A More Complicated Fairytal
By Emily Witt
Release day: April 02, 2016
Most of the young women in Nardowyn swoon over Crown Prince Felipe, but Caitlin has never seen the appeal. When she catches his eye during a royal festival, she has little choice but to begrudgingly go along with his attempts to form a friendship between them, and soon learns that there is more to him than meets the eye.
When Felipe goes to war to avenge the death of his brother, Cait enlists as a nurse to be nearer to him. Here, Cait’s connection to the prince will put her in more danger than she can imagine. But Cait’s never been one to take the easy way out, so if her life is going to turn into some sort of fairy tale, with a prince and a happily ever after, it’s no surprise it will be a more complicated one.
Emily has been writing since the age of six, but only recently developed the skill of finishing the projects that she starts (and even then, only sometimes). She is currently studying for a Masters in Museum and Heritage Studies and works at the National Library of Australia. In her spare time she can be found watching Doctor Who or curled up on the couch with a hot chocolate and a good book.
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Thanks to the very awesome K. L. Schwengel – http://klschwengel.com
Towards the middle of the afternoon, they came across a wooden stage with a banner across the top bearing the words ‘Alfonso the Magnificent, Grand Illusionist’. On the stage, a man was describing the great feats of illusion that the crowds would witness when the show started in ten minutes. Neither Cait nor Ava had ever seen a magic show before, so they bought tickets and found themselves good seats.
For the next three-quarters of an hour, they witnessed mind-reading, card tricks and even a woman being sawn in half! Even Cait had been on the edge of her seat for that finale.
When Alfonso the Magnificent had taken his final bows and disappeared from the stage, Cait turned to Ava. “What did you think?” she asked.
“That was spectacular!” Ava replied. “How do you think he did that last one?”
“There were two women in the box,” said a hooded man who had been sitting on Cait’s other side. “That’s the only way it could be done.”
“Do you think so?” Ava leaned across Cait a little to speak to the man and in doing so, recognised the face under the hood. She sat back again, quickly. “Cait, it’s -”
The cloaked man held up a finger to quickly quiet her. “Please don’t give me away. I’m trying to avoid my guards at the moment.”
He lowered his hood and Cait realised why Ava had been so surprised. She looked at Ava. “Well, won’t Ginny and Bridget be jealous?” She looked back to Prince Felipe with a wry smile. “Our younger sisters are big fans of yours, your Highness. We tried telling them it was unlikely any of us would see you here, but they kept their hopes up. I’m sure they’re going to be frightfully upset about this.”
“Well, I suppose you were right to discourage them. I’m not supposed to be spending my time at magic shows designed to entertain the masses. In fact, I believe I should be dining with the Princess Royal of Brellalan at this very moment.”
“Then why aren’t you?”
Cait didn’t mean to ask such a direct – and perhaps slightly accusatory – question, not to the prince, but it was out of her mouth before she could remind herself who she was talking to.
The prince did not seem too perturbed, though. “Have you ever had to spend time with women who have been raised only to aspire to one day marry a prince?”
“I can’t say that I have, Your Highness.”
“Then count yourself lucky. I would much rather spend my time at magic shows in the company of such charming ladies as you and your friend, than dining with any of them.”
As he spoke the words, a yell was heard behind them, and the prince looked up with a start. Someone shouted “There!” and a group of red-uniformed men of the palace guard pointed towards Cait, Ava and Prince Felipe.
Glancing back at Cait and Ava, the prince quickly stood and replaced his hood over his head. “It’s been lovely,” he said with a nod, and then leapt across three benches and off in the opposite direction to the guards. They shouted again and ran after him, but Cait saw him quickly blend in with the crowds and silently wished the guards luck. They were probably going to need it.