Author: A Tale To Be Told PM
The arrangement made between kings to keep their countries at peace. The prince refuses, but can the princess change his mind and make him see the err of his ways or will the arrangement be null and void? B/E, MARated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 15 - Words: 37,446 - Reviews: 653 - Favs: 452 - Follows: 612 - Updated: 12-31-11 - Published: 03-04-11 - id: 6795510
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: So, it's been awhile since I've written and published anything. So I'm kinda starting new. lol. To let all my old followers know, I've switched my pen name from LexyW to ATaletobeTold. To all my new followers, WELCOME!
I would like to thank my betas - CapitalBo, CapitalLO, and JennDur - and my prereaders - OnlyaDecoy, BellaBee66, and Jessy-, It would be a mess if it wasn't for them. ~Disclaimer~ Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. I'm just borrowing them to tell my tale.
~Disclaimer~ Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. I'm just borrowing them to tell my tale.
Looking across the table at each other, King Carlisle and King Aro glared with as much hate as possible at each other. It was deadly silent as no one dared to speak first because everyone wanted to keep their heads. The two men wouldn't take their eyes off each other; it was almost like they were having a staring contest.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
"Your Highnesses, please. This silence will get us nowhere. From speaking to both of you, neither country wants to go to war with one another. We need to come to an arrangement of sorts," Cardinal Marcus implored after banging his hand on the table.
Both Kings turned their icy glares onto the Cardinal before Carlisle sighed heavily and spoke, " I just do not see a way around this. We both knew the other was vying for Queen Esme's attention when she was still a Princess. I do not see why my country has to suffer because she chose me over him." Carlisle glanced over to see Aro open his mouth to retort. Holding his hand up to stop King Aro from commenting, Carlisle added,"While I am not one to back down, I cannot have our countries at war. It does nothing but hurt us more. So after much deliberation with Queen Esme and my advisors, we have come to a solution to hopefully keep the peace."
Carlisle watched Aro carefully as he laid out his solution, hoping that Aro would go along with it.
"As I was saying, we have come up with something that would bring our countries together rather than rip them apart. On behalf of my country, in the name of peace, I, King Carlisle of Ardania, propose that my first born marries King Aro's first born. And in the event, that both our firstborns are of the same sex, we propose that it will then extend down into the line of siblings until a match is formed," Carlisle explained, letting out a deep breath. Keeping eye contact with the King sitting across for him, Carlisle was shocked to see King Aro nodding slowly.
"I can get behind that, Carlisle," he replied, sighing before he looked back at the man sitting across the table from him.
"This has gone on long enough. I'm happy with my current wife and am agreeable to this. Better to join our families than to continue this squabble," Aro continued.
Carlisle sat in his chair, gaping at the man in front of him; opening and closing his mouth several times as he tried to form the words to convey his astonishment at Aro's change of mind… or maybe it was a change of heart. Regardless, the agreement between the two aristocracies was a welcoming sight to every single member of the room.
"Well, gentlemen, let's get this on paper with both of your signatures and a copy for both Royal households and put this matter of warring with each other to rest, shall we?" Cardinal Marcus asked, gesturing to his secretary who was poised to start writing as soon as the acknowledgement was given.
Both the Kings nodded, and the Cardinal's secretary began to write out the agreement. Carlisle beckoned his secretary to his side, who brought the Royal seal of Ardania forth in an intricately carved box, opening the lid and laying the royal blue wax, a lighter and the seal next. Aro followed suit, calling his secretary forward, who also brought forth a marble box with the lid already open, displaying the red wax, a lighter, and the Royal seal of Voltura.
Within moments, Alex, the Cardinal's secretary, had two agreements sitting before Marcus, with Alex's flourishing penmanship. Cardinal Marcus nodded as he read through the document, handing each head of their respected aristocracy a copy of the agreement. Both the men read through it and was in agreement, melting the wax onto the paper by waving the lit lighters over the stubs, wax dripping on the paper. Both grabbed their Seals at the same time, they pressed them into the hot wax and leaft their country's signature on the paper. Carlisle and Aro handed the papers back to Marcus, having him exchange the papers between the two Kings, and repeated the same thing, adding their signatures.
"Well, gentlemen, may this agreement bring peace to your families and countries for many, many centuries," Cardinal Marcus said as he stood to take his leave. Both Carlisle and Aro rose and joined the Cardinal, shaking his hand as Marcus handed the Kings' copies to them. A gasp went through the on-lookers as Aro extended his hand out to Carlisle. There was an immediate hush that fell over the room, even the Cardinal stopped and stared at the proffered hand. Carlisle, glancing between the eyes of his old enemy, took a step forward and grasped Aro's hand, shaking it firmly. An audible whoosh of air was heard throughout the room as the men smiled and clapped each other's arms as they shook hands.
The Cardinal, King Carlisle, and King Aro left the meeting room; the Cardinal heading back to the Vatican and the two Kings leaving for their home countries. The agreement had been forgotten until the birth of Princess Isabella three years later. Aro sent Carlisle the announcement, and a gift was sent back as a congratulations. Princess Isabella grew up always having been told about her betrothal, and was being groomed to be a good wife and companion to a future king.
However, King Carlisle refused to have his son grow up with the betrothal looming over his head. Prince Edward never knew of the agreement or the details of it. As far as Prince Edward was concerned, he was free to do and be with whomever he chose; until that fateful day, when he stepped into his college class room on a blustery winter day and saw a striking woman sitting in the seat in front of his.
Pacing in front of the desk, the King pursed his lips while he kept glancing over at his two advisors. Once in a while, he would stop and open his mouth like he was going to talk before shaking his head and continued to pace. The occasional sigh was heard or a grunt, but the pacing continued. And if a person was close enough, they would be able to see beads of perspiration forming along the hairlines of the King's advisors as they stood and waited for the King to speak or tell them to take a seat.
"So you're telling me that he refused? Flat out said no? AND he said because he doesn't want to?" the King bellowed, leaving the advisors' ears ringing.
"Yeh… Yes, Your Majesty. Tho-Those were his words, Your Majesty," the stoutly advisor stuttered, taking the handkerchief from his pocket to wipe his forehead nervously before continuing on, "He said there's no-no-no reason f-f-for him to we-we-wed yet since yo-you and Her Majesty are s-s-s-still here and healthy."
"UNACCEPTABLE!" the King roared, slamming his fist down on the desk causing the contents of his desk to jump and scatter.
"He needs to wed. He's of marriable age and while I'm here now, I won't be able to rule forever. And I NEED him to be married before then," the King explain what felt like the hundredth time during this conversation.
"Bring him to me. No excuses this time," he demanded, glaring at his two advisors. "Take two guards with you. Use force if you have to. Just bring him to me."
The two advisors bowed deep and walked backwards out of the throne room as was protocol when leaving the presence of the King. Both making audible sighs, they pointed to the two nearest guards and asked them to follow. The clicking of their shoes echoed throughout the hallway as they quickly made their way to where the Prince was tucked away in his private chambers.
Knocking three times, the two advisors waited outside until called in. The door swung open to reveal a bright-eyed girl smiling at them before they were ushered into the room. Seeing the nervous looks on the advisors faces, her smile dimmed and a frown replaced it. She turned and called for the Prince.
The advisors glanced at one another as they heard the determined strides of the man they were seeking getting louder as he came closer. The inner door swung wide as the Prince strode through, looking less than happy.
"What the hell do you two want now? I gave you my answer and that's all I needed to give you. Now… out," the Prince growled at them.
"Now, now. That's no way to talk to these two men. It's not their fault that they are the go-between for you and Dad, brother. Now be nice or I'll drag you with me by the ear to every girly store I know," the bright-eyed Princess chastised, giving a wink to the advisors.
Rubbing his temples and giving a rather loud sigh, the Prince's shoulder slumped as he motioned for the advisors to speak, but not before eying the Princess standing next to him with her hands on her hips and looking at him like a young child that disappointed her.
"Your Highness, the King, has requested that we escort you to the throne room as he would like to have a word with you himself. And we have permission to take you by force if need be," the short bubble-looking advisor stated with a regal air about him, nodding toward the two guards that were standing behind him and the other advisor.
"But why? He asked if I was ready to marry. I am not, and pushing me to marry is going against the agreement we made one month ago. Why can't he just leave it at that?" the Prince sighed and shook his head as he began to pace much like his father, the King. Long strides that easily carried him across the room with his hands clasped behind his back while his brow was furrowed as if in deep thought, but the difference between the King and his son was that the Prince also bites on his lip. The advisors stood just as still as they had when in front of the King, waiting for the man in front of them to finish worrying his path into the hard marble.
"Fine. Let's get this over with. He won't take the answer from you obviously so I'll do it in person," the Prince said matter-of-factly.
Looking over at the Princess, he sighed, "Sorry, Princess, we'll have to pick up the lesson another time."
The Princess just shrugged and danced out of the room, giggling as she called out over her shoulder, "This is much more important than me learning that stupid thing."
Shaking his head, the Prince gestured for the advisors to lead the way and followed them out of the room and through the castle's hallways to his father's throne room - one of the rooms that made the Prince feels suffocated, like the walls were closing in on him. He hated that feeling; the feeling that he'd have to give up everything that he enjoys and wants when he takes over this room permanently. He'd have to give up what little freedom he already has which was the reason he was adamant to not fall to his father's will and marry. It was one step away from holding the throne that he didn't want.
The doors opened before the advisors made the Prince take a deep breath just before he stepped into the dreaded throne room. Looking around, he noticed everything sitting perfect in its place. All of the previous Kings hanging on the wall in line of succession, with the family emblem between each portrait showing how it had evolved since the Middle Ages when it was first commissioned. The Prince's eyes traveled over every statue and vase standing in its specific place, nothing changing in all the years that he has ventured in here until his eyes settled on his father's face and how his eyes softened slightly as he mad eye contact with his son.
"Leave us, Felix and Demetri," the King commanded without taking his eyes off his son. He took a deep breath to clear his head and smiled, pleased that the Prince came without a fuss, but still wondered how things were going with the Prince's "extra-curricular" activities.
"Your Majesty," the advisors said in unison as they backed out of the throne. The bang of the doors shutting brought the King to his feet, and he walked around his desk to perch on the front of it while he motioned for the Prince to take a seat before him. The Prince just shook his head and stood behind the chair that his father had gestured to, leaning forward as his hands grasp the back of the chair.
"Now what is this about you refusing to marry, son? You know how important it is for you to marry and marry well. This kingdom will need for you to step up and be their leader. And the first step is to marry to show our people that you are ready to take the lead when it's your time to do so," the King stated, leaning on his weight on his hands that grip the edge of the desk.
Gritting his teeth to stop from lashing out at his father, the Prince closed his eyes and tampered down his anger before meeting his father's gaze.
"No, I refuse. We had this discussion. I still have two more months to see a woman of my choosing before you push this 'other woman' on me, and fulfill your arrangement with the King of Voltura. I can and will step up to rule when I'm needed. However, we made the agreement that I was free to see anyone I want in the span of three months. I still have two months to do so. I do believe that we also agreed that if in that time frame I fell in love, you would deal with King Aro and break your arrangement with him," the Prince said, raising an eyebrow, daring his father to rescind on their agreement.
Carlisle looked at his son, sighing heavily since he knew that Edward was right. Shaking his head, Carlisle rounded his desk to sit behind it, pulling out the document that was signed over two decades ago.
"I know. I just… Will you at least meet her one time? Talk to her maybe? Just don't rule her out," Carlisle stated as he ran his fingers over the old agreement.
"Did I ever tell you that I met your betrothed?" Carlisle asked as he looked up from the parchment to see Edward looking at him with an air of confusion.
"No. When was that?"
"About two years ago. Edward… I'm telling you, don't rule her out. Fine… I get that you don't want her pushed on you. So take this time to get to know her. A meeting. That's all I'm asking for and then go from there. If you don't want to pursue her after a meeting, I won't hold up my part of the agreement," Carlisle said, glancing out the window.
"What do you know, Dad?" Edward asked as he watched his father's rigid demeanor change to a concerned father all by Carlisle's slumped shoulders.
Carlisle's head turned sharply, meeting Edward's gaze before shaking his head and responding, "Nothing. But from this one meeting I had with her and her father… Edward… She's fantastic. Your mother was very taken with her and I have to say she was very charming and would be perfect for this country by your side."
"Dad… I know you look out for what would be good for the country, but that might not be what's best for me," Edward stated, taking a deep breath to calm the nerves that had welled up inside him before continuing on.
"Dad… I've met someone."
A/N: So what did you think? Leave me some love by pressing that pretty little blue button. :) 3 ATaletobeTold