At one o'clock in the afternoon, there was a knock on the door of my bedchamber.
"Come in," I called," hoping not to sound as frightened as I felt.
The door opened to reveal our footman.
"A ‘George Delphinium' requests your audience, Your Highness," he said in a formal tone.
I tried to smile. "Thank you. I shall see him in the gardens." Well, I needed fresh air.
As the footman bowed and left, I tried not to panic. Composing myself, I walked out of my room and descended to the gardens.
George arrived, seconds later, smiling reassuringly.
"You'll probably need to call a maid or someone to accompany us to Majesteria. Two unicorns were sent."
"I'll fetch Charity - she is on our side."
I hurried back into the Palace and was relieved to find Charity in the drawing room. Mother was also there and I announced that we were taking a trip to Majesteria.
Mother nodded, smiling. "I'm so glad you've befriended Eagles, Selena. They are good company to have."
"She is hiding her suspicion," Charity replied to my questioning look at our mother's seeming approval of our visit as we left the room.
Outside, George was looking slightly thoughtful.
"Is it allowed for an accompanying part to not be of age?" he asked.
Charity nodded. "As long as you are over 18 and trusted by the Palace."
"Thank you for clearing that up for me." He smiled. "I am glad to know that Selena is not alone in the Palace."
Charity smiled back. "Me too."
As we left the Palace through the front entrance, Charity asked "So you're Eden's fiancé?"
"That I am."
"How is she? We used to be splendid friends but now I hardly see her."
"She is well. Beautiful as ever."
We had now reached the stables. A stable boy was petting two unicorns (one of which I recognised as Eden's) and he handed George and Charity the reins.
George climbed on Eden's horse, and Charity and I on the other, and together we kicked off and flew up into the cloudless sky.
When we arrived at Majesteria Palace, Adam was there to welcome us. He gave me a quick hug (which didn't escape Charity's notice) before taking my sister to Eden. He seemed to have an idea of what was going on. I looked at George questioningly.
"Eden's unicorn can understand humans and transmit thought to her," he explained as we walked to the Supreme Ruler's office.
"Wow," I murmured.
George knocked on a great oak door.
It opened to reveal the Supreme Ruler, looking mildly surprised to see us.
"H-hi," I stammered, even though George could have spoken for me. "I'm here to talk about something relating to yesterday's trial."
The Supreme Ruler's brow furrowed. "Okay," he said. "Come in."
We both walked in, George closing the door behind us. The Supreme Ruler didn't seem to mind his presence, which I was glad about since I didn't think I could face him alone.
"Um," I began, in a very small voice. I looked down, feeling the heat rise to my cheeks. "I'm- ... I realised yesterday that I'm attracted to Tiger Flame."
"Okay," the Supreme Ruler said, his tone unreadable.
I looked up cautiously.
The Supreme Ruler looked deep in thought. I didn't need to ask if I was in trouble because he was evidently going to answer my question.
"When did you realise this?" he asked suddenly, his blue eyes twinkling as if he had an exciting idea.
"At night: when I was returning home with George."
"So after the trial?"
The Supreme Ruler smiled. "Then you have no need to worry."
Did I just hear him correctly?
"If you were telling the truth as it was during the trial," he continued, "it doesn't matter what thoughts came to you afterwards, especially with something as unfixed and variant as feelings. So long as you don't answer untruthfully the next time you're in court, everything will be fine?"
"You mean that?" I asked, filling with hope.
All the worry, all the fear that had been building up inside me was suddenly rushing to leave my body.
"Oh, thank you!" I cried. "Oh, Your Supremacy, thank you!"
It was so good to know that I was safe, that I hadn't broken the rules, that I wouldn't need to be punished. Such a relief!
"No problem. And now, I believe Adam would like to see you: he was most worried this morning."
Adam. Yes, seeing Adam would be a good idea. Someone I could feel comfortable about being hyper-excited around.
I nodded. "Thank you again, sir."
I opened the door. George made as if to leave but His Supremacy called "One moment, George."
I looked at him but he shook his head, indicating I should go.
"Thanks, George," I said.
"You're welcome, Selena."
"And with that, I rushed off to find Adam.