The very center of the garden was a magnificent place. All paths seemed to swirl into a circular cobblestone clearing centered around a great gazebo with incredible architecture detail. Tall trees walled in this makeshift clearing, hiding the place from view as if it was some secret spot hidden and unknown from the rest of the world.
Cassandra didn't often come down here, as it was a place of memory for the late Queen Diana and somehow it sent shivers down her spine. It was well known as the first queen's favorite place on the palace grounds. It was a beautiful for sure, but there was something in the air Cassandra did not like, as if the dead Queen still lingered here--watching. Perhaps it was just the tales she had heard originating from the mouths of the gardeners, their supposed sighting of Queen Diana's specter. Such stories spread like wildfire through the circles of gossip, making the circular garden infamous.
"This is quite a place," murmured Alezander, the two still holding hands like small children.
"Isn't it?" Cassandra nodded. "I haven't been down here in the longest time."
She looked into his face, genuinely curious. It was funny how they had suddenly become so relaxed and open with one another. She replied honestly, "There's a strange...energy in the air. Like when a storm approaches, when the air crackles after lightnening. Like there is some unusal magic here."
"You think I'm crazy, don't you?" laughed Cassandra.
"No," smiled the Prince.
He chuckled, then looked to her with all seriousness, with a glance so deep, as if filled with such profound sincerity, that made her heart beat faster, "Honest."
Cassandra colored slightly, allowing her hand to drop from his before she made her way to the grand gazebo, climbing the steps onto the platform. The whole place smelled like roses, their red, almost melancholy faces lingering just about the railing, their sharp, sinister thorns protecting their precious queen.
Alezander was not far behind, skipping a few of the stairs to join her. He grappled for something to say, the earlier awkwardness of extended silence settling between them, but he failed to come up with anything gracefully casual. Easy conversation was one thing for certain both his younger brother and his cousin had more naturally.
"How is Nakatara?" he asked as the horse came to his mind, though he found the words quite formal as they passed through his lips.
"Oh, very well. I love her very much," Cassandra replied, relieved there was something to talk of or occupy their time now. "Would you like to see her?"
"Of course," nodded the Prince, offering his arm so that she could guide him to the stable yard down the way.
Just as they stepped off the gazebo, a servant entered the garden center, appearing anxious to be in such a place and before two such figures of royalty. "Your Majesties," the servant began slowly. "I am sorry to disturb you, but the Princess must prepare for tonight's banquet."
The Princess turned toward Alezander, curtsying gently. "I apologize, I must depart."
He bowed graciously in reply, "Maybe another time, then?"
"Yes, indeed," Cassandra answered. "I shall see you at dinner, Your Majesty."