[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence couldn’t help but light up at her smile and a small part of him was glad that she hadn’t entered alone because it meant that he didn’t have to spent a long time looking for her because he didn’t want to be in there alone. He wanted to be with her and now he would be. [b “Well then Jinny shall we attend Court?”] He smiled and started to lead her towards the hall which was full of guests and there was no surprise that people were looking towards them.
He gave her a moment to adjust to the sights and he smiled down at her. [b “It’s always this bright and colourful. You should come more often I do think you would enjoy it and I honestly think that you will fit right in here.”] He led her further int court and they started to mingle with some of the guests and it was surprising to see that not too many people had said much about Jinny’s presence here. There were some looks but not a single word.
[b “Not too bad right.”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] [b “Then it’s a good thing that you care a lot about the townsfolk. You are going too be a wonderful King Elias and they will certainly love you. I am glad that the people have you because I think that there would be a lot more suffering if the Council were in charge or had a puppet in front of them.”] She smiled towards him and straight the collar of his shirt with a smile as he spoke of the handmaiden. [b “I may be without a handmaiden, but I am capable of dressing myself, but I will accept their help for important events. I appreciate it.”]
With that they were both ready to go and she followed him down the corridor towards the hall. She waited with Elias briefly before they were announced into the room and she was happy that Elias kept her close because she certainly wasn’t ready to be left alone in a place like this, although she was sure that she would be eventually because Elias couldn’t be at her side for everything and for a while they busied themselves mingling with the guests of Court.
She watched the exchange between Elias and Edmond for a moment and she offered him a smile. [b “It is a pleasure to meet you Edmond.”] She smiled again when he offered his sympathies for Elias’ brother and she found herself hoping that she would never find herself widowed because she wasn’t sure how she would cope with being along in this world.
Elias smiles to Adelaide as she woke and shrugged,
[+green “The Council like money. Which is all well and good, but the townsfolk are not looked after then we have no one to work the fields.”] He pointed out. Of course human life meant more to him than that. He looked to Adelaide and sighed,
[+green “You are without a hand maid now, but I could ask them to only assist you on days of grand events.”] He remarked thoughtfully as he offered her his arm when she was ready to go.
He lead her down the corridors and there was of course a brief announcement as the two entered and Elias looked to Adelaide, keeping her close and mingling with some of the guests. Thankfully, the Council seemed to busy themselves with other members from differing kingdoms and it was a welcome break from their usual pestering over small and trivial matters.
[i “Your highness.”] A portly man bumbled over and gave a bow to the Prince and his Princess.
[+green “Ah, Edmond.”] He greeted and looked to Adelaide,
[+green “This is Duke Edmond, he watches over one of the towns to the south.”] He introduced and the man beamed. He was older, starting to grey in places.
[i “I was deeply sorry to hear of your brother, your highness. You have my deepest condolences.”] The man said and clapped Elias on the shoulder. Elias gave a small nod and thanks.
Jinny was somewhat relieved to hear Lawrence and she turned to look to him, a small smile betraying her relief. Jinny had been hoping that she would be bold enough to enter alone but had been struck like a frightened rabbit when the choice became reality. She took Lawrence’s arm,
[+red “You can just call me Jinny.”] She said to him quietly but she understood keeping up formalities around others.
She listened to his words and she truly did want to believe him but she was not a strong woman, but she also wouldn’t disappoint Lawrence if she could help it. She stepped into the Courts and she had to say it was more colourful than anywhere she had ever been before. She didn’t recognise anyone until Adelaide and Elias were announced and she smiled a little. Adelaide truly did look radiant and like she belonged at his side and as a Princess, perhaps a soon to be Queen.
[+red “I never imagined it would be so bright and colourful.”] Jinny said to Lawrence, looking the people dressed in their finest.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence was completely over the moon after he walked her back to the room. As far as he was concerned by the time he bid her goodnight, they had agreed to some form of courting and he planned to romance her as best as he knew how. He didn't want to bed to woman. He wanted to love her and he hoped that one day that might be the case.
The next morning he woke up in a good mood, knowing that he had someone in his life who he cared about besides Elias now. He had hoped that he would have made it to her room before Jinny left but when he arrived there was no reply but as he made his way down the corridor her saw Jinny there, clearly not brave enough to enter alone.
[B "Lady Jinny. How delightful to see you."] He offered his arm and chuckled as he started to walk her towards the courts. [B "This is going to be a busy day but you are going to hold your head high okay? Do not let them tell you anything about your background."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide chuckled at Elias' response. He seemed to be on the same track as her when it came to the Council. What she was grateful for, was that he did not pressure her to get pregnant. She wasn't sure she could have dealt with the pressure from that many different directions. He wanted in their conception of a child to be natural and not forced and she was very grateful for that.
After that, she fell asleep quickly, tired from their love-making and the potential fact that she was pregnant. Of course it was early days but with how busy her days were and the fact that she was at a very delicate stage, fatigue was perfectly normal. Adelaide slept well that night, perhaps better than she had done any night since arriving here, as though now she knew that her husband loved her, she could relax a little bit and it was good because the next day would be extremely busy.
When she awoke the next morning she was greeting my royal servants to help her bathe and get dressed. It wasn't the same as having Jinny but she was expected to look presentable and like the Princess she was in court and she did look regal. Once she dismissed them she moved to the window where Elias looked out and she took hold of his hand. [B "Well that is wonderful news. I assume you had something to do with that since the Council do not seem to care about those matters."] She smiled towards him. Of course it was him, he cared so much about his people. [B "I hope your royal servants don't plan on dressing me every day. Just for events like this."] She didn't want to take up unnecessary time.
Elias watched the creature in his arms, listening to her voice and he had found a great deal of comfort in being close to her and hearing her voice filtering in the silence. He gave a small chuckle at her question.
[+green “Well, I do believe they might leave you alone for a while, after all, the doctors will advise for rest and no stress.”] He pointed out and sighed. He could only hope that when the time came, it would mean Adelaide was allowed some peace and if not then Elias would be sure to make sure he gave her as much peace as possible.
He sighed as he leaned back and closed his eyes. It wasn’t long before sleep claimed him, it had been a long day and tomorrow would no doubt be longer still. He woke in the morning as the sun broke over the horizon and he got up, washing and grooming as he dressed in his court attire. It as smart and neat. He looked to Adelaide and pressed a kiss to her cheek. He hoped the Court ordeal would be over by early afternoon.
Elias adjusted one of his bootstraps, making sure he was completely presentable and he looked out across the gardens as carriages began to show up and people exited them in grand gowns. He raised an eyebrow and sighed out. These events were always busy and it was easy to lose track of people. The Greta hall was swarming with people, quiet chatter filled and music from one of the corners. The gardens had been decorated accordingly and it would no doubt be the last day of the summer months as winter would set in shortly.
[+green “Ah, I forgot to mention that there is to be a tax relief on the towns people if the winter is as terrible as everyone is predicting.”] He said to Adelaide, wanting to keep her informed.
Jinny looked to Lawrence and smiled a little as she took his arm and let him escort her back to her chambers, pausing as she listened to him. She didn’t have parents who would require permission to court her and if she supposed the closest thing to family she had was Adelaide.
[+red “I would like that, Lawrence.”] She said to him and glanced over as some guard wandered by and she gave him a neat curtsy.
Jinny was in a brilliant mood the next morning and Adelaide had left many of her gowns and she supposed this was a rather grand event so she selected a blue dress, smoothing it down and making sure everything was in place accordingly. This would be her first public appearance as more than a handmaiden. She stepped outside her room, fresh face with her hair neatly done and looked down the corridor to the great hall. It looked intimidating and she could hear the chatter from the corridor.
Jinny wanted for a while, still slightly wary and at least when she was a hand maiden to Adelaide she could shy away and knew her routine and when to enter a room. She fixed some of her hair, paranoid that this would go poorly.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Jinny’s eyes were almost hypnotic. She was completely captivating, and he never wanted to look at another woman in the way he looked at her. It was strange to think that in six weeks he had fallen for a woman he might never have met if it wasn’t Adelaide who had been promised to Elias.
He grinned widely and kissed her forehead once more. [b “You have nothing to thank me for. I would never pressure a woman. I’m glad that you are here.”] He said with another smile and looked back to the castle. [b “It’s getting late, perhaps I could escort you back to your chambers.”] He took hold of her hand and started back towards the castle.
[b “I have much to thank Adelaide for what she did. We wouldn’t have had the chance before this. And now…perhaps this could be something if that is what you want?”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide smiled and closed her eyes when he kissed her forehead and then her shoulder. [b “You are too kind with your words.”] She said as she started to open her eyes once more to look at him. He was certainly completely different from what she had expected. She expected a cold man, one who did not have much patience for women because of his upbringing. However, he was kind-hearted and he did not even now just how wonderful he was.
She allowed her head to rest on his chest, her hand absently stroking the skin of chest as he spoke of the court. [b “Court will certainly be interesting, and I have to be honest that I am completely glad that that Council will not have the chance to hound me.”] She chuckled and sighed happily. [b “I feel like they see me as a breeder rather than a woman or even a Princess. Do you think that if I conceive, they might leave me alone or will I be swarmed with doctors for the next nine months?”]
Elias brought her into his arms, holding her close as he listened to her words and he raised an eyebrow, laughing a little. He kissed the top of her head,
[+green “I believe it is I that has good fortune and luck, to have a such a woman at my side. One with grace.”] he kissed her shoulder then, [+green “And kindness and compassion.”] He remarked and sighed out contently. Adelaide was such a rare specimen, who clearly never saw herself the way others did.
He stroked her hair, enjoying the sensation of just having her there in his arms. It was such a relief to know she loved him as he loved her. He knew things could be slightly awkward, arranged marriages that had been set up since they were children but he supposed without such a thing, he would have missed out on meeting her and being with her.
Elias pulled her a little closer, hands gently roaming her skin,
[+green “Court tomorrow will be an interesting affair. I’m sure everyone will want to meet you properly, without the Council leering over you.” He commented quietly and he supposed he would rather stay in bed with her for an eternity.
Jinny had thought about kissing Lawrence for a long time but she had never imagined it to cause her chest to tighten, her hand rested on his chest as she felt his snake to her hips and she didn’t want it to end. Before all of this she had done her best to shut off her emotions, to deny herself to protect herself and the others from shame or disgrace. It didn’t matter now, she realised as the kiss ended.
Jinny looked to Lawrence, blushing slightly and realising she may have been a little bold in the situation but she was relieved when he spoke and she turned her gaze to the night skies. She wasn’t sure what to say to him, or how to act right then but there was a bright smile painter on her features.
Jinny looked to Lawrence,
[+red “Thank you.”] She said to him softly, [+red “For being so kind and patient with me.”] She said to him and gave his shoulders a gentle squeeze as she lowered her hands.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence could feel the nerves building up inside him and a part of his wished that he never asked the woman for such a thing. She had only been a lady for a single day and he was already trying to take advantage of her new status by asking for a kiss, something that he had wanted from her since the moment he laid eyes on her.
With any other women he had kissed in the past, it was because he found them pretty and because he was young and exploring himself as he grew up, much like the Prince himself but he had never wanted to kiss a woman as much as he wanted to do so with Jinny. He thought for sure that he would refuse him, perhaps far too shy or far to knew to her position as a lady to give in so soon but he was surprised by the fact that she looked at him so intensely and closed the distance between their lips.
Lawrence felt the instant connection, the fire lit in his stomach as her touch. He let go of her hands and moved them to her hips to that he could step closer to and extend the kiss but he kept it innocent, not wanting to scare her away.
When the kiss was over he smiled towards her. [B "That was everything I expected and more."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] For a moment she watched the expressions pass over Elias' face. She couldn't quite tell what some of them were until she admitted her feelings to him. She was sure that he showed relief and shock but there were no words exchanged between the two. Instead there was a moment of love shared between them in the form of a kiss. When he pulled away to look at her she smiled towards him, glad to know that they both felt the same about each other.
He didn't just want to show his love through the act of a kiss. He wanted so much more than that and so he started to press kisses to her neck and any other part of her body he could get to. It was euphoric and unlike any other time they had shared a moment like this. Before now it had been about producing an heir but this was out of love and passion.
And it was incredible to be filled with so much love during such an act. She wanted to learn more about what please Elias and in time she would but for now she just wanted to be connected to him until they were both spent.
When they finished making love Adelaide leaned over and kissed him once more, looking him in the eyes when she finished and smiled. [B "I feel so very lucky to have a man like you love me."]
Elias watched the woman and he immediately regretted telling her such a thing, cursing himself in his mind. If she didn’t love him then this would be incredibly awkward. He watched her and looked utterly dazed when she said she loved him. Elias was utterly shocked, he never expected such a thing but he had always been honest to Adelaide.
Elias was rendered speechless by her, such a confession only served to stun him. He leaned forward and gathered the woman in his arms, brushing his lips against hers. This time it was not for duty, it was not because he had to for anyone but because he wanted to. He wanted to show the woman how he felt about her physically. He cradled her face gently, this time glad there was no one here to witness such a thing.
Elias kisses down her neck, wanting to take in every inch of the woman beneath him and not miss a single spot. He claimed the woman again, this time through love and adoration rather than simple duty or to consummate a marriage. She was incredible in all ways and he wanted her to always know such a thing.
Jinny watched the sun setting, happy enough to have company and good company at that. She blushed a little at his words and she wondered if he saw the world that differently from others. She had never thought of herself as any of those things, she knew Lawrence was a dreamer and a warrior who wanted to bring goodness and kindness into this world. She looked taken aback when he asked to kiss her and she stammered for a few moments.
She eventually stopped and gave a breathy laugh, turning to face him properly. She wasn’t sure how a lady would ever respond to such a question but she knew she wanted to kiss him right then in the dying light.
Jinny was nervous, as if in her mind he might still reject her or turn her away but she knew she couldn’t live her life in fear. She freed her hand from his, searching his face before she leaned up and pressed her lips to his, in that moment not caring who saw or who judged, her heart fluttering in her chest.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] He tried to distract himself by watching the sun go down, almost sure that he had made a fool out of himself. However, he found that he had actually managed to get something from Jinny because she took his hand.
He looked down at their joined hands and he smiled. [B "I have ever reason to be persistent. Why would I let someone like you go so easily?"] He turned a little and took hold of her other hand and glanced into her eyes.
[B "I've never met a woman like you before. You are everything that I've ever wanted in a woman. You have such a kind heart and that matters so much more than anything else."] He smiled towards her. [B "Can I kiss you?"]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] [b "I never understood corsets either although I'm not a man. A part of me wonders if it was invented by a man."] She chuckled and shook her head as she settled down into his arm as he started to talk of the Council. She knew that he wouldn't have said that around her if he didn't trust her and it was rather comical to hear his true opinion of the men.
Adelaide allowed her eyes to close, ready to fall asleep but it seemed that Elias had something he wished to discuss. [B "Oh?"] She sat up a little and couldn't hide the momentary worry, especially when he said it could make her feel uncomfortable. [B "What is it?"] Her breath caught in her throat when he reached out to tuck the hair behind her ear and then even more so when said his words.
[B "Oh...my...Elias."] Her stomach felt all knotted in that moment, knowing that she felt the same. [B "Elias, I [I know] that I have fallen in love with you."]
Elias watched as Adelaide shed her garments and tried not to allow his eyes to linger too much.
Elias watched as Adelaide shed her garments and tried not to allow his eyes to linger too much. He put an arm around her and he had noticed she had seemed so tired lately but he figured that changing her routine to that of a Princess.
[+green “I never understood corsets, not that I am ever going to complain of the sight.”] He chuckled a little.
[+green “Ah, you know the Council is full of elderly, stuffy bags of bones. They would fire anyone out with the needless prattling that goes on.”] He said and knew such talk would get him into bother if said anywhere except this place, with Adelaide to overhear.
[+green “I have been meaning to discuss something with you, Adelaide.”] He said as he sat up slightly, watching her. Prince or not, he was a man with stubborn pride.
[+green “I apologise if it makes you uncomfortable,”] He explained prematurely and looked at her so at ease by him. He reached out and moved some hair behind her ear, fingers gently brushing her cheek.
[+green “I think I am in love with you.”] He confessed quietly.
Jinny looked to Lawrence and took his hand, laughing softly but of course he would know the best spot to see the sunset. She looked at the fire of the last of the daylight and she heard his voice, his words taking a while to sink in before she smiled a little.
[+red “I would be honoured.”] She said to him, retaking his hand as a sign she meant her words.
Jinny wasn’t sure if everything would work out because she was still from humble beginnings, after all. And the Courts may not even accept he but she supposed it didn’t matter right then. She looked to Lawrence with a small smile, albeit still shy and wary in case she overstepped any boundaries with him.
[+red “I still say you are the most persistent man I have ever come cross.”] Jinny commented to him.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence bid his friend and his wife goodnight and turned to Jinny who he then accompanied to the gardens for the sunset. It was so peaceful and he had come to enjoy the gardens so much more with Jinny. She always looked so peaceful out here and he knew that she must have felt nervous about tomorrow and he wanted to make sure that she didn't think about it too much.
[B "You deserve it. Adelaide is rewarding you for the service that you have offered her."] He looked around the gardens and then back to her. [B "If we are going to see the sunset properly we must head to the end of the gardens."]
He took hold of her hand and started to lead her towards the best spot and when they arrived there he let go of her hand so he didn't make her feel uncomfortable. [B "I'm happy that I get the chance to romance you."] He said as he glanced towards her with a grin. [B "If you will allow me that is."]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide was glad to get back to their room. She had grown quite tired over the last hour or so which was perhaps another sign of pregnancy. It was still early days but things were starting to look that way. She smiled towards him when he complimented her actions.
[B "I just did what I thought was right."] She took the necklace off and placed it away carefully before she started to loosen the lace at the back of her dress, stretching herself now that the corset was loose. [B "This thing is hard to breathe in sometimes."] She sighed as she allowed her dress to fall to the floor and started to walk around to her side of the bed.
[B "I am fatigued this evening."] She lowered her head into the pillow. [B "I can imagine that you must be too after spending your day with the Council."]
Elias enjoyed his evening, it was a lot less formal of an atmosphere and more about relaxing in good company and the company of friends, where titles didn’t seem to matter. He looked to Adelaide as she got to her feet and he smiled to her softly. He looked to Lawrence and Jinny, knowing that they would want their own privacy now.
[+green “Have a good night.”] He said to them both and looked to Adelaide as he took her arm and walked back towards their own chambers. He held the door for her and looked to Adelaide as he undid some of his clothing.
[+green “You did a wonderful and kind thing today, Adelaide.”] he said to her as he washed his face in a bowl of water and made sure the fire was appropriately stocked for the night. He watched Adelaide for a while, illuminated by the fire and he pondered on how fortunate he had gotten to have such a woman to call wife, and future Queen. He averted his gaze after a moment, shrugging slightly and climbing into bed, waiting for her to join him.
Jinny watched Elias and Adelaide and smiled as she bid them good night. She looked to Lawrence and got to her feet, she had become partial to the gardens at night, it always seemed so quiet and so peaceful. She took Lawrence’s arm and looked to him. She looked to the gardens as it was bathed in the fires of the setting sun and she sighed contently.
[+red “I did not expect this.”] She said quietly as she looked back to Lawrence, looking towards the fountain. It was wonderful, scenic and she still couldn’t quite believe the gift Adelaide had given her. It far surpassed anything she ever expected from the woman she loved as a sister.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] [b “You are welcome Lady Jinny.”] He started to eat the food and the four of them shared a perfectly nice meal together and by the time the dinner was over he was completely satisfied. With his hands on his stomach he stretched out and smiled towards Jinny.
[b “Would you care to join me for another walk this evening Jinny? I would quite like to watch the sunset this evening.”] He then looked to Adelaide and Elias. [b “Of course, so long as that is alright?”] He smiled when Adelaide announced she was ready to retire which he took as permission.
[b “What do you think Jinny?”]
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide shook her head. [b “No thank you. I’m just not in the mood for wine this evening. The water is just fine, thank you.”] As if to prove it she took another sip and glanced towards Jinny who was smirking. She gave her and look an shook her head towards her subtly. She did not want to get Elias’ hopes up if she wasn’t completely sure that she was pregnant. Although, how many more times could she avoid drinking wine before he actually noticed that she was actively avoiding it.
[b “I like to think that perhaps they have nothing exciting in their own lives that they must delve into ours.”] She smiled towards him and noticed that he was watching her closely and she couldn’t help but blush.
For the rest of the evening they enjoyed each other’s company and enjoyed the rich foods but before long she was ready to retire. [b “I think it might be time to retire to our chambers. You do not have to come with me if you do not wish to just yet.”]
Elias watched Adelaide opt for water rather than wine but he didn’t say anything, supposing the wine was too rich for her or something of the like.
[+green “Would you like a different wine?”] Elias asked her, evidently not putting two and two together at all. He looked to Lawrence and Jinny and smirked a little to himself. He was sure Lawrence would keep a close eye on Jinny at Court and not lit anything untoward happen. Besides, she had been royally inaugurated as a Lady by the Princess herself.
[+green “I feel they know our private life better than us.”] Elias remarked to Adelaide with a small laugh. It was invasive, of course but he understood the necessity to keep the Council informed of everything.
Elias looked to Adelaide and watched her. She truly was beautiful and radiant, he wasn’t sure he had ever seen such an amazing creature before and he doubted he ever will. He tore his gaze from her and looked to Lawrence and Jinny, pondering on whether his love was as real as theirs evidently was.
Jinny looked to Lawrence,
[+red “Thank you.”] She said to him, she would be grateful for an escort in a precarious predicament. She was sure she would get used to it eventually but big events were always a tiresome affair for her but she was sure she would find some way to resign herself to the quieter parts.
Jinny looked to Adelaide and Elias, grateful for their kindness and generosity at this time.
[+red “I hope so.”] She gave a small laugh, [+red “It is going to be very strange to walk amongst Lords and Ladies, in this fashion.”] She remarked with a small smile, it would be strange but she had a wonderful network around her that she was sure would support her in every way they could.
Jinny looked to Lawrence briefly and then back to her wine. Tomorrow would be nerve wrecking for all of them and she hoped that Adelaide would have good news in time and then the stress would ease off of her.
[Left [Pic https://i.imgur.com/sZ5J4Py.jpg]] Lawrence smiled towards Elias, happy to see his friend so happy. He couldn't help but notice the way he watching Adelaide closely. He wondered how long it would be before his friend admitted to his wife that he had fallen in love with her. He smiled to himself, unable to resist finding the situation a little bit amusing.
He couldn't help but wonder if he looked at Jinny the same way but really he already knew the answer to that. He glanced towards her then when Elias mentioned court. There was every reason for her to feel nervous but he wouldn't let her face it alone.
[B "I'll escort you. Court can be...scary but I promise you that it can be far more interesting if you use it as an opportunity to people watch."] He smiled towards her and took a sip from his wine. [B "You have every right to be there tomorrow. You are a Lady now. Remember that."] He would never forget.
[Right [Pic https://i.imgur.com/S7hutov.jpg]] Adelaide looked up towards Elias and smiled, chuckling a little. [B "Oh I simply cannot wait."] She was about to sip her wine and then stopped herself, going for the water instead. [B "I suppose it will be another chance to be questioned about our private life."]
Adelaide started to eat her food and glanced towards Jinny who looked nervous. She could completely understand why though. She felt nervous herself and she was sure that the news of Jinny would not be taken well by many but she their opinions didn't matter.
This was her doing and it was her right to reward a friend for her service since she was a young child. [B "I'm sure we will all manage to get through the day."]
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