It had been over an hour before Jasper gave up. Her Highness had been left in her chambers to grieve more while the butler alerted each instructor and maid that the Princess would not be getting up... again.
"Very well then." Jasper sighed defeatedly as he shut the curtain the way he had opened it. "Caswell needs a walking." He spoke and attached the leash to her dog's collar before leaving.
Upon the click of the door finally shutting, the Princess buried her face into her fluffy pink pillow and sobbed. She had cried so much, in fact, she was worried she ruined the silken pillowcase. She sniffled upon hearing the door unlock and open and assumed Jasper was back already.
"Oh dear." A familiar voice said, and the Princess immediately felt ashamed for everything. The way she was dressed, how flushed her face was from crying, but her thoughts were soon interrupted. "Pardon my intrusion, Your Highness, but your brother was expecting you in the dining hall an hour ago, was he not? I was expecting you too."
The Princess uttered no response as she turned to lie on her back, sniffling once again. She narrowed her russet-colored eyes at the intruder running his long pale fingers over just about everything she owned.
He picked up a gold-plated hairbrush and furrowed his dark eyebrows before putting it back down. "Come, Princess, is it really so terrible that-"
"Yes. It is." The Princess sat up and watched him, brows furrowed, scowl apparent.
All was silent in the Princess' chambers before Reaver approached her bed, heeled boots clicking against the floor. Slowly and hesitantly, he sat on the mattress, never breaking eye contact. "Vanessa," He spoke almost sincerely, almost pleadingly, before swallowing whatever it was he had planned to say. "Well, I suppose I'll have to tell you stories about yours truly. There are many, you see." His thin lips twisted into his signature smirk.
"Yes, there are a lot." Vanessa lay down on her side to face him, brown eyes glittering with intrigue. "But I don't mind. I adore hearing about you, Reaver."
Reaver smiled and reached out to caress her cheek, her warm and smooth skin never ceasing to amaze him. He quickly pulled back, though. He watched as the Princess blinked for a few moments before squirming under the heavy blankets, lying back down. He sighed and peeled the pink blankets back. "Are you not planning on waking up at all?"
The Princess pulled the blankets over her face, though Reaver could hear a small giggle. He pulled the covers off of her. "Such improper behavior for a Princess." He sneered.
Vanessa giggled and sat up, a genuine smile written on her lips for the first time in months. "If you think taunting me is going to make me get up, you're wrong!"
Reaver thought for a moment and narrowed his eyes at her. "You're thinking of something. Something in particular." He crossed his arms. "Well? Spit it out."
The Princess looked down and covered her face for a moment in an attempt to hide her rising blush. She fiddled with the chestnut-colored braid that fell around her shoulder. "At the ball," She spoke, "Save a dance for me." She looked back up at him, locking eye contact.
Reaver couldn't help but feel shocked at her confidence. Did his exterior show it? No, of course not. His smirk never subsided. "Of course, as I always do."
"No, the waltz." Vanessa persisted. "I know you usually accompany my brother at his throne or go through multiple partners during the waltz, but this year, I would very much like to be your only partner." Her eyes seemed to beg.
Reaver stared her down and the corner of his lips twitched, almost as if he wanted to smile. "Only if you get up." He spoke.