Tired of the rich food being served at the castle, Malcolm raided the vegetable garden he’d discovered on the castle grounds, dug up a banana in the bowels of the kitchen pantry and proceeded to make a mid-afternoon meal than any seafaring Captain would be proud to serve himself.
For a good hour, Natasha had waited patiently in the parlor, after asking one of the attendants to fix her a kettle of tea. She sat on one of the loveseats, staring at one of the grand portraits on the wall, and a stack of books that had been gathering dusting.
Now, she had begun to make her way to the kitchens - what was taking that insolent girl so long? Every step carried her closer to her destination, and it took only a matter of minutes.
When she rounded the corner, Natasha gave a puzzled look as she took three clean strides forward, peering oddly at a man who had just made a meal of a banana.
"And this is why I refrain from drinking."
Oh, my god! I bled on you. I’m so sorry, oh my g— Uh, I don’t have a tissue, um… Oops? I’m sorry!
"Ah, yes… and on my favorite blouse, too."
"These masks really don’t do anything to hide identities. Although it does make you wonder what these ‘Selection people’ were hinting at when they chose them…"
"I concur with the conclusions you’ve drawn, Eagle," Natasha replied, abstaining from addressing the man by name. In truth, she actually did not know whom lay under the mask, though she carried her own suspicions.
As Fallon began to tie the black, silky strings of her mask into a bow at the back of her head, she started to hum to herself. A mix of nerves and excitement began to enter her bloodstream and forced her heart to pump faster. What would tonight hold for the princess? Mystery? Romance? That was her natural imagination talking. She tried to talk herself down and remind her brain that realistically nothing extraordinary would happen to her. The Selection was an unpredictable rollercoaster of emotions, but so far it hadn’t proved to be anything but upsetting. She hoped tonight would change that, but deep down she doubted that anything ever could.
Fallon walked down the hall from her room to the grand ballroom, listening to the click-clacking of her heels along the way. They began to match her heart beat as she walked faster. Her humming ceased as she reached the large, double, wooden doors. The two servants stood at the ready as they swung open the entrance to the room. With a light gust of wind, a heavenly scent of flowers enchanted the princess. She stepped into the room and began to walk down a large staircase to the dance floor. After listening to a warm welcome, Fallon began to wander around the room. As she peered across the room, she spotted someone sitting alone outside, facing the gardens. She approached them quietly, “Not enjoying the ball?”
For the past several hours, Natasha had hoped to avoid her betrothed as best she could - not because she wanted to maintain her anonymity throughout the course of the ball, but for the simple reason that she didn’t want to talk to him.
Of course, this would be the first soiree Natasha had attended in a long time - there were no parties in her own kingdom since she was an infant, and her father did not bother to host any when he reigned after the death of his lady wife. And when she took the burden of the throne, balls and celebrations were the least of her concerns. Natasha didn’t know how to dance, and she did not drink. She was no partygoer, and found no solace in the music or food.
It was at times like these when she found that she isolated herself, hoping that her own company would make for good enough company. That was not always the case.
"Not enjoying the ball?"
Eyes flitting to the person who disturbed her, Natasha remained unsmiling. “I’m allowed not to, right?” she asked the strange princess. Natasha’s own mask hid away her features, though the irritable look upon her face might have been evident.
"The short answer? You can’t." She nodded slightly, "But people will surprise you." She gave a slight shrug and turned her gaze to the princess. "When pressed, everyone has demons that take over but hopefully we recognize them and move forward into something better."
"You’re very wise, Princess," Natasha observed, lingering on every word that came from Josefin’s mouth. "You have very optimistic beliefs, and I like that you don’t dabble on trying to befriend me."
merlin + MBTI | morgana pendragon → ENFP
"The gardens are actually quite serene, especially when there aren’t many people around."
"I’ve spend a lot of time around explosives. No worries here."
"I’ve spent a god-awful long time around men, but that doesn’t mean I understand them and their habits."
Connor turned his head as she spoke, “Be my guest.” he said as he smiled slightly at her. He’d had to make the best of his time with her. He’d find her pleasant so far, he just hoped his impression did not change with time. He needed someone whom he could trust, whom he could make his mother proud to be his queen. He just hoped she could truly be the one. He didn’t want to be unhappy, he didn’t want to sink to his father’s levels. He never wanted to hurt his soon to be, ever.
"Brilliant," Natasha said, surprised that Connor had agreed. She assumed that his pride would get the better of him, that he’d maybe say no and leave her to her own devices, but he had proven her wrong. Natasha often found it easy to read into people, but his smile, crooked by handsome, was hard to decipher.
The room left in all of it’s orderly and immaculate glory, Natasha stood from where she had been sitting on the bed.
"Lead the way."