Chapter 54- Time that Shines Like A Star
“You’ll be beautiful to me no matter what,” Vince smiled.
“Beauty isn’t everything. I’ll pick strength over beauty any day and besides... my beauty is no longer timeless, I’ll begin to age from now on since you set me free,”
“I set you free and gave up my wish because that’s what you wanted,”
“And for that, I’m grateful... but all actions have consequences and I can live with these consequences since these consequences are what I wished for,”
“Living like everyone else,” I corrected him with a glare to which he just chuckled before leaning in and placing his lips on my forehead.
“Don should be on the training grounds. He doesn’t like people who are late,”
“Is that why he doesn’t like you?”
“I’m his best friend and King, he’s not allowed to not like me,”
“You sound like a tyrant,” I mumbled, walking off but didn’t forget to wave goodbye to Lucien who had fed me such a delicious cheesecake. I would have gotten Arturo to take some lessons from him.
“Be careful!” Vince shouted after me. “Give me another slice,” I heard him whisper to Lucien.
“You’re going to get fat,”
“I’ll still be beautiful, it’s okay,”
“Are you sure that you’re weaker than before?” Don panted out as he sliced his sword through the air again but I easily dodged.
“I’m sure. I may look the same but I feel weaker, I’ll get used to it soon,” I pushed my sword forward and he swore, jumping back and doing a continuous series of backflips to get away from me. He jumped back up with a small smirk on his face and used the back of his hand to wipe away the sweat on his forehead.
“You’re still as strong as ever. The man that taught you must’ve been a legend,” He ran forward, swinging his sword towards me.
“He would have... If he wasn’t an urban myth,”
“Right, because before you proved them wrong, no one believed in magic. Myself, included,” He chuckled, letting his guard down for a split second. That’s all it took for me to leap forward and bring the wooden sword up, slinging it down at the perfect angle and stopping at his neck.
“You... are dead,” I sighed, stepping back. He sighed, dropping the piece of wood on the ground then went to gulp down his water while I wiped my sweat away with the towel that one of the workers had kindly provided.
“I think I should get some lessons from you,” Don mumbled.
“I don’t think you should. I’m a terrible teacher,” I warned.
“How much longer are you guys planning on training for?” I turned to see Maria leaning against one of the pillars of the room with a big pout on her face.
“We’re done for the day,” I assured and her eyes lit up in joy.
I turned to look at Don and he had his eyes on Maria. When he noticed me staring, his face lit up with a small blush and he quickly turned his head away, going back to wiping the sweat away from his face. I chuckled at them and picked up my stuff, hugging Maria goodbye on my way out.
I stopped by my room to get changed out of my training clothes and after doing a shower, I slipped into a simple pastel blue, knee-length dress with some ankle boots and left my hair open before making my way out to the garden.
“Leo!” I called happily, running to the lion cub who growled at the sight of me, jumping to tackle me to the ground and as I laughed, I ran my hands through his hair while he nuzzled himself into my neck.
“Hello,” I chuckled, sitting up on the grass as he ran around me in circles.
We spent the next half an hour playing with each other like little children in the massive garden, other animals that weren’t scared of Leo, joining in along the way too.
“How long are you planning on playing around for?”
I turned to see Vince leaning against one of the pillars with crossed arms, a small smirk on his face with his eyes focused on me. Chuckling at him, I shrugged.
“I’m too old for that,” He scrunched his nose at my suggestion.
“There’s no such thing as being too old to play,” I said, offended and he was the one that chuckled this time, pushing himself off the marble pillar and walking towards me, not stopping until he was directly in front of me.
“What?” I asked with a raised brow, tilting my head back to look at him.
“Nothing. I just missed you and I want to look at you,” I didn’t react.
“Is this how you seduced all the other women you slept with?” I raised a genuinely curious brow and he choked on air.
“W-What!? Who told you that?” He bewilderedly said.
“Told me what? That you’ve seduced and slept with countless other women, me not being one of them?” I crossed my arm.
“Do you want to sleep with me?” He smirked and I scoffed.
“Don’t change the subject,”
“So... Who told you?”
“No one. Call it a woman’s intuition, I just knew,” He raised a suspicious brow but didn’t push any further and raised a hand to ruffle my hair as I laughed.
“I haven’t slept with anyone since meeting you and I won’t sleep with anyone other than you ever again. That’s something I can say with full confidence, I’m not interested in any woman other than you, today, tomorrow and forevermore,”
I kept my mouth shut and simply watched as he leaned down, gently placing his lips on my forehead then wrapping his arms around my waist in a warm hug.
“That’s assuring,” I berried my face in his chest and while he stroked the back of my head, I slowly moved my own hands to wrap around his waist.
“I love you,” He whispered.
“I love you too,” I replied.
“Say... Nora?” Vince called after a while and I hummed, telling him to continue.
“After all this is over... You know, the mess with the black market and Conrad and that stuff. After all that is done and dealt with...” He drifted off. Sensing that something was wrong, I pulled away from him and locked his silver gaze with my orange ones. Something was definitely wrong.
Vince would never stutter on a sentence like this, never.
“Yes... After it’s all over... What next?” I urged him to continue.
“You don’t have a surname,” He suddenly changed the subject, leaving me even more confused and curious on what he was going to say.
“Are you trying to shove that in my face? Seeing as how you’ve got quite a few surnames...” I joked, trying to ease the tension off of his shoulders.
Unfortunately, he didn’t catch on and only grew more flustered.
Well, that’s odd.
“No! That’s not what I’m doing, I mean... Ugh, damn it. Why is this so difficult?” A string of curses followed under his breath as he ran a hand through his hair with a heavy sigh.
“Is something wrong? Did something happen?” I asked.
“Yes. I fell in love, that’s what happened,” His flustered self disappeared for a second and he seriously looked at me while I gulped. Yes, I’m glad to know that what I have for him isn’t unrequited love but this conversation is confusing.
“Um... Okay,” I pulled away from the hug.
Feeling Leo nuzzle himself against my leg, I squatted down and rubbed his fur while waiting for Vincenzo to tell me what it was that he needed to say but he was clearly having some difficulty in doing so. How bad could it have been?
“What I’m trying to say is, Nora... Will you let me give you a surname?”
I paused in my actions and finally realised what was happening.
Slowly, I stood up to look at him with wide eyes and a hanging jaw.
“You said you didn’t have a surname... and I love you so... are you willing to take my surname? Eleanora St Andres Octavius, I like the sound of it,” He grinned.
Pulling a red box out of his back pocket, I didn’t need to guess to know what it was.
“Just so you know. You are the only person on this planet that I will get down on my knees for,”
I was gripping onto the skirt of my dress in disbelief.
I can’t believe it. This can’t be happening. But it was.
Vincenzo St Andres Octavius, the King of the most powerful Kingdom in the world, was on the ground in front of me on one knee with a silver ring in his hand and a small, adorable, hopeful smile on his face.
This was really happening. Oh. My. Bloody. Gosh.
“So, Eleanora, I ask you this as a man in love. Will you please marry me and become my Queen?”