S I X

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Edited on: February 7, 2019

Word Count: 1049

[ Whitelion Palace, New Lionheart ]

Celestine gripped the hem of her royal blue cocktail dress as she silently follows the Emperor's valet, a tall and skinny man in his early thirties, on the main corridor of Whitelion Palace. She can't stop her knees from trembling because of fear and nervousness. Today, despite her protest and unwillingness, she will be meeting her 'future in-laws' and her so called 'fiancé'.

The valet stopped in front of a gigantic wooden door and knocked on it softly. "Your Majesty, Lady Celestine is here." She heard a man speaking from the other side of the door. His voice was a baritone, singularly clear and full of authority. "Come in."

Celestine could hear the thud of her own heartbeat sounding heavily in her ears as the valet opened the heavy door for her. She walked into the room with ashen face and trembling knees. Without looking at Kyrios, she curtsied low and with elegance. "Your Majesty."

She jumped a little when she heard the door closed behind her. They're now alone. When she looked up, her heart shuddered involuntarily as her 'fiancé' looks at her in detestation. "Sit down." He said with a stoic expression on his face. Celestine let out a breath she did not even realize she was holding and sat across Kyrios. Her face is now calm, soft and serene though deep inside she was shuddering in fear. "You wish to speak with me, Your Majesty?"

Kyrios did not answer her, instead, he stood up and walked towards the large window. He was looking outside, sadness apparent in his perfectly chiseled features. He sighed before turning back and stared at Celestine. "I am the Emperor. The most powerful man in this nation and yet I can't even stop the wedding from happening. How ironic isn't it? Being a royalty may give you a lot of privileges but something that is much more important such as love is an exception."

Celestine opened her mouth to speak but she can't seem to find the right words to say to him. Kyrios sighed once again and sat back on his chair. "I can give you everything you want, Lady Celestine, riches beyond your wildest dreams but not love." He paused for a little while as he examined his fiancée for any reactions but her face remained neutral so Kyrios continued. "How was your boyfriend? It's Samuel Northwood, right?" Celestine nodded.

"We haven't talked since the interview, Your Majesty. My parents forbid me from communicating with him." His crimson eyes questioned her silently from under furrowed brows. Celestine, on the other hand, bit her lower lip as she tried to stop herself from crying as unpleasant memories from the past shuffled in her brain. She gave up trying and let the tears flow freely from her eyes. A feeling of panic swelled within Kyrios when he realized that his fiancée is crying. Celestine's shoulders shook while sobbing bitterly into her hands. "I do not wish to be married with you. All I've ever wanted is a much simpler and peaceful life." She stood up and stared at him with tears streaming uncontrollably from her eyes. "Can't you really do something about it, Your Majesty?"

Kyrios approached her with pity in his eyes. He doesn't know why but a tight, constricting pain is setting in his heart, and it unnerved him more than anything. "I am very sorry but I can't do anything about it." He wiped the tears from her eyes with his thumbs and engulfed her in a warm hug. His heart started beating violently against his chest as he breathed in her scent. She was so small compared to his large frame.

When Celestine became fully aware of their current position, she let him go with flushed cheeks. "I'm sorry, Your Majesty." Kyrios smiled. "It's all right." They both stared at the door when they heard a soft knock. "Your Majesty, your parents are waiting in the dining hall."

"Well, that's our cue. Shall we go now, my lady?" He asked with a smile on his face. Celestine nodded and they walk side-by-side towards the dining hall.

When they arrived, Celestine curtsied towards the former Emperor and the Empress Dowager, a genuine smile plastered on her face. "Forgo the formalities dear, we're going to be family after all." The lively woman pulled Celestine in a warm hug. "What a beautiful daughter-in-law we have here." Celestine smiled and when she looked at Kyrios, he just gave her an apologetic smile. The four of them sat at their respective seats as they continued talking.

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Few Hours Later....

Celestine followed behind Clarence, Kyrios' valet, as they navigated the wide and extravagant corridor. When they arrived at their destination, Clarence opened the door and let her in. With a questioning look on her face, she walked into the room as the door shut softly behind her.

She gasp and stared at the man standing near the window with wide eyes. "S-Samuel?" He turned and with a smile he ran towards her. Samuel wrenched Celestine off the ground in tight bear hug. "I missed you so much, Love."

Celestine's eyes watered and without a warning she kissed him on the lips. "I miss you so much too." Samuel wiped the tears from his eyes and he guided her towards the couch. They both sat on it as they held each other's hands lovingly. "How did you get here?" She asked as she lay her head on his chest.

"His Majesty summoned me here." Upon hearing his response, Celestine looked at her boyfriend with disbelief. "He told me we should talk before the wedding." He continued with sadness apparent in his voice. "Tonight will be the last time we will be seeing each other, Love. I love you but w-we cannot c-continue our r-relationship now that you are getting married."

Tears flowed from Samuel's eyes as he stared at Celestine. She pulled Samuel in a warm hug as she sobbed uncontrollably. "I will always love you, Samuel."

With tears in their eyes, the star-crossed lovers kissed for the last time.

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