I followed her downstairs and into the Great Room. Mother and father sat on their thrones, while Joseph's family sat on one of the gold couches. Joseph knelt in front of father. All eyes turned to me as I entered the room. I had not met Joseph's siblings yet, but they were young. His sisters were twins, perhaps five years of age, and his brother was just an infant. I could not tell if the baby was old enough to crawl or walk yet; he was sleeping soundly in Queen Mary's arms. At father's signal, I walked the length of the room and knelt in front of mother.
"I have invited you all here today to witness a great moment for my family," father announced. "Today, my daughter, my only child, the flower of my garden, is bonding with Joseph, of the family Kelber. It is a sad and yet a happy day for me. My daughter will soon be leaving my home to rule her own lands. William and Mary have been generous in their offer of support in the way of troops and police officers to help us deal with the problem of the raiders. Our people have hope that they will someday be able to travel without the fear of assault." I looked at the floor.
King William stepped forward to take up his part of the monologue. "I offer my son, Prince Joseph, in marriage to Princess Susan. This bonding will be a prenuptial agreement between our lands. Our children will promise to rule our lands wisely. As for ourselves, we will promise to raise our children properly, so that they will know the ways of ruling a province. Let either of us be smite down if we are forsworn in this promise."
"Hear, hear!" Everyone cried. I noticed that mother seemed very tired, as if it were all she could do to sit on her beautiful throne.
"Bring them forward," father commanded.
Joseph and I stepped up to the thrones. My hands shook with nervousness and my heart hammered in my chest. I had no idea what to expect. I caught Joseph looking sideways at me, and I sensed that he didn't know what was going on, either. Cara stepped up behind me, offering me her support.
"Join hands!" Joseph's father boomed.
I looked over at Joseph and slowly extended my hand. This was it!
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish