Greta stepped into the hallway, grinning shyly and tucking one perfectly curled ringlet behind her ear.
She was dressed in a dark red, low cut dress that showed nearly every inch of her pale skin. Diamond earrings sparkled from each lobe and a matching tiara adorned her head.
Looking down at her feet, my sister stepped forward revealing thinly strapped black heels and all to much ankle for a proper lady.
She accepted the arm Sir Barren offered her, practically skipping down the hall to the podium at the other end.
I rolled my eyes at her performance, smoothing out the wrinkles in my own dress. It was a baby blue strapless gown with a lacy train flowing out behind me. The glittering sash around my waist matched the silver choker around my neck, framed by my own dark hair which flowed in soft waves down my back and over my shoulders.
Emerson had pulled the top layer of hair into an elegant looking bun on top of my head, and under my dress you could just see the toes of the silver heeled boots she had stuffed my already sore feet into.
I stepped out from behind the decorative flower piece opposite the one Greta had existed moments earlier, reaching up to adjust the white net secured to my head with a sapphire hair pin.
There was a collective gasp and I smirked up at Greta, who had begun to glare at me.
That’s right sister. There are two queens in the house tonight. I thought, barely seeing Sir Rowen before I nearly tripped over his overly polished shoes.
Blushing, I took his arm, giving Greta a look that told her to wipe that grin off her face before I removed the face entirely.
She stopped grinning at me, even bringing up a hand to touch her cheek, as if checking it was still there.
I waved at the audience, who gave another round of applause when I reached the podium and traded Rowen’s arm for my sister’s, looking dead into her identical pair of brown eyes.
”Ahem.” Everyone’s attention swung over to queen Yia, who stood from her place in the royal box.
”Today we are here to witness a very important moment. My twin nieces are next in line for the throne, but both are unable to claim second in line without selecting a spouse. Now, the woman who’s heart it won first will take not only a husband from this competition, but a crown as well.” A chorus of questioning voices rang out but Yia silenced them with a wave of her hand. “Yes. This will be my last term. I will be stepping down and turning the kingdom into the hands of our chosen lady.”280Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡAhBMcaFUxK
280Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡjnTmfvW5zv
Her gaze swung expectantly over to us. “So my I present, Gretal Julia Fay, and Vallory Eliva Fay!”
Greta winced at the use of her real name, turning to look at the line of suitors waiting along the isle seeing if any of them caught it, but she must have seen something better because it suddenly took all of my strength to discreetly keep out combined weight upright.
I followed her gaze to two young men, both in well fitted, finely stitched suits and crisp white button downs. One had slicked his black hair down around his ears, giving it a very combed back look. The other had cut his hair short on the sides, leaving the blonde hair on top to grow out longer.
The two looked like they should be at a business meeting over in Mempton and from the way they kept casting bored looks at the people around them, both would rather be anywhere that here.
I turned to Greta, who was still ogling at the men.
”Found some good eye candy?” I joked, earning me a glare from my sister who had finally snapped out of her daze.
Turning her nose in the air she glared right back at me. “Well I don’t see you finding anyone to be courted by.”
Sighing I turned to face her, the many layers of my dress’s skirt floating around me before settling, the fabric slightly ruffled.
”Fine. I’ll take blondie.” She glanced back in the direction I nodded before turning back to me with her nose in the air. 280Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡTtP0QZEgrw
280Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡruJ2iRF5Zp
“No way, he’s mine. You can have hair gel.”
I rolled my eyes, giving her my patented are you kidding me look. “Okay fine. I’ll take hair gel.”
She nodded, turning back to stare at her blonde headed dream. I rolled my eyes at her antics, glancing over at hair gel, who caught my eye.
He stared at me for a second, and I gazed back, neither of us wanting to break our gaze. After a few moments he smiled, revealing a set of perfectly straight white teeth before turning back to his partner.
Greta nudged my side, casting a suggestive look over in his direction. “Guess I’m not the only one with some personal interests.”
I stared at her a moment before answering truthfully, “yes, he is handsome, they both are, but have you even met either of them? Who knows, we may find some other men from the six others over there!”
Greta rolled her eyes, sighing and continuing in a bored tone. "You really have no clue Val. Not. A. Clue."
"About what?" I wondered aloud, earning a dry chuckle and a pat on the shoulder.
"You'll find out soon enough honey."
I was less bothered by the nickname and more by the fact that I had absolutely no idea what this inside joke was about.
"Greta! What are you talking about!" I called, pulling up my skirts and hurrying down the podium steps as she disappeared into the sea of people.
I dashed into the crowd after her, nearly tripping attempting to run in my tall heels.
While the audience had practically cleared a path for Greta, I was caught up in the waves of nobles chatting, drinking, and eating the small appetizers Dala sent out.
Spotting her by the drinks table, I tried grabbing my sisters, only for the young woman to spin around.
Her hair was a bit longer and darker than Greta's, and the dress she wore was paler, more of a magenta color.
"Princess!" She gasped, making as if to curtsy, brown curls bobbing.
I held up a hand to stop her. "Yes, yes, I get it. Now, have you seen my sister?"
The girl shook her head, lips sealed shut and back stiff as a bored.
"Well can you help me find her?"
She seemed to be surprised by my words, but the second her eyebrows rose she froze her expression again.
I sighed, reaching out and shaking her arm.
"Can you hear me?"
"Yes Princess Vallory."
I waved her off. "Call me Val. It's not like I have the crown. Who are you?"
"Kiaris Morson your highness." She said, curtsying again.
I sighed again at the rehearsed words, taking her hand and dragging Kiaris behind me.
"Well than Kiaris, can you help me find my sister?"
She seemed to snap out of whatever daze she was in, nodding vigorously and following me through the crowds of people.
The bartender came out of nowhere, letting out a gasp of surprise before we collided, sending us both along with the silver tray in his hand, flying backward.
I squeezed my eyes closed, prepared for my crash with the floor, but instead felt two strong arms around my waist.
Slowly opening one eye, then the other, I saw hair gel smiling down at me, making me grin like a lunatic.ns 22.214.171.124da2