Disclaimer: I don’t want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other people’s characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.

Zelda: Requital

Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (Indigo_Spacen@mail.com)

Chapter 9

    Zelda descended down to the basement of the castle, gingerly holding an oil lantern to light her way. That night, she'd had a terrible nightmare, involving a dark form, which had eventually covered everything in Hyrule, shrouding it in darkness. It had then surrounded the castle, and two hands had reached out to tear the Triforce away. Zelda had tried to stop it, but she'd been powerless. The mass had then laughed, just like Ganondorf did; deep, and evil. Then she'd woken up. Convinced that Ganondorf may have somehow escaped his gem prison, she'd decided to go and check. Going down underground, especially at night, was always a precarious business, though. The sword was stored deep down under the castle, via a secret passage. Zelda knew where the passage was located; it branched off from the one that led to the 'safe-house', where the Royals of the castle had fled in the past, when North Castle had been attacked. It had only been used once, when some brainwashed peasants had stormed the castle. Zelda had never even known about it, until her father had ordered her to take shelter there, from the angry peasants. Impa had revealed where the entrance was; it was a stone door, which looked like part of the wall. A lever was hidden in the room. Zelda opened the door to one of the storerooms, where the passage was located. She place the lantern down on the floor, and tried to move some barrels aside, so that she could get through. They were a little heavy, but she managed to push them aside, and located the lever. She pulled it firmly, and an opening appeared in the wall, leading into inky darkness. Shivering, she bent down to pick up her lantern, and stepped through into the drafty passage. It smelt rather rank, and water dripped down the walls. Zelda hated the underworld. It reminded her too much of Ganon. This had been his domain, after all. The evil wizard had ruled much of the Underworld, and many of his evil minions lurked about the dark passageways and caves. The princess sincerely hoped that none of them would jump out from the shadows and try to attack her, although these catacombs under the castle were supposedly isolated ones, that had entrances from the castle only, and nowhere else. However, if any monsters had been tunnelling, expanding their lairs, they could have stumbled into North Castle's private network of underground passages. Zelda shuddered at the thought, and suddenly wished that she'd brought some sort of weapon. A silk night dress wasn't very good armour, and the lantern would make a terrible weapon. She followed the passage along its length, until she came to a branch. From what she remembered, it was the left passageway that led to a small storeroom, where the chest was kept. Earlier, she'd taken the set of keys that her father kept hidden in the small secret room off his study. These would unlock the heavy wooden door that stood between her and the chest. If her father had been here, it might have been harder to get them, because he tended to carry them around at all times, but they were no use to him while he was in Dubatio, so she'd been happy to discover that he'd left them at the castle, safely hidden away. She'd have to remember to return them before he got back, she thought. A few minutes later, she came to the storeroom. Zelda unlocked it with the right keys, pulled back the bolts, and stepped inside. There was the chest, stood in the far corner, surrounded by a soft blue glow, the colour of her magic. She approached it with some caution, as if Ganon might jump out at her. Everything seemed in order, nothing felt wrong. But somehow, she could feel the blackness, an evil, lingering in the air. But it still felt so far away... She gazed down at the chest one more time. He couldn't have escaped, he just couldn't have...

    Link usually had peaceful sort of dreams, the sort that were so boring and normal, you couldn't possibly remember them when you woke up. Every now and the, he had nightmares, what normal person didn't? But sometimes, he had the sort of dreams that were so real, you thought they might have really indeed happened. He was stood at the edge of a familiar looking forest. The trees were full and green, centuries old. A nice, flowery scent floated upon the gentle breeze, and fluffy white clouds sailed serenely across the blue sky. When he looked down, he was wearing pure white clothes. They, also felt strangely familiar, although he couldn't recall having the particular outfit in his wardrobe. He felt drawn towards the forest, for some reason. He took a few steps towards it, entering the green canopy. The birds were singing more loudly inside, and shafts of golden sunlight penetrated the woodland every now and then, bringing light to the glade. "Oh Link!" sang a mellifluous voice. He turned, and saw Kylara sitting on an old wooden stump. Her long brown hair was loose, but entangled with ivy and bluebells. She was wearing a white dress. The same white dress that she had worn... the last time...

"Kylara, what do you want now?" he asked, realising that she had infiltrated his dreams, yet again. She smiled, looking rather amused.

"Really Link, I thought you would have been pleased to see me," she remarked, drawing her knees up against her chest, and wrapping her arms around them.

"Not really," he replied shortly, folding his arms.

"Link, I am your spirit guide," Kylara announced.

"Excuse me?" Link said, looking surprised. It was bad enough that she had the power to come to him in this way already. He didn't want it to become a habit.

"Link, you seem troubled," she continued, in the same, genial tone. She smiled warmly, and got up off the stump. "I really can't stay long, but I couldn't help feeling that you, and Zelda, felt worried," she stated.

"Worried? We're not worried," Link said, looking a little puzzled.

"You will be," Kylara said, a little darkly. Link stared at her in surprise.

"Kylara?" he questioned.

"Two children have been born, and their destinies are inextricably linked... please, I cannot tell you the name of the other child, but you already know that the other is Brianna," she started, her features looking upset.

"Raymundo?" Link asked. She shook her head.

"The other child is a little younger than your daughter. But I'm warning you now, don't let Brianna's path entangle with the Prince of the Night," she said.

"Prince of the Night?" Link asked, feeling confused. Kylara nodded.

"Yes. I cannot reveal his true name, just that he will be a threat to Hyrule, in some years to come. Please, take heed of this warning. Link, I love you, despite what you did, and I wish no harm to fall upon either you, or your family," she said softly.

"I will, but..." Link started.

"I can't tell you anymore," Kylara shouted, as their surroundings began to slowly fade away.

    A new sound pervaded Link's ears as he woke up, the sound of Brianna crying. It was Zelda's turn, but he assumed she was still asleep. As he got up from the bed, he realised that Zelda wasn't actually there. He quickly scooped up Brianna, and began to gently rock her to and fro, trying to quieten her down. She continued to wail, and he wondered where Zelda was. Perhaps she went for a glass of water, he thought to himself. She didn't usually disappear in the middle of the night, though, not without telling him first. He sighed, and held Brianna against his chest. "Hey, what's the matter?" he questioned, caressing the back of her head softly with his index finger. His daughter certainly wasn't as restless as Ewan had been, and he was surprised that she was still crying. It didn't usually take much to quieten her. "Do you want your mother?" he asked, still wondering where Zelda was. Brianna kept crying, and giving up, he put her back down in the crib, and lit a candle, sitting back on the side of the bed. Brianna kept up her wails for a good five minutes, before she finally gave up. When she did, he checked that she was okay. The room suddenly felt a little stuffy, the air strangely heavy. Link wondered if the close atmosphere had perhaps upset the baby. They could be quite sensitive at times. He got up and walked over to one of the windows, and opened it, letting a stream of fresh air into the room. Wandering back over to the bed, he sat and waited for Zelda for fifteen more minutes. While he waited, he thought about his dream involving Kylara. He wasn't sure if she really had invaded his dream, or whether he'd simply had a normal dream, and that she hadn't really been there. It was so confusing. And her warning. Don't let Brianna's path entangle with the Prince of the Night... It filled him with a strange foreboding. One of Ganon's titles had been 'The Prince of Darkness'. Darkness, night, they were practically the same things. Suddenly, the door opened, and Zelda walked in, looking not only surprised, but also guilty. "Zel, where on earth have you been?" Link asked, standing up.

"I... I...," she began, reddening visibly.

"Come on Zel, what's going on?" he demanded, walking over to her.

"Nothing!" she snapped, immediately marching past him towards the bed.

"Jeez Zel, no need to be so snappish," he remarked, following her. "I wasn't being snappish. But you don't need to know my every move, you know!" Zelda replied shortly.

"Alright, sorry. I was just worried, that's all. And Brianna got really upset before, I couldn't quieten her," Link explained. Zelda's expression softened a little.

"I'm sorry Link. I just had a bad dream, and... well, I wanted some fresh air," she said. Link pulled her into a hug, and kissed her gently.

"Don't worry about those, we all have them from time to time," he murmured, thinking about his own dream about Kylara. Zelda kissed him back, then she stepped away. He could tell just by looking at her, that she really was worried about something.

    "Link... there's a terrible presence of evil out there," Zelda finally said, after they'd gazed at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Link immediately pulled her close, looking worried too.

"What? Outside?" he questioned urgently. She shook her head.

"It's far away..." she replied.

"But you can definitely sense it?" he asked. She nodded.

"I can sense it alright. You probably will be able to too, as it gets closer." Link sighed. He'd thought that Hyrule was finally at peace. Could his wife possibly be exaggerating? It was unlikely. She had a good sense about these sort of things. "I... I've felt it for some time now, over this past week. It never gets any closer, but it's just... there," she finished.

"Oh Zel," Link replied, hugging her closely. She let out a small sob, and leaned against his shoulder. "Zel, please don't cry, perhaps, perhaps it's just..." he let his words trail off, not sure what to say. She sighed heavily, and then wiped her eyes.

"I'm sorry, I worry far too much," she admitted.

"But not over anything," Link replied.

"Maybe it is. I'm... I'm unsure, even now. Maybe I'm imagining things, I'm so scared that Ganon will..." she began. Link silenced her firmly with a kiss.

"Don't even mention him," he replied. Zelda nodded, and leaned forward for another kiss.

"Link, I love you so much," she murmured.

"I love you too, Zel," he replied truthfully. Suddenly, he remembered Nick and Fayette. That had been two nights ago. Since then, he hadn't seen the two together, and was sort of beginning to doubt what he'd seen. Well, more like he wanted to doubt it.

"Link, what's the matter?" Zelda asked, drawing back from him for a moment. He took a deep breath, and looked his wife fully in the eyes. He could trust her about this, surely? Zelda was his best friend in the world, after all. And he so desperately needed to talk about it with someone.

"Zel, I..." he began. He sat down on the bed, and pulled her down beside him, so that they were facing each other. "I saw something the other night that... well, put it this way, it wasn't good," he stated.

"Go on," Zelda said, reaching out to take hold of his hand. He felt comforted by that, and carried on.

"Well... you know when Nick... well, he was away for quite a while, right?" he said. Zelda nodded.

"Not to mention you were," she added.

"Well, there's a reason for it. I... I didn't get held up by old friends, Zel. I lied to you," he said, looking down guiltily.

"I thought you were," Zelda stated, looking unsurprised.

"I guess I ought to know that by now, I can't keep anything from you," he acknowledged. Zelda nodded.

"You have a conscience," she said, smiling a little.

"Well, I... I saw Nick, and... and... he... he went off with Fayette," Link finally managed to say. Zelda gazed at him in surprise.

"Are you sure?" she finally asked. He nodded.

"I saw them with my own eyes. He... he had his arm around her, and they went off to the carriage, and got in..."

"Are you trying to say that Nick and Fayette are having an affair?!" Zelda questioned. She immediately looked angry.

"Well, I saw them, uh... kiss, too," Link admitted.

"Oh goodness! I'm going to kill Fayette!!" Zelda cried out angrily.

"Zel..." Link said quickly.

"Poor Selina! I don't understand why Nick would do this... so close to the wedding, too!" Zelda interrupted.

"Well, I'm not sure if..." he tried, but she wasn't listening.

"I'll have to tell Selina, it's only fair. They can't be allowed to get away with this," she stated.

"Perhaps we shouldn't be so hasty..." Link said. Zelda appeared to think about it.

"You're right. There's two sides to every story, after all. Maybe Fayette just jumped on him," she said. Link nodded.

"Maybe. I hope so," he said. Zelda climbed into bed.

"But... Nick, he always seemed to have a soft spot for Faye..." she said.

"Don't remind me," Link grumbled, getting in beside her. They lay there in the darkness together for a few minutes. Finally, Zelda spoke.

"I'm going to confront Faye," she said. Link sighed.

"Can't we be more subtle?" he asked. Zelda chose to ignore him, however. He then wondered if telling her really had been a good idea after all. He ought to have guessed that Zelda would go off at the deep end, wherever her step sister was concerned. He pulled the covers closer, and tried to get back to sleep, while Zelda lay brooding in the darkness about Fayette.

    The next day, after breakfast, Zelda waited until Fayette rose, and followed her from the room. Zelda had decided that confronting Fayette after breakfast was somewhat wiser than before, because if Fayette chose not to turn up to her meal after a confrontation, or even worse, turning up upset or angry, Zelda didn't want to risk questions being asked. She had watched both Fayette and Nick like a hawk as they had eaten. But not once had they ever held eye contact, although Fayette had briefly let her gaze wander to his handsome face. She marched down the corridor, close on the heels of Fayette, when her step-sister sharply turned around, glaring at Zelda. "What are you doing?" she demanded hotly. Zelda shrugged.

"I was about to ask you the same thing," she hissed, her voice low. She turned and glanced behind her shoulder, hoping Selina had not come down this way, or anyone else for that matter.

"Pardon?" asked Fayette, one eyebrow raised. Zelda quickly ushered Fayette into a side room, closing the door behind her. Once she was satisfied, she turned and faced her step-sister, who wore a questioning, and annoyed look on her face.

"You and Nick, I know," said Zelda shortly, her expression sharp. Fayette took a step back, a look of surprise spreading across her features.

"Me and Nick? But..." she protested, not catching on.

"Link saw it all, at the festival," said Zelda, folding her arms. Fayette appeared wordless for a moment, before a look of realisation finally crept across her face. "How could you Faye? I've known you to do a couple of low down things in your life, but this? He and Selina are engaged to marry!" exclaimed Zelda. Fayette looked down at her feet, looking a little worried.

"We couldn't help it, it just felt so right," she explained, her voice a whisper.

"We? Don't you mean you jumped on him?" asked Zelda, feeling a little worried. She'd always known Fayette for a bit of an actress, but her step-sister really did sound genuine.

"No.. it wasn't like that at all. I'd tripped over that dress, and he helped me up, took me back to the royal carriage. I gave him a small thank you kiss, but I'm afraid he misinterpreted it," said Fayette, sounding upset. Zelda frowned for a moment, surely it couldn't have happened that way. Link had mentioned about there being more than just one kiss but, surely not? Fayette and Nick?

"Why should I believe you? The only Faye I've ever known has been a deceitful and hurtful liar," said Zelda suspiciously. Fayette shrugged.

"What does it matter anyway? He'll still marry Selina. It was only one kiss, well two, but still, it hardly meant a thing," said Fayette with a sigh. Zelda narrowed her eyes.

"It was hardly anything?" she questioned.

"He told me that he," started Fayette, before turning her gaze to Zelda, her eyes sincere.

"He told you what?" asked Zelda, her voice softening.

"He told me that he still had feelings for me, but that he didn't want to upset Selina by breaking things off with her," said Fayette. Zelda looked over Fayette's expression carefully, not seeing a hint of deceit anywhere. That really threw her, because, if it had been a case of Fayette just throwing herself at Nick, she would've been bragging about it by now. And Nick would've told Selina... Fayette hastily looked down at the ground again, hands behind her back. Zelda felt torn. Should she even give Fayette a shred of trust? Or should she confront Nick? Or ask Selina if Nick had said anything. "Are you finished Zelda? It's just, I don't want to think about the whole situation, full stop," said Fayette. Without waiting for an answer she pushed past, although not in her normal, haughty, confident fashion, but in a more subdued way, as if she were hurting inside, or ashamed. Zelda stood there for a few moments, before deciding what to do. She would talk to Selina. She wasn't sure if it was the best decision, but it was better than none action at all. After all, her situation kind of corresponded to a saying once uttered by the lips of the great Sasharala, 'Evil creeps in and corrupts when the good men do nothing.'

    "No, he just said he'd been helping someone out," said Selina, as she packed up some of her belongings. Zelda frowned. She'd asked Selina about Nick's explanation about where he'd been during the dance at the festival.

"Did he say who?" probed Zelda. Selina shook her head.

"I never asked. Why?" said Selina, looking up from her current task. Zelda cleared her throat trying to think of a decent explanation.

"Um, it's just Link was away for ages too, and I was wondering if they had perhaps been planning anything," she lied. Selina shrugged.

"If they are, we'd find out soon enough," said Selina, neatly folding some sheets.

"So how have you and Nick been recently?" questioned Zelda, hoping Selina hadn't seen through her lame excuse.

"He's being as romantic and considerate as ever, even more than usual," sighed Selina dreamily. Zelda wondered if that was simply because he was being his usual self, or because he felt guilty. Selina paused for a moment, thinking. "Although now you mention it, especially since the festival. You know what I mean, flowers three times a day, moonlit walks, daytime rides, that kind of thing," said Selina, using her hand to gesture to the many vases of flowers that adorned her room. Zelda looked at the nearest vase closely, and knew immediately that these flowers were no hastily picked bouquet from the palace gardens. Either Nick was too romantic to be true, or he was guilty. Zelda twirled a piece of blonde hair between her thumb and forefinger thoughtfully, pondering over the situation. "And on every bouquet, there's a beautiful verse or quote. I thought when he asked me to marry him, I couldn't have loved him any more than I already did, but I was wrong. Just when I see him, I feel like my heart's going to burst, it harbours that much love," said Selina. Zelda leaned over and picked up one of the tags attached to the flowers, reading it thoughtfully. It read:

'I find it hard to explain,
It's crazy, but it's happening,
And I'm falling again,
Much farther than I've ever been,
I'm falling deeper than the ocean,
I am lost in this emotion.'

"It's beautiful," whispered Zelda, carefully replacing the tag. Selina nodded in agreement.

"I know, I know. Zelda, tell me, am I dreaming?" asked Selina. Zelda managed to crack a smile.

"No, it's all real," she replied, all though, her feelings inside were tearing her to pieces.

"Zelda, are you okay?" asked Selina suddenly, sensing that Zelda wasn't seeming as cheerful as she should. Zelda, thrown by her friend's question.

"No, no. I'm fine," assured Zelda, getting up from the bed.

"Are you sure, because if there's anything bothering you," started Selina in concern. Zelda quickly shook her head.

"Look, I've just remembered, I have to see someone. I'll see you later," said Zelda before quickly exiting the room. Selina considered following her friend, but figured if Zelda was that upset, she would've confided in Selina there and then.

    Zelda walked purposefully down the steps of the castle, heading for the courtyard. Nick hadn't been anywhere she'd searched so far, so it was her last choice. Once outside, she saw Nick, standing with Dion, Drake and Damon, who were all laughing about something or other. She walked up to the group, staring directly at Nick. "Hello Zelda," greeted Nick amicably as soon as he saw her.

"Nick, could I have a word with you?" asked Zelda.

"Ooh, what've you been up to?" asked Drake laughing.

"Certainly," said Nick, ignoring Drake's comment. Zelda turned away, Nick following behind. She walked back into the castle, and took Nick to the debate room, which was currently empty. "Zelda, I noted quite a serious tone to your voice, is something wrong?" asked Nick, who appeared to be concerned.

"Yes, there is, and it involves you, Selina and my step-sister," said Zelda. Nick looked a little taken back by Zelda's reply, but he didn't look shocked or puzzled, to Zelda's dismay. "It's true isn't it?" demanded Zelda.

"I'm not quite sure what you have heard Zelda, so I'll tell you my side of the story to make things a little more clear," said Nick, folding his hands together.

"Go on, I'm waiting," said Zelda. Nick felt a little hurt and surprised at how hostile Zelda was acting towards him, especially since her source must've been Fayette, who was hardly trustworthy.

"At the summer dance, when I went to get me and Selina a drink, I bumped into Fayette. She was being unusually pleasant and soon left. However, she tripped up on the skirt of that dress of hers and must've sprained an ankle. I advised her to see Selina but she claimed to be okay. Just to make sure she was okay, I offered to accompany back to the royal coach, which she accepted. Once I'd helped her into the coach, she gave me a small thank you kiss, and then another, but I pulled away, and set her straight," said Nick, his eyes cast down to the floor.

"Are you sure that you're telling me everything?" asked Zelda. Nick's gaze snapped back to Zelda, a frown creasing his forehead.

"I do not wish to offend you, but Zelda, is this really any of your business? Your source, Fayette no doubt, has obviously told you something else, but I swear on my own life that that was all that occurred that night," said Nick. It was Zelda's turn to be surprised, she had never seen Nick react so angrily before.

"Actually, it was Link who told me about your little liaison with Fayette," corrected Zelda, although she failed to mention what Fayette had said.

"Please do not refer to it in such a way, not only does it insult me, but you as well for using the word in such ignorance," said Nick.

"I admit Nick, I have talked to Fayette about the matter, and she seemed thoroughly upset by the whole situation," said Zelda gingerly.

"She did not get her own way, would you rather that I comply with your step-sister?" asked Nick.

"Not in that way Nick. She was upset because of something else," said Zelda.

"Which is?" asked Nick.

"Because she claims it was you who took things further. Her story matches exactly with yours, up until the point were you accused Fayette of making a move, she claimed it was you," said Zelda. She had to go through every alley, no matter how it might insult Nick. She was doing it for Selina.

"She would, can't you see? For so long, you tried to convince me of Fayette's ways, and now, when I finally listen, you turn around and began accusing me of things I have not done, accusations based solely on the word of Fayette," said Nick.

"Nick, I have to know. Selina deserves to know," said Zelda.

"If anyone should tell Selina, it would be me. I would've told Selina well before now about this incident, but why complicate things now? So close to the wedding?" said Nick.

"Why not, it's better than after the wedding," pointed out Zelda.

"Fayette is a liar, and I know from first hand experience, you of all people should know about Fayette and her deception," said Nick.

"She also told me that you told her that you still had feelings for her," said Zelda, boring on despite Nick's comment.

"My exact words were that, despite what she had done, I would never, could never, bring myself to hate her. But if she continued on in such a fashion, then maybe I would have to try a little harder," said Nick firmly. Zelda lowered her head.

"I'm sorry Nick, of course I believe you, it's just I had to make sure, to be certain," said Zelda. Nick placed one hand on Zelda's shoulder.

"Selina has a very good friend in you Zelda, you care and watch out for her. I admit, I should've told Selina the instant I saw her after the incident had taken place, but I could not bear to upset her. If it's alright with you, I would wish you could give me the time to inform Selina in my own way," said Nick, dropping his hand from Zelda's shoulder. Zelda looked up at Nick and smiled.

"Thank you Nick, Selina may have a good friend in me, but she has an even better life time partner in you," said Zelda.

"I am glad you think so Zelda," said Nick.

"I guess I'll see you later then," said Zelda. Nick nodded, and took Zelda's hand, kissing it softly.

"I expect we will," he agreed, before leaving the room, and Zelda alone.

    As Fayette descended the stairs into the Great Hall, she spotted Nick emerging from one of the north corridors, which led to the debate room. Nick happened to spot her at the same time and he stopped waiting, a dark shadow passing across his face. "Do you never give up?!" he demanded, his voice raised. Fayette let out a small gasp of surprise, stopping dead.

"Excuse me?" she asked once she had collected her wits.

"You know, about what you told Zelda. Are you trying to destroy mine and Selina's relationship? Because I'll tell you now, you are wasting your efforts because me and Selina, we're like this," said Nick, crossing two of his fingers and holding them up to illustrate his point. "And nothing, especially not you, will break us apart," said Nick fiercely.

"But Nick, I never," protested Fayette, Nick walked up the stairs towards her.

"Do not deny it, Zelda has just confronted me with your claims," said Nick. Fayette couldn't stop her lips from momentarily twitching into a smile. Perhaps her step-sister had done something useful for once. "Now, if you do not protest, I will leave your company," said Nick, ascending the stairs without waiting for an answer. Fayette smiled, wondering if her plan had succeeded in causing a small rift between Nick and Selina. With any luck, Zelda had already voiced her suspicions to Selina, and that was why Nick had reacted so badly when he had seen her. She knew, if the plan had worked, Nick would inevitably learn to love her eventually. Without pausing for a further second, she too, strode up the stairs, not wanting to miss a moment of Nick and Selina's confrontation.

    Nick tapped softly on Selina's door, and waiting for her to permit entry. "Come in," she called. Nick obliged, quietly closing the door behind him. Selina's eyes lit up when she saw him, and met him in a friendly embrace. After they had parted, Nick motioned for Selina to sit down on the bed, he joined her. "Is everything okay?" she asked, unsure of his silent behaviour.

"At the summer dance, when I was away getting the drinks, I'm afraid I did not explain everything about why I was gone so long," started Nick, taking both of Selina's supple, soft hands in his own strong, firm ones. Selina smiled, tilting her head to one side.

"This sounds serious," she commented, still wearing a smile on her face.

"The truth is, I was helping Fayette back to the royal coach. She had tripped, injuring her ankle and I offered to help her back to the carriage, she accepted so I carried out the task," continued Nick, still gazing at Selina intently.

"Go on," said Selina, fiddling with the solid silver band on Nick's right finger.

"I helped her into the carriage, and she gave me a small kiss of appreciation on the cheek. I accepted it, and was about to leave when she kissed me again, more than a small friendly one as before, I'm afraid," said Nick. Selina chewed on her lip for a second, taking it all in. "I pushed her away, set her straight. I told you this now, I know I was stupid not to tell you before, but Fayette had began spreading lies, rumours. I wanted you to hear it from me, rather then her," said Nick truthfully. Selina remained silent for a moment, feeling hurt and betrayed.

"So in other words, you only chose to tell me to cover yourself," she reasoned out loud.

"No, no. Even if Fayette hadn't said anything, I would've still told you," Nick assured her.

"What happened to our trust? We agreed, no covering the truth from now on," said Selina, feeling that her anger was over blown, as well as not needed.

"Selina, I know. I am truly sorry that I waited this long, but I really didn't know how to put it. There never seemed to be a right time," said Nick. Selina took a deep breath and then nodded to herself, remaining silent for a few minutes more. "Please Selina, I am sorry, please, say something," pleaded Nick. Selina leaned forward, and gave Nick a small kiss. "Does that mean I am forgiven?" asked Nick slowly. Selina smiled slightly.

"For someone who is supposed to be intelligent, you can be a little, well, dumb sometimes," said Selina. Nick smiled, and leaned forward to give Selina his own kiss, which lasted a little longer this time.

"Selina, thank you," he whispered once they parted.

"No Nick, thank you. Most men would not have been so honest," murmured Selina. Nick kissed her again, and they both fell back onto the bed. After a while, Selina placed one hand on Nick's chest, pushing him away slightly. She wore a crooked smile, her green eyes staring into his deep brown ones. "Really, we shouldn't. What if one of the maids walked in, or even worse, a friend. I'm sure they'd find it most indecent," she said, still smiling. Nick grinned, and kissed her on the forehead.

"Perhaps we should lock the door then," he suggested devilishly. Selina laughed.

"Really, who'd think you were the future King of one of the most richest and respected countries in the world," joked Selina, rolling her eyes.

"Ah, but anyone could believe that you were to be the Queen of one of the richest and most respected countries of the world," retorted Nick. Selina felt herself blush slightly at the comment, she still hadn't quite got used to the idea that once she and Nick were married, she would be the Queen of Dalsona. Nick kissed her again, then paused, pushing back a few loose strands of Selina's reddish gold hair. "You have," he started, kissing the top of her head, "the most beautiful hair, and the most exquisite face," continued Nick, kissing Selina again on the lips. He then lifted her right hand, kissing that also. "Your hands are no less of that of a Queen," he went on, before kissing her neck and shoulders. "In fact, I'd say every part of you is perfect," he finished, kissing her again on the lips.

"And you are surely the most handsome man I have ever crossed paths with," replied Selina playfully.

"And many must have crossed your path, by choice rather than by chance," continued Nick. Suddenly, the door sprang open, a disgruntled looking Fayette standing in the entrance way.

"Oh, hi Faye," greeted Selina, purposefully giving Nick a long, enthusiastic kiss. After they had parted, Selina turned back to Faye with a casual smile. "Still here Faye? Is there something you want?" asked Selina, as surprised at the way she was reacting as Nick.

"I can't believe you can even bear to touch her, she's nothing more than a defiled wench!" exclaimed Fayette shrilly. Nick gently pushed Selina to one side and rose from the bed.

"Fayette, I believe mine and Selina's affair's have nought to do with you, so leave. And never, ever dare make a remark like that in front of me, or Selina again, because remember, once Selina is married to me she shall be Queen of the richest country, not to mention most respected, of the Demiari. And a comment like that could really insult both us, and our country," said Nick. Fayette glared from Selina to Nick, then flipped her hair, hitched up her skirts and left. Nick closed the door behind her, turning back to Selina. "I'm sorry you had to hear her say that," apologised Nick. Selina got up, shaking her head and smiling at the same time.

"Don't apologise for her Nick," she said, leaning forwards to kiss him.

"I love you," he whispered.

"Words cannot begin to describe my love for you," murmured Selina as she immersed herself in Nick's embrace.

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