Chapter Seventeen (Edited)

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Once my name leaves Noahs lips, I freeze. His word catch me off guard and I don't know if I should run away or run to him.

Slowly all the help turns their head in my direction, then slowly moves away from me as if they found out I have a contagious disease.

Soon the Nobel ladies catch on, then the court, now I have the whole audiences eyes staring me down. The last to catch on is the King and Queen. And once their eyes meet mine, the Queen stands up as if she was about to execute me herself.

So, I do the only thing I can think of:

Run.

NOAH'S POV

I didn't mean to admit my feelings like this. I never meant to spring this on Sera, right away. I had a plan to take her away from the palace eyes and admit my feelings there. Explain to her how I don't care about our different social classes and how all I want to do is make her happy. I wanted to ease into this, and allow her to adjust into the idea of being my Queen.

I see her turn and start sprinting her way into the palace, running away from the eyes that are glued to her. The guards start running after her, but with one motion of my hand they stop, not daring to disobey the King's order.

Instead, I'm the one to run to Sera, needing a chance to explain myself to her. Needing to apologize for my actions earlier. Needing for her to understand everything that is happening. Just needing to be with her.

After running through the palace, I find myself down in the maids quarters, knowing she would most likely end up in her room. As I turn the corner, I see Sera standing there completely out of breath. I dont know whether is because of the running or her being overwhelmed. She turns towards me as though she was expecting me to be standing there.

"Noah, what is going on? I've been gone for twenty-four hours and I come back-"

"Please, Sera. Give me a chance to explain," I interrupt her. I can tell she is agitated and all I want to do is hug her like the first night we talked. Feel her relax in my arms.

"I know this is crazy. This is crazy for me too. I have never found someone who I can talk to as freely as you. I have never found someone who will listen to me without judgment like you can. I have never met a person so strong, yet can still be the softest person that I'll ever know," I take a breath and, boldly, reach for her hand and hold it in mine. Luckily, she doesn't pull away.

"I found all of that in you, Sera. That night when you had all those bruises, I knew that I wanted to stand beside you till my last breath. To be there to protect you for the rest of your life. By that night, I couldn't deny my feelings for you any longer. But this is not the way I wanted to confess this to you. I would have shown you the beauties of this world in an attempt to express the feelings I have for you." I stop, waiting for her reaction.

Her head is looking down at our intertwined hands. Her face remains blank, as she is absorbing all the information I am giving to her. Finally, she says, "What exactly are those feelings, Noah?"

She points her chin up, so we are looking eye to eye. Just this action gives me the confidence I need to tell her what I have been dying to say for weeks. "Trust. Confidence. Warmth. Safety. And... Love."

A small, nervous smile starts to grow on Seras face, causing me to explode with happiness. "I won't deny them. I don't care how others view it. I don't care if my parents want to disown me because of it. I love you. I understand if you can't say it back to me right now. I will wait a million years for it, if I have to, and I would still love you the same. But, would you please give me the honors of being my betrothed and maybe someday my wife?"

Sera's eyes light up and she pulls me down into the best hug I have ever felt. "Yes," she whispers into my ear.

I hold on to her tighter feeling as though if I let go she would change her mind and I would lose her. I lift her in the air and spin her around, making her let out an airy laugh. I couldn't be more excited to express my feelings about her to anyone that will listen.

I place her feet back on the ground, and she takes a step away, while still holding on to my hand. All I see is her smile that lights my way and eyes that sparkle brighter than the stars. Man I am hooked.

"Since you are now my betrothed, your status will be changed to a Nobel lady, and your bedroom will be moved to be down the hall from mine," I say to her with a smile.

Her smile drops slightly and her eyebrows scrunch in confusion. "What about my work? I still have to be able to send money home to my mother."

"Do not worry about that. I will send for your mother right away, and she can live here in the palace with us."

Her jaw drops. I know how important her family is to her, so I will not hesitate to bring her mother here. After Sera composes herself, she finally manages to let out a thank you. To which I respond with a small kiss on the forehead.

I pull away and see her with tears in her eyes, but a smile on her face. I hope to show her smile to the kingdom one day, but as my Queen.

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