Hear Me Now

Chapter 1

I

To be engaged was never in Anya's cards. She had already promised herself from an early age that she would only marry once she had done everything she had planned on doing, and she had most certainly not done everything she wanted to do at the age of nineteen. There was still so much life that she wanted to live, but how could she do that tied down and in charge of little whining brats?

Of course, the engagement was not her idea. She came from a well to do family: her father was a low ranking nobleman with a small province to look after; her mother a merchant's daughter who had lived her life on airships, traveling all around the world. She was often found lazing around in the garden, staring mindlessly into the sky.

Her father was an ambitious man, always looking for a way to further himself in society- but that was hard to do when they lived as far away from the Castle town as possible. Still, that did not deter Lord Gerasim from feeling the inexplicable need to climb the ladder of social hierarchy.

That need led to the Lord declining suitors he thought to be below him; wealthy merchants, promising shop owners, and the occasional airship captain. Her mother would spend countless hours talking to the captains, listening to their stories of adventure and new worlds. When Anya was little, she would hide on the stairs and listen to the captivating tales promising wonder and mystery.

"Anya, are you ready?" Her mother knocked gently on her door. Sighing, Anya turned away from her vanity. Her hair was up in an intricate bun with strings of pearls hung through it, the pinkish white hue of the pearls matching the color of her dress.

"As ready as I'll ever be," she muttered. Stalling, she looked one last time in the mirror- and glared. She did not see herself. What she saw was what her parents wanted her to be: a lady, a princess, someone worthy of a throne. They wanted her to be more than what she was, as if somehow they could be more than what they were through her. And that's exactly why she was marrying Lord Jaxon. He had more land than the King of Aers, the neighboring kingdom to her home of Malion. Her father didn't care about love; he only cared about wealth.

Anya got up, and left the room.

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