Chapter 20

 

"Good luck, my dear," murmured Edwina with maternal tenderness, allowing her student a supportive squeeze of the hand before she herself slipped off. Cassandra desperately watched her disappear, clinging to her fingers until it fell from her grasp.

She was alone. Alone to face the unknown. Had it not always been that way? Would it not always be that way? It was the nature of life.

 

{~}

 

She saw Alezander first - he singularly was the familiar face in the room.  He was sharp in dressings of paled blue and gold. Her prince met her gaze with those cool, diplomatic eyes - warmed by recognition. Cassandra's heart skipped a beat as he slipped a small smile to her. She now remembered his kiss, brief and soft, like a promise made. Was she in love with him? No. Though she felt she could accept him as her husband without hating him. Perhaps, one day, she would love him as a wife should. If such a love existed.

 When the King did not catch her immeadiate attention, he did after his son. She shivered internally. She certainly did not like his air. His incessant black stare made her avert her eyes and feel ultimately out of place and uncomfortable.

Beside him was a young woman who appeared uncomfortable herself. Generally, the woman, who Cassandra assumed correctly as Alezander's older sister Princess Nara, was pretty, but nothing extraordinary. She was starting to age, considering the typical age Princesses courted and married. Her eyes squinted, unseeing, into narrow wrinkles. Her lips were sourly tightened,  her body rigidly seated in her hardened throne. But she still withheld the regal dignity and elegant airs of her relations, the length of her neck and shape of her face admirable.

There was a last sibling - Daniel - a near replica of both the royals, Alezander and Giddeon, with which she was familiar. He looked considerably younger than his elder sister and brother, and may look a bit, however small, more appealing than Alezander. Though he did not appear very happy about being present, looking over his newest sister-to-be with disdainful boredom.

Hands trembling ever so slightly, she bowed deep and slow before her new family.

 

Just don't mess up.

 

"Rise, Daughter of Howard, Princess Cassandra of Aedryn."

 

 

 

The End

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