Chapter 1: Sister's Wedding
“Chin up. Back straight and regal. Posture is great, your highness,” the wedding planner bows his head and leaves me alone in front of the two mahogany doors.
“Lionel, you don’t have to call me that,” I roll my eyes. Nothing more I detest is my best friends calling me by my proper greeting. I am not that special.
“Ames, you know I have too,” he leans in as he whispers in my ears, “Your mother would never forgive me.”
“Then I’ll explain to her that you and Agnes are the sole exceptions to refrain from calling me ‘your royal highness’ or ‘your highness’. Seriously, it is quite annoying.”
“Then you will have no one respect you,” my mother’s strong voice appears. Both Lionel and I bow our heads, saying at the same time, “Your Grace.”
“Thank you, Lionel. Let me have a word with my daughter,” she nods her head at my tall blonde friend and he quickly escapes.
“Mother, please. I am sure Lionel will only say it when are in private.”
“Amelia, you know we can’t have people being friendly to us. It is the way it has to be,” she puts the single strand that was laying in front of my face and tucks it behind my ear, “Besides. If the whole kingdom of Kestra thought we were too friendly, word would spread and enemies will take over.”
“I happen to disagree mother. We have the best arm forces around the land. Led by my dear uncle, your brother,” I smile. I always loved Uncle Henry, he treated me like I was his daughter. Something I never had with my own father.
“Don’t let your father hear that thought,” my mother knows my pain.
“He won’t do anything but punish me,” I sigh.
“Enough about that. The wedding is about to start and I need you happy. For your mother?” She softens the brown eyes that I had inherited.
“Fine,” I turn to face the doors. I hear the orchestra gathering into their place and begin playing the first tune of a classic wedding song.
The big mahogany doors flew open, all the heads from every royal across the world, those who could make it, look towards me. After the fifth note hit, I begin walking down the aisle, posture erect, chin up, face regal.
The sparkling silver dress shines against the candlelit rim as it glides over the carpet floor. The white flower bouquets decorated the church benches, some gathering into the chandler and the rest of the flowers lie beside the priest. My sister’s soon-to-be husband stands next to the priest nodding at me as I reached the bottom step.
“You take care of my sister now,” I extend my hand for him to grab as he kisses it.
“Of course, your highness,” he responds as I nod my head.
“I am counting on it, Derek.”
He grins at me, blue eyes twinkling. No wonder every girl in Kestra tried to bed him, this man is gorgeous. He is a known brave warrior, skilled archer, and above all, generous future king of Ebria. My father decided that my sister, Charlotte, and Derek should marry in order to keep the peace. My father owed King Derek the First, and he figured that his daughter will be a great payment.
And with two powerful countries united, not only by years of history together but also by marriage, they are the strongest.
I proceeded to my place, the opposite side of the priest, waiting for my beloved sister to appear. She is so lucky that she and Derek were actually in love, I can’t imagine if they weren’t. My sister will not fight against my father’s orders. I would...but haven’t done so in a long time.
Now the orchestra is playing a different tune. Everyone rises. Then a figure appears in white, a veil covering her face. Her dress, big and proud and poofy. The tiny flower girl in front of her began walking and tossing the red pedals around, creating a trail to the altar.
My sister begins to walk in the almighty grace she has. I began to tear up, not only in happiness but also sadness. My sister will be leaving me to live with her husband. I will be alone to fight my father.
I search for him. I spot him down below me, with my mother who is crying as she sees her daughter walk. My father shows some emotion, which is rare. However, she only shows emotion to Charlotte, never me. I look away before we can even make eye contact.
Derek unveils my sister who is smiling softly at him. He chuckles and holds her hand, kissing it, and bowing, “Your Highness.”
“My prince,” she responds. The music stops and the priest coughs, ready to begin his ceremony.
“We are here today to join Princess Charlotte Sage Allington, daughter of King Maxillium, and Prince Derek James Blackman, son of King Derek the First, in a life of mutual commitment. It is fitting and appropriate that you, the family and friends of Princess Charlotte and Prince Derek, be here to witness and to participate in their union. For the ideals, the understanding, and the mutual respect which they bring to their life together had their roots in the love and friendship and guidance you have given them,” the priest continues.
I stood there, following the flow of the ceremony, playing my part that I have been assigned. Once the ceremony was completed, both Derek and Charlotte walk down the aisle, hand in hand, uniting themselves into a lifelong marriage but also uniting two countries.
It always comes down to politics.
I follow the church as it empties itself into the courtyard where the party lies. I mingled around, saying my greetings to everyone that has to be greeted. I spotted my best lady and my best friend at the tables far away from the party.
They both get up immediately as the saw me approach. They bowed their heads, “Your Highness.”
“Enough,” I again roll my eyes.
“Sorry Ames, we have too. Your parents are watching us as if we were a meal ticket,” Lionel whispers.
“You know I have too, my princess. It is my royal duty,” Agnes defends.
“Alight fine. What’s the liquor like?”
“Not as great as your father’s wine collection, but we managed to sneak in a few,” Lionel whips around to grab the cup that is on the table, “Drink up, my princess.”
“Shut it, Lionel,” I was about to drink the heavy liquor but I immediately stopped when I see my father approaching us.
“Shiiiit,” both of my friends whisper as the tried to discreetly empty the liquor. I set my cup down with the other cups, praying that he won’t even smell it.
“Your royal highness,” we all say in unison, curtsying and bowing. My father is very particular.
“Daughter,” he says sternly, but at least he acknowledges me, “Come with me. It is time for you to meet your husband.”
I nod my head, keeping my composure although I am shocked that is is happening already. If it is this quick, then that means it is political.
It always has to do with politics.