I could not sleep the previous night, as all my thoughts were occupied with the upcoming journey to the capital Agra. Today is the day I will face my new life. Leaving the old one behind will be hard, also the friendships I have made over the years. I will miss them – Fiona, James, Jerry, even those people and faces I didn't get along so well. The familiarity of this property will be changed to much bigger place. As I have heard, it appears to be a structure comparable to a castle of royalties from older times.
I had visited Shire – a large market and business orientated city, which sadly holds no fond memories. The rest of my life was spent in Wiltshire's property or a summer house - now it was called. It will be a whole new experience for me. I just hope I will be strong enough to stand the new changes.
I saw Fiona busy attending her tasks, preparing necessary belongings for me and Edmund, which will be taken to our new home. Her face lacks the usual cheerful expression. Sadness and mind occupied with thoughts, most likely about our departure.
I will miss her the most. Fiona has been my family and only support, like a big sister, which I never had, she helped to get through the hardships, cheered me up in most saddest moments – everything for someone, who could not be entitled on none of the kindness she gave.
She seemed very busy. I wished I could help her and give her a hand, but Edmund said to stay out of their way. It is yet hard to grasp, that I no longer need to work and from now on I might not need to lift a finger for anything I wish to do.
Right now I am standing in the middle of the entrance hall, watching everybody run around. I sigh heavily. I feel bored.
As on notice, Fiona glances up at me and smiles softly.
"Why such a sad face, Thea? Or.... I should say 'your majesty'."
"You are kind of scaring me with that title, Fiona."
"But you are! You will be. Better get used to it. Everybody will address you that way in Agra."
I hugged myself and timidly rubbed my arms. I felt very unsure and afraid of this strange life that awaits me. Even such a minor thing as addressing me by my status, brought nervousness in my heart.
Fiona watched my expression carefully. "Don't think about it so much at the moment. Everything will be alright and.... your lovely husband probably will help you to adjust in the new environment. He won't leave you all alone."
"I will miss you..." I couldn't hold in my tears, one slipped through. "I know... no one in Agra."
"Hold yourself together, Thea." She gently shook me. "You have gone through things much worse than this. ... and do you know how many new people are working in the castle? Hundreds. You will meet more in the parties. Nice and caring people, new friends. Trust me. Just have some faith."
"It will not be the same." I could not get rid of the loneliness I hold in my chest. "What about Storm? Maybe I can take him with us?"
"Storm is staying here." Edmund's serious voice boomed through the hall. His eyes were set hard on me as he was slowly approaching us. "What's the crying about?"
"Our Lady is just little afraid, Lordship."
I wiped off the remaining tears. Edmund smoothly got hold of my hand and it made me calm down little bit. I glanced up at him begging, but his stoic face expression didn't change.
"If you want me to change my mind, nothing will work. He is old and city life will wear him off completely. He needs grass and fresh air, not the brick covered streets of Agra." Edmund finally cracked a tiny smile.
He was right. The happiness and energy radiated from him, whenever he roamed the pastures.
Time hasn't spared Storm at all. His time was slowly running out, but I hoped to see him one more time, before he passes. I will need to come back for sure.
I wanted to hug Edmund and relieve myself from heartache I felt, but his unemotional face put me off for a moment. It is still hard for me to feel completely free in his presence. When I see him so serious, there is always that thought, that he might not care about me the same way I hold feelings for him. Maybe that is only my own problem, I am not quite sure of myself. I would like to free myself from all these doubts, that crawl inside of me and make feel so insecure around him.
"We should go, Thea. I want to get home before bedtime."
Edmund's hand was still holding mine and he slowly dragged me towards the exit. Fiona's form was left behind. I could not leave her without a proper goodbye. In fast steps I returned and hugged her very tightly.
"Don't forget about me, please..." I cried on her shoulder.
She didn't respond, just hold me strong as I did.
When I turned around, Edmund was gone. I rushed after him. On the way through the door, I waved another goodbye to Fiona.
The day outside was not one of the best in this season. Gloomy, with thick fog and rain, that almost felt like snow. The dark brown carriage stood still in front of the main entrance door, looking ghostly and mystical.
Edmund was inside, he glanced at me through the window and opened the door, which made spooky, squeaky sound.
"Hurry up, princess!" he disappeared back into the darkness.
In few steps I got there and climbed inside. Like the first time I awed at the decorative cushions and ornamented carvings of the wood. I was embraced with warmer air than outside, it made me feel cozy and content.
Edmund sat on other side and watched me silently. Carriage started to move and we were escorted with a light thudding of the horse rhythmic steps. Edmund subtly swayed in his seat as the carriage got on different path. His eyes were glued on me. It stirred up some feelings in my gut and my heart flattered. His gaze was intent and little bit mischievous. I waited for him to say something.
"Thea!" His voice was low and smooth.
"Do you know, what you will be in my house? What you will become?" I caught a glimpse of a tiny smirk.
His question felt oddly familiar as well as the whole scene. I blurted the first thing, that came in my mind.
He leaned closer to me, our noses almost touched. Edmund smiled widely.
"Almost correct. You will be my .... my queeeeen." His eyes gleamed in excitement. "You remembered!"
I inhaled nervously. "Yes, it felt very familiar. Actually it feels the same. I am... afraid, Edmund."
His smile disappeared. He came to sit on my side and scooped me in his arms, his hands were firmly around my waist. I could feel my cheeks heating up. My husband kissed me softly on my forehead, his warm lips didn't seem to be willing leave my heated skin.
"No matter what happens, I will 'hold your hand'".
I let myself free of the tension, which was holding my body and leaned closer to my husband. His scent calmed me and I wanted to believe, that he will always be here for me, will keep me safe and never leave my side.
I didn't want this dream to end - never.