But...

I stared at one of the many fountains, watching the water jump in a never-repeating pattern. Watching the water was so peaceful, but the surface, never calming, constantly disturbed by the water splashing into it, that was what mimicked my mind.

I was to marry a princess, one fit to rule the planet Earth with me. But that wasn't the princess of Bagdhet. She had been the youngest of that king's daughters, and the only thing she'd learned is that royalty is the lap of luxury, and that she could have whatever she wanted whether she asked for it or not. That wasn't the kind of queen I needed. I needed a strong queen. One who didnt break down into flurries of emotion at the slightest provocation.

Kayla was a strong girl. One of the few not in tears at the auction block. She stood up to authority, but did as she was told all the same. She knew exactly how to test a person's patience without breaking it. She had that knack for knowing exactly what to say to trigger a reaction. She'd turned that talent on me.

I hate you. It echoed in my mind again.

"But--" I started to protest out loud, against that hatred. I wished I could say the words that sounded so loudly in my aching heart. But I love you. But did I? I'd only known the girl for a few days, but I had gone to London and got her brother for her, but I'd also taken him away, but only to keep him safe, and to prevent her from being distracted.

Well blast it. Now I was distracted. A breeze whistled through the maze and blew some drops of water onto my robe. I watched the liquid become absorbed into the fabric, then spread across the fibers, then dry, all in a matter of minutes. Two more drops joined them. I hurriedly dashed a hand across my eyes, wiping the tears away. I couldnt reply then, and I couldnt reply now. To do so could be disastrous. I'd have to get rid of Salina, then make Kayla a princess before my parents could ever allow such a union.

Could I do that? Make her a princess?

The End

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