♔ Chapter Two ♔

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Queen Avila's hands were trembling under the table. She really did just behead her advisor, a person she'd once cared for. Lord Lysander has always been like an Uncle to her. She lifted a pale hand to adjust the golden crown upon her head. Make sure it wouldn't fall off her head in the middle of the feast. Though the feeling of her fingers on the cool precious metal circle did little to comfort her nerves.

To her left, sat her parents the former King and Queen, Laertes and Reyna. To their only daughter, they seemed the picture perfect face of a strong stable monarchy. But Avila felt shakier than an earthquake as if her pillars of control were about the crumble to dust. Her parents were chuckling about something. Her father's hand was on her mother cheek while her lips moved her words inaudible over the noise of the hall. It warmed her heart to see her parents so carefree, even if she knew it wouldn't last long.

"Avila, love do you suppose we should send someone out to look for Aline?" She looks at her other side to see Richard his eyes full earnest worry. Richard, Aline, and Avila had once been a tight knit group who spend endless hours in each others company. It had been hardest on Richard, she had no idea how hard it must be to have your two friends hate each other. How could he have chosen which friend to stay with? He'd obviously chosen.

"I am sure she merely is in request of the need for personal space after the execution of her kinsman." She says coolly, though her green eyes had chanced a sidelong gaze towards the door. That door being the one that which Aline had stormed through minutes before. "And don't call me love, I don't need my parents getting suspicious." It was stepping over several low scale boundaries, but Avila and Richard had been an under the radar couple for years. Ever since that very first night, they'd slept skin to skin, almost five if her calculation was correct, they'd sworn secrecy. At least until Avila confessed the details to her parents.

Since, she was the Queen of Fonceamour she'd have to find herself a proper consort, one day. Though she did not anticipate that day with much warmth. Likely it would be some son of a high lord or one of the two princes from Lumièreamour. Whom her father had a distant and rather strenuous connection with. Richard had all the proper traits of a King consort beside higher noble blood. Avila took to hiding her doubts about the future of their relationship because she did not wish to dampen it too soon. She believed her parents would refuse him the right. She'd never met either Prince Charles (the fact that he was a distant cousin did not help his case one bit) or King Adam. But she didn't have any faith that she would appreciate being in a relationship with either. Besides, a queen didn't need a King, unfortunately, society did not bode well with this logic.

"My sincere apologies my queen," nodding before returning to his thought. "The action of beheading him in itself was suspect. For the people will follow a queen who they love, not one who they fea-" an icy stare from her Majesty silenced him.

"I warrant that you shall not desire to complete your sentence. You may be my chief advisor but that does not mean you do not give unsound advice." To her ears, this sounded a bit harsh though her words harbored no ill intent. She simply was trying to maintain a facade of professionalism. Someone is always watching even when you are alone. Every word spoken must be calculated and analyzed. Be wary of trodding on sensitive territory. If you are principled, the people will learn to respect you, even if they do not support of reign. Her father's words of wisdom upon coronation proved to be helpful if not comforting.

"I do not ill-wish Aline." Richard, by many standards, was quite handsome with dark brown hair and soulful dark eyes.

"Lord Richard, high hopes lead to deeper disappointments. She has informed you, upon several occasions, to fetch yourself a less shrewish lady." Before Richard could reply Aline comes bolting in and looks around. Red-faced and out of breath, in her gray and blue gown, dark chocolate locks framing her face. "I did indeed inform you that she shall be of sound heart and mind." She looked smugly at her lover.

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