Chapter Five

"Father, may I speak with you?" The King turned around and looked at his eldest daughter, smiling. He opened his arms and she embraced him, smiling nervously.

"Of course my daughter. What is it you wish to speak of?"

"I fear it may not be to your liking," Anella looked at the ground, "but it is something that must be said."

"Well, say it."

"I do not wish to marry Lord Ceyos, My Lord. My heart lies elsewhere, and in a worthy man."

The King raised his eyebrows. "Oh? And who might this be?"

"The Lord Wendylon."

"The Lord Wendylon?" He shook his head slightly. "It is not a matter of you marrying a worthy man, Anella. You know that. Ceyos was promised your hand when you were born, so we could secure the peace we kept with his lands for centuries. I cannot simply say, 'My daughter loves another.' Your feelings, Anella, don't matter in the grand scheme of things, you realize this?"

"What exactly did you promise Ceyos?"

"That he would marry my daughter, uniting our lands once again."

"You have another daughter, My Lord."

The King looked at her for a long time, then nodded slowly. "Marry Ceyos to Restella. Genius. She needs a strong man in her life to keep her under control." He nodded again. "And I shall set you up with Wendylon." Anella smiled widely and left the room, and the King smiled after her. She obviously didn't realize Wendylon had a brother who was also known as Lord Wendylon. Well, she would find out soon enough.

*****

Anella looked up as Restella charged into her room. "What have you done to me, Anella?"

Anella rolled her eyes. "Stop being so selfish. Is it so impossible that I should want the tiniest seed of happiness in my life?"

"I'm being selfish? You have just single-handedly ruined my life. Because you just might want to marry Prince Charming you have discarded my life as though it doesn't matter. While I sat back my whole life accepting that my sister who never wanted anything for herself was getting the throne I coveted, you were scheming to destroy what little happiness I had for myself. Father swore I would pick my own husband, Anella. Now, because you decided you mattered more than me and everything I believe in, I have nothing but a hateful marriage to look at. You failed Serella, now you fail me. You will fail your Kingdom, when you marry a man as useless as Lord Kent Wendylon. Perhaps, sometime, you might decide to do something right." With this, Restella stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind her.

*****

Ceyos picked up the letter and smiled. "Gereth, look at this. We are invited to the wedding of the Lady Anella and the Lord Drake Wendylon. Also the wedding of myself and the Lady Restella. Perhaps you could speak with the Great Lord about a marriage between yourself and the Lady Mylaia on that day as well. It could be an amazing celebration."

Gereth looked down at the paper, then called to a servant. "Fetch the Lady Mylaia."

Mylaia walked into the room several minutes later, curtseying sweetly and looking at her betrothed without expression. He smiled and walked to her, taking her hands. "My darling Mylaia, we have but just received a letter from the Great Lord about a wedding date, a date we could perhaps make our own. I would be most pleased if this would be the date for our marriage, but I shall leave it to you to decide. It is in a week and a half, and I know little about the preparations."

Mylaia managed a small smile. "Whatever makes his Lordship happy is the course I shall take. A week and a half could be a bit of a rush, but if the Great Lord is hosting the wedding, few preparations are needed."

"Wonderful." Gereth smiled widely. "The date is set. Call to your servant and be ready to go by tomorrow, for Ceyos has yet to meet his bride."

Mylaia curtseyed and left, while Gereth stood smiling after her. "She is the perfect woman. Beautiful, obedient. She had always accepted me as her husband, and will make the perfect Lady of this land."

Ceyos shrugged. "If you ask me, she's a bit too dull. Sometimes I wonder if there is anything that goes on in her head."