|Hate Me, Love Me
Author: crypticsunrise PM
Eamane, Princess of Fenrir is sent away to be betrothed to a stranger who possibly hates her while her home is bequeathed by war and her twin brother is lost in the melee. This is her story. Please Read and Review.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,801 - Follows: 1 - Published: 02-07-07 - id: 2316193
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The journey had been fraught with nerves for Eámanë. Having been very much a sheltered child, never to have strayed far from home she was very much new to long journeys. She traveled part of the way in a carriage with Catherine and Josephine the wives of the Duke of Cremone and Sandor respectively.
Both of them were well advanced in age and spent most of the time in sleep. When awake they told her the details of her new home. Often Eámanë felt that she could like it there and then as if to shatter this illusion they would mention in passing the exploits of Prince Ashenar, her betrothed.
The second leg of the journey was much smoother and passed through the outlying agricultural villages of Echelon. Needing fresh air after the week of traveling inside the carriage, Eámanë rode on the back of her favorite horse Dortmar, a powerful black steed from her father's stables.
And it was such that she entered Petra the capital of Echelon. The city was far bigger than she had imagined possible. Streets ran in complex networks intertwining with the clear watered canals of the two rivers. Steepled houses aligned next to each other with town squares brimming with shops as she had never seen. The city rose in steps with the commercial estates giving way to town houses, to the bungalows of the nobility and finally at the top to the many steepled, magnificent palace of white marble and glass surrounded by expansive gardens.
Eámanë felt her heart beginning an erratic race as she passed under an impressive arched gateway into the courtyard. When she saw the numerous people waiting to welcome her, she felt slightly awkward in her double split skirt of olive green and white corset and overlaying obi with wide sleeves embroidered with olive leaves. She had not expected a welcoming, if she had known she would have worn a dress and rode in the carriage as befitted a princess instead of riding astride a large sweaty horse in her riding gear like some wildling girl.
"Do not worry my dear, you will be just fine," The Duke of Sandor comforted her as he rode next to her. The duke of Cremone had taken her place in the carriage complaining of an aching back and the Duke of Sandor had kept her company.
They came to a halt as they approached the grand steps leading to the entrance of the palace and the messenger called out her introduction.
"The Princess Eámanë of the royal House Nénharma of Fenrir with emissaries of the realm the Duke of Cremone and the Duke of Sandor."
Eámanë brought Dortmar forward and a stable boy ran forward to grab the reins. She turned the gaze towards the awaiting party. There were ladies in beautiful gowns and Eámanë blushed to see the low cuts of their bodices and men both in and out of armor. Directly in front of her stood a regal couple in royal blue whom she assumed to be the King and Queen and besides them stood a tall man in Royal Blue and White.
He had inky black hair and piercing blue eyes. His chiseled features revealed no expression but his eyes stared at her boldly. She returned the gaze though not without a struggle and in the back of her mind the fear of drowning in that gaze took root even as destiny pulled its threads on the great loom of life.
She waited uncomfortably, sure that someone should come to help her alight from the horse. There was hurried conversation between the bold gazed man and the king. Then after a mortifying period of waiting in which Eámanë's cheeks burned the man stepped forward and without even looking at her picked her up from the horse and put her down none too delicately.
Eámanë felt her anger boiling over. That odious man had no right to treat her in that manner but realizing the importance of holding her dignity together in front of her new court she settled for a covert glare of defiance.
Above all shadows rides the sun, she told herself and that was enough to have her lifting her chin in defiance to any who stood in her way.
The couple smiled at her warmly and Eámanë relaxed a little inside.
"Welcome daughter of Fenrir" The stately man welcomed her. He too was tall with smiling blue eyes and a face that held lines of laughter and a thick mass of steely grey white hair.
"Elen sila lumenn omentilmo." A star shall shine on the hour of our meeting. Eámanë gave the traditional reply as she kissed the hand of her father-in-law and the cheek of the queen.
Following soon after was a rapid succession of introductions and Eámanë was dismayed but not surprised to find out that the rude man from earlier had indeed been Prince Ashenar. In the midst of these introductions one kind-hearted matron remarked that perhaps the Princess would like to rest and freshen up.
Eámanë, ever grateful to be free of the foreboding presence of her betrothed was shown to her suite by a girl around her age.
She shyly introduced herself as Marion, her lady-in-waiting. Eámanë graciously thanked her and asked for an hour of rest before beginning preparations for the concluding ritual of the betrothal, the Declaration.
As the door closed behind Marion, Eámanë slumped back onto the bed in a mixture of fatigue and relief. Staring at the ceiling where cherubim cavorted with heartsease she tried to hold the overwhelming feeling of loneliness at bay. One week without my other half and I am lost. What hope do I have for what lies ahead? She thought morosely. She avoided thinking of Ashenar lest the bubble of control she had burst into a mass of fear and contradictions.
Thoughts of Valandil brought to mind his gift. She clambered over the rather large bed to the dresser on which her toilette had been set out and retrieved the box. It slid open with a quiet whisper and nestled in the red velvet was a brooch of two honey blossoms intertwined. The brooch in luminescent mithril silver had inlaid mother of pearl to bring out the rosy hue of the petals. Eámanë held the box in her hand delicately and blinked away tears. Honey blossoms was their flower. From crowns they wore as children to the sigil on Valandil's scabbard and the embroidery on Eámanë's coming of age ball gown, it had marked their times together and now their time apart.
There was a knock on the door subsequently followed by the entry of several women in court livery. "We come with the compliments of the Queen," she was told. What followed was a whirlwind of activity handled by the eminently capable Marion. Eámanë was scrubbed, dressed and her hair was done within the hour.
"My lady, you look beautiful!" Marion gushed as she pulled Eámanë to stand in front of the tall mirror. Eámanë smiled at the familiarity of the girl.
"Please Marion, you must call me Eámanë. I will have you as a friend not as a subject," she told her gently.
"Of course my la… Eámanë" Marion replied and then smiled. Taking her by the shoulder she twisted Eámanë around so that she faced the mirror.
"His highness will not know what hit him." Eámanë merely laughed at the absurd comment.
But the vision that met her eyes made Eámanë gape in wonder. It was truly a princess who looked out at her. Her dress was of heavy silver embroidered chiffon with a daringly tight bodice overlaid with floating Muslin of Echelon Royal Blue. Her mass of dark hair was piled on her head in riotous curls with a string of sapphires woven in to form a delicate tiara. Sapphire drops graced her ears and a net of sapphires seemed to float around the white of her swan neck.
"There is only one thing missing" she told Marion, who looked at her quizzically. Eámanë pinned the honey blossom brooch above her heart.
"Oh my… that is truly special Eámanë"
"It was a gift to me by someone very close to my heart. I will tell you about him one day but I have a feeling we are already late."
Eámanë was shown into an antechamber and Marion squeezed her hand in farewell and went to sit in the throne room with the other courtiers. In the antechamber waited the Queen and the Duke of Sandor who would preside over the proceedings.
"Your majesty, my lord," Eámanë curtseyed in greeting.
The Queen took her hand in hers, "My child your beauty is a sight to behold and my son is indeed a lucky man."
"My luck or lack thereof is mine own to determine, is it not mother?" The voice was droll. Eámanë did not have to turn around to know who it was that mocked her so. Already his presence could be associated with the slight tightening in the vicinity of her chest.
"Prince Ashenar." She nodded at him coolly ignoring the barb. Despite her best intentions her eyes widened in appreciation at the heartbreakingly handsome figure he cut in his ceremonial uniform. Naturally he did not miss it if his smirk was anything to go by.
In the throne room the messengers called the introductions and the King and the Queen proceeded in followed by the Duke.
"Guess that leaves only me," He murmured and offered her his arm reluctantly. Eámanë placed her hand on his lightly, trying to avoid touching the obnoxious man if possible.
"Common courtesy is taught to all children in Fenrir at a young age, it must not be so in Echelon," she remarked tartly. In reply he merely bowed his head in acquiescence and Eámanë quickly averted her gaze from the fetching line of his jaw.
The throne room was brimming with courtiers in all their regalia. The duke of Sandor called on the peers of the realm to witness the Declaration and all that it signified. It was a lengthy missive and then it was Ashenar and Eámanë who stepped forward.
"I declare that I give my betrothed Eámanë of House Nénharma, Princess of Fenrir, the protection of my name forthwith, the protection of my house forthwith and the protection of my self forthwith," Ashenar spoke to the crowd and his face was once again blank.
Eámanë took a deep breath and reminded herself she was declaring a betrothal and not the sale of her soul to the devil. "I declare that I give my betrothed Ashenar of House Telemnar, crown prince of Echelon, loyalty of my house forthwith, loyalty of my name forthwith and loyalty of my self forthwith."
As Ashenar slid the betrothal ring on her finger Eámanë fought to still her shaking hand. And as she held his hand in her smaller palm and put the ring on his long finger she felt the intimacy of the act and a blush stained her cheeks. She snuck a glance at him only to be startled by the disquiet and anger? she saw in them.
So it was as she suspected, Ashenar was not happy to be betrothed to her. It was hardly surprising given their encounters thus far. She shrugged glumly to herself. She too was not happy and was not this, the basis of all noble marriages. One married for duty and treaties not for love as foolish stories for children spoke of. Her mother had been her strongest example, but unlike her mother Eámanë would make this blasted marriage work even if it was in name only.
Even with her resolve it was with a heavy heart that once again Eámanë took the arm of her betrothed and led the procession to the ballroom.
A/N That's it for chapter 1. Please forgive the slow progression but I always hate starting stories so hopefully it'll get better as it goes on. Please don't forget to review.