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Return to Lore

Return to Lore

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Published by Victoria Chen
Kerthina Susanna Elizabeth had been born a princess. But her jealous and suspicious second cousin had taken over the throne and married her off to a duke. She didn't protest - she didn't want power. All she wanted was a simple life. Many thought that she would take over the throne and gain her rightful place as Queen, as she should do. What will she do?
Kerthina Susanna Elizabeth had been born a princess. But her jealous and suspicious second cousin had taken over the throne and married her off to a duke. She didn't protest - she didn't want power. All she wanted was a simple life. Many thought that she would take over the throne and gain her rightful place as Queen, as she should do. What will she do?

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Published by: Victoria Chen on Aug 09, 2010
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10/25/2012

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I was once a princess, heir to the throne of Lore, but someone thoughtthat I would strive to take power one day so they married me off until Iwas just the wife of a duke who could have been old enough to be myuncle. Instead, my second cousin sits on my throne. But I didn’t care – Ihad no want to go to Court or get my throne back. I just wanted to livea peaceful life with my husband, spending the rest of our lives togetherin our quiet estate far out into the country.I didn’t love my husband like a lover, but I had some adoration andadmiration of him. He was caring and kind, and in some ways, he wasalso loving. He was a handsome man, almost in his thirties, while I wasonly fifteen. He never showed a mean face to anyone – not even to theservants’ children who did their best to cause mischief around theduchy. Instead, he lectured them with a few words and sent them ontheir way.My name was High Princess Kerthina Susanna Elizabeth. Now, it’s just Lady Duchess Kerthina Susanna Elizabeth. I had been married tomy lord Bren Dales ever since I was deemed old enough to leave home– which was at eleven years of age.We had a quiet life in the countryside, with regular visits fromBren’s friends. They entertained us with stories from Court and oftenstayed for a long time. We didn’t mind and let them stay as long asthey wished.All in all, I wished for this peace to never end. I didn’t want thethrone of Lore, despite what many might think, and I didn’t care howthe kingdom was run – so long as it didn’t bother us here in our landsfar away.“My lady,” Bren called down the hallway to me.I always smiled when I heard his voice. It was a gentle voice, onethat everyone likes to hear all the time. I was in our bedroom at themoment, looking out over the landscape from the large windows. “I’min here, my lord,” I called back.Bren entered.Bren was a slender and gentle man, with pale blonde hair and warmgrey eyes. He moved with a careless grace that seemed more naturalthan practiced. When I turned to him, he crossed the rest of the roomin three great strides to me and swung me up into the air, swinging mearound once. I laughed as he set me gently down on my feet.“How are you this morning?” I asked him with a smile.He gently cupped the side of my face with a smile and let me go. Istepped back from him, locking my hands behind my back. “Had alittle sparring practice with the men, oversaw some problems in thecountryside, took a little ride,” he said with a gentle shrug as if none of the things he had listed mattered. Then he smiled again. “And you?”
 
I reached for his hand and he gave it to me. Together, we walkedout of the sunny little room. “Spent some time painting on that neweasel you bought me for my birthday,” I replied, smiling up at him.He leaned down and kissed the top of my head. “Happy fifteenth,”he told me, and then he was gone. Bren was always busy with onething or another, despite our quiet life in the country.What I did mind was that though I was his wife and I was young, Iwas only a teenager to him. So he was gentle and had a very firm ruleabout touching. He only allowed holding hands, and if we kissed, it wasonly our cheeks that would be touched, or in my case, the top of myhead. When we slept at night, we slept in the same bed, but at theopposite sides, never touching.It drove me crazy sometimes, how we couldn’t come closer to eachother as a husband and wife should be. I had seen other couples in thevillage and when Bren’s friends visited us and they brought along theirspouses. They were always close to each other, touching each other’shair, looking at each other with expressions of love that I could notbear. But I knew the reasons for what he was doing and I had torespect that, though it drove me mad.Going back to the art room that Bren had made especially for me inour castle, I went up to the beautifully carved easel in the center of theroom, turned so that the sun shone gently on it. On it was a finishedportrait of Bren and me that I had been making as a thank-you presentfor him. I gazed at a long time at our intertwined hands, the only thingconnecting us together, and sighed.I still couldn’t decide whether or not I would give this to him. I hadbeen done with it for days now, and it was beautiful, but I was torn, forsome reason, just looking at it.Suddenly, Bren was there again, coming around my side. He satdown on the couch next to me and I leaned against him. At first, hestiffened, but then he relaxed and put an arm around me, though hedidn’t pull me closer. “It’s beautiful,” he commented on my painting. Ismiled. Painting was one of my most favorite hobbies – it also ran inthe family – my mother before me had also painted, and so did hermother before her and so on. “But why do we look so sad?”I struggled to find the right words and he glanced down at me. “Idon’t know,” I finally said after a moment.He turned me to look at him. “Ker, are you unhappy?” he asked me,his eyes worried. “You know that I’ve done my best to make you happyhere. Anything you want, you can have it. You know that, right?”I nodded and looked away from his grey eyes. Sometimes I thoughtthat if I stared at those eyes long enough, he would know my thoughts.I didn’t want him to know them. “I just want you to treat me like yourwife, not like your daughter or ward,” I finally said with a sigh.
 
He looked at me startled. “I
do
treat you like my wife. Anything of mine is –” he cut himself off when I started to shake my head. “Whathave I done wrong?”“We don’t touch, for one thing,” I muttered, standing up,straightening my skirt out. He reached out and grabbed my hand,standing up at the same time.“What do you mean?”I shrugged. “I mean like, you never even just hold me. You play withme, hold my hand, but you never come closer to me other than that,” Iexplained.He smiled at me gently. “You know the reason why – I want you toknow what it’s like to be a child before you must take over the dutiesof a grown woman,” he told me. I looked up at his eyes.Bren had been to the Court of Lore before. He had grown up thereand he knew very well, like all aristocrats that have been to Court, howto hide their feelings. And because of that, I couldn’t tell what he wasthinking. “I’ve been trained all my life how to be a caring and goodwife,” I told him tightly, standing up. He looked up into my eyes, a littlestartled at my hard tone. I pushed on. “And when I finally am a wife –to you – you treat me like a child. I’m fifteen, Bren. I’m a woman now,not a child. And I have been ever since you met me.”He watched as I left the room. I didn’t know why I had snapped athim so. I always was gentle towards him. But I guess it was because of the tension of the current situation. Then, as I started down the hall, Ilooked up to see Bren leaning against the wall in the hallway. “How didyou get there faster than I did?” I demanded.He gave me a smile and pushed himself away from the wall. “Thereare a lot of secret passages here, and I
did 
grow up here as a boy andoften spent my summers alone exploring the passages,” he explained,striding forward to take my hand. I tried to pull away from him but heheld on firmly. “Ker, I’m sorry. I didn’t know that you felt this wayabout my treatment of you.”I looked up into his gentle eyes, full of genuine sorrow, and the fightimmediately left me as quickly as it had come. “I forgive you,” Imurmured, looking down at my feet. Gentle fingers touched my chin,making me look up again.“But the reason why I have put off this treatment of this kind isbecause of the problem the kingdom currently has at hand,” he toldme quietly. “Your cousin that sits on the throne is in an unstableposition.”“What’s going on?” I asked, suddenly alert at the mention of mycousin.Bren put an arm around me and together, we walked down the hall.“Well, it seems like your cousin has been ruling rather selfishly, taxingthe people rather harshly just so that he could host a feast for noapparent reason. That’s just one of the few reasons. Another reason is

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