Chapter 2

The two men set aside their mock weaponry, settling themselves just off the practice course as they watched the other few pairs spar. Both took long draughts from their glasses, wiping sweat from their foreheads as hankerchiefs were offered to them.

"I am returning home within the next fortnight," Giddeon turned to his cousin.

"Why?" the Prince finished the last of his water only to be handed another. "Cassandra shall be arriving by then. Won't you want to greet her? I thought you said you enjoyed her company during your stay."

"I did....," he replied hesistantly, looking off toward the court women which always gathered whenever prominent men practiced on the field. Several, who were watching him before, anxiously blushed and averted their gazes while others fluttered their eyes and flaunted at him. Giddeon returned his eyes to Alezander. "But there are many things back in Lycroft that need my management."

Alezander glanced to the ladies thoughtfully, who still had their eyes on Giddeon, chattering hastily amoungst themselves. "Princess Cassandra knows you - you are a familiar face. Would it not be comforting for her to see you here?" He paused as Giddeon failed to answer, turning away slightly as if occupying himself with something else. "Our marriage shall be a grand event. No doubt it will attract only the best of women. And you have yet to find one to your liking that you should wed...,"

"Aren't you a familiar face enough for her?" snapped Giddeon, his voice accidentally sharp. Alezander retracted slightly, surprised. A stiff silence hung between the two for a moment. Giddeon deflated, softening his tone. "I'm sorry, I have been a little anxious lately. Come, we should finish our practice."

The Prince nodded in agreement, taking up his false sword once more and stepping onto the field with him. He pouted thoughtfully, not helping to feel a little suspcious of his cousin's behavior.


It was not long before Alezander was called back to his Princely duties, leaving Giddeon alone. He cleaned up from their game of practice, bathing and redressing for the rest of the day's outings, though he only felt like remaining in the seculsion of his chambers.

As he buttoned up a fresh shirt, he couldn't help but think of Alezander's words. Cassandra and marriage, women and weddings. Would he be happy married to just any woman, any woman of status that Alezander talked of? It was a proper course in life and he just had to accept it, and Cassandra's course was with Alezander. He only wished he could have been straightforward with her during his departure, and told her that he did feel for her, but the relationship would never had worked. Perhaps then they still could have been friends, and a little bit of the love they shared for one another would remain through companionship.

No. It never would have been just friendly exchanges. He felt too much for her, and from what he understood, she had felt for him as well. And he could never do such a thing to Alezander.  Yes, he had to cut her off as he did. As much agony as it put him in, it would have been worse. Much worse.

He couldn't hide from her forever, even if that is not what Alezander meant to say as he had the least idea of the time he and Cassandra had shared and the emotion he had harbored for her. Giddeon would have to move onwards, officially cut himself from her, and marry another girl.

The End

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