Chapter One From Stephan’s Perspective
I waited to post this one to keep from spoiling the big plot twist, but I really wanted to explore Stephan’s emotions in this scene. It’s the only time we see him before Alicia finds out he is a traitor, so it’s a pretty big scene for him. Enjoy!
Uncle had opened his mouth to say something as I walked up, but, seeing me, he instead gestured me forward. “What is it, Stephan?” He asked, looking at me with that tired way of his that always indicated Alicia had done something childish, again.
“Sire,” I began, feeling my anger toward my younger cousin boil up under my skin, “King Thomas is becoming extremely aggravated. I don’t think I can keep him entertained for much longer.” I subtly glanced over, taking in Alicia’s completely inappropriate attire. It seemed she was the reason the King and Queen were late meeting with the other Royal, as per usual.
Aunt pursed her lips, unconsciously I think. She tends to do that when she’s upset. “Our relations with Fayal are already tenuous as it is without Thomas acting like a puffed up peacock, seeing grievous insult at the slightest offense.” I agreed, though the situation wouldn’t be quite as difficult if Alicia would just act responsibly for once in her life—but, of course, such a thing wouldn’t even occur to her. Selfish girl.
Uncle gritted his teeth, as frustrated as his wife at the situation. After a moment he nodded curtly at me, wordlessly thanking me for alerting him of the problem. “Alicia, we will continue this conversation at a later time,” he told her curtly.
I hung back for a moment as they turned to go, waiting until they had reached the stairs to ask, “You knew the king didn’t like to be kept waiting, didn’t you?” I thought I already knew the answer, but still I felt compelled to confirm my suspicions.
“And what if I did?” She replied, a self-satisfied smile playing on her face. I had to struggle to keep my emotions in check. How was it that this little nit-wit was going to get to rule the kingdom? She couldn’t make a single decision that wasn’t in her own best interests!
“You’re never going to grow up, are you?” I asked, shaking my head. “The kingdom deserves better.” I turned on my heel, anxious to get away from her before my emotions got the better of me. As soon as I turned my back on her, I gave myself a little reprieve, letting my face twist up in an ugly scowl, leaving her standing alone in the hallway. She more than deserved what was coming to her.