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   Chapter 15 A Truce for the Night

Ceaseless Gravity By JMFelic Characters: 17030

Updated: 2018-10-03 23:44

"You?!" Lianne's eyes rounded at the sight of the man.

On reflex, she moved, pressing herself against the carriage window as much as she could as if he had some kind of communicable disease.

"Yes, me, " was the crown prince's cool reply. He continued to settle himself inside the carriage, claiming a seat in front of Lianne and acting disinterested of her obvious show of frustration. He was handsomely dressed wearing a black one-button tuxedo suit, his hair brushed up to the back, and his boots scrubbed into perfection. Clearly, he looked like someone who had planned to attend a ball for years.

Their knees almost touched and with this, she immediately felt the interior of the carriage too small for two people.

Ruen sat proudly with his arms crossed waiting for the princess' expected hostile reaction.

"I can't believe this, " and then she did with her face showing disappointment.

The carriage began to move continuing its way to the Astoria Mansion and this made her heart pound hard against her ribcage.

"What about our agreement?!" she clarified. Her expression was that of a betrayed maiden; angry and frustrated; but amidst this, Ruen could still see how she looked beautiful on the stunning gown.

He smiled his debonair signature smile that proved for Lianne too irritating. She knew he was toying with her again, and on this very important night especially.

"It is still binding, " Ruen replied.

Lianne let out a mocking laugh. "You must be joking. How can our agreement still be binding when you are the one here, not Lady Faye?"

He stared at her with depth, unspoken words swimming inside the beautiful pools of his eyes.

Upon seeing this, Lianne read through the very thing on his mind. Her eyes widened with the realization that hit her like an arrow. Oh my God, how could she be so oblivious all this time?!

"Wait, you planned this all along did you?! You can't really accompany me to the ball!"

"Why not? I am invited also, " Ruen retorted.

"But you said so yourself Lady Faye is to accompany me! That was the reason why I agreed!"

Her hands formed into a tight fist because of the tension that was amassing inside her. She wanted to punch this man so badly, but she couldn't as he was the crown prince.

"Lianne..." He spoke her name with care as he leaned closer to her, placing his elbows onto his knees. "I did have some accomplices, " he plainly added, again observing the immediate look of displeasure on the princess' face.

"No, Lady Faye wouldn't..." she countered quickly. "She..."

It was as if the events that had passed began to flash in her mind that she was left speechless upon realizing every bit of detail. How could she had fallen onto his own well-laid trap?! And to top it all, both Lady Faye and Lord Jared were also his pawns!

"Arghh! How could you!" she shouted with all her strength. "Stop the carriage now!"

"Tsk." Ruen's smirk was evident. "I am truly amazed. Had it dawned on you how absurd your request is Lianne?"

The princess only gave him a cold glare and continued to shout to stop the carriage but with no progress. It was like Arthur was either deaf or was acting like one. Either way, it was possible that the coachman was also under Ruen's command.

"I'm getting out of this carriage! Order the coachman to stop now!" Lianne commanded. She gripped the neck of her pelisse readying herself to exit, but Ruen had plans of his own. Though he was on a guarded position, he was calm and composed amidst her fuming rage and it irritated her all the more.

"Stop this nonsense, Lianne. I won't allow you to go out, " he said.

Her brow flinched as she tightly held onto a part of her gown crumpling it in the process. "No! To hell I'll stop! I won't stay here with you!"

This time, the prince did show a hint of intolerance against her persistence.

"You're so stubborn, " he spoke. His hand flew towards the stained window pane of the carriage near him and then pointed with clenched teeth. "Think before you act won't you?!" he said. "Just look at the environment outside! Do you think you'd last an hour on this kind of place wearing a dress like that?!" He ran his gaze throughout the length of her never missing his point. "You'd be mobbed if not by the wild hounds but by dangerous men wanting to have a piece of a virgin like you!"

"You're despicable!" Lianne quickly rebuked, stung by the words he had used. How could he had plainly revealed that fact in such a vulgar manner! "You're the one who brought this problem to me! You should have thought first before stepping inside the carriage!"

It was true. Ruen knew he was the one to blame once again for her present dilemma. But either way, the princess was a woman whose stubbornness was beyond measure, especially on his regard. All things considered though, he still had the upper hand.

"Lianne, if it would help, you can at least call it a truce, just for tonight, " Ruen declared. "I want you to understand that I won't let you out of this carriage. So, it is either that or we could go on and on about this p

th a centerpiece of exquisitely cut ruby-red diamond. From the looks of it, he was ready to place it around her neck.

"What's this?" she asked as she swirled around to face him, just in time the lock of the necklace clicked.

"There, it's perfect, " the prince declared. He looked at her pleased of his creation. Their eyes met and she began to blush.

"Wait, I'm not going to-" She shook her head, wanting to deny but there was a slight uncertainly in her voice. The necklace was undoubtedly beautiful and she knew it would make a good addition to her gown, but to accept his gift would mean losing her own pride.

"Your Highnesses?" Duke Perdunn approached them once again catching the princess' attention. He lowered his head and began to speak, "I beg of you. Let us not waste such precious night ahead of us by just standing there."

She was about to reply when Prince Ruen quickly took a hold of her left hand and proceeded to answer the Duke with eagerness, "We apologize Duke Perdunn. Please, lead the way."

"Of course, Your Highness. This way."

Just as Duke Perdunn turned his back, Lianne immediately pulled her hand, jerking her elbow with force but he was rather persistent on not letting her go.

She gave him a sharp look to which the prince only gave a smug smile.

Lianne's blood boiled with this. Where was his promise now? Would their truce be of any use in the first place?

"I suggest you comport yourself appropriately, Princess. You could at least lower your hostility towards me to a minimum level in front of the council and the guests. You'd land into another headline again if the guests were to know your dislike towards me. I know you hated that the most, " the prince murmured in a low voice, enough that no ears could hear as they trek up the stairs to the main foyer.

"Hmf, you yourself should know better, " Lianne replied in the same volume as they turned in a long blue-carpeted hallway towards the ballroom hall. "I wouldn't have to behave like this if you could only conduct yourself properly and restrain from touching me as you wish."

Ruen only smiled in amusement of her words. They were silent for awhile as they continued their walk. Duke Perdunn was leading them, walking with his head held high, proud of himself with his present accomplishment.

"That necklace suits you perfectly. It complements your overall appearance Princess, " the prince declared.

"You do realize I am not accepting this gift from you right?"

"Yes, I already expected that, " he admitted.

"Good. Then just for tonight, I'll wear this necklace."

"Yes, just for tonight, " the prince replied and smiled in satisfaction on her way.

They were both standing in the front of the oversized portal of the ballroom when the prince's hold on her hand tightened more.

They almost looked like a heavenly apparition as everyone inside the hall took notice of their presence.

Immediately after the majordomo of the Astoria family announced their arrival, guests from all over the kingdom including the members of the royal council swarmed the couple as they descended the stairs.

It was a rare sight indeed for the prince of the kingdom to come in parties like these, much more with a goddess in his side. Nevertheless, they were honored and a bit awe-struck by the sociability of the prince who was once known to be reserved and indifferent.

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