Today I am actually leaving for Mylian, to go and arrange my wedding. The in three days’ time I will be Arios' wife. Apparently he linked with his staff at home and they have all the basic plans sorted out. But he's left it up to me to make all the important decisions. He asked me the color scheme last night and I chose dark blue. I told him to ask the staff to use the same blue as his eyes. He thought they wouldn't know but I'm certain that every female in the country knows the color of his eyes. They are so beautiful. They are also unusual on him, his skin and hair being so dark while his eyes such a soft blue.
The most important decision I have is which dress to wear. I don't know where to start. Lottie will be able to help. Lottie and I have become good friends over the past few days. She is sweet and gentle and all the things I've never managed to be. She cheers me up, most of all when we can sit and chat, giggling constantly. We've had some fun together.
I still have to ask Binnin if she can come with me but I'm going to make sure I do it when the press is about. He'll feel under more pressure to be kind to me, to actually act like a father. Soon I'll be a problem, a liability in fact, taken off his hands. We won't have to bother with each other then.
Still, it's hard to believe that I'm actually going to be married so soon, so young. Still, I am not afraid. Whatever a fool others would think me, I truly do know what I want.
Finally the packing's all done and I am in Arios' transport. Lottie's with us too. Thankfully, I succeeded in persuading Binnin to let her come. I realize that when we get to his kingdom Arios will be taken from me by his duties and so I would be all alone in a foreign land were it not for Lottie. Obviously Arios won't be able to spend much time with me when he's just got back from a trip away.
Needless to say, she's not going to be my maid anyway. We've already become good friends and I think it's wrong for one person to be above another. People shouldn't be put beneath others who are thought to superior. It's their personality that matters as far as I'm concerned and in character Lottie is far more noble than me.
Hopefully she will be happy in Mylian, I was concerned about taking her away from the world she was familiar with. Back home though, she had no opportunities. Now I have freed her she can become successful, maybe even find some romance.
Arios is sat next to me and at last I don't have to put aside my feelings. Finally I can shamelessly adore him.
“Three days of freedom left, then you stuck with me. Forever.”
“Not forever, I'm afraid neither of us are immortal. Fortunately they put that nice clause in about till death do us part. Even marriage has an expiry date.”
“But I could love you forever.” He kisses me, insistent, desperate, barely willing to let me breathe. I don't object, knowing how he feels. It's been too long. When we are apart I ache for him, I know what I'm missing now. That makes me utterly dependent on him.
“You realize Vita, that you and I have had the most peculiar relationship ever imaginable.” He's right of course, yet I can't regret a moment we've had together. All those normal people who've gone through the cliché rituals of a conventional romance don't know what they're missing out on. My love was truly unexpected. We weren't following the set pattern but let things take theIR natural course. Everything's turned out perfectly. Now we're getting married.
“Yet I wouldn't wish for anything else. Maybe I'm crazy, but I have fallen well and truly in love with you. So I think it's all been for the best.”
I'm sat on his knee with his arms around me. I lean my head back against his chest. As he breaths, I felt the rhythmic rise and falls. He is breathing fast and hard. Hopefully it is because he is with me. I long to give him all the joy he gives me.
The journey goes quickly as I am distracted with wedding plans and the groom’s charms. I feel guilty having hardly spoken to Lottie, I forget about everyone else when I'm with Arios. When we arrive at the royal palace I get chance to make it up to her. Since I'm getting married so soon, I am sharing Lottie's room for the next three nights. Arios showed us the way and we were left together to unpack.
Since I'm only here for such a short time, I'm only unpacking the essentials. While I do that I get chance to chat with Lottie. It doesn't take long so I'm going to help Lottie with her things.
“Lottie, can you do me the biggest favor?”
“Oh no, what is it now, you've already got me moving abroad for you.”
“Nothing as bad as that this time, I promise. No, I was only going to ask if you want to be my maid of honor.” It was great to be able to make her so happy. She's so kind getting excited for me like this. Ever since I told her about the wedding she's been so supportive. We've been proper girly-girls, scheming away for hours. Being so creative, she's given me some great ideas. Tomorrow we can go dress shopping together. Unfortunately it's too late to have one made.
It's odd for me to have such normal concerns. I've grown accustomed to being a government rebel. I know being the future queen living in a grand palace is hardly normal, but the way I'm planning my wedding with Lottie and the way we get to relax and joke about. Having nothing to fear. The world really is a better place away from Binnin's oppressive rule.
After I spend a quiet morning here in the palace looking at possible dresses, Arios has arranged to show me his new land and introduce me to the people. It's important I make a good impression since I am to be their queen. That I still find overwhelming, I only hope I prove worthy of the responsibility.
Once we've unpacked and settled into our new room, we all go out for the evening, me, Lottie and Arios. We go for a walk around the city and it's obvious how much Arios loves his home. We have much to discuss but we have to hold back and be considerate of Lottie so we keep to casual chat. It's good to get a look about our new home.
By the time I get back, I am exhausted. Both me and Lottie go straight to bed even though it is still quite early. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.
I wake refreshed; only two days left. When I leave my room I am greeted by bouquet of tulips and a card on the table against the wall. Although it's traditional for the bride's dress to be a surprise for the groom, me and Arios never seem to do traditional so I decide to invite I'm to come and help me choose today. It's going to be a tough decision and we make an unstoppable team.
We are sat in a large, airy room facing the huge windows positioned perfectly to let the morning light stream in. Arios' home makes such a pleasant change from being in Binnin's fortress. Outside all the local dress makers are gathering to show us their ideas. Today I must decide. Funny how I can run from government forces, join the protests, speak out to Mr. Edington, denounce the government before hundreds, face arrest and probable execution, endure torture and yet I still find this stressful. Were Arios and Lottie not here beside me, I dare say I would have turned and ran already. There is so much pressure, I don't want to regret my decision and I want Arios to be stunned as I walk down the aisle to meet him. My wedding will be the best day of my life, no wonder I'm desperate to get it perfect.
I have asked them to bring some bridesmaids dresses too, for Lottie of course. As long as it fits in with the color scheme, I've told her she can pick the dress herself. Whatever she wears she will look beautiful, besides, I know she's got taste- she did dress me for that dinner I remember.
So many dresses came and went and I began to worry I would ever be satisfied. Although many were pretty, none were just right. We were looking through them so long I thought I'd be up all night making my final decision. But one came in seconds ago and already I'm struck by it. I know it's the one.
Arios smiles at me, I think he knows I'll like it. My weird memory problems are so frustrating at times like this. He knows me so well, as far as he's concerned we have years of experiences together. He has all these memories of us. But to me everything's so recent, I don't know him nearly so well as he does me. Even basic things, likes, dislikes, favorite food etc. are still a mystery.
No longer caring for any of the other gowns, I ask to take a closer look of that last one. Not only is it truly stunning, as the others were, but I know it will suit me. We will work well together.
“That's your dress. I know it, it suits your personality, you'll look breathtaking. Honestly, when you walk towards me I will forget how to leave. I will stand there like the idiot who doesn't know how to breathe and it will be all your fault.”
Rather a novelty to see a man getting seriously excited about a dress. But I was so glad. This is why I wanted him here, to know he approved. That will be one less thing to worry about when the big day comes. However confident I feel now, I know I will be nervous on the day. Everybody always is, it's such a big step, a huge commitment.
Lottie comes and has a look when I try the dress on but I don't let Arios: I want the wedding to be the first time, for it to be a surprise for him.
Not only does it look beautiful; it feels divine. Soft silky fabric engulfs me, pressing firmly against my body. The skirts swish and flow, dragging slightly along the floor. It is a special feeling. Next time I wear this dress it will be my wedding day.
I wish I could invite my old friends. My longing for those I have lost is intense, Zayna, Natalie, even my mother, even though I'm still angry with her. If I don't put those thoughts aside I feel so miserable. Which is stupid when I am getting married to such a wonderful man. It's a shame they can't be with me but I will be with them again soon, I shan't let this separation last forever. My only fear is for Zayna, but there is no point in despairing yet when she may still be alive. Natalie and my mother I can rescue in time.
My wedding will be a happy day. I insist on it. Now I even have a dress, and I am so relieved about that. This marriage has to last forever because I'm sure not organizing another one. And anniversary parties are out of the question.
However, I'm sure as a queen I am going to have to become reconciled with planning social events, but this is different. This is personal, it is an important day for me and a big part of my life whereas the usual state events won't have that emotional tie.