A Tearful Reunion
I blinked at Jaron in surprise.
‘I have a brother?!’
‘Yes, though you are not biologically related. Your parents found him washed up on a beach after a shipwreck when he was nine years old, almost at Death’s door, and brought him back here where our doctors and nurses brought him back to health. Your parents saved his life, and have since then treated him as if he were their own, much like your adoptive parents did when they took you into their care’ he replied as we stepped over the threshold of the palace, Harry, Kenton, and the other knights following behind.
As the palace’s oak doors closed almost soundlessly behind us, I looked around in wonder at what I supposed was the palace’s foyer or lobby and, after marvelling at the soft pastel colours of the walls and soft furnishings around me, I turned to Jaron who stood slightly ahead of me with the others.
‘There will be time to wonder at your home’s beauty later, Your Highness, the daylight is fading and there is still your welcome home banquet to be had after reuniting you with your parents’ Tarrent , who stood closest to a large archway, told me with an amused express on his face.
‘Right. Yes. Sorry’ I replied, hurrying to where they were all stood.
‘There is no need to apologise, Princess Oraelia’ Kenton answered softly, shooting Tarrent a disapproving look as he and his brother brought their hands up to the small of my back to steer me around a corner, and down a long corridor with its walls decorated with beautiful patterns and hung with more paintings. We soon stopped in front of a set of doors painted a soft cream colour, which seemed to open of their own accord into a room more than twice the size of my bedroom with a polished- possibly marble- floor. At the far end of the room, stood four thrones.
We were in the throne room.
The man and woman, sat in the two larger thrones, were dressed in soft white robes trimmed with turquoise and pastel blue, which glimmered gorgeously before my eyes; the silver-blue crowns placed elegantly upon their heads adorned with several precious stones I recognised, including Sapphire and Alexandrite.
My parents, who had been awaiting my return home for most of my life, rose from their thrones and came towards me and my travelling companions, beaming. Behind them walked a young man sporting similarly styled robes – only his were a pastel orange trimmed with silver.
Once they were stood before me, I was finally able to look my parents in the face for the first time in many years, and when I looked into their eyes, as well as my adopted brother’s, I suddenly felt my chest tighten, tears coming to my eyes as I threw myself into the waiting arms of my father, who stood taller than almost everyone in the room and whose warm embrace sent me into a fit of sobs. Wrapping my arms around his back I pulled him closer to me, afraid he would disappear, as he stroked my hair.
‘It’s all right, sweetheart,’ he murmured, holding me tighter. ‘You’re home now.’
His voice was deep and warm, conveying all the love of a father who had waited long enough to hold his child again.
Pushing me gently away from him, my father gazed upon my face with a pair of pretty, turquoise-grey eyes, which turned misty within a matter of seconds.
‘You have grown into a beautiful young lady’ he murmured, a few tears sliding down his cheeks as he spoke.
I smiled and reached up, wiping away the tears with my thumbs. I turned to my mother then, who stood waiting patiently at my father’s side smiling happily.
‘We have been counting down the years, waiting for the day we’d see and hold you in our arms again’ she told me, reaching out and taking my hands in hers.
I returned her loving smile with one of my own and gave her hands a gentle squeeze before letting them go and turning to my adopted brother, who was standing quietly to my left waiting his turn to speak to me.
‘I am truly heartened to finally be able to meet my little sister. I am Prince Aiolos, though to you of course it’s just Aiolos’ he beamed, a pair of bright turquoise eyes gazing down at me, his dark blond hair grazing the top of his eyebrows.
I smiled back at him, pleasantly surprised. ‘I too, am happy to meet you, brother.’
‘Yes, Father?’ I asked, turning to him.
‘The banquet being held in honour of your return will begin soon, and you will want to freshen up and change, we expect. Here are your ladies-in-waiting, Kaia and Talina. They will cater to your every need as well as help you dress in the morning and evening’ he informed me as two pretty young human women came forward, and dipped into curtsies before me.
‘Before they take you to your new room, might I ask what your young friend’s name is?’ my mother asked.
‘His name is Harry, and he has been my best friend since I was very young’ I replied, casting a glance behind me at Harry as I spoke.
Harry stepped forward and bowing before them. ‘I am honoured to meet you, Your Majesties.’
‘There is no need for you to bow, Harry’ Mother answered kindly.
Not daring to look up, Harry answered. ‘I feel as though I must, Queen Pheonala. You are the King and Queen of this kingdom, and I have something to ask you.’
‘Harry, please stand up. My wife has already told you that you need not bow, or kneel,before us.’
Slowly, and after glancing at me for reassurance, Harry rose to his feet and looked directly at my father.
‘Your Majesty, I humbly ask you to allow me to stay, at least until Ell- I mean, Oraelia is used to living here’ he requested, voice unwavering.
My father smiled immediately after hearing Harry’s request and nodded. Turning, he gestured at a fair-haired man no more than a year older than Tarrent, who came forward and bowed at the waist.
‘Yes, King Thäro?’ he asked.
‘Kiero, please escort Harry upstairs to the room two doors down from Oraelia’s. You know which one I speak of.’
Kiero nodded once, gesturing with an arm for Harry to follow him.
As Harry allowed himself to be led away, my mother came over to me. ‘I have left a gown on your bed Oraelia. I had it made especially for tonight’s banquet and dance, and I know you will look beautiful in it’ she told me, touching me under the chin with her forefinger.
‘Thank you, Mother’ I replied with a smile, and then let Kaia and Talina lead me up the large, cream marble staircase to my room.
Hey lovelies, I hope you enjoyed today’s first chapter, the second is coming at 5pm BST :).
You have wings. Believe in them and yourself, and you will fly.