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you have to break rules (if you want to break free)

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“Come to visit me, your Highness? Suit yourself, so long as you’re not waiting for my gratitude,” Dolores says, crossing her arms - this is her own place she bought herself with her money that was given to her as a reward (and a bribe to keep her mouth shut, she knows; which suits her just fine); it’s nothing grand, and it’s in the outskirts of the city, as opposed to the middle-of-nowhere Dolores used to daydream about when she just wanted out, but it’s got a nice orchard that Dolores has plans for, and above all it’s not a place where she ever expected or wanted to see royals darken her doorstep.

Princess Cassidy doesn’t rise to the provocation, though her guard dog snarls - her brother, who apparently doesn’t trust no harm will come to Cassidy if she visits Dolores, the hypocrite - and inclines her head, half-hidden in the cowl that kept her incognito (and the twinge of gratitude pinching Dolores’ heart for that spikes into resentment - habit, mostly; and Dolores is in her own home, she can turn Cassidy and her brother away if she wants, so she chooses to put it out of her mind), with a kind smile that makes her look a hair more mature than she’s supposed to be, a hair older than Dolores could pass for, though in a couple of years it will be completely unnoticeable, and says, “there wouldn’t be any call for gratitude, Dolores; we both know you helped me first.”