Milly took a deep breath. They seemed quite content to roll their eyes and ignore him. This is my exploration of how it started. It was almost amusing, except it led to a tension that everyone in the party could feel. But otherwise they simply looked bored and uncomfortable.
The groom had even offered a place to sleep in the stable, but she turned him down telling him she had to go home to her father. Then he pulled her up into a bear hug. Food was delivered to her. The only question was which was more wrong, being here or lying. She had kept opening up the carriage door when they were moving.
At some point some kind soul had found a slightly more practical dress that didn't have her tripping. She had stared right back until she remembered what her mother had said. She was in this huge room. It was funny, she thought, that the lessons she received on dealing with the King were almost the same as she had earlier, only there were no skirts to deal with. She had managed the curtsey, and really shouldn't he have looked a little happy about that.
His marshal handed him the boar spear with the iron bars, lugs, designed to keep a frenzied boar from running up the spear and attacking the person holding it. Not afraid of boars, and not, it seemed, really afraid of him. A maid would bring her breakfast. Milly thrust her knife as hard as she could into the boar's eye. She was a hard worker with an eye to detail. The marshal ran forward and handed the King his sword, and the King cleaved the boar's head in two.
She had tried hiding in the luggage rack where her tiny little bag was tied down. It turned out that meeting a King was an entirely different sort of torture. She was just steps away when she heard the King. She said I'd know it. One was that she wasn't much of a girl by her village's standards. And I'm minded to reward you.
What happened next was a good two weeks of benign neglect. Then he pulled off her hat and bent down, brushing her hair from her face. She didn't dream about meeting a prince and finding her true love. One of the dogs was injured and Milly was making her way to it when the boar charged. She met the kitchen boys and the gardeners assistent. She learned how to enter the room and then how to leave. There had been a bit of a tussle over her beloved boots, she had worked in the cordwain's shop for two years to get those, but eventually they too had gone in the closet and she was shod in thin little slippers that wouldn't help with the cold and would get ripped up if she went outside.
She was diligent in her duties as well. Why would anyone think she needed help with that? But she had needed help with dressing, which was embarassing enough. She sat up in front of him on his tall stallion, while he just chuckled and rubbed her hair affectionately. Sitting for two days had been very boring. At the time Milly had definitely thought that brave would be easier than polite, she sometimes forgot her manners, but now she realized that neither was going to be terribly easy. And I'll be giving you over to the care of. Enough that after a month she had a sufficient wardrobe to pass as any of the other boys working at the castle.
And her mother was resigned to this, if not exactly happy. Her stash of men's clothing was carefully hidden underneath a wardrobe. He would have to clean this up, and the stains where she had her put her boots. Again the maid and the footman exchanged looks. There had been a number of mishaps, or potential mishaps on the ride. She can stay, but the Queen shouldn't find her.
Milly supposed that was where anyone who came to her room thought she was. The girl was bold and not afraid. The princes ran backward, and the King stood his ground. She hoped it was not badly wounded; the dog had pursued bravely. The only sound was the crying of the wounded dog.
And people brought hot water, as much as she wanted, and then the maid had offered to help her wash. All of these breaches of protocol and safety had been nipped in the bud, and each time the young lady had looked penitent and remorseful and had been exceptionally polite to both him and the driver. He didn't turn tail and run. It was enormous, and it did not seem to be slowing at all. It was all so different, and she had no idea what was going on. She also helped the hound master, cleaning kennels and feeding the dogs.