The young Lady of the house was a sophisticated girl, with a proper upbringing required of a Noble child. She had been taught well, courtesy of the many nannies that had accompanied her through her short life. She knew the correct cutlery to use when dining, understood the rules of engagement when meeting other Nobles, and she had been taught through her life that it was her duty to follow the path that had been set out for her.
Yet, it was not a surprise to see that Arabella had no true life experience. Her father had avidly hidden her away from the Were society, and thus she had little knowledge of how life truly worked outside of her four-walled, yet majestic, prison.
When the girl was 11 winters of age, her father received a letter. This letter had not been brought by the normal messenger that she was used to seeing at 9 o’clock on the dot. Oh no, this messenger arrived with great fanfare. Accompanied by at least 10 men on horseback, wearing the identifiable clothing of the Royal guards, Arabella watched from afar as the sophisticated young man bearing the royal decree spoke with her father. She could not hear what they were saying, standing too far as she held tightly onto her mother’s hand like the good girl she had been taught to be. When the stranger had finished his conversation with her father, he turned to face Arabella and her mother and swept low into a deep bow. She thought this odd, yet did not comment as she was only a child and so could not dare to understand the strange ways of adults.
It was not until later that evening that she was told what happened.
The maids directed the girl into her father’s study at his request, where the bright-eyed, blonde-haired girl saw the Duke waiting for her. The stony-faced man was sat primely behind his desk on his large chair, staring at her expectantly with his brown eyes that resembled her own so closely. She liked his chair, it was plush and warm, and she’d had many a fun time spinning around on it until she grew dizzy.
“Arabella, please come and take a seat,” her father ordered with his stern voice. He was a man of few words, but his only child knew that he still loved her in his own way. The young girl curtseyed, as expected of her, as she drew closer to the chair that stood in front of his desk.
“Hello Father, is everything alright?” She asked with child-like curiosity as she hopped onto the seat and shuffled backwards.
“We’ve had news today that I have been wanting to hear for a very long time.” Her father started, clearing his throat as he shuffled the papers on his desk, “My dear child, the King has accepted our proposal, and you are to be betrothed to Prince Alaric.”
Arabella’s eyes widened – this was quite a shock! She had no idea that her father had been planning this – yet did her mother know? That must have been why the strange man had come to her house earlier that day!
As she thought of the stranger and the horsemen that had accompanied him, a realisation came to her. It was one that excited her immensely, and one that filled her with unbridled joy – that she would get to leave her house to live in the Palace!
She had always dreamed of visiting the Palace of Vasilias, the home to the Royal Family of the Moon Kingdom. She wanted to get lost within its walls, to browse its rare books within its library, and to meet all the interesting people that lived and worked there. She might even be able to meet up with some of her pen-pals, if she were lucky.
The shuffling of papers drew her attention back to the room, and the brown gaze of her father. She remembered that she had yet to respond to him, and breathlessly replied, “oh Father, that sounds wonderful! So, I would be a real Queen?”
The Duke nodded, sending a quick smile to his only child that lit up his ambitious features, “Yes, my child. Although you mustn’t fret about it all now, as it is still a good few years away. You are to continue your lessons here until you have shifted into your Were form for the first time, and only then will you meet with His Royal Highness.”
“If I must Father, but oh!" She exclaimed, brown eyes sparkling in excitement, "I can’t wait until I can visit the Palace, I’ve heard such beautiful things from you and Mother.”
Her child-like fantasy was rather adorable, and her father gazed upon her with restrained joy. His child was going to become the Queen of the Moon Kingdom, and his greatest desires were finally coming true. Even though she was not a male that would be able to continue on his line, there was no greater position for a she-were.