Princess Elitha only searched for Thayor half-heartedly, still deep in thought from the dance she shared with Tobin and the continual comparison she seemed to be making of the two men in her mind. Had she been foolish for falling for Lord Thayor so rapidly? She was not, for certain, as all approved of the match.
Had she been convinced into pairing with him? Was her heart so open and her mind so pliable as to being made into feeling something she did not? Surely her father, and all the rest of the Gherion Court, thought well of the connection.
As Elitha wandered around the ballroom, eventually winding her way back to her seat at her father's side, Tobin wandered his own separate way, leaving the stuffy hall for some fresh air. The music faded ever so slightly as he stepped into the courtyard, romantic moonlight wafting down through the prim trees and lingering amoungst the pretty, delicate flowers. The nightsong of crickets and nocternal creatures mingled with that of the orchestra inside piping up another dance.
He stolled aimlessly about the garden bends, sipping at the goblet at hand, thoughts of the Princess upon his mind. They were close friends, sharing in likes and dislikes, with conversation flowing easily between them. Yet, was there something more wanting? Was there a love surpressed inside him, doubted to be love itself, for Elitha? Countinuously he reminded himself how foolish the thought was - certainly the fact confirmed when Elitha connected herself with Lord Thayor. She was a Princess and he was no one. His uncle had a better chance at her. That thought alone made him cringe.
And there was something about Lord Thayor himself that irked him. Maybe it was simple jealousy, but perhaps it was something more. He was too good, too perfect, and there was the way he appeared to treat Elitha. It was as if she was very simply his charm, a challenge won, soon to join the many others on his wall of fame and fortune. He treated her like a ploy, like she was the next step to something larger and better for himself.
Though he had to remind himself that it was the way it worked. By marriage to the only Princess of the nation, the lucky husband would gain a power unlimited, perhaps even to the throne one day. It was unsurprising how many vied for it and why Elitha was just seen as another stair-step - the most coveted of stair-steps.
And that was why, as he had told himself so many times, even if he felt a love for her beyond friendship, he had to keep it supressed. The field of competitors was incredibly vast, each man likely more fit for the royal position than he.
Nor did he covet that position of power. He had other plans for himself, and Elitha had other plans set out for her. It was the reality of the situation.