TITLE: A Rather Unusual Shoe
GENRE: YA - Fairy Tale
Prince Gareth and Lily are riding in a carriage. He’s mad because she just tried to sabotage his marriage plans, and she responded to the accusation by throwing a tray of cakes at him.
“I’m so sorry,” she gasped.
Gareth licked whipped cream from the back of his hand. “For telling me to pick Theodora or for giving me a lesson in cake decorating?”
She swallowed. “Both.”
“Tell me why you did it.”
Lily lifted her chin. “She would’ve been perfect for you. She’d have fawned over you and told you everything you wanted hear. She would’ve curtsied and smiled when it was appropriate and never made you angry.”
“And you would be free of this mission. Is that what you wanted?”
She crossed her arms and looked out the window. “I never wanted to come, you knew that.”
“And yet you did.”
Her lips tightened, but she said nothing.
“Why did you come, Lily?”
“You ordered me to.”
Her chin quivered. “The kingdom needs a queen.”
“You’re lying. You came because you wanted to go south.”
She flinched, and he knew he was right.
“What’s in the south, Lily? Your shoemaker?”
“My- what?” She blinked at him.
The idea tore him from the inside. “Your shoemaker. He left to work for another shop in the south, and you’re following him, aren’t you? You said you kissed him.”
A white smear of frosting looked brilliant on her scarlet face. “I kissed him goodbye, Highness. On the cheek. As a friend.”
She smiled wickedly. “It was the glassmaker’s apprentice I kissed.”
“Oh, well.” Gareth waved a hand to hide his flush. “He kisses everyone.”