Book 1 of the “untouched” Trilogy
Alone
CHAPTER
1
I
Sing me a song,
Of a lass that is gone,
Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul, she sailed on a day,
Over the sea to Skye.
Billow and breeze, islands and seas.
Mountains of rain and sun.
All that was good,
All that was fair,
All that was me, is gone.
Sing me a song,
Of a lass that is gone,
Say, could that lass be I?
Merry of soul, she sailed on a day,
Over the sea to Skye.
The halls were bustling with maids and servants, bumping into each other with hurried, “Excuse me!” ‘s and “It’s fine.”
But when my my soft golden slippers brushed the polished floor of the hallway, it parted like the Red Sea. No mutters, just curtsying and bowing and low voices saying softly, “Your Majesty Princess Crestienne of France.”
I have and will always hate that condescending title. It put me in a place I found odious, hateful. So controlled was my every move, the way I held me head, my back, the way my feet touched the ground. They told me what I had to say, how to say it, told me how to think. Told me how to love.
I was not sorry when I let that life go.
“Crestienne! Your father calls for you to go on a hunt with him and your mother,” my father’s footman, Stephanus, called out to me as he wove his through the hall. He stopped, bowing hastily, and led me to the stairs.
“Thank you for telling me, Stephanus,” I say as I walk smoothly, back straight, up the stairs to my bedchamber doors. But as soon as the door closes I bend my aching back and lie down on the bed.
About two hours later, I drag myself out the door and down to the stables, where my father, King Phillipe IV, stands next to his striking bay roan gelding, Pierre.
“Ah, my love,” he says, and smiles softly as he gestures for one of the grooms to hand me my black mare, Liliana, her gold-painted saddle and tight crossover bridle adorned with precious stones and painted patterns. Even her uncomfortable snaffle bit is adorned with small figures of gold.
I smile reluctantly at him and let the footman help me onto Liliana.
As soon as I am on her I feel as if I can never get off; I feel that I was created to ride, to gently direct an animal to our freedom. She loves to carry me, only me, as I feel her stand straighter and taller when my feet have touched the stirrup irons. She has never done that to anyone else, but she does it to me always. My hands grip the adorned reins so hard my knuckles turn white.
I catch sight of my mére, my mother, on her bay roan gelding, Velantíff, almost identical to Pierre.
I have lived with my mére for all fourteen years of my life, and yet her beauty is always breathtaking.
Dark curls frame her heart-shaped face,with cheeks that are perpetually blushed and an expression that is always bright and smiling. Her skin is milky white, and though she is in her late thirties, no trace or sign that she is anything above nineteen can be found on her perfect skin. Small blue eyes light up her face.
Her riding dress, most women in this country would die for. Purple satin with blue sashes stream like rivers down the silky green fabric, stopped short by a high, tight corset on her waist. Then the dress splits evenly to let her sit comfortably in the saddle. She wears riding tights underneath the petticoats.
I wish I was like her, calm and happy and wise.
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