Chapter 16- A Bold Announcement

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Alex was done.

After numerous events with Lavinia, Cecilia and Alice, he was just completely done. He couldn't stand it anymore. If he had to fake one more smile or make more small talk, he'd explode. Alex could take it most of the time. After all, he was a prince and diplomacy was his thing.

This was different. One of these women was expected to be his wife. He'd choose between lifelong boredom (Lavinia), being underwhelmed (Alice) or complete and utter misery (Cecilia). Alex knew that his father was pushing for Cecilia. He just couldn't marry that woman. She was everything he hated in a person. He couldn't have her as a mother to his children.

The deadline was looming and Alex had made a decision. It was Eliza or nothing. He just hoped that his parent would agree. Heck, he just hoped that Eliza would want to be his bride. If his parents consented then surely Eliza would. Such a blessing from the King and Queen would surely soothe Eliza's worried mind.

He'd shirked his duties for the day. No fencing with Gabriel. No archery practice. Today was the day that Alex would finally speak his mind.

Having affirmed that his parents were in their shared study, Alex was ready to roll. He hasn't got a clue as to what he was going to say. He supposed he'd just say what he was thinking. All he wanted was the chance to be with sweet Eliza.

It made him chuckle slightly. Alex had mocked Eliza for liking romance stories yet he felt as though he was in one when he was with her.

He was in love with her.

Alex threw the doors open to the study. The King and Queen both jumped in shock as Alex strode in, his face determined.

"I have made my decision."

The King had been about to scold Alex for walking in without knocking, but this news made him bite his tongue. He'd had enough of Alex's wavering. That boy needed to choose his bride and continue the line. There'd be no putting it off any longer.

"I want to marry Eliza."

"Who?" the King thundered.

"Lady Elizabeth Greystone. She's my choice."

"She is not a choice, boy."

"I don't care. I want to marry her."

"You are to be wed to one of the women selected for you. I don't care about whatever girl you have taken a fancy to."

"Eliza means the world to me. I...love her, father."

"You may think that, but you'll learn to love one of the others."

"I don't think it, I know it goddamit! Eliza is everything right with this world. She is pure and kind and warm. I'm happy whenever we are together."

"I'm sure she's lovely, but I still don't care. She's not one of the three."

"So what? It's not like she's a peasant, her family is noble. Eliza...Eliza is amazing father, you will love her as much as I do. She's so kind and selfless- she loves the people and they'd love her right back. I mean she's so intelligent too and well-educated in social graces. Her family is wonderful. You'd never have a problem with them. Eliza just has this thing about her. She would be the finest and most honest counsel that I could ask for. Oh and she loves children dearly. You should see her with her sister. I have no doubt that Eliza would be an excellent mother. If anyone was the mother of my children, it'd be her. Please father, you must understand the depths of my feelings for her."

"Your Majesty, she is a wonderful girl," the Queen addressed her husband in a plea, "I know her to be the very best of the young women of court. Like our son, I know she'd be a perfect candidate for future Queen. If anyone is to follow me then I'd want it to be her. She makes our son happy, dear. The deal with the other families is not set in stone. Let our boy be happy."

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