Story Saturday: The Betrayed Bride

"The Betrayed Bride"

Princess Caroline was elated to finally marry the man she loved, Prince Reynard. Not only had they overcome countless struggles to be together, but their marriage would signify peace between their two kingdoms after endless years of war. She stood at the door to the grand hall in a simple silk gown with a bouquet of pink roses and patiently awaited her queue. After some time, her patience shifted to impatience. She peaked through the crack in the grand doors and saw a large crowd in attendance for the event. Yet, the orchestra did not play, and the attendants looked restless.

"Can you find out if there's something wrong?" she asked a nearby servant. "It should have started by now."

The servant bowed in response, but before he could make a move, Caroline's father burst through the double doors.


"He's not coming," said the king. "The wedding has been called off. You should change out of that gown. It's going to get very crowded when the guests come out here."

Caroline glared at her father. "What do you mean? Of course he's coming!"

"Prince Reynald ran away in the middle of the night. He must have realized the grudge between our two kingdoms was too strong to make peace. I told you this was a bad idea."

Caroline shook her head. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Reynard loved her. Their marriage was more about their love for each other than making peace between their kingdoms. That was just a happy side effect. However, she also knew that no one wanted peace less than their parents. This was her father's handiwork, not Reynard's.

"What have you done to him?" she demanded.

"Me?" Her father feigned offense. "Why would you think I did anything, cupcake? This was supposed to be the happiest day of your life. I had just hoped you would marry someone who didn't hurt you the way he has."

"You mean the way you have!" she snapped.

Caroline turned and ran toward a staircase following her first instinct. Just as she did, the doors burst open, and a large crowd assembled in the hall, blocking the king from following her. As she descended the stairs, she tripped on her wedding dress, tearing the skirt. She gathered her long train into her arms and leaped down two stairs at a time until she found herself in the castle dungeon.

"I demand to see the prisoner!" she told the guard.

The chubby man shook with uncertainty

"But the king said--"

"This is supposed to be my day, so you will obey me unless you wish to be accused of treason!"

"V-very well," stuttered the guard.

Caroline followed him through a narrow passageway to a secluded cell, where Prince Reynard sat dejectedly in a corner. Caroline rushed to Reynard's side and threw her arms around him. "What did they do to you?" she whispered.

Reynard shook his head. "It doesn't matter. We can't be together. Not now, not ever." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter. "My father has disowned me for going against his wishes. I'm no longer a prince, and I can never marry you."

Caroline's heart broke as she read the letter. She looked into Reynard's eyes and saw the pain and betrayal he had endured. She thought back to the long years of war between their kingdoms and of all the suffering it had caused. Then she realized that she had the power to bring peace.

"They cannot take away our happiness," she said firmly. She turned back to the guard. "I demand that you free him this instant!"

As the guard fumbled with the keys, her father burst into the room.

"You will do no such thing!" he boomed.

Caroline stepped forward and looked her father in the eye. "I will not let you stop me. I love him, and I will marry him. If you try to stop us, I will make sure the whole world knows what you have done."

The king stared down at his daughter, rage burning in his eyes. "But what about our kingdom's pride? We have never backed down after all these years of disagreements."

"What do you care about more, Father?" Caroline sobbed. "Your pride or your own flesh and blood?"

He sighed. "The guests have already left. This is no way to perform a royal wedding. Your wedding dress is torn, for goodness' sake!"

"None of that matters. If I can be with the man I love, I don't care if I have one guest or a thousand!"

"Is this really what you want?" asked the king.

"I would give up my title as a princess if that's what it takes to be with him."

"That won't be necessary," said her father, nodding to the guard. "Free him."

The guard quickly opened the cell door and Reynard walked out. He looked at Caroline in disbelief. "Is this really happening?"

Caroline smiled and took his hand. "Yes, it is. We will be married in secret, and together we will bring peace to our kingdoms."

And with that, they were married in the darkness of the dungeon, and the people of both kingdoms rejoiced when they heard the news. In the end, love had truly conquered all.

Comments

Sugar said…
At least the king realized that his daughter really loved the prince.

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