1: Cruel Intentions

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Evilla told the whole truth and nothing but the truth; except when she was lying, which was most of the time.

Honesty was for the idle plebeians among her. For starry-eyed do-gooders who yearned for nothing more to than to live pathetic lives of wholesomeness.

Honesty was for fools, content with their lowly lots.

Not her.

She had ambition. She had drive.

She had a plan.

And as the queen's most trusted maidservant, deception was the only policy.

Queen Adelia lay sprawled across the cream, velvet divan in her royal bedchamber. Evilla perched beside her, massaging her aching back while contemplating the swiftest way to bring her plan into action.

But speed would not do in this case. She must bide her time until the child was born.

Queen Adelia's brunette hair was matted to her sweating forehead; her silk, peach robes clung to her skin. 

"I do hope the king won't be disappointed," she confided, her soft voice barely more than a whisper. "He has his heart set on a son."

"I hope so too, your Highness," said Evilla, running her long, tapered fingers along the queen's lower back.

She hoped nothing of the sort, of course. Her entire plan hinged on this baby being a girl.

"I know this must be hard for you," said the queen. "Losing your own child so suddenly, and so soon after receiving the dreadful news of your husband." Adelia's voice quivered. "I'm just grateful to have you here with me," she said, laying a delicate hand on her maid's lap. "You always have a home here."

Evilla gave a long, shuddering sigh. "Your kindness and devotion ease my wounded heart," she said, cackling loudly inside her head.

Her husband's shipwrecked death was a fabricated masterpiece!

And her baby was quite safe, hidden away inside the royal palace.

Queen Adelia nudged her damp hair off her gleaming forehead. "I don't know how you can wear that in this sweltering heat," she said, gesturing to Evilla's forest green, velour dress. 

The long sleeves crept down her pale hands finishing at a sharp point on her middle finger. A row of green buttons snaked up her front, running all the way up to the high, stiff collar which clutched at her throat, intensifying the deep red of her hair that was drawn up into an exquisite bun.

Evilla's crimson lips parted in a knowing smile. "Oh," she said, for once telling the terrible truth, "I never feel the heat."

There was a rap on the door of the queen's bedchamber and the king entered followed by a plump woman, draped in a flowing, multicolored robe.

The woman (whose name was a great secret, though she went by the name of Sage) was famed throughout the kingdom of Aguellar for her ability to discern the gender and lifespan of a child with the touch of a hand.

King Malcus went to stand by the magnificent arched windows, barely sparing a glance at the woman's hands pressing into the queen's swollen belly; she was merely a formality.

There was no question the child would be a boy.

The stargazers had unanimously declared it. He was to have a son, born under the sign of Leo. 

Born to lead. 

Born to rule.

The palace, set high on the hills, was a majestic ivory castle with many gleaming turrets stretching to the sky, resembling a glistening white crown.

From this great height, a panoramic view of Aguellar stretched out before the king.

Rolling hills, blanketed with lush green grass spread out as far as the eye could see. An abundance of white, plump sheep, and stables upon stables of royal horses studded the landscape like a glorious mosaic.

The King soaked it all in with well earned pleasure. He'd been a mere boy when he'd been crowned king after his father, King Malcus the first, had died valiantly in The Battle of Vastiggor.

His advisers has padded his scrawny chest and shoulders, elevated his shoes so much that he could barely keep his balance, and forced him to grow a beard the very moment his chin had sprouted its first hair.

Now his shoulders had long since filled out, his beard was trim and regal, and at just twenty-seven years of age he had achieved greatness.

His kingdom had prospered. His people were at ease. His young bride was about to give birth to their firstborn son.

His father would be proud of him.

But as time ticked tortuously on and the woman's hands had yet to move an inch, King Malcus began to feel impatient.

He tapped his toe on the floor, to the beat of his increasing heart rate, waiting for her to confirm what he already knew.

He waited.

And waited.

He had an appointment with the Treasury Secretary at noon. This gender business was only supposed to take a few minutes.

"Well?" he blurted out, after what felt like the passing of a century.

Sage made no hurry to speak. She laid her hands flat on the queen's swollen belly.

Evilla held the queen's hand comfortingly, never once releasing her spellbinding grip.

Powerful waves surged through the queen, penetrating skin to skin. Rushing with the blast of a corkscrew through her veins to her precious womb. Coiling around the unborn child with spike-tipped barbs, concealing her plan and thwarting the woman's insight.

Sage tilted her head, perplexed, and remained that way for several confusing moments. Then, she plunged her hands deep into the center of the queen's stomach.

Adelia let out a bone-racked scream.

(Author's note: I'm so excited to be posting my debut wattpad novel!! I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. Thank you so much for voting and commenting!

For anyone that didn't read the description Lizabella is an original fairy tale, and Lizabella The Musical is the original musical that is running alongside this story.

All songs are original creations copyrighted to J.D. Jacobs. 

Songs are currently in the making by incredibly talented singers here on wattpad. Anyone who wants to be part of Lizabella The Musical is welcome to join us!

I need choirs, musicians, a rock star king, a swooning prince, there's still some spots for female singers but they're running out fast!

And anyone who wants to be involved in the music videos or has any other ideas, just give me a shout. Can't wait to hear from you! :D)

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