We stayed in my rooms for a little while longer before I finally spoke up again.
"I'm feeling a lot better now would you like to show me around the gardens now?" Even though I asked it I felt like it was almost a demand which made my cheeks flush red.
"Of course! I thought you would never want to leave this room for a while." She chuckled to herself. It wasn't long before we were walking out into the gardens and the sweet smell of flowers intruded my senses. The grass was a perfect green and the dew wet the sides of my velvet shoes. The gardeners must spend hours on looking after the grass alone not even counting the shrubbery and flowers around the grounds.
It was no longer cool outside, the aid had warmed quite a lot since I sat on my balcony. "You must have been out here a lot as a child, I know that my garden was my favourite place to be when I was younger." I looked over at Rayne.
"I did spend a lot of time out here with Elias and Vale but they always had silly pretend duels and I was never allowed to take part." She looked sad as she remembered it.
"My brother didn't like to talk to me when I was a child," I bent down picking a blue flower up. "He thought that he was better than me." I knew I shouldn't be saying this about him but it was something that I felt was appropriate to share to try and make her feel better.
"Tell me about him." She seemed curious.
"Well he has blonde hair and violet eyes, he's kind of old fashioned with what he believes in and he isn't the most supportive person but he wants big things for me."
"At least he wants things for you." I don't she meant it to but she seemed upset by what I had said.
"Your highness, Lady Thorn I have been informed that I need to escort you around the gardens." A voice echoes from behind us and we spun around. I stifled a gasp, it was the guard that was accused of murdering my father.
"Alexander we can walk around the gardens ourselves." The princess stated.
"I have been instructed by you father and brothers to make sure that there is someone watching over the both of you; after what happened last night security procedures have been changed and made stronger and more effective." There was nothing on his face to show he wanted to say what had happened the night before.
"Well if we must be escorted why don't you help me show Estella around." Looking at Alexander he seemed to be focused on looking at the vast array of flowers that surrounded the gardens.
The walk around was quiet with either Rayne or Alexander chiming in every time we walked past something brightly coloured or structurally large. We walked for a little while longer before a girl not much younger than me approached us.
"Your highness, Lady Thorn." The girl paused, out of breath. "The first of the other families have arrived. You are needed to greet them to the palace."
"Ah yes thank you for informing us." Rayne said. I didn't really want to go and greet anyone, I enjoyed Raynes company and knew that I wouldn't get much of it once everyone had arrived.
"At least now that more people are arriving you will have more people to interact with." I stated bending down to pick up a lovely yellow flower that almost looked golden in the light.
"My father wants me to go and greet all of the families separately. So yes I will have more people to talk to except, I already know how bored I'm going to be with some of them." She examined her nails.
Rayne seemed less talkative walking back towards the palace. I wasn't sure why considering all she had wanted to do this morning was talk.
"Estella. When I go to greet the family would you be able to go back to your rooms, Alexander can escort you." She offered. Her kindness had been replaced with authority within all but a matter of minutes. I suppose that your entire life being in front of the public encourages hiding your emotions well.
We entered the large side doorway to get back into the entrance of the palace the silver very apparent as soon as we step in. Rayne doesn't even say goodbye before walking off in the direction of the main doorway, her skirts swaying as she straightened her posture on the way there.
I look over at Alexander who is waiting at the bottom of the large sweeping staircase for me, I quickly catch up and when we get out of the way of people I decide it's the best time to apologise. "I'm so sorry about last night Alexander." I say looking right at him. "I wish I didn't have to look in your head, I just wanted to know and I know this is a sorry excuse as you were treated as a criminal for Lord knows how long but I am truly sorry."
"By using you ability you stopped my execution and got me a promotion so any amount of time they thought I was a criminal doesn't matter now." He smiled and a weight lifted off my shoulders. "I have a better way of providing for my family now, without your help I don't know what would happen to them." He looked off into the distance as if he was remembering something about them.
"Tell me about your family, what are they like?" I ask wanting to know more.
"My daughter, she's almost 1 and is a feisty little one," He chuckled. "She takes after my wife for looks; they both have bright red hair except felicity only has a tuft and my wife likes to say she has my eyes but I see lots of different things in there sometimes."
"What about your wife?"
"She's the most amazing person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting," I smiled at how much he obviously loved her. "We grew up together and I never thought she would even look at me the way I looked at her but it happened and I have to be the luckiest man alive." It was refreshing to see how devoted he seemed even though he wasn't much older than me.
"If you don't mind me asking. How old are you?" I felt awkward asking this but I was just curious.
"I'm 21." He smiled warmly.
"Oh, you look younger." I felt slightly embarrassed for thinking he was younger than Vale. "I just want to say how amazing it is that you are so devoted, most people your age usually don't want to commit and feel like using people for a while until they settle down."
"That's lovely, thank you Lady Estella." We were rounding the corner to the corridor that my room was on.
"Please you don't have to use formalities with me, just call me Estella."
"Okay thank you.. Estella." He tested it out.
We got back to my room and Alexander left me after a short goodbye and I shut the door behind me. Looking around the room I saw a large rectangular box resting at the bottom of the bed with an envelope sitting on top of it. I quickly walked forwards towards the box wondering what was inside of it.
I lifted the lid up and gasped seeing a beautiful long gown in amongst silver tissue paper. The gown was a beautiful grey/blue with silver lace and diamonds covering the skirts and it was strapless. In the box there was also a pair of matching heels and grey long gloves.
I carefully placed the items back in the box and reached for the envelope that was addressed to me in a scrawling hand that I didn't recognise.
We are having a special dinner party on Wednesday with lots of the countries allies and I would be honoured if you would wear this.
I suddenly froze remembering what Rayne had told me about Vale choosing a bride on Wednesday. I thought about it and as far as I had been taught when a royal proposes they do it in front of an audience I mainly think that it's so nobody can really refuse the proposal. What I had also learned is that the said Royal actually proposes before the dinner party but they have to do it again in front of an audience. The proposal is used to show the countries allies and leaders that the royals are strong and are still running the country as strongly as ever. If the chosen bride has good strong abilities it also gives another reason for the public to know that they shouldn't mess with them.
I suddenly felt sick again looking at the dress. '"It's you, it's always been you"' Raynes voice echoed in my head, I only had a few days to try and get to know Vale properly.
I'm really sorry that this chapter took so long to be published I had some small technical difficulties where my account wouldn't let me log in for a long time. While I was waiting for my app to return to normal I was on holiday and actually got my GCSE results while I was there and I'm so pleased with them and I hope anyone else who got results did amazingly.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter and that it wasn't too boring or anything I'm just trying to get back in the zone as I haven't been able to write this for a while.