The day had come and gone and Simone had exhausted herself with studying the political system of Shandria. She only broke in her studies to have a servant summon the young boy she had met in the halls to have supper with her. She'd spent so much time alone that his company was far more than welcomed and refreshing. Time with Jared was too intense and many of the servants walked around her as if she were a land mind bent on destruction. Alton was funny and charming, but seemed far more mature than any seven year old that she'd ever met.
"So, why is it you are able to come join me for supper alone, huh? Doesn't your mother worry about you?" Alton smiles oddly, "She never has really. Besides, who could turn down supper with the queen?" His lopsided smile is adorable. "I get the feeling that most people don't like me very much. I think that you are my very first friend in Shandria" Simone smiles at the little boy and the ridiculousness of her seeking friendship from a small child. Children simply tend to be more accepting than adults, and chances are know very little about her being dictator and tyrant.
"You seem to know a lot of things, can you tell me what my husband's powers are?" Simone asks bravely. "You don't know?" he seems amazed. "No, I don't and I am too embarrassed to ask him myself. Can this be our little secret?"
Alton's emerald eyes light up with the excitement that an adventure brings all little boys. "He controls the elements. Water, fire, earth, wind: he can even control the weather." Alton's voice is ecstatic. "If you watch his eyes, you can sometimes see the elements in them. If he's really angry at you, you can see the red of flames. Sometimes when he's sad they turn blue like the oceans. You make his eyes blue the most" Simone tucks away that bit of information for later use. "I am not surprised to hear that."
She forces a smile towards the young boy. She had conjured up some food from home for their meal: Cheeseburgers and fries. Alton was reluctant at first, but once he got a taste of all those empty calories he'd torn it apart, and eaten half of hers too. Simone didn't complain, she'd been practicing before her dinner date to make sure she could get it right. It's one thing to think something into existence, but it's something completely different altogether to make it taste good.
"I have an idea Alton. Why don't we dine together again soon. I really enjoy your company" "Will there be more hamburgers?" Alton asks excitedly, "If that is what you'd like" "I'd like that very much." He stands and bows with such eloquence to excuse himself from the table. "Might I be excused your majesty. If I am not back soon my father will have my hide. I must be up for class in the morning." "Of course Alton, goodnight." "Goodnight Your Highness" he says as he hurries away from Simone's private dining room.
Simone finds herself wandering the halls again. She'd studied every piece of artwork and admired all of the beautiful furnishings her suite had to offer. Reading and studying had also become cumbersome for her. She finds herself walking back into the room where she'd first waken to this reality, the master bedroom. She finds her way in the darkness to the edge of the immense bed and remembers how frightened she'd been when she woke up in it, even more so when Jared carried her to it when she'd attempted to flee.
In a matter of just a month or two this place had become home, though she'd never returned to this room until now. "What vexes the queen so that she sits alone in the dark?" Simone hadn't heard anyone walk in, but recognizes Jared's voice teasing her before seeing him. "I was looking to hide in a place that no one would ever expect to find me, so I thought I should hide in your bed." Her rebuttal draws a shocked hiss from Jared that makes her laugh just as he steps close enough to be seen in the darkness. "I imagine I earned that for being so blunt with you earlier. I hope you can forgive me." "I will if you tell me how to get some light in this room." In the past several weeks being in the castle she had shed her paralyzing fear of the dark, but still avoided it when possible for good measure. Most often she felt safe knowing Jared was somewhere nearby in the family suite while she slept.
Jared claps his hands together just barely and the wall torches all over the room ignite in a roar. Simone attempts not to look impressed but the smug look on her counterparts face tells her she'd failed. "Do not worry Your Highness, you will figure it out soon enough" His confident smirk is too much for her, so she decides to wipe it off. "You mean like this milord" she says mocking many of the women she'd overheard in the palace.
With a gentle breath Simone manages to create a wind indoors strong enough to blow out all of the torches. She then waves her hand in front of her and relights them, before examining her nails as if it were child's play. A smile splays itself across Jared's face, "You have been practicing all day haven't you?" "I have been practicing thank you very much" her lips spread in a smile of their own. "But this was my first attempt at wind and fire. I couldn't very well feed from your powers until I knew what they were could I?" Jared merely shakes his head is honest disbelief. "You are cunning, I will have to watch you much closer"
Simone looks around the room, noticing its changes. "You've been redecorating. Your chamber was nearly bare when I was last here. There was nothing more than your bed and the tapestry." The walls are a richer sea foam color and ornate paintings hang from the walls. Even the torches are new. There is a desk, decorative furnishings and a beautiful armoire.
"Does the queen approve?" He is mocking her, but she responds anyway. "It's beautiful, I love it." Simone considers that the only reason it were bare is because she ordered it to be that way. Either of them speak. Jared steps just out of her view and changes from the many layers of his royal garb into loose fitting pants similar to what he'd worn when she'd first waken up with him. This time however, the outfit comes with a long sleeved peasant - like shirt.
"So tell me, why are you really sitting here in the dark?" His voice had become more serious and compassionate. Jared had become a good friend to her these past weeks. "Do you hate me Jared?" she asks plainly as if she had asked him to pass the salt. "Rather, did you hate me before? You know before I woke up with no memory of all of this"she asks gesturing to the grandios room. He exhales deeply and shuts his eyes as he sinks into a high back cushioned chair near the bed.
"At times, I felt as though I did." Jared rakes his fingers through his locks, appearing slightly stressed by the question. "But I knew that somewhere inside of you my wife was still there, the woman I fell in love with still existed. Every once and again I would look in your eyes and see the way things were. I'd see the woman I loved staring back at me with sad eyes wanting to be rescued. It has been very difficult for me, but I knew one day you would return to yourself."
Simone looks away the moment she sees blue flash through his eyes. Alton had told her what that meant and the guilt is decidedly too much. "Why do you ask Simone?" Jared says leaning forward. "I feel like everyone here hates me. Everyone is afraid to come near me or speak with me aside from you and Sarai. To be honest, it is very lonely when you are a cruel dictator" she smiles at her own ill timed joke. "I insisted to Sarai today that she bring back the full time house staff tomorrow, just in case one of them decides not to hate me and engage me in conversation." "I have been neglectful. I will make more time to spend with you." Jared decied aloud. "No, you have been wonderful. You are the king, I realize that you are a very busy man and the time you spend with me is appreciated."
Jared moves from his seat to join Simone on the edge of the bed. He places his hand over hers and releases a weary sigh. "I believe I have approached this situation all wrong. I love you Simone, I love you as much now as the day I married you." Simone doesn't respond or even breathe. No man had ever said those words to her.
"I'm afraid that I have let my hope blind me to reality. I had hoped that you would suddenly come to yourself and remember our life together and our love. That was wrong of me to put so much pressure on you. These things, I imagine, are gradual and take time" Simone had heard that before, too many times. She supposes that if Jared knew what kind of wait he likely had in front of him he'd give up. She herself had waited damn near fifteen years with no results.
"Will you allow me start again?" Simone scarcely hears his question, getting lost in her own thoughts. "Start what again?" "Allow me to court you, who you are now, or who you believe yourself to be. You may not remember our past love, but that does not mean I cannot convince you to love me again."
Simone examines the man next to her, unsure of how to respond. She'd been asked out many times, but she'd never even heard of a man asking for a chance to make a woman fall in love with him, not in real life. "I don't know Jared, I'm not sure this is a good idea." His smirk is devilish as he urges on, "I convinced the all powerful queen of Shandria to marry me. How hard could it be to convince Simone Bradshaw, some assistant, as you say, in LA, to fall in love?" He nudges her in the side, eliciting laughter that Simone had not anticipated. She laughs so hard that it is difficult to breathe.
"Okay Your Majesty, don't say I didn't warn you. We Los Angeles girls are known for being pretty tough." She says between giggles, pulling herself from the bed in retreat. Jared grabs her by the hand and stands as well. "We Shandrian men love a sporting challenge." "Sporting?" Simone smirks wickedly, "You make a mistake to assume I play fair Sire" "It's good to know that we have that in common." He says before lifting her fingers and pressing them to his lips, "Good night Milady" Simone curtsies and returns his parting wishes, smiling wide the moment she is out of his sight.