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Run From the King

Chapter 5

Eliza is dragged down towards the dungeons. She catches glimpses of her old home, the palace. There's no trace of her family but the staff have gathered around to catch a glimpse of the captured princess. Many of the staff bow to her still, even as she's carried by guards.
Others look at her in wonderment. Like they were seeing a ghost. The young princess was all grown up. She was no longer in her royal gowns. It was odd to see. Even more odd was watching the guards struggle to contain Eliza.

"JO! PUT ME DOWN NOW!"

The guards voice is weak.

"I'm sorry your highness but we have to follow orders.."

The guardsmen try their best to wrangle the girl struggling and making a fuss.

"This is the House of Capell! The man who commands you is not a Capell! He is the son of Baroff!"

"-She's right!" Someone from the guardsmen yells out from the back.

"-Yeah!" Shouts another from the kitchen staff standing at the north end of the hall with others.

"Baroff! King of slaves! A tyrant!"

"Here, here!" Cheer more of the staff as the guardsmen begin to break in step and slow down, some letting go of the princess.

Eliza steadies herself as she stands and looks around at the people now forming around her.

She raises her fist in the air as she looks to all that have gathered. Some even looking down from the overlooking hallways above. Eliza's voice echoes within the castle.

"The House of Capell will never share blood with the darkness that taints the Reign of King Baroff!"

The staff hollers and cheers at her words, causing the walls to reverberate.

"This is the House of Capell! This is where my voice will be loud and heard!"

The staff erupt in cheers and throw handkerchiefs in the air. Many swinging their arms in the air. Eliza's strength grows. Her shoulders are poised, her voice is strong and demanding. She is back home and much has changed. She had voiced these words before, over and over in her head. Over and over she wrote words, speeches, ideas for her kingdom. Her mind was consumed for so long about her homeland. She takes another breath in to start before being interrupted suddenly.

"ENOUGH!"

Adrian hollers in a loud, deep voice. The staff quickly quiet down and many flee to their duties. Adrian looks directly at Eliza. He stands from an overlooking hall down at his sister.

"This may be your house. But you will not start a coup in our own castle and threaten the alliance between our kingdoms. Less I have you jailed for treason!"

"You wouldn't dare."

Eliza steps forward. Daring Adrian.

Adrian clenches his fists.

"I DON'T CARE IF YOU HAVE TO DRAG HER, TAKE HER TO THE DUNGEONS NOW!"

Eliza doesn't break her glare at Adrian. The guardsmen hesitate to move.

"I SAID-"

"Eliza?"

A voice echoes from the end of the hall. Followed by heels of shoes clicking against the marble floor. The Queen walks slowly as she nears Eliza. She's beautiful, her skin was flawless, her lips, deep and red like her hair. Her eyes matched Eliza's and Adrian's blue ones.

"Dear God.."

The guardsmen bow to her as she approaches them.

"Sweetheart is that really you?"

The Queen smiles, letting out a breath.

"My sweet child, come to me."

She holds out her arms to embrace Eliza. Eliza looks over her mother. She can't believe she's in front of her. Her voice is as warm as it always had been. Why had she been so afraid to see her most of all?

"Mother.."

Eliza steps towards her mother and wraps her arms around her tight. Her mother holds in a cry as she pulls Eliza up in front of her and takes a look at her daughter.

"Oh dear...you've grown so much you beautiful girl."

Her cheeks, rosy, the Queen was glowing and as radiant as ever.

"I've missed you so much."

"Words cannot express how much I've missed you my child."

The Queen cradles her daughter's cheek lovingly.

"Where were you? Why did you leave us, Elizabeth?"

"Mother I.."

Before Eliza can answer, her father interjects.

"-Because she's a coward."

The King made his way to the room. His chest was wide, his eyes steely gray, giving Eliza chills. He towered over everyone in the room. His sleek black hair was pulled away and tied back, making the bones in his face more stark and all the more frightening.

"Everyone. Leave us."

His voice is powerful. The entire staff and guardsmen who had been witnessing the scene scurried out shutting all the doors behind them. Eliza, the King, Queen and Adrian who had now joined them on the lower level remained silent until they' were alone.

Eliza remains silent as her father makes his way to her. Her mother stands in front of her blocking his path.

"Don't. Leave her be, Gilbert."

The Queen holds out her hand to his chest. The King moves her from his path and Adrian holds his mother out of the way as the King steps up to Eliza. She immediately kneels as he approaches her and lowers her head to him.

"Stand before me."

He commands. His voice makes her knees feel weak. She's terrified. He's never in her like spoken to her this way. Like a traitor, like a criminal. She slowly stands and keeps her head low.

"Face me. Look into the eyes of your King when I speak to you!"

The Queen stomps her heel.

"Gilbert!"

She warns.

Eliza raises her eyes to her father. He raises his right hand and slaps her with the back of his hand with so much force she falls to the ground.

"No!"

The Queen screams out.

"You are not my child."

The King announces,

"You are a traitor to this family, to this kingdom-"

The Queen pulls away from Adrian's grasp and runs to Eliza's aide.

"GILBERT DON'T!"

The Queen yells with exasperated breath.

"You will not stay here."

The King looks directly at Eliza.

"Your fate lies in the hands of the one you betrayed. You will mot stay in my palace. You will stay in the Palace of Baroff. They will do with you as they please. Until you have received their forgiveness, I will not tolerate you being on my land."

The Queen curses at the King as she holds onto her daughter tightly.

"Adrian. Escort her out. Tell Klaus to be ready within the hour. I want her out of my sight."

The King looks over at the Queen.

"Say your goodbyes and pull yourself together. We have guests arriving at 8."

The King turns and walks away leaving them all. Leaving Eliza speechless. Even Adrian is taken aback. Eliza has always been his father's favorite. She truly was his little princess. Never had he struck her before.

"She's your child Gilbert!"

The Queen calls out to him before he opens the door to leave. He doesn't turn. He hesitates for a moment but pulls the door open just the next. The Queen scoffs.

"Are you alright sweetheart?"

Eliza holds her burning cheek and nods.

"I'm fine mother."

The Queen touches her thumb to Eliza's lip, making her wince.

"You're bleeding."

Eliza shakes her head and pulls away, humiliated for some reason.

"Mother please."

Eliza looks over at Adrian and holds out her wrists defeated. Doing so, her mother notices a ring on her finger.

"What is that?"

She grabs Eliza's hand and looks at the ring suspiciously. She tries to touch it but reverts her hand back suddenly in pain.

"It burns!"

She looks back up at Eliza with eyes wide.

"That's a cursed ring.."

Eliza nods.

"I know."

Her mother looks directly at Eliza now.

"Klaus did this?"

Before she can answer, Adrian interjects.

"I..I gave him the idea."

Eliza and the Queen both turn to Adrian, shocked.

"You need a witch to make a cursed ring.."

"We had Tess.."

Eliza turns to him.

"Did she know it was for me?"

Adrian nods, staying silent.

Eliza feels numb. The Queen is disturbed and looks down at the ring.

Feeling bad for her in a rare moment, Adrian nods for her to follow him. Not restraining her or forcing her this time. The Queen hugs Eliza once more before tears stream down her cheeks.

"I will get you back home. I promise sweetheart."

She holds her chest as she watches Adrian walk her away to the grand entrance. It's almost surreal as Eliza follows along walking through her old palace. Her heart felt lower than a buried grave and just as suffocated. It hurt to breath. It hurt to swallow.

"Are you ever going to tell anyone why you left? It's ok if you got cold feet."

"I didn't get cold feet!"

After stepping out onto the courtyard, Adrian turns to her as the giant doors of the castle closed behind them.

"You know, I spent a lot of time defending you and making myself look like an idiot for the last couple of years.. and the more time I spend with you, the more I regret it.

Eliza doesn't know how to respond. She takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out.

"Thank you."

She says in a small voice.

He held off handing her to a guard and motioned for them to step away. They waited for Klaus to come out to meet them.

Adrian looked at Eliza for a long time. Suddenly, he grabbed her arm, pulling her into him. He hugged her tight.

He huffs, choking back a flood of relief. She nearly can't breathe in his embrace and is shocked.

He never says a word. She hugs him back tight and her face crashes into his chest where she laughs in relief. A glimpse of her brother, her oldest confidant.

He pulls her away and puts his forehead against hers. His eyes were fearful.

"Promise me you'll behave. You listen to what he says, you earn their forgiveness. Bring us peace. Make this right. Yeah?"

Eliza's eyes look up at him saddened. She couldn't break his spirit. She nods reluctantly.

"I..I promise."

Adrian gives her not even a second of a small smile before holding her face in his hands, and kissing her forehead.

"I love you, Eliza."

"I love you too, Aide."

His hands fall from her cheeks and run down her arms reassuringly before nodding over the guardsmen to restrain her and wait with her. He then headed back to the castle. All that was left to do was to wait for Klaus.

She looked down at the ring and sighed, remembering it again. She had almost forgotten. It felt too comfortable on her hand and that did not sit well with her.

She held out her hand as best as she could in her restraints as she looked at the ring glisten in the setting sun. It was actually quite beautiful.

"Approve of my choice?"

Eliza quickly drops her tied hands down and looks away from them, instead, focusing on the sunset as Klaus walks up to her from the castle doors.

"It's not a crime to love the ring your fiance gave you."

"You're insane."

Klaus chuckles to himself before standing in front of her now.

"If I untie you, will you lunge at me again to kill yourself?"

"No."

Eliza holds out her hands to be untied.

"When will I see Tess? Why wasn't she in the palace?"

"Tess lives in my castle now."

"What? Why?"

Klaus shoos away the guard as he undoes her restraints, taking her hands in his.

"Long story. But you should be seeing her soon."

Eliza nods. Keeping quiet, attempting to behave. She kept catching glimpses of the ring in her hand. Had the diamonds suddenly disappeared?

Klaus opens the back door of a black car for Eliza to step inside.

She climbs in and scoots to the end followed closely behind by Klaus. He noticed her ring. It's gone back to a cold, heavy steel. He noticed Eliza look at it curiously.

"It's charmed, as well as cursed."

"Charmed how?"

"When your heart is at peace, I will know. When you're in distress.."

He grabs hold of her hand in his and raises the cold steely ring around her finger to eye-level.

"I will know."

Eliza takes back her hand, ignoring the flutters in her stomach from his touch.

"Why would you have it charmed?"

Eliza is immediately angered by the invasion of even her most personal self.

"Because it's clear, I had no idea how unhappy you had been. This time love, I won't be surprised or be fooled by your pretty little masks. This time..will be different."

The driver gets into the front of the car and begins their journey to the Kingdom of Baroff. As they reach the end of the castles court, the word had already spread amongst the kingdoms. Crowds had gathered, jeering, throwing rotten vegetables at the car.

"Traitor! Traitor! Coward! Brat!"

Klaus ignores the hollers and hits at the car. The driver remains still and unaffected. Eliza is mortified. She crumples into herself as she sees the crowd scream at her from the window. Objects being thrown start getting heavier.

Enough to shake the car.

Klaus puts his arm around Eliza and pulls her away from the window. Eliza doesn't fuss. She curls into his side and takes solace in the cover of his jacket. He hesitates for a second before resting his hand on the back of her head. Caressing her locks as she silently wept in his embrace. He doesn't say a word to her but looks up over at the driver.

"Let's pick up speed, Sheldon."

"Yes sir, right away sir."

The driver accelerates the car and drives off and leaves the violent mob that had gathered.