Summary: On the eve of the final dance Prince Damian rejects the girl chosen by his mother without meeting her and without knowing the girl can hear every word of his rejection. Years later he finally meets her again and falls for her without knowing she is the same girl.
It was hard to miss the lone traveller galloping his horse at full speed towards the pearly gates of the Fronton Palace. The palace was a stunning, marble clad place with lush gardens and views over the cliff face the castle was built on. The palace may have looked breathtaking in red and gold hues of the sunset but it was obvious from the rider's expression that he wasn't in the mood to admire the beauty.
The man furiously urged his horse forward as he rode into the palace gates. Startled guards immediately came forward as the blond haired man jumped off his horse; his deep blue cloak impressively flowing with his movement. The man was of medium build and height but the sheer arrogance he held himself with made other's feel like he towered over them.
The young man stormed towards the entrance barely greeting the skeletal man who seemed to be waiting for him.
"I came as soon as I received your missive, uncle," The man spoke in a clipped fashion.
"You can see what ruckus is being created behind your back, prince," The prince's uncle dismissively gestured at the elaborate decorations in the corridor.
"If I hadn't seen this I wouldn't have believed it," The prince answered with a sneer also observing the festivities, "Mother has gone too far."
"This abominable behaviour should be stopped. Your parents shouldn't expect you to cater to their each and every whim. You are the crown prince," His pale uncle made an elaborate gesture to signify this. Usually the man amused the prince but today he was glad he had a firm ally.
"Indeed, uncle. I shouldn't have let them conduct the ball in the first place," The prince spoke with gritted teeth as he paced forward in long strides.
"Ah, yes, my prince you are far too kind. You should have asked them to cease this nonsense once and for all. You are merely four and twenty; you can't be expected to marry a girl this soon."
The prince slowed down as he remembered something.
"The girl, have you seen her."
"Seen her, my dear prince, who could have missed her fawning over your poor mother at the ball? An unsightly thing with dark hair; nothing like the bevy of beauties you like to keep company with. Not the diamond of the finest water, I can assure you."
The prince grunted in displeasure but made no comments so his uncle took the liberty to continue with his slander.
"A plain face, a dim witted expression; I couldn't think of anyone more unsuited for your station then this drab thing. Her family isn't even in the higher circles of nobility. Her father is merely a common baronet. She has nothing to bring to this marriage; absolutely nothing."
"Uncle, where is mother. I must see her immediately."
"She is in the blue parlour having her evening tea. I daresay she'll be shocked to see you."
The prince remained silent but he nodded and turned towards a connecting corridor that would eventually lead him towards his mother. The prince possessed a sharp eye but he completely missed the small smile forming on his uncle's face.
The prince tried to calm himself as he got closer to the parlour's entrance but he couldn't dispel the frenzy in his whole body. He wanted to act calm and rational and not scare his dear mother with his temper but he couldn't.
He barged into the room as he was accustomed to and his mother promptly spilt her tea in reaction to it. The prince resisted the urge to roll his eyes as the frail thing that was his mother let out a feminine shriek that could have been of either delight or horror.
"Damian, my dear Damian, you shall have a long, long life because I was just mentioning you."
Prince Damian quickly scanned the room and to his relief the room was empty. He assumed his mother had taken up talking to herself.
"I want to speak to you, mother," He spoke with urgency in his voice that his mother completely failed to see as she closed her arms around his shoulders.
"Did you not see the grand decorations in the corridors? My decorators have done me proud; the ball finale is going to be a success." She smiled at him and for a few moments Damian wanted to crumble his ego and anger just to keep that smile on her face but his temper reared its ugly head once again clouding his thoughts.
He turned away from her and spoke once again, "I refuse, mother."
"Refuse what, darling," His mother's voice was now concerned.
"This grand marriage you're planning without my consent, behind my back," The prince walked forward so he could rest his hand against the wall.
"I never meant to make you think I was doing anything behind your back. Nothing has been decided or arranged, Damian. I just want you to meet her," She implored in her gentle voice.
"I am not interested, mother. Not in getting married to her or even meeting her. Why couldn't you have told me before making plans?"
"I have written to you countless times urging you to come back from your hunt but I received only short replies from your cousin that you did not wish to be disturbed," She sounded distraught.
The prince frowned. He knew he had given the orders but he did not think his cousin would follow his orders enough to hide letters from his mother. His cousin was steadily growing into a pest and he needed to be taken care of but first he needed to pull himself out of this dilemma.
"I'm sorry, mother, but I was not in the mood to attend this ridiculous farce of a ball knowing that I didn't want to choose any of these so called beauties. I'm not ready to take up a wife."
"I know, Damian, you never had to choose anyone at all. A bit of a dance and talk couldn't have killed you unlike that boar hunt you went to. I knew this ball wasn't going to be fruitful without you but I was determined to go through any potential brides and then I found her. Nobody could have been more perfect for you."
"Perfect, mother," The prince spat as he turned around to face her, "From what I've heard she's ugly and plain and incredibly dim. I can't think of a worse person to marry me. If you can't have chosen someone smart at least someone with some amount of looks would have been adequate."
As the prince paused he thought he saw a movement in the corner of the eye but he dismissed it as one of the flowing curtains.
"Don't be too hasty to judge her like this. Give her a chance, Damian," His Mother's voice was clogged and wet.
"Mother, what is wrong with your taste. I can't believe we're having this conversation. Why do you think a pauper of a girl with nothing to recommend herself could be worthy of my station. I am to be king and she certainly isn't good enough to be my queen," Damian paused from his impassioned speech, "How far have you gone with this?"
"The ball is still ongoing so I haven't made any announcements because they're usually left till after the last dance but I believe I've made my preference known to everyone."
The prince refused to look into his mother's watery eyes. She was a beautiful woman whose appearance even at five and forty was impeccable. He colouring was pale and as a child he had thought she looked like a faded angel. He had taken after her, though everything he possessed was sharper and brighter. His eyes were a much stronger blue and his hair a more striking blond. He wanted to comfort her but his ego was too vile to let him.
"Resolve this, mother," Damian asked shaking in head and left the room.
Once outside he thought he heard something but he assumed his mother was speaking to herself again.
So, how was it? I haven't written anything (or even read) in the past four years so my writing is a little rusty. And I haven't done anything historical either so I don't know how well I'll be able to accomplish the dialogues and period. The story isn't going to be long (It could have been completed as a oneshot but it became a dull blob of paragraph so I decided to be more dialogue centric and break it apart)