Chapter 35

 "It is so good to see you again, Giddeon. Please, sit."

Giddeon easily made himself comfortable in the familiar study chair, the finger of warm firelight spread through the darkness which encased much of the study room which smelled of books and leather. "You look tired, Alezander. Are you alright?" he inquired, looking over his friend and cousin.

The Prince seated himself opposite of the Duke of Lycroft, attempting to shake the exhaustion from his head. "I haven't slept well the past few nights. But never mind it. I want to hear your opinions of the Princess."

Giddeon felt that same wave of emotion wash over him as when the portrait of Cassandra was unveiled before all. It only continually inflicted agony, reminding him how beautiful she was and how it seemed that he was so infatuated with her. He swallowed, pushing aside his melancholy thoughts, "She's a lovely girl. Developing to a very pleasing woman. It's hard to believe that she's just sixteen."

"How much did you see of her? A lot, then?"

He chuckled blandly, "Some. She's very smart, chatted for the longest while during her portrait. Very sweet in nature, nice to be around."  He paused to shift in his chair. "She thought her portrait made her too beautiful, but I would have to disagree. If anything, Falin portrayed her perfectly, or not enough!"

"She is fond of you?"

"I suppose," he replied bitterly. Very, actually.  "She was wondering about you. And what of your letters? They have seemed to have diminished."

"Hmph," Alezander looked away thoughtfully. "I have been busy. I will write her some more when I have the opportunity, and I will attend her next birthday. She will also be older then."

"She liked Nakatara," Giddeon said following a slight pause. None of his words had feeling, they were blank and monotonous. He really did not want to be with Alezander at this moment and be speaking of such a subject. "She has a good opinion of you. I think you shall get along well."

"That is good," he nodded. Standing, he continued, "I should let you head to your quarters, you've done some traveling in the past days. Tomorrow, we will talk more."

The young Duke stood, "Me? It is you that appears to need the sleep, Alez. Tommorrow, then. Perhaps we can do some training before I head back to Lycroft." And perhaps he could forget Cassandra for a while. Have everything back to the way it was.

The End

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