Brayden stood off to the side of the gathering throng and studied the young man that stood sadly on the balcony above them all. Quinlan Macallister wasn’t anything like he pictured him to be. From the description Brayden’s Uncle had given him, he had thought that Quinlan would somehow look evil; but instead he looked the exact opposite, he looked Angelic... so beautiful with his long blonde hair that fell in ringlets to his waist. He was exactly as Brayden remembered him and it made his heart flutter.
Brayden felt a shooting pain in his chest as he took in the sadness in those pale green eyes that restlessly searched the crowd, looking for something; Brayden wondered what.
“Are you just going to stand here staring all day? Or are you going to do what father has told you to do?”
Brayden tensed in annoyance, he loathed his cousin with a vengeance. Ormand was the type of person anyone would loathe. Even though he kept himself immaculate, there was an offness about him; like some vital piece was missing... but what it was Brayden just couldn’t fathom it out.
“Are you listening to me?” Ormand shoved Brayden in the shoulder hard enough to make him stumble. “Father wants this taken care of tonight. That throne belongs in our family... That fool up there is stealing our birthright.”
Brayden rolled his eyes at his cousin. “Don’t you mean my birthright?” Brayden wasn’t even sure if he wanted to be the king, but he knew he would do it to stop his uncle from taking the throne.
Brayden turned to watch Quinlan Macallister once again, his breath caught in his throat as he realised that Quinlan was in turn watching him. Brayden stepped away from his cousin’s side and walked towards the steps that would lead him to the vision before him.
Quinlan felt his heart accelerate as he recognised a face in the crowd. It was a face that he hadn’t seen for a very long time. In the man before him, he saw the face of the boy that had once been stolen away from him. A boy he had once loved and still did with all his heart.
“Bray,” the name slipped out on a sigh. Quinlan looked past Brayden’s shoulder and saw Ormand standing in the shadows and the warmth that was spreading through his heart for the first time in years froze; so this was how it was going to end. Death by the hands that had always held his heart.
“You have come to kill me... haven’t you?” Quinlan asked quietly, he wanted to reach out and pull Brayden into his arms; but didn’t.
“Yes,” he answered but shook his head ever so slightly; just enough for Quinlan to see. “My family wants to rule again. We should never have lost the right.” Brayden said loud enough so that Ormand could hear that he was sticking to his uncle’s plan. Though, his eyes pleaded with Quinlan for understanding.
Quinlan stared hard for a long moment letting his gaze travel out over the crowd. “Do you know why all these people are here? Why there are mostly women here?”
Pain rushed through Brayden like a wave that he thought he may drown. “You are next in line to rule. By law you must be wed to take the throne.” Each word felt like a knife to his heart. Brayden couldn’t stand the thought of someone else loving Quinlan.
“Yes... each of these women wants me to choose them; but I have another solution.”
“I’m listening.” What was Quinlan thinking did he expect Brayden to help him pick out the perfect wife?
Quinlan smiled at Brayden and walked to the edge of the balcony; a hush instantaneously fell over the crowd. All eyes turned to him waiting for his decision.
“I have chosen... Nowhere in our laws does it state who I have to marry; what class they must be born into. I am able to choose from anyone in any of our people.” Quinlan held his hand out to Brayden and gestured for him to step forward. “I have Chosen Brayden to be my Kings Consort. I have chosen Brayden Caldwell to stand and rule at my side.”
Quinlan smiled, and Brayden stood in opened mouthed shock as the crowd broke out into an outraged uproar.