Still shocked at how swift I was reocated from Zoisite to Rubysite, maybe the queen had changed her mind, was what I thought at first but later got to know that it was actually the king's order and he issued it urgently.
How did the king even know where I was staying or maybe Adrian brought it up even after I asked him not to?
Well not wanting to think about it much because i was enjoying the turn in evrnts, I settled down into the beautifully built and furnished apartment.
There were lots of differences when compared to where I stayed at Zoisite and even back home at Rythfork. It was unarguably very executive and befitting for my person and current title.
I moved around the house as the court ladies helped in arranging my stuffs and setting up. It had a very large living room with the dinning area, two very big master bedrooms tastefully finished with large bathrooms with bath tubs all ensuited in them.
I wondered why there was a double bedroom anyways. Also, it accommodated a well equipped study and a courtyard with beautiful flowers.
The queen mothers and the princesses apartment were very close by one to the right and the other to the left. Still taking in and admiring the whole place, I knew my sleep tonight was going to be special but i was still curious to find out why the sudden change of plans.
Going back into the house, Echo met up with me and informed me that the prince was back. The news immediately unbalanced me that I shuddered. It was different when I knew he was away but hearing he was right here in court made me nostalgic. I had this anxious feeling of seeing him again and yet I did not want to see him.
My heart began pounding heavily in my chest, circles of sweat were forming on my head, forehead and palms as Echo calmed me down leading me through the breathing exercise.
"Inhale.........and exhale slowly" she said joining me in the exercise. After about ten repetitions, I was much calmer.
"Do you always feel this way whenever the prince's name is mentioned?" Echo asked me smiling.
"Sometimes, especially when he's this closeby" I replied taking in deep breaths again.
"Its cute to see you feel nervous at his presence"
"Really? You think so?"
"Yea" she nodded. "It shows he has a very strong effect over you. The connection you both share is really strong and deep"
Surprised at how much Echo knew about feelings I just got to ask, maybe she could help.
"You speak like you know so much about love and feelings"
"When you've found yourself in similar circumstances, you have no choice than to learn from experience"
"Are you saying you've been through what I'm feeling before?"
"Not exactly the way you feel because in your own case it's both sided but mine was unrequited" she stated sadly.
"Awww! I'm so sorry about that Echo. If you ever want to talk about it I'm here for you" I smiled at her reassuring my words.
"Thank you my lady. So about the move, I think the prince had everything to do with it?"
"And how do you know that?"
"The news is all over the court. Everyone keeps saying, once the prince arrived he rushed down to see you but when he couldnt find you here he confronted the queen and also the king. So I guess this is the outcome if you really connect the dots together" she shrugged.
Rolling my eyes to the right corner of the ceiling while squinting my eyes I said "That makes sense because i started to wonder what could have made the king and queen change their minds"
Just then Dorothy walked in on us smiling "the prince has requested that you join for him dinner tonight my lady"
"What.....!" I stuttered for the words. "Dinner...."
"Yes. Dinner at Zirconsite"
Yet again I felt nervous and a hot rush of air travelled through my body gripping my muscles and making me nauseous. I ran off the bathroom like I wanted to throw up.
Behind me I heard Dorothy questioning the reason for my sudden emotional outburst.
"I think she's sick" Echo sounded to my hearing.
"How so?" Dorothy asked surprised.
"She's lovesick" Echo whispered but to my hearing.
"Echo!" I yelled from the bathroom and they both burst out into laughter.
"Not funny!" I shouted again and this time Dorothy came in after me to check on me.
Moments later I was escorted down to the Zirconsite where the prince's chamber was. It was my first time here since my arrival at court. My feet felt so heavy as I kept dragging them slowly till I got to the prince's door.
"Your highness, Lady Aris is here" the guard announced my arrival.
Few minutes later, the door was opened and standing right infront of me was Prince Troy dressed up in a three piece navy blue suit looking all shades of handsome. I couldnt take my eyes off him even when Echo whispered in my ears reminding me that I needed to greet him, my eyes remain glued on him.
"Your highness" I curtsied respectfully after minutes of staring.
"Lady Aris" he bowed lightly with open arms with a smile on his face as he lifted his head up.
We stood there eyes locked on each other not saying a word just smiling before he rushed at me and pulled me into the most loving hug I'd ever received.
His strong arms wrapped around me displaying the shape of his toned biceps while I buried my face into his hard chiseled chest inhaling all of his scent.
His hands moved up and down my back continously yet slowly. His grip on my body was so strong that all I wanted was to remain in his embrace forever.
"I missed you so much princess" he muttered softly into my ears with his deep sexy voice taking in deep breaths of my neck.
Hearing him speak this way caused me to tear up. I felt so vulnerable that I lost control of my emotions and let myself cry more especially when I remembered all the queen's harsh words to me.
"I missed you too" I sniffled that he pulled away from me, cupping my cheeks in his hands to get a better view of my face. "Hey princess, why you crying?"
I was so shy to look at his face, I pushed his hands away from my face but he held onto them firmer. "I'm here now! And I'm sorry for making you pass through those difficult times alone" he spoke softly all while staring deep into my eyes. He used the back of his fingers gently wiping the tears off my face.
Resting our forehead against each other with his hands still on my face, we stood there, holding each other with our eyes closed, feeling an odd sense of home, all while being lit up by another's touch.
Suddenly, all of my pains are gone. Nothing else matters as in my head and heart I start to feel peace, calmness and more relaxed just staring at this man. I'm beginning to love.
Dinner was more delicious than I'd ever known it to be only because Aris was dining with me. Stealing stares at her from time to time, made my heart flutter and my face flushed.
She was not just beautiful but her beauty was first to none. Yes, Gemma was pretty but Aris looked like Aphrodite - the goddess of beauty.
Somewhere in my head, I was proud of myself for making the best choice.
After dinner, then we were having dessert still none of us said a word. The room felt quiet that I decided to start a conversation.
"How have you been my lady?" I looked at her hoping she would be honest with her answers. I wanted to hear everything.
"Honestly, not too fine. But I'm glad you're back. It's been hell for me here at court since I arrived"
"Can you tell me about it all? Please! I want to hear all of it" I begged.
"But why is it important to you?" She asked me shyly.
"Because I care about you and your feelings. Moreso I want to feel your pains and everything you feel"
She looked at me shocked with cow eyes and a dilated pupils like I said the impossible.
"C'mon princess" I chuckled. "I really care about you and how you feel. So please let me in" I pleaded leaning forward toward her, stretched my hands across the table taking hers in mine softly stroking them.
"Okay" she smiled melting my heart with those smiles of hers and began narrating everything from her arrival at court up till recent. She told me about some stupid rules and Regulations the queen gave to her which I demanded to see later and also narrated her clashes with Gemma and the queen yet again.
Still Sitting there and listening to all she said, I felt guilty and blamed myself for all she passed through. If only I was there she wouldn't have had such ugly experiences. So what I have to do its try my best to shield and protect her from any further repetition atleast until she finally becomes my wife. I know when she does, she's going to have a level of authority here.
By the time she was done talking, we had moved over to the couch from the dinning sitting adjacent to each other. With my arms stretched out on the head rest of the couch, I sat slightly facing her but I noticed she felt a bit shy around me so I took her hands in mine to make her feel comfortable.
"Did you travel with Lord Charles to Bashuri?" She asked me feeling alot calm diving into a new area of discussion when all I wanted was to watch her talk while I do all of the listening.
"Mmhmm" I hummed with my lips folded into my mouth.
"You always travel with him. Is he like your personal aide or what?"
"Actually he is one of my best friends. The other is Lord Adrian. We grew up together so we're more like brothers and then also my right hand men anytime"
"Wow, that's interesting. So Charles and Adrian alone?" She asked like there were more people on the list that she wanted me to mention.
"Okay.... there is also Gemma and Cleopatra" I answered without any ounce of emotion. She smiled widely but I could sense a little hint of jealousy.
"What about you? Any close friends you want to tell me about?"
"Nah" she shook her head and immediately changed the topic again. "So are you going to tell me about your journey or is it also a national secret?"
"What?" I let out a serious laugh at the fact that she mentioned 'national secret'
"Its not my darling" I said in between slight coughs. "I'm sorry. Please forgive my manners" I apologized not knowing why I even burst out laughing.
"Its okay. I love the way you laugh though" she complimented me all while smiling.
"Wow! Thanks princess" I said with a serious face yet full of surprises. "My journey went well. It just felt so sad to see people in pains and tears especially when they've lost special ones. Uhmm..... you know we also tried our best to see what we could do to alleviate their pains at that moment knowing no amount of money can replace those theyve lost" I explained sadly.
"Yea! That's true" she nodded in sync. "When I heard the news, I felt so angry especially at the Otholians. It was like a breach of agreement"
"Not like but it was an outright breach" I added sounding a bit agitated. The sound of the Orthians in my ears usually stirred up anger and resentment within me. Aris noticed my discomposure and placed a warm hand on my shoulders squeezing it lightly.
"Everything is going to be fine" she mouthed so assuring and sweetly that the sweetness of her voice was soothing much.
Relaxed by her touch on my skin, I placed my hands on top of hers which was still on my shoulders stroking it gently in an upward and downward movement.
"Thank you princess. You really don't know how I felt when I received your letter accepting my proposal" I tried explaining but the words were struggling to be said.
"I want to hear all of it" she blushed.
"I screamed out so loud that my friends thought I was running mad. I was so excited that I jumped up and down repeatedly dancing with every energy that was in me" I sighed smiling as I reminisced the day. "It was one best feelings I've had in my entire life that I felt, if you were there....." I blushed licking my lower lip slowly at the naughty thought that crossed my mind.
"If I was there what would have happened.....?" She repeated my words in a little flirtatious tone wanting a completion.
I chuckled still biting onto my lips "Nothing......"
She gaped at me in disbelief blushing really hard and I knew exactly where her mind had travelled to.
"Cmon, please dont do that" I said playfully and smiling disuading the 'I've been a bad boy' thoughts from her head.
"Do.... do.... what?" She giggled.
"Dont think about it, just loose the thoughts please"
"Okay fine" she raised her hands in the air eyeing me. At the finishing of her statement, I held her by her arms and pulled her toward me while leaning forward that our bodies were only inches away from each other. I watched as the smiles on her face faded and turned into a more serious and anxious look.
Gazing at her deeply, my eyes travelled all over her body, from her face down to her chest and back up again. Her chest kept rising up and down with heavy heart beats then I pulled her into a hug.
"Relax princess, I'm not going to hurt you" I whispered almost inaudible into her ears and I felt her tensed muscles relaxing.
Being around this woman was really going to be one difficult thing I would have to struggle with.
How long will this torture last for? I have to try and put my emotions into check whenever I'm around her otherwise it could be disastrous.
It was really getting late and Gaius as usual had come in to remind me about tradition and customs again. This would be his second reminder tonight. So I decided to walk Aris back to her chambers.
Strolling through the court at that hour of the night, we walked side by side while still engaged in talks of the Bashuri incident which she brought up again.
I really did not know much since I've been away from court but I suspected that the crown was planning a retaliation attack on the otholians.
"It doesnt have to always end in violence" she told me.
"But they started it not us" I defended.
"It doesnt matter"
"So what solution would you proffer to this?" I asked her. Seems she knew alot about handling national affairs - One which was admirable .
"Bashuri land belongs to Doxa but yet the otholians say its theirs. Right?" She asked me and I nodded affirmatively. "Heard both parties signed an agreement whilst they came up with a solution that will benefit both parties but while talks were still ongoing, they attacked. Right?"
"Why would they do that? Have you wondered?" She asked me.
"Well.... because they are violent people" I said quite unsure. "Nah, I haven't thought about that" I shook my head.
"I feel there is more to this and dialogue may suffice"
"Let there be a discussion of both parties and then you'll see that you all got it wrong. I dont think a nation as Otholian will purposely breach an agreement except there was a betrayal from our end" she explained facts but then I was not going to admit it.
"Why are you defending them? They attacked us thereby waging war" I countered back.
"I'm not defending them. This is me applying diplomacy. Lets get to know why they breached the agreement when discussions on settlement were still ongoing before taking actions that's all I'm saying"
I massaged my chin gently while trying to digest all she was saying. Meet with them and discuss. Hmmmm! The king will never like the sound of this moreso accept it. But what if it really is the solution? What if the people were really not behind this attack or better still a betrayal as Aris speculated.
Finally we got to her chambers, I didnt want to go in yet so I hugged her and bade farewell at the door.