Eliza - The Lost Heir

I reentered the ballroom shortly after Alexandra, making sure enough time had passed so that it wouldn't appear suspicious. Yet it still seemed that Rebecca's eyes turned my way, as did James from across the hall. It seemed he had entered in my absence. I noticed a frown cross Alexandra's face on noticing him, from where she was dancing with a male companion. Yes, she wasn't happy that James knew about us, but I had to trust my instincts. I had taken a large gamble, but I was sure it would pay off.

"Dance with me?" James asked, standing in front of me. I smiled briefly, taking his hand gratefully as he led me onto the floor. 

"You look stressed," James observed. I nodded. "Not regretting telling me the truth?" 

I shook my head. "No, though I should be. Alexandra is not happy," I added, indicating her direction with my head. "And what about you? Not regretting your promise?"

"I gave my word," James stated. "And I've had a little time to think on it. I'll keep your secret." 

I gave a relieved smile.  "That's good to hear. I'm much attached to my neck after all." I considered something. "But I do have a question."

"As long as it's not something that will risk troops on my side being killed. I may sympathise with your country's plight, but that doesn't mean I want that to lead to a lose of life," James stated.

I nodded, understanding. "Well you shouldn't have to worry. I just wanted to ask about the lost heirs," I explained.

A look crossed James' face. "Ah the lost heirs. No one knows where they are. There are rumours a plenty though. Some say the King objected to their disappearance, that he wanted to raise them to be proper Handrin's, but that the Queen had them hidden on the Iberan side of the border to allow them to get to know that side of their heritage. Other's believe they were hidden to prevent an assassination by people who would prefer a full Handrin, such as the King's younger brother, to take the throne. All we know is that is has been over 17 years since they vanished, and no one has heard from them since. Sure, every so often a new rumour will start, but that's all there is."

I considered this. For a moment Alexandra's earlier words had given me the hope that we could resolve the conflict by somehow finding these royal children, either the son and heir or the daughter. But if they had been lost for so long then it seemed unlikely that our small efforts would find them. 

"It seems like a sad story, for the Queen to give up her two children and live in a land where she is resented," I said finally. 

"It does, doesn't it," James replied, as the dance ended. I glanced around the hall, noticing Rebecca's eyes glaring into my back. Of course the second I turned to face her she was all smiles. 

"You should ask Rebecca for a dance," I told James. 

A hurt expression crossed James' face at my words, and I quickly offered the reason for the words. "As much as I would like to dance more with you, you know I have to find out what I can. And Rebecca seems to be developing a grudge against me for stealing your attention away. She fancies you."

James glanced in her direction. "Yes but I don't fancy her. But your right, you have things to learn and if it helps keep that Rebecca off your back then I suppose I will dance for her. I'd have to at some time tonight out of politeness anyways," James said, somewhat reluctantly. 

We parted ways then, James towards Rebecca to ask her to dance, and myself to the edges of the dance floor, to wait for a new partner to swoop me up. It wasn't long before a young officer was soon asking for my company in the next dance.

The End

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