On the morning of her birthday, Caera receives a lot of love, and a few nice gifts.
Based on my characters Caera, Benedict and Jonathan from my current vampire NA grimdark fantasy WIP “Escape the Night”.
A/N: It’s my birthday, so quick birthday AU.
Might not be as good as the other ones I’ve done but I can’t say I care, because I had fun writing this!
Also, please ignore the fact that I am pretending Jane Eyre got published in 1846, I know it was actually 1847.
I hope you enjoy!
“Caera,” somebody whispered, shaking her shoulder. “Wake up!”
Caera slowly opened her eyes, only to see Inga bent over her.
“Huh?” she asked sleepily, confused at Inga’s big smile.
“It’s a big night, come on, get up!”
It took Caera a second to understand what Inga was talking about. “Oh!” she exclaimed. “I’m up, I’m up.”
Inga turned around and took up a bundle of clothes. “Here,” she said. “We decided to get together and get some nice fabric for a new dress.”
“Everybody,” Inga said, and her smile only grew bigger.
Caera stared at her, stunned. “You love me that much?”
“Oh, please, dear girl,” Inga chuckled. “Everyone absolutely adores you.” She thrust the dress into Caera’s arms. “Hurry; the Prince is waiting for you!”
And so Caera hurried through the process of washing her face and brushing her teeth as good as she could before slipping into her undergarments and letting Inga help her into the dress. It was of rich mint color and there was a tiny pattern pressed into the fabric – stems of petite wild flowers.
“This is absolutely beautiful!”
“I’m glad you like it,” Inga said softly, sighing as she secured Caera’s hair into a braided crown on her head and covered it with the linen cap that all servants wore. “It’s really a shame you have to hide your gorgeous locks,” she said, as she so often did when she was the one to do Caera’s hair.
Every female servant in the castle was on top of helping each other, but it was Robert who checked every man’s cravat for creases that shouldn’t be there.
Inga gave another sigh as she pushed Caera through the door into the common room, and before Caera had registered what was happening, violin-play was filling the silence and all her friends started singing – it was a song that Jonathan had used in his teachings of the harpsichord that he had insisted on for a reason that had slipped Caera’s mind, and though she felt a bit embarrassed at the sight of all these people singing for her, she felt cherished just the same.
“Thank you,” she breathed when they were done. “That was very nice. And thank you for the dress, I love it very much.”
Benedict, who was busy putting his violin back into its case, was grinning over both ears, even as he abandoned the case on the table and made his way over to her- “We are formally invited to share a meal with His Highness,” he said, and offered her his arm. “Come on.”
“Yes. Special request for your special day.”
They walked to the throne room, where breakfast was already set up, and Jonathan was waiting for them.
“Happy birthday, Caera,” he said softly. “Come, sit.”
“Thank you. And thank you for inviting Ben, too.”
“Of course,” he said simply, and then reached for something. “Usually, masters don’t gift their servants things, but I guess I like breaking the rules just a little,” he added and held the thing out to her. A book, that was adorned with a simple bow.
“That wouldn’t have been necessary, Your Highness-” Caera mumbled. “But thank you.”
Caera undid the knot of the bow and it fell away to reveal a title – ‘Jane Eyre: An Autobiography’ by Currer Bell.
Unlike the other books Caera had laid hand on in the library, this one was bound in linen that was not weathered at all, and when she opened the book up, the printing date was one from just a few days prior.
“This is- Thank you.”
“May I see?” Benedict asked softly, and Caera handed the book across the table.
“My my,” Ben breathed after a moment. “Aren’t you lucky?”
Caera blushed. “I dare say, I am.”
“We ought to eat before the food gets cold and Keva’s efforts are for naught, no?” the Prince suggested before filling their cups with tea.