"Sophia, listen to reason, give him a chance," Louis reasoned, standing across Sophia - who he had found on her way to one of their favourite hidden spots as children.
Sophia closed her eyes as she shook her head.
"Louis, I know you're just trying to help, but please don't interfere, especially when it comes to this," Sophia pleaded.
Louis frowned exasperatedly.
"Sophia, grandmere was the one who asked of this, I'm not interfering, I'm only helping you see reason and-"
He stopped, as Sophia stared right through him.
"Louis, please," Sophia begged.
"Instead of convincing me to give him a second chance, just help me convince grandmere this all isn't necessary," Sophia pleaded.
"Out of all people, you'd know how I never wanted to marry or be involved with anyone; now I'm stuck with this problem," she said vehemently.
Louis knew his sister was desperate, and knowing how much she wanted him to have a change of heart. He also knew part of this was his own fault, with how this wouldn't have been a problem in the first place had he accepted the throne himself.
He had abdicated, and hence, the next-in-line to the throne had to step up to take his place, and that royal happened to be Sophia.
There was a rule that was unjust, stating that the male bloodline doesn't require marriage before being able to take the throne, while the female bloodline did.
There was no way they'd both get out unscathed, and Louis being the one to muster up the courage to back away from his family's legacy as kings and queens, and Sophia being the one stuck to marry someone else before she could possibly get the throne and save Beldovia from their wicked stepmother.
Of course, this was a constant guilt trip to Louis, who'd have to live with the guilt that his sister would suffer a fate that was already chosen for her.
"The last thing I want to do is marry someone I don't have feelings for," Sophia admitted, tears welling up in her eyes.
"You know how I am, Louis, you've known me all my life, all the twenty-one years I've lived," Sophia begged.
Louis looked at his sister, guilt and pity on his face.
"I could try to get a word in with grandmere," he said, sighing deeply.
Sophia's eyes lit up before Louis continued.
"But, you have to try to at least get to know the guy better, Sophia, for grandmere's sake."
"He didn't want this either, you have to fathom that. Grandmere was the person who imposed this idea, but you're her granddaughter, Sophia," Louis reasoned.
Sophia bit her lip.
"I guess you have a point," she painfully admitted.
Louis raised an eyebrow, expecting her to say more than just that alone.
Sophia sighed exasperatedly.
"And you have my word that I'll try my best to get along with him for grandmere's sake," she promised.
Sophia was one to always follow her word, so Louis had no doubt Sophia would go against her word.
She admitted with a dejected pout, "I just never considered one day I'd have to marry for my kingdom's sake."
"I know it's selfish… but I just… never wanted to marry," Sophia said tearily.
"Is that too much of an ask?" Sophia asked no one in particular.
Louis placed a supportive hand on his little sister's back guiltily.
"I'm sorry, Em," he apologized as he watched Sophia shake her head in disagreement.
"This isn't your fault," she assured.
She murmured inaudibly, "It isn't your fault we were both born into this family."
Louis embraced her once again, not being able to apologize once more, him being all choked up.
He loved his sister more than anything, and if he'd have to take the throne just for his sister's sake - and for her happiness - it was well worth it. Even if he'd be stuck to the throne.
It was like he'd be a flightless bird with clipped wings, unable to move for the rest of his life.
He whispered, "If the going gets tough, you always know that you have options, baby sister."
Sophia pulled away.
"You know I could never do that to you, you'd do better from outside the throne, brother," she replied, knowing the last thing she'd do was burden her brother with the duties of being king.
"I'll put up with that stranger of a prince if it means you have your freedom you out of anyone else deserve," Sophia said sweetly, as she meant each and every word she had said.
The only person she had to turn to in her life was her brother, as well as grandmere. Grandmere was always distracted with state affairs, and keeping Queen Helena in tow, leaving Sophia with her brother and herself with not that much a choice.
Since her mother was terminally ill when she was carrying her unborn child, she had died, right after giving birth to her daughter, Sophia, her father immediately remarried afterwards.
Yet, he had left her as well, dying all-of-a-sudden on his children and his new wife.
At the news of their king's death, the citizens grieved and mourned their king, as all kinds of rumours were made up as to why he had died on such abrupt notice. Some had said the queen had killed her husband. Others had said she was a sorceress that had made the king fall-in-love with her just to wed him and kill him to take the throne for her selfish self, while others believed he had died of lovesickness.
Through all of this, Sophia and Louis had been through so much together, having each other through all the harsh obstacles they overcame together.
Their stepmother treating them poorly, the death of their father, their growing up with the strict rules with the added bonus of having their actions practically susceptible to public scrutiny.
For two children without their parents growing up, it was tough, although they had gotten through it together and came out stronger than ever as the two possible heirs to the throne.