Temples with & without ziggurats were built at Assyria. But by
the late Assyrian period, palaces were much more important & more
numerous, emphasizing the monarchy’s importance.
In the 800’s BC, Ashurnasirpal II restored & enlarged the city of
Nimrud, and had a palace built within its walls. The north-west wing
was the most public, and at the north was a large public outer court.
A suite of apartments (including for the women) was on the east
side, and a series of large banqueting halls on the south side.
This would become the traditional Assyrian palace plan. Palace
remains at Nineveh, Nimrud and Kouyunjik, built during the 700’s &
600’s BC, have similar plans, and are built on elevated platforms,
surrounded by terraces.
Ashurnasirpal II’s palace. Three huge doors on the outer court’s south wall led to the throne room, which was long & narrow, and ran nearly the whole width of the courtyard.
A flight of steps led to the palace, and the main entrance was
guarded by lamassu – winged stone bulls made of stone. They
protected the gates from evil, with a lion’s fierceness, an eagle’s
far-sightedness, a bull’s strength, and a human’s intelligence.
Lamassu at the palace entrance (destroyed by ISIS in 2015).
Below is a drawing of what an Assyrian palace may have looked like.
This palace has an elevated, buttressed terrace, a flight of steps
lined with carved figures as homage to the king, an open upper storey
to admit light, and a roof ridge with battlements.
Assyrian bas-reliefs depicted powerful, life-like men and animals.
The sculptors were knowledgeable of anatomy & movement, and how
to carve it; at the same time they stylized the subject for
(large stone panels) were arranged in tiers on high walls, and as
friezes on low walls. Fierce beasts, bulls, griffins and lions were
common subjects. Sometimes the king was shown killing them, to
demonstrate his bravery, and symbolizing the triumph of good over
slab from the North Palace at Nineveh. The outer border is decorated
with a pattern based on the lotus flower, similar to Ancient Egyptian
ornamentation. Narrow bands of circular rosettes divide them from
the inner border of stylized flowers, and another stylized flower in
ornamental border from Nineveh. It depicts lamassu
and stylized plants, which are perhaps a sacred tree. Borders of
flowers & animals were sometimes painted on ceiling beams, with
gilding & precious stones to add richness & contrast.
panels in the ruins of the Palace of Nineveh show some of the
architectural details made by the Assyrian builders (or possibly
Greek builders). On of these details was voluted capitals
(capitals with a spiral, scroll-like ornament on top), and they
looked similar tot he Greek Ionic & Corinthian capitals, which
also had volutes.
An Ionic capital on the Treasury Building (Washington D.C., USA).
Obelisk of Divanubara (Nineveh, c.800 BC) was built with sun-baked
and kiln-burned bricks. It tapered towards the top, with stepped
layers on top. Carvings and inscriptions showed that it had a
Summary: She was the Queen of Sokovia, and he was the future king of Romania. Their relationship was full of hate towards one another, but will it change when his heart gets broken by a traitor to both of your powerful countries?
Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Reader
Warnings: angst, a little fluff?
Word Count: 1039
A/N: I’m back! The taglist for this series is officially closed. My permanent list is still open. I leave for the beach on the 22nd I will try to write while I’m there. I have nothing against England. I really want to travel there, but I had to use it.
Together, the three Antari climbed the onyx incline of the palace bridge. Together, they reached the polished black glass of the palace doors. Three silver rings caught the dying light— Lila’s and Kell’s the narrower echoes of Holland’s band—all of them singing with shared power as the door swung open, and the three Antari stepped through the dark. —a darker shade of magic by v. e. schwab
synopsis: a servant girl’s change of position has prince wonwoo in a debacle (♥ω♥) modern royalty!au part 2: x part 3: x
genre: slight angst, fluff
word count: 5,033 ♕
“Back straighter!” The woman barked at you from behind. “If I see even the least bit of slouching, I’ll add another hour.”
“Yes, Lady Margaret,” you responded instinctively. There was a dull pain at the bottom of your spine from the endless time you had put in to your new training as a personal servant. Lady Margaret, the harsh noblewoman whose sole job was to break the resolve of rebellious servants, had chosen you to become Prince Wonwoo’s personal hand. In those moments, you even longed to be back slaving away in the kitchens. But those thoughts came in passing as you were afraid to focus on anything but the teetering books atop your head.
“You have one week until Sir Richard officially retires and then you will be Prince Wonwoo’s sole confidant,” she repeated. Poor Sir Richard, you thought. He’s been the prince’s teacher and butler since before I can remember, but now he is too senile to button up a waistcoat. “I expect you to not disappoint me.”
“Of course not, Lady Margaret.” Your legs were going numb for sitting absolutely still in the throne-like chair you had been forced into and the dress’s countless layers itched at your already irritated skin. You didn’t dare ask why you had to go through the same training as a noblewoman, seeing as the most you had ever done was served food to the royals, and your future job only really entailed dressing and following the prince around like a miserable puppy. A part of you appreciated being a kitchen maid, but your pay and status were going to be better, so the suffering almost felt worth it. Hopefully you could finally escape the palace after working there since you were a young teenager– all to pay off your family’s debts.
“A prince’s daily dress is in what order?”
“If it is cold, a cotton undershirt that has the same sleeve length as the overshirt is necessary. The overshirt should always be steamed and pressed as to not have a wrinkle, but not be too crisp that it is uncomfortable or unflattering. The prince is allowed to choose his own cufflinks, but is pleased to be gently advised. The prince’s waistcoat or officer’s coat should always be fastened to conceal his overshirt when he is outside his room or unless he specifically requests otherwise. If the prince is going to an official visit or parade, it is necessary that he be wearing his belt, sash, and epaulettes fastened by matching passants.”
Lady Margaret gave you her regular cold smile, but she seemed rather proud. “And his shoes?”
“The prince is allowed to choose, but he must be reminded of common fashion faux pas.”
“Must I be reminded?” A deep voice said from behind you.
You watched Lady Margaret’s eyes widen and would have spun around immediately if not for the delicate tower you were balancing. She stooped into a deep bow and you quickly swiped the books off of your head and placed them on the long table gently, suddenly keenly aware of the heat crawling up your neck and reaching your face. You stood and faced the image of Prince Wonwoo descending the large staircase, the huge window behind him throwing sunlight across his broad shoulders.
“I dare say all of us need be reminded of certain things each day, Your Highness,” you tried to diffuse the tension with a deep bow that matched your instructor’s. You heard Prince Wonwoo chuckle and a deep sigh of relief from Lady Margaret.
“Right you are,” he nodded. Your breath hitched in your throat when he reached the bottom and took calculated steps towards you while you finally garnered the courage to stand up straight. It was a rare moment of seeing Prince Wonwoo alone before you, without being surrounded by councilmen or tailed by Sir Richard. He was breathtaking, you had to admit, especially up close. Even in simple black slacks and a white dress shirt he seemed to be beaming.
“She is the young woman who is to become your personal assistant, Your Highness,” Lady Margaret interjected. “I was simply quizzing her on your daily dress.”
Wonwoo’s wide eyes traveled back to you. “Does my future personal assistant not have a name?”
You bowed quickly. “I’m Y/N, Your Highness. I am a kitchen maid at the moment.”
“Ah, I knew you looked familiar,” he hummed, one side of his mouth tugging upward. “I’ll leave the both of you alone, then,” he concluded, nodding at each of you before you found yourself once again bowing while he disappeared behind one of the many doors in the dining hall. Lady Margaret let out a huff that made her shoulders fly up before falling again. Your heart finally returned to a steady beat and you made a similar sound of solace.
“Disaster avoided,” she cleared her throat. “Well done, Y/N. I believe we’re finished for today.”
Dinner that evening was uniquely awkward. Kitchen servants generally didn’t interact with the royals outside of meal times, and it was strange pouring wine and holding platters for someone you had spoken to just hours earlier. Wonwoo held an odd smile that was distinctly out of character for him throughout the meal.
“That’s enough,” the king held his hand up to you to stop pouring into his tall glass. “What of you, Wonwoo?”
“I’m quite fine. Y/N already took care of me,” Prince Wonwoo held up his glass as evidence. You stepped back from the table and gulped, instantly feeling the king and queen’s eyes on you.
“Oh, forgive me. Lady Margaret introduced me to Y/N earlier. Father, Mother, she is going to be my new personal assistant,” Prince Wonwoo explained, gesturing in your direction.
“Is that so?” The queen sang, looking you up and down. You felt rather self conscious before the royal family in nothing but your bland servant’s dress and holding a bottle of wine that was certainly more valuable than your life’s savings.
You bowed, clutching the bottle harder than what was necessary. “Yes, Your Majesty. I will do my best.”
“Wonderful,” the king chuckled. “Then you must already be acquainted with Sir Richard.”
“Yes, Your Majesty. He has informed me of everything that will pertain to my duties,” you spoke. They nodded in pleasant agreement and you excused yourself back to the kitchens to fetch dessert plates. When you returned, Wonwoo was standing and pushing his chair in. “Your Highness, are you not going to stay for the cake?”
He shook his head decidedly. “I’m going to see Richard’s car off,” he said, his voice wrapped in sadness though you could tell he had tried to hide it. “Goodbye,” was all he uttered before he paced out of the hall, his coat thrown around his shoulders. His parents watched him go with painful gazes, and all at once you felt their simple family dynamic heavily. You couldn’t help but feel a pang at your heart as you imagined Wonwoo having to let go of the man who practically raised him.
“Y/N, you’ll do well for our boy, won’t you?” The queen mumbled absentmindedly.
“Certainly, Your Majesty,” you answered. You bowed and fled to the kitchens where you let out the breath you had been holding. The other servants were fervently washing dishes but you threw off your apron and gathered your skirt in your hands so you could jog to the main hall. When you finally arrived, you saw Prince Wonwoo coming back through the main palace doors, from the darkness into the light. He was looking at his feet and had his hands stuffed into the stiff pockets of his slacks.
“Your Highness,” you called to him, your feet flying across the plush rug. His head snapped up and shocked eyes met yours, and you gave a short bow to him when you were just a few feet apart. “I came to give my apologies that Sir Richard has to leave. Your Highness must have been very attached to him.”
“Indeed,” he murmured. His fingers were fiddling with the cuff of one of his sleeves as he searched your face. “Why you?”
“Pardon?” You asked, your head tilting slightly.
“Why did Lady Margaret choose you?”
You had given the same question extensive thought and still had no answer. “I’m not sure, Your Highness. I promise I will do my best to provide like Sir Richard.”
He looked down at you– you always forgot just how brooding he was– and nodded. “I would hope so. I’ll be off to bed now.” With that, he walked past you, in the direction of the residential wing. One of the guards at the door gave you a shrug. You shook your head in minor disbelief and slowly walked to the servants’s dormitories.
The Saturday’s blue dawn barely lit up your small room in the servants’s wing; you rolled out of bed reluctantly, but padded around getting ready as you had no intention of being late on your first day. You crept past the other soundly sleeping maids, many of whom were grateful they weren’t on breakfast duty. You threw open your wardrobe after brushing your teeth in the communal bathroom, even pressing on some make-up (Lady Margaret’s voice echoed in your head: you will be in the presence of the prince around the clock, after all). New dresses filled the rack, replacing the old maiden outfits you had worked in for years. Your heart swelled at their beautiful simplicity, but a part of you longed for the practical skirts you were used to. Nevertheless, you pulled one off of its hanger and put it on, your hands running over the soft skirt. It had elbow-length, breathable sleeves and its cream skirt fell just below your knees. The feeling of having your hair down was pleasantly unusual, and you had a bounce in your step as you headed to the kitchens to pick up Prince Wonwoo’s breakfast platter.
You carefully ascended the stairs with the silver tray which was weighed down with toast, fruit, and the type of coffee that Sir Richard had described to you in annoying detail. You knocked on Wonwoo’s door softly, one arm balancing the food, and turned the knob when his crisp morning voice said you could come in. You entered, struck by his messy hair and his normally prestigious frame adorned with black silk pajamas. He was sitting on the side of his bed, his long legs slung over the side, and gave you a weak smile as you set his breakfast on a coffee table just a few feet away. “Good morning, Your Highness,” you chirped, walking over to the window and throwing the drapes open. “I do hope you slept well.”
“I did, thank you,” he yawned, wobbling over to an armchair and sinking into it. You threw open the door to his closet and began picking out each aspect of his outfit precisely before laying each piece over the foot board of his huge bed. Finally, you grabbed the polished wood box filled with cufflinks and presented it to him.
“What would you like today, Your Highness?”
His tired eyes scanned the rows intently while he sipped on his coffee. “You pick.”
You raised your brows, but plucked out a pair of silver cuff links with metal that appeared to be tied in shiny knots. You heard Prince Wonwoo chuckle as you returned the case to the closet. “Is something the matter, Your Highness?”
“Not at all. It’s just that those were Richard’s favorites,” he said, more to himself than to you. You felt your chest deflate and busied yourself with selecting a gray waistcoat. “Y/N, this coffee is good,” he changed the subject.
“I’m glad, Your Highness,” you smiled, finally done with the meticulous process of putting an outfit together. “If you don’t mind, it’s time for you to pick some shoes, Your Highness.”
He got up and was suddenly just inches from your face when he playfully asked, “Are you sure you don’t need to remind me of common fashion faux pas?”
It was rude to break the gaze of a royal, but you instantly turned your head in embarrassment. “I apologize for that incident, Your Highness. It was not our intention to insult you.”
“If you don’t wish to insult me,” he stepped around into your field of vision again. “Then call me Wonwoo.”
You were so shocked that you stuttered for several seconds before you finally insisted, “That’s simply not possible, Your Highness.” You intentionally avoided his warm brown irises.
“Why is that?” He inquired, taking another step toward you. “Richard called me Wonwoo.”
“That– that was a very different circumstance,” you stumbled, hurrying over to his foot board and snatching clothes off their hangers in urgency. You could hear him laughing behind you, but you were so red in the face that you couldn’t bear to turn. He stepped in front of the full-body mirror that hung over his closet door and began unbuttoning his pajama shirt, letting it fall from his shoulders. Your eyes were glued to the floor so you weren’t tempted to stare at his bare torso. You helped him button his white dress shirt and light gray waist coat and turned away while he pulled on gray slacks; he stepped into the shiny black shoes he had finally decided on and tugged on a fitted gray sports jacket.
“Bow tie?” You suggested, holding up a black one, which you tied around Prince Wonwoo’s neck after a swift nod from him. You stepped back and admired your work while he fastened his cufflinks.
“I have a luncheon with the prime minister, so I won’t be seeing you until afternoon tea,” he explained. “While I’m away, I would appreciate you dusting my study.”
“Certainly,” you agreed, beginning to make his bed. He popped another strawberry into his mouth and watched you work. The two of you sat in comfortable silence while you went about the room, familiarizing yourself with the space Sir Richard had told you so much about. You grabbed a kerchief from the dresser and Prince Wonwoo watched in a daze as your delicate hands folded it into a neat square before you bashfully slid it into his front pocket. “Perfect.”
You took the mostly empty platter from the table, including the drained coffee cup, and made your way towards the door. With one leg holding it ajar, you called, “Have a good day, Your Highness.”
A flattered smile spread across his face. “You too, Y/N.”
Prince Wonwoo’s study smelled of old parchment and the wood that sat charred in the fireplace. Thick books of laws, poetry, and stories lined each wall with each tall set of shelves presenting a new part of his collection. A thick layer of dust covered every inch of the room, apart from Prince Wonwoo’s tidy desk. You imagined that the prince had kindly refrained from asking Sir Richard to clean in his deteriorating state; you subconsciously smiled at the sweet thought.
You gripped your feather duster, furniture polish, and rags and got to work. Your eyes scanned all of the interesting series that decorated the shelves. A surprised laugh sprang from you when you came across a stack of records that contained Frank Sinatra and Perry Como. “To think Jeon Wonwoo likes easy listening on records,” you said under your breath, sliding a Perry Como record out of its case and carefully setting it on the nearby antique player. The needle glided across the vinyl and you sang along as you cleaned.
Don’t let the stars get in your eyes Don’t let the moon break your heart Love blooms at night In daylight it dies Don’t let the stars get in your eyes Or keep your heart from me For some day I’ll return And you know you’re the only one I’ll ever love…
Hours later, you were finally finished with the meticulous dusting around the spine of each book and you spent the next several hours steaming and pressing Prince Wonwoo’s shirts, another mind-numbing process. You were just hanging the pristine shirts when you looked down at your wristwatch and nearly cursed at the time– three. You hissed to yourself in annoyance and darted out of the room and down the staircase to greet Prince Wonwoo and accompany him to tea with his family and, presumably, some councilmen. He was just coming through the palace doors, waving goodbye to his driver, and you suddenly thought back to the sad farewell of last night but shook it from your mind and smiled at the prince.
“Good afternoon, Y/N,” he greeted you with a bright smile. You grinned back at him and bowed.
“Welcome home, Your Highness,” you said. “You seem to be in a good mood.”
“Policy is going well,” he told you, gesturing that you follow him to the dining room. “Tell me, how miserable were you while dusting today?”
You resisted the urge to laugh. “Not at all. You were very gracious to Sir Richard, Your Highness.”
He busted out with laughter in a way that made your fingertips tingle and cheeks raise up. “Perhaps a little too gracious. Thank you for doing it.”
“There is no need to thank me, Your Highness,” you contended, walking past him so you could hold the door to the dining room open to him. He raised a brow at you and paused his walking.
“There’s always a need.” You could have sworn he winked at you in that moment, but he disappeared past the door frame and you were obligated to follow, regardless of your pounding heart.
“Ah, Father, Mother,” he yelled, much to the surprise of the king and queen. “Good afternoon.”
“Why hello, son,” the king chortled while Prince Wonwoo kissed his mother’s cheek. You pulled out a chair for the prince and slid it back into place before stepping away from the table, like you were used to as a servant. “What’s gotten into you?”
“Nothing in particular. The Prime Minister was in a fine mood and I learned this morning that Y/N is a barista in her own right,” the prince chatted, and you nearly jumped at the sound of your name. You weren’t sure you were ever going to get used to the royal family speaking of you so much.
“How lovely,” the queen said, her warm eyes finding yours. “So you’re getting on well, Y/N?”
“Of course, Your Majesty,” you clasped your palms together with nerves.
The family talked among themselves for the rest of the hour about national affairs and other matters you didn’t understand, so you ended up drifting into your own thoughts while you stood several feet behind the prince’s chair. You were astounded at all you had discovered about him in just the few months of training you had done, and the one day of actually knowing him personally. The man you had always perceived as cold and off-putting liked his coffee in a very particular way– so sweet it could hardly still be called coffee– and kept his own vinyls of big band music. He was surprisingly sweet and just wanted to be called by his first name, despite your status forbidding that. You almost wanted to cry at just how ignorant you were before. How could you have served the royal family for so long and still not known him?
“I’d like to go for a walk now,” the prince announced, standing and throwing his sports jacket over one arm. You bowed to the king and queen and followed him out to the courtyard. The two of you began your stroll through the royal arboretum, you offering to carry his sports jacket beneath the leafy shade offered by the rows of trees, and he only gave in after you insisted. “You know, Richard would be giving me a lecture about every single tree we passed.”
You gave him a sad smile. “Well,” you began, pointing to a mature oak just ahead on the path. “I fell out of that tree while I was playing with one of my servant friends when I was ten. I broke my arm and Lady Margaret still hasn’t let me live it down.”
The prince let out a hearty laugh that you found yourself wishing you could hear all the time. “So you’ve been here for that long?”
You tilted your head in thought. “I suppose, Your Highness. It’s odd now that I think about it.”
He shook his head, apparently not comprehending. “What a life. I couldn’t imagine…” He trailed off.
“Don’t misunderstand, Your Highness, I enjoy serving here,” you declared. The pang of loneliness and homesickness in your chest was painful, but who were you to complain to a prince?
He remained silent and you could tell he was lost in thought. His hands were tucked in his pockets with each thumb sticking out, like they always did when he was dazed. Maybe you had studied him more than you thought. The two of you walked the path full circle, both wandering through your own thoughts, and arrived back at the start before you realized that time had passed.
The prince cleared his throat and took his jacket from your arms. “I think I’ll go to my study now, as I do believe I have some work I need to finish. I’ll meet you back in my room… after dinner?” He suggested. You nodded and bowed to his retreating figure. As you walked back to your own room for some pleasure reading, you wondered if the heat on your face was from the afternoon sun or the thought of undressing the prince later on.
“Come in,” Prince Wonwoo called to you on the other side of the door for the second time that day, and you were no less nervous than before. You twisted the gold knob and found him lounging in the armchair next to his bed, feet crossed and propped up on the coffee table, with a novel in his hands. He shut the book decidedly and tossed it on the table, walking over to stand in front of his mirror, while you set your empty laundry basket on the end of his bed. He watched the news on his huge television while you undid his cufflinks and the buttons on his dress shirt before tossing it in the basket.
“I found something rather peculiar in my study today,” he smirked, unfastening his Rolex and handing it to you.
“Did I not dust well enough?” You asked.
“No, no,” he chuckled. “There was a record that I haven’t listened to in ages still spinning on my player.”
“I’m so sorry, Your Highness, that was my mistake,” you gasped. “I should have never touched it–”
“You like Perry Como?” He said, barely audible. You stared at him in absolute awe, confused and amused all at the same time.
“Quite a lot,” you admitted while polishing the face of his Rolex with your skirt.
He pulled the cotton shirt underneath off and discarded it, too, before handing you his belt to put alongside his cufflinks in the closet. You did just that while he stripped entirely and you heard him start his shower. You left with the laundry basket on your hip, the tones of the prince’s singing following you into the large hallway; you wouldn’t dare tell anyone, but you lingered outside the door just a little while to listen.
Months went on like this, with you bringing breakfast and dressing him every morning, while you did chores or errands for him throughout the day. He finally convinced you to call him Wonwoo (This stays exclusively between us, you threatened), and he confided in you about a surprising number of things. He complained that you were too reserved around him, but you didn’t dare to become more casual with him in fear of being improper or, even worse, falling in love with him. You began being rather short in your conversations and limited your time with him.
One night, you entered to start his regular routine to find him surrounded by papers, bottles of expensive whiskey, and rings of condensation from him moving his glass around. You sighed and began to organize the papers on the table. “Rough day?”
Half of his face was covered with one of his large hands while the other held a half-empty glass. From what you could see, he had a bitter smile on his face and his cheeks were aflame with the obvious rash of drunkenness. Wonwoo didn’t answer you, which was really all the answer you needed. You helped him stand and it took all the strength you had to not laugh at his hiccups, though a large part of you was sad that he had drank himself into this state. Nervous hands stripped his top half, while his miserable head was slung over your shoulder.
“I– I hate when they do… that,” he slurred into your ear. Both of you almost toppled over when you tried to get him step out of his slacks, but you steadied him and practically carried him over to his bed, sliding his pajama shirt over his arms and working on its buttons.
“What do you hate, Wonwoo?”
He laughed. It was a pitiful, lonely laugh that made you feel worse than if he was sobbing. “I hate when they say– they say that I’m s’pposed to marry some random girl,” he hiccuped again. “Their efforts are… use– useless,” he muttered, looking over your shoulder to some dejected place.
“It’ll be alright, Wonwoo,” you tried to comfort him, giving up on the idea of getting him in pajama bottoms and simply pressing his shoulders so that he would lie down. You pulled the covers up to his neck and found that his glazed-over eyes were looking at your face again.
“No, no it won’t,” he whispered. His eyes fluttered until they were barely open.
“I don’t see why not,” you consoled him while gathering his clothes and throwing them into your basket.
“It’s because I…” he shook his head. “It’s awful, Y/N. Just awful.”
You sighed and put the basket down on the carpet before slowly sitting on the side of his bed. “What’s awful?”
“It hurts loving you this much,” he groaned. His eyes were closed. Your heart fell to the floor.
“You don’t mean that,” your voice broke and you were thankful he couldn’t see the tears fall down your face and onto his duvet. He had certainly passed out, while you felt your chest could explode with admiration and anguish. You reached a hand out and stroked his cheek. “Wonwoo, darling…You let it happen.” The sleeves of your dress dabbed away your incessant tears. “You let the stars get in your eyes.”
You took the laundry basket and finally left. Every time you tried to sleep that night, you saw his face and were jolted awake.
Your steps were horribly slow up to his room the next morning: you even considered feigning illness and sending a butler up there for him, but you didn’t want to embarrass him by exposing his hangover. So you took the grim march with the tray that held his breakfast (including ice water and aspirin, the medicine you had sneaked out of the infirmary) and hoped that your exhaustion wasn’t painfully obvious.
You knocked on the door and weakly called out, “Prince Wonwoo?” There was no answer and after waiting several seconds, you pushed the door open and walked in anyway. You were surprised to find him fully dressed, sitting in his regular armchair, with the drapes still closed. The only light in the room came from his bedside lamp. You kicked the door closed and melted at his sorrowful gaze, his hands pressed together in front of his mouth, and his tall frame slouched in the chair. Dark circles lined his eyes, and there was a definitive crease in his forehead, probably from his headache. He said nothing as you walked over and put the tray on the coffee table.
All you could think to do was crouch beside him and wrap your arms around his shoulders, so you did just that. He exhaled deeply and stood to hug you back, his arms firm around your waist and your head tucked under his chin.
“I really did say it, then,” he mumbled, to which you simply squeezed him tighter.
“One of us had to, I suppose,” you tittered, leaning back so you could see his face. You used the pad of your thumb to swipe away the one tear that escaped his eye. “You know this is no good, Wonwoo.”
He shook his head slowly, pursing his lips. “Say it.”
“Say you love me too. I’m fully aware this is in no way easy for you, but I can’t imagine that you could look me in the eyes in this exact moment and tell me you don’t feel this.”
You sighed in disbelief and a stinging adoration for the man who still had his arms locked around your waist. The dull light of the room highlighted the tired features of his face, but you still thought he looked like pure art. Thoughts of his dismal state the previous night in contrast to his lighthearted personality in the day raced across your mind. Did he even know what he was getting himself in to? Could you stop him from barreling down a road of uncertainty even if he did know?
“Wonwoo, I love you more than you’ll ever know,” you sniffled. “That’s why I can’t let you–”
His large hands held each side of your face and instantly his soft lips were pressed to yours. You took in the smell of his musky cologne and the way your fingertips felt clutching his sides. One of his hands wandered to the nape of your neck and cradled your head.
Wonwoo broke away with the most dazzling smile you had ever seen. “I’m the prince. I’m fairly sure I’m the one who makes the decisions.”
“Lady Margaret is going to give me an earful about this.”
Casanova’s escape from the Leads (as the prison in the Doge’s Palace in Venice was called) in 1755 is literally the funniest story ever. He used to tell people it over and over again, absolutely revelling in the fact that everyone loved hearing about it (after it happened, the story soon travelled around Europe and made Casanova a legend). He’d even include some of the more unsavoury details, like the fact he filled two chamberpots with urine from anxiety, and when the ladies objected, he’d say “The world is not a lady!” so he wasn’t going to clean up the story for their refined ears.
Hilarious things about the whole escapade:
He was arrested for suspected atheism and owning pornographic books. Of course.
He was firstly placed in a really shitty cell, without a trial or anything, but he started to lose his wits after literally an hour. It’s as if he’s never been stuck in a tight place before.
At one point, he fell asleep and when he woke up his hand touched another cold, lifeless hand. He screamed! OH NO, A DEAD BODY? No, actually, it was just his other hand.
He manages to convince his influential friend, Count Bragadin, to have some of the restrictions on him lifted. He’s allowed out into the courtyard to wander and is given warmer blankets, better bed and better food. Because of this, he manages to regain some semblance of sanity and collects things that may be useful for an escape from the courtyard. This included a piece of marble and an iron bar. He sharpened the bar with the marble and began to make a hole underneath his bed (he was right above the palace and planned to drop down into during a period of time when he knew it would be empty). Unfortunately, Bragadin had managed to get him moved to a bigger, better cell. Casanova protested but the jailer said he must move. As they moved the bed from one cell to another, they saw the hole he had been making. The jailer said “Did you make this hole?” to which Casanova faked a scandalous tone. Of course he didn’t! And if the jailer said he did, then Casanova would just tell everyone the jailer had given him the tools to do so.
So, he has to come up with a new plan. He manages to pass notes from his new cell (in the spine of a Bible that they managed to smuggle through under a pile of pasta) to a libertine priest, Father Balbi, who says he will carve a hole in the roof of his cell, pass into Casanova’s cell, pull him up into the roof and they’ll escape together.
Casanova’s new cell-mate is a spy and not very nice, however. So Casanova has to convince him not to give him away. Lucky for Casanova, the spy is super religious so he convinces the spy that an angel is going to come through the ceiling and rescue him and the spy should not interfere with God’s plan. The spy believes him wholeheartedly.
The plan actually goes pretty smoothly but climbing through the roof is messy and when the pair finally drop down into the main palace, Casanova makes Father Balbi wait whilst he puts his hair up in a net. Wouldn’t want to ruin his curls, would he? GOD, GUYS, HE JUST HAD TO CLIMB UP ON THE ROOVES. HE HAS TO SORT OUT HIS HAIR AND HIS CLOTHES AND HIS FACE. WHY WOULD YOU BEGRUDGE A MAN THAT RIGHT?
The pair manage to convince a palace guard that they were accidentally locked in overnight and were attendees at a party. The guard absolutely believes them. And off Casanova goes, to France, to go and flirt with Madame de Pompadour and preen and stuff.
This was his most famous escape but it wasn’t his last. Very soon after this, he was on the run again and ended up staying in the inn of the wife of the head of police (who was after him). She didn’t know who he was so naturally, he slept with her.