The townspeople, no longer hesitant to share the dancefloor with royalty, were dancing merrily to feet stomping music as Delilah entered the townhall's threshold.
The musicians ended the gay tune with an encore that deserved the applause from the dancing crowd. The girl's sharp grey eyes found the blue clad Crown Prince mingling with young and old alike. He had taken up the role of village attraction with aplomb.
Delilah was wearing a new red lace gown with gold trimmings at the ends. She had opened her dark hair at Cecilia's insistence and let it fall down her back in a fetching manner.
She watched nervously as Damian blinked at her from afar and worried he might be disappointed by the sudden change in her appearance.
"I hope I look presentable enough," Delilah asked shyly, after no comment was uttered by the Prince who had decreased the distance between them. She tried to smile but her lips would not curl as the fear of inadequacy made her tense.
"I will offend you if I reveal my true thoughts," The man uttered plainly after more nerve wrecking seconds. His blue eyes travelled over her new attire before meeting her grey ones, revealing nothing.
"I can't possibly look that horrendous," Delilah lost her composure and twirled around trying to see any flaws.
"My beautiful Lady Delilah," Damian's grin was wide and teasing, "Look at yourself reflected in my eyes. How could you believe you look anything but perfect."
Delilah felt the sudden heat running down her face at his words. The look of adoration in the Prince's eyes dismantled all the self doubting words whispering in her ears.
"Do you need some refreshments. Your face is getting flushed," The Prince's beamed at her. He was very cruel man indeed.
"Is it? I don't feel faint at all. In fact we should join everyone for the next dance," The dark haired girl remarked, with her own mirthful smile.
"I remember a certain Lady who absolutely refused to dance with an important Royal personality once upon a time."
Delilah rolled her eyes and took his hand just as the new music began but to her disappointment it stopped abruptly. There was a commotion at the doorway and all the attendants turns towards it.
"Who could it be," She murmured, craning her neck above the crowd.
"It must be mother," The Prince uttered casually, "She was supposed to arrive this week."
"And you never told me," Delilah rounded up on her fiance, "I could have prepared for her arrival and at the very least worn a nicer dress."
"Surprises are fun," Damian replied, with his characteristic nonchalance which he knew aggravated Delilah.
The crowd parted as the new entrants made their way inwards and went down on it's feet. Delilah was shocked even further as both the King and Queen paused in the middle of the room, arm in arm.
"Father, mother," The Prince cried out. He jogged towards them and gave each one an affectionate hug. Delilah bowed very low and felt the nausea destroy her sense of calm.
"I have heard much about your fiancée and I could not delay a second," The King's voice echoed in the large hall for no one dared utter a word.
"You should be resting," Damian said, concern lacing his voice. The King was much heartier then when she had last seen him but he still looked frailer than before. As a matter of fact his likeness was hanging at the entrance of the town hall giving her a frame of reference.
"I dread the look of my bed. I'm having the entire bedroom redone," The older Royal said, flippantly, giving her a good idea where the Prince's personality came from. The Queen tutted and placed her other hand on her husband's as a warning.
While Damian made his important introductions with his new inlaws the King's eyes ran over the women standing in the corner. Delilah wondered which woman he thought was the fiance. The townspeople were not highly fashionable but they had their fair share of beauties.
To her surprise his eyes landed right on her. His lips held a faint smile as Damian gave Delilah his hand and urged her foward.
Delilah pressed her dress down in order to sooth any creases down her front. She could see the townspeople all staring at her as if she'd erupted another head. They knew of her engagement; word had travelled fast, but to see her first introduction to the king was just too much excitement.
She bowed again with a ridiculous tremor running down her spine and hoped nobody noticed. To her surprise, the Queen took her hands, pulled her in her arms and gave her cheek a kiss.
The King offered her his free arm and uttered most charmingly, "Will my new daughter give me the honour of a dance?"
"Father, that's not fair. I have filled out the Lady's entire dancing card," Damian interrupted Delilah's hasty nod and reply. The Prince even held out the card he had stolen from his fiancée as proof.
"I am the king, Damian. I can do whatever I want. I can make laws, construct new roads, ask for more taxes and I can most certainly alter a Lady's dancing card as I please."
Damian gave his father a mock glare before asking his mother for the pleasure. The musicians made some absurd creative choices before settling on a sedate, formal number. None of the townsfolk joined the dancing pairs although Delilah could spy Cecilia bouncing on her heels, itching to join with her own partner.
"You are just as you were described. I had no difficulty in guessing which one was Lady Delilah," The King showcased his friendly disposition with a warm grin.
"I hope they have been complimentary in their musings," Delilah murmured, unable to undo the tenseness in her limbs. The King gave her gloved hand a reassuring squeeze.
"They have been abundant in their praise," The older Royal said, kindly.
"I endeavour to be worthy of the praise," Delilah replied, letting the serenity of the music inspire her. She did not wish to begin her new life so scared and useless. She finally let herself enjoy the moment with her new father in law.