Trust Thy Heart

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Chapter 18

Today is different than any other that I have spent inside the palace. The maids bustle around me, hurrying to paint my face like usual. My nails are a light sky blue color, and my face is pale, painted with light blue blush, misty blue eyes shadow, and pale blue lipstick.

Everything is lighter shade of blue than I'm used to. Even my dress is a brighter sort of blue. The undertone of it is light blue, but the main color is a snowy white. And pearls line the low neckline and the bodice, stitched tightly into the elegant silk.

My mother had told me earlier today that we are to be giving one of the most important speeches of our lives today, and I am not surprised when a royal veil is placed over my head. It is a sign not only of marriage, but also of respect.

When I had asked my mother about Brenton, she had shook her head and sniffled, a clear sign of his passing, but had said nothing else. That night, I had cried myself to sleep. Brenton really is gone. And is never going to come back, no matter how much I needed to hear his soft voice, and feel his lips on mine again.

I snap back to reality, my crystal heels tapping on the floor as the maids usher me out of my room and down the steps of the palace, into a long limo. I sit there in silence for what feels like forever, my dress bunching up beneath me, and then the limo stops suddenly and the doors open slowly for me to emerge. The crowd roars as I duck out of the car, my veil covering my face as well as trailing at least seven feet behind me, and my dress just as long.

Guards position themselves on either side of me, protecting me from the screaming commoners as they try to get a better view, and I keep my eyes on the ground as we walk. We are in the center square where the Royals made the restrictions speech so long ago, and I stiffen at the memory. What had become of Hestia and the rest of the association recruits?

I continue to walk in silence, my dress floating around me in waves, and my guards help me up the tall stairs to the center stage. My heart pounds in my ears, and I stare out at the raging crowd. There are so many people here, all for the Royal speech we are about to give. I have no part in the speech, but I still have to be presented as graceful as ever to the applauding crowd.

Strangely enough, the crowd is filled with more than just wealthy commoners as it always used to be, to disguise the 4 kingdoms as giving great lives to their citizens. But poor people stand out in the crowd, their feet bare, and their clothes dull as ever. I almost cry out to them when I see their starving faces, but I think better of it, and continue gliding up the steps with my guards as support so I won't fall over my dress.

I walk onto the stage and the crowd screams even harder, but I don't look up, instead focusing on every step I take. My guards stop in the middle, and I do the same. My pulse races, and still I refuse to look up. I hear feet approaching me, and stubbornly refuse to raise my eyes.

A hand pulls my veil over my head, revealing my face to whover is in front of me, and realization crashes down on me as I realize why I'm wearing this beautiful dress and veil. This is no Royal speech. No, this is a wedding.

And I'm the bride. Forcing myself to look up at who must be the groom, I let out a gasp of surprise at the familiar golden eyes that greet me.

Brenton.

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