Three Months Later...
Isadora stood in her room. The walls were covered in intricate tapestries and the floor was a cold white marble. A single dark wood bed stood in the center of the room, gentle curves of white fabric swaddling the bed-poles. There were two rooms like this to the door on her left, filled with clothes and books instead of a bed. But isadora remained in this room, unmoving.
Finally she moved over to the sole window in the room, a tall peaked window that was common along the castle walls. She sat on the stone ledge beside the window and looked out into the rain.
Three months had passed since she had kissed Quin.
Three months had passed since she had been taken from him.
In one day she would be the bride to a man she did not love.
"Darling! You worried us!" Was what Isadora's mother, Queen Isabella, said upon Isadora's return by Julien. Isadora was impressed that her mother had been able to fake happiness. Of course, when Julien had left, Queen Isabella had turned on her daughter with such a rage, Isadora had to step back serveral feet. She caught a few words such as, "...laughing-stock!" and "How could you!" and "You're lucky your father is visiting in the North!".
Isadora did agree on the last point, for her father's temper surpassed that of her mothers. But it wasn't so much the anger of her father that scared her, but his ways of getting back at people.
And so, when he arrived back to the palace three days after her return, and was did speak once to her, Isadora knew something was going to happen.
Sure enough, a month ago, King Ji said to her, "You are to be married in a fortnight. Go to the seamstress and be fitted for a gown." Isadora had been shocked out of her mind. Although the shock lessened and turned to annoyance when she discovered it was Lord Julien who wished for her hand, and had asked for it instead of the great amount of wealth that was to be his reward for her 'capture'.
So now, Isadora watched the rain and dreaded the next day, when she would be tied to a man who she had know for a day, a man she did not love. She loved Quin. She knew she loved Quin. And that day, that day three months ago was when she found that he loved her as well.
Ah well, she thought, trying to console herself, at least I found out before...I left. At least Rudolph gets to be happy. Of course mother and father did not want him back at the castle, and of course they would have kept him in the dungeon, thrown all the blame on him. But... they didn't because of me.
Isadora pictured her father again, telling her about the proposal she was to accept.
"Now, Isadora. You will marry him. he is a lord, he is respected, and he did bring you back. He has every right to you." Isadora had felt furious when he had said this.
"No one has a right to me except those whom I choose." She had retorted, icily. It made her father heat up.
"Ah, right. Of course. Of course, how could I forget how you let that filthy stable-boy put his hands all over you. Yes, yes. You have very high standards when it comes to men. No matter, he will be locked away soon forever."
"No, father! Do not punish him! It wasn't his fault!"
"You say he wasn't to blame?"
"No. He was not to blame. It as all me. Please, let him go, back to the woods."
"I don't bargain, daughter."
"But it is a good bargain. You set him free and I will marry Lord Julien, without any complaint."