Chapter Fifteen

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"You weren't kidding," Link exclaimed.

"I never kid," she replied as she moved her queen and took out his king. "Checkmate," she said, satisfaction in her tone. "When you... lead people, you tend to have an edge on command."

"You're insanely good at it. You've beaten me effortlessly four times now."

"It's not effortless. I do have to think about it."

"Zeldaaaa, are you going to play that boring game all day?" Leena complained, grabbing the legs of Zelda's chair and rattling them back and forth with a shake. The look of desperation on her face said that her sister just had to pay attention to her or she would die of boredom and neglect.

"Leena, that's not polite," she said softly.

The little girl popped up and then jumped into Zelda's lap, making her grateful that her wounds were healed to the point that didn't hurt anymore. 

"You aren't always polite," she replied.

"No, but I am not the standard, darling," the elder sister said softly.

Link smirked as he watched the girl and the woman together. When Zelda caught his gaze he mouthed, 'she has no idea how impolite you are.' 

Zelda scowled and stood up, carrying her sister over to the bench and then setting her down. "So, Leena, what do you want to do?"

"Let's play ball!" Leena exclaimed.

Zelda chuckled. "I'd love to Leelee, but I can't play something like that while wearing a corset." 

"Then take it off," she suggested.

"That's not appropriate, Leena."

Link stifled a laugh.

Zelda shot a glare over at him.

He raised his eyebrows. "Oh, I'm sorry, was my laugh inappropriate?"

She turned back to Leena and grinned. "I'm sure Link would love to play with you though. Go get the ball," she told her sister.

"Yes!" the girl squealed in delight and hopped off of the seat, running out of the area.

They sat in a beautiful place with grapes growing through an arbor above them, stone tiles beneath their feet, and tables and chairs set up throughout. They had already spent two days there and nowhere else.

"Not appropriate?" Link repeated.

Zelda fake smiled, but he had already learned to see through them. "What would you have done if you couldn't breathe?" She stifled a growl. "It was the tightest corset I've ever been forced to wear."

"Why do you wear it at all?" he asked. 

She rolled her eyes. "I assume you have no sisters."

He shook his head. "Well, you looked amazing when I first met you. Much better than in that royal attire."

She looked down and smiled for real. "Thank you... I very much agree..."

Leena returned and Zelda laughed as the small girl grabbed Link by the wrist and dragged him out into the yard.

---

The days with Link passed quickly. She was starting to get that same tight feeling in her chest as she had when on Hylia. Time was not her ally in life. 

It had never been. 

Now she fiercely wished that she had set a longer time limit on this choice of hers. It was tomorrow that she had to give her choice to her parents. To the court as a whole. 

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