Alexandria and I lead Aislinn towards a table in the far corner of the room; fresh silent tears were coursing down her face. Lucas had fled in the direction of the bathroom, one hand covering his eye – Lord Skydance had obviously given him a black eye.
Aislinn was shaking as we sat down, her face was pale, dark lines of mascara streaked her face. “Its too noisy in here lets sneak out into the grounds and get away from here, I cant stand Aiden staring at me” Alex suggested a small frown appearing on her face as Aiden turned his smug face back towards her. He was obviously quite proud of himself for standing up to Lord Skydance like that. “If he thinks he can win me over like that then he is wrong!” Alexandria said getting to her feet.
As we were about to leave my father, Lord Diegan weaved through the crowd towards us with Nathaniel in tow. One thing I could say about my father is that he is a lot more lenient than most other Lords, while Lord Skydance had arranged who Aislinn would marry my father hadn’t. He felt it was unfair if I didn’t get the chance to fall in love and choose my own husband, he had endured a lot of stick from other lords for doing this but in the end, when they realized that he wouldn’t change his mind it was accepted. I think that was the one thing that both Alex and Aislinn envied about me.
“Going somewhere Ladies” he called making the 3 of us stop and look up.
“Yes father, we were going to have a walk in the grounds, it’s a lovely evening for a stroll” I gestured for my father to look out the window, where the sky was a fiery red, which reflected off the clouds and gave them a pinkish tinge. “Indeed it is my daughter, Nathaniel will you accompany these fine ladies and make sure they are back in time for the announcement.”
“What announcement is this father?” I gave him a questioning look, “Wait and see” he said before disappearing back into the crowd of guests.
Linking my arm with Nathaniel we made our way outside, and towards the bench underneath an oak tree. As we approached we found that there was already someone sitting there – It was Lucas. As he turned his head it could be seen even from a distance that his eye was bruised, “Lucas” Aislinn said before uncoupling her arm from Alexandria’s and running as best she could while holding up her dress, towards him.
“Are you okay?” she said cupping his face affectionately; I could see more tears forming in her eyes. “I’ll live” he said before hugging her, “The moral high ground is mine” he said a smile appearing on his face and a glint appearing in his eyes.
“So, what is this announcement Nathaniel?” Alexandria said looking curious. Nathaniel has suddenly become very interested in his shoes and Alex had to clear her throat before he registered that he had been spoken to.
“My Lady, I cannot say, I have been sworn to secrecy by Prince Aiden not to tell you.” Alex’s face suddenly stiffened “Any announcement concerning me and that” she paused, the word seemed distasteful “Man should be ran by me before announcing it to the entire kingdom wouldn’t you agree?” this last was to Aislinn and I who nodded.
Nathaniel looked down at his feet and after what seemed an age said “Fine, I’ll tell you but you won’t like it.” He sighed, “Prince Aiden is planning to propose to you this evening and you are expected to accept.” “Expected, Expected” Alexandria shouted “where is my say in this matter? Do I not get a say, I am the princess here”
She was fuming, her mouth quivered, “I’ll show them expected” she muttered.
We sat in silence, watching the sky grow steadily darker, no-one dared talk for fear of having their heads bitten off. We all exchanged nervous looks at each other until it was Nathaniel who broke the silence.
“My good Ladies, I have been instructed to escort you back to the castle before night fall, are you all ready to come back inside it is getting quite cold”
“You two go ahead” Alexandria said to Nathaniel and Lucas, “I need to talk to Courtney and Aislinn in private.” “Very well” Nathaniel said before walking back up to the castle with Lucas.
I looked at Alexandria, “What are you planning?” I said giving her a questioning look. She smiled at me “You’ll see” she said looking at both of us grinning “You’ll see.”