At long last, the day came where I could shed the crutches. I wanted to throw them in the fire but Amelia snatched them from me before I did. The cane she provided was simple enough. It was dark mahogany with a golden tip that fit perfectly in my hand.
"Will I need it at the wedding?" I asked and she thought it over.
"You can dance without it," she said finally. "Warning: You will limp without it. For everything else, though, I want you to use it."
I nodded. I could deal with that. Angel, too, was getting on the mend. She was no longer having to take her medicine and she was moving around again without wincing. Our lack of sleep was now due to nerves. The servants were working hard to meet our desires.
Three days before the wedding, we were asked to go to the royal seamstress' workshop. I had gotten used to the cane but I joked around that it made me feel like an old man. It was awkward at first but I managed to master it quickly.
The workshop was large. To the right was a mannequin with my suit on it. To the left-
"No," the seamstress said, forcing me to face the right. "Not until the wedding."
I laughed and limped over to my suit. It was a beautiful shade of gold. I reached out to find it was a smooth fabric on the outside but the inner trimmings were made of green silk. The tie was gold and the button up shirt was green. I hesitated at what was under the tie.
"Um, Christina," I said and she came over. "Is there a way we can remove these ruffles?"
She giggled and brought the royal seamstress, Pearl, over.
"No offense," I began, "but these ruffles.... Is it possible to remove them?"
She looked insulted but showed me. "They are merely clipped on," she said in a huffy voice. She took them off and I nodded. "So you just want a boring button up and tie?"
I smiled kindly and she sniffed. Christina helped me into the jacket and pants so they could be hemmed. The suit was incredibly comfortable; especially with the silk trimming. I wanted to see Angel's dress. She and Pearl were giggling as Pearl hemmed it.
"Oh, you look so beautiful," Pearl gushed.
"Are you sure I can't see it?" I begged.
"Positive," Angel answered and I let out a dramatic sigh that made all three women laugh. "You'll see in three days. Patience, my dear, patience."
After the fitting, we went out to the atrium. Well, we tried to. As soon as we opened the doors, we were met with a blast of heat. I closed them quickly.
"I thought it was supposed to be fall soon," Angel complained.
"Let's go to the ballroom," I said. "We can see how they're doing with everything."
"Do you need your chair?" she asked. "You're looking rather pale."
"I'll sit when we get there," I promised.
I sighed as I did so. I was in pain again from all the standing and walking. I hoped this wouldn't happen at the wedding. I would be devastated if it did.
The night before, Angel slept in her own room, something her mother said was tradition. I don't know if she actually did sleep, but I didn't get a wink. I was so nervous that all I did was toss and turn. The wedding was to be held at high noon and, at ten o'clock, Octavius and the king came in to help me get ready.
I could barely speak as I looked at myself in the mirror. They had trimmed my hair so that it now only came to the top of my neck. It was slicked back, something I didn't like. A special cane had been made. It was gold with a green handle to match our colors. The king asked Octavius to leave and sat me down.
"Today is a big day," he said and I nodded, fidgeting with the cane. "There are some things you and I need to speak about for you to be prepared."
"Well, I will walk Angel to you," he answered. "When I give her to you, we are to shake hands. After that, you will take her hand for the ceremony. After, there will be two traditional dances: on for me and her and one for her and you. I will be standing by in case you get too fatigued," he added, nodding at my cane. "Then you will get cut the cake." He sighed, his face looking uncomfortable. "Then there's the wedding night."
For some reason, the air around us turned awkward.
I frowned. "Why do you sound so... unhappy?"
"It's not that I'm unhappy," he said quickly and pulled at the collar of his shirt. "I suppose your father never told you what happens.... Are you familiar with how men and women show physical affection?" I blushed and nodded, remembering the conversation I had with James. "That will happen tonight."
My mouth went dry. "You mean- I'm supposed to-?"
He smiled kindly. "If it will make you feel better, I am positive she is just as nervous."
I nodded but ran a hand through my hair. It upset the gel, though, causing some strands to fall in my face. I was about to fix it but he stopped me.
"I understand tradition," he said, "but I know she'll prefer this way."
I smiled as Tiberius looked in.
"It is time," he said and I stood with a deep breath.
"I guess I become a prince today," I said and the king grinned.
I was led into the ballroom. The guests were already starting to arrive and sitting in their seats. Tiberius stood to my left. He was supposed to be in a black suit but, knowing how uncomfortable he'd be, I had them make him a white suit. At first he tried to decline but I wanted him to be as comfortable as possible. The queen was sitting in the front and to my right. When she saw me, she got up to give me a quick hug and kiss on the cheek. She was crying already.
"She's so excited," she whispered and I beamed, albeit nervously.
"So am I."
The music started and my stomach flipped. The queen hurried to sit down and the doors opened. I shut my eyes, gripping my cane tightly, the opened them to a beautiful sight. I nearly fell over and Tiberius held my elbow.
Her dress was floor length and gold. The skirts flowed out a little. Twirling up the skirt and bodice was a thin line of green. A gold veil covered her face and she held a bouquet of white roses.
The king kissed her hand and passed it to me. I shook his hand and turned to her. She kept the bouquet in her other hand, though, since I was one handed, too. I couldn't quite see her face but I could tell she was smiling. The priest read through his sermon and we said our vows. My hands were shaking as Tiberius held my can so I could lift her veil. I was struck by her beauty. She wore gold makeup around her eyes and her lips were void of color, much to my pleasure.
"You may kiss," the priest said happily.
We both grinned and I placed my hands gently on her face. We leaned toward each other and I kissed her. I felt her melt into my touch and I smiled, pulling away to kiss her forehead. Tiberius passed me my cane and I held my other arm out for her to take. We went back down the aisle, leading the way outside to where the cake and food were set up.
The days were getting cooler again. The wind had picked up, as well, but I didn't mind. All that I cared about, as we slowly revolved to the music, was that Angel was in my arms and she was my wife.
After everyone had left, though, and we were walking back to our room, my stomach started to hurt. Nerves were pulsing through me as I opened the door. Once Angel was inside, I nodded once to Tiberius who understood and continued down the hall. I closed the door and Angel pulled me to her, kissing me.
"Um... I-I don't quite know what I'm doing," I admitted breathlessly as I slipped my coat off.
Her face was red and I'm sure mine was, too.
"Neither do I," she giggled.
I gulped and wrapped my arms around her waist. As we kissed, I untied her corset and she took my tie off, her hands slowly unbuttoning my shirt. I gasped quietly into the kiss as she slid my shirt down my arms. I let her wedding dress fall to reveal a slip that she pulled over her head. My nerves disappeared as soon as I saw her body.
I took in every curve, every feature. She stood before me shyly, her arms circling her waist. I joined her in revealing my body and her eyes slowly slid down my torso. I put my hands on her hips and kissed her gently, slowly pushing her toward the bed. She got in, moving the blankets, and I climbed on her carefully.
"Are you hurting?" I asked.
"No," she said quickly.
She kissed my chest and up to my neck, her hands running up my arms, and I couldn't hold it back. It was uncomfortable at first, trying to learn from each other, until the passion took over. I ran my hands up to her breasts and she moaned my name, moving with me. I groaned into her neck, moaning her name, too. Her nails dug into my back as her body tense. She let out a cry of pleasure, her chest pressing to mine, and I reached what James had called an orgasm.
We both came crashing back to earth, breathing heavily and sweating. I waited until I had my breath somewhat under control before kissing her. She ran her hands into my hair and I lay down beside her. I looked down as I pulled the blankets over us and my heart jumped into my throat.
"Angel," I began.
"Shh," she whispered, kissing me. "It's normal."
We kissed again but we were both exhausted and fell asleep in each other's arms.