"Go on ahead and keep these four as well. My parents and anyone else in the building would find it weird if you didn't have more than one dress," I said as I set the dresses down on a chair. "You can go behind that curtain and go on ahead and change into the dress. I need to go tell the stylists that one of my special friends needs a makeover. I'll be right back. And go on ahead and choose a pair of shoes from that shelf over there," I said as I pointed across the room and then went out the door and locked it to make sure no one would go in and find Firranda in my mother's dress.
Firranda paused a second, then began putting on the dress. The soft fabric felt strange, almost alien against her calloused skin. She looked down at herself, admiring the dress. She selected some flat, comfortable shoes from the closet and practiced walking around. A few trips later, she reminded herself to be particularily careful; it would seem strange if she couldn't walk with ease in fancy clothing. Left with nothing else to do, Firranda began to pace, starting to worry about whether their scheme would work.
I ran back from talking to the stylists and burst through the closet door. "They agreed to do it and are wanting to do it right now!" I exclaimed as I ran over to Firranda and hugged her. "I think our plan might actually work!"
Firranda squeezed the prince back, beginning to feel full of joy and hope. "Oh, I hope it does!" she answered. "But...you'll still like me? After I'm all royal-fied?"
I pulled back a little so that I could look Firranda straight in the eyes. I took a strand of her hair and twirled it around my finger. "Honey, I'll be in love with you no matter what happens." I whispered as I put my forehead against hers and brought her closer to me.
FIrranda giggled, and pecked the prince on the cheek. "Easy there, tiger. Crazy scheme first, romance later. Let's not get ahead of outselves." Still, she was beginning to take him seriously when he said things like that. Did she feel the same way? She told herself to wait until it was safe to let herself feel like that, but around him...she couldn't help it..
"So, let's go get you a new look!" I exclaimed as I took Firranda's hand and ran with her down the hall. As we skidded around a corner, I slipped on the rug and almost fell, laughing the whole time. We went into the stylist room and I picked Firranda up, swung her around, and put her in the chair. The stylists walked in and gave me a smile and immediately got to work.
Firranda giggled at the prince's clumsiness. When he was alone with her, he seemd more human, more relatable. She gasped with surprise and delight when he lifted her up. Hey, she told herself, every girl wants a knight in shining armor! The styling felt kind of uncomfortable at first, but she got used to it.
I couldn't believe what Firranda looked like afterwards. She looked so different that I could hardly believe it. I bent down before her, took her hand, and kissed it, then putting it to my head and calling her "madam".
A little confused, Firranda pulled her hand back. "What's that all about? Until we fool them into thinking I'm royal, I'm still just a servant. Let's not get ahead of ourselves..." It was almost disturbing to her to be treated like this...but she would have to get used to it. "By the way, don't you have about twenty damsels you need take care of? I don't think they'd take this news too lightly."
I got up real quick, a shocked look on my face. "I'm...very sorry, Firranda. I should've known not to do that. That was very inappropriate of me. I'll be going on my way now to let the girls know that they are no longer needed here," I said with a tight smile on my face, flustered and angry at myself for what I had done. I went way too far, and I should've known better. I opened the door with my head down and walked out.
As he walked out, Firranda whispered "It's ok..." even though he was gone. He seemed pretty sensitive, not a trait she was used to seeing around the other servants. Wait, wouldn't they notice if she was gone? And would they recognize her? The prince may be able to stick her in a dress and call her royal, but he couldn't tamper with people's memories. Until she figured that out, she thought, she would just try to stay away from the servants.
I walked down the hallway, not even looking up at anyone as they passed by. I was so ashamed of myself. I don't know what had gotten into me. I felt so terrible for making Firranda feel awknward. I was making things worse, not better.
My mom caught me as I was almost to the guest room. "Where have you been? The girls have been demanding for you to come back. You've been gone for an awfully long time!" she exclaimed with her hands on her hips and a strict look upon her face.
I bowed and said, "Madam, I have found the girl I would like to marry. I was off talking with her, getting to know her better. Her name is Darline, and she's the daughter of the Gertmans. I hope you approve?" I asked as I stood back up.
The queen gave me a thoughtful look and gave me a slight nod. "Very well. I'd like to meet her at dinner tonight. Now, you need to go take care of those girls before anything else. Understood? They aren't going to be very happy upon hearing this," she said sternly.
"Yes, madam," I said as I bowed one more time and walked into the guest room, not wanting to deal with these squealing girls. I gave a sigh and told them they would no longer be needed here as none of them were chosen to be my wife. As they gave their shouts and arguments of disapproval, I didn't pay attention as I thought about how I was going to get Firranda ready for dinner tonight.
Firranda was trying to practice being royal by herself, mimicking things she had seen rich people do. She just about mastered walking in a dress and fancy shoes, even though it was still somewhat painful. She tried seeing how long she could hold a fake smile, and finding that it wasn't very long at all, she practiced that until her face started to hurt. Remembering that she didn't want anyone to recognize her, she tried to adopt a different voice with a bit of an accent. Many servants were from other places, so that wasn't hard to pick up. Firranda couldn't help giggling when she heard the girls getting upset upstairs. Serves them right, she thought nastilly.
Feeling slightly awknward, I walked back into the stylist room and hung my head, not looking at Firranda. "I have sent the girls away. They should no longer bother you and push you around, I would assume. I am really sorry about what I did earlier. I wasn't thinking, and I feel absolutely terrible about it," I mumbled as I sat down in a chair with my head in my hands.
FIrranda waved him off, a bit more annoyed now. "It's fine, it's fine. Please just realize that...well, my whole life is about to change in a matter of hours. I'm not exactly in the best mood..." She began to pace, letteing herself blow off some steam. "But, really? How can you guarantee I won't get harassed by those girls? If anything, sending them away just made them more pi.ssed off at me."
"We have guards that won't let anyone in unless if they have permission from the whole family, including me. Also, we have guards that follow us everywhere when we go out, even though that's hardly ever," I said as I kicked at the ground. "And I know you're upset, and I'm really sorry that this is so stressful for you."
"Well...I shouldn't complain. If this doesn't fall through, it'll be worth a little discomfort in the short run." Firrandaplaced her hand on the prince's shoulder and looked him in the eye. He really wansn't so bad, she thought, once you got to know him. "I'm sorry for acting like a bit.ch to you, I hope we can have a fresh start."
I looked Firranda in the eye with adoration, my heart filled with love and joy. I leaned over and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Of course, my love," I said with a smile as I offered her my arm. "Shall we go learn some etiquette before the big dinner tonight? My butler knows all about that, seeing as he was the one that taught me when I was young and wouldn't let me be til I got it straight."
Firranda groaned inwardly, but said "Of course!" to the prince. She was afraid to learn how much she didn't know. But...the prince would understand, she told herself. After all, she had been just a servant an hour ago. She took his arm, smiling at him adoringly.