White sprays of glistening water whipped against white wings, each feather graced by a heavenly golden undertone. The woman’s face is not as dazzlingly graceful, not that she isn't the epitome of beauty. Her soft features are contorted in immense displeasure as the ends of her white gown are pulled by the soft waves. Flowers of gold and green and white rest upon the water’s angered surface.
The scene painted onto the dining wall, is the only thing currently keeping me from going insane. It’s quiet. Way too quiet for a family of 6 dining in the late afternoon.
My mother can feel it too, her eyes keep shifting from each one of her children and back to the wall beside her. She takes a sip of her clear wine, keeping the glass to her lips a few moments longer. I hope she’s thinking the same thing as I: we are never doing family dinners again.
They were my father’s idea and unfortunately, he clearly does not sense the thick blanket of tension currently suffocating us. He’s reading some papers in between eating his food.
My attention gets drawn to Evander. If I couldn’t be blessed enough in this world to be an only child, I’d at least have wanted to be the annoying older sibling. Unfortunately, that place was taken by Evander.
They smile at me from across the table, a smile too sweet, too innocent to trust. They nod their head to the end of the table where our dad sits.
I get it.
This is a warning smile. Silently telling me that my life ends the minute this dinner does: presumably for getting us into this mess.
I’d love to knock Evander’s part amused, part annoyed smile off their round face. Instead, I sink lower in my seat, stretching my leg out to tap their shin and keeping my eyes firmly on theirs.
A harsh knock on the door makes nearly all of us jump, and my booted foot hits Evander’s shin with a lot more force than I intended. Not that I’m complaining. They yelp and draw their leg up, clutching it to their chest.
Haha, this is how adults behave.
A familiar face pops through the opened doors: Christopher, the head of the royal guards, or something.
“Your Majesty, I apologise for intruding on your meal, but I have urgent news.” He bows before his royalty, not that we particularly look like royalty right now.
Well, aside from the large room and high ceilings, vastly decorated with carved patterns and painted with murals. Not to mention the smooth clothes on our backs, colours of brilliant, silky whites, navy blues and crisp magentas.
…It’s all in the posture, and neither one of us is holding it.
My mother swallows the mouthful she had just crammed through her painted lips, frozen still with wide eyes fixed on the guard. She dabs her cheeks with a napkin and sets the silver fork down. “Yes? What happened?”
Christopher straightens up, seemingly unphased by the scene before him. “A Pluman was found in the outskirts of our kingdom. We brought him in for holding, he is being kept in the South wing of the royal prisons.” He informs us.
The room stays quiet, everyone processing every word. This is big, like fucking huge! The Plumans had, supposedly, gone extinct give or take 100 years ago. And one showed up just waltzing into our kingdom? Had the guards made a mistake? Surely not.
My mother rises to her feet, nearly tripping on the long fabrics of her gown. She makes her way around the table, flipping the switch to her grace before she can leave the room. “Dinner is over, you all may leave but you’re not allowed outside and certainly not near the prison.” She warns us, eyeing each one of her children over her slim shoulder. She knows us too well. “Olen, let's go.”
Our father stands, taking his papers with him as they leave together, shutting the door swiftly behind.
Left alone just like that, it takes a few moments for any of us to move.
Ivory shuffles to our mother’s seat, planting herself in its shadowed cobalt cover. “Dibs on mom’s wine!” She smiles mischievously, reaching for the delicate glass.
Audrina bolts up, snatching it away from her grasp. “Wine isn’t for children. Finish your food or go to your room.”
“I’m not a child! And I refuse to step foot in there until the sun sets. Boring as hell.” Ivory complains with folded arms.
“Then you can help me study.”
“I’d rather be shot.”
Audrina snorts, taking a sip from our mother’s abandoned drink.
I throw my feet up on the clothed table, showing off my boots painted nearly as extravagantly as the walls. “That can be arranged.”
“You’re the last person I’d go to if I wanted a bullet in me. You have worse aim than I do.” Ivory retorts back. She sticks her tongue out when I clutch my chest.
“I’m sorry we can’t all be perfect. Like Evander.” I look to our oldest sibling, to the glare in their icy blue eyes.
I smile, wide, knowing more about our perfect heir than anyone else in the castle. But not the entire kingdom, there’s another man out there that knows way more than I do. And as Evander’s brother, I’m glad to not know.
“Caspar,” They speak through closed, sparkling teeth, “can I speak with you alone for a moment?”
My grin doesn’t leave my lips as I swing my legs off the table and make my way to the door, waving bye bye to our sisters.
“Never speak of what you saw.” Evander says with a threatening voice, guiding me down the long halls of the palace.
I keep my laughter quiet. “Maybe you shouldn’t bring guys back to your bedroom. I know he wasn’t wealthy but does he not even own a house?”
Evander hits the back of my head. “You’re the only person who stumbles into my room unannounced. I thought you were training for the weekend.” They grumble.
“Maybe next time you should take him to Parssover, you could do it by the waterfall. Romantic.”
“I wish you could feel shame.” They grip the bridge of their nose, not looking up to open the door of their bedroom.
We filter in and I throw myself down on the unmade bed. “So what else d’you want?”
They frown at the sight of my shoes on their quilt. “Get off my bed! You get pissy when anyone sits on yours in ‘day clothes’ – whatever that means.”
“Day clothes are worn outside, they get gross and I refuse to sleep in a bed that's been contaminated!” I huff, letting my feet hit the floor.
“But you’re fine with me sleeping like that?”
“Well, you seem to be.”
They sigh, utterly frustrated. The sight makes me smile.
“Whatever,” they mumble, “I wanted you here because we’re seeing the prisoner tonight.”
That perks me up. I sit straight with arms behind my back, keeping my balance. “Feeling rebellious again huh? That didn’t work out too well for you last time–” I get hit by a flying pillow. Small and tightly knitted, matching the blacks and deep reds of Evander’s room.
I look back up to see their content smile. “11 o’clock. Meet me in the back courtyard.”
Prince Caspar of Marulean is up to his usual mischief, annoying the family to the end of their wits, when someone accidentally pays the kingdom a visit. Someone who should've died a century ago.
This sets off a series of dramatic and emotional events that really didn't need to happen if the one party just moved further away. But I'll pretend that isn't a huge plot hole, just enjoy this slow burn, enemies to lovers story about a bunch of idiots.
Better description coming soon
*Updates 3 times a month*