Chapter 7: Roses Are Red, Swans Are White, While One has Thorns, They Both Put up a Fight
"Oh sorry!" Odette exclaimed as she nearly ran into Veronica in the hallway of the castle.
"My mistake!" Veronica bowed gracefully to her.
"Well don't you look…nice." Odette said staring back at the girl, who wore a slimming bright red dress, long sleeved off the shoulders, huging her curves & much nicer then the every-day maiden worn-out red dress she wore.
"I was supposed to sneak downstairs without you seeing me…" Veronica almost said to herself.
"Oh why?" Odette questioned with suspicion.
"Oh, Derek is preparing a large dinner for you tonight…he has a surprise…just don't tell him I told you…and I'd put your best dress on if I were you!" Veronica said smiling.
"This is my best dress." She looked down at her favorite white dress, with aqua green trimming.
"Oh my mistake…but do try to look your best…trust me, it's a good surprise!" Veronica said, as her black cat slithered behind her as she walked away.
"Well Puffin, it seems talking to Derek alone tonight wont happen…I'm going to go fix my hair." She said before returning to her quarters
"Bromley she'll love it. It's the perfect idea!" Derek said gushing to his friend, as the dinner maids set the table.
"It is Derek, but…hey Derek, good idea picking up this maiden in the woods!" Bromely chuckled as something caught his eye.
Derek turned around to see Veronica, dressed in an open neck red dress, with a plunging neckline, and a single rose pinning back half of her raven hair. She did look nice…but where was Odette?
"I see you dressed up for the evening?" Derek asked.
"Yes, I hope you don't mind. It'll probably be one of my last few nights at this castle, and well I thought to dress nice on this occasion." She smiled.
"Where did you acquire such an excuiset dress?" Rodgers said entering the room.
"It was my mothers, my father left with most of our fortune, but she remained with this. She passed away a long time ago, and my father always said he'd return with twice as much as we had…he never did…that's why I have to leave." She admitted.
"Well don't you need a valiant knight to keep you out of harms way from all those wolves and such?" Bromley hinted.
"Maybe, but she doesn't need a damsel in distress to worry about Bromley." Rodgers quick witted back.
"Well I'm glad you could join us. Where is Odette?" Derek smiled back.
"I believe in her quarters preparing for dinner, she should be down any moment." Veronica smiled knowingly.
"Good." He said, satisfied.
"Derek?" Odette entered the room, looking not too much in difference, but proven to have let her hair set more precisely, and glowing more vibrantly.
"Odette, you're here! Let us eat dinner!" Derek said.
"What is all this about?" Odette said sitting down accompanied by the others.
"Odette, it's been so long since I first laid eyes on you and yet it seems three years have gone by. For our third anniversary I would love to let you enjoy a night you couldn't; a night of a ball where I can really honor the woman who I gave my everlasting oath of love to." Derek smiled.
"Oh Derek you shouldn't!" Odette recalled how she'd missed that ball, and suffered the consequences. Now it seemed a ball that could do it over would make their sour history replace itself with a strong and loyal one. How could she have been jealous at all of Veronica?
"Oh but I would...of course I'm getting read of the beauty pageant part my mother so kindly added. Veronica would you like to attend?" Derek asked.
"I would love to…but I'm afraid I may have left by then. You really have been wonderful to me here, but I must continue my quest." She said crossing her arms to make her neckline plunge that much more prominently.
"You're a brave girl for adventuring the world in search of your father's glory." Rodgers added, giving eye to Derek to appreciate the girl a little more for what she'd done.
"Yes, and you've helped us be rid of so many troubles and thieves amongst our kingdom. How could we possibly repay you?" Derek asked nobly.
"Don't worry, you've done enough." She smiled at him modestly, while Odette was reminded again why she disliked Veronica, although she was hesitant to get the "jealousies" again as Puffin put it.
"Well then to a celebratory dinner!" Rodgers put up his cup as a toast and they ate.
"Goodnight Odette, I'm glad you enjoyed it all." Derek smiled at his wife.
"I did Derek, just promise me you won't leave me here for a while now that all the evil is gone." Odette smiled up at him.
"I promise Odette." He gave her a kiss on the head, and she went to her chambers.
Derek was none the less satisfied with the day.
"Ohh!" Veronica bumped into him as he turned to walk away. She almost tripped and he caught her in time.
"Are you okay?" He asked steadying her.
"Yes, I'm fine thank you." She said as she looked up to him. Her brown eyes reminded him of someone, someone he couldn't put his finger on.
"Who's your father again?" He asked.
"Well he went by his last name, Hearttrob. I'm hoping to retake whatever he left in this world, I'm quite sure now he's deceased."
"So you're alone?"
"It seems so…it does get lonely sometimes, but I'll make it work. I'll need to if I ever plan on rekindling his name; many people thought he was silly for leaving my mother and I an pursuing his goals." She smiled at him, masking the devious within.
"I see…well thank you for you're help while you were here. I've never met a woman quite like you." He said, as in all honestly most women didn't know how to handle a bow nor bravery the way she did. Meanwhile, Veronica noticed the lighting, the way the shadows loomed, and a small light was tinkering in the hall way across.
"And thank you for your hospitality." She placed a small kiss on his cheek, diverted her eyes and left for her chambers.
Although taken by the sudden kiss, Derek saw it as nothing more then a small thank you, and did not let it cloud his mind much. He noticed the rose in her hair had fallen in the rush for her chambers, and he picked it up, and left to place it in water in a vase along the window sill…no point in wasting a simple rose he thought naive to his actions.
All the while, Odette had her door open from the hall way and had seen the shadows, as one received a kiss on the cheek from the other, and she felt herself grow mad. She didn't hate Veronica, but maybe she had to be put slightly back in her place…nothing a simple talk couldn't fix…and maybe if it worked out correctly they would end up being friends.