Princess Lucia of Ledaria had always wanted freedom. She had grown up without parents, but a high court, and a distant brother who only smiled during public outings. With a stiff upbringing, she was forced to be sneaky, but open, wild, but prim. When she wasn't practicing cross-stitching with her loyal waiting in lady Hazel, she found life..boring. Until the nights came. She found the milky moon to be her friend, as it lay shining amongst the twisted branches of bare weeping-willows. She would routinely slip out into the royal courtyards dressed in a flowy ivory gown, shapeless except for a velvet belt that was cinched around her waist. Instead of toe-binding heels, she opted for a pair of leather boots she had stolen from a blacksmith's shop. She would weave her hair into an intricate braid and pin it to her head, just to make sure no one recognized her. It was taking the extra step that counted. Last was the wide brimmed sunhat she wore, adorned with a filmy, beaded veil. She knew it was childish, but she deemed herself the 'White Nymph'. She felt like a myth that was seldom-read, and that floated in and out of the dreams of maiden-seeking boys. But instead of doing magic, she danced with drunken men at the sloppy, dirty bars that lined the streets of the Inner City.
She liked being wild and carefree, but her brother revealed the worst news of her life while he sat on the veranda, sipping at a frosty glass of early-morning cider. He was dressed in his finest velvets, and his crown sat wayward on his head, the rubies set in them shone brightly in the orangey sunlight. "You are to visit Prince Ezra of Nedréa ; his father has searched the land far and wide for a proper suitor for..his peculiar son, and I think you would make for a fine bride."
Lucia felt the poison rise up in up in her throat. She stomped her foot. "If you think I will marry such an insolent boy like him, who I have heard just sits in his garden and spends time with dainty little flowers."
"Dear sister, please. The boy is the heir to some of the greatest riches in the whole world. You will do as I say and report to the seamstresses for a fitting of your new wardrobe. Hopefully, they will be able to accentuate the bleaker..bodily features you've inherited.." King Reginald looked his sister up and down before shooing her away.
Reluctantly, Lucia picked up her skirts and daintily made her way down the corridor..until she was out of earshot. She broke into a sprint and tore down the winding halls, dodging the Royal Guards and handmaids alike. She didn't stop until she was at the door to her chamber. Tears blurred her vision as she pushed it open. It only gave way with a mighty heave. She gasped and stumbled over to her trunk, gilded and set with diamonds- and flung open the top. Inside was her disguise, her alter-ego, the one thing that kept her sane in this constricting world she was plopped into without any say.
Still, having a reputation to withhold for the sake of her kingdom, Lucia allowed herself to be stuffed into hideously-colored gowns and to have her hair caught up into nets. She did nothing but weep silently to herself as the carriage she rode in drew further and further away from her home. Though, that changed when the first face she was met with when she arrived was the face of who she was to be betrothed to. Prince Ezra was waiting for her at the foot of her carriage, dressed in riding gear that showed off the slightest hints of muscles in his lean body. His velvety curls tumbled easily about his shoulders and the sun was at such an angle so it showed off a spray of freckles that were spread across his face, like a galaxy of stars. But the most peculiar of all were his eyes. His irises were the color of amber, Lucia felt her heart flutter a little bit as he took her hand and nimbly kissed her knuckles.
"It's..an honor to be in your presence, Your Highness.." His tone was regal, yet unpolished. Lucia felt her cheeks turn vermillion. "Prince Ezra, you are just as my brother described." She said quickly and drew her hand away. The crown prince seemed intrigued by her statement and cocked his head in interest. "Oh? And what did dear King Reginald have to say?"
"That..you are quite well-versed in the realm of botany." Lucia felt her shoulders relax as the prince grinned.
"So I am." He brushed off the tassled shoulder of his riding jacket. Lucia nodded.
As the kings made merry and drank, the two soon to be lovers were led to the Royal Garden for tea. Lucia was amazed at the variety of each blossom, and made sure to take in every detail she could. The prince surprised her by taking her hand and leading her into the lush greens for a closer look. It was almost like he could sense her curiosity piquing. Soon, the bright noon sun turned into moonlight, and the two royals' clothes were stained with grass and soil. They were both hunched over a moonbeam flower, whose bud was oblong, smooth and silky.
"How long must we wait?" Lucia whispered.
"When the moon is between waxing and waining, it will bloom." Ezra explained, taking her hand and squeezing it lightly. It was his turn to blush. He looked into the princess's golden eyes and saw..adventure, beauty and kindness simmering in her irises all at once. He wasn't able to control himself any longer. He pressed his lips to her supple ones and she reciprocated. Just as they pulled away, the moonbeam blossom exploded into life, its ivory petals peeling back to reveal a bright yellow center.
Lucia let out a little gasp of surprise, whilst Ezra only chuckled. Realizing what they had done-and the possibility that they might be caught by the wrong person, they headed inside, fingers interlocked.
By the next afternoon, Lucia was already being fitted for her wedding gown. The months leading up to it were a blur, until that very moment at the altar, in which she was entranced by the gaze of only her beloved. When the doors of the chapel blew open, and she felt the claws of death wrap around her waist, she knew she would be with the spirit of her Mother soon. The last thing she saw before her world went dark was Ezra's eyes, filled with anguish.
Read Part One here ! ---> https://writetheworld.com/groups/1/shared/196456/version/400156