Ugh! Finally got this chapter finished! Sorry, I'm suffering from serious case of Senioritus, which not only affects your school performance, but EVERYTHING else. I never want to do anything anymore, not even write. (Plus, mix in a little writer's block and you get a hopeless case) DX
So nobody knew what the story reference was last chapter. I didn't think anyone would, but I just thought I'd ask. The reference was the name "Lord Grenville". It's from the book/movies The Scarlet Pimpernel. It's the name of a guy that holds the ball where several key elements to the plot occur. It always talks about the Lord Grenville's ball. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. It's amazing! (Even though it starts out sort of boring) :D
Anyways, I digress. On with the story!
Amelia watched Rapunzel disappear into the crowd before turning back to the lord. Lord Grenville was his name. He was tall and dressed up as what looked like a rooster. Or maybe it was a turkey. No, it's definitely a rooster, Amelia decided after studying it for a moment.
He caught her staring at him and he shuffled his feet a bit. Amelia decided to be the one to break the ice, since he clearly was not the one for the job. "So, how do you know the princess?" she asked as warmly as possible.
He cleared his throat. "Erm, I uh, met her some time ago... in a meeting."
His voice seemed a little familiar, but Amelia couldn't quite place it. "Oh, so you are into politics?" she inquired.
"No," Lord Grenville replied, "The national guard is my area of expertise."
"Really? What do you do?"
Lord Grenville was silent for a moment. "I'm uh... the chief advisor. It's nothing very important. Just uh... small affairs such as which guards to post where and uh..." he trailed off. "How do you know the princess?" he asked, abruptly changing the subject.
Amelia could feel herself blush a bit from beneath her mask. "I'm her maid," she replied, partially ashamed, "But she insisted that I be a guest tonight."
"Interesting." He said nothing more.
They stood in silence for a moment. Amelia glanced around the room. She had to spend the evening with this man? He seemed so... uncomfortable. What was wrong with him? Always fiddling with his hands or shuffling his feet. Yet, even though Amelia would normally be bothered by such behavior, with him, she found it almost appealing.
Some music began playing and several people began dancing. Lord Grenville cleared his throat. "Would you like to dance?" he asked, "I mean- I suppose we should, since we'll be spending the night and everyone else is and maybe-"
Amelia gave a small smile of amusement. He was rambler. Those could be cute sometimes. She extended a hand towards him. "I'd be delighted," she replied sweetly, cutting him off.
Lord Grenville looked at her hand for a moment, then took it and led her to the dance floor. He seemed a bit unsure about how to properly hold her while dancing so Amelia carefully helped him position himself properly. "You don't do this much, do you?" she asked. It was not asked in a sneering way, she was just amused.
He shook his head. "Not really," he said, "I'm usually too busy to do anything like this." He paused. "I'm surprised you know how to do this... being a maid and all."
"Yes, well," Amelia shrugged, "I'm actually good friends with the princess's dancing tutor and he's taught me some steps. It's not so hard. You'll get it."
Lord Grenville nodded. After a moment, he took the liberty of twirling her. Amelia smiled at him once back in her place. "See? You're getting the hang of it already."
Rapunzel was was hardly paying attention to exactly what she was doing at the moment. She was too busy watching the peacock and the rooster dance on the other side of the room.
"What are you so distracted with tonight?" Eugene asked after she had stepped on his foot for the fifth time since the dance had started.
"What? I'm not distracted," Rapunzel said, pulling her eyes away from the couple.
"So you're just stepping on me on purpose?" Eugene asked, "Because I know that your dancing tutor would not tolerate the princess to be such a sloppy dancer."
Rapunzel smirked and looked up at him. "Maybe your feet are just in the way of my dancing steps."
"And what steps are those? The Stomp-On-Everything-In-Your-Path steps?"
But Rapunzel was already looking back at Levi and Amelia and did not hear Eugene's quip. The corners of her mouth turned up as she watched the couple smiling at each other. Amelia giggled at something Levi said, which only made Rapunzel's smile broaden.
"What are you looking at?" Eugene asked as Rapunzel's foot fell down on his own once again.
Rapunzel looked away again. "All the costumes," she lied, "They're all so interesting. It's a good thing I was able to talk my parents into making this a masquerade ball."
"Easy for you to say. You're not dressed as a cow." Rapunzel smirked and gave a him a quick kiss. Eugene grinned stupidly.
"But that's OK, right? Because only cows get a kiss," Rapunzel said.
"Right," Eugene said, still grinning.
As the evening continued on, Lord Grenville became a little less uncomfortable. Amelia liked that. He was actually a very entertaining person to be around. He was gracious, noble, intelligent, and he had a nice laugh that Amelia could not resist giggling along with.
She liked him. A lot actually. Should she say something? What if he wasn't interested in her that way? Or worse, what if he was engaged... or married?
They were outside, alone at the moment. She looked away from the view of the garden and up at him as he stood by her side. "So," she said as casually as possible, "Do you... live in Corona?"
"Yes," he replied, "Not too far from here, actually."
"Really?" Amelia nodded, exaggerating her interest a bit, "And uh, do you live with family?"
"Huh? Oh, no I don't. I live alone," he said.
"Really?" Amelia said again, this time deeply interested, "No wife?"
He sniffed, it sounded like he was disguising a chuckle. "Nope. No wife."
"You don't have a fiancee or anything though, right?"
The question had come before she could stop it. She looked away from him, embarrassed and hoping he wouldn't catch on to her. If he did notice what she was doing, he didn't acknowledge it.
"Actually," he said slowly, "I don't. I haven't had any girl in my life for... a long time."
Amelia's heart leapt, but she contained herself. She could tell something was troubling him about what he had just said. "I understand," she said, "I haven't either... It would be nice though if I could just meet the right person. But I always meet the boring ones or the drunk ones or the rude ones."
Lord Grenville nodded, staring at the ground. He took a deep breath. "The last time I had a girl in my life... it didn't end well."
Amelia turned her gaze to sympathy. He was clearly sore about whatever event he was referring to. "I'm sorry," she said, "What happened?" Did I really just ask that? "I mean, you don't have to say! I didn't mean to pry. I was just-"
Lord Grenville gave a little shrug. "No, it's fine," he said softly, "Her name was Claire. I was barely 17 years old, she was 16. Well, to make a long story short, I was going to ask her to marry me, but the night before I intended to do that, she suddenly disappeared. She was found almost a year later, dead. She had been kidnapped by a gang of thieves and forced to marry one of them. Then the thieves' hideout was discovered... no one there was left alive."
Amelia clasped a hand to her mouth. "Oh, I'm so sorry."
Lord Grenville nodded slightly and bit his lip. "I didn't have much to live for in my hometown after that. So I came here to Corona and established myself where I am now."
"As chief advisor of the National Guard?"
Lord Grenville glanced at her, then quickly looked away. "Uh... yeah," he muttered.
They stood in silence for a moment. Amelia hated accidentally coming across touchy subjects, she preferred a happy, not so solemn atmosphere. Amelia took a deep breath and then let it out slowly. "I'm going to get something to drink. Do you want something?" she asked, mainly as an excuse to change the mood.
"Sure," he said, looking at her again, "In fact, I'll come with you."
Levi followed Amelia back into the ballroom and towards the refreshment table. He could not believe that he had just told her about Claire. He had barely thought about her in years, much less told anyone the entire story. It was always too painful to think about her, but with Amelia... he felt calm and at peace. It wasn't as hard to think about her as usual. He was glad he had finally told someone about it.
Amelia stopped at the table and poured herself and Levi a cup of punch. She held one out to him, then froze. "I'm sorry, I didn't ask if you preferred the wine or punch," she said.
"Punch is fine," Levi replied, "No... hangover tomorrow, you know."
Amelia smiled and handed him the cup. Levi smiled back and took a sip. Nothing could ruin this evening. Nothing at all. She was beautiful, she was accepting him, he was enjoying himself, he had danced without trampling over anyone's feet. Nope, nothing in the world could ruin this evening.
Except for that. Levi turned and faced Eugene. Had Rapunzel not told him that Amelia didn't know who he really was? Levi swallowed. "Who's Levi?" he asked, hoping Eugene would catch on.
So much for that hope. "I'm sorry, you must be mistaking me for someone else," Levi said.
Eugene removed his spotted hat and mask then peered closely at Levi. "What are you trying to pull?" he asked, "No one else is dressed up like a rooster here."
"Pardon me, sir," Amelia addressed Eugene, stepping forward and bowing her head respectfully, "But what did you call him?"
Eugene looked at her, confused. "Levi," Eugene responded, "Didn't you-"
Rapunzel suddenly appeared out of nowhere, tugging on Eugene's sleeve. "Uh, Eugene," she said hastily, "Can I speak with you for a moment?"
But Rapunzel's attempted rescue came too late. Amelia had placed a hand on Levi's mask and pulled it off. All four of them froze. Rapunzel and Levi stunned that their secret was out, and Eugene and Amelia just stunned.
"Levi?" Amelia said monotonously.
"Eugene, I need to see you now!" Rapunzel insisted pulling her fiancee away.
Levi looked hesitantly at Amelia. The corners of her mouth were turned down and she was breathing deeply. "You... you lied to me."
Levi swallowed. "Alright, I did," he admitted, "But, I can explain-"
Amelia raised an eyebrow, still fuming. Levi turned away from her. "I was- I was..." he stuttered, "I've been trying to see you since the other day. I wasn't sure how I left you feeling after... well you know."
"I'll tell you exactly how I feel now."
There was something in her tone that told Levi he had to turn around that instant. It was a good thing he did because he saw a slice of pie hurtling towards him. He ducked just in time and it flew over his head. Then he heard a splat. Levi turned and saw the future prince consort standing nearby, purple juice and thick cream oozing down his face.
He slowly wiped it away and looked towards the source. Amelia was staring at him, eyes wide, then she pointed at Levi accusingly. Levi shook his head innocently as Eugene walked towards them. Eugene removed a cupcake from a tray and smashed it into Levi's face.
Levi cooly wiped the crumbs and frosting off his nose then casually picked up another slice of pie and faced Eugene and Amelia again. Amelia was now staring at him with wide eyes. "He did it," she said, pointing to Eugene.
Levi nodded. "Thank you." Then he smashed it into Amelia's face. "But you started it!"
Amelia glared at him, then went and picked up a pastry.
Nearby, Rapunzel was chatting with a Lord. "I must confess, princess," he was saying, "Regular parties bore me, but I know I'll get a big bang out of this one."
Suddenly a pastry smashed into the side of his face. Rapunzel gasped. "Oh, Sir Franklin!"
He wiped the pastry off his face and waved his hand, trying to remove the excess. However, it flew off and hit Rapunzel right in the face. She squeaked and wiped it out of her eyes.
Levi laughed at Amelia. "You missed me!" he declared.
"Oh yeah?" Amelia glowered. She raised her other hand and pushed a full pie into his face. He immediately stopped laughing and spit some cream out of his mouth.
Levi and Amelia glared at each other for a moment then both scrambled towards the table. Sir Franklin rushed over to them. "Who threw that!" he demanded.
"She did!" Levi said, pointing to Amelia.
"Stop it!" Rapunzel cried, running up behind Levi and Amelia as Sir Franklin picked up a slice of pie, "Do you hear me? Stop-" Her cry was cut off as Sir Franklin's pie hit her square in the face after Amelia had ducked.
Rapunzel frowned and picked up a cupcake.
Nearby, a young, round faced aristocrat had been fortunate enough to find a lady who responded positively to his flirting. He was currently in the middle of telling a story about a time he had escaped some quicksand when a cupcake suddenly hit the lady in the face. The round faced aristocrat frowned and looked towards the source, only to be met with a slice of pie hitting his face.
"Ugh! Who did this?" his lady friend cried out, wiping cream off her face.
"I'll find out," he said nobly.
He stomped over to the refreshments table. "What's the idea? Who's interfering with my romance!" he demanded. He spotted Levi and picked up a pie, preparing to throw it.
"Wait a minute, please!" Rapunzel said desperately.
Sir Franklin smashed a pastry into her face. "We aim to please," he said.
Everyone picked up a new dish to throw.
"Stop, stop!" Eugene interrupted, stepping in the middle, "This has gone far enough!"
Everyone around him glanced at each other, nodded, then threw whatever was in their hand at Eugene. Eugene was hit by every single one right in the face. He picked up a slice of pie and held it up to Levi, threateningly.
The real chief advisor of the National Guard had been lucky enough to receive an invitation to the princess's engagement party. Of course, the women always wanted to hear his stories of his time when he was just a lowly soldier. He had so many adventure stories to tell. At the moment, he was telling one of his favorites; when he was alone and surrounded by bandits.
"I raised my crossbow and fired!" he said dramatically. Suddenly a slice of pie hit him in the face. The two women beside him gasped. Not wanting to have to stop telling his story, he ignored the strange event and continued.
"Naturally, the bandits halted, but I was out of arrows," he said, wiping away the pie, "Then I turned to my right and there coming towards me was a-" a cupcake hit his face.
He insisted on continuing. "...another bandit," he said, again wiping the food from his face, "But did he scare me? No, not a bit..." he didn't notice one of the women get pelted with a cupcake and stumble away. He still continued, "Then I turned again and came face to face with-"
A pie hit him in the face. "...another bandit. Then just at that moment I heard another sound to my left. The bandit that I thought I had killed was only wounded!"
The other woman also got hit with a pie and she staggered away. The chief agent of the National Guard was now alone, telling his story, but he didn't know since he had so much cream, frosting, and crumbs in his eyes.
Despite this, he desired to continue. "So there I was. One bandit in front of me, one to my left, and one to my right. Nothing, but my trusty knife and my bare fist, but then I was about-"
A pastry hit him in the face. He wiped it away in exasperation. He gave up and decided to cut his story short. "Oh! Never had I been through such a fight!"
"Somebody get me a pie!" Amelia cried, slipping over some cream on the floor as she rushed towards the table.
She steadied herself, but both Levi and Eugene smashed their pies into her face simultaneously. Amelia squealed.
More attendants of the ball were getting hit. Rapunzel stomped up to Eugene who was picking up a pie. He looked at her, covered in food and laughed. "Funny, is it?" Rapunzel huffed.
"Yeah-" Rapunzel hit his hand and the pie he had been holding flew back into his face.
The food fight continued. All manners of treats and delicacies were flying through the air, always hitting someone. THe ballroom was a mess, but still the food fight went on.
"Who threw that pie!" a man demanded, approaching the table. Everyone turned, ready to throw something, but suddenly froze.
It was the king... with pie sliding down his beard. And he did not look happy.
How was that? I had to throw in a little classic Three Stooges food fight :P