Sorry this is a bit late but I did write it 🙂
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“That could be trickier,” Bella said. She didn’t now anything about being a queen. With her brothers she could discuss war strategy and which weapon would kill what species the easiest but she didn’t know her silks and laces.
“Do you want him?” Queen Gwen asked piercing Bella with her expression.
Thinking back over her time with the king and his sons she realized there were many things she wanted. “Yes. I want to be part of their family.”
From the queen’s smile she knew her answer couldn’t have been more perfect.
Queen Gwen gave her back an approving pat. “Then let’s go get you an engagement ring,” she announced.
Bella laughed, the sound slightly hysterical. “It might be a little tougher to do that then you think.”
“Nonsense. Never a battle won with a faint heart.”
“You and my father would get along,” Bella teased. Her father had a quote for everything and most of them had to do with battles of one kind or another.
“I’ll look forward to meeting him at your wedding,” Queen Gwen linked her arm through Bella’s and led her out the door.
Butterflies swooped around in Bella’s stomach as if they were on a reconnaissance mission to see what maneuver would make her the queasiest. “I don’t know about this.”
“Sure you do. You’ll make a magnificent queen. The best queens are always the ones who don’t hunger for the power. Since I’ve met you I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone less power hungry than you.”
“Maybe you should shop around more,” Bella offered. “Check out the future daughter-in-law merchandise.”
Queen Gwen laughed, her hold surprisingly tight for such an elegant looking woman. “Trust me I’ve checked out the others. None of them showed the least interest in the princes.”
Bella froze in her tracks as Chall appeared before them with a long white lily in his hand. “I picked this for you.”
“Thank you Prince Chall,” Bella said accepting the flower.
The prince gave a bow. “You look lovely grandmother can I escort you to the ball?”
“Why thank you kind sir but I don’t want to abandon Bella.”
“No worries.” Another voice joined the fray.
Fourteen-year old Lianth joined them. He gave Bella a low bow. “I’d be delighted to escort you this evening.”
Bella bit her lip to hide the smile not wanting the prince to think she was laughing at him.
“You look quite handsome this evening Prince Lianth,” she greeted him with a curtsey.
The young prince’s wide shoulder showed promise he’d be as big as his father when he grew up.
“Thank you. Both you ladies are looking beautiful.”
Apparently no matter the age all princes were charming. “And where is our youngest prince?”
She didn’t like to have favorites but Bella couldn’t deny six-year old Varren had a chunk of her heart.
“He’s too young to stay up for a ball,” Prince Chall announced with the fine disdain of an older brother for his sibling.
Bella suspected the young prince probably would sneak out of his room at some point to check out the ball but she didn’t share her belief with the others.
“Shall we go?” Queen Gwen asked the young princes.
Bella took Prince Lianth’s arm and Queen Gwen accepted Prince Chall’s. “At least we’ll have the handsomest escorts at the ball,” Bella told the princes.
Feeling more confident than she had all day, Bella let her royal escorts lead her to the dinner that could possibly determine the path of her life.