• I woke up in the middle of the night knowing that something was not right. It wasn’t based off of the sounds of clashing swords and cannons being fired, no, it was the sound of people climbing the side of the Quake. I knew that Leon and my father were shouting orders on the deck above. I also knew that I couldn’t stay down here while my home was under attack. I slipped into a blue gown and ran down the hall to the stairs. Frigid December wind hit me, immediately chilling me to the bone. Knights from Allastasia were fighting the people I had grown up around, the pirates from the Quake. I soon spotted my father and Leon. I ran to where they were standing. Two knights grabbed me when I was half way towards them. I screamed as I was dragged off of my father’s ship. The knights kidnapped me from my home with Leon’s proposal still fresh in my mind.

    After a week of riding, the moment I had always feared had come. I followed the knights in to Queen Elizabeth’s throne room. I took a deep breath and waited. The young ladies of court entered the room. The knights kneeled and I rolled my eyes. There was suddenly chatter amongst the ladies of court as the Queen came in. I looked at the Queen and sighed. She was wearing an emerald green gown with puffed sleeves and pearls covering her corset and sleeves, her hair was pulled up into an elaborate style. You would never see something like what she was wearing on the ship. I watched her closely though. She sat and a knight grabbed me by the shoulder and led me to where she was sitting.
    “Thank the lord that you all returned safely with Lady Chantee,” the Queen said.
    “My lady, Lady Chantee is in fact dead, but Lady Oceana lived on the ship for nine months, we suspect that she had a child on the ship. We suspect that this is the ladies child.” The knight nearest me said. The Queen stood.
    “Lady Oceana would never,” She snapped.
    “Lord Feo was with her.” The knight replied. The Queen considered this for a few and sat back down.
    “Lyra, Caylie lead the lady to the Zea chamber.” The Queen said to two of the ladies. The two girls quickly walked to me and took me away from the knights. I was glad to be away from the knights, but I was worried about what these girls were about to do to me. The two girls opened a door and went into the room. I hesitated and followed. One of the girls was drawing a bath, while the other girl was sorting through gowns. I studied both girls for a minute. One had a soft amber color hair and soft green eyes. The other girl had golden bronze hair and brown eyes. The one with amber hair walked over towards me and helped me out of my dress. She then saw a silver necklace that I was wearing. She smiled before taking it off of me. The girl with the golden bronze hair helped me out of my under clothes and led me to the bath. I washed quickly. The girl with the amber hair helped me into my under clothes, and then the two girls slid a sapphire gown over my head. The girl with the amber hair stepped in front of me as the other girl tied me into a corset.
    “My name is Lyra,” The girl with the amber hair said. The other girl finished tying the corset and stood next to Lyra.
    “I’m Caylie,” she said. They both looked me up and down for a few minutes before each grabbing me by an arm. The two girls dragged me back to the throne room. They curtsied and let go of my arms.
    “Welcome, Lady Isabella, Countess of Zea,” The Queen said standing. I shuddered. I couldn’t be a Countess. The other girls in the court were glaring at me. I suddenly collapsed. Caylie and Lyra were right there next to me.
    “My lady, I think that Lady Isabella needs to rest, she’s been riding for a week without much sleep.” Lyra said. The Queen nodded and Caylie helped me up. Lyra and Caylie lead me back to the Zea chamber. Caylie untied the corset and handed me a night gown. I changed and crawled into the bed. I quickly fell asleep.
    “Lady Isabella, the queen wishes to see you,” Lyra said waking me up the next morning. She quickly helped me into a midnight blue dress with full skirts. She then tied the corset, and led me to the throne room. Lyra curtsied and left me. I walked into the throne room and waited. The Queen was sitting in her throne wearing a pale pink gown laced with simple gems. She stood when I entered.
    “Isabella,” The Queen started but the doors were thrown open. Leon was fighting to get out of the grip of two of the knights.
    “Let go of me,” He was yelling. He hadn’t seen me yet.
    “My Lady,” One of the knights said. “This pirate was found in the village terrorizing children. I say we hang him.”
    “No,” I said in my head.
    “Why not Isabella,” The Queen asked me. I realized that I must have actually said no out loud.
    “He’s a friend, and if you hang him I’ll run.” I whispered.
    “Let the man go,” The Queen said quietly. Leon looked up and saw me. His green eyes pierced my thoughts. The knights let go of Leon and he ran out of the throne room.
    “You are dismissed,” The Queen snapped at the knights. They quickly left the room.
    “Betrothed I assume,” She whispered to me after they were gone.
    “Not agreed yet, but he had proposed.” I said. The Queen nodded.
    “I seem to have forgotten why I called you here, for now, you are dismissed.” The Queen said smiling. I left the throne room and ran to find Leon. I spotted him in the court yard.
    “Leon, I have to speak with you,” I said running to him.
    “What happened?” He asked. I looked at his eyes and sighed. He was crying.
    “The attack to the Quake, knights grabbed me when I was running towards you. They claim that I’m a daughter of Oceana.” I said crying. He wrapped his arms around me.
    “They sunk the Quake,” he whispered. I looked up at him and frowned. Leon stood, took my hand, and bowed kissing my hand. He left me sitting on a bench alone crying.