|The Color Of My Love
Author: Distinctly M.E PM
Recently crowned queen...married to the man of her dreams...what could go wrong? Note: Rated T because of character death, though the violence leading to this is only vaguely alluded to.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Tragedy - Words: 1,200 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 01-12-13 - Status: Complete - id: 3091637
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"I'm going blind."
"Um, come again?" I pause on the stairs and brush a stray lock of hair away from my eyes as I stare at him questioningly. The way he's taking me in makes it obvious that he's not serious, but I can't figure out what about my outfit is causing such a stir.
"It would seem that I'm slowly losing my vision and all the colors went first. I've never seen you in so much black in my life."
"Oh." I blush slightly at the thought of how many times I've protested against the color black, knowing he must be remembering my words. "Well, did you really think that I'd be coming down these stairs looking like a huge white wedding cake? There's only so many colors one can wear to a Black and White Ball."
"Actually, I was expecting more of a piano look. You know, black and white?"
"Me? Something as graceful and melodious as a piano? That, my dear, is a truly amusing thought." I step down off the final step and take the arm he offers me. "Blind or not, you look lovely tonight."
"Ah, so you've finally noticed." He poses and I can't contain a giggle.
"You're as vain as any peacock I've ever met."
"Vainer." Now he runs careless fingers through a tangle of curls just barely contained enough to be presentable. Good thing he's the king, or else his recently acquired slap-dash manner would make him the laughing stock of the entire kingdom.
"Uh-huh. That I can believe."
"Your crown's crooked."
"But I just fixed it right before I came down…" As he reaches to fix it for me, he instead pulls me close and, though I should expect his shenanigans by now, he catches me off guard with his kiss.
"You've gotten lipstick on yourself."
As he pulls out a dazzlingly white handkerchief to wipe it away he looks at me suspiciously. "Wouldn't the lipstick on my face be the fault of she who wears the lipstick? I don't see how I've 'gotten lipstick on myself' at all."
"You started it." My hands twist restlessly in front of me. I'm dying to reach up to catch the spot he's missed, but elbow-length gloves hinder me. Silk, even black silk, tends to show red far too well. "There's a smudge just…there, now you've gotten it."
"So you see, milady, I have foiled your attempt to render me unpresentable."
"But it wasn't my fault!"
"So they all say. Here, now let me fix your crown."
"Oh, no. You're not fooling me again."
"No, I'm serious. It really is crooked. Here," he leads me over to a mirror, "see?"
"Well then why didn't you just fix it in the first place?" I do it myself, not trusting him.
"Because I could not resist the guiles of a woman so hauntingly beautiful."
I study the young woman in the mirror. I do like the cut of the dress, even if it did have to be such a dreary color, and I have to admit that my costumers, bothersome though they were, did a tasteful job in selecting my jewelry. I look the part of a Queen, even if I've never felt further from being one. But I'm not hauntingly beautiful.
"And I cannot resist the ridiculous flattery of one so handsome."
"Flattery, shmatery. Come on; they're all waiting for you." I slip my arm through his and try to calm the butterflies in my stomach. I'm not a natural at this whole Queen thing, regardless of what the political world says, and parties—especially extravagant balls that I have to host—make me nervous. "Here, wait a sec."
He disappears for a moment, returning with a wine-red rose which he tucks behind my ear. "There. You look stunning. Just save me a dance once we get in there, m'kay?" His lips brush my cheek, and then the doors are opening and someone's announcing my name to stomach-turning applause. And I descend the steps, arm in arm with my true love.
I don't know what goes wrong and I don't know where it happens. All I know is that one minute I'm blinking in the dazzling lights and the next he's holding me close as searing pain rips through my being. My eyelids feel heavy, and it's all I can do to bring his face into focus.
"Quite an entrance," he murmurs, and I think that maybe I can feel him playing with my hair. "Was the black really so dull that you had to dress it up?"
I call upon reserve strength to be able to lift my head, and I catch a glimpse of the crimson spreading across my bodice before I fall back with a soft moan. "H-how…?" But even as I ask it, the sounds of the gunshot and the ensuing screams come back to me with alarming clarity.
He doesn't answer, just strokes my cheek softly, so my face must show that I know. I blink, but what should have been a simple task becomes a struggle so I resolve not to let my eyes close again, not even for a moment. A bustle of activity around me, and suddenly I'm being gently lifted. But his face never leaves my sight, not even for a moment.
New pain is introduced with needles and machines that are probably meant to try to save me. I don't mind until the try to make him leave. I must somehow manage to get the words from my mind to my tongue, though, because suddenly they leave him alone. He's got my blood on his fingers. When he brushes back my hair I feel the warm stickiness of it. My body doesn't hurt so much anymore.
"Come on, stay with me."
His voice is the only thing that's not wavering. Not moving in and out. Four months. That's all we had together. It won't seem like enough to him, but it's enough for me. I wish I could give him more. He'll make a good king. A better king than I was a queen. I haven't any family to challenge him for the throne. The people will accept him and so will the guard. He's always been so good with people.
It's starting to hurt to breathe, but he won't let me go. I'm ready, and I want him to be, too. I wish I could find it in me to tell him that it'll be okay. Because it will be.
"I love you."
He knows. I can hear it in his voice as it breaks. The doctors won't accept it. The people might not understand. I don't need them to. He knows. His tears are warm on my face as I let my eyes finally fall closed. He'll be okay.