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Of Girls and Kings

The seventeen-year old is Queen. She should be happy about that, right? She's not only married but she's married to the king.

She's not only married but she's married to the king. She's got a husband who has money and power and rank. Someone she can honour and obey and give herself to. Someone who will provide for her as long as she stays in line. As long as she stayed quiet, stays submissive, stays without an opinion, stays calm and ladylike and (of course) beautiful. As long as she stays worthy of love, worthy of belonging, worthy of what he gives to her.

The seventeen-year old is Queen.

That means she has giant, ornate palaces, crystal chandeliers, hundreds of dresses, and a bunch of food she can't actually eat but can indeed stare at (fat women aren't attractive after all).

The peasants, the people lower down on the hierarchy, don't have that. They don't have food, often, as the price of bread can soar too high for them to buy it. They don't have warmth in the winter, or medicine for when they're sick. What they do have is hard work. Hard work and calloused palms, calloused fingers, calloused feet.

And her heart reaches out to them. But what does her heart know? It's not her place to have opinions.

She has to be loyal. To her man. ... Unless... unless her loyalty truly belongs with someone else.

Maybe the thing she has to be is brave.