1854-11-05: So... we are to be wed?
So… we are to be wed?
Summary: Shortly after their betrothal has been announced, a young prince and a young lady are encouraged to get each other better through conversation, which is, admittedly, rather awkward.
Date: Novembre 5th, 1854
Related: None.
Silvio  Antonia  

It has been less than a week since the official announcement from the Royal Family had gone out that Prince Silvio was to wed Lady Antonia t’Tremaine a match that was not expected by many and especially not by the two in question. The castle of the Silvio’s family was selected for a meeting for these two fairly young as they are a sitting room it does offer privacy but open enough to be seen as proper by both sides of the family.

Silvio stands in this room looking to the door where the other would be entering likely any moment now. He knows his duties to his house and isn’t listening to the rumors of him marrying ‘Down’ but he his nervous such a thing as meeting the woman you were given no choice but to marry. He walks the length of the room pausing to look at the door before turning to make the return journey to the other side of it once more.

Antonia t'Tremaine is shown in, her grey eyes flickering with some nervousness and uncertainty. Her hair is done in a more elaborate way than she is used to, several tinier braids arranged about the wealth of her dark blonde hair, a hairdo that promises to accentuate her femininity; another thing is the fine dress she wears, the best she has, probably, the fabric greyish, almost silvery, with embroideries! Imagine that. The cut elegant, the bodice tied at the back, and more femininity displayed in the manner of the comely decollete presented above the neckline of her dress.

Antonia's gaze meets the gaze of the Prince, and she offers a curtsey. "Your highness," she murmurs with the hint of a smile, the awkwardness of the situation written all over her face. Her movements perhaps giving away she prefers the sparring yard to the courtly arena. "It seems we are betrothed…" An odd sounding statement that, but oh so true.

The Prince turns at the sound of the door opening his eyes widen of their own accord before he can get them in control. “Lady t’Tremaine.” He greets her with a bow but for a moment he’s struck silent at what to say next and only watches her as she approaches but this is neither helpful to his cause either. It does give him a better chance to see her up close and the clothes she wears do fit her well. It is her words that break this silence he looks up to meet her gaze having gotten at least an impression to start with. “It does appear so, yes.” He chuckles a bit awkwardly. “I have seen you.. at court why then is this odd encounter.” He seems to come back to life. “Would you care to sit, and talk? I have food and drink ready.” The young prince also remembers “I got this for you.” He takes the steps to cross the distance though not too close either. A simple flower is offered likely a suggestion from his brother. He still shifts a little trying to get his mind to obey him and win over the nerves.

“Antonia,” she corrects his address, before her lips are pressed together, and she lowers her grey eyes. “We should perhaps address each other with our first names, your highness.” The t’Tremaine woman does not seem to realize she is acting against that very proposition of hers by using Silvio’s title, but then again… he is a prince, is he not? Her fingers fidget with her dress, and she inclines his head at once when he proposes to sit and talk for a bit. She looks up just in time when he offers her the flower, and a faint blush creeps onto the cheeks of the young lady who can be hardly eighteen years old. “Thank you. That is very kind of you.” She accepts the flower - new material to fidget with as she takes the offered seat. Grey eyes come to linger on him, studying him for a brief moment. “You have… perhaps expected some other arrangement to be made for you?”, she inquires carefully, a slight tremble there to her tone.

“Antonia.” He says his own voice lowered much in volume due to the nerves he does move and sits down as well. He is looking down a moment or two but does glance back at the flower. “Your.. your welcome.” The prince speaks uneasily though he does keep his eyes on her this time at least. Silvio looks confused though at the question. “I am not sure what you mean. Some other arrangement?” he asks wondering.

Antonia swallows, her brows twitching upwards ever-so-slightly when she notices his nervousness and unease. "Umm," she lowers her gaze as well, grey eyes shifting down to the flower in her hand, then towards the window. Awkward indeed! "The arrangement of betrothal," she states with some finality. "Obviously you are not that pleased. My family… may have lost in significance… I… may not be the ideal bride you may have envisioned for yourself, your highness." The tone matter-of-factly, rational. Fingers move over the greyish fabric of her fine dress, then her hand is raised to brush some strand of hair back in place when she raises her gaze to meet his. "We are honoured. Very much so, to be considered worthy for such a significant bond," Antonia adds, her lips lifting into a faint curve of a smile.

Silvio hadn't been thinking anything of the sort, though he listens to her his gaze meeting hers now even or at least looking at her when she speaks across the distance of where they sit. The Prince had heard whispers and rumors of course that there would be talk but not from him. "Antonia, its not that at all. I had nothing set in mind for a match." He responds though trying to think of what else to say, and so truth it is. "I just.. don't know what to say.. I mean I should get to know you that's why we're meeting, but the experience is new." he does manage a smile "I am sure our families both must see the merit of our.. betrothal."

"Your highness… neither had I," Antonia confesses with that smile remaining on her features. "Not so soon… either." Her hand joins with her other before her in her lap, the gaze lowered once again. A pause as she considers what to say, how to continue. "We are to… get married in six months. That should be plenty of time to get to know each other." Words that are uttered without the sound of real conviction. And as if she were becoming aware of that, she looks up, her brows knitting. "I am aware this is odd. New. Strange. Awkward." She exhales. "Overwhelming. I do not mean to appear unkind, Prince Silvio. Yet… um… Bear with me. I am not the perfect princess you may have imagined."

"You may call me Silvio, if I am to call you Antonia." The Prince will say, it’s a good first step a least, and nod. "Not so fast no." He comments in agreement with her, though the next bit and the timeline he swallows hard. "Yes indeed, on the time and indeed time to get to know you." He looks over to her next words. "I do not think you to be unkind, from what I know so far. I'm not sure what you mean, but please explain. That may be a start into getting to know you."

Antonia exhales when the prince asks her to use the less formal address of just his name. "Silvio. Yes. Well. I am not feeling comfortable, wearing dresses and the like. It is something I need to get used to. In fact…" Once again her gaze is lowered to study the hands that are folded before her. "I was training to become a knight. Such will no longer be possible. There are other things I will have to learn now. Like… courtly customs. I mean… customs of the royal court. When you are part of it. When I am part of it. A member of the… Royal family." Her grey eyes flicker, when the next words she is about to say makes her look up again to meet Silvio's gaze. "A mother of your children. Princes. Princesses. It will be my most prominent purpose." Stating the obvious, maybe a bit too bluntly. But it really hits the nail in the head, of her current situation.

Silvio listens to her speak he is indeed interested in learning all he can so that he can better understand. He remains silent though letting her get things out into the open. “Hm Antonia, I wasn’t aware you would be forced to not train to become a knight perhaps I should have though. For what it is worth I am sorry for the change in such goals.” He does meet her gaze shifting still not completely on ease. “You will be a princess yes.” The young Prince isn’t perhaps ready for the line of children. “Children.. I knew that.. I mean it being expected of me, no.. of us.” It’s a moment’s pause. “Antonia, I am at a loss I am afraid as to what to say to help? The dresses do suit you, I mean lovely.. I mean…” he stammers a little to his words but he is getting a little better.

Antonia frowns ever-so-slightly. “Well, ‘forced’ isn’t perhaps the right word for it. It would not make sense if I continued to pursue that road. My place won’t be on a battlefield.” Her grey eyes flicker with a bit of disappointment, the courtly game of keeping up appearances an area this young woman still needs practice in. “I am not to defend the realm with a sword. But to serve in another way.” She bites her lip, suddenly aware of how she must sound. “I am sorry, Silvio. I… did not mean to appear ungrateful.” Her hands tighten about each other, and she lowers her gaze, inhaling deeply. Closing her eyes for a moment, then opening them.

A handmaiden she had brought along as well, such was the manner in which such meetings usually would happen - with a chaperone to watch over the two, and occasionally perhaps offering assistance, like now, when a hand is placed on Antonia’s shoulder, and a glance is given her from the middle-aged woman in question. And so the dark blonde lady’s grey gaze will shift from the chaperone to the prince, as she wills her lips to curl into a smile. “I am sure we will get along nicely, Silvio. And thank you for the compliment.” A faint rosiness claims her cheeks indeed, her hands brushing absently over the fabric of her dress, “I have worn dresses before, but not that often in the past five years.”

The Prince looks over to her listening he shifts where he sits a bit trying to decide what to say./ “Hm, I think I know what you are saying Antonia, though your place will be no less important I assure within my family as a Princess.” It’s a tough sell and even he knows it having to change course as of such. “Even if the title knight may not be bestowed, it doesn’t mean you cannot continue to train with a sword or your weapon of choice.” The young man goes silent again trying to think around his nerves. “Perhaps we can spar with one another?” he says looking to see if this helps in any way. “Its.. its okay big change.. for us both.” He does meet her look though after she gets the support, and he manages to smile at her in return but it is strange he doesn’t know this woman well, yet they talk of children. “I certainly hope that we will I do not wish either of us unhappy.” He isn’t thus just awkward at the meeting. “I see.” The man pauses before trying a new tactic. “You know… I never once have.. so you’re a step ahead of me?” he jests about dress wearing lips twitching up hoping to break the tension a little.

“Yes… I can continue to train; perhaps. If there is enough time for that.”, Antonia replies, keeping her tone soft despite the shadow of displeasure that still shows somehow in the way she avoids Silvio’s gaze. “It’s the sword, yes,” she affirms, looking up. “Are you proficient with the sword?”, she asks next, her demeanor lightening up a little at the prospect of sparring. “Will I be allowed to best you?” Then the talk becomes awkward again, and she nods. “Aye, there is hope.” It is his next remark that draws a chuckle from her lips, to her own surprise. “Maybe you should try one on, just to know how it feels…”, Antonia smiles, a smile that reveals a dimple in one of her cheeks.

"I figure there should be time indeed, or time made for such things." Silvio looks over but she's no longer looking at him and he shifts a little bit more uncomfortable in the silence a moment but the question re-connects the two and he nods "The sword is my choice weapon as well." he does brighten at the next comment though. "Allowed? I would be most displeased if you didn't try to best me at every match." he comments the smile fading after a moment though returning as she doesn't find his humor to bad he guesses "I think that would take a wager and besting me upon the training field..cannot just give in so easily you see." He says a slight tease smiling he does look to her and the smile he sees she's like a different person enjoying this look indeed.

Antonia’s smile deepens. “Indeed? You want me to best you?” She shifts to lean back in her seat, considering the prince for the first time now with a slightly less tense expression and posture. She chuckles when he continues. “A wager then? We shall test our mettle against each other, and in case I should win you will try on a dress, in my presence.” His tease is met with a challenge obviously. “And if you should win…?”, she asks, raising a brow in an inquiring manner.

Silvio smiles in return but nods “I would, I mean I train with my sword to get better, so say you know a different style that I cannot defend against.. how will I learn otherwise, you may be simply more skilled than myself at the use of the blade, and I would like to get better.” He seems rather open-minded and forward thinking with the topic here really. He looks to her at the wager still he smiles here warmly at the frostiness on both sides melting just a little but its something. “Deal Antonia.” He offers a hand over perhaps to shake on the deal though his word is good enough. “Though I am at a loss at what would be equal wager should I win. Have you any ideas?”

“It would be for you to name your prize, Silvio.”, Antonia says with a smirk, leaning to the side as she shoots him a slightly mischievous glance. After all they are youths, she still not quite 18 and he… probably in his early twenties. “I would like to test my mettle against yours. But I know I haven’t finished my training yet. You have a chance.” Her lips purse, oddly enough enjoying this teasing of a royal he obviously lets her get away with. Not that she does not enjoy the lighter turn their conversation is taking.

“I am glad I yet stand a chance.” Silvio says with a nod though his face still full of humor and he doesn’t mind the teasing at all it seems as he looks over this young woman and the mischievous look she gives him. The young Prince will think for a few moments though is he’s wearing a dress in his account of losing this match of skill he side glances to the maid and speaks lowered words trying not at all to be overheard. “A kiss, Antonia is my price.” He says both grinning and yet a warm smile too he is perhaps being daring?

Bold words Antonia has uttered, as she becomes aware now when Silvio replies. "Oh… um… yes. You are probably quite skilled as well, didn't mean to come off as conceited…", she mutters, lowering her gaze. But he seems to take her remark with humor, and so it does not take long, and her grey eyes will be raised once again, just in the moment he names his prize - in a low murmur. "Is it?", the t'Tremaine lady quips back, in an equally low tone. Her eyes widening ever-so-briefly as she considers, before she lifts her shoulders in a light shrug and nods. "Why not.", smiles Antonia, emanating a confidence that suggests she already expects such a prize will not be necessary to pay. The glance she gives him, slightly impressed though, before her attention drifts briefly towards the handmaiden who does not give any indication she has overheard any of his words.

“You haven’t come off as such at all, one must be sure of their skills or else doubt will stop them reacting when they need to, my brother taught me that much.” Silvio says he does look when she lowers her gaze though wondering if it's because of his spoken price or from the previous part and so he too shifts worried that he’s messed this all up wracking his brain to find words to fix it but she speaks first and his gaze meets hers again even though the low spoken words.. He smiles when she agrees to the terms. “It is agreed then.” He says smiling over glad that he’s not made a major mistake. “Hmm, so besides the use of the blade, which is more like a work than hobby. What do you enjoy doing in off time? I enjoy painting myself though not sure how good at it I am.” He speaks normal volume to help not tip off the maid to their supposed silence.

This ‘official’ question draws a chuckle from Antonia’s lips, the ice clearly broken, in a way, by now. “Not much, really. I am not what you would call an artistically interested person. Swordplay is all I have done so far, learning the principles of honour, valor, loyalty. In that you will find me quite dull, your hi… I mean, Silvio. Practice with the blade is more a calling than actual work for me. But I am eager to show you, and see how our skills compare. If you don’t mind. After all,” here she smirks, “there may be an amusing display for me to enjoy, as a reward.”

Silvio listens about her not being much into the arts well except the sword arts. He shakes his head to her words though. “I don’t..” he says pausing he shifts a little more “I mean find you dull I enjoy sword practice myself and no..no I don’t mind.” He says the last bringing back his chuckle. “Well perhaps the display will be unfortunate for me, but a deal is a deal.” He says lightly enjoying the lighter parts of the conversation though still under an hour of time together much space to be bridged. “What of your family? How do they feel about your match? Tell me more of them..? I mean if you don’t mind that is. I can do likewise if you wish.”

"My family?", Antonia echoes, perhaps looking a little surprised at his question. "How they feel? I am sure my father and mother are very happy about it. It doesn't happen that often that a daughter gets the opportunity to wed a prince." The remark comes out a little dry, and she lifts her brows. "As for the others… Elrick has recently started squiring, for House l'Corren… Like I have. He will be a fine heir one day, of that I am sure. Amara… well… she is sweet but still a child. I doubt she has realized I will be going away from Hartswood. It will certainly be a teary realization, once it will hit her…" Grey eyes shift to meet Silvio's gaze again. "Maybe she can come and visit now and then. She is a nice girl, if a little… well… different."

The Prince listens to her words and nods about how they may feel. “I suppose indeed that’s true a well made match though I hope too they wish you to be happy.” Silvio seems about to say something but puts a mental clamp on it. He will make note of her family and nods smiling. “Of course, she and well your family is welcome to visit when they wish.” He imagines being sold away as it were must rather be a mix of emotions and he takes a deep breath. “Would you wish to hear of mine? You may already know much and don’t wish to tire you otherwise.” He does give her the choice.

“Of course,” Antonia replies when Silvio asks her whether she would like to hear of his family. “I am aware you have numerous siblings. The Crown Prince. Your princess sisters, so many of them. I may have met them in passing, so I cannot claim to know them.” She pauses, that smile dimming a little. “I am not sure they all would have seen this match coming. As neither of us did. It must benefit both of our Houses, the advantage House t’Tremaine gets is evident, as for House l’Valdan… Many at court will be quite at a loss what your family gains from the match. I can hardly blame them, and I expect there will be some gossip, some… very sceptical individuals watching my every step, not hesitating to wag their tongue about each misstep I may perform.” Her grey eyes find Silvio’s again. “It is why I warned you that I may not be the ideal bride for you. Perhaps not as graceful and amiable as would be expected.”

Silvio will nod in agreement with her about his family. “Well Aliza, is my youngest sister, she is very enthusiastic, though I do not doubt you two will get along well. Ariane is a bit more serious in temperament hm harder one might say.” He smirks given his careful words of her being difficult. “Emmaline is next, she is pleasant I think she too will not give much trouble. Of course myself second oldest.” He pauses here to listen to her further about her family and the people. “Perhaps not, though Antonia, people will talk no matter what the topic, it is true we may be given focus a royal wedding often does but you will do fine and so far I find you quite amiable and only time will give grace in dealing with such royal treatment.” He is silent but no he hasn’t forgotten. “It is much like my brother Jean-Paul Crown Prince, some call him the Black Prince, based on rumor of his actions with the drink.. and.. women.. but give him a chance and make your own mind up on if this is deserving or not.”

Antonia listens when Silvio gives a quick rundown of his siblings. Of course she knows every name, has even met them in passing,. after all she is a noble lady of Couviere, now and then having been honoured with invitations to official occasions. But to know these royal individuals would become her brother- and sister-in-laws has a slightly awe-inspiring quality to it. “I will do my best to avoid being the cause of such talks, Silvio,” she murmurs, the smile she gives him genuine. “I would not wish to be the focus of rumors that may harm the House of l’Valdan.”

The young prince looks to her after he’s explained a little and smiles her way warmly. Indeed he’s interested in getting to know her better. “People will talk Antonia, but yes one can at least reduce the topics of discussion.” Silvio says honestly though he shifts turning in the chair to look to her. He opens his mouth but closes it and tries again. “You will do fine I believe.” He says with conviction but nerves creeping in at the words.

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