An Arranged Marriage of Apathy and Anger

Candid First Meeting

"Father, this is ridiculous! Why must I do this? Do you think me not sensible enough to choose a suitable wife?" said the young lordling Altarn as he stares at his father who glares at him from the other side of the carriage.

"No, but I think I'm able to find one that is better than "suitable." You deserve the best and the young Vega IS the best," say Altarn's father, Thomas. Thomas stared at his son, a young man with short silver hair and deep purple eyes, a picture of Thomas in his younger days.

"Am I to believe Vega is best just from your word?" Altarn asked.

"Hardly my son, everyone within the Aria kingdom has said so, in fact Vega has gotten several marriage proposals, but his father, my friend, stood true to his promise."

"A promise you two made before Vega was even BORN! Has Vega even been given the chance to say no?"

"Vega is fifteen my son, he is far to young to make such a decision."

"Then we should wait until he can!" Altarn shouts.

"Now, my son, I think Albert can discern what is best for his son, do not insult him so badly as considering him a bad father" said Thomas.

"But…!"

"Altarn!" Thomas says in a firm voice. "Stop this now or would you enjoy having to go to the altar without meeting your bride?" Thomas waits a moment, watching as Altarn glares but says nothing. "Good. Ah we're here, come son, let's go." He says stepping from the carriage after it has come to stop outside a large mansion.

The garden sprawls out on either side of them and the mansion before them looms overhead. Though the gardens are well-tended, the windows washed cleaned, and the house under no disarray or disrepair, the house seems…unloved.

No matter the gardener's tireless vigilance and the servant's constant toiling, their work couldn't make the house seem warm and loving or give it the feel of a home, not a house. Even as Altarn and his father step inside they can already feel the gloom despite the bright glowing candles and the large windows allowing for lots of sunlight.

"You can just feel the love." Altarn said, Thomas giving him a glare and smack on the back of the head.

"Mind your manners Altarn! Albert shall tend to his home as he sees fit!"

Altarn gives his father's back a glare but follows along after him and the butler that leads them towards a large courtyard with a sizeable gazebo sitting in the center. At this gazebo sits a man, older than even Thomas.

This man seems stern and angry, his hair, once a lustrous black, now a dull pepper and his eyes a dull brown. He sits with a tall cane sitting over his lap and a cup of tea in his hand, he only looking to his guest when he hears Thomas shout.

"ALBERT! My friend! It has been so long!" Thomas shouts, Albert looking to him and standing, the two giving a brief hug.

"Thomas, we need to get together more often!" Albert exclaimed as they go back to the small sitting area set around a low table.

"Well we are both so busy, it is just difficult to find a date where we are both free," Thomas chuckled. "Oh, Albert, I would like to introduce you, this is my son Altarn. He's a strapping young lad, isn't he?"

"He most assuredly is," Albert chuckled. "Please Thomas, Altarn sit," He says gesturing to two other seats set out. "My son, Cygnus, is getting Vega as we speak."

"Speaking of the beauty, what happened last year? We were set to introduce these two but the night before you sent word not to come," Thomas asked.

"Vega was…unprepared shall we say. I did not wish you to have to see him in such a way. He is much better now," Albert says, seeming to be waving the question off quickly. "AH! Here are my boys!"

Altarn looks up to see two young men, around his age, walking over. Both have the same lustrous black hair their father once had and green eyes of a beautiful depth. One is taller, stronger, and much more muscular, Altarn figuring this to be Cygnus. The other is much smaller and softer, pale and delicate, in other words, Altarn's bride to be, Vega.

Altarn cannot help but think approval of Vega, the boy with his hair in a high ponytail and dressed in deep green. Vega steps over to his father, but glares at the floor. Altarn can see the faint redness around the boy's eyes and quickly realizes that this arrangement is as upsetting to Vega as it is to him.

"Vega, go give your fiancée a proper greeting," Albert says, giving Vega a nudge that's almost a shove.

Vega seems to try and fight it but still he takes gentle steps and walks to Altarn and bows his head to the man. "It is an honor to finally meet my future husband. I hope that you will find me a suitable bride," every last polite word forced and angry and…even a little sad.

"I…I'm sure you'll make an excellent wife. I...am glad that I shall be able to…bring you into my family and call you…mine," say Altarn, it easy to see his own hesitance.

"Well, you two seem to be getting off to a good start, come Thomas, let us go and finish up the contracts, let these two have some time alone, hmm?" says Albert, standing and beginning to limp away, using his sturdy cane.

"Yes, Albert, a good idea, indeed."

Vega watched as his father and Thomas left the courtyard, the two talking all the while as they go, before looking to Altarn.

"Let's get some thing clear beforehand; I don't want to be with you! I don't want to spend the rest of my life with you, but my father and your father are not going to let us out of this and if my father and his legal team have any say in it, we will never find a loophole to any of their contracts. There is no way to stop this…so let's just agree here and now to stay away from each other and do our best to forget the other exists."

"…I guess that is…agreeable Vega. I don't think I could have said it better myself but there is one other thing I would like to have mentioned. I do not wish for you to hate me and I do not want to hate you…this is neither mine nor your fault so…let us hold a grudge against each other."

"….I think I can agree to that. Thank you for your candor."