The ride to the palace was nine hours and I would have fallen asleep if it weren’t for Granny. She told me she would strangle me if I fell asleep and ruined my hair and I knew better than to test her. I was beyond nervous, I don’t even remember the last time I’d been to a royal party. It felt like years ago...which it was.
The palace looked magnificent up close. I’ve seen it from The Tower sometimes but it looked ten times better right now. I was to busy looking around and daydreaming I was oblivious to the rest of the world.
A guard led us into a huge ball room stormed with people I didn’t even know. Dad disappeared and Granny took my coat and told me to move around so I look like I’m busy.
I walked around admiring the decorations and smelling the food until I heard someone calling my name. It was Gwen.
“Hi” I said.
“Hey” she replied. She was wearing a black dress with a turtle neck and a silver necklace and her hair was flowing down her back. Her eyes were so dark they looked scary.
“Have you seen Lyra?” I asked. Gwen was studying me like she was deciding if I looked good or not.
“I just got here and I’m looking for Violet” she said the she pushed past me and trailed off.
I spotted a few girls from school but it’s not like I talked to them. I looked over at the boys to find Tristan and when I saw him my heart leaped. He looked handsome,his hair was combed carefully, he was wearing a blue suit that fitted perfectly. He walked over to me.
“Belles, you look amazing” he said with a smile.
“I look amazing?” I whispered “Look at you”
Tristan was trying not to blush then Lewis came over. He was obviously irritated by the fact that he had to wear a tie that was choking him.
Amara was dancing with her brother and Lyra was sipping on a glass of juice. My eyes fell on the thrones in the front of the room. There was the king and queen, the other three thrones were empty. There were two princes and one princess of Stellaregno.
They were probably just dancing with someone. I saw the prince and our eyes met for a minute then I looked away. I hoped I wasn’t blushing as much as I thought.
Dinner was delicious even though it was just seafood. Lewis was fighting with everyone about that. I finally got to talk to Lyra and Amara privately. Lyra couldn’t stop smiling and Amara couldn’t stop complaining about the pointy shoes she had to wear under her red dress, besides the fact that she didn’t like the shoes she looked beautiful with the pearl jewlery and her ginger hair was tied in a braid. She even had hints of makeup on her face. Lyra was wearing a blue off the shoulder dress with a fur coat and diamond accessories. She also danced with the prince which is the reason her cheeks were as red as a tomatoes.
I danced wit Tristan until a someone put a hand on my shoulder. I turned around and saw it was Prince Alec. I gave him and awkward bow.
“Annabelle Virgo” he said “That’s you, right?”
“Yes” I squeaked “How do you...”
“Your father told me all about you” he said.
“Oh” I said lamely “Did he?”
Tristan left and before I knew it I was dancing with a gorgeous prince. He didn’t talk which gave me a reason to study his features. He had jet black hair and emerald green eyes which sparkled and his skin was milk white.
I didn’t ask him when my dad told him about me but I spoke up when he looked like he didn’t want anything to do with me.
“Are you okay?” I asked “Your Majesty”
“Yes...I’m fine” he replied unenthusiastically.
“You don’t look fine” I muttered.
“I suppose not” he started talking “When you’re being betrothed to someone it’s not really fun. Then you have to host a party for the entire kingdom to show that it’s a fair trial”
“What?” I asked.
“Annabelle...” he sighed “You’re a Virgo which means you are a descendant of the second largest constellation. I am a Hydra and....”
“What’s your point?” I asked. I hope I didn’t sound irritated because I was.
“Do I really have to explain?” he asked. “I thought you would have known by now that.....”
But he got cut of.
“No need” said a voice emerging from the crowd. It was King Jaxon.
“I will take it from here son” he informed and Prince Alec walked away.
“Annabelle” he said with a grin “Walk with me child”
He put his arm on my back and took me away from the mob of people. I rubbed the tattoos on my wrists, it’s my nervous habbit.
King Jaxon wore a big crown studded with star stones and his black hair was stearked with silver. Like his son he also had emerald green eyes, a trait every born Hydra has.
“You’re a Virgo?” he asked.
“Yes, your highness”
“It must be powerful” he said “It is an honor to carry the name of the second largest constellation”
“Yes it is” I said coldly.
“May I ask you something?” his tone was clear that he wasn’t really asking.
“What is your maternal constellation?” he asked sternly.
The question shook me. I remembered that time when I searched Ophiuchus on the internet and it showed classified and it had King Jaxon’s name all over it.
“I’m afraid I don’t know” I lied “My father doesn’t like to talk about it”
“I see” he said “I have a speech to make and you should go find Alec. You two make a strong and powerful couple”
He stormed of and I was left standing there wondering what had happened. Did he just call Prince Alec and I a couple? Prince Alec didn’t seem happy about the fact of marrying a commoner. All of those thoughts made me angry about ever wasting time to come here and there was a hint of disappointment too.
I saw Granny sitting at a nearby table talking to Lyra’s mother which is difficult because she only speaks Latin and Ancient Greek, her English is rough but she prefers her ancient roots. Then I remembered that Granny spoke Latin too.
“Annabelle, I was just looking for you” she said “The King is about to make a speech you better sit down”
I sat down and asked “Where’s Dad?”
“He went o look for someone” she replied and went back to talking to Mrs. Gemini. I looked over at the dance floor and Dad was dancing with Hope Ursa Major. My therapist or phsycologist....or whatever. They were laughing and Dad was smiling, something he never does.
The King made speech and thanked everyone for coming, Prince Alec also said a few words but I could tell that his heart wasn’t in it. He hated this banquet as much as I did and I hated it a lot.
There was more dancing and this time Tristan and I did. We talked too.
“What were you two talking about?” he asked and I understood what he meant.
“Nothing, I don’t think this is his idea. I think it’s father” I even explained the conversation with the king.
“I think he likes Lyra” he said. My heart almost came out of my throat.
“What?” I whispered loudly.
“Never mind. I saw them talking and laughing so I just thought....did you see the queen?” he said looking over my shoulder.
“Look how smug she looks” he said. We both turned around and saw Queen Sophie Serpens Hydra chatting with her only daughter, Lydia Hydra.
“It must be because her eldest son is probably going to marry the most powerful descendant of the Stars” he added. What he said sounded exactly like what the Prince Alec had said.
“How do you know that?” I asked.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Tristan lowered his voice “All this is just an act so the people think it’s fair. He’s obviously going to choose someone with a strong constellation.” Something didn’t feel right to me, my insides started turning and I got dizzy. I managed to keep it under control.
“So the king can have that too” he muttered. He acted as if I didn’t hear that.
“You sound just like Prince Alec” I said.
Tristan groaned “I try not to”
“Well then try harder” I joked trying to lighten the mood.
Soon all our friends were dancing together. Lyra was dancing with Prince Alec again and Amara was with Lewis. I wanted to enjoy my time before I went home and had to talk to Dad about what the king and prince were talking about.
We reached home at midnight and I fell asleep almost instantly the last thing I remember was Granny rubbing wet wipes on face and yelling at me to take my shoes off.