I never knew this man as anything else than my blood's enemy. I had fought his troops and met his soldiers in battle; but I never thought of the man behind the Black Bear flag. He was another one, just another one we fought against. We had been at war with his kingdom since before my grandfather was born. Before I could learn anything else, I had learned to hate his kind –the Bear.
I wasn't raised to be a princess. I was raised to be a mighty warrior of the Wolf Lands. Women usually didn't go to war, but being the daughter of a Warmaster what was common for me tended to be very strange for other people. My father had wanted me to fight and to win, so he taught me all he knew. Honor and War ran deep, sharp and quick in my blood and in my heart.
I was commanding my group near the Black Forest border when the news of Prince Frank's death caught up with me; and the shameful secrets from the past came back to haunt my family. All the freedom I had earned with my sword in the province of war was suddenly taken away by the King, the man my father and I had served loyally in spite of everything.
Frank had always been the true heir; I was just the infamous product of a sordid affair between the King and my father's first wife, Lady June. Most people in the Wolf Lands knew this but, out of love and respect for my father, kept quiet most of my childhood. Frank's death made me the king's only spawn and natural heir to his throne
It was the morning of my seventeenth birthday when I was taken away from everything I had ever known, and made the Crown Princess of the Wolf Lands.
A year later, he asked me to marry him. Jacen swore he wanted the war to end; he wanted peace between our people. There had been a lot of blood over the decades, now it was in our hands to stop it, for good. I had to marry soon anyway, bye marring him we would forge an alliance between our kingdoms, the blood would stop flowing. My father told me to accept Jacen, the Bears' army was strong, as powerful as our own; if the Crows attacked, Father said, King Jacen would protect me. Father said Jacen wasn't a cruel man. And if I didn't take him, chances were that I would be promised to the king of Crow Mountain, a man that would be all too happy to break me.
So I answered "Yes" to his proposal and signed the contract, bringing the Wolf and Bear royal families together. A truce was declared. Now, as I walk down this aisle to see him for the first time. Under that Cross, in that altar, I'm about to marry King Jacen of the Black Woods, a man I never knew as anything else than my enemy. A veil covers my face, I can barely walk in this white dress, Mother put so much effort in this dress, as if I was really marring for love, and I push my lips together, forcing them to stop trembling. His family heirloom, his family's crest, hangs from my neck, announcing to the entire world that I'm his.
"Darla Stone," the priest says, using the name with which he baptized me 18 years ago, "Do you take Jacen Sharade as your legitimately wedded husband, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death…" Till death, he was talking about the rest of my life "do you part?"
"I do." I say, and my voice is soft yet firm and clear, like when I used to give orders to my unit in battle
Jacen's voice is deep and strong as he says "I do." I turn to see him but he is not looking at me. He is looking straight ahead, a man fulfilling his duty.
"You may kiss the bride," the priest says. I have been kissed before, when I was 16 and we all got drunk after wining a raid against the Crows, Hector had kissed me then, a quick close mouthed peck on the lips. But now I don't know what to expect. Jacen lifts my impossibly long veil, and gets his first look at me: suntanned, thick, long curly red hair, gray eyes and he gasps. I guess he was expecting a pale, blond, fragile princess, and I'm nothing like that. His next move throws me off balance completely. Jacen smiles and catches my lips in a slow, warm kiss. I give in, kissing him back.
Jacen is good looking, with his dark hair and blue, sparkling eyes, tall and well built. But I wonder if I can love him. I wonder what lies ahead for us, for me.
During the whole reception, Jacen didn't speak to me, but he did put his hand on my waist when we cut the cake. Everyone cheered as he kissed me again, and took a bite of the slice of cake I offered him. My new wedding ring caught the light as I did so, and suddenly I realized I was married. Everyone around us was so happy. I couldn't tell if Jacen was happy. I couldn't even tell if I was.
Now is time to go. I exchange polite goodbyes with the King and Queen. I hug with all my strength my mom and dad. I almost knock the air out of my little brother Marcus as I promise him he would see me again. I try not to cry, as tears are considered shameful among the Wolf royal family. In this year I have spent as the official princess, I have learned to cover my emotions well. Queen Frances made sure of that.
But I can't help remembering when I was just me, Darla: my brother's sister, my parents' daughter, the commander of the fifth unit; when I was just me, I could cry all I wanted; when things got tough, when I got sad, when I lost people to war, when I was hurt. Now I'm leaving my family, I'm losing myself, I'm so sad that my heart is about to break.
But not even the smallest of tears leaves my eyes.
A Princess never cries.
This is my first incursion on the Fairy Tale world; I hope you guys can be kind. And please don't kill me. I've been turning this in my head for a while and finally decided to put it here!
More to come.
More notes after correcting:
So I got a Beta, she is really nice and good at this. And a great help. Thank you Very, VERY Much!
When Darla says "Mother" and "Father" and talks about her family she means Lady Julie and Lord Stone, they raised her. Lord Stone holds the highest position after the King in the King's War Council. When she is only with her family and friends she actually calls them Mom and Dad. Regarding her biological parents, Darla calls them the King and Lady June.
The next chapter is about how Jacen sees his new wife. Darla is the protagonist after all. A lot of things about him are based in someone else and I'm very much in love with him. Hint: Is a fictional character.
Edit January 14: I'll be correcting several of the mistakes I made while writing this. And I may write a new story about Bry and Greg's romance… but it's just a thought right now.