The Chosen Bride

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A Lady Takes Care of Herself

Drake didn’t know who else to go to.

He didn’t have many friends, truth be told. He had many acquaintances, people he used to uphold his place in society, but he had only one true friend.

And that was Edward.

So after freeing himself from Lady Eleanor’s garden party, he found himself standing in the middle of the King castle’s garden.

He had often visited this place as a child, taking advantage of the high bushes and shrubs he could hide behind, but when Edward became King, his wife, Annalisa, had written the garden on her list of things to do as Queen. Now, it contained much more things such as colorful flowers and magnificent statues.

His finger brushed the rim of a bird bath as he walked farther down the path, towards his favorite spot.

He never really came to the garden anymore, especially now when he had so many responsibilities to deal with.

“Drake?” A soft voice called out to him.

He turned, with a bright smile plastered on his face.

“Ah, Frau, guten tag.” He winked at her as he stopped down in a low bow.

A very small queen threw herself into his arms, “Drake you should no be here. Are you not suppose to be in France right now?”

Drake winced at his friend’s icy tone. Edward had said that his wife had gotten quite crabby since they had learned that she was pregnant, but to Drake, she looked just the same as Annalisa he knew when she first came to England.

“I came on official business to see Edward.” He replied, pushing past her and starting toward the King’s study door.

“Drake! Drake, wait!” She called after him. Drake sighed and turned as she neared him, “I am sorry Drake. I didn’t mean to be that harsh. It’s just been a rough couple of months.”

Drake smiled softly, “It’s ok, Annalisa. But I really have to speak to your husband now.”

He left her there without a word more.

A couple of hours later and three glasses of scotch, both Edward and Drake had their feet propped on the window sill and were laughing hysterically.

“Oh man, I wish I could replace my advisors. You are so lucky you don’t have anyone who tells you what to do.”

Drake snorted, “Yeah, well, sometimes I wish I did. I don’t know what to do half the time.”

Edward set his scotch glass down to refill it, “What do you mean? I remember back in the day, you would always know what to do. No matter what the situation.”

Drake sighed. If only he had the problem now. Nowadays, he constantly was second-guessing himself.

“What’s wrong, man?” Edward asked, raising an eyebrow.

Drake knew better than to keep secrets from his friend and he did need the advice. Edward had always been good at keeping the girls, ever since they were very little boys fresh in the military academy they were shipped off to.

And now, with Edward having a wife and Drake not, Edward’s advice was his best choice.

“There’s this girl I met.” He started.

Edward laughed loudly, falling forward in his unnecessarily loud laugh, “With you, my friend, it is always a woman.”

Drake glared at him, “Quit being so loud, you obnoxious goat. Anyways, I met her at Lady Eleanor’s ball a couple of weeks ago. She was this beautiful angel in a crowd of demons, stepping towards me and luring me with those beautiful sapphire eyes and magical blond hair.”

“So I take it you asked her to court you?” Edward asked, tapping his now empty glass.

“Yes,” he sighed sadly.

“And she said no.” They said at the same time.

Drake shrugged, “She said yes but then changed her mind. She has been exploring the new world for years and marriage isn’t something she wants right now. She doesn’t want to be held back from accomplishing her greatest adventures.”

Edward grabbed the bottle of scotch and leaned close to his friend, “I have a word of advice for you.”

Drake let him fill his glass up, eager to hear his word of advise, “If she wants an adventure, then give her a bloody good one she will never forget.”

Drake snorted, “How? By sending roses and love letters but appearing with other women in other places.”

Edward grinned, “Exactly! You see, women believe they are independent beings...”

“A lady takes care of herself.” Drake suggested, mimicking Lady Eleanor’s voice.

“No, they will always need us. You just have to prove it to them.” Edward replied.

The two of the clinked glasses together, “To making our way through manhood and claiming our women!”

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