Chapter Eleven - For Better Or Worse
Although Augustus’ heart aches for his daughter, it aches more for Charella, he soon asks her to marry him and she says yes. The King and Queen are overjoyed. A wedding is planned for the coming months and the entire Kingdom is ecstatic. But with the pain and anguish that Charella feels every night, Augustus has found himself sneaking from his room to be with her most every night for the past few weeks. The night before the wedding, Charella learns she is pregnant again.
Augustus is overjoyed and agrees to keep the pregnancy a secret. The entire kingdom comes together for the wedding, it’s a lavish beautiful affair. All the royal families come together for the ceremony. After the ceremony, in their bedchamber, Augustus can no longer keep his secret. He sits on the bench by the window. He’s startled by Charella who climbs to her knees and wraps her arms around his waist. She buries her head in his chest, then realizes, he’s crying. She sits up straight on her knees and looks at him questioningly.
Augustus meets her gaze as another tear falls. He takes a deep breath and looks into her eyes.
“Char, my love, my sweet bride, I have something tell you.” He begins, his voice shaking.
“I was sworn never to tell anyone, I was sworn to secrecy, you have to know I only ever wanted to tell you every day since..” Augustus lets another tear escape.
“August, what are you talking about, what’s happened?” Charella asks becoming increasingly concerned.
“My love, my parents kept the financial relations of our kingdom from me. Remember when I originally told you they wanted to marry me off to pay off the dowery?”
“Sweet love, I only ever wanted the best for us both and for our daughter…” Augustus trails.
“I know.” she says taking his face into her hands. “She wasn’t meant to be.” Charella says sadly, a tear escaping her face.
Augustus takes a deep breath, “I didn’t know until after it was done, I brought you to the palace in labor, I was asked to leave the room, I was told you had fallen asleep and it would take a while, I was told to go to sleep as well. I was far too excited to sleep, but I tried my best, I awoke not long after and I went into the kitchen. There was a basket..” Augustus pauses.
Charella brings her hands to her lips as tears begin to well up in her eyes. “What do you mean there was a basket?” she says quietly.
“My Father and Mother sold our child, they sold our daughter to avoid a war, the Carnation kingdom is unable to have children, I was to marry their adopted daughter and provide an heir, but when I refused, the agreement was made between my parents to provide them with my first born child.” he says breathless.
Charella isn’t sure how to react to this news. She feels sick. She has hope. She has fear. She quickly gets up and turns away as the tears rush down her face.
“You’ve known? All this time?!” she suddenly demands. “You’ve watched me cry and ache over my child, and you have said nothing, this entire time!?” she demands again.
“How could you do that to me? How could you just sit back and watch me for all this time, and never say anything!?” she yells loudly.
Augustus gets up from the bench. “Char, I’ve wanted to tell you everyday since! I’ve longed to tell you! Its killed me to watch you mourn over her! But I couldn’t! You have to understand that! It was for the safety of our kingdom.. of the Carnation kingdom! No one knows they can’t have children! It’s a long kept secret! If I had… ”
But Charella cuts him off. “I don’t care about your traditions! Or your agreements! This is my child. Our child! How could you not tell me!? How could you not trust me enough to give me that little piece of hope!?” she demands angrily.
“And what if I had!? Huh?” Augustus replies becoming angry himself. “What if I had told you, she was alive!? What would you have done!? What are you going to do!?” he demands his eyes flashing, as he takes hold on her arms and looks into her eyes.
“Sweetheart, there is nothing you could have done. There is nothing we can do. She’s gone. I didn’t think it was fair to give you that little slice of hope, and know that there is still nothing we can do to change whats happened..” Augustus finishes sternly.
New tears rush down her face as she collapses in his arms.
Augustus’ mood is softened by her tears and he pulls her into a hug.
“I’m so very sorry. There is nothing more that I would want in this world than to raise our baby together. We’re going to have another baby. I know, but she was special. She was our daughter, and she always will be. No one can take that away.” he says softly planting a kiss on her forehead.
Charella is still shocked, hurt, and dismayed over this news. She silently nods, while staring at the flickering candle on the stand nearby.