PART ONE: A WEDDING
Prince Isaac was in love. King Rupert was sure of it.
On their last visit to Prairie Chateau, he had seen him speaking to Princess Marie Terra and looked to be quite enthralled. King Rupert was pleased. Princess Marie was a lovely girl and a fine choice.
Queen Elodie, however, wasn’t as sure of Isaac’s happiness. He seemed to like Princess Marie, but the queen was skeptical to call it love.
Love, especially whether or not he had it, was not on Prince Isaac’s mind at all. He wasn’t thinking about Princess Marie or anyone else. He was just walking out to the stables to ensure that the horses were ready.
The Stones were going to be traveling down to the River’s Palace for a wedding. Isaac didn’t care for the trip to the Palace, but his father made it known that the young prince didn’t really have a choice.
Isaac didn’t understand why they were attending the matrimony at all — the Stones and the River’s didn’t interact much. The Stone’s Fortress was located on the rocky, mountainous, northern tip of The Isle. The River Palace lay in the south, in the wetlands. Isaac had only meet the entire River family on two occasions. He knew the younger River prince, Oliver, better than the rest of the family. They had met several times in their youth on outdoor excursions planned by their fathers. The pair had gotten along well, but that had been many years ago.
Isaac sighed to himself. He didn’t want to go spend the remainder of the week at the Palace. He had liked Oliver in his youth, yes, but he hardly knew the rest of the family.
There was an elder son, he knew, the one that was getting married. His name was Alexander, Isaac thought. Then there was Oliver, followed by a younger boy. Isaac didn’t know much about him, but he distinctly remembered a tiny boy with short red hair that he had met at the last meeting they had with the Rivers.
Hardly a promising start.
But, he supposed, the Terra’s would be there, and while King Rupert was wrong in his assumptions of love, Isaac did enjoy being with Princess Marie.
After he found everything to be in order in the stable house, and tossed a carrot to his own steed, Chancellor, Isaac returned to the Fortress and gathered his things. He was supposed to call Percy, the butler, to do this, but Isaac neglected his mother’s wishes; he was perfectly capable of carrying a trunk.
He waved the driver off as he slid his trunk into the awaiting carriage. He felt the driver stiffen before he felt the tell-tale shift in the atmosphere. The hairs on his neck rose. His father was in the vicinity.
Isaac turned to see his mother and father exiting the stone gates. His father was speaking to a servant, his voice booming. His mother was walking silently beside him. She was dressed in deep violet, her ink black hair tied back.
His father stopped and continued talking to the butler. Elodie kept moving towards him. She smile warmly at her soon, reached out and smoothed his onyx hair. She fussed over his hair and clothes as he fidgeted and complained.
“You did pack your good suit, didn’t you?” she asked.
Isaac looked at her with his unreadable gray eyes. “Yes, Mother. I packed my good suit. And the French silk tie you love.”
Queen Elodie smiled again and stepped into the carriage. Isaac offering his hand to help him.
King Rupert left the butler and rejoined the rest of the family in the carriage. He looked his son over. He was a tall boy, almost as tall as himself. Isaac’s hair was his mother’s black, though more unruly than Elodies’s. His gray eyes, however, were Rupert’s — light and the color of the stone walls around the Fortress. Isaac spent too much time hiking in the mountains and training the horses. It was terrible for his studies, but had given him a healthy frame, strong and tough. The prince wasn’t a boy anyway; he was a man.
And it was past time to find in a princess.