The secret agreement (part 4)
Planet Krypton- Central palace
Diana took a deep breath as she prepared to enter the medical room in front of her. Behind the door, laid the woman she felt uncomfortable with from the first moment they met- Maxima. Her earlier actions were considered cheap and it was time for Diana to confront her. She didn't bother to knock on the door but opened it immediately.
Inside the room, Diana was surprised to see that Maxima remained on the same spot Clark left her- on the bed. Her gaze was blank and her expression remained shocked. It seemed she still couldn't get over the way Clark responded to her.
Diana closed the door behind her and cleared her throat. It gained Maxima's attention. The blanket was still wrapped around her body as she stood up from the bed and gave out a sly smile to Diana.
"Princess Diana" Maxima greeted, "I didn't expect you here"
"I didn't intend to come here in the first place" Diana held her chin high as she spoke
"Then why are you here? I can assure you that Prince Kal-El is not here"
"I didn't come here for him," Diana remained standing, "I came here to talk to you"
Maxima raised an eyebrow, "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"Before I begin don't you think it's better for you to change in an appropriate clothing first?" Diana looked at the blanket over Maxima
"I'm perfectly comfortable in this attire" Maxima tightened her grip on her blanket and smiled
"Just like you were comfortable showing your naked body to the prince?" Diana shot her a look
Maxima's mouth slightly opened from Diana's surprising remark but kept she herself straight when she replied, "I take it you saw what happened?"
"I never intended to pry but you were too obvious through the window"
"I see…" Maxima gave another sly smile, "Then I gather you're here to threaten me to stay away from him?"
"What makes you say that?"
"Please!" Maxima scoffed, "the two of you are too obvious from the beginning! I just didn't think it was that serious!"
"If you knew then there was no justification for you to have done what you did earlier" Diana crossed her arms
"Justification?" Maxima slowly walked towards Diana, "My dear princess you don't know anything about being a proper royal don't you?"
"The action of us royals does not deserve justification" Maxima stopped in front of her, "we do whatever we have to do for our people; even if it takes away our morality or dignity! This is what it means to be royalty in a cruel world such as this!"
"Even if it means losing the trust of your people?!"
Maxima scoffed, "How can you understand what trust is when your people have not trusted a man in years?! I know about your kingdom- the kingdom that only consists of women because you isolated yourselves from the man's world" Maxima moved closer to Diana and whispered, "Tell me… if you haven't trusted a man all of your life… how can you trust him?"
"But I do trust him," Diana's voice was low, "now more than ever"
"Because of that little act of ignorance he did earlier?" Maxima stepped back, "he might've known you were outside the window all along… perhaps he did that to make sure you stay with him… he might've just been playing you"
Diana furrowed her eyebrows at her but Maxima simply ignored her and gave her a sly smile. They stared at each other until Diana gave a small smile.
"Judging from the frustration in your voice, I take it the prince's denial of your… offer, should I say?" Diana raised an eyebrow, "took a large toll on your pride"
Maxima sat back on the bed, "He didn't ignore me," she averted her gaze from Diana, "he just didn't think it was right"
"Then he was right with that decision because he would think better than to crush another person's respect and trust"
Maxima turned and saw that Diana was giving off a threatening look. She laughed.
"What's so funny?" Diana asked
"The princess of Themyscira- a nation filled with Amazonian women who 'proclaimed' they hated men- has fallen in love with a man! And a prince at that!"
Diana didn't say anything but continued to look at Maxima with disgust.
"Enlighten me… Diana" Maxima stood up, "we know what he is to you… but do you know what you are to him? Has everything that he's told you true? Does he hold the same feelings for you that you do for him?"
"I will give you a deal," Maxima continued, "tonight at the dance… he is to be the first person to pick the woman he will dance with; let him decide who between us he would pick. If he picked you, then I will end my flirting; but if he picked me… then you will have to stay away from him"
"Why can't you understand that we already are together?!" Diana clenched her fists, "There is no use with such a challenge when his decision is already clear!"
"Because he told you he loved you?! Men lie all the time! You of all people should know that!" Maxima tightened her grip
Diana clenched her jaw and Maxima did the same.
Soon after, Diana took a deep breath and loosened herself, "I'm not accepting the challenge but do whatever you want"
Diana turned and opened the door but before she left, she looked over her shoulder, "I am not threatening you to stay away from him… I'm warning you to," and with the Amazonian language she continued, "He's mine"
And with that, she slammed the door and left Maxima on her own.
After Diana left the room, Maxima dropped herself on the bed with the blanket still over her body. She felt pathetic; her expression was vacant and so was the space she stared at. It was the first time she had been turned down by any man in her whole life. She felt uncomfortable with the feeling of being unwanted by a member of the species she believed that always lusted after her. She felt hurt, more hurt than she ever expected. She knew she was gambling with a chance when she remembered the way Prince Kal-El looked at Diana during the ball; yet she took that chance. And it only left her hurting…
Suddenly, her mind went over the moment that the prince and she were in, less than an hour ago…
The prince wrapped the blanket over her body and whispered to her…
"I don't think you should easily offer your body to someone you just met, princess," he told her, "a woman's pride is precious and one I don't think should just be thrown away. If you easily give yourself to a man… won't that just crush your pride?"
Maxima didn't say anything
"Besides, a princess such as you needs to be respected but you can't expect others to respect you if you don't respect yourself first"
"Also," he continued, "forgive me but I already have someone in my heart and I don't intend to betray her… because she's precious to me"
Clark walked to the door but before he left, he told her, "I know that someday a man worthy of you will soon come into your life" and gave her a gentle smile.
"Respect… huh?" Maxima whispered
Once again, Maxima took a gambling chance when she challenged Diana. She already knew she was going to lose but she didn't want to lose face to the princess. No matter what, she had to stand higher than anybody else… even when she knew she was going to fall anyway.
Clark sighed as he arrived at the entrance to the ballroom. He had just left Maxima in the medical room. Her sudden action was a huge surprise for him; he was taken aback. He wasn't sure of Maxima's full intentions for him but he was sure that if he involved himself with her any further, things would be complicated. As always, he found Maxima unpredictable but Clark vowed to himself then that he would do whatever it takes to not jeopardise his relationship with Diana by being too close to Maxima.
Clark shook the thought off of his head and entered the ballroom once more. All of the guests were still gathered in the ballroom and they were all conversing with each other. Clark looked for his parents but he couldn't find them. But soon after, it was them that found him.
"Kal-El" he heard his mother's voice from behind him
He turned and saw both of his parents with a man in a colourful and flowing outfit similar to the clothing an ancient eastern clothing from Earth. The man bowed to him to which Clark returned. The man had an auburn hair and brown eyes and he had a gentle smile on his face.
"Good evening Prince Kal-El" he extended his hand to Clark, "I am King Sodir of the planet Yggardis"
"It's a pleasure to meet you, your majesty" Clark shook his hand
"The pleasure is all mine" King Sodir gave a nod
"King Sodir is one of my dearest friends and our planet have had good arrangements with each other," Jor-El explained, "their planet's friendship is a great value to ours"
"In actual fact your Empire's trust and friendship is a much greater value to our small but beautiful planet; and would only hope that this partnership would remain strong for a longer time" King Sodir gave another bow
"Of course my friend" Jor-El patted him on the back
King Sodir turned to look at Clark, "I imagine this is all so overwhelming for you Prince Kal-El"
"Quite" Clark gave a small laugh
"Forgive me for this sudden question but is there any princess in this ball that has caught your attention?"
Clark was surprised by the question," Uuhhh…"
Before Clark could continue, King Sodir took a step back and revealed a young woman with beautiful and elegant features- long auburn hair and blue eyes- from behind him. She wore the same type of outfit as King Sodir did.
"Then may I introduce to you my daughter," he asked the lady to step forward, "Princess Nemol"
"How do you do your highness?" she curtsied
"Very well thank you" Clark bowed, "I hope you find the party to your liking?"
"I am thankful for your generosity for inviting our family to this grand ball of yours" she replied
Jor-El cleared his throat and gained the attention of King Sodir, "This is all too sudden my friend"
"Forgive me," the King bowed his head, "I simply thought that this is a way for our two planet to strengthen our alliance" he then turned to look at the baffled Clark, "but please don't be mistaken, your highness. This is not an arranged marriage… I'm only asking that you befriend my daughter so that you may both guide each other in learning how to govern a planet"
"I see…" Clark's voice trailed off, "I understand…"
The sudden proposal from the King of Yggardis made Clark realized one of the things that came with being a powerful prince. Being a future King required power and responsibility; but the people knew that a King alone cannot govern a whole kingdom… especially an Empire such as Krypton. They need a Queen to stand by their side. Clark finally realized that one of the things his people would expect from him was his marriage to another. And because the Kryptonians were smart people, they would want to know if their future queen was reliable and headstrong; so that when the time came, it would be the Queen that would push and encourage the King through hard decisions for their planet.
Suddenly, he thought of what his future queen would have to go through in being the queen of an Empire such as Krypton. They would have to go through a lot and perhaps suffer a lot as well because they would have to make sacrifices. Clark never asked his mother what it was like being the Empress of Krypton but he heard that both his parents, especially his mother, went through a lot before and after they were married. Yet they were still together… if a love such as theirs existed within Clark and his future queen then perhaps…
The announcer stomped his staff on the floor once more which garnered all of the guests' attention to him, including Diana's.
"The royal dance is about to begin," he shouted, "if all prince and princesses would gather in the middle of the ballroom please"
Diana followed the many prince and princesses who gathered and lined up in the middle of the ballroom. The princes all formed a straight line at the west side of the ballroom while the princess' at the east side; both sides faced each other. As they walked to their respective lines, Diana turned her head to look for Clark in the ballroom. He was nowhere to be seen.
Finally, she stood in the line while facing the princes' at the other side of the ballroom. She scanned the princes' line in hopes that she would find Clark… he was still nowhere to be seen.
Diana couldn't help but felt uneasy about Clark's disappearance. The dance was a deciding factor between her and Maxima; and although she never accepted the challenge in the first place, she still wanted to know Clark's answer.
"Tonight's guest of honour is Prince Kal-El of Krypton," the announcer shouted, "so if Prince Kal-El would like to do the honour of asking a princess' hand to dance first"
When nobody from the princes' line moved, chatters around the room began- whispers asking where the prince of Krypton was. After a while, nobody still moved and the chatters' noises were rising.
"Prince Kal-El?" the announcer looked for him
Diana saw that the Emperor and his wife grew worried as they ordered for guards to look for him.
Soon after, Diana couldn't handle the wait any longer and decided to look for Clark herself. She walked out of the ballroom and headed to the first place that arrived in her head- the spot in the garden where they saw each other at the masked ball.
There he was. He stood in the middle of the garden, surrounded by bushes of light green leaves. He was looking up at the moon that shone brightly in the midst of the dark starry night. The wind was blowing gently but there was no cold air. It was a warm night.
"Clark?" she called out
He slowly turned around. Diana saw the expression in Clark's face as he turned: his eyes were soft and his lip was curved into a smile. His black hair gently swayed with the wind as he stared at her. For a moment, Diana was mesmerised by the picture in front of her because it was the most gentle sight she had ever seen- he appeared before her not as a prince, a friend or a lover… he appeared before her as simply 'Clark Kent'- the person she just met at the cave.
"Clark is there something wrong?" Diana asked as she walked towards him, "the dance cannot start without you; everyone is waiting for you"
Clark didn't say anything. He stood still; Diana grew worried so she stopped and took a moment and observed him. For a while, they didn't do anything but stared into each other's eyes until he extended his hand to her.
"Diana," he began in a soft voice, "do you trust me?"
She paused and thought for a while. At the beginning, she couldn't entirely trust him; she only trusted that he would the right things. It was hard for her to trust a man when all her life, she was taught not to. She was hesitant at first around him. But all of that changed when she, herself, witnessed his faithfulness to her that very night…
"I do," she nodded and took his hand, "I do trust you"
He pulled her closer to him and hugged her. Diana was slightly confused by the sudden gesture but eventually gave in to his hug.
"I'm glad," he whispered, "because I want to ask you something important"
He pulled himself away from her; his hands still on her shoulders.
"What is it Clark?" Diana grew worried, "What's going on?"
Clark took a deep breath, "When I learned that I was something more than a farm boy- a prince… I was scared. I didn't know anything and I doubt I would learn everything immediately. I was scared because these people expect so much from me- things that I don' know if I can give"
"But Clark you're not in this alone," Diana brushed his cheek, "I'm right here for you"
"That's the point Diana," he took her hand and held onto it tightly, "you're by my side and I don't deserve it- not by a man like me"
"You don't get to choose whether you deserve something from others," Diana explained, "others offer it to you because they want to. And I want to be by your side"
"But I might not be enough for you. I might cause you your suffering-"
"Clark…" Diana pulled her hand away, "where are you going with this?"
Diana was confused. His words were unpredictable and hard to understand and in her mind, it felt as if he was intending to break their relationship…
Clark took a deep breath, "One thing that this night has taught me… is the importance of my position as the prince of Krypton and because of this, there will always be complications in our relationship"
"…." Diana could hear the loud beating of her heart as he continued his explanation
"And that no matter what we do, we'll never be able to avoid these complications"
Diana felt her throat dried up as she waited with hope that Clark wasn't heading to the outcome she was expecting.
She felt her body shook from confusion and fear. She waited for the part she dreaded the most and she prepared herself for it but suddenly-
Clark went down on one knee and took out a rose coloured flower- one that she didn't recognized- from inside his cloak. He took her hand and looked up at her, "Will you marry me?"
Diana's body froze. No words came out from her mouth but she never averted her gaze away from him. Silence went on…
"I know it's sudden and I understand if you're confused but," he took a deep breath, "as I said there will be more complications in our relationship and in my mind, I don't deserve you for that because I only wish for your happiness; I don't want to see you suffer. But I still don't want to let you go because of that. I love you and I want to fight for us, for you. And if you accept, I won't just give you my love, my trust, my happiness… I will give you everything that I have and will have in the future. Because you're already my everything and in return, I offer myself to you"
Diana still couldn't utter a single word. Her body was shaking and so was her heart. She felt the tears that have built up as Clark continued to explain himself.
"To be honest, I've wanted to do this for a while now and even though we both told each other to slow down and take our time with our relationship," Clark continued, " I offer myself to you now as proof to you that I am yours alone and-"
Suddenly, Diana put her index finger over Clark's lips, "Stop. You don't have to explain yourself any further… I understand"
"So… what is your answer?" Clark asked with a muffled voice, "Will you be my queen?"
"Yes…" Diana pulled her hand away from him, grinned and jumped in his arms, "YES! Of course! I will marry you"
"Yes?" Clark stood up and accepted her hug, "You'll marry me?"
"Of course," she put her hands around his face, "I do not care if all of our firsts together happens after we're married. All I care is knowing that you will be by my side for the rest of my life. That is all I have ever wanted because I love you"
Clark laughed as he wrapped his hands around her waist and lifted her up in the air. Diana couldn't help but laughed as well. Soon after, he put her down and pulled her closer to him… and kissed her.
"You just made me the luckiest person in the world Diana" he told her as he leaned his forehead against hers
Diana shook her head, "No… we're both lucky"
Clark kissed her on her forehead, "Diana I swear to you," he gently lifted her chin up so that she was looking into his eyes, "I will love you, care for you and treat you preciously as the queen you are… I love you"
Diana pulled him and kissed him once more, "I love you too… a million times more than I ever thought I could"
Hey guys! I bring you part 4!
Hoped you liked this chapter and please please leave a review! They are very much appreciated!
To be continued...