On this the Eighth day of summer in the Thirty-Fourth year since the birth of the revered Rakyr Thorikell, Princess Cristi Jesswina Thorikell wed King Marik Lyskander Barok of the Western region. Upon this day, his excellence King Hakan Thorikell hath dubbed King Marik the Scholar King of Shayark, charged with keeping and protecting the history of the nation in his newly reconstructed castle, which has been said to include the largest library in Shayark and Feirtala combined. This writer does not know how much of that library has been stocked with romantic novels.

The wedding was a small affair, consisting mainly of close family and friends. Only Sonja Barok, the groom's sister, was not in attendance, although she did send her congratulations via letter, which Princess Cristi read aloud shortly before the ceremony. The groom's smile was genuine when he learned that his sister, too, had wed.

After a brief ceremony, during which the bride read very touching vows on love and devotion, from both herself and her husband, the party adjourned to the family's private dining hall. It was said that no less than five times that evening, the new husband was seen actually speaking to his wife. Since his one-word response to Princess Cristi's notorious proposal, no one had heard the new King utter a single word, nor did anyone know for certain just what he kept whispering in her ear throughout the evening of their marriage. Even the veriest of fool could guess, however.

He was telling her that he loved her.


Author's Note: I finished posting my other book chapter-by-chapter, which was why I was able to finally get the rest of this one up. Still not perfect, but I'm one of those people who likes to critique her own writing to death. Hopefully you enjoyed it. The final book in this series will, as I'm sure you've guessed, be about Simon. I've started it—sort of—but I'm torn right now between posting it chapter-by-chapter and posting the final book to my other series that way. Maybe I'll be ambitious and try to post them both at the same time. I don't know if my brain can handle writing two stories simultaneously. We'll see. :)