To Have and To Hold
To Have and To Hold
"No! Absolutely not!" Wyatt Cain was furious, he'd been angry in the past, but the only thing that came close to this kind of rage was when the Longcoats had attacked his family. It made sense then that both rages had been centered around a beautiful woman. The other individuals in the room sat in stunned silence, varying expressions decorating their faces.
The queen was surprise and offended, the consort was trying to hide a knowing smile, the queen's advisor was grinning widely, and the noble spoilt brat who had started the whole fiasco looked as though he was torn between wetting his pants and pulling a sword. Cain scoffed at the assembled nobles that he stood before.
"She puts her ass on the line for a home she barely remembers and your thank you present is marriage to a child who probably can't dress himself without mommy's permission!" Cain was a man who certainly had a way with words. The so-called child apparently thought that he should prove himself to his future in-laws and foolishly decided to stand up to the furious former Tin Man.
"See here peasant." He began, affecting an air of entitlement. The queen's eyes widened, Ahamo's grin widened, Glitch winced, and Cain became fearsomely silent. "I am Duke Maximilian Alphonse Chambord of Bingen of the Western Province and the Princess Dorothy-Gale needs a noble husband who understands the responsibilities of ruling a nation and knows how to deal with a high strung woman of fine breeding stock." The room, which was already cold now dropped several degrees. The queen's lavender eyes were cold, Ahamo looked ready to refine his seeker mercenary skills on the idiot, Glitch looked ready to go 'crazy kung-fu' as DG called it, and Cain was about one comment away locking the boy-man up in a tin suit. "With the proper handling she will be a effective noblewoman to support her sister when Princess Azkadelia becomes queen."
"You idiot." Cain growled, And suddenly Duke Maximilian of Idiot-ville found it very hard to breathe as Wyatt Cain's solid weight pinned him to the wall and held him there with a arm to throat. "One, her name is DG. Two, your responsibilities involve potty training and hiding from responsibility. Three, DG is not 'breeding stock'! She is an amazing, intelligent, strong, and independent woman. Four, she's going to hate you, if I don't kill you she probably will. And she absolutely, definitely does not deserve you! Not after she saved the entire O.Z., which includes you, and I really wish that she'd let the Longcoats escape to the Western Province!" The duke gaped at the furious blond man as the two other men in the room stifled laughter.
"Mr. Cain, I appreciate the fervor with which you protect my daughter; however, for the security of the O.Z.-" Without moving from where he pinned the fool to the wall, Cain turned to the queen.
"Your majesty, you know I respect you. But that's bull and you know it." The queen stopped mid-sentence, mouth gaping slightly. "Whatever the O.Z. needs it's not this fool anywhere near the throne. If it's his wealth, it's unimportant compared to DG, there doesn't need to be a marriage to be sure of loyalty." Ahamo was smiling openly now, watching the man who fought for his daughter.
"Dearest, let Mr. Cain speak. Please." Ahamo spoke up, touching his wife's hand ever so gently.
"Your majesty, DG saved the O.Z. she saved you. She doesn't deserve to be married off to the highest bidder, let her choose who she wants to spend the rest of her life with. She deserves to be with someone who makes her happy. You fought to keep her, don't lose her again." Lavender eyes filled with tears.
"Mr. Cain, you care for DG, that is why you are entrusted with her safety, but her responsibility is also to the O.Z., the nobles are clamoring for her to marry, for both her and Azkadelia to find suitable husbands. They are both old by marriage standards."
"Be that as it may, Your Majesty." Ambrose spoke, shoving Glitch to the side for a moment. "Is this man truly what we want for the princess? Surely there is someone more suited to her than one who sees her as property?" The queen inclined her head slightly and reached for a dainty silver bell beside her chair. The guards came as summoned and Cain reluctantly allowed his prisoner to be released.
Ahamo watched Cain with a pensive expression before leaning over to his wife and conferring with her for a moment. She nodded and smiled, now both were watching Cain who shifted uncomfortably now that his victim had left. The queen summoned Ambrose/Glitch to her, and after a small conference the three turned to the former Tin Man with smiles.
"Mr. Cain, we think we have found a solution to our problem..."
DG sighed as she sat cross-legged beside the calm pond in the palace gardens. Raw sat beside her, watching as she pulled dainty white petals from a long stemmed daisy and scattering them across the surface of the water.
"Raw, I want to married one day..." She said, watching as petals trailed from her fingers. Raw turned his attention from the flower to her face.
"Why does that make DG sad?" Raw asked, puzzled at the conflicting emotions. DG smiled sadly, tossing the petal-less stem aside and running her fingers through the grass.
"My parents, Glitch, and Cain are up in my mother's sitting room discussing my future husband. The one I don't know and have never seen." Raw placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"Everything will be fine, Cain will fix it." DG smiled tremulously, practically hearing the doors of her gilded cage slamming shut to the tune of the wedding march.
"I hope so Raw, I really hope so." Then she saw him, fedora tipped back out of his eyes. Raw saw the man approaching and rose slowly, unnoticed by the young woman who was lost in her thoughts.
"Hey princess." He greeted, dropping down next to her slowly. She jumped, not expecting his company.
"Hey..." She murmured, "How's my dearly beloved, did you bruise him too badly?" Cain chuckled, unsurprised at her intuition. He wrapped an arm around her slender shoulders and gently pulled her against him.
"Well, he's not bleeding... having a little trouble breathing though.." She laughed, her eyes lighting up, knowing that no fancy rich boy would stick around after Cain had talked to them.
"So another one bit the dust?" Cain smiled down at the top of her head at her Other Side expression. He bent his head to kiss the top of her head and stopped, resting his cheek on the top of her head, breathing in her unique scent.
"Pretty much." He smiled as she relaxed.
"Good, he was probably a snob." Cain laughed again, nodding lightly.
"DG... I need to talk to you." She moved to look at him and smiled.
"We are talking silly!" He gave her a half smile and brushed her cheek with the hand that rested on her slim shoulder.
"No, I convinced your mother that today's special someone, wasn't so special. But she insists that you still have marry someone. We think that we may have found someone suitable." DG was completely stiff and pulled away from him, standing to pace the distance between him and the pond.
"Suitable!" She yelped angrily. "I'm so glad I was given a say in who I'm going to spend the rest of my life with!" Cain stood and grabbed her hands, pulling her to a stop.
"Just listen, please. Your parents asked me to tell you about this suitor, and if you don't want to marry him, we won't force you to." His ice blue eyes bore into her wide ones.
"Fine." She spat, furious that her parents had conned her Tin Man into finding a different man for her.
"He's a good man, DG. Honorable, he won't keep you locked away, he wants you to be happy. If you married him you would want for nothing and be safe and protected. You could fulfill your duty to the O.Z. and go to the Other Side to visit whenever you wanted." DG knew that this man was probably the best she would find, besides the one beside her. "He'll love you with all of his heart. I wouldn't tell you that unless it was true."
"Well, who the hell is it?" She snapped, tired of pretty stories, just wanting to know who she was going to married off to. Cain stepped back, she didn't see the flicker of indecision in his eyes.
"Me, Deej, if you'll have me." Eyes wider than ever she stared at him, hope crashing against the walls she'd built to keep her love a secret.