3: A Dashing Rescue(r)

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It was Thursday now, three days since Sophie had her first real conversation with Prince Fitz and Biana bought her new dresses. It had been very overwhelming, so much happening in one day, but nonetheless, it was fun overall. She found that she loved Biana's company, and that her friendship was of the sort that she had never experienced before. It was nice to talk to someone her age about the different things going on. It was relaxing, even though she was serving the princess and her child. Her time with Biana was a time to be herself and just be a twenty year old girl instead of a twenty year old caretaker. Of course, she assisted Biana when she could, but she didn't need to mother her, she needed to be her friend. It was refreshing.

Prince Fitz cleaning was quite scandalous, but also an act of kindness that warmed her heart. She had to admit that she enjoyed the light, witty conversation they shared, as it was challenging and meaningful, things she had severely been lacking of the late due to the triplets only being eight, therefore not of full communication tact and capacity. Her conversation with Biana was greatly valued and appreciated and adored, but speaking with Fitz was on a completely different level. It wasn't a pleasant conversation, it was like sparring with words, trying to outsmart one another, which was good in its own merit. It was of friendly competition and not malice, and Sophie enjoyed the challenge, even though it resulted in the other maids spreading the news of Sophie talking with the crowned prince like wildfire.

It was the highlight of servant gossip right now, and the other maids were treating Sophie as if though she were the plague, when really, it was them plagued with jealousy. Most servant ladies never got within five feet of the prince, much less spoken to him, and they considered him a "dreamboat". Whatever that meant. They were especially envious of her dresses, which they had never worn themselves, and often told Sophie that she looked hideous or wretched or some other word to cancel out all of the good things Biana had said about her wearing them. Sophie felt so awful these past few days that at one point, she changed into her previous uniform, and Biana had caught her. She had been very disappointed in Sophie, especially since Sophie wouldn't tell her the real reason why she changed. After that, Sophie decided to just tough it out and wear the nice dresses she suddenly felt ugly in, as she did not want to disrespect Biana.

Since she got the dresses, the other maids started to push her around, "accidentally" spilling water dirtied from the laundry onto her, or knocking her plate at dinner so that her food fell on the ground and she would have to eat whatever was left over in the pot, which was sometimes nothing at all. Those were the times where Sophie relied Calla's kindness.

Calla was a sweet little old woman who ran a tight ship, but made delicious food, so much so that she was more than worthy to be Everglen's head chef. Everyone loved her, though some only for her cooking, and - save for Dex, Alden, Della, and more recently, Biana - was Sophie's only friend at the palace. She was kind and understanding, and helped Sophie and Dex take care of the triplets properly, as the two thirteen year olds had no idea how to raise a baby, much less three. The only sad thing about their relationship was that they rarely got to see one another, as the kitchen never stopped running while the royal family was awake, and Sophie was a full time ladies maid and the primary caretaker of three troublesome kids! It was a great loss for Sophie, but she enjoyed sitting with Calla at mealtimes, even though she mostly spent them trying to eat and keep the triplets under control. She would take what she could get.

Sophie thought about this as she made her way to Alden's office, but paused when she noticed that there were six maids following her, which wasn't so strange until three of them circled around in front of her. Before she knew it, the six girls surrounded her, and they didn't look happy. The leader, a girl with mousy brown hair and steely blue eyes crossed her arms angrily, "Hello, Sophie."

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