Chapter 12

The rest of the till Alec's and Princess Clara's wedding passed quickly and soon, all too soon, it was two days before. Isabella was content to stay in bed and sleep the day away so she wouldn't have to deal with the festivities going on in the streets. Her mother had other ideas though and dragged her out of bed with her usual chores to do and after about an hour, when she was awake enough, Isabella had to agree she thought this was a good idea since her mind was busy with things besides the festivities.

Isabella was harvesting the food they grew in the yard when she first heard the news but she thought nothing of it assuming it was a mistake. It wasn't until she was in the market taking the fruit to a vender so he could sell it on past what they needed and she heard it again, that she tried to figure out what everything meant.. Whispers and gossiping all centred around the one person Isabella was trying desperately to keep out of her mind: the Prince Alec.

She only caught snippets on the conversation and managed to deduce that something was happening in the palace, something bad. The Princess Clara had fled the palace in tears apparently early in the morning and ever since the place had been abuzz. There were no soldiers on the streets because they were all either in the palace, surrounding it or searching for Princess Clara. This of course meant that the market wasn't a safe place to be and Isabella hurried back to the house before she got injured or robbed or anything of the like.

Her father met her at the door ushering her in, obviously he didn't want her out when the only authority figures were few and far between. The spent the rest of the day holed up in the house, it seemed silly but in their part of London the precautions were completely necessary if you wanted to get by with getting injured. The area was usually flocked with royal guards giving the place a prison like feel to it even though they left you alone if you didn't cause any trouble - they were there to scare you off committing crimes more than to punish those who did - that was Charlie's job.

The next day when Isabella woke, there was a steaming mug of hot chocolate by her bed, not doubt courtesy of her mother, and the fire was burning steadily, this was probably her father Isabella grinned and got up not bothering to get dressed as she grabbed to comforter of the bottom of her bed, the hot chocolate and a book and made her way toward the window - the fire was right next to it at a right angle. She curled up on her window sill and opened her book, perfectly content to stay there all day until she got hungry.

The house was silent around her and Isabella shuffled awkwardly as she realised that - it was never this quiet. She sighed heavily as she chucked the blanket off her and padded to her door pausing only to grab her dressing gown so she was a bit more presentable. She was a few strides from the door, her dressing gown just tied, when the door opened for her to reveal a handsome man a few feet taller than her, with sparkling blue/green eyes and chocolate brown hair that Isabella knew was extremely soft. She froze.

He stopped as well and simply stared at her. Isabella began to feel very conscious of the fact that she wasn't at all presentable and that this man was in her bedroom. She half wanted to ask him if they could step into the hallway, lounge or anywhere else but her throat had gone dry. She liked her dry lips and began to twist her ring around her finger, biting her bottom lip.

'Izzy,' he spoke as though a breeze of clean air had just washed over him.

Isabella swallowed thickly.

'Hello, Alec,' she practically whispered without meaning to. 'How did you get up here?'

'Your brother, Jasper I assume, warily allowed me up,' Alec told her, an amused half grin appearing on his face and Isabella couldn't help the small one that crept up on her own at the thought of Jasper's dilemma of whether or not to let him in.

'And what are you doing here?' Isabella asked another question and Alec took a deep breath, taking a step toward her.

She stepped back.

'The wedding's off,' he grinned sounding a little hoarse, 'and my father's furious with me for saying I want the law about royal marriage only being between royals abdicated and for calling of the wedding. Apparently, we needed the allegiance but I don't care.'

'What are saying?' Isabella backed up another step so she could sit down on her bed, which she now realised wasn't made - why did this boy make herself conscious about everything?

She quickly tightened the knot of her dressing gown. Alec came to kneel in front of her taking her hands in his warmer, softer - because he had probably never worked a day in his life - and bigger ones and looking imploringly up at her.

'Marry me.'

'I beg your pardon?' Isabella stared at him unmoving, half of her debating jumping away.

'Marry me, Izzy,' he said again and this time Isabella knew she had heard him correctly, 'because I'd rather die than live another day, another hour, another minute, without; because I love you; because I can barely function without you. I love you more than life itself so would please marry me?'

Isabella's lips twitched, 'you've lost your mind!'

'Maybe,' Alec grinned up at her, 'but this is what I want. I want you, forever.'

Isabella felt herself grin and looked away from him, shaking her head very gently. Not in answer to his question but just in amusement and surprise and just because she was complete dumbstruck by his pronouncement.

'I think you should ask someone else first,' she told him and he smiled a little bit more, 'but if he says yes, then I will - just don't tell him you've already asked me.'

'What?' it was Alec's turn to be struck dumb.

'I'll marry you,' Isabella grinned wider than she ever had been feeling giddiness well up inside her off.

Alec beamed back at her and cupped his face in his hands, pulling her down to kiss him. Isabella melted into the kiss, falling back into the familiar rhythm of kissing him, and slipped on the bed to kneel in front of him so they were closer. Isabella laughed against his lips and he pulled back laughing as well. Neither were really sure what was funny as the rested their foreheads together but they were content to laugh while they could because there was no way the king was going to be happy with the new arrangement.

The End.

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