Julianne wants nothing more than to live life as she wants. She wants to hunt, ride horses, and fall in love...on her own time. Her father understands and tries his hardest to find her a man that loves her and vice versa. Her mother has other ideas. She wants Julianne to marry the disgusting Prince Of Wormwald. Will Julianne get to live the life she wants, or will her mom rule her forever?
We used to be best friends, Anabelle and I. Playing in the gardens, bugging the staff, and firing the nannies. That was then, when we were only thirteen. Now we are eighteen and suitors are always prowling around the castle grounds. I don't want to marry any of these snobby princes with their promises of gold and presents and silks. Frankly, I could care less about their riches. They all treat me like a dog and expect me to get them whiskey, but I have way more respect for myself. One of our nannies, a sweet young lady, was set to get married to a man she truly loved. Later, she went back to live with her parents, because he used to abuse her. She came to visit us once, all covered in black and blue bruises. Now she lives in the countryside on the border of Maltina. She sends me letters once a week. She has found a new man, one who treats her right and she says she is happy. I'm going out to visit her in a few days.
* * *
Anabelle shakes me awake. "The Prince of Wormwald is here! He is so gorgeous! And Daddy seems to like him.", She shrieks into my ear.
I groan and roll onto one side. "Annie, let me sleep. I'll meet the prince in the morning."
She sighs a huge sigh. "Fine I suppose I'll let you sleep."
I fall asleep before she even gets out of my room.
* * *
The next morning, Natasha, my lady maid, comes in with a vibrant red silk dress, complete with corset and hoop skirt. This day is going to be very uncomfortable. "The prince would like to see you," She says," He is going to take you to the City of Roses, today. Isn't that exciting?"
I groan, and then a low growl escapes from my throat. Natasha understands my hatred of this whole courting system. She stills hold hope for every guy I meet, always being optimistic, saying " Maybe he's the one, just maybe." They never are, never. They are always men who could care less what I think. To them, I am a possession.
Natasha washes me up, and gets me all dressed up, until I am presentable. Then I walk down the stairs to where my dad waits. I loop my arm through his and he leads me into the dining room, to meet my new suitor.