With the passing of time, the flow of letters became steady. Though many were short, clues of character were revealed, hints of personalities shown, and something of a relationship established. Alezander, by the wane flicker of the candle, would set aside time before he slept to write the girl who was to be his betrothed. He began to leak to her the life he led, descriptions of the place she was to, in a few brief years, call home as well. To her he felt a pang of sympathy, showing a certain kindness in his letters.
She realized she started to wait for his answers with an air of excitement. From what she could glean from others, the heir to Navarn’s throne was quite handsome and exceedingly fine in manner, a superb horseman and exceedingly talented with a sword, and too she learned herself that he was a superb writer whose words and descriptions she found she greatly enjoyed.
Such a setting excited some romantic aspiration, planted the seed of dreams in the young princess’ mind. She yearned for more about him, and her original ‘reservation’ seemed to fade in the excitement of the mystery, the enticement of perhaps the ’romance’ itself, as she neared her fourteenth year.
Ambassador Jermayn of Navarn was a stout, robust man with an appropriately short figure to match. His broad shoulders and the slight round of his belly, from one too many feasts, made his elaborate suits pull and tighten in an awkward, almost amusing, fashion. Despite this, his expression remained dignified, though some claimed he had the nose of a pig and the eyes as well - and although Cassandra could understand how he could be described in such a way, she still believed him to be, like many of the other courtiers, an image of stateliness and certain grace. Yet there was something warm about him which made her comfortable in his presence -but perhaps it was only a kindness set aside just for her.
At her entrance, he stood and bowed lowly, reaching to place a kiss on her hand. "Your Highness, Princess Cassandra, you look as lovely as usual today," he greeted her. Briefly she smiled, thankng him for his kind words. "Please, have a seat."
And she did appear quite lovely. Despite her youthful age, with every passing year she seemed to be a blooming flower. He was the one who had come to her days after birth, and ever since, he had been charged with watching her grow and surveying her progression to report back to Navarn. Overtime, a certain beauty, both upon her outside and radiating from her inside, appeared to arise. She was tall and regal in her build, already taller then he, and appearing older then her age, almost as old as or older then her sixteen year old half-sister Marie Diana. Today, especially, she appeared quite pleasing, with a delicate pink satin gown which accented her lovely cheeks when she blushed and smiled. It would not be long before her birthday would come, and she would be only years away from marrying her prince, who the Ambassador believed would be quite happy with her.
"I apologize for interrupting your lessons; I am full aware they are what occupy you at this hour. But I presumed you may wish to receive your newest letter from Prince Alezander." He held the letter in his hand, a slight slyness to his voice as he observed her eyes brighten. As he offered it, she shyly smiled and thanked him in her sweet manner. She looked to open the seal, yet paused and glanced to him as if inquiring to wait.
"Please, let me not stand in your way," Ambassador Jermayn prodded playfully, making the girl flush bashfully. "Open it; I am simply sipping my tea. Would you like some?"
"No thank you, Sir," she answered briskly, her attention mainly focused on the letter before her. He watched in rapt curiosity, the glow of her cheeks, the expression in her eyes as she ate the words up with an excited vigor. At the end, a slight frown stained her face for a moment, but as quickly as it came, she brushed it away and looked up to him.
"I assume he has told you he is unable to attend your birthday ball," the ambassador said, setting aside his teacup. "He is very busy, being the expectant king. No doubt he will make up for it and attend next year."
Cassandra nodded, half smiling as if attempting to shadow her slight disappointment.
"He regrets being unable to attend, from what I understand. He was keen upon meeting you." Ambassador Jermayn continued. "Ah, well. I am sure your governess and her lessons are waiting, and I am also sure you should not keep her waiting, if you do not mind me saying, Princess!"