Fandom: Original Characters
Characters: Brianna Greyson/James Andrews
Prompt: Table 2- Prompt 028-Miss Independent
Word Count: 1,588
Warnings/Spoilers: Only one word might be all PG-13 if you're sensitive.
Summary: Brianna Greyson is the daughter of a rich merchant and swears she'll never depend on anyone. That is, until she meets James Andrews, the blacksmith's son...
Dedicated to the aweosme, awesome, Jade! meowicry
For 100songs challenge
Brianna stood in front of her mirror, her gorgeous brown locks with their summer highlights tumbling down her shoulders. Her light blue eyes stared back at her, impatient and slightly weary in her beautifully tanned face.
A tall, almost exotic, beauty of nineteen, Brianna was the second youngest out of her siblings. Only Tomas was younger then her, he being thirteen. Joseph was the eldest at twenty-three, and Marcus was second eldest at twenty-two. Brianna and Joseph had a very strained relationship.
Brianna tied her hair up in a blue satin ribbon to match her dress. She usually handled all the family shopping affairs on her own, but today, Joseph insisted upon coming with her. Usually she would argue; she enjoyed her independence, a few hours away from the stuffy confines of her family’s estate.
The Greysons were a very wealthy and prominent family. Brianna’s father, Mr. Matthias Greyson, was a wealthy merchant, importing and exporting fine furs and jewelry and spices to secure a living in the wealthiest part of the city. Brianna’s older brothers helped while she and Tomas stood home. Tomas being too young, and Brianna being a girl, they weren’t allowed to help in the shop. This was one of the many things that annoyed Brianna. The Greysons had servants aplenty, but Brianna always insisted (with a stubborn streak reminiscent of her mother), to do things her own way.
So with a final tug, she tightened the ribbon and turned to go downstairs. Her boots clacked against the highly polished stairs, her hand gliding down the banister. Almost bumping into one of the maids, her arms full of Tomas’s clothes.
"Oh! Sorry Miss Brianna," the maid spluttered.
Brianna bent down, and laughing, helped the woman pick up and fold the clothes. "It’s quite alright Michella."
Michella blushed. "I’m terribly sorry miss, terribly sorry."
Brianna waved away the maid’s apologies. "It’s fine Michella, no harm done." Grinning, she kissed the maid’s cheek before continuing down the stairs.
Joseph was waiting impatiently outside with the carriage, dressed to show his position in society. Brianna rolled her eyes. Usually, when it was just her, she dressed simply. No fancy silks or jewelry that Joseph insisted she wear.
"You are a Greyson and should conduct yourself as such," he had said in that pompous tone that made her long to pound his face in.
"About time," he grumbled as she climbed up beside him, the wind trying to blow her hair free from the ribbon.
"Oh come on, at least the weather’s nice," she said, enjoying the sunshine and smell of the salty air.
He huffed and waved to the driver to proceed down through the gates of the sprawling Greyson estates to the shops in the city. The horses’ hooves clip-clopped against the cobblestones, and Brianna savored the soothing rhythm.
"What took you so long?" Joseph demanded.
So much for a friendly ‘hello’, Brianna thought with a wry smile. She hadn’t expected anything more. Joseph was always irritable. Always had been, always would be. "I was getting all dressed up, Brother. That is, of course, what you wanted, no?"
Joseph glared. "That answer you know, Brianna. You represent this family, therefore, you must dress accordingly."
Brianna refrained from rolling her eyes and they sat in uncomfortable silence until they reached the town. Without a sound, Brianna slid from the carriage, patted both the horses, and headed off toward a fruit stand. Purchasing an apple, she bit into it, savoring the jucie as it exploded in her mouth with each bite.
Joseph looked at her. "Come on Brianna. We have to buy Father’s birthday gift."
Brianna swallowed her bite of apple and raised an eyebrow. "Will Mr. Sterling allow me in his shop when I’m eating?"
Joseph shook his head. "No, but not like it matters. I’m not paying that leech a cent! No, we’re going to see Mr. Andrews, the new blacksmith in town. His work is said to be some of the finest."
Brianna just shrugged and followed her brother down the cobbled streets. She would humor her brother so he would set her free sooner to go shop as she pleased. She heard Mr. Granger had some new books at the bookshop....
Joseph beckoned her into a small shop. The walls were lined with armor, horseshoes, tools, and a few swords.
She moved closer to one of the swords while her brother went to the counter and waited for the blacksmith.
Mr. Andrews was a tall, muscular man with warm, brown eyes and curly black hair. "Young Master Greyson! How may I be of service?" the blacksmith asked in his deep voice.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Andrews. I’m looking for a sword for my father."
Mr. Andrews nodded. "I may have just the thing. James! Bring me the most recent...ah, there’s a good lad." Mr. Andrews grinned at a tall, lanky, boy with dark hair. He had to be Mr. Andrews’s son; they looked so much alike.
Brianna was unnoticed by her brother and Mr. Andrews as they debated prices. But James had certainly caught sight of the beautiful girl in the blue silk dress.
He went over to her. "Hello miss," he said politely.
Brianna turned, locking eyes with this boy. "Hello," she said politely. She had been watching the people on the streets go about their shopping. Now she looked into the handsome face of the blacksmith’s son. He looked about twenty, twenty-one. Close to her age.
He looked out the window. "Marvelous day, isn’t it? I do enjoy living here. Not far from the ocean."
She blinked. "Who are you?" she asked, cutting to the chase. She didn’t want to find herself talking to some criminal or a man who ran a prostitution ring.
"James Andrews miss. This is my father’s shop. If I may be so bold, I believe I know who you are."
She raised her chin. "Oh do you? Take a shot."
"Miss Brianna Greyson, otherwise known as the fairest lady on this side of the border."
She laughed. "I’ll give you the name, but the lady part...no. I’m anything but."
He laughed as well. "Ah, forgive me for my ignorance then, miss." He bowed mockingly to her.
She smirked. "You are forgiven."
He grinned and followed her gaze as she studied one of the swords on display. She ran her hand along the hilt with a careful hand. "You know swords miss?" he asked.
She nodded. "I do have some knowledge."
He lifted the sword and held it gingerly. "One of the finest pieces of work I’ve made, if I do say so myself."
She held out a hand for the blade after glancing swiftly at her brother to make sure he was still locked in debate with Mr. Andrews. She held it in front of her with an air that showed she had done this before. And she had.
Once, when she was fifteen, she had cut her hair and dressed in Joseph’s clothes to sneak into an army camp. That was when her mother, Lillian, had been alive. Lillian had died a few years ago in childbirth to a baby girl who didn’t make it.
Since then, Brianna’s father spent all his time molding her into a proper lady and he already had suitors lined up to court her. But none of these men, rich merchants, lawyers, plantation owners, could hold her attention. They were sexist. Something she hated.
But James, the way he grinned when he saw her swing the sword a few times with ease, made her wonder. Were all men sexist? Did all men believe women were weak?
"Miss Greyson, that is some fine swordsmanship!" James exclaimed as she held the sword out to him. (Joseph and Mr. Andrews were in a back room discussing business and possibly having a shot of rum or whiskey.)
She curtsied. "Thank you, Mr. Andrews." He smiled and put the sword back in its place.
"Please, call me James."
"James." A pleasant shiver ran up her spine as she said his name. "Call me Brianna. Miss Greyson makes me think I’m in trouble." She grinned and he laughed.
"Brianna...a lovely name." She blushed light pink, something she never did. Especially not in front of a man!
"Thank you. I...," she turned her head sharply as Joseph called her name.
"I must get going..." she nodded toward Joseph. James nodded.
"It was nice talking to you Miss Greyson."
"What did I...?" she said indignantly, but James mouthed, ‘your brother’ and she nodded, knowing.
They left the shop, Brianna giving James a final wave before the carriage pulled away from the corner.
That night, all Brianna could think about was James as she sat and wrote in her diary. He had such a nice face, a pleasant voice, and a sense of sarcasm.
But she couldn’t understand the odd feeling she got when she thought of him. What had happened? Had she actually ‘fallen for’ a man? She had always told herself she never would, she would always be independent, depending on no one for anything.
Obviously, this was not to be, for Brianna, was indeed in love. She didn’t know it yet. But she would in good time.
In good time, Miss Independent would lose her crown and become dependant on one man for her happiness.