Princess Jahline

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2009 Written by Danila Paul

She pulled her knees closer to her chest and hugged them tighter. She desperately wanted to move and to go to see what was happening, but she had been ordered to stay put till it was all over. She hoped, with all her heart that her family would be okay. What was she saying? There was no way they'd survive; but she had to survive. She was heir to the throne and if the entire royal family passed away, she'd still go on and continue the legacy. Her breath caught in her throat as she heard footsteps. They were soon followed by voices. Although they were deep, they were also muffled. She could, however, make out that the two men – as she presumed them to be – were arguing. Over what? She had no idea. Footsteps were heard once again, but this time they were becoming more distanced. She released the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. She closed her eyes as she sighed in relief. She was still safe and still hidden. But how long would she have to stay here? She'd only been ordered to hide and stay hidden; stay alive. Maybe she could take a peek to see what was happening. No! She had to stay put till the coast was clear. But how long would that be? She wasn't given much time to debate on her options, though. The square block separating her from the kitchen and her hiding spot was suddenly moved. She involuntarily screamed. A pair of large masculine hands reached for her. She moved as far back as she could go. The hands retreated.

“Princess Jahline, please come out.”

She stayed put. The voice sounded genuine enough but if there's one thing she learned from past experiences is nothing – and no one – is as it seems.

“Please your majesty. I am Graven, a friend of your mother's.”

“And how am I to know you are not telling a lie?” She asked in her most authoritative tone.

There was no answer. Instead, the man, Graven, simple stuck his hand back into her hiding spot. This time with an object. It was a silver band, with an oval shaped ruby surrounded by small, square diamonds; the family ring.

“Where did you get that?” She asked. Her facade had faded and her curiosity was genuine.

“It was from Gracie.” He withdrew his hand once again. “She gave it to me after she married King Andele. She said it symbolized that I was close to the royal family. Now please hurry and come with me, your majesty. I will get you to a safe place.” She hesitated. “You must hurry before they return.”

Trusting her instincts, she crawled out of her safe haven. She dusted off her cream colored, silk dress – which all seemed in vain – before she looked up at her supposed savior. He was a big, broad shouldered man, with sandy blonde hair and dazzling, ocean blue eyes. He was in need of a shave, as far as she could tell.

“Are you alright, princess.” She nodded. He stared at her for a moment, as if shocked to see her, but his shock quickly passed. “Follow me. Stay low and keep quiet.”

From the kitchen they manoeuvered their way to the private dining hall (where the family ate on some occasions). He went to the large dining table and then crawled underneath it. Jahline wasn't sure if she was supposed to follow his lead or not. But once again, she had no time to ponder on a decision because Graven had resurfaced. Graven then went to the cabinet filled with expensive kitchen ware and, noticing she was still by the table, motioned for her to come. She followed and was a bit shocked to see he had disappeared behind the cabinet. The sound of footsteps reached her ears. They seemed to be getting closer. She quickly followed. There was an opening in the wall behind the cabinet. Why hadn't she known this? And more importantly, why did Graven know about it? The sound of the wall closing behind her snapped her out of her thoughts. It was dark now and she couldn't see Graven. She was afraid now. Had this all been a trap? Had Graven been working for them and, by foolishly following him, had she been captured?

“Princess, over here.” Graven appeared with a lighted torch in his hands. It looked small compared to his large hands.

So this meant that Graven could be trusted, didn't it? Leaving her no time to question his motives, Graven began moving forward. The tunnel seemed to drag on forever and the silence was a bit unnerving.

“So, who exactly are you?” Jahline asked, trying to make conversation.

“A friend of your mother's.” He replied impassively.

“Why has she never mentioned you?”

He didn't reply for a while. “ I'm afraid I can't answer that. Her reasons were her reasons.”

They soon reached the end of the tunnel. Graven kicked hard at the bottom right corner of the stone wall in front of them, causing the princess to jump slightly, and the barrier swung open. It was dark outside. How long had she been hiding? She looked around; they were behind the palace. She noticed Graven was – once again – far ahead and hurriedly followed him. She stopped and stared back at the palace. Was she saying good-bye forever?

“You must not look back, princess.” She hadn't noticed Graven come towards her. “Come on.”

She reluctantly followed, saying good-bye to her home of ten years.

Princess Jahline Celia Ramair , heiress to the throne of Aradelle , woke up in a small tent. How did she end up there? She had no idea. She uncovered her self and looked down to see she was wearing a white cotton shirt. It certainly wasn't hers, so where had she gotten it? And who had put it on her? Thoughts of the invasion filled her mind. Tears began to slide down her cheeks as she remembered the family she'd lost. Her entire family was gone. So she was alone? The image of Graven suddenly floated to her mind. Had Graven brought her here and had he undressed her?

Her thoughts were interrupted as a young girl, about sixteen, entered the tent. She was pretty but looked tough. Her light brown hair was in a messy bun and she was dressed in shorts and a boy's shirt.

“Glad to see you're awake, princess.” She said. Her voice had a tough edge to it; if that was possible. “Graven was afraid you'd be out cold! I told him you'd be okay though. You seem like a tough girl.”

Jahline stared at the girl silently, unsure of what to say.

Oh! Where are my manners? I'm Jada. Nice to meet you.” She stretched her hand to Jahline. She half-heartedly shook it.

“I'm Jahline Ramair. I'm delighted to make your acquaintance.” Jada chuckled. “Could you please tell me where I am?”

“You're in Asokka. You've probably never heard of it. It's a small village, really.” Jada replied.

“Is Graven from Asokka?”

“Well, I don't really know, but he's been living here for quite a while now.”

Jahline attempted to get up and found that she could not.

“You're probably still dazed. You'll be feeling normal in a while.” Jada explained. Jahline gave her a bewildered look. “The village is kind of a secret and so you had to be dazed before you could enter.” Jada noticed Jahline was about to ask a question and quickly interrupted. “It's best you stay there for a while.”

 

Jahline remained silent for a while, contemplating her situation. Then, “When do I get to go home.”

 

Jada's cheerful expression disappeared and was replaced by one of sympathy. “I'm sorry princess, but this is your home now.”

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