Remember how yesterday I said that halfway through writing my Story A Day for the day, it suddenly became back story for a character in A More Complicated Fairytale? Well, now you get to see how. I have more to say, but I’m going to leave the for the end. Apologies for any typos, I was typing on my tablet and it’s auto-correct is not perfect. If you missed yesterday’s story where Sir Aidan was introduced, you can read it here (though you’ll have to scroll down a bit; yesterday was a lots-of-things-to-post day)
Of all the captains in the Nardowyn army, it was just Aidan’s luck that he would be assigned to the prince when he arrived. He was the last person Aidan had wanted to ever see. Price Felipe’s reputation preceded him; it was well-known that he had always been a ladies’ man and everyone knew about the other young woman he invited to the Palace regularly, in spite of his marriage seven months prior.
They were all made to line up to meet him. Aidan forced what he hoped was some kind of smile as the prince reached him in the line.
“Your Highness,” he said with a curt nod.
“Felipe, please. Or ‘Captain’, I suppose, if you really want a title.”
“Very well, Captain.”
Aidan thought he was making it obvious that he wasn’t interested in chatting, but the prince was determined to anyway. “I see you have an accent neither Nardowyn nor Gellit, Lieutenant. What drew you into our war?”
“Escaping a life I’ve left behind, Captain.”
The prince raised an eyebrow. “Sounds intriguing. You’ll have to tell me more sometime.”
He moved further down the line after that, leaving Aidan to groan inwardly. Once the prince had met everyone and had been shown to his quarters, the rest of them were dismissed and that was when Aidan discovered that luck really wasn’t on his side, as he was going to be sharing a room with the prince as well. It seemed the universe was determined for them to spend time together.
Later, he was trying to read when the prince interrupted him. “You’re from Aufaron, aren’t you, Lieutenant?”
“What made you leave?”
“I was a Knight in the King’s Court,” he said, and watched as the prince sat up straighter.
“You would have known my wife, then.”
“Yes. She was the reason I left, in fact.”
“Oh? Did you find her irritating as I have? ”
Aidan bristled. “It was more to do with the fact that you can’t perform your job properly when you’ve fallen in love with the one person you’ve been tasked with protecting.”
There was silence as the Prince slowly laid himself back down on his bed. “Oh.”
“Yes,” Aidan agreed. “Oh.”
“I suppose I’m the last person you wanted to see here.”
“You could say that.”
Aidan stared at the bottom of the bunk above him. Prince Felipe seemed to be doing the same and the silence stretched between them. Their other two roommates fidgeted, not knowing how to dissipate the tension in the air.
Finally, Aidan spoke. “I think I can gather from the way you spoke of her, but I have to ask regardless. Is she happy?”
Prince Felipe did not answer immediately, but shifted his position on his bed as he considered his response. “You would be well aware that mine and Maria’s marriage was not for love but because it was considered a good idea to officially unite our two kingdoms. I… Maria and I do not have much in common. I don’t know how to talk to her. I… suppose she is lonely.”
“Well, I suppose that’s not really a problem when you’re still able to send for whichever woman you want whenever you want.” Aidan supposed he shouldn’t be talking like this to the prince, but during his tow with Princess Maria, they had always engaged in friendly banter or verbal sparring and now it was difficult for him to remember to hold his tongue.
The prince sat up quite straightand swung his feet over the side of the bedas though he were going to get up and confront Aidan properly. “What do you mean by that?” he asked, his voice suddenly low and a touch threatening.
“Oh, we’ve all heard about the woman who you summon to the palace once a week. Is Maria not good enough?”
“Caitlin is not my mistress. Do people honestly think that?” He looked disgusted at the thought.
“It’s what I’ve heard.” Aidan cast a glance at the other two men they were room with to see if they would agree with him, but they both looked away awkwardly. Not surprising, really.
“I… wish I could say something to make this less unpleasant,” the prince said after a long silence. “I feel we have started off on the wrong foot. I offended you with how described Princess Maria and I apologise.”
Aidan did not respond immediately. He knew that Maria’s marriage to Prince Felipe had been political more than anything, and that the Prince could not be entirely blamed for not being able to find anything is common with a woman he probably barely knew. But in spite of being able to think through this logic, it was still difficult for Aidan to accept that the woman he loved was stuck in a less-than-perfect marriage.
Finally, he nodded. “Apology accepted,” he said. “I can’t guarantee that I’ll like you… but I’ll try.”
Prince Felipe grinned. “That works for me.”
Aidan didn’t answer, but contemplated the young, boyish face of the prince for a moment and nodded. It wouldn’t be easy, but he’d try like he said, if for no other reason than that he imagined it would be what Princess Maria would expect.
This does feel a tad weird. Is if fan fiction if they’re my own characters to begin with? Also, I should be writing the actual story rather than little tidbits like this.
Anyway, so, um, yeah, Felipe is married? Don’t think that’s ever come up before, amirite? I think you knew that he met Cait at a ball which was held to find him a wife, but you probably all assumed everything with him and Cait happened before any wife was chosen. Not the case! But don’t worry. Lots of Things Happen, and he gets to be with Cait eventually. I have to say, though, it felt a bit weird writing Felipe from the POV of someone other than Cait. And it is also a bit strange now having a character so attached to Princess Maria; before it was just “Felipe finds her annoying, and therefore I find her annoying.” I’ll see if I actually work hints that Felipe has had this conversation into the AMCF ms, or whether I just leave it as an outtake. It’s fun, either way! In my head, Felipe and Aidan end up becoming BFFs in spite of, well, everything. More tomorrow!