The Prince's Unwilling Lover(5)By: Leslie North
“Serves you right!” Francesca shouted and left the bathroom.
* * * *
Toward the end of the week, the Colonel and Mrs LeBlanc were summoned to the palace. They were surprised to be called so soon. Mrs LeBlanc felt positive that their earlier meeting with the prince had gone well and he was probably calling them to agree to the marriage to Francesca.
Prince Louis sat in the courtyard with his mother and aunt when the LeBlancs arrived. They greeted the royal family with bows. Prince Louis gestured for them to sit down as the maid brought out a tray of deliciously-baked pastries and drinks. They immediately started discussing Francesca, as it was a matter of urgency that deserved full attention.
“Did you like her, son?” the queen asked Prince Louis.
“She is a well-mannered and poised young lady,” the prince replied.
“Thank you, your highness,” Mrs LeBlanc said. Her husband smiled and bowed his head. He was always proud of his girls. They had turned out well, even Macee. He was not as hard on her as his wife.
“So, we will be going ahead with the wedding plans?” Bridgette, Prince Louis’ aunt asked. She was not keen on it. She liked Liane and wanted her to marry her nephew. This sudden change was unsettling for her. She did not trust Mrs LeBlanc, never had.
“Not quite,” Prince Louis said.
“Why not?” Bridgette asked.
“Well, we will need to meet with her before anything,” the queen said.
“Of course, but he must like his bride.”
“Is there something displeasing about her?” Mrs LeBlanc asked. She was ready to fight tooth and nail for her daughter. This marriage was going to happen.
“Nothing is wrong with her,” Prince Louis replied.
“Then what is the matter?” Bridgette asked.
“I would like to marry your other daughter,” the prince looked at Mrs LeBlanc as he spoke. She was confused.
“Liane?” she asked.
“No, the other one.. with the paint.”
“Good gracious me, Macee?”
The LeBlancs looked at each other. That was something they had not seen coming. The prince wanting to marry Macee? Mrs LeBlanc closed her eyes. She was not sure she had heard right. “Pardon me, but why? Francesca is much more suitable,” she said.
“I have taken more interest in the other one, more than Francesca.”
For goodness sake, he did not even know her name, Mrs LeBlanc thought to herself. This was a disaster. Macee would embarrass the family.
“Your highness, she has not been trained for this and we do not have sufficient time to do so before the wedding,” Colonel LeBlanc added.
“Is Macee your youngest?” the queen asked.
“We’ve never met her,” Bridgette added. She looked at her nephew. “You met her at their house?”
“Sort of. She came in as I was leaving.” The prince laughed. “The girl was soaked in paint.”
“And that is whom you wish to marry?”
“Yes.” The prince had not stopped thinking about her since he saw her. She may have been scruffy and covered in paint but underneath all that was a lively woman. He could tell by the way her eyes sparkled. He knew that she would be more fun than Francesca would be.
“We will have to meet her first,” the queen said.
“As you wish, your majesty,” Colonel LeBlanc said. His wife was still in shock. She thought that maybe it was some sort of joke but the prince was very serious. He wanted to marry Macee. It did not make sense to her, as he had barely spent a minute with her.
“We’ll meet her and get to know her before making a decision about marrying her,” Bridgette said.
“You may meet her,” Prince Louis replied, “But I intend to marry her.”
Colonel LeBlanc and his wife returned home deciding to break the news to the girls over dinner. Francesca was excited to hear about their meeting with the royal family. Mrs LeBlanc watched Macee eat.
“Slow down, young lady, no one is chasing you,” Mrs LeBlanc said to her daughter.
“Why are you watching me eat?” Macee asked with food in her mouth. Her mother closed her eyes. She was definitely going to embarrass the family.
“Never mind her eating habits, how did it go at the palace?” Francesca asked. Her parents looked at each other before anyone said anything.
“Prince Louis...” Mrs LeBlanc drifted off and looked at her husband. She could not even say the words.
“Would like to marry Macee,” Colonel LeBlanc finished for her. Both Francesca and Macee dropped their forks on their plates.