Delilah patted the white delicate flowers pinned into her flowing dark hair. There was nothing left for her to do but wait and yet she still found herself fidgeting with her attire.
Suddenly her necklace looked garish, her dress too unflattering and her veil seemed askew. The panic that bubbled forth was immense despite her recent iron clad constitution.
Delilah wished she could call in her maid and start all over again but there was no time. She was to be wed in an hour and she felt miserable by all the choices she had made. Perhaps there weren't enough flowers or not enough pews for the attendees or perhaps she would walk out of her carriage and straight into a puddle.
The girl continued to stare at the objectionable reflection and did not notice anything amiss until the window slammed shut.
"What-?" Delilah was unable to continue for a firm hand landed on mouth. Her eyes blinked uncertain if she was dreaming.
"What possessed you to break into my room?" Delilah hissed at the brightly smiling Crown Prince. The medals in his military uniform blinded Delilah for a moment as they were hit with the morning light.
"How could I allow anyone the honour of seeing my bride first," Damian declared with an infectious grin.
"The groom cannot see the bride before they meet at the altar. It is tradition!" Delilah tried to convince him although there was no point. He had already received a good view of her baby blue outfit.
"As if I care about tradition. I could not wait for another moment. Did you not wish to see me?" Damian took Delilah's nimble fingers in his grasp and gave her outfit a pleased look. The bride felt herself breathe freely again.
"Of course, I did," Delilah answered barely meeting his eyes, "Wouldn't they miss you by now?"
"If they did not mean for me to run off then they shouldn't have begun narrating the most wretched tales about their wedding nights," Damian spat out with a look of disgust.
"My goodness," Delilah dropped the man's hands in haste and found herself facing away from him.
"Is it too hot? You look... Oh well. Yes our talk was wretched," Damian announced without noticing anything amiss except his fiancé's waning complexion, "You must have gotten an attempt at a lecture as well."
"My sister Zartashia very kindly invited me into her room yesterday," Delilah answered, pursing lips.
"She should have invited me as well. I garnered absolutely nothing of use from Jerald's woeful tale of sorrow. His new bride apparently turned up completely hammered at her own wedding. She fell asleep during their vows," The Prince uttered with an incredulous air, "Baker's tale was even worse. I shall relate every single one to you when the day is over. I cannot bear this burden alone."
"I promise I haven't had a sip of anything more then a fruity drink. You know I despise being intoxicated," Delilah finally found the courage to face him.
"I haven't had anything to sip on either. I cannot have another lapse of memory ever again especially around you," Damian promised solemnly. Suddenly his fingers darted to the corner of Delilah's mouth making the girl lurch backwards. His fingers managed to leave a barest of touches against her lip.
"I've managed to wipe the pink colour off your lips although why anyone thinks you need to be painted is beyond me," The Prince uttered.
"I agree. We're marrying in my village with only our families present. I hardly need this much fanfare," Delilah nodded. She walked carefully towards the mirror to see who how much damage was done.
"I suppose I shouldn't have pushed the issue but my parents are here, your parents are too. What more did we want for our wedding. Besides, I convinced everyone the fewer people here the more exclusive it will seem. Everyone else can get invited to the reception in the capital," Damian's expression was mirthful in his reflection.
Delilah added another layer of colour to her lips when she felt head land on her shoulder with his hands on Delilah's waist. Both of them were frozen as their reflections met each others eyes.
Damian broke the silence by giving the pale skin beneath his head a feather light of a kiss. Delilah didn't dare say another word. She didn't even dare breath.
"Oh what will I do with you," Damian's voice rumbled against Delilah's skin.
"You should worry about what I'll do to you. You're the one who hasn't gotten any lectures," Delilah raised a dark brow at the interloper making him whistle at her bout of daring.
"Del, tell that Prince of yours he has five minutes before his wedding party leaves him behind," Cecilia's clear voice was accompanied by a knock. The pair split apart at the interruption.
"H-He's not here," Delilah coughed, lamely.
"Please tell him to hurry. And he can use the front door. We wouldn't want him diving in a puddle trying to get down the trellises," Cecilia was clearly suppressing a laugh.
"Oh, dear," The bride gave Damian a worried look. She bit her lip ruining the colour all over again.
"I can brave the taunts and the smiles," The Prince tried to appear nonchalant.
"I can walk you down," Delilah took Damian's hand in hers, bravely.
"Why don't you? We can share the carriage and walk to the altar by ourselves. I doubt your father shall care," Damian looked very invested in the idea.
"But that's-" Delilah ruminated for an excuse.
"But what? Let's do this," The fair haired man declared and led his bride out of her childhood room without letting her protest.
"Where are you going?" Zartashia asked as the pair made a point of greeting the busy wedding party. Everyone turned to gape at the pair.
"We're going to get wedded of course. Where else would we go," Delilah blinked her eyes at her sister innocently though her smile revealed all.
They bundled into the waiting carriage before any of the elders could protest. The horse man was surprised by the inclusion of the groom but decided to follow the schedule.
"Is that a promise?" Damian asked with a rougish smile on his face. Their knees knocked with every bump in the village road.
"What?" Delilah gave the Prince a confused expression.
"You were threatening to inflict me with your superior knowledge," Damian reminded her.
"Oh," Delilah sat up straighter, "Oh. I'll give you points for being persistent but I will not have this conversation here. I thought you wished to tell me about Baker's miserable stories on our wedding night."
"His fiance ran away with the blacksmith, leaving him at the altar. Hardly a tale for the ages," Damian gnawed on his thumb absentmindedly.
"Sounds very interesting. Perhaps a thorough examination of his failings might be in order. It'll liven up our evening tonight," Delilah teased.
"That's what you want for entertainment?" Damian raised his brows at her words. Delilah's giggles only stopped as Damian's hand once again breeched her sphere of intimacy. His thumb wiped off the colour off her lips.
"Better, now," The Prince articulated with a serene expression.
"Damian," Delilah warned that he was about to be demolished when the man just licked his thumb clean.
He then proceeded to retrieve a handkerchief from his outfit and then clean his fingers which he could have done in the first place if he hadn't been so impulsive. He could have even handed her the handkerchief instead. Or better yet he could have kept his hands to himself Delilah thought sorely.
The timing of the music outside the halting carriage was impeccable because Delilah was wondering whether stomping her fiance's feet was too cruel. The doors opened and the bride forgot all her woes.
The pair walked out of the carriage hand in hand just as the music reached its crescendo. Their smiles eclipsed everyone else's who sat in the pews watching their arrival.