Every June until September

"But what is it that we have to go all the way there?"

"That's simply the arrangement. Now finish choosing what you want to bring. You know we take off first thing tomorrow."

"But Papa,"

"No 'buts', Odette. Come on, you know it will be fun."

-∞◊∞-

Princess Odette's favorite season was autumn. This was decided long ago, during the September of her ninth year. The moment she stepped off her ship and onto her own country's soil she smiled and declared it so. It would be a full nine months until she had to meet Prince Derek again. That was a whole autumn, winter, and spring. (Winter and spring, coincidently, being both her second and third favorite seasons of the year.)

Unfortunately for sixteen year old Odette, her third favorite season was coming to a close, marking the beginning of a long and dreadful summer. A summer masked by words no one except her father and Queen Uberta believed to be true. "It will be fun."

It never was, and Odette attempted to point out this fact to her father as he had her whisked away to her room to finish packing.

The following morning she told him again during their short carriage ride to their ship. And repeated it several times during the course of their journey.

It fell on deaf ears, and by the time they arrived at Queen Uberta's castle, she was too exhausted to continue her argument.

So exhausted, in fact, that she entirely ignored the prince when he begrudgingly stepped forward to greet her.

She greeted the queen politely, and asked if she might be able to lie down until supper.

Derek, of course, didn't mind in the least bit. This way, he got out of having to kiss her hand. So as she was lead upstairs, he turned and slipped away.