The Prince's Unwilling Lover(8)

By: Leslie North

“I would like to have a moment to speak with Macee in private,” Prince Louis said as he rose. Macee looked up in surprise.

“That is a good idea,” the queen said.

Macee looked around and got up reluctantly. She did not want to speak to the prince. What in the world would they possibly discuss? She followed him out of the room and into the corridors. As he walked, Macee couldn’t help but notice how tall he was. As the shortest of the three sisters, Macee felt even smaller as she attempted to keep pace.

“So how old are?” Prince Louis asked her.

“I’ll be nineteen at the end of the year.” And too young for marriage! she told herself.

Prince Louis stopped walking and looked at Macee. She was looking at the ground. He asked her what she thought of their union    . “I was surprised at your choice and quite frankly, I do not understand it,” Macee responded.

“You should be delighted.”

Macee frowned and looked at him. “Whatever for?”

“To be marrying the crown prince.”

Oh the arrogance! Macee wanted to laugh in his face. “I am afraid I am not delighted, your highness.” she was not afraid to let him know what she thought. There was nothing special about marrying him; she was not the kind of girl who dreamed about marrying a prince.

“It does not please you to be marrying the crown prince and becoming the future queen?” Prince Louis was suddenly intrigued. Since when was there a woman in Monaco that did not dream of being his wife? It did not make sense to him.

“Your highness, it would be better for everyone if you changed your mind and agreed to marry my sister instead.”

Prince Louis raised his eyebrows. “Why should I?”

“She will suit you better and she is better prepared for…all this,” Macee answered as she waved her hand at the room.

“Is that so?”

“Yes.” Macee tried to conceal her frustration. It seemed as though she was not getting through to him. He was standing there looking at her with a smug look on his face.

“I am afraid I have already made my decision.”

“But you can change it.”

“I can but I will not.”

“I do not want to marry you.” She did not want to sound mean or ungrateful, but he wasn’t getting it. Maybe if she said it in that way, he would grant her request. Or maybe he'd be offended and call all this off. Either way she was not good at concealing her thoughts.

Prince Louis was not offended. In fact, he was amused and intrigued at this young woman. No one ever said no to him. Who did Macee think she was to say no? She should feel honoured not dismayed. Was it simply because of her sister or was there more?

“We should return,” he said after studying her for a moment. He knew that she wanted a different response but he was not going to indulge her. He had to admit that he was enjoying the challenge and he looked forward to getting to know her.

Macee frowned as she watched him walk back into the room where everyone awaited them. She stood there for a moment, wondering if he had heard what she had just said. She followed him back into the room wondering if maybe there was something wrong with him. Perhaps he was slow, she thought. Whatever it was, getting out of this union     was going to be even harder than she had expected.

“How was your talk?” Bridgette asked. She was not impressed with either one of the girls. Francesca seemed to try too hard and Macee was simply not appropriate for the position.

“Quite alright,” Prince Louis replied.

After the LeBlancs left the palace, the royal family discussed the matter at hand amongst themselves. Bridgette was the first to point out that Macee was not an appropriate match. She curtsied wrong, her table manners were not spectacular and her attire and demeanour were simply not up to par.

“Those are things that can be taught,” Prince Louis interjected.

“Liane had a natural elegance that both her sisters do not have,” Bridgette continued.

“I concur,” the queen said.

“Does the bride have to be from the LeBlanc family?” Princess Katherine asked.

“Enough,” the prince stated. “I have chosen Macee already and I consider the matter closed.” The more his family argued against Macee, the more he wanted her.

“My son has made up his mind,” the king stated. “What do we need to do next?” he asked as he looked to his wife.

“We will send her an instructor to teach her how to be more fitting for the position,” the queen said. As she thought about it, there was a lot that needed to be done to prepare Macee for the wedding and the reception. If they had the option to put the wedding off, they would, but it was to take place at the start of the jubilee in celebration of the anniversary of their emancipation and return to a sovereign nation.

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