Rielle Facaute loves her tutor. Felix Sanders does not love his pupil, and sometimes wishes that she wouldn't be so clingy. But what will happen when she really does go away?
Kidnapped for her money, Rielle is scared and thinks she is alone. But faithful Felix sets out after his employer's daughter, and they both find themselves in the midst of a daring adventure, where returning home may not be their only wish...
It was a bright day in Pireleas, in the land of Semereti. Rays of golden sunshine slid through the thin windows of a large country mansion, casting coloured shadows into several of the eastward-facing rooms. In one of those rooms was placed a four-metre-long table, made of rough wood similar to that of the floorboards and to the decorated edge of the fireplace. The only other objects were several chairs to match the table, an armchair in beige and a ceiling-to-floor length tapestry opposite the fireplace, which depicted nothing but was decorated in the bright colours of sunset, including a most memorable twilight blue.
A girl sat the table, looking out across the planes of green and orange grass, and lost in the beauty of the day. Her copper-blonde hair fell in curls halfway down her back and her slanted emerald eyes were misted over like the morning hills outside. The rest of the girl’s features were sharp and wise, yet today she held a childish demeanour.
“Rielle? Are you listening?” The silky voice of the girl’s tutor split through into her daydreaming. She snapped her head back to him as he stood, palms flat on the head of the table.
“Sometimes I think you don’t hear a word I say. It’s a wonder your parents don’t dock my pay when you return empty-headed everyday.”
Rielle looked to him, shocked, but her teacher was smiling. She giggled, lifting a pale hand to cover her square teeth and pointed nose; two features of her face which she despised.
“Oh, Felix, they think too highly of your tutoring skills. After all, once upon a time your family taught the monarchs.”
It was not their arrangement for her to call Felix Sanders by his first name, but nothing would dissuade the girl.
“Indeed. Now, Rielle, let’s get back to Semereti Geography-”
“Felix, do you like Semereti Geography?”
He pondered this for a second.
“No, not really. It’s dull but it’s necessary.”
“So…we should just skip it altogether and go outside. The day is too bright for us to be stuck inside doing something that the both of us hate.”
“My, what a cheeky student I have today. Alright, get your sketchbook. Semereti Geography will wait another day.” Felix wouldn’t admit it, but Rielle was right about the splendour of the day. They didn’t often get days like these in Pireleas and surrounding counties.
“Thank you!” squealed Rielle, leaning up and kissing Felix‘s cheek, as what was expected and courteous, in these times. “I love you.”
Felix shook his head, bemused, and laughed at the girl as she grabbed her sketchbook and pirouetted out of the room.
The thing of the matter was that, although he didn’t know it, Rielle really was madly in love with Felix; in a way that she wished to be with him for ever. She adored every part of him, from the tips of his hair, which was the colour of mahogany wood that was never seen elsewhere, right down to the choice of sandals he always wore. Felix was built for sport, but he tried not to show it (as he was more studious than sporty), by dressing himself in loose white shirts and trousers of the same colour. Rielle saw him as an angel, with his rounded facial features and eyes of crystal blue.
She admired his skill with numbers and the tender way he would diffuse any tense situations that occurred with the local, and unruly, lower-class people, and she would often be found hiding outside his chambers whilst he played harpsichord concertos. This was why she put extra effort into her music lessons, even though he would not sing with her in company. Nevertheless, music was a bond between the two of them, as was art. On days like this, where Rielle was restless, they would sit outside the mansion, and doodle, or sketch, or paint the scene in front of them; be it an ancient building surrounded by mist, a mysterious mansion in a velvet coat of night, or, like today, a hall caught in hazy midday sun. It made the stain-glass windows sparkle, and toned the rough stone walls so that they seemed as smooth as pottery. What Rielle liked most about her home though, were the spires that sprung up into the air. They were dark inside and the steps constantly slippery to climb, but they always fulfilled Rielle’s wandering mind, which was too eager for adventure; she would imagine herself to be a daring princess rescuing her prince from some evil warlock’s cursed tower. Once at the top, she could survey the whole county of Pireleas and even glimpse into some villages in Drallacas, Torvrey, and Merridew.
The Facaute family had always lived in Pireleas, for it was one of the only counties in Semereti filled with open spaces and the fresh air perfect for Gryphon rearing, a passion that had spread down the Facaute line for centuries. The young Brielle (known only to her friends as ‘Rielle’) was their only heir and set to inherit the large fortune, house and business (‘Garments and Gowns’), as well as their five family Gryphons. Rielle was thrilled; she was an animal-lover through and through.
A trait which, unbeknown to her, was shared by Felix. He kept his pet wolf-puppy secretly in his quarters, sneaking it rashers of wild boar and other pieces of meat from the kitchens. That was Felix’s downside: he was still young (barely five years older than Rielle) and he knew not much of rules than that which he taught to Rielle: kindness and hard-working excellence.
Unfortunately, there were times when the both of them disobeyed all rules.