A girl searches for a way to make her living and finds it, as well as a passionate love, in the most unlikeliest of places.
The last flickering glows of the fire died out. A darkness surrounded Selena as she curled up in her bed, rented in a small inn on the outside of Aesh. A rashit scuttled nearby, amking Selena shiver. It wasn't the best place in town, but it was the only one she could afford, and she wouldn't sink to selling herself for money. At the memory of the offer from a shadowy man standing in the inn's doorway she flinched. Her pride prevented her from sinking that low, she just couldn't do it. Tomorrow she would go out in to the town and look for a job. There had to be something this close to the city. She would do anything honest, for her late mother's sake she would never do anything that broke laws. This was Selena's only comforting thought as she fell asleep.
The sun was only just climbing in to the sky when Selena slipped out of the inn. She carried with her all her possesions, for she would not go back until she found herself a job, she was sure. She wandered the streets, asking every store owner and crafts man if they wanted any help, but each time she was rejected. At midday she stopped for a rest in a small stable on the very edge of the palace walls in the city. She fell on the straw in exhaustion. As she struggled to get up her eyes closed, she fell back and dreamed.
A loud bang started her awake. Peering round in the sudden gloom, she realised she had slept till evening. Silently she cursed herself. There was no way she would get a job now. The she bacame accutley aware of someones presence nearby. She opened her mouth to challenge them, but felt a small hand slap itself over her mouth.
"Sssh!" a voice begged. The voice of a girl, she realised. She sat up and peered in to the darkness. Her eyes slowly adjusted, and she saw a young woman, about the same ages as her. She had long honey coloured hair, which fell in curls around her shoulders, framing her oval face. Blue eyes peered at her cautiously at her. Then Selena noticed a glint on her head. Resting on her curls was a tiara, slightly askew from running. The princess! Now Selena recognised her, for she had seen her face many times on posters and banners. She stared in silence, and the princess, seeming to realise she would be quiet, lifted her hand.
"You must be very quiet, please, please you must!"
Her eyes begged, and the fear in her voice was heart wrenching.
"I shall be quiet." Selena whispered. The princesses face relaxed and she smiled. It was a very nice smile, Selena realised, and her lips curved so beautifully... Stop! Focus. She had promised her mother to stop that.
"Why are you here your highness?" she asked pensively.
The princess looked at her briefly before moving closer to her and whispering, "My father wishes that i will be married soon, but I do not wish it. He filled the hall with suitors tonight and I ran away. I will never go back!" She spoke defiantly, but her lip trembled. "The soldiers have been sent to look for me, so I hid in here... and now it is your responsibility as an Aesh citizen to turn me in. But I beg of you, think before doing so. I will be put through the pain of a marrige to someone I don not love, and it will be on your conscience." Selena sat with an open mouth for some time, then said,
"Jeez, no need to give a big long speech! Someones going to recognise you straight away if you keep doing that. I'll help you of course, your highness."
"Oh thank you!" The princess cried, flinging her arms round Selena's neck. Selena breathed in her scent, then immediatley wished she hadn't. The princess smelled so good, and she was so warm... Selena pushed the girl off her.
"Alright, no need to get weepy, we haven't much time to spare." The princess nodded, wiping her eyes as she did. Selena studied the stable quietly. A small gap at the back was covered by a small piece of sacking. She scrambled up, pulling the princess with her, and yanked it off. It was big enough to fit through. "Right, I'll go through first, and then you come through and I'll catch you. Is that alright?"
The princess nodded. Selena pulled herself up on the edge of the gap. She slipped through, flipped, and landed on her feet. She turned, checking the area, and whispered to the princess to hurry up. The princesses legs appeared, then her body as she slid gently through the gap. She dropped and Selena caught her securely. She grabbed her hand and pulled her quickly through the streets.