13 Sacrifice his feelings

Charlotte looked around the room that was allotted to her. It was in the eastern wing of the palace, near the room of Prince Édouard. 

 

"Your Highness, this is Zoe Palmer. She is Her Highness' personal servant from today onwards," Sarah introduced them. 

 

Zoe stepped up and greeted Charlotte. "I will be in Her Highness' service throughout my life," Zoe said. 

 

"I would like to take a rest for sometime," Charlotte said. 

 

Sarah bowed and asked the servants to empty the room. "Zoe, please help Her Highness change into a comfortable sleeping gown," Sarah instructed her before leaving the room. 

 

Zoe brought a white, ankle-length sleeping gown for Charlotte, which she handed to another servant. Charlotte had removed her hat when Zoe asked her to allow her help. 

 

When Charlotte allowed her, she went behind her and opened the knots on the corset. 

 

"What kind of person is Prince Édouard?" she questioned Zoe while slightly tilting her head to gaze at her. 

 

"Pardon me, Your Highness, but I am not suitable to answer that question," Zoe replied. "I can assure Her Highness that His Royal Highness is a gentle, loving person. Thanks to His Royal Highness' efforts, Wexnon isn't in a terrible situation like the other provinces," Zoe gave a slight explanation to Charlotte. 

 

"He is not good to his family members. What's the use of keeping people happy when inside he hates his family? I cannot understand why he is so eager to marry me when he clearly knows that I will never be loyal to him in this relationship," Charlotte stated. Among the royalty, if a woman was unable to have a relationship with her husband, then another woman was searched. 

 

If she would show everyone in the palace that she wasn't interested in the marriage, then someone might take this to the King. He would then revert to his order and she wouldn't have to marry Édouard. 

 

Zoe didn't say a word as she freed Charlotte from the gown. She made her wear the sleeping gown and asked her to sit on the chair. Once Charlotte sat down, Zoe bent on her knees and removed the shoes from Charlotte's feet. 

 

She lifted the gown and removed the garters first, to take off the stockings. Charlotte wondered why Zoe didn't say a word. 

 

"Don't you think it is wrong to marry a widow?" Charlotte questioned her. 

 

Zoe stood up, holding the stockings in her hands. 

 

"Forgive me, Your Highness, but I cannot give my opinion on this," Zoe replied. Charlotte scrunched her eyebrows and realized that Édouard's servants were like him. She rose to her feet and went to bed. She removed the hair pin from the hair bun and her hair fell down to her waist. She put the hairpin on the bedside table and laid down. Zoe covered her well with the blanket. 

 

She stepped back, bowed to Charlotte, and then left with the servant, closing the doors behind her.  

 

Charlotte recalled her father's delighted face. "I cannot die. He will be hurt badly if I go away," she murmured and turned to the other side. She closed her eyes, trying to get some sleep, but at a new place it wasn't possible to get a good sleep. She got out of bed and looked at the suitcase on the table.  

 

She opened it and took out the black and white pictures with Mathieu. She put them on the table and one on the bedside table. "I will try my best to stop this marriage, Mathieu." She stroked her hand over the frame and smiled. 

 

She got into bed and continued to stare at their picture. Soon, sleep took over her, and she dozed off to sleep while holding the frame with her left hand. 

 

~~~~~~

 

Édouard opened his eyes and found it was evening time. His headache had gone and he was feeling better than before. Rubbing his eyes, he sat up and called for a servant. 

 

A servant rushed in and bowed before him. 

 

"Give me water," Édouard said. The servant nodded, and she poured a glass of water. She handed it to Édouard who drank it. Thanks to the salty tea, he was terribly thirsty. He asked for more and, after drinking three glasses of water, he felt better. 

 

He got out of bed, wore the slippers, and went to see Charlotte. Charles bowed to see Édouard, "Good Evening, Your Royal Highness. Her Highness is still sleeping."

 

"You all can leave," Édouard ordered Charles, along with the other servants. 

 

Édouard slightly opened the doors and walked in. He felt relieved to see that Charlotte was sleeping peacefully. Since the room had slight darkness, he switched on one lamp and ended up seeing her pictures with Mathieu, including the wedding day's photos. 

 

His lips twitched in anger, but he could not even say anything to Charlotte. She was still in love with Mathieu. He could only give her time to forget him. But was he patient enough? How long would he tolerate it? For six years, he had only seen her from afar and always suppressed his feelings for her. First, it was a mere crush for him. Last year, when he returned from the war and saw the 18-year old Charlotte, he knew he was confirmed that he loved her. She was with him now, but it seemed it would be tougher for him to make her see what he felt for her. 

 

He should not have accepted Mathieu's challenge and let him have her. But he could not neglect the territory of Wexnon either. He had to sacrifice his feelings in the end over the people. 

 

He put the photo frame on the table and shook his head. After a while, he walked up to the bed and sat on its lower end. His back rested on the bed pillar as his gaze remained fixed on her, waiting for her to wake up. Now, she was in his palace, he wanted to talk about a lot of things with her. He wanted to see her smile all the time. Most importantly, he wanted to make her forget Mathieu's memories. But seeing Mathieu's pictures with her in the room, he was a little upset too.

~~~~~

Hello Dear Readers,

Edouard had a crush on Charlotte in the initial years. They have six years age gap and even when she turned adult, he couldn't confess to her because of the war he had to led to save his people.

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