When the guard had walked into his chambers that morning to declare someone had stumbled into the damned fae circle, Hendric Witherborne could scarcely believe him.
It had seemed preposterous.
How could any human manage to find themselves in the middle of the forest in the first place? It was a dark place where little sunlight came through from how thickly the branches spanned high above. For a human to find themselves so far away from their own civilization either meant they were incredibly stupid or incredibly naive to the world.
At least, that was his opinion.
Dismissing his attendant's attempts to help him dress, he hurriedly adjusted the buttons of his vest before he was sighing to himself. He glanced towards the shell in his room, studying his reflection for a long moment. Where others saw beauty, he simply saw a fae man who looked frazzled and lost. The fact that someone was now in their kingdom... with their only purpose being to wed him...
He suppressed a shudder as he turned away, running long fingers through his blond hair to brush it back. With another long breath, he waved his hand at the servants in his quarters to dismiss them from their duties. The doors opened as he stepped through, falling into step behind him as he made his way towards the throne room. Although it wasn't unusual for them to follow, they both seemed extra vigilant of every step he made.
His mother must have commanded they watch him to ensure he didn't run away.
Straightening his shoulders, he rolled his eyes before pausing at the doors to the throne room. The guards in attendance hastily opened them, bowing hastily as he strode into the room.
There was quite a crowd. However, everyone seemed to go quiet upon noticing his presence. There was a collective breath held as he walked down the long walkway to where both his parents sat upon their thrones. His mother with her pitch-black hair and even darker eyes looked unmoved by his presence. She tucked her dark skirts out a little more, sitting up straight as she awaited his approach. His father sat on the other end, brows drawn high in concern as he glanced between his wife and his child uneasily.
Hendric paused at the steps, bowing at the waist.
Murmurs sprung up across the room, nobility whispering to themselves over the usually-hostile prince being so docile.
"My son, thank you for arriving on such short notice," His father spoke, his casual tone high with restraint. "I'm sure you know the circumstances of this gathering, I presume?"
"Yes, father," Hendric murmured as he straightened, hands slipping behind his back as he locked eyes with his mother.
She didn't react to his challenging glare.
Turning her gaze towards the doors, she beckoned with a hand towards some of the guards.
"Bring our guest into the room," She ordered, her gaze once more flickering towards Hendric. "I wish to introduce her to my son. And discuss the laws of our land so she understands what her fate now is."
Hendric glanced down at the ground, his brows furrowed.
It seemed fate wasn't meant to be kind—to either him or his unexpecting bride-to-be.
Clementine thought as she was escorted down a big hallway with two guards at either side of her. She was already in an unfamiliar place and now she's in trouble? What more could life at this point throw at her? She had no words. All she could do was look around with her crystal blue eyes while she was guided to this castle like building. This was nothing like where she was just seconds ago it seemed..
Clementine Marino woke up that day for the soul purpose of celebrating her grandmas 80th birthday. Her grandma loved Clem the most out of her other siblings, even if she didn't admit it properly. That being said Clem made sure the present was perfectly wrapped and she would wear the dress her grandmother Theresa gave her. The dress looked old,but Clem would do anything to please her. Besides that she brushed through her bouncy red hair and sprayed perfume to smell like apples and honey.
It was about 3 o' clock when Clementine had started walking. It would take about 20 minutes to walk there,but she didn't mind it.
Granted her grandmother lived closer to the forest than anyone she knew so taking a car or a bus would've been hard since there is a high chanceof the vehicles sinking into the soft muddy ground from the previous rain fall the town had.
Heading up to knock on the old brown door she could hear her loud family and braced herself for a headache later. Her father opened the door and gave her a bear hug. "Papa..I cant..breathe.." Clem squealed out. Her father then let her go and ruffled her hair. His big beer belly poking out through his buttoned up shirt, his jet black hair slicked back, the crystal eyes he passed down to her and his beard trimmed to his liking. A real lumberjack if you asked Clem. "I'm sorry, you've been so busy I almost forgot what you looked like-" then comes her mother with her blonde hair, fair skin, and green eyes to compliment. She elbowed her husband in the side. "Dear, quit hogging her. It's Theresa's day" Her mother giggled and kissed Clem on the temple. "Nice to see you too Mama" she laughed greeting her other family(siblings,aunts,uncles).
Finally she sees her grandmother, dressed in perrywinkle and sparkles, her faded ginger hair pulled back into a nice sleek bun. Clem never understood her grandmas sense if fashion,but wouldn't question it.
"Hello my little orange!" She said in a bright smile and open arms. "Happy Birthday Nan" Clem said giving a squeeze and handing her grandmother a small box. "Clem I said no gifts-" "Ah but you'll like it!" Theresa rolled her eyes and opened it to find a bluebird pendant. Clem grand-dads favorite bird. Unfortunately he passed a couple of years prior. She could see her grandmother was holding back tears,but she heard a small thank you before her father hollered out that dinner was ready.
The evening had just started and the sun was still up, it would set soon though. After dinner and cake Clementine had went outside to get some fresh air. Her body leaning on the old house, her dress flowing with every movement. She was looking at the tress behind Theresa's house when she swears she saw something. She didn't know what,but before she knew it her feet already started moving. It could've been her eyes deceiving her,but she wanted to know for certain.
Everytime shed think of giving up there's is a weird light she sees from her peripheral vision. Clem follows,but notices that the forest is starting to get dark and it's not because of the sun going down it was the trees getting thicker. She ended up calling out to whatever it was. "Hey wait up! I won't hurt you at all-!" She said while suddenly stopping. Something felt off about where she was in the forest. She couldn't quite place her finger on it,but whatever it was she couldn't bring herself to go back home. She had already come this far. Then finally after squeezing past some tight trees she had stumbled into a nice grassy patch. She looked around and noticed that there were trees going around in a circle from where she was. None were really touching the soft dewy grass that she could smell. "How odd-" she started to say before hearing rustling somewhere close to where she was. She turned around to see nothing. Thinking now she should probably go back she bumped into something. A tree? If only! She looked up and was shocked to see a man behind her. He held her shoulders and proceeded to say "a human? Of all things.." Her blue eyes were wide with shock and confusion. "I- um look im sorry for trespassing..I can leave-" the tall man just shook his head. "You'll have to come with me" "why?" "Because it's the rules" "Okay.. but why?If your going to rob me please let me know now Mr uhh.." she started to say not realizing the man was already moving her along a specific path. "Claude.. and im not going to rob you. Please, you have nothing I desire Miss" Clem huffed. "Its Clementine..and you're quite rude.." "Clementine? Strange name for a human" "you make absolutely no sense.."she said under her breath as she took on her surroundings. They seemed very different from a few seconds ago. There was so much vegetation and beautiful buildings she almost forgot to breathe. She then shook Claudes hands off her shoulder. " where are you taking me?' "To the palace?" "Palace no no those places don't exist anymore... and what for?its not like I killed anyone all I did was walk" He sighed and rubbed his forehead, his black hair falling slightly in his face before he pushed it away. "Listen just because you were walking is exactly why you are in this situation. Now just do what your told and be quiet, please. Nobody is going to hurt you..at the moment" "t-the moment??ughh!" Clem asked running her hands through her red hair frantically. "Okay okay ill go with you since it's my fault, but is this really necessary?" Claude just have he a look and she sighed knowing this was not helping her in the slightest. Before he could soak another guard looking man came over with his brown eyes wide. "Make sure to announce the arrival to Henric and the others. " before turning back to Clem while the other man stumbled away fast. "Who's Henric?" Claude slightly smiled before walking "don't worry, you'll have plenty of opportunity to answer that question" "you don't make me feel pleasant Claude.."
As they continued walking she felt like she was in one of those fantasy books she read growing up. She wasn't sure what to do. Who was she gonna meet anyways? The owner of said land? She was as confused as she had ever been in her whole entire life. Maybe she should have just stayed inside and none of this would have happened. Her grandma's probably worrying about her.. She hopes that it will be over soon so she could go back and live life normally. However, part of Clementine is very curious and wants to explore this new found location she just stumbled upon.
As her and Claude walked up to this palace, like he said previously, She was at a loss for words. How could all this be in the forest when all she could see was trees. Maybe she just went deeper in the forest then she realised. Besides that all of the people that she passed given her weird looks and then would whisper to whom ever was near Them so she felt like something was wrong. Something had to be wrong, right? So that brings her to her current situation.
"Dont speak unless youre spoken to alright? You're not from here so don't open your mouth " Claude said as he began to open the door with the other guard that led into a humongous room. That kicked Clementine's sour attitude towards Claude out the window.. She walked,her dress flowing freely as she tried to stay calm..that was until she gazed her eyes from her feet all the way forwards to see people dressed like royalty- royalty?! That made her heart quicken. She guessed a king and queen..and prince? She only glanced at him with her ocean eyes before looking away shyly.. Claude said not to speak unless spoken to so she would just bite her tongue for now.. she would have her hands behind the back of her dress, fumbling with her fingers so she wouldn't be a stuttering mess..even though she figured she would be anyway.