watched his face intently, her face holding a smirk, not letting anything get through to him about her.  But, she didn’t want him to think she had anything to hide. [b “I’m surprised that it’s taken you this long to even ask what my name is, hm?  Again, you need to learn your manners, sir.”] she spoke, surprising herself at how well she was able to follow along with this dance that the people around her probably have been learning since they were young. 

[b “And I’m surprised why I am such an interest to you.  All these other maiden’s have been fawning over you all night long, and you want me.  Why is that?”] she questioned.  The male wasn’t the only one with questions.  If he wanted to get his questions out, hers would have to be answered first. 

Just seeing the man’s facial expressions as they danced and she asking him questions was priceless to Rosalind. She wished she could have laughed out at his disdain for her.  She was almost excited to hear his questions, as it was more an opportunity to get underneath his skin.  Also, looking around and seeing so many princesses staring at her with disdain was also a cherry on top.  Now, she wouldn’t be approached by any princesses, and she could keep her true identity to herself.
KoozaArthur Robitaille   32d ago

“I do love to watch a man beg.”

Why did her voice drop like that, all husky and laced with trouble? And [i why] had his stomach fizzled all funny when she got up in his space as though he were a simple commoner? It was incredibly rude and ill-mannered and yet Arthur followed her to the dance floor without argument. After all, he'd been the one to request - or rather, insist - on a waltz. 

She couldn't be a daughter of Lord Ansbury as the man had been the first to introduce his own children at the start of the night, nor was she related to the boorish Earl Stanton. Arthur's eyes were narrowed and staring straight at her, determined to uncover her identity. 

“I’m surprised that it’s taken you this long to even ask what my name is, hm?  Again, you need to learn your manners, sir.”

There it was again. Both interactions this evening had been full of her confident sass and it was unsettling. Men of the council did not [i sass], nor did diplomatic debates entail such crude disregard of decorum. [b "I was wondering, I can't lie,"] he box-stepped with precision. [b "Your father has yet to introduce you tonight. Is he a baron? A duke, perhaps? I should like to speak with him before the evening is through."]

What exactly that conversation would entail was beyond him. The woman carried herself with grace and effortless elegance but her manner of speaking was far from proper or ladylike. “And I’m surprised why I am such an interest to you.  All these other maiden’s have been fawning over you all night long, and you want me.  Why is that?” she questioned, not unaware of his scrutiny.

An excellent question. One he had absolutely [i zero] answer for, other than she had irked him and as Crown Prince of the kingdom, it was his duty and right to know the identity of the royal subject who had slighted him so thoroughly. [b "You are infuriatingly arrogant,"] he scowled. [b "I have spent the entire evening being schmoozed by women who would gladly bear my children for the sole purpose of securing their family a position in court. I could not tell you their names, nor could I pick them out of a line-up and yet the last two hours have been dedicated to their attention. And yet only moments on the balcony with you have stuck to me like a leech and I cannot let you leave until my curiosity is resolved."]

It was a castle, there were more than enough rooms to spare for the evening to house her until morning, and whomever else in her family had joined her that evening. [b "You are by far the rudest person I have ever had the displeasure to meet."] Blunt but honest. [b "I have never been so disrespected in my own home as I have been this evening and truthfully I will admit that I am unprepared to handle such humiliation. I think it's only fair to keep your family here for the night, until I am satisfied that my reputation will not be besmirched the second you travel back to whichever county your father oversees. You have clearly made up your mind about me but I've yet to do the same for you. I believe you owe it to me. Along with your name."]

Rosalind stepped into place with the man, who still hasn't introduced himself. He probably thought so highly of himself that he felt he didn’t need an introduction, but it still would have been nice.  She had been doing pretty well falling into line with the dance they were all doing, as it was mostly a lot of box-steps and spins.  And the man across from her could do it in his sleep, so she mostly followed him.  She was curious why he had been so infatuated with her, and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  For what it seemed, it was like the man had never been told no before.  Well, there is always a first for everything.

As the man spoke about speaking to Rosalind’s father, she needed to think fast.  She couldn’t just tell him that her father wasn’t here for no reason. Every other maiden had her father bringing her here for a possibility to be wed to the Crown Prince himself.  It would be ill-mannered and suspicious if she didn’t have a good reason for her father being absent.  But, Rosalind was smart and quick-witted.  She would be able to lie her way through this, she had to. Otherwise, she was here for nothing.

Did the man do anything but talk?  He wouldn’t even let her get a word in edgewise, but he loved to insult her over and over.  Calling her arrogant and rude; he must have been talking about himself.  But, she let him talk.  But as she continued to listen, she realized he was also insane.  He thought she could just flounce around his castle for the night, when she had many things she had to attend to tonight back at the commune.  And get out of this damn dress.  She could help but laugh softly when he finished, but caught sight of his straight face.  [b “Oh, you were serious?  About all of that?”] she spoke, before she let her sly smirk grace her lips once more.  

[b “I guess I’ll answer all your questions in the order you spoke them.  First of all, my father is not here.”] Rosalind started, but she had a trick up her sleeve.  She loved her father, but she needed this lie to keep him off her scent.  [b “My father isn’t alive, actually.  My ward is my brother, who had serious matters he had to attend to and he didn’t have time to come to insignificant balls such as this one.  But, seeing as we were invited, I decided to come alone on all of our behalf, if you must know.”] she spoke,  keeping her voice calm so as to not be suspicious of her lies.  

Rosalind thinks back to his previous remarks, and smirks just thinking back to them.  [b “I guess thank you for telling me how infuriating I am.  As I agree with you.  I think you are infuriating as well.”] she spoke, her narrowed eyes pointed straight at him. [b “I’m glad you have a gaggle of women to bear as many children as you desire, so why not bother them for a dance.  They probably think you are much more tolerable than I do.”] she rolled her eyes at his, before meeting his eyes again.  

[b “[i I] humiliated you?  Well, you flatter me so.  I just yelled at you because you yelled at me.  You don’t get to yell at me just because you’re a man.  Where I am from, no man would ever speak to anyone, let alone a lady, with that tone.  You are the one who is rude.”] Rosalind glared at him.  She had fire in her, and couldn’t hide it no matter how hard she tried.

[b “But unfortunately, ‘Crown Prince’, I can not stay.  I have actual work to be done back at my…castle.  I am expected back and staying with a Prince alone seems quite…risqué…don’t you think?”] the lady asked, sass covering her whole face.  She rolled her eyes once more, and she was getting quite bored of this dance that just repeated itself over and over.  [b “Look, if you want to ‘resolve your curiosity’ or however you say it.  I will take time now to ‘assist’, I guess.  But I refuse to stay the night with some [i man] I just met.”] Rosalind took hold of his wrist, before leading him off the dancefloor.  

[b “Shut up and listen to me.  I’m gonna get us a moment to get away from all these people.  I’m suffocating.”] Rosalind spoke, before she was able to slip through many groups of people, the prying eyes of the man’s confidant and was able to slip out from the ballroom.  And she was able to get more of a look of the castle as well.  They just stood outside of the ballroom, but she was able to file away in her mind the two sets of stairs that went up and down, and a door that seemed to lead outside at the bottom of the stairs.  And a more stowed away door down a smaller set of stairs.

Rosalind found a cushioned bench she sat on, crossing her legs as she stared at the man. [b “So, what about me piqued your curiosity?  Am I that enthralling to you, you just [i had] to get me away.”] she crossed her arms over her chest, raising an eyebrow at him.  

[b “Oh, and my name.  Rosalind. And no, I don’t have a nickname.”]

Before she let him speak, she placed a finger up against her lips to silence him.  She heard footsteps from inside the door, before Ellison called [i “Your Highness?  Where are you?”] he spoke, before his footsteps moved farther away before she dropped her finger.  

[b “‘The Crown Prince’ is too wordy.  Do you have an actual name I could call you?  And no, I absolutely refuse to call you ‘Your Highness’.  You are no better than I.”]
KoozaArthur Robitaille   31d ago

Who the absolute hell was she to declare his suitors ball to be [i insignificant]? Arthur’s body - if even possible - stiffened more than it already had at the sheer audacity of the woman before him. First and foremost, what kind of chaperone allowed her to attend such an occasion on her own? Daughters and sisters were to be escorted for their own protection! [b “I will do my best not to question your family’s inappropriate judgment on allowing you to attend unaccompanied,”] he snapped in return. [b “Then again, given your poor manners I should expect nothing less than disregard for what is permitted in [i polite] society.”]

The prince was hoping to get a reaction out of her but the stranger continued to barrel through his questions with little acknowledgment to his own responses. Everything in him screamed to duck his head in shame at how he’d yelled at her on the balcony - his mother would ring his neck if she knew how he’d treated a lady - but his father’s stubbornness ran deep. He was not about to apologize for reacting to what he believed to be an unwelcome intrusion to his privacy. Nor was he prepared to allow her to leave, though the woman was quite adamant that [i that] was precisely what she was planning on doing, with or without his permission.

[b “What are you doing,”] Arthur nearly yelped at how strong her grip was on his wrist, dragging him from the room. [b “Un[i hand] me this instant!”]

She didn’t.

The stranger navigated the corridors well enough for someone who had never been there before, leading him to a secluded spot where she continued her defiance. [i “So, what about me piqued your curiosity? Am I that enthralling to you, you just had to get me away?”]

Rosalind, as he now knew her, stared straight at him completely unphased by his royal status. With the snap of a finger he could have her thrown in chains and dragged to the stocks for such disrespect but that was the furthest thing on his mind for some reason. Arthur prepared his retort, only for her to silence him once more at the alarm of Ellison’s voice calling for him. Why he went along with remaining quiet was beyond reason.

[b “‘Enthralling’ is quite literally the last definition I would associate with you,”] he matched her crossed-arms stance. [b “‘Infuriating’ yes, ‘positively irksome’, even. I have never been spoken to the way you have scolded me this evening with absolutely no regard for my higher rank. That is not how society operates! It is undignified to behave the way you have, especially for a lady. I don’t care who your father is, as the Crown Prince, I will not be chastised by you!”]

[i “The Crown Prince is too wordy. Do you have an actual name I could call you? And no, I absolutely refuse to call you ‘Your Highness’. You are no better than I.”]

Arthur sputtered through his shock. [b “You…I AM the Crown Prince! ‘Your Highness’ is my title by birthright! You, my loathsome lady, should show respect to the future king of this realm! How dare you perceive yourself to be my equal,”] he stammered, eyes drooping to her lips. Why were they so full? They’d likely be incredibly soft if he were to - NO. Absolutely not. [b “Prince Arthur will do, but not because you’ve asked for it. I simply do not have the energy to argue with you over titles when there are more important matters to discuss. First of which, you [i will] be spending the night here until I get to the bottom of why you would choose to attend an event you claim to care nothing about. Is this a ploy, Lady Rosalind? You inspect the women you see as competition face to face, to undermine my decision?”]

Rosalind hoped her glee did not seep out of her mind onto her face. The anger she caused [i ‘The Crown Prince’] was making her increasingly more delighted.  The more she spoke to the man, the more the words of her mother stuck.  [i They are nothing more than stuck up people who care about nothing but themselves and their power over others.  Especially women.].  Never were words so true. The only moment Arthur took to get to know her was because of [i her].  He could care less about the multitude of women who would do anything to be with him, they were just another asset to him.  More power, more money, an heir.

Rosalind looked toward the man when he spoke of her father.  If looks could kill, Arthur would have been dead.  She stared at the man as he spoke now, her blood boiling.  If he only [i knew] who she was, he wouldn’t be so haughty.  As he stammered through his words, she watched his eyes dip to her lips before they reached her eyes once more.  She approached him, staying at least a foot away from him.  She raised an eyebrow at the prince, a smirk pulling at her lips.  [b “First, Sir Prince Arthur…you are not allowed to speak of my family.  You can throw whatever insult you want at me, but don’t talk about my family.”] she spat.  She sighed deeply, before looking at him once more.

[b “And second, you are not in charge of me.  I am going home after the ball is over, and that is that.”] Rosalind took a step closer.  [b “And third, I have no interest in the woman here, same as you do.  You clearly don’t like any of these women, the only one you seem to have any interest in is me.  Even though I want nothing to do with you.  If there is any ploy, it was you to get me alone to try and make me fall in love with you.  Wanting me to stay over with you.  You can just tell me you’re in love with me, stop hiding it.”] the woman smirked, her voice teasing him.  She stepped closer, looking into his eyes.  And, at that moment, she was lost in them.  They were deep and held more than he would ever say out loud.  What was she even thinking…[i cut it out Rosalind].

Rosalind broke from his gaze, before leaning against a nearby wall.  She truly wished she could get away from him and look around the castle more, but Arthur would no doubt send his guards to stop her.  She didn’t want to become any more suspicious than she already was.  [b “Now, if you want to ask me anything, now is the time.”] she spoke, before tucking a piece of hair behind her ear.  [b “And because you keep repeating yourself, I came here to represent my family.  There is someone from my kingdom I am already promised too, so I don’t [i need] you.”]  

Rosalind wasn’t lying.  She had been ‘promised’ to Pyrrhos practically since she was born.  Although, she had always wished she could meet someone and fall in love.  But the only men in the guild knew she was promised to Pyrrhos so they never even spoke to her.  And she knew she would never be able to meet someone outside the guild, as they could be turned in easily if anyone learned who she really was.  So, Pyrrhos was her only option, even if she didn’t love him in a romantic way.

[b “I’m surprised you're even allowed to choose someone.  I thought most kingdoms used arranged marriages anyway.  You’re actually lucky.  Who would have thought, that’d I be jealous of you for any reason.”] Rosalind spoke, her eyes stuck to the wall across from her, and not on Arthur at all.  She looked over to him, not moving from her spot. [b “See, I’m not infuriating all the time.”] she teased towards him, using his own words against him.
KoozaArthur Robitaille   12d ago

Why the hell did he feel bad about criticizing her family? It was clear by her passionate defense of them that he had probably falsely accused them of neglect but it wasn’t as though he had any other basis to go off of other than a young woman being unchaperoned at a suitor’s ball. And he was the prince, for heaven’s sake! He was not going to feel like a scolded schoolboy in his own castle. But then Rosalind got right up in his personal space and he had nowhere else to look but the fire in her eyes. Arthur was going to have to speak with Ellison over the heat of the building because it was far too warm for his liking all of the sudden.

[b “In love with you?”] the prince sputtered, simultaneously wanting to puff up his chest and retreat to the safety of his bedroom where she wouldn’t be able to find him. [b “Now who’s being arrogant? I’d rather toss myself off the balcony than possess any feelings towards you other than pure loathing!”]

Bit extreme, but the situation called for exaggeration because he was in desperate danger of looking at her lips just a smidge too long. Her abrupt announcement of her own betrothal yanked his eyes back up for him, though the frown that followed was entirely of his own doing. [b “You’re engaged?”] Why did that ignite a displeasing fire in his gut? He didn’t even know this woman! [b “Does your fiance know that you are skulking around another man’s castle, unaccompanied? Perhaps people will talk.”]

An empty threat, really. They were completely isolated from the rest of the party with the only witnesses being framed portraits overlooking the corridor. Who was the man lucky enough - no, [i doomed] - to marry this woman? She was rude and abrasive and beautiful - [i STOP IT!] [b “For your information, Lady Rosalind, this ball is not my choosing but my duty. I am to select a bride that will benefit both families amiably. My feelings for these women matter not as marriage is nothing more than an economic contract.”]

God, he sounded like his father. Then again, the king had spent the better part of twenty years grinding that belief into his head. [i “I’m surprised you’re even allowed to choose someone. I thought most kingdoms used arranged marriages anyway. You’re actually lucky. Who would have thought that I’d be jealous of you for any reason,”] she mused.

Arthur’s brow scrunched again. He wasn’t going to be the one to tell her that at least two engagements had fallen through already, leaving his father to allow him the chance to select his own bride for the sake of securing the kingdom’s future. [b “You weren’t allowed to pick your future husband? Is he even a good man?”]

[i None of your business because you. Do. Not. Care.] That nagging voice scratched at his brain but. [b “Don’t answer that,”] he followed up quickly. [b “It’s none of my business, you are right. I shouldn’t ask about your privacy.”]

Rosalind smirked. [i “See, I’m not infuriating all the time.”]

[b “I wouldn’t go so far as to say that,”] this time he was the one to approach her, a challenge in his eyes. [b “If anything I’d think you’re trying to lull me into a false sense of comradary. Such trickery won’t be so easy.”]

Rosalind chuckled softly as he was surprised of her being promised to someone already.  [b “No, I’m [i promised] to someone.  We’re not engaged yet, but it’s been established basically at birth that we are going to be married.”] she waved off Arthur's outburst.  She looked over to him as he questioned her about what he would say.  [b “Actually, he knows I’m here.  Unlike [i you], he doesn’t insult me just because I came alone.”] she shot back, her insults not as sharp as the daggers she was throwing before.  Pyrrhos, the one who brought her here, was never someone who was overprotective.  He never once mentioned accompanying her, even if he wouldn’t be noticed as well.  He always did what he was told, nothing more and nothing less.

Rosalind’s face dropped a bit as he spoke about what marriage was to him.  [b “Well, that is the first thing I’ve actually agreed with.  But don’t you wish it could be for love? That you could find someone you loved and marry someone who actually wanted to.”] she asked, looking over to him.  

When Arthur commented that she wasn’t picking her own husband, she looked back to her feet.  Sure, she didn’t get to pick Pyrrhos, but she did like him.  He was her best friend after all, and if she had to marry someone she didn’t pick, she was happy it was him. He was a good man, and they would run the guild in the same way their dad’s did before them.  She was about to answer him, until he told her not to.  

[i “Don’t answer that,”]  he followed up quickly. [i “It’s none of my business, you are right. I shouldn’t ask about your privacy.”]

[b “Worried about me?”] Rosalind teased, before looking away from him again, [b “He’s a good guy, if you [i were] worried.  But I’m not in love with him.”] she spoke her last words softly.  Why was it so easy to talk to him?  She was letting all of her secrets out to him, maybe it was because she knew she would never see him again. Maybe it was because she enjoyed teasing him.  Maybe it was because he matched her energy; no one had ever done that before.

Then Arthur approached her.  She had kept her distance for most of their conversation thus far, but now he approached her. Those challenging eyes looking at her.  She could help but smile back, her eyes challenging him just as much.  The closer he got, the more she could study his face, and she wasn’t disappointed.  He was handsome, his dark eyes held more than he was ever willing to say.  [b “You think I’m trying to befriend you in any way after saying you’d rather throw yourself off a bridge before feeling anything but hatred for me! Who is really the arrogant one now?!”] she exclaimed, poking him right in the chest as he was now less than a foot together.  

Why did she feel less hatred towards the man in front of her?  She thought she knew everything there was to the royals, but now she could see they had more similarities than she ever expected.  Was her mother’s explanations just over exaggerations instead of the facts she took them for?  No, she had to remember why she was here.  To get information.  Tomorrow she would be robbing them dry for as much as she could, and then she’d never come back.  Why was she here, [s flirting] talking to Sir Arthur?  

[b “And besides, trickery against you would be easier than this.”] She replied.  [i Like what I am doing to you…right now.]

Rosalind’s eyes dropped from Arthur’s.  She cleared her throat, which had, for some reason, had gone dry.  [b “Shouldn’t you get back to your ball and all of your eligible princesses?  Any one you pick will probably be ecstatic to have your hand. “] she spoke, before looking back up at him. 

[b “And your probably won’t have to throw any of them off of a balcony…”] Rosalind spoke, a teasing smile followed her eyes as they looked at him.

At that moment, Rosalind heard someone approach the door next to them. She looked toward the door, before taking a step back from him. [i "There you are, your highness! I've been looking everywhere for you! The princesses have been waiting tirelessly for you! You must pick a princess by tonight!"] Ellison spoke, going behind the Crown Prince and trying to push him from the foyer they had been standing in, completely oblivious to Rosalind who stepped back into the shadows of the doors.
KoozaArthur Robitaille   7d ago

[i Marry for love?] An unheard of concept, given his status of royalty. Men did not marry for love but for the political alliance; to further the power and wealth of their kingdom so as to ensure its survival. There had never been another option that he was aware of. Arthur's mother's face flashed before his eyes; the heartbreak and somber sadness whenever his father reminded her of her place. Was that the kind of marriage he wanted? Or rather, was that the husband he would become? 

The thought was sticking rather inconveniently at the forefront of his mind despite Rosalind carrying on with her banter.  She may have thrown his own situation in his face yet she herself had admitted that she did not love the man she was promised to. Perhaps she was projecting her own anger of her situation onto him? Yes, that was it! He wasn't the one who was unhappy with where his path was leading him. It must have unnerved her, the way he was staring because she was suddenly eager to avoid his space. “Shouldn’t you get back to your ball and all of your eligible princesses?  Any one you pick will probably be ecstatic to have your hand. “ she spoke, before looking back up at him. 

[b "How many times must I say that I hold no-"]

"There you are, your highness! I've been looking everywhere for you! The princesses have been waiting tirelessly for you! You must pick a princess by tonight!" Ellison spoke, going behind the Crown Prince and trying to push him from the foyer they had been standing in, completely oblivious to Rosalind who stepped back into the shadows of the doors.

As long as he'd been alive, Ellison had proved to be a responsible and dutiful servant. At that moment, however, Arthur was ready to terminate his job on the spot for interrupting. [b "Actually Ellison,"] he dug his heel into the floor. [b "I will not be returning to the ball room for quite some time."]

[i She thinks she's clever, huh? She has no idea what I'm capable of...]

[i "Your Royal Highness?"]

[b "You see I've been in a rather intriguing conversation with Lady Rosalind here,"] Arthur snatched her hand from the shadows to pull her forward. [b "The ball was becoming quite tiresome and I took it upon myself to escort my guest to one of the guest rooms."]

Arthur crooked an eyebrow at her. The message was clear: play along if you don't want to explain yourself. Not only would it be unbecoming of her to leave on her own, but she would have to risk denying a royal's command. Such an offense was punishable, something Ellison would push for if he felt his prince had been disobeyed. Not to mention, the way the old man's eyes lit up at the sight of her was too endearing to argue. [i "Excuse me Your Royal Highness, I had no idea you were otherwise occupied. Forgive me, my lady, I did not see you! Lady Rosalind did you say? May I ask where you are visiting us from?"]

Alright well this was just too good to pass up. [b "Yes, Lady Rosalind, do tell us of your homeland and some of the customs?"] Arthur's grin was firmly in place, hands clasped behind his back to enjoy the show.

Rosalind let herself hide into the shadows of the door, as to not be spotted once again by Ellison.  She was actually glad he dragged the male away, as Rosalind worried she was becoming too friendly with him.  She needed to remember this was a [i job], that was it.  Nothing more.  She planned on wandering around until the party ended, before heading back to the forest and back to the guild, sharing everything she learned and going to bed.  That’s what she thought would happen.  But that was exactly the [i opposite] of what did happen.  

Rosalind was shocked when Arthur grabbed her hand, pulling her towards him.  She felt into place awkwardly, as she was already unsteady in her heels.  She stood up straight, trying to redeem herself in front of Ellison.  An advisor, she assumed.  Which meant he’d push for punishment if she disobeyed, or forcefully removed herself from Arthurs grasp, as much as she wished to get his hands [i off] of her.  Her disdainful face was covered with a smile after looking at Arthur with his crooked eyebrow.  

Ellison seemed to be delighted at the two of them spending time together, and now she really felt like she couldn’t say anything now.  She still had a heart, and breaking it here and now was not something she really didn’t want to do at this moment.  [i "Excuse me Your Royal Highness, I had no idea you were otherwise occupied. Forgive me, my lady, I did not see you! Lady Rosalind, did you say? May I ask where you are visiting us from?"]

[i No. No no no no no.]

Rosalind prepared for lots of different questions, but she thought she’d be able to make due without a pretend kingdom she was from.  But, she needed to remain calm.  It didn’t help that Arthur decided to echo from behind her, you just about hear the grin on his lips. [i "Yes, Lady Rosalind, do tell us of your homeland and some of the customs?"].  If he wanted to play dirty, so could she.

[b “My kingdom? Oh yes.  Well, you see, when my father passed, my brother rose to power over our small kingdom.  It’s quite far, as we traveled by sea to get here.  It’s a small kingdom off the coast, Noxus.  An inclusive society where the strengths and talents of its people are respected and cultivated.  A princess like myself is connected to her people, as we work together to keep our kingdom running.”] Rosalind spoke. She knew she was charming, and could use her ability of her voice and tone to charm even someone like Ellison.  Arthur was [i not] going to make her a fool. No one was.

The one thing Rosalind didn’t deny was the fact that she would be spending the night here.  This was not in her plan but maybe this was a good thing.  After everyone went to sleep, she could try her hand at sneaking around the castle, and get a good feel before tomorrow night.  She could hopefully leave in the morning, and still make it back to the commune before nightfall.  She wanted to at least rest a little, because she didn’t want to waste all that precious nightfall to sleep.  

A fake yawn escaped Roaslind’s lips.  [b “I am very sorry to be so quick to leave, but Arthur was just showing me to my room.  I was rather tired after my long journey here,  if you wouldn’t mind, Ellison was it, we’re going to head off.  Have a pleasant night.”] Rosalind spoke, using the most princess-like voice she could muster.  She placed her arm to rest on top of Arthur as they exited, before they were out of sight of the man and she removed her arm.  She followed behind him, the look of disdain revealed itself once more.  

[b “How dare you put me on the spot like that, Sir Arthur?!  You have got some nerve to do that to me.  I could hear it in your voice how you had wished I stumbled on my words.  I hope my response surprised you”] Rosalind spoke smugly once they entered the room she’d be staying in.  If anything, it would be the nicest room she’d ever stay in in her life.
KoozaArthur Robitaille   4d ago

Curse this woman and her infuriating talent for charming any man she came into contact with. Wait - NO! She was most certainly [i not] charming, she was arrogant and rude and spat in the face of societal convention! Not qualities that should be admirable, so why then was the prince smiling as she painted a picture of her homeland for them. Ellison was positively enraptured. [i “My dear, it sounds marvelous! What a concept, for royalty to work alongside their citizens. Truly modern indeed!”]

[b “Quite impressive, I must agree,”] the words were pulled from Arthur’s lips with a vice grip.

Rosalind’s yawn nearly made him roll his eyes all the way out of his skull but he appreciated her efforts to dismiss Ellison as politely as possible. The advisor ducked his head in a bow, flashed a wink at the prince, and marched with perfect posture back to the ball while they spun on their own heels to depart the abandoned wing. Arthur would rather die than admit he felt the sharpness of her pulling her arm away more than he’d care to acknowledge. She’d been so warm, pressed against his side while they walked. [i Stop it.]

The intricate door swung open silently, revealing the grandeur of decor that it held inside. A four-poster bed fluffed with only the best pillows faced opposite a chiseled stone fireplace and seating area. Arthur crossed the room as she continued to scold him, pulling shut the curtains overlooking the courtyard. [b “How dare I?”] he sputtered in return. [b “First of all, it is [i Prince] Arthur, not Sir Arthur. Secondly I did nothing more than give you an opportunity to be truthful for the first time this evening, which I’m pleased to see worked. Ellison may propose to you himself.”]

Had there ever been a more infuriating woman in the history of the world? There she was in a palace owned by the king, in front of the Crown Prince of the realm, and the only thing Rosalind’s body language screamed was defiance. [b “I don’t know why you’re so upset with me,”] he marched until they were face to face once more. [b “My advisor’s role is to get to know everyone who walks through those doors, and you are no exception. All evening you’ve made me want to pull my hair out in frustration so forgive me if I capitalized on the only opportunity I saw to peel back a layer of your mystery. You think you’re clever. I’m not arrogant enough to not concede that point. But I don’t think you’ve met your match until this very moment, Lady Rosalind.”]

Rosalind stared at him, rolling her eyes when he mentioned it was [i Prince Arthur].  She crossed her arms over her chest, biting the inside of her cheek when he spoke.  She shook her head as he praised himself to give [i her] the ability to tell the truth, as he assumed she’d had lied up to now.  Sure, she lied a little bit, but the idea of Noxus was exactly like her guild.  They all worked together, no matter their status, to make their commune run smoothly. Everyone split everything evenly.  They also let everyone’s strength and talents shine, and are fully respected.  She lied only about the name, not the idea behind it. 

Arthur was the most infuriating person on the planet.  All they seemed to want is for everyone to bow down and answer their every beckon call.  He wanted someone who was quiet and obedient beside him, ruling in the same way his father had.  Treating Rosalind just how his father treated her mother.  [b “You don’t understand why I’m upset?”] she spoke, exasperated.  He just couldn’t understand that everything he wanted wasn’t what she wanted.  He lived his life with people agreeing with him so much he didn’t know what to do when someone didn’t.  

[b “I don’t want to stay here!  You [i forced] me to, with the implications that if I didn’t, I will have something bad happen.  I told you I wanted to go home.  Why can’t you understand that everything that you want isn’t what everyone else wants.  No one has ever told you ‘no’ in your whole life, and now you throw a fit when things don’t go your way! Unbelievable.”] Rosalind spoke, turning from him, arms crossed over her chest.  

Rosalind looked to him, before approaching him, looking up at him from her slightly shorter stature from him.  [b “You think you are a match to me?  Please.  I am only this ‘rude and arrogant’ person to you because you started screaming at me from the moment you met me!”] she spoke, walking away for  him for a moment, turning her body away from him again.

As Rosalind turned from him, she really got a chance to look around the room she was forced to stay in.  Everything from the door just screamed expensive, the bed looking more enticing than the cot she had slept in since she was a kid.  She almost didn’t want to sit or touch anything, in fear it would crumble under her.  It all looks fragile, like it was glass and she, a bull that could make it all shatter under her.  This had been the first time in her life she felt like she truly did not belong in this space, but she had to pretend this kind of room was normal for her.

[b “Wait, why did you close the curtains?”] Rosalind asked, looking over her shoulder at him, before looking back at the window.  [b “Too embarrassed to be seen with me?”] she spoke smugly, a small laugh escaping her lips.
KoozaArthur Robitaille   4h ago

[b “I did not scream at you!”] Dear god alive, this woman would make him pull out his hair. [b “I broached the subject as any reasonable person would when they believe they’re being stalked by a complete stranger. I think you would act much the same, if you were looking for solace only to get bombarded with another potential suitor seeking validation.”]

Alright well that wasn’t entirely how the situation went and clearly she was not a suitor desperate for his attention but the point stood. How was he to know that she hadn’t purposely sought him out in his moment of peace? It was a suitors ball, Arthur couldn’t be blamed for assuming her underlying motives. [b “I’ll also point out that you’ve been nothing short of argumentative this entire time, just as I have.”] The man had to physically restrain himself from stomping a foot.

[i “Wait, why did you close the curtains?”] Rosalind completely ignored his remark. [i “Too embarrassed to be seen with me?”]

That confirmed it. She was set on fighting no matter what he did to try and make her feel at home. [b “Oh yes, because that’s what I’m embarrassed of, being in a private bedroom with an infuriatingly beautiful woman!”] Well fuck. [b “An [i infuriating] woman. Infuriating. And while you may be not awful to look at, that is certainly not what I meant to say.”]

Foot, meet mouth. This was a mistake. All of it; spending time with her, talking with her, inviting her to stay the night. Every single piece of the puzzle would bring nothing but treachery and bad decisions. Arthur was a good man. He did as he was told to uphold the duty he was born into, and he made a conscious effort to be respectful of any and all people he came into contact with. Lady Rosalind just happened to be the exception that would send him over the edge he was currently balancing on.

[b “Oh don’t look at me like that, it’s not as though you’re oblivious to how a man might be attracted to you,”] he scoffed, hoping his face wasn’t as red as it felt. [b “Though I don’t know how they could get past your antagonistic attitude or your snide comments. Manners are free, you know. Perhaps I ought to schedule you a lesson in being ladylike before you’re due to leave tomorrow. You might’ve caught me with your vinegar-soaked remarks but honey will get you more success.”]

Shut. The. Fuck. Up. [i Now].


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