Chapter 22


The Lady nodded, her dark eyes lingering over the painting the Prince had just finished speaking of, his late grandfather. Alezander looked across her own face, almost staring at her delicate, goddess-like features. She turned her eyes from the portrait to him, a soft glow of pink warming her cheeks as she hurried to turn her eyes away. Caught by her very presence, he reached forward, stepping over the bounds of cordiality as they simply linked arms and gently brushed the tips of his fingers over her jaw to her chin. She leapt backwards, balking at his advancement. “Your Majesty!” she hissed ,coloring redder and redder by the moment as she snatched her arm back to herself.

Desperate, he moved forward once more, grabbing at her hands and taking them tightly in his grasp so she could not pull away. “Raena,” he pleaded, almost so overwhelmed with feeling he could not think sensibly. “After all the time we have spent together, the times I have come to visit you, sought you out, we talked together, after these several weeks….and you are to leave in days…you do not harbor any certain affection towards me?”

The Lady tried to control herself, so incredibly flustered. “Even if I did, I could not claim them, as they are for someone else, namely the one whom you are to wed.” she whispered. Raena straightened, lifting her chin as if trying to shake the moment or cleanse herself somehow. “Now, Your Highness, I must excuse myself. Thank you for your tour of all these portraits.”

Alezander let go of her hands with a sinking disappointment, like lead had replaced his heart for a moment and it had dropped to his feet. Cold resolution crossed her face and she briskly turned away, making for the other end of the hall at a rapid pace.

“Raena, please!” Impulse overcame him as he chased after her, grabbing her around the arm and twisting her around to face him. He firmly planted his lips on hers, entrapping her in his kiss. At first, she struggled but she melted into it, returning the gesture by kissing back.

“Alezander…,” she breathed as he slowly pulled away.

“Raena, please stay,” murmured Alezander, moving his hand so that he could push back one of her a curl which had fallen loose from her head. “Stay, please.”

“I-I…,” Raena appeared in shock, looking dizzied, thrown.

He kissed once more, careful and tender. “Please,”


“….the Coutess Kalandra had her baby. A girl. Her second,” Nara sipped at her tea. Morning’s youthful rays fell golden into the royal common room, giving everything a new light and dashing the true gold which ornamented the room bright and shimmering.

“Hum,” her two brothers said unanimously. They were seated on opposite ends of room, and almost barely aware of one another’s presence on purpose, intent on paying attention to their own various activities or thoughts, too not paying very much attention to their sister’s light chatter meant to begin a conversation. But, like every morning, it usually turned out with herself, Alezander and Daniel having no desire to join or interest in the topics.

“And, I hear the Lady Raena is extending her stay here,” the Princess continued shifting her gaze slightly toward the elder brother, awaiting his reaction.

Alezander looked up abruptly from the map spread out before him on the table, not helping a brief smile. He hid it with a disinterested shock, “Oh? Why is that?”

Nara raised her eyebrow skeptically, “I haven’t the least idea,” the tone in her voice implying she knew exactly why.

The End

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