Time to Announce a Name

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Guards and servants escorted the most distinguished guests towards the ballroom. The King made a sign and music started to play. Tiernan stood next to Taryn. The backs of their hands were touching. It was not much, but they both needed that touch so more than anything. It was a silent reassurance that even though they had kissed, nothing had changed. Hours were danced away. Prince Taryn danced with each Princess and with some of the other guests too. He felt lightheaded and dizzy from all the spinning and moving. Drinking played a part as well and Tiernan. Every time he looked at the man, he wanted to drag him to his bedroom and make love to him; give back what the valet had so often and freely given. The clock struck twelve, and the King quietened his guests. He stepped up to a podium and was proud to talk about his son, "and now," he said "the the time has come for Prince Taryn announce the name of his soon-to-be bride". Taryn turned to Tiernan. I love you, the valet mouthed and squeezed the Prince's hand encouragingly. I love you too, the Prince whispered inaudibly to all the other guests. Whatever was set to happen, they had shared laughter and tears, secrets and hopes, lust and a kiss. Prince Taryn stepped up to the podium and cleared his throat. His eyes were fixed on Tiernan. The witch watched the Prince and the valet and slowly, she raised her magic wand above her head.

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