The tall, once elegant woman was laying in her bed, a coughing fit erupted from her chest.
"Madeline, are you alright?" a short, dark-haired man asked the woman, Madeline.
"My time has almost come, Henry," Madeline replied.
"Don't say that, I've known you all of my life, you are my role-model," Henry replied.
"Oh Henry," the frail Madeline replied,"You know as well as I do that I'm old and sick, I will die soon, and I want to pick my successor."
"Very well then," Henry replied.
Madeline showed Henry a small scrap of yellowed paper.
"Are you sure," he gasped.
"Yes, I am quite sure," she replied, "Damian will be the new leader."
Damian jumped across the low brick wall, footsteps pounding behind him.
"You there," a pale man with bright red hair called, "Stop!"
Needless to say, Damian didn't stop, he ran as fast as he could. He saw a small booth with spices, silk, and foreign items. He jumped over a rack of spices and crouched behind them.
"What do you think you're doing here?" the most beautiful woman Damian had ever seen asked.
"Hiding, unless you're to stupid to see, those men are chasing me," Damian replied.
"Arrogant man." the woman muttered.
"Thanks," Damian replied sarcastically, Anyway what's your name?"
"Lydia," the woman answered.
Lydia had help Damian get out of her stand, without Grant seeing him. She was the most beautiful person Damian had ever seen, and he found himself wanting to see her again.
"May I see you again?" Damian asked.
"What, why would you like to see me, you're a prince, and I'm just a peasant," she replied.
"I want to see you because you're beautiful," Daimian replied.
"That's the only reason why?" she asked.
"Yes," he replied.
Lydia stood there, shocked, she didn't know what to think.
"So, can we meet again?" Damian asked yet again.
"No," Lydia replied.
"Why not?" Damian asked.
"Because nothing would ever come of it," she replied, "And you're already engaged."
"Yeah well I'm not married yet." Damian answered.
"But you will be and that's my point," she replied.
"But I'm still not yet," he replied.
Lydia shook her head.
"Y-you just don't get it," she whispered.
Damian was confused, did this mean she didn't like him?
Lydia rolled her eyes she liked the prince no matter how arrogant, self-centered, or rude he was, and that surprised her.
Penelope was left to pick up the pieces.
She felt like that's all she ever did, after one person, then another.
First Ferdinand, then Timothy, and now Damian. She was who everyone talked about. She was called a "Soiled Dove" by the high-society.
She walked silently into her room, where all of the jewels, fancy dresses, and ribbons were and sighed, all gifts from former beaus.
She quickly grabbed a ribbon and tied her hair back. That was the end of this life, she would go to a cousin's, to get away from all of her bad history.
She picked up a small notecard, with the name of her cousin, Timothy. He had always been nice to her, she remembered with a slight smile crossing her lips.
She grabbed two bags, one big and one small, and started stuffing everything she could into them, she had to get to her friend's cousin's wagon, he was going to take her to Timothy's house.
She grabbed as many ribbons, dresses, and as much jewlery would fit into the bags, but unfortunatly she couldn't take it all.
- - - -
The wagon bounced as it rattled down the dirt road.
Penelope held on, she was covered in mud, dirt, and grime.
I shouldn't have trusted Kena, her cousin is a maniac, she thought.
The wagon stopped and the driver called back to her, "this is my last stop," the driver called.
Penelope looked at her surroundings, the only buildings in sight were a handful of houses and a couple of taverns, and a lot of wagons, hundreds of wagons.