“Mira, for god’s sake, get out of my room!” Prince Harlyn Mass complained, throwing a pillow at his sister’s head. She only threw the soft cushion back at him before flopping onto the mattress.
“Oh please brother, you weren’t doing anything anyway. Think of me as your personal alarm.” The princess smirked at him, hands waving as she talked. “Besides, I’m going to be married in a few weeks, may as well spend as much time with me as you can before I’m whisked away by my new husband.”
“I still can’t believe its actually happening,” Harlyn sat up, using one hand to flatten his bed head while the other poked his older sister’s shoulder a few times. “Centuries worth of fighting and it’s all coming to an end because of a marriage. They should have thought of this ages ago.”
“Oh please, I know you loved learning about the history of the two kingdoms. It’s all you ever talked about when we were little.” He pinched her shoulder in mock annoyance before retracting it back to his lap. Mira sighed. “But, I guess you’re right. Seems a bit silly, all that violence and hatred when they could have just settled it with a union of two heirs. Wonder who came up with that idea.”
“Oh, it had to be King Merian. No way is dad capable of coming up with such a complex solution.” The two siblings laughed together, Mira scooting her way up to lay on the covers next to her still-covered brother. They laid there, staring at the painted ceilings above them before Harlyn sat up again, folding his arms over his bent knees and clasping his right wrist with his left hand. “Promise me something?”
“Well, that depends on what you’re asking.”
“Promise me, even after you get married and unite our kingdoms, you’ll never forget about me?” Mira sat up, concern written across her face as she clasped a hand on Harlyn’s shoulder.
“Oh hun, I could never. You come first, before my soon-to-be husband and even before the kingdom. Remember, we swore to each other that it would always be family first. No matter what. I intend to keep that promise and I hope you intend to keep up your side of that too. “ Relieved, Harlyn nodded and sent a soft smile at his sister before reaching behind him and snatching a pillow from the top of his bed. He flung his arm out towards his sister, whacking her in the face before she could register what was even happening. Shrieking in outrage, she also grabbed a pillow and proceeded to whip it down onto his arm. At that moment, a butler quietly stepped into the room and cleared his throat loudly.
“Your highnesses, the King requests your presence in the throne room. I advise you to get dressed before going down there as you’ll be leaving for the Stalosha Kingdom right after.” The butler bowed before turning around, concealing his soft smile as he exited the rooms. The two siblings looked at each other and then at the pillows in their hands before laughing again and dropping the pillows back onto the bed.
“Guess we better get dressed before dad sends the entire kitchen staff like last time.” Harlyn shook his head at the memory, knocking his sister’s shoulder before ushering her out of his room.
“Get outta here, got get all dolled up for your husband,” he teased, wiggling his fingers at her. She punched his shoulder softly before leaving the room in a flourish.
An hour later, they both enter the throne room to see their father slumped in his throne, rubbing his temples like he would do whenever a headache was coming on.
“Dad? Are you alright?” Mira’s voice seemed to startle him out of his revere, shaking himself slightly before smiling at his children.
“Nothing, nothing. I’m fine. How are you sunshine, how are you feeling about the marriage?” Harlyn and Mira glanced at each other knowingly.
“I’m nervous. A lot is riding on this whole marriage thing working out.” King Lance nodded, guilt shining in his dark brown eyes.
“I’m sorry for springing it on you, but King Merian was adamant that we have to go through with it as soon as possible.”
Harlyn leaned over to his sister and whispered, “told you he didn’t come up with it.” Mira elbowed the prince in his side, before walking forward and talking the hand her father extended towards her.
“I told you this before, I’m okay with doing it. I knew the moment I was born I was going to do whatever I can to help my kingdom.” The princess reassures her father, patting his shoulder before stepping back. “Now, onto official business. What is today’s meeting?”
“Ah, yes! Always about business you are. Today’s meeting is simply about getting to know one another. That means Mira and Edward will spend the day, as will Harlyn and Gannon. It is crucial everyone gets along. Can’t have any hatred between the close family.” He sent a wink their way, but they both knew he wasn’t exactly playing with them. They have to be the perfect royal family, or the entire marriage could be in vain.
“I see you’re just as punctual as ever Gannon.” Prince Edward Mchen side-eyed his younger brother, watching as he slipped his heel back into his shoe before straightening himself and smoothing out his suit.
“Give it a rest Edward. I don’t have time for your nitpicking of me again. Just try and act like we like each other, just for a few hours while we meet with your wife.” Edward just huffed and rolled his eyes, turning his head back to the window overlooking the Stalosha Kingdom.
“Fine, but try and act like you actually want to be there instead of like you’re being forced there by gunpoint. If only for this meeting.” The brothers made eye contact again before smirking softly at one another.
“Deal.” Gannon proceeded to his seat at the table, one row down from the head where his father would sit. His brother would sit next to his father while King Lance would sit on the other side with his brother’s future wife beside him. It still shocked him, even a week after the announcement was made, that his brother was going to marry the princess of the Okraburg Kingdom.
From the beginning of their creations, the Stalosha and Okraburg Kingdoms have been fighting. He wasn’t sure what had started the violence, Gannon wasn’t sure anyone in the royal family knew why they were fighting, but the history books all detail the event as tragic and avoidable.
“There you are my boys, behaving ourselves are we?” King Merian strolled his way towards the dining table, taking his seat at the head. “No matter, I don’t think brotherly bickering will make King Lance call off an alliance.”
“Probably not, but you can never know with those Okraburgians, heard they’re all a little, y’know,” Gannon finishes his statement with a whistle while making a circular motion by his temple.
“Do hold your tongue when the guests arrive, can’t have you be the reason another war starts.” The older brother takes his seat as well, straightening his silverware.
“Stop fidgeting. You look like your gonna puke as soon as you see the poor girl.” Gannon ignored the harsh glare sent his way by Edward but did cough slightly to cover his laugh after his brother immediately stilled after he spoke. The family quieted as the door opened to reveal a servant, the door staying open as the woman moved to the other side.
“King Lance, Prince Edward, Prince Gannon, I introduce to you the royal family of Okraburg.”
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