His Final Plea
A/N: I own nothing. Unfortunately.
Chapter Seven: His Final Plea
"How's my sister doing? Have you heard? " I asked the servant tending to me that evening, Emily was out once again. The lady's fingers were lacing up the back of the, dainty gown that had been picked out for me to wear to dinner. The color of the dress was a very light rose color, a thin layer of lace laid over the top of the dress.
"I heard she walked herself out of the medical wing," the servant told me with a smile on her face," She's quite the trooper, I'd say."
I released a sigh, still quite amazed at the quality of this, not elaborate, but just elegant piece of clothing that she had put on me. Staring into the mirror, I wasn't a girl who was a very big fan of dresses and frills, but this was a different piece of work altogether," She's much too proud, but…I love her nonetheless."
The girl could help but chuckle and I couldn't help but release a shriek as she pulled the laces tighter before her apology," Sorry, my lady."
Catching another breath, I replied," Do not worry of it…" my breath quickened as my hand rested on my abdominal, " But is it really that necessary to keep it that tight? It is only dinner. In fact, I thought we had established a," more pulling, and another gasp," more casual dress code."
The servant stepped away from me and looked at the dress from the front, paying little attention to my lack of air," But this is a private dinner with the man you fancy. Surely, you want to impress him."
I felt heat rush to my face. Yes, so I did fancy him and all, but it was still embarrassing to talk about. Every time one of the women would bring him up, of course, I would answer whatever they wanted answered (most of the time), but I would try to change the topic quickly for it was still incredibly awkward to talk about love…maybe it wasn't for other girls, but I was a little odd, you could safely say.
A knock at the door, saved us from anymore talk. Quickly, I bounded from the place where I stood and went to answer the door. The servant girl hardly noticed I had bounded away, for she had turned to grab something from the table as I left.
To my surprise, Caspian stood at the threshold. Typically, if he was to have dinner with me, another servant would act as my escort, but it was he. I couldn't help but smile as he leaned in to embrace me. Immediately apologies filled my ears," You must forgive me for the last-"
I looked directly at him and softly pressed my forehead to his, careful that he was listening," You mustn't apologize anymore. I've forgiven you enough just for arranging this."
Respite filled his face and though I had been upset, I found that I couldn't stay angered with him for long. We would have plenty of time to catch up now that dinner was planned. I noticed that he, like I, was dressed in some of his nicest dress. I guess that they were disregarding my requests of more casual clothing for the evening.
Slowly, he backed away, his eyes still locked on mine and his hands still laced through my own before he asked," Are you ready to leave?"
"Lady Rosalie!" I heard the servant girl cry from inside my quarters once more, I had basically left without telling her a word. Guilt pinged inside of me as she frantically ran around the quarters searching high and low for where I could be. She passed by the door way, not noticing who she had passed until she was well down the hallway. Embarrassed she made her way back, spitting out apologies.
"Do not worry of it," I told her gently, placing a hand on her shoulder," I am going to go now. If anyone should be apologizing it is I."
"If I am not ready by now, then I will never be," I told her, still smiling as I grabbed Caspian's hand once more and began our descent.
As I held Caspian's hand in my own and we walked through the corridors, I noticed that we were not on our way to the formal dining room. I found this rather odd, considering that we were both in our nicest attire. In fact, I was rather clueless as to where he was leading us for the longest while.
"So, you did the honors of escorting me yourself tonight?" I teased him as we took another turn.
He looked at me out of the side of his eye," Of course, I wanted to take you to this dinner myself. This one is….more special."
"More special?" I laughed slightly as we started to climb a flight of stairs," Special enough to request the maids that I be in a gown. Something you know that I absolutely despise."
A grin was planted on his lips," Maybe it's just nice to see you in a dress every once and a while."
I couldn't help but roll my eyes once more, but my laughter was soon stifled as we reached the top of the stairs. He pushed the door open and immediately my jaw dropped.
The sight that I saw was the same sight that Caspian and I had discovered as children. I had not been on this particular balcony of the castle since I was, maybe, ten years old. It was the place where Caspian and I would run off to. Immediately, we went over to ledge to look over the same ledge that we always had and watched as the river ran through the forest.
"This is wonderful," I told him after several moments," How did you think to come here? I have long forgotten about this place."
He chuckled," I think you think too little of my memory. Maybe I should be offended that you forgot," he raised a brow in jest as he started walking to the other side of the rather large balcony. I followed behind him closely, still admiring the beauty of the Narnia landscape below us. I was so in awe of the view that we used to see daily as children that I hardly noticed the dining table that had been set up just for us. The table was a smaller, circular one that had a nice linen strewn over the top of it.
I smiled as he led me to my seat and soon I saw both Beck and Emily coming through the doorway to serve our food. I couldn't help but smile at seeing the two together, mostly Emily trying to make sure Beck didn't drop anything. Caspian and I couldn't help but chuckle as they would pass through, normally bickering, but then trying to cover it up as best they could.
It wasn't anything over-the-top, like we typically had, but it was nice. It was laid-back. It was perfect.
The soft wind that blew over the castle as the sun started to set. How nice it was to just sit and eat and talk with Caspian. Most of the night, we had not talked of anything very serious. Mostly, just all sorts of nonsense that seemed to come into our heads, and inviting Emily and Beck into the conversation as well. It was almost as if nothing had happened over the last two days.
I remember, clearly, the moment when that night changed.
We had been sitting out on the balcony for quite some time for the moon had risen and lanterns graced the sides of the balcony. A small candle flame flicked on the table as I thought back to the moment where I remembered the soldiers leaving Telmar in quite a hurry. I had intended to ask, but had not gotten the chance. Both Penelope and I had found the sight rather odd. At that break in the conversation, I found it would be an appropriate time to bring up a serious matter.
"Caspian?" I asked him, leaning over the table, careful of the stray bread crumbs and food scraps lying about.
"Yes?" he replied, looking at me with question as I spoke.
"The other day, I couldn't help but notice two large troops of men leaving Telmar in quite the hurry," I started as I looked over the candle," I've been meaning to ask-"
He shook his head and sighed deeply, I stopped at the sound of his sigh as he offered his hand to me to stand up. Careful of the flame, I grabbed his hand and allowed him to steer me toward the side of the balcony. When we reached the edge, we stood there for quite awhile before he spoke.
"You really wish to know? On a night such as tonight?" he asked me, a sudden anxiousness coming up in his voice.
As his eyes were set ahead, mine were set on him," Yes. I would."
"Of course," he muttered, looking down and shaking his head before looking back out over the landscape," Rosalie, I will be bluntly honest with you. I may as well just say it. Something out West has killed over thirty of the men in the army. One of the scouts that I sent out, they were only doing their job and-General was the only one to survive the attack," he paused again," You're sure you want to hear this?"
"Where was this?" I asked him softly, moving myself closer to him. I could hardly believe what he was telling me. Thirty men? I paid no mind to his question, for my tone showed my interest.
"It was in a small village town just before the mountains out West. General came back with three men. He told me that they entered the deserted town in search of something, anyone or anything really. They saw corpses about the street, but before they left, he wanted a full search of the town. So, he entered the tavern with these other men, while the rest of the troop took search around the town," he explained to me, I was listening intently," Inside, he met a wacky couple who told the story of how 'spirits' killed the inhabitants of the town. How they listened to the screams of their loved ones as they were killed and the town was destroyed."
"That's awful!" I commented, shocked, in the pause of conversation, but then a question spurred my thoughts," But just how did these two survive while the others did not? And what are these 'spirits'."
Caspian nodded, understandingly," That's what I want to find out. General claimed that they would not agree to come back to testify to the council what happened. The whole story is a little too…'supernatural' for me because when General exited the tavern…his troop was killed. I thought that perhaps something else had happened, some other tragedy that had left the couple mentally ill, but I had to doubt that theory when I heard my men were dead."
"All thirty of them?" I asked again, making sure I had received the information correctly.
"Yes," he answered, very softly," All thirty of them."
"So, you decided to send General out with more men? Is that what I saw?" I questioned, my mind thriving on this new mystery," What happens should these be killed too? Are they not just walking into their own-"
I noticed that I was spitting out questions again without hardly thinking or….breathing between them. He raised a hand to silence me before verbally hushing me," Rosalie, Rosalie, shhh. Calm down, I have sent him more troops, but one of them he is to take into the mountains to find the source while the other is to stay behind and come back to me after a certain amount of time, should they not hear from the others. Also, I signed a paper requesting the presence of this tavern owners in my court."
My eyes found their way to the landscape that had the moon shining its light down onto it. A cool breeze now had started blowing gently, sending a shiver down my body as I thought of just what might be lying out West. I had read plenty of books on Narnian history and knew of the theories that had been written over what lie in the West. Witchcraft, creatures like no other has seen before, and all sorts of nasty beings that really only belonged in the shadows. Just as much as this disturbed me, I also did not trust General.
There was something about that dark hair and glare that the soldier wore. There was something about that scar on his face that disturbed me almost as much as the idea of a spirit killing all of the troop.
"You believe General's account?" I challenged him, moving closer as another breeze blew through the air.
Caspian wrapped his arm over my shoulders, providing more heat," He's given me no reason not to. I can't see the reasoning behind why everyone thinks so negatively of him!"
"Perhaps, because the man's got a scar on his face the length of his skull or the fact that he lurks around in the shadows and there's-"
"Okay, you've made yourself clear, but he has done a fine job leading the men thus far," he argued for the military leader's case.
I nodded, knowing I would be defeated on this argument once more," Thus far. You don't know what he has up his sleeve."
"I think you're being a little ridiculous," he told me," Try to give him a chance. Please. Plus, you would agree that we need to get this settled? He's the only one we've got right now.
Reluctantly, I nodded, but avoided eye-contact with him as I looked out to the West. Out in those far hills, something wasn't right. Something was lurking in the shadows…waiting to come out and rebirth. Little did we know what that was at the time, but a feeling was loud and clear that something was about to change in Narnia.
"If he does anything-" I argued once more, very adamant on my feelings.
The King laughed at me before nodding his head," Yes, I'll get rid of him should he do anything out of line."
Perhaps, Caspian was right. Maybe I was only judging the man prematurely; I didn't really know him all the well. My only judgement of him was my first impression…which is never accurate. Or so they say.
Another silence hung in the air as we stood there, under the moonlight. I chose this to once again fill the gap," Does this have anything to do with why you have not spoken to me over the last two days?"
Dead silence. I could have sworn that everything throughout the whole land had ceased in everything. My heart paused just as I could feel his speed up. He allowed the silence to hang for a while longer before saying," Partially, but the reason I have not spoken with you is because of a much more serious matter."
More serious? What else could be happening?
"More serious?" I questioned him, looking up at his face.
"Much," he nodded, meeting my gaze.
There was another silence. I was growing very tired of all of the pauses in the conversation and wished that he would get on and say what he needed to," Well," I prodded," What might that be?"
"It's about you," he finally told me, finally.
Me? What could be so serious about me?
I could tell by his face that he was struggling for quite some time. I could tell that he was fighting for the right words to come out and I rested my hand atop of his, trying to show some encouragement," Tell me," I urged, looking at him with pleading eyes.
"The council," he started, obviously reluctant to speak," has discovered a law."
I studied him closely, still trying to figure out where he was going with this. What sort of law would relate to me?
He sighed heavily and all I wanted was to be able to read just what was going on in his head. All I wanted to know was what he was trying to say. It was obvious that he was struggling with words once more. I ran my fingers over his, trying to provide some sort of comfort to him.
"The castle is open for residency to the king and his family, as you know. It is also open to those who are members of the king's council and their family," he swallowed hard," During their reign that is."
My heart almost stopped beating.
"Does this-?" I tried, but he interrupted.
"Please, allow me to finish," he said tenderly, still not looking me in the eye," Other than the servants, who have devoted themselves to the castle, the citizens of the 'Upper' class or whatever word properly fits us are the sole people allowed to call this place home. In the case that a term should end, the family has one year to reside in the castle before they are to choose a new home since they are not the family members of the current ruling body."
I couldn't believe it. Was he really telling me that I had to find somewhere else to live? Just like that? Is that what he was referring to? Either way, the thought of leaving the castle, a place I had called home for all my life was absolutely dreadful. The look on my face must have shown him my feelings and though I tried to stay strong, tears were coming to my eyes. I could never imagine leaving…never.
"Caspian, I can't believe this," I said, my voice cracking unintentionally," Are you telling me what I think you're telling me?"
He sighed, which only furthered my theory.
"I can't believe this," I said with a shake of my head before pulling my hand away from his," I knew something was wrong."
"Hear me out," he pleaded desperately," You must know that I've done nothing but try and change this over the last two days, but there is nothing we can do this quickly. This has come upon us all much too quickly for us to change anything, but a proposition came up as we discussed this. There may not be something I can do to change it…but there is something we can do."
It was taking almost everything inside of me to not fall apart right there. He may have been trying to tell me otherwise and explain himself, but I could hardly get over what he had told me before. Finding a new home would be incredibly painful and I figured that all he would do was try and…I don't know...sugarcoat reality.
I was wrong.
I watched as he turned and under the moonlight, his face looked so-innocent. He was pained at the sight of my displeasure; he wanted to ease the pain. He always had. I knew this wasn't his fault, but he sure wasn't making the situation any better. To my surprise, he grabbed both of my hands in his and forced my fingers to interlock with his once more near the edge of the balcony.
"These last two days have been some of two most, difficult days of my life. However, I would not consider them the absolute worse. I think that both you and I know what those days are…but the point being that I realized that you may walk out of my life once more over these last two days-"
"I could always still visit," I tried, a tear spilling down my face, hardly able to muster up anything intelligible.
A small smile came to his face," You could," he admitted," But it would never be the same, Rosalie. Never would my life be complete knowing that you were not going to always be there for me whenever I needed someone to talk to. Never would my life be complete without going on our walks every evening-"
"I wouldn't be far-" I sobbed, trying to reassure myself that it would be okay; his words were only making me more forlorn, but he continued on," You're busy anyways with-this stuff."
Half of my words hardly made any sense, but I was merely in shock of all that had gone through my head.
"Shh," he soothed as the tears came falling from my face and he pulled me in close to him, my face lay on his shoulder and his words found my ear, "I already almost lost you once, Rosalie Sopespian. I messed up horribly. Now, the time comes that both you and I must respect the law. Both you and I must serve our country, before we serve ourselves."
There was a pause where the only thing I could hear was my own sob and all I could feel was Caspian's arms around me tight. Then he words broke through the silence. I was preparing myself for the moment of total heartbreak.
"I feel the same way about you now that I did when we both were only six years old," he purred into my ear," If a six year old boy could fall in love, then I swear that I fell harder than any of them could ever dream. You were the one who helped me, even at six years old, to cope with the pain. You were the one that welcomed me into your family and for that I will forever be grateful," he slowly moved his hands up to cup both sides of my face, forcing me to look at him with my tear-stained eyes," Despite everything else that has happened Rosalie Sopespian, my heart has only ever beat for you. Never, would I hope that a past such as ours would stand in the way. That's why, right now, I need you to tell me that you share these feelings. I know the wound is still fresh and I do not expect you to be totally healed, but please tell me something in response."
Tears continued to flow down my face, but I looked right into Caspian's eyes. Memories came flooding back to my head, but did they even matter? The feel of his hands on my face, the sound of his voice, this boy that I had met as a child and grown up with had turned into someone who I could never picture myself living without. I knew to whom he was referring and I responded honestly.
With a sniffle, I muttered to him," Caspian, you must know that my heart may never fully recover from what happened with him. You must know this, but I can tell you right now, that the feelings I had for him could never compare to the way I feel for you, the way I have felt for you since we were so young. I never though that I would fall in love, Caspian. I never dreamt of falling in love, but-my heart has disagreed."
A look of relief filled his face as he inhaled deeply. I was still failing to see how this connected, but I did not interrupt him, perhaps talk like this would help to cover up the reality that I thought was going to strike," Will you answer, for me, one last question, Rosalie? Will you answer my final plea?"
I nodded my head, slowly, still trying to dry my eyes.
Slowly, his hands moved away from my face as they slid into a pocket. Any tears of pain that I had disappeared as the King of Narnia dropped down to one knee and looked up at me with a beautiful, silver ring in his hands," I know we are young and I know that we have been through many tough times, but will you answer the call that both my heart and Narnia calls? Please, Rosalie will you p-please be my Queen? You will never be forced to leave."
I couldn't help but smile. Tears now fell freely from my face, but they were tears of joy. My heart was thinking not of Peter, my heart would never forget him, but it would move on. My heart was not thinking of moving, for it would never have to endure that pain. The only word that could depict how I was feeling would be ecstasy. Just hours ago, I was so upset by the ignorance I was receiving from Caspian, but now-he had asked me what everyone, myself included, had been waiting for. Even though I tried to put it off by telling everyone that we had no plans, this was what I had been waiting for. Deep down.
I was going to be married.
Almost too in shock to reply, I finally bent down and placed my hand on his cheek before nodding my head robustly. Joy moved in and planted itself onto his face. His smile was so large, as was mine as I felt the lovely silver ring slide onto my finger. Before I could even think to admire the ring, Caspian had sprung up from his knee and lifted me from the ground. As we spun in the air, I could not think of anywhere else I would have rather been. I could not think of a time that I had ever been happier.
It was all such a whirlwind. We were young and hard times were not-so-distant, but we hardly cared at that moment.
Author's Note: You have no idea how long it took me to write that scene. I battled myself sooo many times and I hope that the proposal turned out alright. That part is the reason why I have not uploaded for like the past week, which I apologize for. Writer's block is absolutely horrendous. However, I have overcome it for I was struck with a brilliant idea the other night, so we will see how it all pans out. Anyway, sorry for the rambles, love you all! Hope you enjoyed it! They're engaged! Woo-hoo! Okay, bye.
Let me know what you think!