The carriage tilted on its wheels, but managed to stay upright. Cassandra did everything she could not to empty the contents of her stomach on her father sitting across from her. What kind of person did they have driving? She wasn't one to complain, but as she was flung across the carriage, the only thing she could think was that the person needed a proper driving lesson.
She lifted the curtain to look at the village they entered. As soon as she looked out, she wished she hadn't. What kind of man was it that she would be marrying? The small shacks along the road were dilapidated. The roofs were sagging and some had holes the size of a large dog in them. How did the people survive with the chill creeping into their homes? How did they keep dry when rain pelted through the gaps marring their roofs? The state of the villagers' homes was not her only concern. Another thing she worried about were the children that ran around in dirty clothing, their cheeks sunken in because of malnourishment.
Cassandra prayed that the man wasn't some obese fool, who let his people starve while eating the finest meats. There was one thing she couldn't stand: a selfish greedy man. She had met many of those men in her day, and if it wasn't for the fact that she needed to leave as soon as she could, then she would have been wed to one.
Her father had many men lined up for her. Men with money, men with looks, men with both, but Cassandra needed to leave the home she loved so much. Living amongst people who treated you different because of rumors, didn't have an appeal. People had done everything in their power to make Cassandra's life miserable. So, she packed up her trunks, hopped in the carriage, and let her father take her to this sad little village.
She had heard many things about the man who lived here. They were rumors, however, and Cassandra had learned the hard way not to listen to rumors, no matter how close to the truth they may be. Sure, she had heard that the man was a grouch. That he never left his manor, but that couldn't be true right? Surely, he needed to leave sometime and survey his lands. To see what the villagers needed. She bit her lip in thought, knowing that she was judging the man before their meeting; however, she could not stop her mind from drawing conclusions. From the look of the villagers, she could believe that they had been neglected.
She was tempted to lift the drape once more, but she was afraid of what she might see. One thing she would work on, after fixing up the village, would be fixing the roads. Never had she bumped her head on the top of a carriage before. Rubbing the top of her head, she glared at the roof. This was not the way she had planned on starting her trip. She had thought that visiting the village wouldn't be a life threatening adventure. Yearning flowed through her body. Why couldn't this place be more like her home? The streets of London were much smoother than this rough, dirt road.
The carriage began to stop and she let out a relieved breath. Waiting until someone gave her a hand down, she stepped out with the air of a queen. It was her right. Being so close to the queen, she had been considered a princess for a long while. No, she did not hold the title of princess, it was simply her name. When people saw her walk by they would stop and admire her before saying, "Good morrow, Princess."
It was the reason she was here; too many people knew whom she was back home, and too many people believed the rumors that spread throughout the town.
The carriage door closed with a bang, causing her to jump and snap out of her own thoughts. Her curly blonde hair, which had once been tamed and secured at the nape of her neck, had become undone. She tried pushing it out of her face, but the unruly curls had a mind of their own and simply bounced back into place. Attempting to once more make herself presentable, she seized a handful and struggled to pin it in place. With a quiet huff of indignation, she realized that nothing she did would make it bend to her will.
She searched her surrounding, making her blue eyes widen. There was one thing she was sure of now; her future husband wasn't a greedy man. If anything, he took better care of the villagers than he did his own manor. She admitted to herself that she liked that trait, but there were things the man could have done that cost almost no money.
He could have come outside and pulled the weeds out of what should have been a garden. He could have picked up the mess that littered his front lawn. There were many things that he could have done to make his manor more welcoming. She came to the conclusion he was lazy. In the back of her mind, she knew that she was jumping to conclusions too fast, but she needed to think badly of this man.
|Julianne Hough||as Cassandra Ashmore|
|Adam Levine||as Colin Moore|
|Jake Gyllenhaal||as Peirce|
|Matt Barr||as James 'The Duke'|
|Josh Dallas||as Prince William|
|Jackson Rathbone||as Ramsey|
|Cole Sprouse||as Cooper (young Cole Sprouse)|
|Robert Downey Jr.||as King Alistar|
|Jennifer Love Hewitt||as Queen Margret|
|Sean Penn||as Lord Ashmore|
|Sarah Jessica Parker||as Lady Ashmore|